Prince Teases NYC Shows Through New Webcast Channel

Posted by The G on June 28, 2013 under GNN | Comments are off for this article

Photo and article courtesy of “No-Named Reporter.”  Introduction by G.

Photo from 3rdEyeGirl Webcast on Jun 21, 2013 9 36 55 PM

Photo from 3rdEyeGirl Webcast on Jun 21, 2013 9 36 55 PM

It’s frustrating being a Prince fan these days.  He sues his die-hard fans; he’s trying to erase his existence from the internet by sending cease and desist orders to anyone who posts videos of him online; his music, which once was a powerhouse has now become a watered down version of himself trying (not very successfully) to sound like “the old Prince” and now just to toy with his fans a little more, he’s back to announcing last minute gigs (that typically cost in excess of $200 a ticket) and has introduced a brand new annoying tactic:  one-off webcasts that can only be seen if you just happen to be in front of a computer in the middle of the night.  For someone trying to gain new fans or cement a dwindling fan base, this hardly seems like the right way to go about it.  Let’s face it – we used to live in the “new power generation” but now we live in the “2 second attention span generation” and when someone who wasn’t born when many of Prince’s classic moments happened, how are they going to discover them (and tell the masses) when they are not available to be seen?!  Of course, seeing a video on Youtube on demand is hardly as satisfying as waiting for MTV or the radio to play the song (just as mp3s and streaming audio are sub-par to vinyl), but to quote Prince himself, this is a “Sign O’ The Times.”  At the very least, he should realize that all of his greatest hits no longer belong to him, but they are now classic songs of the world that will stand the test of time – that is, if they are allowed to be heard.  One thing that will not change with technological advances is that when you discover something great, you want MORE!

I won’t lie and try and make out like I haven’t been a vocal critic of many of the above actions.  My criticism comes from hundreds of in person Prince experiences and not of merely jumping on a hate bandwagon.  I’ve been a die-hard Prince fan since the 1981 album “Controversy” was released and I’ve been there for career highs and career lows.  I’ve heard way too many unflattering stories from many of his former associates and I’ve even gotten into a debate over religion with the man himself at Paisley Park.  He was unwilling to listen to my opinions on religion and philosophy, which I find extremely disappointing as I have a bookshelf filled with texts that I have read and practiced, so in this case,  I know what I am talking about.  (Side note: if you want to talk about this or any of these topics Prince, I am here for you!)  It seems to be a symptom of the Jehovah’s Witness-era of Prince – he claims to be surrounding himself with younger people to obtain fresh ideas, but is he just telling these people what to do knowing they have no business contradicting a living legend?   I have been left with no choice but to separate the man from the music and an attempt to try and remember the “good times” through his fans, which brings me to what you are about to read.

One of his fans (possibly on the inside of the ‘Purple Circle’) is feeling the frustration instead of feeling the funk and wanted to get this message out.  I did not write it, but I found it amusing because I’ve lived these types of scenarios so many times and have been harshly criticized for voicing my opinions.  If you are also a die-hard, you probably have some of the same battle scars as I do. What you choose to do with this article is up 2 U (as they say).  Full disclosure – since I am fortunate enough to see hundreds of live shows by emerging bands each year, frankly, I have had enough with this type of behavior because the reward is not what it once was to me.  Maybe, just maybe, these words will reach the man and he will make a return the excellence he is more than capable of making.  We’ve spent decades listening to him.  Maybe now, he will listen to us!  This an xtended jam, so light some incense and candles and read on…  after the jump.

Love, G xx

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Tattoo of the Day

Posted by The G on June 7, 2013 under Artsy Fartsy | Comments are off for this article

Photo by G.  Body by Madartista!

Tattoo of the Day

Tattoo of the Day

This tattoo sleeve is so epic!  From top to bottom:  YES (from Prince’s ‘Lovesexy’ album artwork), M (for Madonna), “Music makes the people come together,” 1999, Girl Bros. (aka Wendy & Lisa) and Panic at the Disco.

Is that great taste in music or what?!

Thanks to Chris for letting me take this awesome photo of his arm!

Happy 25th Anniversary, “Lovesexy” by Prince

Posted by The G on May 10, 2013 under G Reviews | Comments are off for this article

Photo of the Lovesexy album cover by G.

Lovesexy by Prince

Lovesexy by Prince

On May 10, 1988, Prince released his final 1980s masterpiece, “Lovesexy.”  The 9 track album was his most spiritual record to date, possibly influenced by his last minute decision to scrap the dance/funk “Black Album,” which contained some of Prince’s dirtiest lyrics to date.  Prince was the master of mixing spirituality with funk and turning the tables on you as evidenced by songs such as the opener “Eye No,” a rewrite of his still unreleased song “The Ball,” featuring the late Boni Boyer who takes you to musical church with her gospel flavored vocals.  The mega hit “Alphabet St.” is up next, starting exactly where “Eye No” ends and in fact, for many years, the “Lovesexy” CD was issued as one track to give the listener an uninterrupted musical/spiritual experience.  “Alphabet St.” features a rap from his dancer Catherine Glover (better known as “Cat”), and the line “Cat, we need u 2 rap,” is a favorite refrain even amongst non-Prince fans.  “Glam Slam,” which inspired the name of night clubs that Prince would later build, is next and was a minor hit.  Side one finishes off with the rock ballad “Anna Stesia,” which appears to be Prince apologizing to his God for even considering releasing the “dirty” “Black Album.”  “The Black Album” was later officially released 10 years later when Prince was trying to get out of his contract with his label Warner Bros.

Side 2 kicks off with the current state of the world track “Dance On,” and its lyrics about guns and violence are still relevant 25 years on.  The title track “Lovesexy” follows and it’s a perfect example of how Prince used to be the master of intertwining sex and spirituality as Prince’s alter-ego Camille makes an appearance during the climax of the song (that is literally a climax) but rather than have a proper orgasm Prince tells his lover that if he comes back as a woman, he wants a body like yours!  The sexy ballad “When 2 R In Love,” recycled from “The Black Album” slows things down and features Prince’s sexy poetry that is so absent from his music today as lines like “The thought of his tongue in the V of her love / This thought / it leads the pack” let the mind wander into X-rated territory even though the lyric is G-rated.  Threading sex and spirituality, the next track is the minor hit “Eye Wish U Heaven,” and when the song was released as a single, he turned the 2 minute and 43 second track into a 10 minute opus that has 3 distinct sections to it.  The B-side of “Eye Wish U Heaven,” is the track “Scarlet Pussy,” performed by Camille trading licks (literally and figuratively) with then band mate Sheila E.  And as only Prince can, the song is not about directly about sex.  Instead it is about a feline and her suitors and is one of the funkiest tracks Prince has committed to tape.  The album closes with the epic finale “Positivity,” which advises the listener at the end of the song “Hold on 2 your soul / We’ve got a long way 2 go.”

The album cover (as you can see above) was perfect for this record that fuses sexuality and spirituality in that way only Prince can get away with as Prince appears naked on the cover, but the picture is anything but “dirty.”  Prince took the album on a world tour and his Lovesexy band consisted of some of the best musicians he’s ever played with.  In addition to a lavish stage production that featured a ton of dancing, Prince playing many instruments and NO lip-synching, Prince transformed many of his past songs into funky new medleys and after performing in stadiums, he and his band wound down their night by playing completely different material, for another 2 hour “jam session” at small clubs in the cities they were in.  Many recordings of those shows have been bootlegged and they stand out amongst Prince fans as a golden period in his career where he was musically on fire.  As his lyrics fused sexuality and spirituality, on stage he was able to fuse every style of music often seamlessly blending jazz with guitar solos that would make Jimi Hendrix stop and take note.

One of the things that makes “Lovesexy” stand the test of time is that Prince challenged his audience to discover new ways of thinking without being a preacher.  Unfortunately, 25 years on the same cannot be said as Prince strictly tells his listeners how they should conduct their lives as he has converted to the religious cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Comparing the way Prince conducts his life now as opposed to the way he did 25 years prior, the message of “Lovesexy” is stronger than ever – “Religion needs spirituality and not the other way around.”

Happy anniversary, “Lovesexy.”

Video: D’Angelo’s Return in 2012

Posted by The G on March 20, 2013 under GNN | Comments are off for this article

Video courtesy of the internet.

Not a big fan of posting other people’s videos, but since I was literally just listening to a bootleg of this show over the weekend, featuring quite possibly the only live performance of The Time’s “My Summertime Thang” (not performed by either Prince or The Time, but instead) by D’Angelo (featuring Eric Leeds, Jesse Johnson and Questlove), you have to check this out.  It’s the first part of a documentary showing D’Angelo’s return to the live stage in the USA at 2012’s Bonnarroo Festival.  Since this video features a Prince cover, it will likely be taken down before the end of the day because Prince is a motherfucking douche bag.  But until then…

Some more details:

All music was remixed by Questlove.
Filmed and directed by Danny Clinch.

 

Episode Rundown and Tracklist:
 
1.  Origins :  Featuring “My Summertime Thang” by The Time written by Prince

 

2.  Getting The Band Back Together:  Featuring

Pride and Vanity by the Ohio Players

 

3.  Hit It and Quit It: Featuring “Funky Dollar Bill” and

“Hit It and Quit It” by Parliament Funkadelic

 

4.  The Return of D’Angelo:  Featuring
“She Came In Through the Bathroom Window” by the Beatles

 

Band Members:
D’Angelo:  Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar
Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson: Drums (The Roots)
Pino Palladino: Bass (The Who)
Eric Leeds: Saxophone (Prince)
Jesse Johnson: Guitar (The Time, Prince, Janet Jackson)
Captain Kirk: Guitar (The Roots)
James Posyer: Keyboards (The Roots)
Frank Knuckles: Percussion (The Roots)
Kendra Foster (Vocals)

An Encounter with Alan Leeds

Posted by The G on March 12, 2013 under Encounters with G | Comments are off for this article

Photo by Alan Leeds’ friend.

Geoffrey Dicker and Alan Leeds

Geoffrey Dicker and Alan Leeds

Alan Leeds is a god!  If you like funky music, you could argue that Alan Leeds has had (and is still having) one of the best careers possible in the music industry.  In the 70s, he road managed James Brown and he later won a Grammy for his liner notes on a James Brown anthology (“Star Time”).  He tour managed Prince from 1983 to 1992 and became the head of Prince’s Paisley Park Studios.  His brother is the ultra-funky saxophone player Eric Leeds and currently, Alan is working with Chris Rock and D’Angelo.  Despite that massively impressive resume, Alan Leeds was extremely down to earth.  We talked about several of the music legends listed above and I wished I could have talked to him and picked his brain for hours.  You can read an excellent interview with Alan Leeds where he talks about Prince and Miles Davis and their relationship and it will give you a tiny insight into some of the cool things Alan Leeds has been a part of.  It was an absolute pleasure talking to you Alan and I really hope to chat with you again some time!

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