Showing posts with label Prince. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prince. Show all posts

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Five Most Anticipated Albums of Summer 2019

Last week I saw a Billboard headline that asked are labels signing too many artist? After the music industry almost died during the height of downloading, it seemed like most Top 40 radio stations only played 25 songs, streaming has been a huge boon and they are making almost as much money as the CD era. So to answer Billboard's question, no. With more signees means more diversity, after a long period where record companies were just throwing around crash to Soundcloud rappers, hopefully with the boon it will spawn the weirdness in the nineties where you had alt rock, gangsta rap, Boyz II Men, Hootie and The Blowfish, and Celine Dion all selling boatloads of CD's. Even Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and johnny Cash had huge comeback albums. With the overabundance of music come are way, I am actually able to come up with a Most Anticipated list for the first time in a while.

1. Originals - Prince (Tomorrow) - We are all familiar with songs like Manic Monday, Jungle Love, and the Glamorous Life but what some people may not know is that Prince wrote all three of those songs and many more that he handed off to artists as diverse as Martika and Kenny Rogers. Much like last years Piano and a Microphone 1983 these are all demos and not completely finished songs but like that album, this will at the very least be an interesting album to listen to.

2. "Let's Rock" - The Black Keys (June 28) - The duo released six albums in their first eight years as a band but just two in the next eight years. And the last one, Turn Blue was a weird psychedelic turn. Thier firt in five years sounds like a reeturn to the garage rock that got them the rare guitar based radio this decade. And I am all ready to have some rock back in my life.

3. Jimmy Lee - Raphael Saadiq (August 23) - Speaking of a long hiattus, it has been eight years since the last album by the RnB legend but listening to the first single Something Keeps Calling, it will be worth the wait. Really, old school RnB is another thing I really need back in my life.

4. No.6 Collaborations Project - Ed Sheeran (July 12) - Before he got signed and released mathematical themed album titles, Ed Sheeran numbered his EP's, the last of which was No.5 Collaborations Project. No word on who he is collaborating with other than Justin Beiber (meh) and Chance the Rapper (much better) which have already been released as single.

5. Lover - Taylor Swift (August 23) - Alright, Reputation was pure trash. And Me! was not much better, but Taylor does tend to release her cheesiest songs first. You Need to Calm Down is a little better. Here is hoping she is holding off her best for the album release like she has done for hr best albums.

Here are some other albums coming out this summer that will at least be worth a spin on Spotify. Click on the album name to pre-order on Amazon. Click on the artist's name to be taken to their iTunes page.

Help Us Stranger - The Raconteurs
Late Night Feelings - Mark Ronson
Ride Me Back Home - Willie Nelson
Blood - Collective Soul

June 28
From Muscle Shoals - Foy Vance
Stranger Songs - Ingrid Michaelson

July 5
Brand New Day - Eddie Money

July 12
III - Banks
Solutions - K.Flay
Voyager - 311
Full Circle - Angie Stone
∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So It Goes.. (Live at MIF) - New Order

July 19
Singular Act II - Sabrina Carpenter
Throwing Copper (25 Anniversary) - Live

July 26
Fever Dream - Of Monsters and Men
Little Yachty - Sugar Ray
Hotel Last Resort - Violent Femmes
Live From The Artists Den - Soundgarden
Everything Hits At Once: The Best Of Spoon - Spoon

August 2
Finch - Penny & Sparrow
Interpreting the Masters, Volume 2: (A Tribute to Van Halen) - The Bird and the Bee
Live at Woodstock - Creedence Clearwater Revival

August 9
How Do You Love? - The Regrettes

August 16
Thrashing Thru the Passion - The Hold Steady

August 23
Threads - Sheryl Crow
Hello From Las Vegas - Lionel Richie

September 6
Lost Girls - Bat for Lashes
404 - Barns Courtney
Valve Bone Woe - Chrissy Hynde

September 13
III - The Lumineers
Charli - Charli XCX

September 20
Why Me? Why Not. - Liam Gallagher

October 4
Closer Than Together - The Avett Brothers


Masochism - Sky Ferreira
Run the Jewels 4 - Run The Jewels
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Chance the Rapper
Guns N' Roses
Hootie & The Blowfish
Mandy Moore
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

And of course this could be the quarter we here Dr. Dre's Detox. Recently Flying Lotus says he has heard Detox and claims it is better than Compton, so maybe there is a chance us common people will hear it soon too.

Monday, October 01, 2018

I Want My Music Television: 10/1/2018

Africa - Weezer

What strange long trip this year has been to Weezer’s biggest hit in over a decade. From a kid requesting they cover Toto on Twiiter because she heard the song on Stranger Things and culminates with “Weird Al” Yankovic. Though if you are going to parody Undone, where are the dogs? Even Africa mentions wild dogs crying out in the night.

Mary Don't You Weep (Piano & a Microphone 1983 Version) - Prince

Leave to Prince to have one of the best albums of the year even after he died with a simple piano live to tape album. And he does not get enough credit for his social activism despite Sign O’ the Times being very profound, but the video just follow his legacy in that matter.

Colors - Beck

Here is a video Beck released six months ago on Apple Music but it has only become available on YouTube now. But anything with Alison Brie and directed by Edgar Wright is certainly worth the wait. Thankfully there have not been many exclusive since.

Head Above Water - Avril Lavigne

Everyone has to grow up sometime (except for maybe Angus Young) but it is weird seeing Avril Lavigne in what could have been a treatment for a Celine Dion music video. Unfortunately the song is about as boring as a Celine Dion ballad.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 8/29/2017

Look What You Made Me Do - Taylor Swift

At first listen of the song you knew the video would be built around the old Taylor is dead line. Still I spent most of the video missing the Our Song era of Taylor. People have been making a lot out how this is “dark Taylor Swift” but it does not sound much different than her last two albums. To me, dark Taylor would sound more like Safe and Sound. Unfortunately the Civil Wars no longer exist; instead she is making another record with the dude from Bleachers who is getting kind of stale (he recently did the underwhelming Lorde sophomore album). If there is a silver lining is that Taylor’s first singles are the worst song off the album, hopefully that is the case here.

The Sky Is a Neighborhood - Foo Fighters

I think like many people around the eclipse, I watched Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart video, apparently so did the Foo Fighters who weirdly are using the same eye-light effect.

Every Little Thing - Carly Pearce

I am a long proponent of sad bastard songs and this one by Carly Pearce is the saddest of 2017 so far.

Batdance - Prince

I cannot count the number of times I went to YouTube searching for Batdance only to remember, oh yeah, Prince hates the internet. A month or two his estate has slowly putting his music videos on the site and last week, we finally got an offiial version of Batdance. I am so happy.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Meloncoly Happy Trails to Prince

For people my age, Prince was always there. 1999 and Little Red Corvette were radio staples when we started to listen to the radio. Sure it was not until college when I realized that Little Red Corvette was not actually about cars, but anyway. Then came Purple Rain. Since it was R rated and I was still in my single digits, I was not allowed to watch it, but after a lot of begging my parents did rend it, watched it one night, marked the music parts and I could watch them, turn it off, then flash forward to the next performance. Presumably Darling Nikki was the one performance from the film I could not watch as it has the distinction as being the song that prompted Tipper Gore to start her crusade to slap Parental Advisory stickers on albums. It was not until recent years when the film got played ad nausea by VH1 Classic did I finally get to see the non-music bits, and okay, maybe my parents did me a favor because that movie (along with pretty much every movie from that decade) does not really hold up aside from when Prince told Apollonia she needed to purify herself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.

Sure it was hard to be a Prince fan at times, his Symbol era was marred by a flood of mediocre albums as a way as the Artist Formally Known as Prince to get out of his record contract. And I cannot count how many times I went to YouTube to watch Batdance only to remember, oh yeah, Prince hates the internet. But both MTV and VH1 started playing Prince music videos again Thursday and I actually got to see Batdance in its entirety for the first time in maybe twenty-five year and it was glorious. His VMA performance also got heavy play and it is just as shocking today that it got play as it did back then. And watching these video blocks and it is just shocking just how much great Prince music there is. The Morning Papers came on and I completely forgot about, that is just how many great Prince songs there is. The Morning Papers is a great song but I am not sure if it is even one of his fifty best songs.

Like I mentioned above, Prince hates the internet so it is hard to find any of his video, and if you do, they are probably gone by the time you go back. Thankfully he does not own the rights to While My Guitar Gently Weeps which he performed with Tom Petty Jeff Lynn, Steve Winwood (Traffic was inducted that year) and Dhani Harrison (his father George was also inducted as a solo artist) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame put on their YouTube channel from the year he was inducted. Prince is barely seen almost completely off stage, but then he comes front and center and gives one of the most epic guitar solos ever. Seriously, you do not even need all the fingers on one hand to count the number of people who could do the Eric Clapton solo justice and Prince did it. And then when he was done he threw the guitar over his head and struts off the stage. Forget dropping the mic, that is how you end a performance.

Prince could have gone down as the greatest guitarist if he wanted to. He could have been the King of Pop if he wanted to. He was Hendrix, James Brown, and Michael Jackson rolled into one and I would argue better than all of them. Instead of one genre he just did everything great: rock, pop, RnB, funk, gospel, jazz, dance, Purple Rain was number two on my 100 Greatest Power Ballads of all time. The guy even ghostwrote a song for Kenny Rogers. He even created genres, seriously, how do you even classify When Doves Cry? Sign O’ the Times?

As I mentioned, being a Prince fan could be rough, particularly the Symbol years featured a lot of mediocre music, but once he got out of his Warner Brothers contract and returned to being known as just Prince, no silly symbols needed (wait, did Prince invent the emoticon?) the music was good again starting with Musicology and he kept popping up on my end year lists all the way to to 2013’s Breakfast Can Wait (I never got to listen to his most recent album because it was a Tidal exclusive and I have no desire to mess with Tidal; hopefully the Prince estate is a bit more relaxed on the internet). Sure nothing was Purple Rain great again, but it did not have to be, good Prince was still better than most acts in the past decade. Plus this was the guy that gave us the greatest soundtrack of all time (which featured the greatest album closing track of all time), the greatest Super Bowl Half Time show of all time, the greatest Chappelle’s Show skit of all time, and was the best part of the greatest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame all-star jam of all time. As he told us, there is something else after this, a world of never-ending happiness, and I am sure will be putting on massive concerts every night. I would say rest in peace, but Prince seemed happiest when entertaining people, so rock on Prince and thank you for some of the greatest music ever made.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I Want My Music Television: 10/15/13

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Breakfast Can Wait – Prince

Apparently the internets are no longer over because Prince recently joined Twitter a couple months ago and just uploaded a music video to YouTube. Hopefully he ends up uploading his entire back catalogue. Seriously, just think about how many times you went to YouTube over the past eight years to watch Batdance only to find it was not there or the one that was is some crappy version probably taken from a VHS tape. The video for Breakfast can wait is a little disappointing because it does not feature Dave Chappelle, who is on the single cover. Instead we get some chick pretending to be Dave pretending to be Prince.

Survival – Eminem

When Eminem released Berzerk I called it his best song since Lose Yourself. Well Survival is his second best song since Lose Yourself. The video could have been done without the shameless video game footage.

PrimeTime – Janelle Monáe featuring Miguel

Janelle Monáe released this song last month, so by my math, I am guessing there is going to be a spike in the population next May. I am not sure if the robot strip club themed video helps or hurts.

Barenaked Ladies - Odds Are

Oh Barenaked Ladies, you sneaky Canadians, way to guarantee views by making a music video where you have to watch more than once, once to watch it, and another to read the scroll.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Want My Music Television: 5/26/13

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

I Could’ve Been Your Girl – She and Him

I was less than impressed with the third She and Him album, but at least they created an entertaining music video even if it is very reminiscent of the Saturday Night Live French café dance sequence skit which I a pretty sure Zooey Deshanel was in once (are I am just assuming she hosted around that time because of Abby Elliot’s Zooey impression).

Love Somebody – Maroon 5

This looks like the type of video that some weird alternative band would have made that only got played during 120 Minutes during the nineties not something a boring pop band like Maroon 5 has become would release.

Red Hands – Walk Off the Earth

We have seen plenty of one take videos in the history of the medium, but this is the first one I can think of where the video was show out of order in one take and then edited in order post production. To see the Walk Off the Earth video without the edits, check out the Unedited Version of the video.

Fixurlifeup – 3rdeyegirl featuring Prince

What is Prince doing being “featured” in this video? Everyone knows this is a Prince song and 3rdeyegirl is the backing band. Maybe he knows that this garage band version just does not stack up with his previous catalogue and using the backing band to already distance himself from it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

We On Award Tour: 2013 Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are always the best award shows of the year just because of all the great performances even if it is an off year for music. But a funny thing happened at this year’s Grammy, it was almost as if I programmed it. I loved almost all the performances (who invited Justin Timberlake, I hate when people who are not nominated get to perform unless they are a legacy artist; plus I do not see Suit and Tie getting nominated for anything next year) and it is almost as if I did the nominating. Sure I could nitpick that Call Me Maybe was nominated for a songwriting award or how Norah Jones was shut out despite releases her best single of her career, Happy Pills. But for the first time I actually endorse every nominee in the most prestigious category, each made my list of The Best Albums of 2012 (or 2011 thanks to the Grammy’s wonky eligibility rule). Usually one (or four) stinkers sneak in, somehow Lady Gaga was that past three years. Since it seemed like this year’s Grammys were geared specially towards me, I have a feeling the ratings will be way down and they will be back to nominating unworthy artists next year (maybe Suit and Tie will get a nod... or five), but I definitely enjoyed this year. Here are some thoughts on last night’s festivities.

Taylor Swift goes big
- We may be witnessing the downfall of Taylor Swift, her performer, the carnival meets Wonderland meets Marionettes meets Marie Antoinette was way too much. Hopefully Red is her Pop and she will go back to basics with her next album like U2 did with All That You Can't Leave Behind.

- Of course Adele won the first award, after the great ratings of last year, the show want to continue that even if a live performance off a DVD is a bit cheap way to get nominated. But then again it was not like there was much competition in that category.

- When Fun. performed at the nomination special I figured they would not get invited to the big show because they already burned off their best song. But they did get to perform and we were stuck listening to the fifth best song off their album (same goes for Maroon 5).

- I think the suits Miguel and Wiz Khalifa were wearing broke my HD. And of course they went on to announce the Best Country Solo Performance.

Do not stare directly at these suits

- A couple weeks ago someone pointed out to me that We Are Young is a song about domestic abuse ("My seat's been taken by some sunglasses asking 'bout a scar, I know I gave it to you months ago") I it is weird listening to it ever since. Even weirder is a song that may be about domestic abuse won a songwriting award.

- It was jarring seeing Mumford & Sons perform with an electric bass instead of their trademark stand-up bass. And what was with three of them being clean shaven?

- Alicia Keys playing the drums = awesome.

- Should I know who Micky Echo is?

- Best acceptance speech of the night, maybe ever: "I would like to thank the swap meet for his hat." - Jay-Z.

- I really like the aesthetic of the two The Black Keys, but I would like them to make a full band album at some point, preferably with Danger Mouse producing.

Carrie Underwood lights up... literally
- After every review mentioned The Police, of course Bruno Mars had to bring in Sting for his performance. But I wish the Bob Marley part was much longer.

- I am not sure if there is such a thing as male groupies, but if there are, I am thinking about becoming one for the chick from the The Lumineers.

- Do someone slip me some acid or was Carrie Underwood's dress changing shapes and colors?

- How do you invite Prince to an award show and not get him to perform? This may have been the best awards in recent memory, but not getting Prince to sing was an epic fail.

- I guess it should go down as a successful Grammy awards because Chris Brown made it through an entire night without punching anyone.

Monday, December 03, 2012

I Want My Music Television - 12/3/12

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Rock and Roll Love Affair – Prince

When I first heard this song I thought, “Prince better get his lawyer on the phone because someone totally ripped off Take Me with U.” As it turned out Prince just ripped off himself.

My Life – 50 Cent featuring Eminem and Adam Levine

What happened to 50 Cent? His debut posed to make him the greatest rapper of the decade but just kept releasing crap after that. 50 says in this song that this is his comeback, but I do not know. Eminem destroys him on his on song and a the chorus is pretty weak.

Concrete Wall - Zee Avi

Yeah, I’ll be singing “Boom sha-clack clack” for the next month or so. Thanks Zee Avi.

Walk Away – Dia Frampton

I had to laugh when Christina Aguilera said Chris Mann was the most commercially successful artist ever produced by The Voice considering Dia Frampton’s debut sold four times more albums than his over the same time period (even Javier Colon and Xenia put up better numbers). I always liked Dia and thought her album was criminally overlooked so it was nice to see the show has not forgotten her promoting her new music video this week even if it is just a glorified Kia commercial. Chris Mann did not even get a Kia product placement video, even Tony Lucca and Juliet Simms both got one.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The 100 Greatest Power Ballads of All Time

1. Love Song - Tesla

2. Purple Rain - Prince and The Revolution

3. Heaven - Warrant

4. Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison

5. I Wish It Would Rain Down - Phil Collins

6. All I Want Is You - U2

7. I'll Be There for You - Bon Jovi

8. Home Sweet Home - Mötley Crüe

9. November Rain - Guns N' Roses

10. Without You - Harry Nilsson

11. Silver Springs (Live) - Fleetwood Mac

12. No More Drama - Mary J. Blige

13. Fake Plastic Trees - Radiohead

14. The Scientist - Coldplay

15. I Want to Know What Love Is - Foreigner

16. What It Takes - Aerosmith

17. Bright Lights - Matchbox Twenty

18. Under the Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers

19. Faithfully - Journey

20. I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) - Meat Loaf

21. Against All Odds - Phil Collins

22. How to Save a Life - The Fray

23. Never Tear Us Apart - INXS

24. Wind of Change - Scorpions

25. Everybody Hurts - R.E.M.

26. Set the Fire to the Third Bar - Snow Patrol and Martha Wainwright

27. Will You Be There - Michael Jackson

28. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own - U2

29. My Immortal (Band Version) - Evanescence

30. You Can't Always Get What You Want - The Rolling Stones

31. Why - Annie Lennox

32. She Talks to Angels - The Black Crowes

33. Patience - Guns N' Roses

34. Ex-Factor - Lauryn Hill

35. Alone - Heart

36. Dreaming With a Broken Heart - John Mayer

37. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol

38. Boston - Augustana

39. My Heart Will Go On - Céline Dion

40. Far Behind - Candlebox

41. Don't Cry - Guns N' Roses

42. Stop Crying Your Heart Out - Oasis

43. Fix You - Coldplay

44. Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone) - Cinderella

45. Waiting for a Girl Like You - Foreigner

46. With or Without You - U2

47. Tuckers Town - Hootie & the Blowfish

48. The Stairs - INXS

49. Better Man - Pearl Jam

50. Close My Eyes Forever - Lita Ford and Ozzy Osborne

51. Hey Jude - The Beatles

52. Total Eclipse Of The Heart - Bonnie Tyler

53. Poison and Wine - The Civil Wars

54. Don't Look Back In Anger - Oasis

55. Sister Christian - Night Ranger

56. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel

57. We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) - Tina Turner

58. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You - Bryan Adams

59. Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day

60. Let Her Cry - Hootie and the Blowfish

61. Angel Eyes - The Jeff Healey Band

62. Hero - Enrique Iglesias

63. Creep - Radiohead

64. Run - Snow Patrol

65. Linger - The Cranberries

66. Falling Slowly - Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

67. Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd

68. Listen to Your Heart - Roxette

69. Don't Follow - Alice in Chains

70. One - U2

71. She's Gone - Hall and Oates

72. Keep On Loving You - REO Speedwagon

73. Take My Breath Away - Berlin

74. Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day

75. Nothing Else Matters - Metallica

76. Silent Lucidity - Queensrÿche

77. When the Night Comes - Joe Cocker

78. Somebody to Love - Queen

79. The Cave - Mumford and Sons

80. I Remember You - Skid Row

81. Open Arms - Journey

82. Angel - Aerosmith

83. Mama, I'm Coming Home - Ozzy Osborne

84. It's All Coming Back to Me Now - Céline Dion

85. Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me - George Michael and Elton John

86. A Long December - Counting Crows

87. When the Children Cry - White Lion

88. Glycerine - Bush

89. Big Empty - Stone Temple Pilots

90. Existentialism On Prom Night - Straylight Run

91. Lonely Road of Faith - Kid Rock

92. Strange Currencies - R.E.M.

93. Holding Out for a Hero - Bonnie Tyler

94. Colder Weather - Zac Brown Band

95. Trouble - Coldplay

96. Is This Love - Whitesnake

97. The Mountains Win Again - Blues Traveler

98. Sober - Kelly Clarkson

99. A Dustland Fairytale - The Killers

100. Something to Believe In - Poison

Monday, October 11, 2010

Feed Your iPod vol. LI: How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?

It should be a requirement that every album have a Prince cover on it because let’s face it, very few artists today can write a song as great as even some of his obscure songs. Case in point, one of the stand out tracks on her debut album, Alicia Keys covered How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore? a B-Side to Prince’s 1999 single which is probably known to most casual Prince fans when it appeared on his three disk 1993 Greatest Hits/Rarities album. It is unknown as to why Keys retitled the song How Come You Don’t You Call Me, but the punchy piano and attitude remains and both versions are worth a download.

How Come You Don't Call Me - Alicia Keys

How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore? - Prince

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Want My Music Television vol. L

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Know Your Enemy – Green Day

It looks like Green Day is continuing the paranoia theme of American Idiot with the follow up as this video has a strong 1984 feel to it. The song still sounds like a run of the mill Green Day song for better or worse.

Crimson and Clover – Prince

Not to be outdone by Kid Rock mashing up Sweet Home Alabama and Werewolf of London, Prince combines Tommy James and The Troggs but in a psychedelic way. As a bonus: no Kid Rock.

People C’mon – Delta Spirit

Me thinks the members of Delta Spirit have watch one too many episodes of Lost with all their flash forwards and flash backs and nonsensical storytelling. At least the song rock.

I’m on Fire – Sarah Bareilles

Over at they started a new feature called Hangin’ Out on E Street where contemporary artist like Pete Yorn (Your Own Worst Enemy), The Avett Brothers (Glory Days), and Mat Kearney (Atlantic City) tackle their favorite songs from the Boss sometime with commentary from the artist. My personal favorite is by Sara Barielles who covers my one favorite songs from Springsteen.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I Want My Music Television vol. XLVII

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Chocolate Box – Prince and Q-Tip

For a man who has converted to the Jehovah’s Witness and sworn off his dirty side, Prince still likes his phallic symbolisms and phrases that have potential double means. But hey, you can get his three latest CD’s for $11.95 at Target. I wonder what Kristen Wiig would have to say if your brought the triple disk to her counter.

Crazier – Taylor Swift

Listening to song you can tell why Taylor Swift saved this song for The Hanna Montana Movie, which I think I may skip to avoid a run in with Chris Hansen, instead of putting it on her latest album as it would have been the weakest track.

Gifted - N.A.S.A. featuring Kanye West, Santogold and Lykke Li

N.A.S.A. is like a mash up artist that can actually get the artist to perform together on a song together. Unfortunately for the most part the concept proves better than the execution.

Don’t Forget – Demi Lovato

This song reminds he of the Jonas Brothers Lovbug; it is bouncy and hides the singer’s limited vocal range, in this case fellow Mouseketeer Demi Lovato. But the breakdown in Don’t Forget is much better if only because the backing band is hilarious especially the when they freeze in place at the end of it. So what if they are all playing guitar and no bassist, it just looks cool

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I Know U Hear Me Like a Whisper in Ur Ear

Planet Earth - Prince

Many artists like to say it is all about the music all the while charging three digest to their concerts and licensing their music for even the most inane products. Then there is Prince who, ever since ending his long time battle with label Warner Bros, has been the most progressive artist in getting his music out including giving copies of his latest albums out to anyone who buys a ticket to his concerts, which are reasonably priced when his contemporaries are charging obscene prices. His latest attempt to get his music out came when he struck a deal with British paper The Mail who attacked Prince’s latest album, Planet Earth, to one of its editions last week.

Naturally Columbia Records, who is handling the world wide distribution of the album wasn’t too thrilled and decided not to release the album in England. Not like Prince cares because all he wants is for people to hear the music. And ever since changing his name back from an unpronounceable symbol, there has been some great music including the grove of Musicology, the funk of Black Sweat, and even his contribution to the Happy Feet Soundtrack was pretty catchy.

And that is what makes Planet Earth so disappointing. Certainly other artist would like to produce an album this good a year away from their thirtieth anniversary in music, but considering his recent work, this album falls flat. And that is even with the Purple One bring back past collaborators Shelia E., a few members from the New Power Generation, and Wendy and Lisa (no word on if Diamond and/or Pearl will show up in a video from the album). Although Planet Earth is still better than his nineties, symbol era.

The album opens and closes with Prince’s thoughts on current hop button topics including the fragile Earth on the title track and war on Resolution that aren’t good enough to convert people to his cause. And that is not because Prince is like many musicians like Sum 41 or Maroon 5 that have jumped on political bandwagon in recent years because everyone else is as Prince has made some of the best socially conscious songs like the classics Sign O the Times and Money Don’t Matter 2Night or the more recent Cinnamon Girl. It just the new songs won’t be added to that list anytime soon.

Prince does some retreading on the album too. The One U Wanna C might as well have been called I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man 2 complete with the line like, “you ain’t no one night stand” but this could end up bringing down the house when performed live. What won’t though is Mr. Goodnight where he bring back half rap, half talk come on’s like Gett Off but they just aren’t as good now that Prince has gone and found religion, so no talk of Almond Joys instead he just wants to watch Chocolat. Yawn.

Again, that is not to say the album is bad, it is just not Prince good. Guitar shows he can still handle the ax and will make you thank someone that Prince hasn’t found someone he loves more than his guitar yet, though still not as blistering as anything from Purple Rain, or his solo from While My Guitar Gently Weeps from the year he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Somewhere Here on Earth has a cool jazzy feel to it thanks to some well placed trumpet and would be best played in a smoky club. Hopefully Planet Earth is just a test run for something classic that Prince will unveil for his thirtieth anniversary next year.

Song to Download - Guitar

Planet Earth gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl Shuffle 2007

Before I get into the big show yesterday, and more importantly the commercials, let me first chastise Saturday Night Live for not resurrecting Da Bears. Even a crappy Da Bears skit would have been funnier than anything else that was on that show. Instead they resurrected another skit the Donnatella Versace Show and instead of bringing back George Wendt they brought back Horatio Sanz. Luckily Lily Allen saved the show otherwise it would have been a waste.

As for the game itself, I would again like to point out that I called the Indianapolis Colts over the Chicago Bears way back in September and was pretty close picking the actual score (I had 27-12 which isn’t that far from 29-17). So screw Miss Cleo, if you want to know what will happen next in your life call me, of course for a small fee. And I have to say that I much prefer the whole Super Bowl in inclement weather thing too, makes the game much more excited. In the first quarter alone there was three lost fumbles, two back to back, and an interception. The only bad thing about the weather was the one camera that was foggy all game, I though I was watching a cheesy dream sequence whenever they went to that camera.

But the Super Bowl is less about the actual game as the other bells and whistles throughout the game. It started off with some Cirque de Soleil stuff. Seriously, can we save this artistic crap for the opening ceremonies at the Olympics? Included in this performance was some dude named Louie Vega, At first I though it was Mambo King Lou Bega. The opening of the Kickoff Show is usually very well produced and this year was no different as the family segment definitely passed the Goosebumps test.

The Halftime Show starts off with the moron Shannon Sharp continually talking about what Chicago needed to do to get back in the game even though they were only down by two points. If you are within a touchdown you are, by definition, in the game. Luckily that ended soon and went to the second best Halftime Show ever (I still have U2 at number one). Seriously how better can it get that Prince singing Purple Rain in the rain? Yeah it could have been better had he sung more of his own songs as we really didn’t need to here his version of Best of Me. But interestingly enough the Foo Fighters recently covered Prince’s Darling Nikki. And even though he’s Born Again, Prince still seemed to get in a very phallic pose during the curtain segment. Miss the performance or like me and want to see it again, check out the videos below , well before YouTube will undoubtedly pulls it:

Now onto the most important part of the Super Bowl, the commercials. Much like recent year, none really stood out. Oddly not that many movies this year as Hollywood usually uses the Super Bowl to roll out its summer blockbusters. Then there was CBS that used about 70% of their ads to promote CSI and Survivor, their two most watched shows. Here’s something I never understand, why networks always promote shows that everyone already watches and not the ones that have low ratings? And I was shocked to learn the Shark is the most watched new show. But anyways. You can watch, and vote for your favorite over at YouTube but first here is the list of ads that flushed 2.5 million dollars down the drain:

1. Mapasaurus - some GPS
2. Car Machine Suicide - GM
3. Heart Under Attack -
4. Sheryl Crow - Revlon
5. Marketing Department -
6. Connectile Dysfunction - Sprint
7. Dudes Washing Car - Chevy

And now the best:

1. Robert Goulet - Emerald Nuts
2. Gay Kiss - Snickers
3. Rock Paper Scissors - Bud Light
4. Mouse - Blockbuster
5. Auction Wedding - Bud Light
6. Chad Johnson’s Party - Some Beer
7. Beard Combover - Sierra Mist Free
8. Survive the Workday -
9. Moon Office - Fed Ex
10. Car Crash - Doritos Old Dude - Coke
11. Truck Coming Together - Ford
12. Hitchhiker - Bud Light
13. Federline - Nationwide
14. Slap Replacing Hand Bump - Bud Light
15. Bank Robbery - E*Trade

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dearly Beloved, We Are Gathered Here Today

Prince - Purple Rain Soundtrack

… 2 get through this thing called life. Electric word life, it means forever and that's a mighty long time but I’m here 2 tell u there’s something else… The afterworld. A world of never ending happiness, u can always see the sun, day or night. So when u call up that shrink in Beverly Hills, u know the one - Dr Everything Will Be Alright. Instead of asking him how much of your time is left, Ask him how much of your mind, baby. ‘Cuz in this life things are much harder than in the afterworld. In this life you're on your own. And if de-elevator tries 2 bring u down: Go crazy.

And with those lines starts the greatest movie soundtrack of all time. And unlike other soundtracks that cherry pick the best from multiple artists, the only one who wrote and preformed all the songs on the soundtrack to Purple Rain was Prince, along with The Revolution who get their first billing on the album, which is why it is this month’s induction to the Scooter Hall of Fame. Even over twenty after the fact, that opening, Let’s Go Crazy can kick start any party into high gear with its infectious beat and sing along lyrics. I Would Die 4 U which morphs effortlessly into Baby I’m a Star is another great dance track that is sometimes lost amidst all the classic songs on the album but still hold up to this day.

But without the classic tracks on the album, there is still one song that stands above the rest, be it this album or the broader range of eighties songs: When Doves Cry. The song actually does a much better time conveying the message of the movie in six minutes than the actual movie does itself. And you have not lived until you have heard my drunken karaoke version of When Doves Cry. The Beautiful Ones is in the same vein as When Doves Cry but instead of family the song deals more with other personal relationships but is just as funky as well as delivered in Prince’s trademark falsetto. Plus “the beautiful ones always seem to lose” is one of my favorite lines to quote. The album closes with the title track which doesn’t get the deserved credit of being one of the greatest epic songs of all time up there with Free Bird, Stairway to Heaven and November Rain.

Aside from being one of the best albums of all time, the Purple Rain Soundtrack is historic in a different way. You can thank it for the Parental Advisory stickers that sporadically pop up on album covers. As the legend goes, Tipper Gore, as in Al’s wife, and her young girls enjoyed Let’s Go Crazy that they kept on hearing on the radio, she decided to buy the album. Apparently Tipper didn’t like her young children hearing the opening line to Darling Nikki, “I knew a girl named Nikki I guess u could say she was a sex fiend. I met her in a hotel lobby (expletive deleted) with a magazine.” Instead of placing the blame on herself for being a horrible parent who didn’t fully monitor her children’s life, she instead got her senator husband to call a Congressional Hearing on the matter which led to the stickers. If only Tipper had listened to the song backward she would have heard the subliminal message, “Hello, how are you? I'm fine, ‘cause I know that the Lord is coming soon. Coming, coming soon” playing at the end of the song.

Prince will most likely be playing one or two songs from this album during the Super Bowl halftime show this weekend even though he said he was retiring his old hits a couple years back. I really doubt the Super Bowl committee signed him up to play the song from Happy Feet. Anyways, it is someone an odd choice to have Prince play considering I believe the last time CBS held the Super Bowl the term “wardrobe malfunction” was coined even though the first “wardrobe malfunction” I ever remember seeing on television was during Prince’s performance of Gett Off during the MTV Video Music Awards. Hopefully this time around he doesn’t have any holes in his pants.