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Music Criticism News

Black Magnolias, Prince, and the Black American Working Class

The special issue of Black Magnolias dedicated to Prince is here, live and alive, and you should read it and buy it if you can. My essay, “How the Exodus Began: Prince and the Black Working Class Imagination,” is ridiculously long and I’m grateful to editor C. Liegh McInnis for believing that all those words […]

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New Sessions

Prince and The Event

This talk was originally presented at the “Prince from Minneapolis” conference held at the University of Minnesota April 16-18, 2018. While it establishes the same arguments I make in the Prince chapter in Nothing Has Been Done Before about why Prince in the 1980s qualifies as an event (as the philosopher Alain Badiou defines the […]

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Events News

Prince from Minneapolis

I’ll be presenting a paper titled “Prince and the Event” at the Prince from Minneapolis conference this week. If you happen to be there, I hope we run into each other. Look me up on Twitter. My talk builds off of the chapter about Prince in Nothing Has Been Done Before but takes a little […]

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Music Criticism News

The Latest: An Interview with Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs

I had the great fortune to interview Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs last month for PopMatters. I don’t conduct interviews very often, but as a Whigs fan since 1994, I jumped at the chance. It came a difficult time for Dulli and everyone in the Whigs/Twilight Singers extended family–it’s explained in the article–so I […]

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Music Criticism News

Extended Thoughts on Prince: Never Stop Arguing

When Prince passed away on April 21, I knew that my next column at PopMatters would be about him. That column, “Prince: Never Stop Arguing,” is up now. Read it before reading any of what’s below.

The problem was that I didn’t know what to say. For me, trying to write about Prince has been like trying to walk around an ocean. Where do you even think about beginning? I’ve been a Prince fan since I was thirteen and first heard Purple Rain. As a young musician I was blown away by his talent, his soul, his ambition, his dedication. I traded for bootleg tapes. When my truck was broken into one night, I was more pissed about the thief taking my Paradiso live CD than I was about the shattered window. I’ve been trying to write about Prince for years, either for a PopMatters column or something else; I have a few stalled essays, one dating back to the album 3121, one as recent as last year.

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Music Criticism One-Song Reviews

One-Song Review: “Mutiny” by Prince, Live on Arsenio

Adventures in short music criticism. One song, one performance. Studio or live, it matters not. Probably on Mondays. If there’s one thing you can count on from Prince, it’s this: where there are horns, they will be arranged in a tight-ass fashion. This performance of “Mutiny,” a song Prince wrote for The Family back in […]