NOTES ON THE SIGN O' THE TIMES BOXSET, PT. 1. It took me a while to listen to all of the Sign O' the Times outtakes from the boxset released in 2020. Maybe you've had this experience: you know a work of art is going to be so good that you want to hold off… Continue reading Soul Psychodelicide
Dispatches from the virtuality--Prince as superhero--Chris Rock https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0g9Qkrc8nE I was fortunate to participate in another online symposium produced by De Angela Duff, my hero, a.k.a., Polished Solid. <--If you are interested in what's happening in Prince scholarship, De Angela's channel should be your first stop. SexyMF30 celebrated and examined Prince's 1992 Love Symbol album, stylized… Continue reading SexyMF30 Prince Symposium
Like Substack but with less stackin'. Prince Sticks Up for Teachers at Age 11 In April 1970, Prince was eleven years old and Minneapolis teachers were on strike. In recently discovered footage shot by WCCO, the Twin Cities' CBS affiliate, there is Prince, confident but with a familiar shyness, sticking up for the teachers. When… Continue reading Echoes of Ourselves
Recently I was thrilled to present at another Prince symposium organized by the incredible De Angela Duff and her team of Arthur Turnbull and Krysta Battersby. This was the second year that the symposium was virtual, and despite a few hiccups with the hosting platform, it was a smooth experience. The topics? Controversy at 40… Continue reading 1plus1plus1is3
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… Continue reading Black Magnolias, Prince, and the Black American Working Class
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… Continue reading Prince and The Event
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… Continue reading Prince from Minneapolis
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… Continue reading The Latest: An Interview with Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs
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.
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… Continue reading One-Song Review: “Mutiny” by Prince, Live on Arsenio