December 15, 2015

Prince drops surprise album "HITnRUN Phase 2"

Just three short months after releasing HITnRUN Phase One, the enigmatic impresario from North Minny has surprised the Purple Army with another new album.  Fans were shocked Saturday to find that HITnRun Phase Two was available on Tidal.  Released with no announcement and no fanfare, other than a blog update from the all-knowing Dr. Funkenberry, Phase Two appeared on Tidal for streaming and download but it didn't stay secret for very long.  Word quickly spread throughout the Purple Army, with 17 horns blowing the arrival of the Partyman and the news media soon trumpeting the news across all seven continents (uh....hmmmmm......I don't know how much media coverage this actually got in Antartica).  The new album featured 12 songs, six of which were new and unreleased while others had been released or leaked in one form or another over the last couple of years.  Where as Phase One seemed to be a project for Josh Welton, Phase Two is nothing if not a Prince album.  If I had to choose between the two, I would pick Phase Two any day of the week and twice on Sunday.  If you get the chance, you should definitely cop this and give it a listen or three.

I'll be back later with my attempt at a review of both Phase One and Phase Two but for now, peace and be wild!

November 23, 2015

Prince Presents American Music Award

Prince appeared on the American Music Awards show Sunday night to present the first award of the evening.  He presented the award for Favorite Soul/R&B Album to The Weeknd and like most people who have received an award from Prince, The Weeknd was taken aback.  He hesitantly approached Prince and after accepting the award and approaching the microphone he said, ""Make some noise for Prince, ladies and gentlemen." Respect!

July 06, 2015

Can U Paradigm? When I Met George Clinton

What do you know about Paradigm? That was the question that led to a wonderful conversation with Dr. Funkenstein himself, George Clinton. It was back in 2002 or 2003 and the P-Funk All-Stars were playing at the university where I work in Tennessee.  There is a tunnel that leads from outside, where the buses were parked, to the backstage area. I was standing there talking to a couple of students when George walked up.  The students thanked him for coming, asked for autographs and then quickly left. I jokingly asked George if he could slip a little Maggot Brain into the set list and he laughed.  "How do you know Maggot Brain?" I told him, "I may live here but I'm from Michigan and grew up with the funk coming out of the "D" (referring to Detroit)." He just nodded and let out a little "huh!"

I thought that would be the end of our interaction and as he started to walk away, I took a chance.  I asked if I could bother him with one more question and he turned around.  I asked, "When are you gonna drop Paradigm?" He just looked at me with this blank look and then asked, "What did you just say?" I repeated my question again, "When are you gonna drop Paradigm?" That's when he asked me, "What do you know about Paradigm?" I went on to explain how I grew up listening to funk and how I was a huge Prince fan since back in 1981.  He laughed, nodded and said, "Ok, but what do you know about Paradigm?" I replied, "I know it's too funky to sit in a vault and needed to be released." He just stood there for a minute and then, as if an epiphany had occurred, he said, "How do you know how funky it is if I haven't released it?" Now it was my turn to laugh as I told him, "I was listening to it on my way here." Startled, he blurted out "How the hell..." but I cut him off with "you don't need to know that."  He just busted out laughing and shaking his head.  He asked if I really thought it was funky and I said "hell, yeah." One of the band members, I don't remember who, walked by and George yelled at him to come over. When he got to us, George pointed at me and said, "White boy here in Nashville, Tennessee wants to know about Paradigm.  What the hell?" The band member asked the same question George asked, "What do you know about Paradigm?" So I explained it all to him just as I had George.  He just shook his head and walked away laughing as George repeated, "Damn white boy in Nashville, Tennessee asking about Paradigm!"

We spent the next few minutes talking about my favorite P-Funk songs with him giving me his perspective on my choices. I told him I loved We Can Funk with him and Prince.  He told me the finished version was a lot different than how it started out and I told him I knew that.  When I told him I had heard four or five versions of the song he just nodded and said, "I don't wanna know" and burst out laughing again.  I asked him what it was like to work with Prince and he got real contemplative.  I didn't think he was gonna answer when he finally looked me in the eyes and said, "He's a genius." That was it.  Three words. That's all he had to say.  He told me to enjoy the show, shook my hand and left to go to his green room.

I stood just off stage during the show and, even though I couldn't party like everyone else due to being at work, I was dancing my ass off on the inside.  George frequently left the stage to cool off, grab some water and relax.  Each time, he would ask, "how we doing?" I would just smile and nod my head in approval.

After the final encore, when George left the stage for the final time, he walked up and asked, "Well, what did you think?" I told him it was amazing and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I reached out to shake his hand but he gave me a hug instead, telling me to "promise to keep the funk!" I escorted him out to the Mothership, he turned on the Flashlight and he flew away.  Okay...okay....I escorted him out to the bus and then he was gone but the other way sounded more dramatic.

Fast forward to May 6, 2004 and Prince's Musicology Tour show has come to the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville.  Being a member of the NPG Music Club, I am on the front row for this show and having the time of my life (like you do at every Prince concert).  We are getting to the end of the show and who do I see walking up the aisle toward me but George Clinton.  He is being escorted by security to the stage so he can accompany Prince and the NPG for a few songs.  While he's waiting to go up on the stage, I yell at him, "George!!! George!!!" My date tells me to stop because he doesn't know me.  After I yell his name a third time, he looks at me and nods.  Then he looks again and I can see the recognition in his eyes.  He walks over and shakes my hand while smiling and saying, "Damn white boy!" He then whispers in my ear that "Paradigm will be released." With that, he is escorted up to the stage where he jams with Prince and the NPG on Life of the Party, Soul Man and Kiss.  I was astounded that he actually remembered me and our conversation. 

A year later in 2005, George released the double CD How Late Do U Have 2BB4UR Absent? and the third track on the first CD was Paradigm.

Hey brother, can U paradigm?

July 05, 2015

From The Witcher to the Knight.....

I know it's has been a while since I have posted anything and I wish I could say that I have been extremely busy but, in truth, I haven't. Most of my time has been eaten up with playing PS4 and watching TV in my spare time.  In particular. I have been watching Game of Thrones (which has ended), Penny Dreadful and Halt and Catch Fire.  I've also been binge watching Marvel: Agents of Shield on Netflix (since I didn't watch it on regular TV).  In between all that, I've been playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Batman Arkham Knight.  I won't even start on the TV shows but I will talk briefly about the games though.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a single person role-playing game where you play Geralt of Rivia.  Geralt is a witcher, monster-hunting, ghost-fighting hunter for hire with some special powers.  Geralt travels the Northern Kingdoms (Velen, Nilfgaard, Novigrad and Skellige) looking for Ciri.  Along the way he is accompanied by various friends and acquaintances.  The game is open world, features a great landscape and plenty of memorable battles.  Below are a few screenshots of some wonderful scenery.

Batman Arkham's Batman.  What more can I say?
 Well, time to go find Scarecrow!!!! Until next time......

May 25, 2015

What a month to be a fan!!!

We all have those moments of fandom when we go nuts.  Whether it's waiting for the latest season of Game of Thrones to start, wondering where Clara and The Doctor will head next or waiting to see if Rick Grimes and the crew finally found a place to stay.  We all have those special moments that we wait for and then remember. This month has been one of those months for Prince fans.  We have had an increasing number of leaked tunes that have been "freed." But to top it all, we have seen an unprecedented number of soundboard boot releases this month.
First we started out with the Rally 4 Peace livestream on TIDAL.  You had to know that it would be ripped and sent out to the masses as a boot release.  Shortly after that, the Dance Rally 4 Peace surfaced on Soundcloud in soundboard quality.  So naturally these two were combined together to make one hell of a release.  My fav being Rallies 4 Peace.

Our next little gem was a soundboard form 1987.  Prince and Madhouse live at the Park Cafe in Munich on May 21, 1987.  Just a great release with a lot of jamming. 
Needless to say, I had this on repeat.  That is until FBG dropped Hit 'N' Run from the Soundboard Volume 1 - Detroit Fox Theater.  A great show recorded on April 9, 2015. 
And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, FBG dropped Volumes 2 and 3.  Volume 2 was recorded in Louisville on March 14, 2015 (first show) while Volume 3 is from the first show on March 15, 2015. 
Though they are all great recordings, Volume 3 is probably my favorite for the simple fact I got to hear most of it live while I waited for the second show that night. 

All these releases make me wonder what is next.  Guess we will all have to wait and see.

May 24, 2015

Kevin Smith talks Prince

This is not a new video and many of you have already seen it, but I still think it's a great story and decided to share it here.

So there you go.  Hope you enjoyed.  Until next time.....

May 17, 2015

The computer’s on the verge of breakdown!

Yeah, I'm talking about Computer Blue, the fourth song off of Prince's epic Purple Rain album.  We all know it from the opening "Wendy?" to the final screams.  As great as the song is on the album, it pales in comparison to the unedited versions that weren't released.  There are actually four studio versions and a live version that were recorded.  All are different lengths and some contain additional lyrics and instrumentation.  Here is what the folks over at the Prince Vault have to say about the song:
Computer Blue is the fourth track on Prince's sixth album Purple Rain, the first album to be credited to Prince and the Revolution. The song also features in the movie Purple Rain.

Before a studio recording was made, Prince and the Revolution recorded the song live on 3 August, 1983 at First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, USA (during the same concert where I Would Die 4 U, Baby I'm A Star and Purple Rain were also recorded).

Later in August, 1983, a studio version was recorded at The St. Louis Park Warehouse, St. Louis Park, MN, USA, with the full Revolution, before at least three other versions were recorded on 15 August, 1983 at Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA, USA, with only Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman participating (during the same set of sessions that produced Let's Go Crazy).

These versions would be edited down for the album. They are largely similar at the beginning and end of the song - differences are noticeable in the middle of the track. A longer version of the track was included as the third track on the 7 November, 1983 and 23 March, 1984 configurations of the album, but this was edited down for the final 14 April, 1984 configuration to make room for the inclusion of Take Me With U.

All recorded versions of the song contain a segment of the track Father's Song during one of the instrumental breaks. It is likely that John L. Nelson's credit on the track comes from this inclusion.
Now, most of you already know all of this so why am I wasting your time? Because it's my blog and I have been listening to the 12 minute hallway version on repeat for the last hour and I decided to write about it.  I searched the matrix and found a site that transcribed the lyrics to this version and decided I would share those here also.
Computer Blue by Prince

Yes Lisa
Is the water warm enough?
Yes Lisa
Shall we begin?
Yes Lisa

Where is my love life?
Where can it be?
There must be something wrong with the machinery

Where is my love life?
Tell me, where has it gone?
Somebody please, please tell me what the hell is wrong

Till I find the righteous one
Computer blue
Till I find the righteous one
Computer blue


Where is my baby?
Where can she be?
Somebody please, please tell me what is wrong with me

Where is my baby?
Where has she gone?
Somebody please, please tell me what the hell is wrong


The computer’s on the verge of breakdown!

Come on
Oh baby, don’t make me

Poor lonely computer
It’s time someone programmed U
It’s time U learned love and lust
They both have 4 letters
But they’re entirely different words
Poor lonely computer
Poor, poor lonely computer
Do U really know what love is?

(Na, na, na, na, na)
Wave your hands in the air!
Now everybody sing it! (Na, na, na, na, na)
Everybody work out
Work out, work out (Na, na, na, na, na)
Everybody work out
Work out, work out (Na, na, na, na, na)
Everybody work out
He didn’t like living alone
The house where he lived had many hallways
It was a long walk 2 his bedroom
Because 2 him each hallway represented an emotion
Every one vastly different from the next
One day while she was with him
He decided 2 name each one
She walked by his side, one hand on his thigh
No – she was sort of half a step behind him
Yeah, the grip on his thigh intensified
As they walked slowly through the corridor
He named the hallway “Lust”
And as they passed through the next one
He named it “Fear”
The grip she now loosened
So he walked faster
Her hands now trembling
She let them drop 2 her side as he wrote the word “Insecurity”
He looked into her eyes and smiled a demon smile
And quickly walked onto the next
Corridor after corridor
He named almost all when suddenly… he stopped
He picked up the word “Hate”
She was gone
So he picked up another – “Pain”

On the verge of a breakdown
What is life without love?
It’s hell, Computer Blue!
Father, Father, the sun is gone
(Father, Father) The Dawn, the Dawn
Father, Father, where is the Dawn?
(Where is the Dawn, Father?)
(Na, na, na, na, na) {x2}
Na, na, na, na, na

Shall I go 2 church on Sundays?
Shall I stay home and pray?
Shall I try 2 make her happy?
Shall I try 2 make her stay?

Where is my love life?
Tell me, where can it be?
Narrow-minded computer
(Somebody please, please tell me…)
It’s time someone programmed U
(Somebody please, please tell me what’s wrong with me)
It’s time U learned women are not butterflies
They’re computers 2
Just like U Computer Blue
(Where is my baby?)
Chauvinistic computer
It’s time someone programmed U (Na, na, na, na, na)
U fall in love 2 fast and hate 2 soon
And take 4 granted the feeling’s mutual
(The feeling’s mutual!)
We’re computers 2
Just like U, Computer Blue

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Now, I have come up with some off the wall writing in my time, but where did that hallway speech come from?  This version is so complex that it is insane.  I don't want to say I think it's genius but, well, it is.  That's the only way I can describe it. But that is just my opinion.

Well, it's time to leave this poor lonely computer.  I have a castle to head to so I can meet a girl named Nikki!!!!!

May 15, 2015

Lucille is silent........

Riley B. King (B.B. King)
(September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)

“Now cracks a noble heart. 
Goodnight, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ”

The Thrill Is Gone

On May 14, 2015, the world said goodbye to a legend.  The King of the Blues, Riley "B.B." King passed away at the age of 89.  Throughout the years, he shared his God-given talent with the world bringing joy and happiness to the masses through his mastery of blues music.  I had the privilege of seeing BB King perform live in Memphis almost 20 years ago.  It was an unforgettable night.  The raw emotion could actually be felt from both his powerful voice and his guitar, Lucille.  The world was lucky to have someone like BB King and he will live on through his music and mastery of the blues.  Rest in peace Riley King!

You know I'm free, free now baby
I'm free from your spell
Oh I'm free, free, free now
I'm free from your spell
And now that it's all over
All I can do is wish you well 

May 13, 2015

Another Purple Gift?

Prince & 3rdEyeGirl just delivered another little treat for all the good little purple boys & girls over on Soundcloud.  Back on May 2nd, Paisley Park was opened to the masses for a Dance Rally 4 Peace.  
According to the Prince Vault, after a DJ set from DJ Dudley D, Prince & 3EG took the stage and performed the following set list:
  • Chaos and Disorder
  • Dreamer
  • Crimson and Clover
  • Guitar
  • Plectrumelectrum
  • The Whole of the Moon
Now, fresh off the soundboard live stream of part of the Rally 4 Peace concert in Baltimore, we have been given an edited soundboard of the Paisley Park performance from May 2nd.  I say edited since Crimson and Clover is left off the recording.  But even without C&C, we still have 41 minutes of Prince & 3EG jamming out.  This performance of Dreamer is out of this world and, for me at least, it brings back memories of People Without (from Small Club) and The War.  So head over here and listen (or grab) this gem while you can.  After all, we all know that Prince giveth and he taketh away.

So do as they say and go crank it here!!!!!!! 

May 11, 2015

Game of Who?

Face it, Game of Who sounds a lot better than Dr. Thrones, don't you think?  Anyways, I was very excited that two of my favorite shows were finally going to mesh.  Well, somewhat. It seems that while Arya Stark was training with the Faceless Men on Game of Thrones, she came across a TARDIS.  She has used it to escape Braavos and is now somewhere in the Dr. Who universe.  Ok, not really. It just seems that way.
It has been announced that Maisie Williams will guest star in an episode of Dr. Who. Details are still sketchy but I am really excited to see her branching out.  Judging by pics from Twitter, it appears she will be some type of pirate or sword-wielding fighter (sort of like Arya). According to BBC Newsbeat:
...lead writer Steven Moffat says: "She is going to challenge the Doctor in very unexpected ways.
"This time he might just be out of his depth, and we know Maisie is going to give him exactly the right sort of hell."
I could see Maisie, Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman creating some very memorable scenes together. Now, if just Autumn would hurry up and get here so we could watch the new episodes of Dr. Who.  A couple of pics of Maisie in character have been released.
Looking at those, I certainly hope she remembers Arya's words of wisdom, "Stick them with the pointy end!" I guess we'll find out this autumn.

Rally 4 Peace

It all went down Sunday night when Prince with special guest 3rdEyeGirl lead the Rally 4 Peace and gave the fans of Baltimore a night they will never forget.  The first hour of the show was streamed live on Jay Z's music streaming service TIDAL allowing us to experience part of this night to remember.  Starting with Hannah's now typical speech, the live stream ended an hour later just as the opening chords of I Would Die 4 U started playing.  In between, we had Let's Go Crazy (Reloaded), Take Me With U, Raspberry Beret, U Got the Look, Controversy and Nothing Compares 2 U.  We were also treated to a live version of Baltimore which was written by Prince in light of the recent riots and problems in Baltimore and Ferguson.  But for me, the highlight of the stream was the inclusion of The Question of U/The One to include Electric Man.  Yes, he pulled out Electric Man for this show and the crowd lost their damn minds.  I would have given anything if TIDAL could have streamed the entire show. Maybe Prince should stream his shows more often and we could donate to whatever local charity he is supporting in that particular city.  I know, it's just a pipe dream but hey, it is my dream and and my blog.  Anyway, I digress, as I usually do, so it is time to get back on track.  All in all, good show, great for the city of Baltimore and great for us purple people.
Here are some pics I found floating on Tumblr, Twitter and other social media.  I claim no ownership over these pics and all credit should go to the original photographer.

Great pic from Questlove

NPG Hornz in da house!!!!!!!

Too funky!!!!!

Now before I get out of here, I need to ask this question.  What's up with Prince and the girls?  It used to be Prince & 3rdEyeGirl.  Now it is Prince with special guest 3rdEyeGirl.  What's up with that?  Is this the end of P&3EG? I guess only Prince knows and we will have to wait and see.  But at least they are back on Twitter and you can follow them for the latest info at @Prince3EG.

Until next time, peace!