July 18, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Revolution!

This is a post that is two months overdue but it is finally here.  Back on May 15th, I had the privilege of attending a very special concert at the Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, Kentucky.  What band was playing that night? None other than The Revolution. That's right, Prince's former band was performing and there was not a chance in hell that I was not going to be there.  Not only was I there, I was at the very front of the stage rocking along with all the deep purple concord jams that I grew up with.  From the opening drum beat of Computer Blue that kicked off the show, The Revolution took us on a whirlwind tour of the soundtrack of my life. America was next followed by Mountains from Parade.  Next up was Automatic which led to Take Me With U.  Then special guest Stokley Williams (from Mint Condition) came out to take over lead vocalist duties on Uptown and D.M.S.R..
The then unreleased Our Destiny with Wendy and Lisa on lead vocals was next and this segued straight into Brownmark leading on the then unreleased Roadhouse Garden. Both of these songs have since been released on the Remastered Deluxe Edition of Purple Rain.  Stokley came back out as the band jumped into Raspberry Beret which was more of a crowd sing-a-long.  Next up was an extremely funky Erotic City with some slinky guitar work by Wendy.  I mean baby girl was playing that thing and I guarantee if Prince would have been there, he would have definitely been making one of his funk faces! Keeping that funk groove going, the band slid right into Let's Work with Stokley sharing vocal duties with Wendy. After a rousing version of 1999, which had the entire place rocking and chanting "PARTY!" at the top of our lungs, Wendy took to the mic for a brief monologue.  She spoke about Paisley Park and the time of Around the World in a Day and how it was a great time for Prince as a lyricist. She spoke about what Paisley Park meant and how much the song meant to him and the band and asked the crowd to sing along with them so that Prince could hear us.  And boy did we ever get loud because we let everyone know that "Paisley Park is in your heart!"
The Revolution went old school next with Controversy which segued into Mutiny rather nicely.  Then came one of the most heart-stopping, gut-wrenching moments of the night.  The band left the stage except for Wendy and Lisa and Wendy spoke about the day that Prince died.  And then she spoke about going through songs that they (Wendy & Lisa) had done with Prince and they came across Sometimes It Snows In April. They realized that they had recorded that song on 4/21/85 and that Prince had died on 4/21/16. So they said they had to play it for him.  They then performed Sometimes It Snows In April with Wendy on guitar and Lisa on piano and I cried like a baby.  I think we all did.
After a short break, the band reappeared and those familiar organ chords began playing before those famous words of "Dearly beloved..." were spoken and the band launched into Let's Go Crazy. Delirious and Kiss were next  followed by When Doves Cry.  Then we heard that familiar guitar chord from Wendy and the crowd lost their minds as Purple Rain was played.  Wendy played an amazing solo at the end that would have made Prince proud and then they were gone. But they weren't through with us as they came back out once more for I Would Die 4 U and then finally Baby, I'm A Star! After that, they took a bow and then left the stage for good.
I grabbed some swag at the merch table but my fav stuff is the autographed poster from the band, the setlist from the show and a guitar pick from Wendy! I went to celebrate Prince's music and it ended up being a very healing night.  I also met some new Prince friends and can't wait to see them again!
So there you have it folks! It was an awesome experience and if you have a chance to see them, go see The Revolution. They put on one hell of a show and you will not regret it.  If nothing else, go see them for the healing aspect and to honor the music of Prince! Until next time, peace & be wild!

Winter in July?

So winter has returned and it's the middle of July so that can only mean one thing - Game of Thrones is back! "The North remembers and Winter has come for House Frey!" and with those words Arya Stark kicked off season seven of HBO's epic series by killing off all the members of House Frey in one fell swoop.  This episode, titled Dragonstone saw a little bit of everything.  It saw Jon Snow, the newly crowned King of the North, begin to organize the defenses for the coming battle with Walkers.  Meanwhile, he still has to deal with the battle looming with the Lannisters as Cersei has crowned herself Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and declared anyone who doesn't take a knee before her a traitor.  Adding to Jon's frustration is dissention in the ranks as Sansa disagrees with him in open court and even goes as far as comparing him to Joffrey at one point before retracting that statement. 
Speaking of Cersei, she has invited the Greyjoy's to King's Landing in order to form an alliance but then declines their offer. Determined to win her affection, Euron Greyjoy vows not to return to King's Landing until he has something with which to win her over.
Meanwhile, we see Daenerys finally arrive in Westeros as she and her crew arrive on the shores at Dragonstone.  She slowly makes her way up to the castle, savoring every step of the journey with Tyrion Lannister following behind her.  The episode ends with her gazing over a war planning table with Tyrion and saying, "Shall we begin?" Now, being a Prince fan and also a twisted human being, I immediately thought of the song Computer Blue by Prince and changed the lyrics at the beginning.  Instead of Wendy and Lisa talking, I had Tyrion and Daenerys.  "Tyrion? Yes, Khaleesi! Is the water warm enough? Yes, Khaleesi! Shall we begin? Yes, Khaleesi!" Okay, okay, I know! I'm not right but then again, I never claimed to be.

Anyway, winter is here, the North remembers, alliances are forming and I can't wait to see what happens the rest of this season. I have a feeling we are in for one hell of a ride. Shall we begin?

July 16, 2017

Was Doctor Who right?

We are taught from the very early stages of life that time is linear and that cause leads to effect but what if time is a trick? What if Doctor Who is right? What if it is all just a great big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff? Maybe this linear progression thing is all wrong.  Maybe it's not about time progressing but it's about the now.  We experience the reality of now and the memory of the past but we experience it when? Now! We look forward to the future and what it holds but we look forward to it when? Now! It's all about the now! The present is where time lies for all of us.  And here is where the trick occurs. Cause doesn't always lead to effect as scientists have developed the theory of retrocausality. Where the effect can influence the cause! Along with Einstein's "spooky action at a distance" theory, sometimes referred to as quantum entanglement, where one object can have an effect on another object despite being separated by a great distance.  They are joined on the quantum level and on that level, time takes on a whole new meaning. You don't believe me? Ask Schroedinger's Cat. So what am I trying to say with this post? I don't really know other than maybe time is a trick and Doctor Who is a genius!

July 06, 2017

Time? It's a trick!

Time. What is time? That precious commodity that we never seem to have enough of when we need it? Is it an illusion? Douglas Adams said, "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so!" St. Augustine said, "There are three times; a present time about things past, a present time about things present, a present time about things future. The future exists only as expectations, the pasts exists only as memory, but expectation and memory exist in the present." Physicists from Einstein to Barbour have debated its existence and true meaning for years! 

What i found interesting was this essay that Prince posted on his old Love4OneAnother website back in the day concerning the concept of time. Here's what he had to say (copied from the website verbatim):
Time & Space: The great separation ILLusion
ONcE upon an eternity, the notion of "time" did not xist.... 
time: the origin of the term is the word 'tide', which comes from the Greek daiesthai, 2 divide.
Time is an xpression of separation, a means used 2 segregate life in2 individual portions instead of a whole. 
There r many who pull themselves apart by tying their health and sanity 2 a clock - the stockbroker monitoring the tickertape, hoping the market closes b4 his ticker does... the partier measuring the years since her day of birth as if rings on a tree, developing more rings under the eyes as she does so. 
When we dream, worlds xist without time or space. The mind accepts without judgment because the mental censor which filters r thoughts is turned off. A dream lasting minutes can feel like hours, and easily flows from one location 2 another as if the same... there is no separation. 
When doing things we injoy most, the sensation of time stops. When in love with life - when r minds and spirits r ONE and act in unison - there is always enough 'time.' Though the day may fly by, much is accomplished. Alternately, where there is conflict within the self - friction due 2 SEPARATION between one's inner knowing and outward actions - 'time' turns 2 drudgery, stretching endlessly with little fulfillment. 
When we all choose 2 live in the spirit of oneness, looking within rselves (instead of 2 outside, separate sources) and acting upon what r hearts reveal, we will also b united with one another. Living this way will free humanity from the hands of the clock 4ever... there will b no more desire 2 judge pure love, beauty and joy by putting increments on it because they r endless! The kingdom of love is upon us!
Uhhhh, okay brother! Why don't you play me another funky guitar solo and leave the quantum theorizing to someone else? Oh lawd! Somebody help him! 

July 05, 2017

R.I.P. John Blackwell, Jr.

Yesterday the world lost another wonderful musician when former Prince & the New Power Generation drummer John Blackwell passed away after a battle with brain tumors.  I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Blackwell during the Musicology tour in 2004 in Nashville.  I was sitting on the front row since I was a member of the NPG Music Club and during Renato's solo, John and the rest of the band (sans Prince of course) walked of stage.  He came over to me, held out a drum stick and asked, "Want one?" I couldn't grab it fast enough!!! He then asked how I liked the show so far and we talked for a minute or two. Then he introduced me to Maceo Parker and Candy Dulfer.  They were all so down to earth.  Then he shook my hand, gave me a little wink and a laugh, then said, "Gotta go!" and pointed over his shoulder and he was right back up on stage behind his drum kit, banging out the beats for Prince.  I'd like to think that's what happened yesterday.  He had to go because Prince needed him to play the drum intro to Shhhh! one more time! Rest in Peace, John! You will be missed by us all!