Friday, April 22, 2016


purple rain

On the way home yesterday I put the actual radio on in my car. I can't tell you the last time I heard the radio. Has to be at least 15 years. But something about yesterday made me want radio specifically and although it didn't last thanks to Miami's shitty DJs, for a brief moment, listening to Prince over the actual airwaves, communally, took me back to when I was 10 or 12 and taped his songs off the radio on my boombox. I used to make legendary mix tapes this way. Prince was on a lot of them.

I really don't have much to say about it beyond that without getting into everything we all know: he was likely the greatest musician of the 20th century and I'm not sure anyone is ready to take that mantle in the 21st. I've seen comments about how he was more than just the hits, which is true. But the thing is, those hits were brilliant, uncompromising and groundbreaking as well. The fact that some of them were even played on the radio defies logic, never mind becoming hits. "When Doves Cry" is an infamously bizarre song when you think about it. And that is exactly what makes it the perfect hit it is, but nobody else could have ever pulled that off.


Prince never stopped reaching for something.He made about 39 or so albums and maybe not all of them were perfection, but damn it if they aren't at the very least interesting. They may not all be your cup of tea, most aren't mine either, but you can't honestly find fault with any of it. He wasn't lazy about his art. He was never commercial for the sake of being commercial. He was true to his art, to his fans and to himself, without compromising any of those for the sake of the other.

Yeah, that's about all I got. As the news was breaking yesterday, before it was confirmed, I was furiously, nervously, checking twitter and news feeds and everything I could think of to get confirmation that it wasn't him. That someone else had been found in his estate. Maybe someone died after hearing his latest funksterpiece because he had finally reached some actual cosmic energy with his music and it was too much for human ears. Maybe they didn't die though, but instead merged with the funk and became eternal. Maybe that's exactly what happened. I'm still not ready to listen to "Purple Rain" though.

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