Friday Genius Ten “Where’s That Famous Prince Reticence?” Edition
Update: Prince’s people are saying he was misquoted. I’m skeptical, but glad that the blowback from the comment mattered to him. The retraction is classic ambivalence, though. Like Prince wasn’t commenting on people’s rights, just talking about his personal beliefs. I’ll take it, though. If all godbags realized that just because gay marriage is legal doesn’t mean you have to change your beliefs, this would be easier.
Now, I was not unaware that Prince had gone godbag in recent years, though I try to put that thought out of my mind when listening to the music of what is undoubtedly one of my favorite all-time artists. Nor was I unaware that he has a long-standing problem with homosexuality—it was rumored that part of his harassment campaign* against Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman was haranguing them about their relationship. (Which is still apparently going strong—at least they have another album together, and they do all the music for the show “Heroes”.) But you’d think that someone who played with gender so much, and who was such an outspoken proponent of the getting freaky in bed would not have such a bug up his ass about homosexuality. Prince is straight, but his reception by audiences doesn’t differ from that of what gay musicians get—people love to boogey down to his music, but they don’t hold back making fun of him for being queer. I fail to see how that differs from, say, how Freddie Mercury or Elton John has been treated by homophobic fans.
But sure enough, Prince unabashedly Bible-thumped gay people for wanting to get married, which is really rich considering that the Purple One (while married and happily now) was flying through women throughout the 80s while the objects of his scorn in his own band seemed to have a remarkably stable relationship that doesn’t get to be a marriage. Prince needs to lay off and show a little gratitude. Yes, he made Wendy & Lisa’s careers, but face it, as the backbones of the Revolution, Wendy & Lisa helped propel Prince from star to superstar.
So, before we get to the Genius Ten, I figured I’d play a video of rocked out, concert version of a song that was co-written by the duo, what some think is the best song on the “Purple Rain” soundtrack.
I’d do the Genius Ten off it, but it’s not recognizing “Computer Blue” for some reason.
Today’s song was picked for being bizarrely genius in itself, at least as a cover.
Original song: “Creep” by the Afghan Whigs (cover of a TLC song)
1) “Staring at the Sun”—TV on the Radio
2) “Lullaby”—The Cure
3) “Black Mirror”—The Arcade Fire
4) “How Soon Is Now?”—The Smiths (Really, iTunes? You couldn’t find anything else by The Smiths to play?)
5) “Ocean Breathes Salty”—Modest Mouse
6) “Steady As She Goes”—The Raconteurs
7) “Hey Ya!”—Outkast
8) “Modern Romance”—The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
9) “Star Witness”—Neko Case
Looking over this, I’m impressed at how the 21st century has had a spate of very good and genuinely popular indie rock. Unfortunately, this is about to come to a crashing halt, I suspect. At Fun Fun Fun Fest last year, the main stage (where all the publicist-heavy, this-year’s-flavor indie rock bands play), we saw some good stuff like White Denim, Of Montreal, and the New Pornographers. This year, a wave of earnest tedium crashed over the stage. The only fun band I caught a glimpse of was Deerhoof. It worked out fine—the punk stage was amazing, and the hip-hop/funk/experimental stage hosted Kool Keith and the Octopus Project. But the main stage felt like a death knell. Well, we knew it couldn’t last long.
*Captured, with surprising if unbelievably cheesy honesty, in the movie “Purple Rain”. It’s not that Wendy & Lisa’s sexual orientation are explicitly mentioned or really all that relevant, but his nastiness and lack of gratitude are not only a plot point, but the focal point of the The Kid’s redemption. Only by getting over his massive ego and giving his bandmates their due can Prince ever truly overcome