All posts tagged: Prince

TueNight 10: Issa Mas

Issa Mas is a freelance writer whose work has been featured on local news sites PIX11 and CBS Local, in the humor anthology See Mom Run: Side-Splitting Essays from the World’s Most Harried Moms, and on the now-defunct award-winning blog Single Mama NYC, which was recognized as a Voice of the Year by BlogHer in 2012. You can usually find Issa talking about race (loudly), mental health (passionately), and single parenting (exhaustedly) at @IssaMas. We are thrilled that she will be one of our readers at TueNIght Live: TRUST on 10/17!  1. On the nightstand: How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish, because solo parenting a 10-year-old boy requires reinforcements. Stephen King’s short story collection, Bazaar of Bad Dreams, is underneath it for when I want a quick, satisfying read by one of my favorite authors. 2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Speaking out against injustice; in any of its forms. 3. Jam of the minute: The Budos Band III album by The Budos Band. 5. 80’s crush: Prince. 6. Current crush: My husband (in my head), Idris Elba. 7. Will whine about: My …

TueNight 10: Elizabeth Bougerol

A few years ago, Elizabeth Bougerol downed two stiff drinks and ventured out to a jazz jam she’d heard about nearby. There, she sang (something she’d mostly only done in the shower) and met a piano player who shared her love of Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and Ray Charles. Today, the band they created out of a mission to spread the joy of traditional jazz is doing just that. Their debut album, “The Hot Sardines,” spent more than a year on the Billboard Jazz Chart, and their latest, “French Fries + Champagne,” hit no. 1 at iTunes Jazz, landing them at the Newport Jazz Festival, the Blue Note Festival in Japan, and a few hundred points in-between. Right now she’s prepping a live album, gearing up for 50+ tour dates, and working on a project celebrating the France-America love affair through jazz, slated for next fall. She’s also readying another installment of Ladies First, the NYC dance party/“celebration of badass women musicians”/Planned Parenthood fundraiser she created last year with the skint, the newsletter she co-founded. And she’s …

We Toast 2016: Some Good Things Actually Happened

(Graphic: Adrianna Dufay/TueNight) Man, it has been a shitty year. From the music world alone, we lost Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen and Sharon Jones. We lost our chance at electing the first woman president of the United States. And, everyday, we get to watch our buffoon of a President Elect attempt to distract us from his disastrous cabinet appointments with the Twitter stream of a toddler. Good times! Still, throughout this terrible year, many wonderful things did bring us joy. We asked several TueNight contributors to write in with their toasts to some of their favorite moments of the year. Mallory Kasdan 2016 has been marred by loss and violence constant enough to numb. So I’ve found it helpful to cling to art, and especially to music, as a salve. Released days after a disastrous and surreal presidential election, A Tribe Called Quest’s final album WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE THANK U 4 YOUR SERVICE is potent and prescient, calling out for justice and healing in these raw times. Phife Dawg, who died suddenly …

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It Turns Out Black Does Crack, It Just Starts On The Inside

The author and her tattoo. (Photo courtesy Carolyn Edgar)   Not our faces, if we cleanse and moisturize and exfoliate consistently. Black women’s skin tends not to wrinkle. Our faces can look easily 10 to 20 years younger than our driver’s licenses say we are — if we maintain our health. But that’s the biggest if. Our health is where we black women tend to crack. Our black cracks from the inside out. It cracks under the weight of taking care of everybody but ourselves. It cracks under the pressure of smoothing out our rough edges and filing down our sharp tongues, lest we be tarred and feathered as angry black women for speaking our minds. And it cracks under our need to present our lives to the world as perfect, to counteract all of the negative stereotypes of black women and black families. We crack under the black-love-is-always-a-beautiful-thing pretensions of perfect marriages, children on the fast track to the Ivy League and well-behaved pets with glossy coats and camera-ready smiles. In February of this …

Prince Taught Me My Dirty Mind Was Just Fine

Opening night of the 1997 Prince tour at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia. (Photo: Jon Stark) When I heard Prince’s first album, For You, I was a chubby 12-year-old girl with thick thighs, an ample rear and a dirty mind. I was an honor student whose tendency to correct my teachers and point out their flawed logic in class got me called to the principal’s office for insubordination. I was the girl the boys in school either ignored or called fat, while men in cars drove behind me as I walked home, shouting out of cranked-down windows what they’d like to do to my pre-teen ass. I sat next to my dad on the sofa every weekend, watching sports with him while quietly lusting over the quads and abs and glutes of my favorite players. As the youngest of six kids, I read everything my siblings read, from their biology textbooks to porn magazines, and I listened to all the music they listened to, from hard rock to jazz to pop to easy listening to …

How Prince Brought Unlikely Music Fans Together – and Turned Us Purple

San Francisco City Hall pays tribute to Prince (Photo: Joyce Millman) The world turned purple when Prince died. Civic buildings and bridges in his Minneapolis home town and around the world were awash in his signature color. On Saturday night, heading out of San Francisco south on highway 280, with Sirius XM’s Prince tribute channel on the radio, we passed a suburban mall’s roadside message board flashing Prince’s glyph, the control tower and international terminal of San Francisco International Airport glowing purple ahead of us in the distance. As a fragmented society, we agree on so little, culturally. But we agree on Prince. And we agree on how to celebrate him. By allying himself so inextricably with a color (and, later, a symbol — turns out, he was a branding genius), Prince left us with a natural way to express our grief and love for him in the public space, writ large and without words. It may feel like no artist’s passing has ever been so publicly and universally mourned , but that’s not entirely true. …

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I Rarely Play Any Prince Songs. So Why Am I Crying?

The day of Prince’s death, I, like you and everyone you know, was distraught. For hours, my despair was haughty and demonstrative. But late last Thursday night, there was a pause in my grief. It came around 11 p.m., which is just about the time that my aunt said this: “But I never hear you play any Prince songs….” Her voice trailed off, stopping short of a direct accusation. But the implication had been cast, and it was damning enough to stop my mourning in its tracks. Was I not enough of a hardcore Prince fan to be in such hardcore distress? In the wake of a famous musician’s death, the only thing worse than being outed as a non-fan is being outed as a semi-fan acting like a fanatic. I know diehard Prince fans. Fans who go to the annual Prince vs. Michael Jackson Soul Slam dance parties. Fans whose homes are decorated with lithographs en homage to the purple one. Fans who can tell you every member of every one of Prince’s offshoot …

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What’s Inside That Vault at Paisley Park?

Architect’s rendering of Paisley Park. (Photo courtesy BOTO Design Architects) In 2006, I walked through the front door of Paisley Park for arguably one of the un-coolest reasons ever: as a member of a team filming self-help videos for AOL. That’s because in addition to being the Purple One’s lair, Paisley Park is a production studio for hire. I wasn’t there to record soul tracks, but to tape a segment with the author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” I expected the 65,000-square foot facility to resemble a Wonka-esque factory, but the outside looked more like a shiny white office park. In the wake of Prince’s death, his inner circle is undoubtedly debating the facility’s future, including turning it into a museum. Ten years ago, parts of the inside already seemed like a shrine. Off the lobby was a hallway with a timeline of Prince’s major accomplishments, featuring larger-than-life images of his bikini-bottom Controversy years and jazzy period when he put on more clothes and dropped from pop culture consciousness. The car grill from the …

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Prince Gave Me a Condition of the Heart

In the mid-‘80s, when I’d get home from school, my parents were still at work. Sometimes I’d eat cereal and watch TV or get on the phone with friends. But very often I’d pull out Prince’s 1999 and play “D.M.S.R.” on the family turntable and dance across the dark brown wall-to-wall carpet in my living room, using the staircase landing as a stage. I gave Purple Rain its due, too. I mean, it was the ‘80s; who didn’t? But “D.M.S.R.” was my jam, and I played it over and over and one more time after that. I only danced in my living room when I was alone, not because I was shy — I love dancing, and I’m good at it — but because it was like a meditation that I didn’t know I was doing. It was me creating a space where I could be my authentic self and let it all out, long before I could put words to what I was doing. My parents were music lovers who bought records all the time, …

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Margit’s Note: The Prince Issue

Over the weekend, I watched the MTV broadcast of Purple Rain (more than a few times). Listening to the song, “Beautiful Ones,” I was thrown back to my shag-carpeted, high school-era bedroom, lifting the needle to play the song over and over, tearing up over an unrequited crush, caterwauling along with Prince. “Do you want him? Or do you want me? Cause I want you…Baby, baby, baby listen to me…” Prince was passion. Purple, ruffle-sleeved passion. He evangelized it. Over-the-top emotion infused his lyrics, music, guitar licks and that knowingly seductive glare (that Fred Armisen hilariously captures in his SNL impression). And as impressionable youngins, we learned everything we ever wanted to know about sex from Prince. Wendy? Yes, Lisa. For me, along with Bowie (stop taking them away!), Prince was a musical vanguard who launched my own fascination in the possibilities of music and sound. Like any true artist, he’s given us a gift that will outlive his time on planet earth. And, guaranteed, if we’re all still here we’ll be dancing to “1999” in …

The TueDo List: Gone Girl, Power Pop and Powerful Candles

When Power (with a capital “P”) is misdirected, things don’t always go so well. But when channeled correctly, Power can change the world. Let’s use our powers for good this weekend. Gone Girl the Movie I have never read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which is one of those books you don’t want to tell people you’ve never read, because then you have to hear all about how amazing it is. But now that it’s also a movie — one that’s getting good critical buzz — I feel relieved. Opening today, Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. It was adapted for the screen by Flynn, who made writing the screenplay part of the deal when the film rights were optioned. (Hail to the power of negotiation.) This agreement has paid off for the author — Flynn is now writing for director David Fincher’s new HBO series Utopia. We’ll take a wider reach for a woman in Hollywood any day. Listen Up If you like thrillers of the real-life variety, Serial, a podcast from the creators of This American …