Prince: The ultimate comeback of 2014!

I know we´re only a month info the new year, but the subject of this post is the truth; Prince is back to show the world why he is more relevant than ever in 2014, And he does it with a coolness and style no one can match!

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The shocking coolness of Prince
Seems like we can´t get enough of Prince these days, and he´s wherever we turn; His guest spot on comedy hit comedy show New Girl was amazing, and proves his coolness, his humor and a warm superstar! In the show he showed off his table-tennis skills, his humanity – and gave a taster of a forthcoming track. He even let Zooey Dechanel aka Jess of New Girl sing with him on the live show he held in his own home in the comedy show. Prince perform this son in his highly recognizable speeded-up Camille voice!
Last but not least he has grown back his coolest afro since the late 70s / early 80s, and is this sporting black leather clad rock style that fits his new image.

If Prince told us he had been incarnated by the soul of Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone we would belive him!

The re-rise of Prince
Prince seems to have found his zen, and seems happier and more confident with himself than he has done in many years. He´s still his amazing self, the rare and most unique artist of the world alive. Prince is a living legend and an icon that is more relevant than ever. Gone is his fight with record companies, he has found the back to the funk again, and dare to take more chances than he has ever done before. He is productive, and his agenda and to-do-list seems to be filled up for years to come! His latest concerts gets top star reviews all over the press.

To steal a quote used about soul and funk legend James Brown; Prince is the hardest working man in showbiz today!

How would YOU react if Prince stood before you?

Prince is back, also online
2014 (and 2013) is the year Prince made a massive U-turn and returned to using social media and the internet again. First through his 3dreyegirl twitter profile, at first by teasing snippets of his new all girl band 3dreyegirl. He has again opened the official Prince website again, http://3rdeyegirl.com. Did you know: Prince was one of the first to sell his music solely through the internet, through his NPG Music store, and during his hiatus with Warner, he recorded and sold several albums only through his own webpage. These days he has opened for it again and has released several new songs on his new webpage. You´ll also find video clips that can be bought video clips and live-streams through his page. You´ll even find his new songs on iTunes! Do a search for Prince and check it out!

Prince understands that social media and internet is here to stay, and it’s a fantastic way to spread the word about his work, Prince even withdraws suing bloggers and fans sharing “bootlegs” on Facebook.

The influence of Prince can be heard everywhere:

Heres a small choice of artist highly inspired by Prince.
You can hear most of them in this Princespiration Spotify playlist.
-The-Dream look at the titles of his “LoveHate” album and the production, –
-Trey Songs “Yo Side of The Bed” sampling Prince
-Maya Vik, her debut Château Faux-Coupe” album is full of Prince-flirting songs
-Romanthony (from Daft Punk “One More Time”) recorded a solo album “R.Hide in Plain Site” that is a pure unashamed tribute to Prince – just look at the song titles and listen to the sound and voice of the late Romanthony —Beyonce & Jay-Z “97 Bonnie & Clyde” included resung parts of “If I Was Your Girlfriend”,
-D’angelo “Untitled” makes you doublecheck the sleevenotes…twice! —
-Pleasure, norwegian musician/producer (Fred Ball) “Pleasure 2”, is full of Prince sound-a-like songs, pure rip-offs
-Daley – the falcetto and nasal funky voice
-Paulo Nutini the last part of “Million Faces” could have been his Purpleness
-Justin Timberlake on the tracks “Until The End Of Time” and “(Another Song) All over again”
-Justin Bieber loves the color purple
-Frank Ocean his voice, production his artistic life. “Crack Rock” samples the same Jimi Hendrix sample as Prince uses on “Tick, Tick Bang”
-Lady Gaga her androgynous image
-R.Kelly the explicit songs
-Britney Spears “Lace & Leather” is quite like “Kiss” and “I´m A Slave For You” is a rip-off of Vanity 6 “Nasty Girl”
-Ryan Adams “Touch, Feel Loose” and “Hotel Chelsea Nights” (same song different lyrics) is a pure rip-off of “Purple Rain”
-Thee Madkatt Courtship is a massive Princefan – and his “Alone In The Dark” was compared to the “Purple Rain” album in its song structure
-Felix Da Housecat off Thee Madkatt Courtshop has the most fun track on here, and its pure tribute to Prince, in the song “We All Wanna Be Prince”

Listen to the songs of the Princespiration Playlist here (Spotify link)

So even if you don’t know it and recognize it – the influence of Prince is everywhere and has never gone away!

His name is Prince:
Prince is one of the most talented musicians we have today past and present; He is one of the greatest guitarist ever, and he plays every instrument on his records (mostly), produces, sings, writes songs in every genre there is; Funk, pop, rock, jazz, soul, hard-rock, classical.
Prince has never disappeared and has never lost it, even is some media thinks he is no longer relevant or interesting as an artist and musician. Ok, so there is some records that hasn´t sold as much as his 80s years, – and there has off course been some weak albums, but you can play any of his records from his career, and always find some songs that still stands out – that is still relevant and fresh-sounding.

Actually, I give you a request:
Send me as a comment on this blog post the title of any Prince album, and I’ll give you a list of the best songs off that album!

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The Mojo Magazines summit of Prince
Mojo Magazine has summed up 20 things that prove the majesty of Prince – and why he is more relevant than ever!

20 Things That Prove The Majesty Of Prince

The music magazine will soon be releasing the only interview with Prince so far this year – and he is planning to release two records this year, one Prince album and one 3rdEyeGirl album!

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Prince is finally ready to show the world that 2014 is his year. Prince rises again and is ready to show the world who´s the King!  

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Classic albums: Santana “Abraxas”

If you’re going to have one Santana album in your record collection – make sure it’s “Abraxas”. The album that could have been called “The Best Of Santanta” – but fact being it’s actually the bands second album, released in 1970!

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You can listen to Santana “Abraxas” if you use Spotify here!
If you wish, listen to the album in a YouTube rip here!
Before you buy it in iTunes or at your favourite record store

Why am I loving this album so much? Because it´s got everything you ever need in a Santana record. You get to hear almost every musical genre you could come up with in a classic rock album; Psychedelic, latin, blues, rock, samba and salsa, even hard rock and jazz.

That’s not all! The “Abraxas” album includes all the Santana songs you know best; “Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen” (Originaly by Peter Green´s Fleetwood Mac / Gàbor Szabó), “Oye Com Va” (Originally by Tito Puente), “Samba Pa Ti“, “Hope You’re Feeling Better” and “Singing Winds, Crying Beasts“.

Carlos Santana play guitar like he’s obsessed by Jimi Hendrix’ soul and has just found out he’s Miles Davis unknown little brother. Lead vocalist on this album, Gregg Rolie, is one of the most underrated rock-vocalists ever. The rhythm section with David Brown on bass and Michael Shrieve plays tight as any jazz duo out there, the duo on percussion Jose “Cherpito” Areas and Mike Carabello must have been sweating and working their asses off during the recording. The album was recorded in only 14 days+ and it sounds like they have had the greatest time ever recording the album!

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You can play this album in whatever mood you’re in, if you want to cry and feel sad. If you’re feeling it’s time to shake up those salsa hips again, or if you wish you were on a cuban bar, if you want to shake out your frustration to the hard rocking tunes, or if you just want to sit down and chill to the jazz and blues tracks.

I bet after you’ve listened to “Abraxas” you burn your and stomp on Santanas pop-albums like “Supernatural” and it’s follow up albums – even if those were a major comeback for Mr Carlos Santana – that got him into the top of the charts again, made him win a great amount of prices and got him into Guinnies Book of Records for having the longest gap between two #1 albums; 28 years after his last #1 album “Santana”, the third Santana album from 1971. “Abraxas” is the album you come back to – time after time – and it´ll always surprise you!

The first time I heard the album, was a ripped vinyl copy onto a recordable CD, that was so crackly and full of vinyl pops, the sound was so warm. I was just sitting there with my mouth gaping, the whole album through. Actually the album made me go into my basement and find and connect the vinylplayer to my stereo again. Because the rip of the “Abraxas” album I fell in love with vinyl again.

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Since then, I’ve bought the album on CD, digital download – and finally finding it on LP again. In my favourite bargain used-records shop in Oslo, Norway – for the small price of a general chocolate bar!

The cover was worn out, the inner-bag of the LP was missing, and the black vinyl LP looked like it had partied since 1970, when the album was originally released.

My vinyl edit of “Abraxas” is full of cracks, pops and has the warm sound, just like my ripped CD-copy, so when I put the needle on the record – I let the world stop – and let myself carry away into Santanas magical and mystical world.


Have you heard Santanas “Abraxas”?
Do you have a favorite Santana album?

PS! I Love Stacy Barthe

If I say Stacy Barthe – does the name say you something? I guess your answer – sadly – is “No”
Unless I ask you if you know; Britney Spears, Rihanna, Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child, Kathy Perry, Cheryl Cole, Brandy and Miley Cyrus? I bet your answer is “Yes, I know those!”

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If you know or/and love one or more of those artists, you´d probably have heard the songs of Stacy Barthe. She has written for all those and a bunch of others. To mention a few male artists she has even worked with Rick Ross, Akon and Sean “Diddy” Combs.

…This is why i love Stacy Barthe

The first time you hear the voice of Stacy Barthe, close your eyes. What you hear is a voice so smooth and soulful. Deep and lush and it sounds like she has sung all her life. A mixture of Sade, Rihanna (as when she sings on her slow jams), and Nneka maybe?
I´m tempted to call her a female Drake because she, just like Drake on his “Thank Me Later” album strips down the melodies down to drums, percussion, sometimes a piano and/or a acoustic guitar – naked and organic sounds and full of air and allowing quietness to be a part of the music. The quietness in the music is important to let her fantastic warm voice be the main ingredient in the songs. She flirts sometimes with reggae – and it´s not over-the-top – and it works! When she slows things down and do a spoken word at the end of a couple of her songs. I´m sold again!

She has under her own name released three fantastic EPs “Sincerely Yours, Stacy Barthe” in 2011. “In The Inbetween” and “PS! I Love You” in 2012. These three albums all together contains 25 tracks – and over 90 minutes of music. And before you ask; Just marvelous tracks, no fillers! That’s a huge smile and two huge thumbs up from me!

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All of the Stacy Barthe EPs can be bought on iTunes
and
You can stream parts of “PS! I Love You” , the complete “Sincerely Yours, Stacy Barthe” and “In The InBetween” here through Spotify

On her first release under her own name, she even worked with one of 2012s best artists: Frank Ocean. He did vocals along with Stacy on the beautiful “Without You”, and Rick Ross joins her with a rap verse on “Hell Yeah!”. I could go into mention single songs, but with Stacy Barthe, it´s not any use to recommend some songs – because they´re all so damn good and by not mention anyone, no one is let out.

A few did-you-knows at the end:

  • Did you know it was Beyonce who made Stacy Barthe decide to release her debut EP, “Sincerely Yours, Stacy Barthe”
  • Did you know Stacy Barthe is working with Miley Cyrus forthcoming album, which will (mark my word) be Mileys major mature breakthrough
  • Did you know she even knows and has worked with artists like Alicia Keys, Estelle, Andre 3000, Elle Warner, Brandy, Stephen Marley and T.I.

About the music of Stacy Barthe, she says it best on her own homepage
“You can find hurt and pain in my music while finding the light. It represents empowerment… I speak from a very truthful and sincere place…with love”

The Q&A; Little Brother Eli “A spectrum of influences!”

One of the new faces of modern blues and rock is called Little Brother Eli. A new duo with Alex Grew on lead vocals and guitarist Joshua Rigal. The band is inspired by modern rock, as well as blues, soul and hip hop – with rock as their main ingredient. The band has played together for a little over 6 months only and have their a self titled debut 3 track EP out now.

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The three tracks is quite and eclectic sounding and the EP kicks off with the rock track “Animal Fair”; A raw live-in-the-studio sounding rock song with dirty guitars and a vocal intro – not to far from Elvis “Trouble” – before drums and disco´ish high-hats kick in. The guitars make me think about the dirty sound of Jimi Hendrix´ played with his six string when playing live. The sound is raw and if you draw a line from Jimi to Jack White – you´re not too far from the sound of Little Brother Elis first track.

When questioning the bands guitar player Josh Rigal about what artist they are inspired by
And by asking what are their favorite records are – you´ll get an exiting sneak peek into their eclectic rock sound.

-Both Alex and I draw a great deal of inspiration from the likes of Jack White, Led Zep and The Black Keys, but we each have our own personal musical influences which we bring to the project. For example, I know Alex learnt a great deal about melody by listening to his dad’s Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) records. Equally I’d say Stevie Wonder and Beastie Boys are two influences for me which I hold close to Little Brother Eli.

-Our favourite records? Alex: Consolers Of The Lonely – by The Raconteurs.
Josh: Blood Sugar Sex Magik – Red Hot Chili Peppers

As you can see from Josh answers, Little Brother Elis eclectic style even draws inspiration from hip hop and soul, and on the second track “Awkward Position” you can clearly hear hip hop inspired drum playing. There´s no studio flickering here, just a great slice of their soulful-blues-inspired rock. Real music, real musicians!

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Do you both write the songs together? Who comes up with the ideas? And does the songs or melodies come first?

-Our writing process started off fairly unconventionally, separated by 167 miles between London and Sheffield, we we´re emailing bits and pieces of melodies, riffs and beats back and forth. When we properly got together and wrote the material however, it tends to be a similar case. Alex might turn up with a melody, single line of lyrics or occasionally a whole song that just needs piecing together. Or I’ll sit down at the piano and feel something out and we’ll build the song section by section until the day is out or the song is finished. There’s no set formula, it just kind of comes together when we set ourselves to it.

I had to ask the band about if there will be a full album, and when is it planned to be released?
Can we expect to hear more of the same?

-As I alluded to earlier, we do have material. For us though, we’re just starting off. Our fan base is slowly growing, we’re playing more and more live shows and we’re working really hard to build a project which has some legs. So we don’t have the audience or financial capabilities to put together an album quite yet. It’ll get there though. We’d like to hope within a year? maybe? possibly?

-With regards to what can be expected…A carefully arranged selection of songs, put together to create some interesting dynamics. You’ll hear a more full spectrum of our musical preferences. Swing, funk, soul, rock, blues, hip hop – however it comes.

The last track on the EP is my favorite track and the song where the band let their musical influences really shine through. A real show off track, in a positive way; It´s called “When she sings” and is an eclectic song that mixes bluesy soul, with a bit of Jeff Buckley inspired vocals, that suddenly glides into a short raw guitar solo in front of the mix. After the short solo, the song slips into reggae then a bit of do-wop which segues into a sing-a-long la-la bridge before it ends like it starts; as a soul track, with a falsetto vocal. All this is done within 3 minutes. 6 musical genres into one short three-minute song, almost like mini-miniature rock opera. Fantastic and amazing!

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I can’t believe you only have played together for a half-year, how did you meet? Have any of you played in bands or had solo earlier? When did you first start to play music ?

-Alex and I have been friends for a long time. We used to play in a band together as teenagers, as you do. We learnt a lot, built on our craft and had great fun for 5 years or so. That group disbanded, but a few years later Josh and I were hanging out and decided to jam out a song together and lay it down on the laptop. We’d always had great results writing together, but It was at this point we decided we should write a whole album’s worth of material, and the project kind of built up from there.

-My first instrument was the trumpet at age 10, but that took a back seat at about 16 yrs, when I discovered my love for bass guitar. Alex tells me that he’s been making noises and dancing about ever since he could stand. Although he’s had no musical training, he’s been performing and singing from a young age, but has really found his voice in the last few years.

Josh Rigal, thanks a lot and it was great chatting with you and I look forward to hearing more from you – and look forward to follow your career.

Do you wanna read or hear more about and from the band? 

If I should choose a tagline at the end, why you should love Little Brother Eli, I´d love to quote vocalist Josh Rigals own worlds:

You’ll hear a more full spectrum of Little Brother Elis musical preferences;Swing, funk, soul, rock, blues, hip hop – however it comes!

Daft Punks random accessed memories

Hearing Daft Punks brand new album “Random Access Memories” just two and a half times…And here´s the random thoughts that comes to mind!

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Kraftwerk, Todd Rundgren, Toto, Chic, Diana Ross, FM radio, Steely Dan, Supertramp, Bee Gees, Alan Parsons Project, Madonna, Chemical Brothers, Neptunes, Neil Young “Trans”, Rollerdisco, Soft Rock, Pharell, Michael Jackson, War Of The Worlds, Breakbeats, Chart-shows, Sylvester, LP, DJing, Stardust, Kate Bush, spoken word, TV, Casio Watches, Pointer Sisters, the year in pop 1975-1978, MTV, pre-disco, Prince, disco, jamming, dancing, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, soft, glitter balls, Spandau Ballet, Michael Sembello, flamingoes, happy, teenage years, Footloose, mullets, Marillion, Adidas, LP-player, Piano, Sax, Elton John, Stereo, Sound Effects, soft-ice, boom boxes, Germany, Jan Hammer, Yes, Brian Eno, Simple Minds, Rocketship, Strobelights, Phil Collins, breakdancing, slow dancing, Twilight Zone, Talk-box, pop, LCD games, Cliff Richards, The Neverending Story, Vangelis, birds, Hard Rock of the 80s, Juicy Fruit, Todd Edwards, high-hats, sunglasses, Top Of The Pops, War Games, playing hide & seek, M, Dream pop, handclaps, Strings, Air, post-disco, Xanadu, watching the clouds pass by, Chicago, Stevie Winwood, Psychoderelict, Pete Townsend, Double, Eagles, Portishead, Sunbathing, Tangerine Dream, the color orange, VHS, analog, The Who, Pepsi, moon landing, recordings, white, Mixtapes, John Travolta, “You´re dead as disco”, AOR, Las Vegas, Iron Maiden, school, dance, slow jams, white tennis socks, Nile Rodgers, Michael McDonald, forward & rewind, science fiction, money, Michael Cera, Sheen Easton, one hit wonder, Björn Borg, Meat Loaf, Real Music, moviebox, Genesis, Robert Miles, Musicals, Purple Rain, black, timeless, Bon Jovi, dancing parents, concept album, Summer, Wham, Queen, Orchestra, Giorigo Moroder, Cassettes, Phoenix, Coca Cola Jean Michel Jarre, Big Beat, funk, push play, rain, ghosts, 10CC, Keyboards, vecation, Solo, Falsetto, Party, eclectic, Donald Fagen, Journey, The Moody Blues, Planes, Sade, Youth Clubs, Robots, Star Wars, Cafe, Sunset, Bass, the stars, Josh Wink, Horror movies, Swing Out Sister, David Bowie, Progrock, E.T., Short Circuit, Kiss, Electric Light Orchestra, Elevator Music, scared of the dark, smiling, love, epic, weekends, Miami Vice, Don’t Stop Believing, The world, Europe, Universe, infinity, oceans, BASF, Billboards, Casino, time travel, never growing up, not ironic, music sounds better with you!

Have a listen to the brand new Daft Punk album  “Random Access Memories” HERE!
What thoughts are you making for yourself when hearing the bands new instant classic?

EXTRA JUST ADDED: I LET THIS ALSO BE A TRIBUTE OF DREAMS, HOPE AND MEMORIES TO THE VOICE FROM “ONE MORE TIME”- ROMANTHONY – WHO PASSED AWAY AT THE AGE OF 45 THE 7TH OF MAY!