prince

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PRINCE IN THE PICTURE THEATRE: Can't act, can sing and dance some

PRINCE IN THE PICTURE THEATRE: Can't act, can sing and dance some

One of the most stealthy pop rehabilitations in the past decade has been that of Prince. Ten years ago he was in creative limbo after a series of poor selling albums presented under that incomprehensible squiggle. Now however he’s appearing at the right parties and his tours are sell-outs. That’s despite his recent albums not...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Of Montreal: Skeletal Lamping (Pop Frenzy/Rhythmethod)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Of Montreal: Skeletal Lamping (Pop Frenzy/Rhythmethod)

Unless they come with a DVD (rare), there's not much added-value with CDs. Not like in olden days when you could get a gatefold sleeve on an album. This camp, goodtime pop-funk and sex obssessed outfit from Georgia offer much added value if you buy the CD: it comes with an elaborate, multi-coloured fold-out sleeve that reaches 60cm across....

Vanessa Daou: Zipless (1994)

Vanessa Daou: Zipless (1994)

There is sexy music and there is sex music. And there can be quite a difference between the two in execution. Prince made a lot of sex music but slightly less sexy music; Donna Summer and Jane Birkin brought orgasms to music -- and so did Yoko Ono who screamed it to the ceiling and beyond. Ono was sex, the other two sexy. Sometimes...

John Morales: The M&M Mixes (BBE)

John Morales: The M&M Mixes (BBE)

Recently I have been reading some interesting political histories of disco: how anti-gay and anti-black elements (notably in white radio and rock culture) conspired to kill the music, and how the combination of cocaine, money and the hijacking of the culture by the Studio 54 types ripped the music away from its roots. When all those factors...

OK Go: Of the Blue Colour of the Sky (Capitol)

OK Go: Of the Blue Colour of the Sky (Capitol)

At the recent Laneways Festival it was noticeable every young band delivered up its obligatory noise segment -- feedback, atonal guitar trash'n'trash -- as if to prove its indie-alt cred. But if everyone is doing it then how independent and alternative is that? You've just conformed to type. And most such noise isn't that interesting anyway....

Freda Payne: Band of Gold/Contact/Reaching Out (Edsel/Triton)

Freda Payne: Band of Gold/Contact/Reaching Out (Edsel/Triton)

Although it was slightly ambiguous about who had failed on the wedding night, it is Freda who says her new husband should come back and "love me like you tried before". And so we might guess . . . This was interesting and slightly saucy stuff -- was he gay or impotent? -- but the sexy Payne from Detroit turned it into a hit in...

Vanessa Daou: Joe Sent Me (Daou)

Vanessa Daou: Joe Sent Me (Daou)

My dad always used the phrase "Joe sent me", it was the old password to get into illegal bars and speakeasies and the implication was that you were gaining access to the illicit, and therefore rather seductive, world on the other side of the door. Vanessa Daou's breathy, sexually-fuelled electronica offers an entry to that kind of...

Jamie Liddell: Compass (Warp/Border)

Jamie Liddell: Compass (Warp/Border)

There is certainly no shortage of white soul singers these days (Hall and Oates seem to be making a comeback too), but Liddell from the UK brings a neat post-Prince funky skew and a techno-twist to his songs which, stripped of some of the considerable sonic effects and colours here, still stand as fine, inner-city soul vehicles for his high but...

Blonde Redhead: Penny Sparkle (4AD)

Blonde Redhead: Penny Sparkle (4AD)

This album by the US-based trio (Italian-born Montreal-raised twins and a Japanese singer, here with a keyboardist and a Moog player) arrived late last year but is timely to now address given they will appear at the forthcoming Laneway Festivals in New Zealand -- and what an enticing, dreamy and dim-the-lights collection this is to persuade you...

STKS: Rhythm and Brown (M4U Records)

STKS: Rhythm and Brown (M4U Records)

In November 2010, when most media people were looking the other way unfortunately, a new Auckland-based record label M4U launched itself with a showcase of its talent in a hip bar on Ponsonby Rd. The two most impressive acts bookended the night: the terrifyingly talented young singer Ria who stopped the chatter from her first...

Of Montreal: False Priest (Shock)

Of Montreal: False Priest (Shock)

With their falsetto funk, tongue-in-cheek humour, camp dramatics, clever dynamics, pop-smarts and outrageous sense of fun, Of Montreal out of Athens, Georgia sound like Queen or a Fame-era Bowie for the 21st century. And if their terrific Skeletal Lamping of 2009 staked out their distinctive ground, this silly, suggestive, sexy and...

Prince: Art Official Age/Plectrumelectrum (Warners)

Prince: Art Official Age/Plectrumelectrum (Warners)

As with Ryan Adams, Prince was one of those artists who was so prolific that neither his record company nor audience could keep up. It's been a while however since Prince graced us with an album but -- as was the case in the Eighties and NIneties when he was delivering at least one album a year -- now we get not one but two albums, Art...

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