RIP Prince, 1958 – 2016 *UPDATED LINK*

I really can’t believe it. I think I’m still fully in denial. It hasn’t registered.

I’m not gonna say much, as I haven’t had time to process this info yet, but as you probably know, Prince is probably my biggest influence and musical hero.

The only thing I thought I could do at the moment was share my favourite bootleg, as a testament to the man’s greatness – “Livesexy ’88 Uncut”, taken from the Japanese TV broadcast streamed live at the Westfallenhallen in Dortmund, West Germany 09/09/88.

I uploaded it in 5 parts off the DVD – these things are out there if you really want to look for them, no clues! – and it was watched thoudsands times over 8 months by many people (some heartbroken fam, some of the unconverted or the curious), until I got a takedown notice from NPG Music Publishing at the start of December. Now, normally if the artist in question is no longer with us, I don’t feel as much guilt about acquiring their music without compensating them for it. However, in Prince’s case I think he was so protective over how his music was received by the public, and against the distribution of unreleased material (it was unreleased for a reason I guess!) so I don’t feel so bad, and I took the vids off YouTube.

On deeper reflection on this issue, I’m actually kinda irritated by the NPG takedown notice. NPG Music Publishing was P’s own publishing company, and now he’s gone the trust in charge of his estate is cracking down on the explosion of bootlegged content that surfaced online after His Royal Badness’ untimely demise. Now, I know that one of the main bugbears P had about boots was that someone was cashing in on his unreleased work, but he was quoted as saying that if they don’t make any money and are sharing out of love, then it’s cool. So now the estate are trying to squeeze his ‘assets’ for every penny they can get out of it, I have mixed feelings about it. Unless they release the boots officially (or it’s to generate capital so they can better preserve the man’s legacy) then they should just let the stuff go I reckon.

Anyway, instead, here’s a link to a fantastic little profile made around the same time, directed by Albert Magnoli (Purple Rain). It features a whole heap of admiring luminaries (Miles, George Clinton, Clapton, Little Richard, Q… even Randy Newman!) giving their impression of why Prince is so awesome. Dig it.

Saw him 3 times, the best gigs I’ve ever seen. Never got to meet him, so maybe that’s best – he’ll be remembered the was he always intended, through his work.

My friend Kirk messaged me and reminded me of something. He said “HEY REMEMBER, the time you lost your (Prince symbol) necklace (that I got at the O2 gig in 2007, my first), and it really bugged you?

“we all lost today.”

RIP Prince.



Owen Jones goes into the Lion’s Den | Tory Party Conference | Owen Jones


This week has seen overwhelming levels of smugness and [somewhat higher than usual levels of] vitriol present in Manchester as the annual Conservative Party Conference is underway. Whilst some less-subtle people, perhaps misguided, perhaps overwhelmed by the gravity of reality caused a bit of scene outside which undermined the legitimacy of the actual protests, spry Socialist Owen Jones has ventured through the looking glass to get a first-hand feel for the people behind the generalised establishmentarian misery.

Which is great. Good for him for seeking the other side of the argument for the sake of a balanced conclusion. It is true that we sometimes forget that behind the labels are individual people with the power of reason. I however, have reasoned that a lot of Tories are either scared of change, too comfortable to envision a different way, too influenced by the media, too short-sighted to look at a bigger picture or too ignorant to care (my possibly harsh generalisation) – and I would imagine that Mr. Jones agrees with me. Based on the conversations he’s had with these attendees, they seem to just have different values, of status and position and impression and stuff. Personally, all these transient things are not to be valued.

The guy at 3:36 obviously didn’t expect to be interviewed, but whatever he’s on he seems to be at the conference for a jolly. And that tells me a lot about his attitude, at least.

 

Owen Jones says Prepare for the Fury of the Staus Quo | Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership | Owen Jones talks…


So at this point, after the vote closed at midday today, it’s pretty much a given that Corbyn’s got it. Which is great! In my opinion it’s about time we had a straight-talking community-minded progressive in the house, with people-power, too.

But champion of the left-wing youth Owen Jones knows that this is only the beginning, and is here to give the faithful a heads-up for the impending shit-storm that’s brewing amongst the rank that lives inside the box. So pay attention and brace yourself – it’s surely gonna get worse before it gets better.

On a related note – can someone please explain to me why the main argument the centre-right has against Corbyn is that he’s unelectable? The man’s on track to win the leadership race due to a massive surge in support, with many people who were formerly jaded becoming inspired by his attitude and engaged in politics. They’ve all voted for him. How does this argument make sense?

Here’s a Grauniad article about 9 supposedly ‘left-wing’ policies that most people actually agree with.

 

Collections: Dâm-Funk | BOILER ROOM


Collections: Dam-Funk by brtvofficial


OK – so I get that some folks may feel that this blog is getting a bit Dâm-Funk heavy these days. But on some level it could be argued that he’s one of the only contemporary cats actually presenting himself as a straight-up legit Funk artist at the moment – so you gotta show the brother some love! Plus, the man has impeccable taste, as highlighted by this foray into his personal record collection recorded for Boiler Room in July and released yesterday.

Some of these jams are PURE DOPE – further cementing my view of Dâm as a Funk Masta himself – and features relatively obscure cuts from Vanity 6, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Oliver Cheatham and a host of undug jems.

If you’re like me and prefer your mixtapes a little more portable, you can grab a copy of Dâm’s 2008 Stones Throw Podcast from here, free with any purchase from the label (so good that I might have to give it a post of its own!). So whilst your there, maybe consider pre-ordering Dâm’s new serving of Funk fo’ yo’ platter, Invite the Light – a triple LP set that’s shaping up to be real nice.

Jeremy Corbyn: Socialism DOES Work | Oxford Union


Now I will start this post by stating that I’m not a Labour man – they’ve gone too far-Right in a shallow attempt to woo the electorate in recent years to have my vote (why have a party in power without a mandate for change?). But if Corbyn gets it, I might consider it!

Here in an impassioned debate at the Oxford Union in 2013, Corbyn seems to represent the actual core values of the Left – progress, tolerance, equality… y’know, all that good stuff. Makes me excited that these ideals are gaining more traction in the mainstream, and that this might mean something positive in the future!

He’s definitely my pick for the leadership. If you’re in the UK and unionised (I’m looking at you, MU Members!), make sure you head over here to register as a supporter and give yourself a chance to vote!

Mhairi Black SNP Maiden Speech in the Commons | Channel 4

UPDATE: Underneath the speech video is a link to the BBC Scotland news report, or rather the lack or reporting on the content of the speech. Impartial when they want to be, eh?

Just in case you’re interested. I’ve been a bit slim on the political front since the election – not because I’ve lost interest, but maybe on some level because I lost faith briefly. This kind of speech puts the faith back in me! And only 20 years old. Gives me hope for the next generation!

I will add that I’m sick of seeing the Commons empty when shit like this is going down! Always a case of preaching to the converted – it seems the people who need change the most are often the most reluctant to change. Here’s  on the phenomenon detailing why some unskilled people perceive themselves to be more talented than they actually are.

BBC SCOTLAND NEWS SPEECH REPORTING


On a related tip, here’s an interview with Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, that Corbyn accused of stooping to sensationalist tabloid tactics. He’s the man my money’s on, in the spirit of progress – though most New Labour reformists will brand him as too old-skool Trotskyist, others have accused him of being a Liberal question-dodger. I think he’s a Socialist.

https://youtu.be/QZAn7ZEvwek

OKP Films: Questlove in Cuba Okayplayer

Quest For Cuba! OKP TV follows Questlove on a 1-man mission of DJ goodwill to Havana as The Roots drummer promotes cultural exchange, cratedigger style.

Source: OKP Films: Questlove in Cuba Okayplayer


 

?uestlove – the general International Ambassador for The Funk and Good Vibes – spent some time in Cuba recently as part of his online outpost OkayPlayer, doing a bit of digging and exchanging some cultural notes. It seems that some of the Cuban sensibilities appeal to the Hip-Hop ethos, and make an impression on Quest. I hope Los Cubanos are able to retain their own Roots in the new era.