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Watch Janis Joplin’s Breakthrough Performance at the Monterey Pop Festival: “One of the Great Concert Performances of all Time” (1967)

in Music | March 23rd, 2017

“No one to that point had seen a White girl sing the blues like she sang it. And she was a tough Texas girl, she lived really tough, she drank tough, she did drugs, too many and too tough. But as a vocalist, her performance at Monterey was also one of the great concert performances of all time.”

That’s famed music and film producer Lou Adler talking in 2007 about Janis Joplin and her performance 40 years before at the Monterey International Pop Festival. After those three days of music (June 16-June 18, 1967) in the Summer of Love, many of the acts catapulted to fame.




The Who exploded stateside, The Jimi Hendrix Experience essentially launched their career from that stage, Ravi Shankar got introduced to Americans, and Otis Redding played to a mostly white audience for the first time. Laura Nyro and Canned Heat became famous overnight.

And then there was Big Brother and the Holding Company, fronted by a 24 year-old Janis Joplin. Their first album wasn’t due until August, and most of the crowd had not heard of this blues band when they took the stage on Saturday afternoon, June 17. Five songs later, and finishing with “Ball and Chain,” the crowd had gone wild. They knew they had seen something special.

But D.A. Pennebaker, the documentarian behind Dylan’s Don’t Look Back and Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” concert films, had not filmed the set. In an unprecedented move, Joplin and band were invited back to recreate the set the following evening–the only band to do two sets at the festival–and that is the footage seen above. Joplin’s performance is just as good, maybe even better, though the Sunday performance does not feature James Gurley’s extended guitar solo. That version can be found here.

Not only did Monterey Pop launched several careers, it legitimized the idea that rock music was mature and important enough to have its own festival, just like the worlds of jazz and folk. For organizers Adler, along with John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas, Alan Pariser, and Beatles publicist Derek Taylor, it was a huge success. Two years later a little gathering called Woodstock went even further. And the rest as they say is…whoever’s headlining Coachella this year.

If you enjoy this footage, you will want to pick up a copy of the film, The Complete Monterey Pop Festival, from the Criterion Collection.

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Dick Cavett’s Epic Woodstock Festival Show (August, 1969)

Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast and is the producer of KCRW’s Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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Listen to Grace Slick’s Hair-Raising Vocals in the Isolated Track for “White Rabbit” (1967)

in Music | March 16th, 2017

“One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small…”

Sometime in the summer of 2016, this isolated track of Grace Slick’s vocals for “White Rabbit”–probably the most famous Jefferson Airplane song and definitely one of the top ten psychedelic songs of the late ‘60s–popped up YouTube. As these things go, nobody took credit, but everybody on the Internet was thankful.

Drenched in echo, Slick sings with martial precision, completely in command of her vibrato and dipping and rising all through the Phrygian scale (also known as the Spanish or Gypsy scale.) And no wonder, the song was written in 1965 after an LSD trip at her Marin county home where Slick had listened to Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain over and over again for 24 hours. Compare the original version to Davis’ track “Solea” to hear what I mean.




Bob Irwin, who was in charge of remastering Jefferson Airplane’s catalog in 2003, was the first to hear Slick’s isolated vocals after many, many years:

When you put up the multi- tracks of the performances to something like “White Rabbit” and isolate Grace’s vocal…you can’t believe the intensity in that vocal. It’s hair-raising, and absolutely unbelievable. I was telling Bill Thompson about that. It’s not that I’m so well-seasoned that nothing surprises me, but boy oh boy, when I put that multi up and I heard Grace’s vocal solo-ed—and it’s absolutely whisper-quiet, there’s not an ounce of leakage in there at all—-you can hear every breath drawn and the intensity and the concentration…

Interestingly, when Slick wrote the song, Airplane hadn’t started. Instead she was in a band called The Great Society, and the original jam version doesn’t do justice to the composition.

Rhythm guitarist David Minor recalled that the song came out of a songwriting request to the other members of the band.

“When we started working, nobody had anything because I couldn’t write any more,” he recalls. “I was too busy keeping up with my various jobs. So Grace’s husband Jerry challenged them: ‘What are you gonna do? Let David write all the songs?’ Y’know, ‘Do something!’. So Darby came back with a couple of songs and Grace came back with White Rabbit.”

When the Great Society fell apart, Jefferson Airplane chose Slick as their singer in 1966 and she brought with her “White Rabbit.” The rest is rock history, and a large part of the now-retired Slick’s income.

With the isolated track out there in the Internet wilderness it wasn’t too long until the remixers came to give it a new home. Here’s one of my favorites:

via Dangerous Minds

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast and is the producer of KCRW’s Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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The Music in Quentin Tarantino’s Films: Hear a 5-Hour, 100-Song Playlist

in Music | March 9th, 2017

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week we told you about this 326-track, 20-hour playlist of music from the films of Martin Scorsese. One of the masters of juxtaposing song with image, Scorsese paved the way for another director with a fine record collection, Quentin Tarantino. And what do you know? There’s a similar Spotify playlist that you can enjoy featuring 100 tracks and running five hours. (If you need Spotify’s software, download it here.)

Tarantino might be more of a music geek, but he just hasn’t made as many films as Scorsese. However, if you came of cineaste age during the 1990s, dollars to donuts you had a CD of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack in your collection. Just like Tarantino resuscitated John Travolta’s career, he took an obscure single–a cover of a Turkish-Arabic-Egyptian melody called “Misirlou” by a once-popular surf guitarist–and made it not just the opening track, but the sound of 1980s filmmaking being shot and stuffed in a trunk. (And guitarist Dick Dale got to have a second career from it.) The soundtrack made surf instrumentals popular again, Urge Overkill relevant, Neil Diamond cool, and inserted a Statler Brothers’ song into the collections of thousands of people who wouldn’t touch country with a ten foot pole.

Prior to this, Reservoir Dogs used both “Little Green Bag” by George Baker and “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealers Wheel to great effect, and the soundtrack included the narcoleptic DJ patter by comedian Steven Wright, but it was just an appetizer for the full Pulp Fiction meal.

After that, there’s still flashes of brilliance–Jackie Brown is a safe but excellent collection of mostly ‘70s soul–but the soundtracks by themselves don’t stand up as cultural objects in the post-CD era. Instead, there’s moments like the 5.6.7.8’s “Woo Hoo” and Tomoyasu Hotei’s “Battle without Honor or Humanity” from Kill Bill, and the goosebump-inducing use of David Bowie’s “Cat People” in an otherwise period centric, WWII-set Inglourious Basterds.

In later films, he’s become more of a curator of Ennio Morricone works and other composers of the films he loves, and less of a pop magpie. But then, his films have darkened and deepened, and his soundtrack vinyl collection–which he has collected since a kid–just continues to grow.
In an interview with Billboard magazine, he mentioned how integral his record collection is to his filmmaking process.

I am always looking for some cool song that I could use as a big set piece. I’ll finish work and I’ll go into my record room and I’ll put on some song, and literally, I can see it on the screen. I can project myself into a movie theater and I’m watching the scene onscreen and I’m hearing the music and I’m imagining an audience: either an audience of people I know who are digging it or an audience of people I don’t know who are digging it — they’re always digging it. (laughs) And it keeps reminding me that I’m making a movie.

And Tarantino usually gets the rights to use whatever he pleases because of his fame and the Quentin-bump he gives the artists: “It’s actually quite easy to get the rights now, because I’ll use music that some people haven’t heard that much before,” he says in the same interview. “Then after my movie comes out, it seems like every commercial in the world buys it. They can double or triple and quadruple their income just by the exposure the movie gets it.”

Dive into this playlist and let us know any specific gems you find.

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Quentin Tarantino Explains The Art of the Music in His Films

Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast and is the producer of KCRW’s Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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Icelandic Folk Singers Break Into an Impromptu Performance of a 13th Century Hymn in a Train Station, and It’s Delightful

in Music | March 2nd, 2017

Icelandic folk group Árstíðir know a good acoustic cathedral when they see one, even when it’s in a train station. In the above video, the sextet was returning from a concert in Wuppertal, Germany, when they were struck by the acoustic properties of this one section of the train terminal.

Indeed, this was a fine place to stop and offer a special encore to their show, a performance of the early 13th century Icelandic hymn “Heyr himna smiður” (“Hear, Smith of Heavens”) by Kolbeinn Tumason.

Hearing this music strips away the concrete and the industrial revolution and we are suddenly back in the mists of time…even when the tannoy speakers in the background announce a train departure. In fact, it just adds another layer of atmosphere to this beautiful work. The sparse crowd stops and just listens. It’s a beautiful video that has earned over six million views in the nearly four years it has been online.




Composer Kolbeinn Tumason is best known for this hymn–you can see a translation of the lyrics here–and was both a deeply religious man and one of the most powerful chieftains in Iceland. He met his maker at age 34 in a battle between religious and secular clans, where his head was bashed in by a rock. Still, the history goes, he held on long enough to write this hymn on his deathbed, and it remains an oft-performed work.

Hopefully no such battlefield fate awaits the group Árstíðir, who formed in Reykjavik in 2008 and continue to perform, though their style is closer to Fleet Foxes than this 13th century timeslip might indicate.

Looking for free, professionally-read audio books from Audible.com? Here’s a great, no-strings-attached deal. If you start a 30 day free trial with Audible.com, you can download two free audio books of your choice. Get more details on the offer here.

via Atlas Obscura

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast and is the producer of KCRW’s Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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You Can Have Your Ashes Turned Into a Playable Vinyl Record, When Your Day Comes

in Life, Music | February 23rd, 2017

Even in death we are only limited by our imagination in how we want to go out. There are now ways to turn our corpse into a tree, or have our ashes shot into space, or pressing our ashes into diamonds–I believe Superman is involved in that last one. And now for the music lover, a company called And Vinyly will press your ashes into a playable vinyl record.

You like that punny company name? There’s more: the business lets the dear departed to “Live on from beyond the groove.” Hear that groan? That’s the deceased literally spinning in their grave…on a turntable.




The UK-based company has been around since 2009, when Jason Leach launched it “just for fun” at first. But a lot of people liked the idea and have kept him in business.

It will cost, however. The basic service costs around $4,000, which gets you 30 copies of the record, all of which contain the ashes. However, you cannot use copyright-protected music to fill up the 12 minutes per side, so no “Free Bird” or “We Are the Champions,” unfortunately. But you can put anything else: a voice recording, or the sounds of nature, or complete silence. For an additional fee, you can hire musicians through the company to record a track or tracks for you.

Other extras include cover art either supplied by the deceased or their family or painted by James Hague of the National Portrait Gallery in London and/or street artist Paul Insect; extra copies to be distributed worldwide through record shops (has anyone seen one? Let us know.); and a £10,000 “FUNeral,” where your record will be played at your funeral, surrounded by loved ones.

Joking aside, the service can provide comfort and a memory trigger for those left behind. The above video, “Hearing Madge” is a short doc about a son who took recordings of his mother and used And Vinyly to make a record out of them. It’s sweet.

“I’m sure a lot of people think that it’s creepy, a lot of people think it’s sacrilegious,” the man says. “But I know my mother wouldn’t have. She would’ve thought it was a hoot.”

Jason Leach, a musician and vinyl collector himself, talks of the immediacy of sound and what it means to many.

“Sound is vibrating you, the room, and it’s actually moving the air around you,” he says. “And that’s what’s so powerful about hearing someone’s voice on a record. They’re actually moving the air and for me that’s powerful.”

via Mental Floss/Aeon

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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Take a Break from Your Frantic Day & Let Alan Watts Introduce You to the Calming Ways of Zen

in Philosophy, Religion | February 16th, 2017

By the end of the 1960s, Alan Watts had become one of the gurus of the counterculture. Though he was not really a Zen Buddhist, he was many a person’s gateway into the religion due to The Way of Zen published in 1958. His was a philosophical and populist approach to Eastern religion, an antecedent to the Eckhart Tolles of our time.

This short film, Now and Zen, was directed by Elda and Irving Hartley, shot in the gardens at their residence, and features Watts encouraging the viewer to go beyond the material world, especially as we understand it through language and our cultural viewpoint. Instead, he says, “This world is a multidimensional network of all kinds of vibrations” which infants understand better than us adults. The film then transitions into a guided sitting meditation of sorts, and ends with the sounds of nature. (Plus, there’s ducks.)




“Hence the importance of meditation in zen,” he continues, “which is, from time to time, to stop thinking altogether, and simply be aware of what is. This may be done very, very simply. By becoming aware of the play of light and color upon your eyes. Don’t name anything you see. Just let the light and the shadow, the shape and the color, play with your eyes, and allow the sound to play with your ears.”

Elda Hartley, working with her husband Irving, used this film to launch the Hartley Film Foundation, its mission to produce documentaries on world religions and spirituality. (It still exists as a non-profit). Zen as a subject came first, because Elda had been on a trip to Japan with Alan Watts, and when she proposed the film, he agreed to narrate. She would later make films with Margaret Mead, Joseph Campbell, Ram Dass, Huston Smith and others.

There are several other films on archive.org’s Hartley Productions page, and another Watts-narrated one: The Flow of Zen. (Warning: this is the opposite of meditative, and its harsh atonal electronic sounds very far removed from any mediation CD you might have kicking around.)

Better still: Open Culture also has plenty of Alan Watts in the archive.

Finally, as someone who spent many an undergrad night listening to his late-night lectures on KPFK and at the time not understanding a whit, it was edifying to hear Watts say in the above film:

As you listen to my voice, don’t try to make any sense of what I am saying. Just be aware of the tones and your brain will automatically take care of the sense.

I can vouch that he was right about that…eventually. But only after reading many, many books on Buddhism.

Now and Zen and The Flow of Zen will be added to our collection, 1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc..

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the FunkZone Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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Browse Every Art Exhibition Held at MoMA Since 1929 with the New “MoMA Exhibition Spelunker”

in Archives, Art | February 9th, 2017

More and more, museums around the world are opening up their vast archives for free on the internet. We can browse broad collections, or dig down deep into collections and examine individual works, or we can download hi-resolution jpgs of famous works and slap them on our new desktop as wallpaper. (Discussion: does this trivialize a work or help us appreciate it?)

Indeed, OpenCulture has linked to many of these and I’ve followed. And I’ve often returned overwhelmed or disappointed, not by the art, but by bad web design. Good intentions are one thing, but institutions often turn to coders first, not designers. And there’s a difference.




Recently we told you how the Metropolitan Museum of Art has put most of its nearly 90 years of exhibitions online. Our own Colin Marshall said:

The archive offers, in the words of Chief of Archives Michelle Elligott, “free and unprecedented access to The Museum of Modern Art’s ever-evolving exhibition history” in the form of “thousands of unique and vital materials including installation photographs, out-of-print exhibition catalogues, and more, beginning with MoMA’s very first exhibition in 1929.”

Yet the interface is quite lacking, showing a blank search bar with no clue to how much lies beneath. Where to start, if you just want to browse?

Enter the data visualization firm of Good, Form & Spectacle, who excel at presenting archives in different ways. Commissioned by MoMA to make something from the data, the firm’s “MoMA Exhibition Spelunker” offers 60 years of exhibition data that can then be searched by “curators, arrangers, designers, artists, and others” with connections available at every level.

For example, the second ever MoMA exhibit, “Painters by 19 Living Americans” (1929 – 1930), featured Edward Hopper. The official archive will show you the exhibition catalog and press release. But go spelunking and we discover that up until 1989 (the end of the archive for now), Hopper was featured in 61 exhibitions, including 1943 where he was featured in four exhibits in one year. What were those exhibits? Well, down the rabbit hole you go.

Coder (and, full disclosure, friend since high school) Phil Gyford spoke about his work on the page:
A spelunker, according to Chambers, is “a person who explores caves as a hobby” and we aimed to explore MoMA’s raw data and make it more visible and penetrable by everyone else. It’s hard to get a decent sense of the shape of lists of data so we set off to explore.

Good, Form & Spectacle have worked on other sleek and minimal sites, including a Netflix recommendation engine, a smaller spelunker for the Victoria & Albert Museum, and a larger one for the British Museum.

But if you’re interested in exploring a century of exhibitions at MoMA, then spend as much time as you like with the “MoMA Exhibition Spelunker.”

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the FunkZone Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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In 1999, David Bowie Predicts the Good and Bad of the Internet

in Music | February 2nd, 2017

“We’re on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying.”

The year is 1999 and David Bowie, in shaggy hair and groovy glasses, has seen the future and it is the Internet.

In this short but fascinating interview with BBC’s stalwart and withering interrogator cum interviewer Jeremy Paxman, Bowie offers a forecast of the decades to come, and gets most of it right, if not all. Paxman dolefully plays devil’s advocate, although I suspect he did really see the Net as a “tool”– simply a repackaging of an existing medium.




“It’s an alien life form that just landed,” Bowie counters.

Bowie, who had set up his own bowie.net as a private ISP the previous year, begins by saying that if he had been just starting his career in 1999, he would not have been a musician, but a “fan collecting records.”

It sounded provocative at the time, but Bowie makes a point here that has taken on more credence in recent years–that the revolutionary status of rock in the ‘60s and ‘70s was tied in to its rarity, that the inability to readily hear music gave it power and currency. Rock is now “a career opportunity,” he says, and the Internet now has the allure that rock once did.

What Bowie might not have seen is how quickly that allure would wear off. The Internet no longer has a mystery to it. It’s closer to a public utility, oddly a point that Bowie makes later when talking about the invention of the telephone.

Bowie also approved of the demystification between the artist and audience that the Internet was providing. In his final decade, however, he would seek out anonymity and privacy, dropping his final two albums suddenly without fanfare and refusing all interviews. He also didn’t foresee the kind of trolling that sends celebrities and artists off of social media.

Paxman sees the fragmentation of the Internet as a problem; Bowie sees it as a plus.

“The potential of what the Internet is going to do to society, both good and bad, is unimaginable.”

There’s a lot more to unpack in this segment, and let your differing viewpoints be known in the comments. It’s what Bowie would have wanted.

via Paleofuture

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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Read Prince’s First Interview, Printed in His High School Newspaper (1976)

in Music | January 26th, 2017

Two years before Prince released his first album For You and before he began his ascent into the funk-rock-pop pantheon, he was a very talented, very ambitious, and occasionally frustrated high school senior at Central High in Minneapolis. That’s where the school newspaper got him to sit for an interview, more of a character sketch, to talk about his hopes for a musical career. You can read it below.

If Prince was charismatic enough to be picked up on the high school paper’s radar, he doesn’t let it show in the article.

Mostly, he rues the location of his home town.




“I think it is very hard for a band to make it in this state, even if they’re good. Mainly because there aren’t any big record companies or studios in this state. I really feel that if we would have lived in Los Angeles or New York or some other big city, we would have gotten over by now.”

By the ‘80s, of course, he had made Minneapolis the center of his own musical empire, and Paisley Park became his home, compound, and music studio, the place where he would eventually pass away.

But he did like high school, according to him, because the music teachers let him do his own thing. Already a multi-instrumentalist, the article finds Prince just starting to explore singing. This might be the most surprising part of the piece. Prince’s range and the amount of character (and literally characters, male, female, or a mix) in his songs would lead you to believe that his voice came first.

Maybe some of the humility came from his status in the high school band. The name Grand Central was inspired by Prince’s obsession with Graham Central Station, whose bass player Larry Graham would later join Prince’s ‘90s band and also convert him to become a Jehovah’s Witness. Competing for attention was Morris Day and André Cymone, who Prince would write for and produce after he got his record contract. It was friendly but serious competition.

To round out the article, Prince—who plays by ear—gets asked if he has any advice for fellow students: “I advise anyone who wants to learn guitar to get a teacher unless they are very musically inclined. One should learn all their scales too. That is very important.”

You can read the full article below:

Nelson Finds It “Hard To Become Known”

“I play with Grand Central Corporation. I’ve been playing with them for two years,” Prince Nelson, senior at Central, said. Prince started playing piano at age seven and guitar when he got out of eighth grade.

Prince was born in Minneapolis. When asked, he said, “I was born here, unfortunately.” Why? “I think it is very hard for a band to make it in this state, even if they’re good. Mainly because there aren’t any big record companies or studios in this state. I really feel that if we would have lived in Los Angeles or New York or some other big city, we would have gotten over by now.”

He likes Central a great deal, because his music teachers let him work on his own. He now is working with Mr. Bickham, a music teacher at Central, but has been working with Mrs. Doepkes.

He plays several instruments, such as guitar, bass, all keyboards, and drums. He also sings sometimes, which he picked up recently. He played saxophone in seventh grade but gave it up. He regrets he did. He quit playing sax when school ended one summer. He never had time to practice sax anymore when he went back to school. He does not play in the school band. Why? “I really don’t have time to make the concerts.”

Prince has a brother that goes to Central whose name is Duane Nelson, who is more athletically enthusiastic. He plays on the basketball team and played on the football team. Duane is also a senior.

Prince plays by ear. “I’ve had about two lessons, but they didn’t help much. I think you’ll always be able to do what your ear tells you, so just think how great you’d be with lessons also,” he said.

“I advise anyone who wants to learn guitar to get a teacher unless they are very musically inclined. One should learn all their scales too. That is very important,” he continued.

Prince would also like to say that his band is in the process of recording an album containing songs they have composed. It should be released during the early part of the summer.

“Eventually I would like to go to college and start lessons again when I’m much older.”

via That Eric Alper

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the FunkZone Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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Watch an Epic, 4-Hour Video Essay on the Making & Mythology of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks

in Apple, Television | January 19th, 2017

If you’re like me, every little bit of information doled out for the upcoming third season of Twin Peaks is like a series of clues found along a dark path through the Ghostwood National Forest. We’ve seen brief views of some major characters. We’ve heard Angelo Badalamenti confirm he’s back to score the series. We picked up and speed read the Mark Frost-written Secret History. We know that it will be 18 hours of pure David Lynch and Mark Frost, and that whatever it may do, it won’t go all wonky and not-so-good like the terrible trough in the middle of Season Two. And now we have a date for the premiere: May 21.

So it’s not time to brew coffee, or put a cherry pie in the oven, just yet. Instead, it’s time to bone up on the series itself and ask ourselves, is Twin Peaks a failed series that needs to be rectified? Or if Lynch and Frost had never agreed to revisit their iconic work, would we still have a cohesive work?




Video essayist Joel Bocko says yes, and has made what is probably the definitive and most thorough analysis of the series out there on the web.

I first stumbled across Journey Through Twin Peaks one night, and thinking that it was only one short video essay I started watching. My mistake: episode one was only the first in a 28-chapter series that totaled over four hours, arranged in four parts. And, yes, I sat and watched the whole damn thing.

Bocko is good, real good. This is not uncritical fan worship. This is a man, like many of us, who fell in love with the transcendent heights of the show and suffered through its miserable lows, but, through that misery, figured out what made the show such a game-changer.

One important thing Bocko does is give Mark Frost his due. Usually hidden behind the art and the mythos of Lynch, Frost brought much to the show, from the detective procedural framework to themes of the occult and Theosophy. Bocko shows how Lynch came out of the Twin Peaks experience with a completely different and much more complex idea of character. Before Peaks, Lynch’s work saw good and evil existing not just on opposite sides of the spectrum, but as different characters. (Think of Blue Velvet.) In the films he makes afterwards, doppelgangers, fugue states, and self-negation, along with the spiritual confusion that come with it, are central to Lynch’s work.

But that’s just one of the many insights waiting for you in this rewarding analytical work, which also takes in Fire Walk With Me and Mulholland Dr. through to Inland Empire. Suffice it to say, it’s full of spoilers, so proceed with caution.

On the other hand, if you don’t have time before the premiere, you can always watch the first season in under a minute here.

via Welcome to Twin Peaks

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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