Monday, September 24, 2012

"Come Back, Nikki!" - Prince's Backmasking Part 1

Hey, everyone! Ok, I'm super tired and fighting a horrible case of hives, but I wanted to make sure I stayed on schedule with a blog post today.

Yesterday, one of my best friends found this beauty at a trade show for $5, and kindly bought it for me (whenever anyone who knows me sees or hears something Prince-related, they automatically think "Erica."):

 So, I immediately tried to do what I've always wanted to do with "Purple Rain" on vinyl: play the end of "Darling Nikki" backwards.

Prince used the backmasking technique--recording sounds or messages backwards (rapper Tupac Shakur actually sampled this backmasking on his song Heartz of Men). Like many Prince fans, I know what the message says, but I've never heard it for myself.

Because I have very limited knowledge about vinyl, I thought that this task would be easy, but it's not.  I've learned from a couple YouTube videos (found here and here) that it's going to require tools. So, I'm going to wait until this weekend to try it again.

For those of you who are wondering what the message says, I'm not going to tell. Hint: it is relevant to my book. It's going to be fun to confirm it for myself. I know you're going to Google it, but why not try it on your own?

By the way, did you catch the cover of "Darling Nikki" by Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live alum and daughter of the late singer Minnie Riperton)? She performed the song with The Roots on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." She even mimicks the backmasking as part of the performance! Watch here via Gawker.

What do you think of Maya's performance?

Monday, September 17, 2012

"From the Heart of Minnesota" - Minneapolis Research

Quick post tonight! This week is all about researching Prince's hometown, Minneapolis. I'm particulary interested in the number and type of churches in the city, church attendance, and number of families that identified themselves as "religious" over the years. When writing a biography, it's important to examine your subject's environment.

I'm also trying to look into Prince's involvement in the Seventh-Day Adventist church as a child. According to several books and articles, he was raised an Adventist, but no one has identified which SDA church he attended. I feel that I'm getting closer to finding out.

That's all for me.  I just watched a clip of Prince on "The View" today, where he talked about the "Welcome 2 Chicago" concerts and the Rebuild the Dream organization. He also released a new song, “RnR Affair.”

What do you think of Prince's appearance on "The View" and the new song?

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Stand Up! Organize!" - My New Purchase & More Pics

I'm super excited! I finally bought my mini file cabinet for my Prince research:

I've been organizing the content by category (don't say anything about my handwriting):

I keep my Prince-related books, DVDs and VHS tapes (yeah, that's right) on my bookshelf. There's a Bob Dylan book in there, too, but I promise it's relevant:

Here's a closer look at some of the things I've taped on VHS...and "Graffiti Bridge":

I keep my Prince music in various places. Here is some of it:

That "Musicology" CD is from the actual tour in 2004. I've saved that ticket, and my ticket from the "Welcome 2 America" concert at Madison Square Garden, of course:

Unfortunately, I won't be attending the "Welcome 2 Chicago" tour. I promised myself that the next time I see Prince live, I will be in the front row or VIP. So, I need time to get my purple savings account right. I also need to save for my inevitable trip to Minneapolis! :)

Who is going to Welcome 2 Chicago?

Monday, September 3, 2012

"Nothing Stays the Same, Anyway" - Changes to the Blog

Happy Labor Day!

As you know, I'm always trying to improve this blog. I took the time today to make some aesthetic changes and a content change:

Where's the Blogger Favicon?

Although this blog is powered by Blogger, I want it to stand on its own as much as possible. I asked my boyfriend to create a new icon in Photoshop for me. You should see this image in the left-hand corner of your browser very soon:

If you take a look at the right panel of this website, you'll see that I've added my picture and contact information (about time, right?). You'll see that my blog posts are still duplicated on my website. In the past, I thought about switching to Wordpress completely, but I decided to stick with Blogger. Now, I have to figure out if I want to keep the blog on my website.

The other visual changes are more subtle. I'm going to be consistent with my font type (Verdana) and size going forward. Unfortunately, I still need to update the font in a good chunk of my previous entries. Also, the purple that you see in this blog is the exact purple from the "Purple Rain" album cover:

All hyperlinks are purple, but they turn green when you hover over them, and change to pink once you've clicked on them.

In terms of content, I've altered the blog summary/purpose at the top of the page.When I started this blog in December 2010, I wanted to expand my book and meet Prince by December 2011. I then changed the end date to December 2012. Well, I am going to be more realistic. Obviously, I would still love to meet Prince and interview him for the book. While that would be extremely significant for my project, it is not mandatory. I am still going to finish the book whether or not I speak to him. Additionally, I am giving myself until 2015 to secure more interviews and add 80 pages to the 80 that I've written. I have to turn the book in to Ohio University by the summer of 2016 as part of my graduate school program.

So, follow me on a journey to expand my book on Prince in roughly five years, or on "a purple day in December" 2015!