Saturday, September 26, 2020

"Here We Are, Folks!" - Sign O' the Times Deluxe Edition Unboxing

I received my copy of the deluxe edition of Prince's 1987 album, "Sign O' the Times." Check out my unboxing video below!

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Friday, September 25, 2020

"Shock-a-lock-a, Boom!" - Giveaway

Congrats, Amy A.!

This contest is closed. 

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Friday, September 18, 2020

"We Can Work It Out" - Experimenting with Facebook Ads

I set a goal for myself to increase my monthly newsletter list to 1,000 this year (I have just over 700 as of today). I've had great success collecting email addresses through my giveaways (come back next week for another one, btw), but I wanted to explore other avenues. Over the past week, I ran two Facebook ads to gain new subscribers, and things were decent for my first try! 

See below for the details and if you haven't subscribed to my monthly newsletter, you can do so right here.

First, I created a "lead generation" ad, which collects email addresses directly on Facebook. I'm pretty happy with these results. The ad will be finished tomorrow, and I think I'm going to hit 50 leads. I spent approximately 70 cents per email address, which isn't too expensive for me. I would run this type of ad again and spend more money to get 100 new subscribers. 

Cost: $33.63 (of $35)

Duration: 6 Days (of 7)

Reach: 2,017

Leads: 46

I wasn't sure if people would put their email addresses directly on Facebook, so I ran a "website visitors" ad that took them off Facebook and directly to my signup form on MailChimp. Although this ad reached more people, fewer people signed up for my newsletter. So, moving forward, I will only run the ad above to collect email addresses, but I will utilize the "website visitors" ad to send people to my blog to get more views on my content. I'll also plan to run some ads to boost the number of people who "like" my Facebook page. 

Cost: $25

Duration: 5 Days

Reach: 4,319

Clicks: 101

Subscribers: 16

Friday, September 11, 2020

"Count the Days" - Song of the Month

 Each month I will share some brief, personal thoughts on one of my favorite Prince songs. 

"Count the Days" is technically a New Power Generation song, released as the third single from the band's 1995 album, Exodus. Of course, Prince played an integral role, though disguised as "Tora Tora," one of his many alter egos. Bass player Sonny T. takes the lead vocal, but Prince's guitar is the real star. (By the way, Prince positioning Sonny as a lead vocalist reminds me a lot of Jimi Hendrix featuring drummer Buddy Miles as a singer in the Band of Gypsys, but that's another discussion for another blog.) I fell in love with this song watching a video of a live performance on British TV program "The White Room." First of all, Prince, aka Tora Tora, somehow made a costume of a face-obscuring scarf, hat and black-and-white suit look appealing. I love how he was so meticulous about image and mystique.

The song is a perfect example of how Prince is able to write in layers. If you don't listen closely, you might think "Count the Days" is a love song. That was my first reaction because the TV host introduced the song by commenting on Prince and Mayte Garcia's relationship. The music is pretty, pleasant and almost tranquil. Listening again, I heard a deep connection to Curtis Mayfield, and I began to think Prince was simply focused on evoking a feeling of old-school soul music, especially because the lyrics seemed so cryptic.

"Here's a church, here's a steeple/Here's a motherfucker that I gotta blow away."

But I knew something was missing. I talked through the song with my friend and writer Scott Woods. We asked ourselves, how often is Prince purposely nonsensical, and how often is he writing personal lyrics? In my opinion, "Count the Days" is very personal, and there's a thread of anger under the lovely melody. You could imply the song is about his deteriorating relationship with Warner Bros. Prince is literally counting down the days until he is out of his contract. And you could read the whole Exodus album as an escape from the control of the record label, but also as Prince's mission to free other artists, especially Black artists, from the limitations and abuse in the music industry. 

The video for the song adds another layer. It features historic footage of events during the Civil Rights Movement, including Martin Luther King, Jr. at the March on Washington, and his wife, Coretta Scott King, standing over his coffin. Prince felt very strongly that he could use both his celebrity and advocacy for artist rights to help create a better future for Black people in America, and much has come to light about his charitable contributions since his death. So, it makes perfect sense to me that he paired a song about being enslaved to a corporation with a video about the plight of Black people.

I once found myself thinking, "This song would be more enjoyable without the abrasive lyrics." But that's precisely the point. We can't be fully at peace with the world because we aren't fully free. Think about what Black people are still enduring in 2020. We're still counting the days...

Count The Days from Irresistible Rich on Vimeo.

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Friday, September 4, 2020

"With an Intellect and a Savoir-Faire" - Purple Recommendations

There are a lot of folks consistently creating great content about Prince. Here are some recent examples that caught my eye.

1. Muse 2 the Pharaoh: The Sun, The Moon and Stars

Darling Nisi's podcast explores Prince-related topics from a female perspective. Her latest episode explores Prince's natal chart. 

2. Podcast on Prince: Bernie Grundman Interview (Patreon only)

This long-running Prince podcast features news, reviews and interviews. The latest episode features a noted mastering engineer who recently worked on the forthcoming remaster of Prince's "Sign O' the Times" album. 

3. Press Rewind Prince - Lyrics Podcast

Jason Breininger's podcast analyzes the lyrics of Prince's music, album by album. He's currently on Around the World in a Day. Check out all the episodes featuring a lineup of special guests.

4. Dance/Music/Sex/Romance: The Dawn: How Prince’s Troubled Followup to 1999 Almost Became His Feature Film Debut

Zachary Hoskin's blog analyzes Prince's discography, song by song, but he often has some interesting detours along the way. This post imagines "a circa-1984 Prince without Purple Rain." Creative stuff! 

5. polished solid Newsletter

This is a new venture by De Angela L. Duff, the mastermind behind some compelling Prince symposia. Subscribe to keep up with all of her Prince projects and much more! 

6. #PrinceTwitterThread: 3121

DJ UMB and Edgar Kruize have been inviting guests to dissect each track on certain Prince albums. The latest in the series included a surprise contributor who worked with Prince for years. 

7. Purple Playground: Academy of Prince performance

This summer music program "enriches teens' lives with Prince history and a chance to make music inspired by him, helped by musicians who played with him." Watch the young people play a song they wrote with help from Shelby J., Adrian Crutchfield and Elisa Fiorillo. 

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