Prince and the $100 tambourine

Looks like Prince really does get the Because Effect, as I wrote earlier. Take a look at this first night review in the Evening Standard. Here are a few excerpts:

The star has made himself available to Londoners with supreme generosity, charging just £31.21 for a concert ticket with a copy of his new album, Planet Earth, thrown in at the door.

Music stores and his latest record label, Sony BMG, were infuriated, but they must now acknowledge that the move has placed an artist well past his songwriting peak right back on top.

Prince has recognised, correctly, that these days a new album is just one money-making opportunity of many for a major star, of little more significance than ringtones.

Mainly, though, the giveaway has prompted even more interest in Prince the performer. It was evident right from his emergence from a cloud of smoke, flanked by Amazonian identical twin dancers, that the stage is where he most wants to be.

When he finally relinquished the spotlight, he had spun and slinked his way through a fabulously entertaining set that demonstrated that, unlike that omnipresent album, talent like this only appears once in a generation.

Albums are abundant. And free. Talent like this only appears once in a generation.

2 thoughts on “Prince and the $100 tambourine”

  1. JP, “talent” is one of those generalizing nouns (like “genius”) that has been abused so much that it has pretty much been robbed of all semantic content. For me, the operative sentence in your excerpts was the first one in the penultimate paragraph. In an age in which everyone associates music with an “anytime/anywhere resource” that you carry around on your iPod, we need reminders that music is NOT about manufactured artifacts but about PERFORMANCE (and we need those reminders writ large)! Whether it involves surrounding a singer with smoke and mirrors or just a pianist who can make it all the way through Rachmaninoff’s third concerto without collapsing in a heap before the audience (the “SHINE effect”), the act of performance is all that matters:

    The Rachmaninoff reference, by the way, was inspired by the San Francisco Symphony deciding to organize a “Bloggers’ Night,” for which about a dozen bloggers (including myself) were given free tickets. You can learn more by checking out the links to the post cited above, as well as the sfsymphonybloggers07 tag, which will lead you to the page (actually three pages) with links to all the blog posts. There, too, I found a blogger who realized that, no matter how good the recording technology may be, the live performance rules every time!

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