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princeography - The Literary Exhibitionist
machupicchu
machupicchu
princeography
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04302017-22


-- चार हजार और चौरानवे --


Another standard evening in the Life of Matthew McQuilkin: I walked home, reading my library book (the biography Prince: The Man and His Music), pleasantly surprised by the lack of rain that had been forecast earlier in the day. I was able to read the whole walk, and when I got home, Shobhit had dinner ready: rice and a liquidy dish filled with a type of soy he got at the Indian store. I forget what it's called. But it was good. Better than the last time he made a dish with it, actually; I have a history of somewhat mixed feelings about this product. In the bag, it looks very much like dog treats. It has a nice consistency though.

I watched two episodes of Netflix's second season of Aziz Ansari's Master of None, which I rather like and Shobhit has inexplicably zero interest in. As soon as I switched to the back catalogue of the entire series of The Golden Girls on Hulu -- allowing me to see all episodes, in the order they were aired, for the first time (although I did see probably most of them during their original run between 1985 and 1992) -- then he took out his headphones and closed his laptop and actually watched those ones with me.

Then we did the New York Times crossword puzzle, like the elderly couple that we've become. That took a couple of hours, I think, and then I watched one more episode of The Golden Girls.

Every time I see the opening credits title card showing what is presumably the Miami skyline, I wonder what that exact section of Miami looks like today. That photo would be from the eighties, after all.

...

. . . Hold on! After a bit of research and a Wikipedia page referring to a building under construction in that title card photo, I was able to figure out exactly where it is -- it's here. You can clearly see the same three tall buildings in the Golden Girls shot; and you can plainly see the rather large number of high-rises that have sprouted up around them over the past three decades. I think Miami's is one of the nation's skylines that has grown the most over recent decades. Thank you, Google Maps! God, I love that site.

-- चार हजार और चौरानवे --


08202016-41


-- चार हजार और चौरानवे --


Speaking of Prince, I finally decided to buy the one Prince album available for purchase that I still did not have -- Plectrumelectrum, the one and only album he recorded with backing band 3rdeyegirl, and which was simultaneously released in 2014 with the far superior Art Official Age (I don't care how many critics say it's the other way around). I basically spent the past two years rationalizing the absence of Plectrumelectrum from my collection by regarding it as not quite a Prince solo album, given how much prominence 3rdeyegirl gets: a couple of the songs don't even feature lead vocals by him and defer to vocals by the girls (about whom I really know nothing).

But, a year after Prince's death, I've reached the point of changing my mind. I do already have Plectrumelectrum in my music data sheet, having listened to it on Spotify a couple of years ago to decide whether or not I wanted to buy it -- I really thought I would, but then just never did, until today. At the time I wasn't overtly impressed with it as an album. It's still far from his best, but I've been listening to his entire back catalog as I read this biography, and doing so has had the curious effect of giving me greater appreciation than ever before of even his lesser albums.

And, as we all know, I am a completist -- albeit within my own self-defined parameters: when I say I have all of Prince's albums, I mean, quite specifically, full-length studio albums of previously unreleased material with physical release outside of internet-only sales. This therefore excludes a few albums he sold exclusively online, which I have never felt compelled to bother with. It does included, however, the one album that has neither ever been sold online nor in a music store, 2010's 20Ten and instead was only ever offered as a giveaway with newspapers in the UK and Ireland -- the only album he ever released in such a way. I only have a digital copy of that one because Charlie, who I discovered after Prince's death last year is definitively even bigger a fan than I, emailed me all the mp3 versions of the tracks from his copy. (I long considered ordering it from UK Amazon, but the prices were exorbitant.)

So, when it comes to all Prince albums that exist in physical form and are full-length of previously unreleased material, and now including Plectrumelectrum, that numbers . . . 34 albums. His first album was released in 1978 and his last in 2016, which means he put out music nearly every year in all that time. There are some examples of years with two releases (1987, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2014), but if you were to spread them out as one album for each year, there would be only five years, out of 39, in which he released nothing. Three of those years were within the current decade alone: after 20Ten, between 2011 and 2013, it was by far the longest stretch of time in which he released no music -- he never went more than two years before, and even that was rare. I still have no idea what took him so long between 2010 and 2014, but then he did that double-release in 2014, effectively making a comeback, and I thought at the time that Art Official Age was his best music since the early nineties. I thought the following year's HITnRUN phase one was even better, and still feel that one stacks up against the best albums he ever released. HITnRUN pgase two, his final release, was solid, but not quite as good, in my opinion.

Anyway! Plectrumelectrum, which by my parameters truly completes my collection, cost me about $12 - nearly exactly the amount I have left in my budget after paying a water bill that was $30 less than what I had budgeted for, before I get paid on Friday.

34 albums is a hell of a lot. It took me a long time to listen to from beginning to end. I even almost forgot a few of them, accidentally skipping certain ones here and there. As comparison, Fleetwood Mac, who have been around since 1967, have 17 albums. Really, it's like all the people who engaged in the common practice of an album every year in the seventies and eighties stopped, but Prince was the only one who kept up the prolifery this entire time. It's true, it resulted in a lot of less-than-stellar material getting released, but almost all of it is worthy of appreciation on some level, and that's kind of astonishing on its own.

-- चार हजार और चौरानवे --


04082017-06

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positive energy please