Once in a blue moon comes an album that changes everything. Random Access Memories may be the bluest moon you’ll ever see. The most influential EDM artists of all time have taken on a mission to save music and fix what many consider a stale music scene right now- Specifically addressing the current EDM craze that can make anyone, often regardless of talent, a superstar overnight just by playing with some computer programs yet never touching a musical instrument or even a microphone, and has created an army of clone producers infecting speakers across the world with similar soul-less sounds- a far departure from what was felt when Daft Punk exploded onto the scene in the 90’s.
Random Access Memories is EDM losing the Electronic but finding something it so desperately needed, a soul. The Daft Punk everyone expected (and wanted) is clearly dead. RAM is a transition for Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter from robots who brought the mainstream world the best electronic music ever produced to now finding their way back to humanity and reminding people what real music, instruments, and soul feel like.
Last night, Prince alongside his new mastermind project of 3RDEYEGIRL launched a west coast residency taking course over the next month. I had the pleasure of being in attendance for both shows and wanted to give you the inside scoop. Check out my full review:
On a chilly Canadian night, Prince kicked off the first of a 9 city, 34 show west coast residency with back to back shows at the Vogue Theatre, an intimate 1000 capacity venue. Seeing one of the most iconic entertainment figures in music history at this stage in his career play anything less than a stadium is few and far between, so I was surprised to see backlash from some against $250 ticket prices (most venues sold out instantly). It isn’t cheap, but compared to other entertainment, how outrageous is it versus sitting courtside at any NBA game (or up close in general at any sporting event), let alone spending hundreds or thousands of dollars at a night club on bottle service? I mean, we are talking about witnessing a legend to legends from a spitting distance, a once in a life time opportunity for most. Luckily, the show and introduction of 3RDEYEGIRL lived up to the price of admission in every way.
After getting an overwhelming response from my twitter pals after writing a tweet about my dissatisfaction with parts of this years GRAMMY Awards ceremony, I decided to go through line by line several major categories to show what at least I felt was wrong with the GRAMMY’s, and also address why they happened and some core changes the Recording Academy needs to make. First off, let me state i am an Academy member and actually pretty involved in many elements from speaking to kids as part of their MusiCares Charity, hosting events at the GRAMMY HQ themselves with the NARAS. Add in being a huge music fan obviously, I recognize the honor the GRAMMY’s are, and am striving to get my own one day.
I have a pretty good insight and have seen first hand how everything works, and am making this commentary and these suggestions in hopes of some people reading them and hopefully getting a conversation going so changes can be made for the better of everyone. Now before i get going, it is important to note there are a few HUGE major core issues with the GRAMMY award process in general that plague everything. Steve Stoute even took out a full page ad in the New York Times blasting the NARAS and had some valid points in his letter. Although I don’t necessarily agree with him on everything, as it isn’t all about sales, it is supposed to be about quality… but most of the time massive sales indicate a product is good (not always, most). In my opinion, the biggest thing that all industries have needed to do are evolve with the times, and what may have worked 50 years ago doesn’t necessarily anymore. Evolution happens, roll with it and make the changes to stay relevant and accurate with the times.
It all started when someone whispered to me asking if I wanted to check out Prince’s secret show. Despite my typical allergen towards Hollywood event, feeling a little sick, and being jet lagged after coming back from the Presidential Debate in Boca Raton, I didn’t even have to think before my mouth opened and screamed yes. I mean, its Prince, or whatever he prefers to go by now since modern keyboards don’t have a symbol for the symbol, so I didn’t have an option, right? I would have regretted it the rest of my life.
To set the stage, a month ago in Las Vegas the biggest moment of the massive iHeartRadio music festival, that I was also the DJ for, was when Prince came out as a surprise guest. I watched as every artist backstage literally ran out to catch a glimpse just to watch him play guitar for Mary J Blige for a few minutes. To now have the opportunity to see him for the second time in a month, but this time in an intimate setting all by himself would be priceless and impossible to turn down no matter how I was feeling. By the time the night ended just past 2:00 am, I was magically cured from all of my ailments thanks to one of the greatest artists of our time.