In a year with fantastic albums by Run the Jewels, Slowdive, Kendrick Lamar, and Zola Jesus, my favorite “new” album of the year was recorded back in the early 80’s. For my favorite album of 2017, I’m choosing disc 2 of the Purple Rain Deluxe — Expanded Edition. This is the disc containing unreleased tracks from the Purple Rain era. For those of us still heartbroken a year and a half after Prince’s death, this album served as a reassuring communique from somewhere beyond all those April rains. These are recordings for Prince in his euphoric creative prime. All the purple majesty, mastery, and weirdness that we loved him for. You get the sense from these recordings that Prince really felt he had no boundaries. That he could do anything. And when you realize these tracks were recorded in the same time period that he made Purple Rain, well, it’s hard not to be astonished. Awed. Since last November I was worried that Prince was perhaps off by a decade-and-a-half. “Two-thousand one-seven, party’s over. Whoop’s out of time.” But listening today, in 2017, I can’t help but feel inspired and hopeful for a world of Computer Blue. A world where we can dance the Dance Electric. Where we can have Electric Intercourse and play with Katrina’s Paper Dolls. Thank you Prince.
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Harriet Tubman is one of America’s most beloved historical figures but has sadly been largely relegated to just a few facts during Black History Month. This incredible ex-slave, spy, cook, nurse, public speaker and rescuer deserves a story worthy of her stature.
“Minty” – tentatively titled after Tubman’s nickname – is a “reimagining” of Harriet Tubman as an action hero. It is a period piece with a modern flare.