Thursday, February 08, 2007

Prince...Isn't...Very Good. Sorry.

Everybody comes from something. Entertainment enthusiasts make a fetish out of identifying influences. It's fun, but eventually it becomes a snake eating itself. In the world of pawed over minutiae, where the majority of people consider themselves not just consumers of entertainment, but collectors and aesthetes, not a whole lot is really obscure any more.

Gushing about Prince on the SuperBowl is about over now. I don't see the attraction.

If you're tapped to entertain at the SuperBowl, you've jumped the shark. Old, tired things are appropriate there. It's a kind of proof you're old and in the way. Prince got that way without ever being important.

He's all derivative. He doesn't come from something. He is nothing except cut and paste rock/funk pastiche. There's no there there. It's all somewhere else. Being an artist often makes you odd. Just being odd doesn't make you an artist. Pretending to be odd, trying to be mistaken for an artist, is just plain band-in-the-hotel-lounge lame. Prince is that lame.

I can watch the fellows Prince tamely copies, and it's not like I can't see where they got their stuff from. Hendrix would tell you all about Albert King, for instance. But great artists distill things into their own elixir. Prince is just a card table with one of everything he's shoplifted on it. Or maybe an erector set, with all the pieces laid out on the floor, never to be assembled. The erector set - the attention-- should be given to someone that knows what to do with it.

I looked at the tube last Sunday, and he was playing Proud Mary, for goshsakes. He's not even a good wedding band; that's too lame for any reception now.

I can't see Prince and not see the gears turning in his head. Who am I like now?

Prince watched James Brown, and never was a patch on him. He's not talented enough to copy him, and not artistic enough to make something in that vein of his own.

James Brown watched Joe Tex, and made James Brown out of it. That's different. Way different.


P_J said...

Well, my friend, I must disagree.

Not only is everybody ripping off somebody else, I also think Prince does in fact add his own unique style, personality and talent to the mix. Not even Mozart was totally original.

Superbowl shark-jumping? Sure, but that includes U2, Paul McCartney, The Stones, and others who will leave a meaningful legacy. So I think Superbowling is inconclusive.

Or, to summarize your post:
The fact that you're dead wrong about Prince doesn't diminish my respect for you ... much.

SippicanCottage said...

I said I was sorry before I started.

XWL said...

What should the penalty for 'Church of the Skinny Purple One' apostasy be?

(technically, this wouldn't be a case of apostasy as it would seem that the proprietor here was never a fan)

All I know is there are doves weeping over this post, sugarwalls are turning sour, and my starfish and coffee doesn't quite taste as good.

SippicanCottage said...

I said I was sorry before I started.

Anonymous said...

I never understood Prince's appeal either. Thanks for putting it into words. Now I know why.
-Deb in Madison

SippicanCottage said...

I said I was right before I started.