Tag Archives: In Memory

Prince Dead at 57

This video has long been my go-to mood enhancer. Of the many, many amazing performances Prince has recorded over the years, this is the one I go back to again and again. There are so many reason why, but a few that come to mind are:

    • If I could play guitar like anyone it would be Jay Bennett, George Harrison or Prince. This hits two of the three
    • Prince’s inclusion elevates the performance from a tribute from pals (famous and talented ones, at that) to a celebration of a song and its writer who inspired and affected so many people
    • Prince absolutely mops the floor with his solo
    • His guitar disappears at the end. Seriously, where did it go?
    • The look on Dhani Harrison’s face throughout Prince’s solo is pure gold

Prince’s Guitar Solo during “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at the 2004 Hall of Fame Inductions

Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others -- "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

There are few celebrity deaths that would affect me personally—unlike that of a family member or friend, I might miss their artistry, but not their person. Prince’s death has affected me though. I am genuinely sad to hear of his passing. I think it’s because his public persona, the character he’s created and refined throughout his years as a public figure, is exactly what we want musicians to be. Yes, he was successful financially. More importantly, he was unique but cognizant and respectful of what had come before him. He confounded us with genre mash-ups and confusing name changes. He was the guy who wrote “Darling Nikki” and then extolled the virtues of being a Jahovah’s Witness. He was…interesting. Endlessly interesting.

He really seemed to exist on a higher plane.

If anyone felt music, it was Prince. You can see it in his face and his body. He created the wavelengths and then let himself be taken by them. He had that golden combination of science and soul. I don’t think Prince ever once in his life simply ran scales.

So yes, I am sad today and will genuinely miss Prince’s existence in the world. And I’ll lean heavily on my go-to mood enhancer to get through it.

Godspeed to his Purple Badness.

InMemory – In So Many Words

InMemoryIn So Many Words (DoughMain)

Whether you’re down with skate culture or not, you’ve got to admire the spirit of its followers. A movement that is continuing to grow exponentially, it’s an activity that requires the utmost fervor. You can almost see the parallels between skaters and hipsters (even though you’ll never hear a hipster admit that). Both sub-cultures require a devotion–lame or not, they make you earn your stripes.

Just as the X-Games has become a legitimate sporting event, skate culture has been accompanied by a certain brand of emo-punk-metal that is easy to hear if you watch MTV2 for fifteen minutes. Every year it seems we get a new influx of these bands and they never seem to differentiate much from the generation before. InMemory sets its sights on infiltrating this lucrative niche with their debut, In So Many Words.

Think Thursday without the abstract lyricism, Brand New without the narrative storytelling, My Chemical Romance without the stupid makeup (didn’t they know that was The Icarus Line’s shtick, anyway?). In So Many Words is as predictable as you’d expect with such a hefty lineup of influences, but InMemory isn’t nearly as offensive as some of the more irritating (trying to avoid using the word “screamo”) bands on the airwaves. Truly, the band fits easily within its defined sub-culture. If the idea of heavy-hearted lyrics and jagged hardcore/softcore dynamics appeal to you (no judgements being passed here), In So Many Words might just appeal to you. It doesn’t have the eclecticism to tie together fans of varied genres and, as is almost always the case in such a situation, the walls InMemory builds around its style prevent it from progressing past a pleasant, semi-hardcore album.

It’s no surprise that InMemory has already built a devoted cult following–skater kids latch onto their bands obsessively and will ride them all the way to the Warped Tour main stage. Next summer, that could be very well be InMemory’s itinerary.