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King Princess releases a feverish video for “Prophet”

King Princess | still from video

King Princess videos are consistently delirious, dreamlike, and fiercely bizarre, but in the best way possible. As someone who keeps up to date with her releases, and therefore is familiar with her wild antics, they do lose a bit of the initial shock value over time. Nonetheless, her artistic vision is still not lost on avid listeners.

Earlier this summer, King Princess released the track “Prophet,” a song much darker and serious than other recent singles like “Cheap Queen.” The chorus of the tune channels the energy of a deep obsession as she sings “’Cause I can only think about you and what it’s like to walk around you and why they like to talk about you.”  While other artists might pair a song of this nature with a more overtly sinister video, King Princess takes a playful approach. Continue reading →

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Harold Prince, Broadway impresario and Penn and WXPN alum passes

Harold Prince | screenshot from PBS documentary “Harold Prince: The Director’s Life”

Harold Prince, the legendary Broadway producer, director, and multiple Tony award winner, passed away last Wednesday, July 31 in Iceland. He was 91 years old. Prince’s work included some of the most iconic Broadway productions from the 60s and 70s, and even into the 80s, including West Side Story, Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, Evita, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Evita, and The Phantom of the Opera. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: King Princess will bring “Prophet” and more to the Fillmore this fall

King Princess | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Over the last year, King Princess has been drip-feeding her growing fan base with singles and tours. She’s decided to continue that cycle this week with the announcement of a fall tour and the release of a new single. The Brooklyn-based artist, real name Mikaela Strauss, will play The Filmore on Monday, November 4th. Get ready for her show by spinning her latest track, the slinky “Prophet”.

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song(s) of the Week: “Manic Monday” and “The Glamorous Life” by Prince

Prince Originals | via The Current

When Prince died in 2016, a hefty collection of unreleased music was left behind — a collection that the legendary artist clearly intended to keep hidden. Over the past year, his estate has begun sifting through it, first for Piano and a Microphone 1983, and now for  a compilation of polished demos for songs he gifted to other artists, many of which went on to become those artists’ signature songs. 

The new album Originals features tracks like “Sex Shooter” (originally for Apollonia 6), “Jungle Love” (originally for Morris Day and The Time), and “Nothing Compares 2 U” (made famous by Sinéad O’Connor). Continue reading →

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The Prince Estate shares rare Paisley Park footage set to “Manic Monday” demo

Prince Originals | via The Current

Last year, the Prince estate shared Piano & a Microphone 1983, a release that blurred ethical lines for many. When Prince died in 2016, a hefty collection of unreleased music was left behind — a collection that the legendary artist clearly intended to keep hidden. This year, his estate has shared a compilation of polished demos for songs he gifted to other artists, many of which went on to become those artists’ signature songs. 

Raising further questions about whether or not Prince would be devastated to know that these recordings reached the public’s ears, Originals features tracks like “Sex Shooter” (originally for Apollonia 6), “Jungle Love” (originally for Morris Day and The Time), and “Nothing Compares 2 U” (made famous by Sinéad O’Connor). Continue reading →

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Prince probably never wanted us to hear Piano & A Microphone 1983

Prince’s Piano and a Microphone 1983

Prince‘s death is potentially the greatest moneymaker his estate could ever ask for. With the notoriously picky and reserved artist no longer at the reins, they are not only free make his music more widely accessible — finally making much of his discography available on streaming services last year — but they’re also free to dig into his legendary Paisley Park vault. With today’s release of the first posthumous Prince album, the rest of us stay caught between the allure of more classic Prince and the certainty that we’re experiencing his art in a way he never would have wanted. Continue reading →

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Celebrate Prince’s birthday with this beautiful gospel cover, newly uncovered from 1983

Prince’s Piano & A Microphone 1983 | via Brooklyn Vegan

Today would have been Prince‘s 60th birthday, and to mark the occasion, a new release from his storied archives has been announced. Piano & A Microphone: 1983 is nine solo songs performed by Prince and recorded at his studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

The track list includes renditions of “Purple Rain” and “International Lover,” a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” and a cover of “Mary, Don’t You Weep,” a gospel song with roots dating back before the Civil War that is best known in its 1957 recording by The Swan Silvertones. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: William Prince got real personal to kick off day three

William Prince | photo by Senia Lopez for WXPN | www.senialopez.photography

Canadian folk singer-songwriter William Prince sings with his heart, and is not afraid to be vulnerable on stage. To kick off day three of the NonCOMM Convention, the Juno Award winner gave us a performance that hits ya right in the feels. His soulful vocals and storytelling skills made his performance so memorable. His music is inspired by all aspects of his life, and “Breathless” from his most recent album Earthly Days was one of the songs that truly depicted those raw feelings; he dedicated the song to his wife. Towards end his set, Prince sung an unpublished track dedicated to his father, who passed a bit of time ago. It was a soulful tear jerker that left my heart aching. Continue reading →

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Listen to an incredible recording of Elliott Smith at Princeton, NJ’s Terrace Club in April of 1997

Elliott Smith | photo by Autumn DeWilde

Before he made a beautifully understated suit-clad performance at the Oscars, before his Figure 8 album cover turned the mural at 4330 West Sunset Boulevard into a L.A. tourist destination, before he tragically died at age 34, Elliott Smith was a singer with an acoustic guitar and some beautifully sad songs, traveling the country and playing gigs.

In April of 1997, Smith was on an east coast run in support of Either / Or — an album which, along with his self titled record from 1995, are essential documents of his minimal, home-recorded Kill Rock Stars years — and the tour came through Princeton, New Jersey’s Terrace Club on April 12, 1997. Continue reading →