KISS

FIRST ENCOUNTERS WITH A SEXY MOTHERFUCKER
April 25, 2016 12:56 am

We’re done crying now.

The shock has worn off.

That or my brain still refuses to fully accept the situation. Either way, the Beasts and I are choosing to smile.

I’m no expert on Prince. But I saw the blow bounce around the office on Thursday. The collective lurch we all experienced upon hearing that news.

EVERYBODY loved Prince. Probably because Prince was pretty much all about Love. So, in an effort to celebrate that love, I gathered together a few of my fellow Beasts to share their personal Greatest Hits’ of Prince.

*****

I think he introduced me to sex through Purple Rain. I saved for 3 weeks to buy the vinyl then snuck it into my basement and listened to it religiously until I finally could see the movie. That movie opened my eyes to so many things like family dynamic, love, sex and trying to be an artist. Then later “Get Off” was my jam. That song exudes sexuality. I mean just watch the video.

Prince inspired me on every level and in every way.

-Kim

The first time I heard Prince was when I snuck into my sister’s room when she wasn’t home so that I could use her stereo to listen to the radio. I was in the 3rd grade and not allowed to listen to the radio alone. I turned to the station where I had recently heard a UB40 song for the first time, so I had a sweet spot there. That’s when “Kiss” played. I didn’t know what this feeling was, but somehow I knew, at that very moment, I was being educated. I locked my door, closed my eyes, and whipped my frizzy head of hair around as if that was only way to listen to something like that.

If I didn’t obey the rules before, I sure as hell wouldn’t start after that. 

-Annie

I will never forget my mother blasting Prince’s greatest hits through the house every Saturday when we had our weekly house cleaning dance party. Although I’m deeply saddened, it has helped to know how he was multitalented and a recording maniac.  I love that all of that sound and precision could come from one single individual.

Most importantly the man was a guitar God, not to mention I’m convinced he was the sexiest person of all time. All 5 feet and two inches of him. The man was a sex idol in the most elegant of ways.

RIP, you sexy beast.

-Desarae

*****

It’s not shocking to see the common threads. Of course Prince seems like music you should have to listen to in secret when you’re young. OF COURSE it gives people sexual awakenings.

And the beautiful thing is that it will continue to do that for as long as the human race listens to music. There are already decades of artists influenced by Prince. Even a decade or two of artists influenced by artists that were influenced by Prince. He spawned and expanded a whole branch on the tree of music genre.

It’s normal to feel shocked. But don’t dwell too much on the Prince you lost. Instead find the Prince out there in your world today. Find that feeling he gave you when you listened to his music for the first time.

Find that next Prince. Whether it’s a musician or an artist or a lover. Go out and make some new little Prince fans. I’m pretty sure that Sexiest of Motherfuckers would prefer that to anything that could be called moping.

If you still are having trouble putting a smile on your face, I’ll leave your with a word from Ian. A Princely Parable, if you will…

*****

One time in high school I was showering at the gym, like where there’s a bunch of shower stalls in a row with curtains, and “When Doves Cry” came on the crazy loud stereo. So I obviously had to start dancing like the not-giving-a-fuck-badass that I am, except I slipped and got tangled up in the curtain and fell out of the stall onto the floor. Everyone laughed but I played it cool, because how can you not with Prince in the air?

#traumatic.

-Ian

READY OR NOT- MYZICA IS POISED TO BREAK OUT
November 9, 2015 2:46 pm

It’s official. The 80’s – so hot right now.

This is actually not news. This is a trend that has been building over the last decade and is now in full swing. For proof see Daft Punk’s 2013 Grammy Album of the Year, R.A.M. (hint: the secret ingredient is disco). Dozens of bands have been taking part in this trend, but one of the latest is Nashville’s Myzica. After forming in early 2014, Isaaca Byrd and Micah Tawlks produced a slick self-titled synth-pop EP that is quite easy to love. The band manages to do what many others operating in this space can’t (see: the new 1975 song). They take the best parts of 80’s synth pop and fuse it with everything that has come since. It’s a style that acknowledges that there is a reason 80’s music is going through its resurgence, but there’s also a reason some things got left in the 80’s.

myz

Photo by @Josh.redmon

The first song off the EP is the first Myzica song ever, “Ready or Not. It’s also pretty damn groovy. What separates this from other synth-pop songs of the 80’s and today is that it’s not overblown. They knew when to stop- when there were too many things going on. This is a trend that drives not only this song, but much of Myzcia’s music. The bouncy pocket of the verse in this song comes from the scarcity of the drums, bass and guitar. Each instrument is playing something reserved, yet interesting. The parts work together to build a tasty bed of greens for the Isaaca’s Raspberry-vinaigrette voice (sweet, with a bit of bite; adds significant color).

Friday the band opened for COIN at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville. Their promising EP seeded high expectations that the band followed through on. Isaaca and Micah were joined on stage by Garreth Spinn on guitar and Dabney Morris on drums. The pair fit in nicely, playing the syncopated parts with energy and flare, but without overstepping their bounds. Morris did a nice job integrating the various electronic drum noises without losing the feel of the song, and Spinn impressed not only with his complex-yet-reserved rhythm guitar, but also with his spry dance moves.

A highlight of the set came with a performance of Myzica’s newest release, a cover of “I Was Made For Lovin You” by KISS. This is a perfect cover for them. The original is from the time period that the genre references, but not exactly from the genre itself. Their version is fresh and dancy, different from the original, but still fueled by its nostalgia. While this seemed to be missed by the significant portion of the crowd that was there for COIN (aka: in high school), it did release a blast of energy into the room.

The stellar performance was hindered by only a few things, and keep in mind, this is being pretty nit-picky. Firstly, the band would benefit from more dynamic lighting. You can’t blame them here too much, as they were not the headlining act and therefore didn’t get the full treatment. But the groovy, exciting music calls for a groovy, exciting stage atmosphere to match. Myzica could also benefit from having a higher quality sound maintenance. While the sound was by no means bad, it seemed like it was not the ideal mix for them. Again, the venue had to leave room for the headline to come on after and sound better/louder, but the issue was more the mix than the volume. Isaaca’s voice was clear, but the synth sounds didn’t quite match up with the acoustic ones. In particular, the electric drum sounds lacked the body and presence they needed to fill out the songs.

Finally, the band needs a pinch more stage presence. When the music is super active, this is not a problem. For instance, when Isaaca was singing, she was captivating. She carried an energy and excitement that was contagious. But when she stepped back from the mic, that energy melted away. While she shouldn’t be in the forefront for the whole show, the group could find a way to carry that intensity throughout the more “low-energy” parts of the set.

These “issues” might seem trivial to some, but they stood out because everything else about the group was so polished. They are great musicians with great songs. They have a cool look and a cool sound. With a few tweaks, their live performance could go from “a lot of fun” to “absolutely bonkers.”

I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.