Another Christmas and Guitar Solos

Last year, I posted about my Christmas and how much I was brought down because of the only item I didn’t on my list.

Not this time (though in the case of another gift, the wrong version of soundtrack was given to me. My dad seemed slightly embarassed by the fact my face didn’t glow when I opened his gift, though my mom was the one who picked up the wrong one because she “couldn’t find” the one with Johnny Depp in it… there’ll be another time to go down to FYE, return it and get the copy of Sweeny Todd I want and just might get the movie as well)

Since my mom lost the list on her first outing to shop with my dad, we were given the chance to write up our lists again. This time, I added “21 Nights” to the list because I happened to see it at Borders (in the mall & at the shopping center with Best Buy, etc.).

And I got it. I haven’t cracked it open yet, but it sure looks nice. Gigantic at best, haha.

We spent Christmas at my aunt’s and it was A LOT of people there. Out of my mom’s 10 siblings, all but 4 showed up. On top of that were the spouses, two kids under the age of 3 and a handful of my cousins. Half of the time, they spent watching “A Christmas Story” on TV and the other half was eating.
What ultimately robbed me of sleep later was everyone asking me about grad school. I’m still refuting the idea. Then I gave myself a scare. Based on the reaction to my works on WEbook, I’m not sure if my writing is good enough to make a career out of it. With “The Word” on my mind early, I thought it’d be a great idea to try working on a book about Prince that would show him the way he was meant to be seen. Depending on what “21 Nights” is like, I may or may not go through with it because there might not be a need. That book might be all Prince needs to show people so they’ll know him and understand him. And it wasn’t like his goal in life was to be completely understood and respect anyway.
My writing and mind was sharp because the idea of him was so new. Now that I’ve gotten used to him and the thrill is pretty much gone, what else is there? Aside from him, is my writing even that good? I’m afraid that its not going to go over as well as I’d like it to. And if my writing isn’t as good as I thought it was, what the hell am I gonna do with my life? Writing makes me happy, but it won’t support me if its no good.

All of those thoughts went through my head the past night, so while I was listening to a handful of Prince tracks, I wasn’t in the best of sorts.
Before I did so, out of curiosity, I played my favorite album when I was 14. The music rushed back to me and it struck me as strange that I forgot some of the lyrics, but wow, I remember why Dream Street was so huge for me. There was no other group like them and never will be. So what if they were pre-packaged pop, Broadway kids pluked from a set of auditions, with their music pre-written and their moves choreographed? Yet I remember so much about them. Even stranger, Jesse McCartney was one of them and I discovered him through them. How much he has changed. How much I had changed.
I’d written so much fanfiction about them, but maybe I could write a story on them someday.

Also before bed, we managed to catch the 2nd half of “Christmas Vacation” on one of the HBO or CineMAX channels and it was definitely worth seeing it from that point. I saw everything from the snow-disc riding downhill up until the very end. I watched the credits and Mavis Staples sung the theme song for the movie. First I was disappointed for missing the opening credits (all animated, haha). Then I noticed it was “courtesy of Paisley Park Records.” I checked and Prince didn’t write the song, but it was recorded his studio. Pretty cool, huh?

Guitar solos were on my mind when I went to bed. Maybe I should check out one guitar solo from every album I own and see how much his guitar playing had improved over the years. Part of what I learned from some of them was that “if you got a song so great, what use is the rest of the album?” I was listening to “I’m Yours” and thinking maybe I wanted to listen to the rest of the For U album, but I decided against it.

I got through the following before my back started to give me grief:

*I’m Yours
– simply incredible!! Love that track!
*When you were mine
-the only guitar related track on the whole album and I dig that acoustic guitar
*Private Joy
-which I’m starting to get sick of, haha
*Little Red Corvette
-the only guitar in there was Dez’s guitar solo and also in the background during the following chorus… kinda hard to hear it over Prince’s vocals, haha
*Purple Rain
-HELLO? How could I not, right? It’s THE guitar solo track, the mother of them all. Long before this track’s creation, Prince said that his favorite part of performing was his guitar solos. Just loved doing them. Honestly I wasn’t really feeling this track last night. Too many thoughts in my head
*Temptation
-again, what’s the use of the rest of the album when this is the best part? Though I haven’t listened to this in a long time, not since I put it back on my iPOD. Its everything you could want from Prince during his raunchy days. The screaming is hilarious! Of course, a lot of sick guitar too.
*Alexa de Paris
– there really isn’t a strong guitar track on this album, but as a b-side, it totally rocks. It is the center and the momentum for this track. The driving force. In fact, it sounds too good to be constructed to the last detail. That’s right, I said that this jam session was a complete accident. He was playing guitar, seeing what would come out, channeling some sort of emotion (to me, it sounds like freedom because it just goes all over).

Since “Sign o’ the Times” is made of two discs, I decided to play two songs, one from each disc.

*Play in the Sunshine
– the only guitar in the whole disc, I believe. Haha. I wasn’t exactly paying attention, though. I was too busy trying to figure out what guitar tracks are in the next two albums.
*I can never take a place of ur man
-guitar is the central instrument for this whole track and there’s not as much emphasis on the solos, but there is more to a guitar than a solo. It can be the driving force too.

Finally with the next two albums, I decided on a couple of tracks. I don’t quite recall any of other tracks that use this much guitar in The Black Album & LoveSexy besides these:

*Bob George
-towards the end, there is a lot of guitar. But when I first put it on, I knew it was a mistake playing this one in the dark (throughout the whole speil, I was in bed playing all of these songs with the lights off). I knew that it didnt feel right. I started to feel a little sick, actually, with my back aching and such. Can’t deny a good track, though.

*Glam Slam
-I don’t remember if any of other tracks in LoveSexy use any guitar. This was the first one that sprung to mine, based on the entrance. One thing I noticed was how much it differed from The Black Album, the whole LoveSexy. It felt more whimsical and free.

At this point, I decided that I’d play two more tracks and then call it quits for the night. There was no way I’d get through one track from every album I owned that night.
But I was left with a problem that I resolved by playing two tracks from the same album.

I’d played Graffiti Bridge so little since one of my friends sent the tracks to me (minus the associated artist tracks and “NPG Part II”)… so I didn’t know which track had THE guitar solo that best demonstrated his ability. I narrowed it down to:

*The ? of U
-pretty familiar with this one. It plays the melody and takes over for the rest of the song. It sounds almost live cuz its so impressive
*Joy in Repetiton
-I swear listening to this made me feel weightless and my mind was somewhere else. It was lost within the song’s hypnotic engage. Slowly the words came to me from memory. Then the guitar in here was more like Prince’s typical best, maybe even better. An amazing solo…

That album will probably need some more play, but I need to at least finish going through a guitar solo from every album I have to finish this entry up.

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