The Peach & Black Podcast

This Aussie Prince podcast recently followed me on Twitter, so as my thanks for that… I’m finally gonna get around to doing this entry.
Whether or not I’ll get it all done in the same day is yet to be seen. [this is my third day going back to it, so no]

I don’t know where I first heard about them. I think I saw threads about them on prince.org all those years ago, but I never clicked or followed a link. My fellow Purple Knight (who came up his own podcast where I’d occasionally appear under this moniker) might have mentioned them a few times, just in saying they did a great job and he hoped our podcast could be as good as theirs.

The one difference other than the location… legality. The Purple Knights podcasts have been removed a couple times, even when only brief clips of songs appeared.
Let’s see… I think I appeared on Purple Rain, Come vs. The Gold Experience, briefly on a Wendy & Lisa album discussion…

But I’m here to talk about Peach & Black and why I think they’re awesome 😛

I listened to them a couple of times last year, I think. I remember listening to Purple Rain and 1999 (at the time, I think they took a while to post part 2 of 1999). And I think Come and The Gold Experience. Kinda paints a picture of what my favorite albums were.

Within the last couple months, I’ve listened to several. But not all. I want to save a couple of them for the new year- when I’m going through Prince’s catalogue in order to celebrate him being a part of my music collection for the past 10 years.

Even since opting for the 12 o’clock (opposed to 12:30) lunch break at work, I needed to find a way to make time move faster.
Granted, I love my job and put a lot of time and effort into it. But the last 2 hours of the day tend to drag. [And I’m not the only one who does it- as long as we keep the volume down and the iPods hidden in our pockets, it’s all good]. It’s a bit easier also compared to listening to music- it’s easier to get distracted and develop major OCD, making sure everything is right on a page before I move to the next one.

Admittedly, I have too much fun with this podcast sometimes. I laugh out loud more than couple times and once I had to actually stop listening for the last half hour of my workday because I was laughing too hard and couldn’t continue. [I will disclose which moment that was, no worries].

All I can kinda say before I got into this further:
If I ever vacation again in Australia (went to Sydney in December 2010 as a dual-post-graduation present), it’d be cool to meet up with any of these guys. Although I hope doing so doesn’t “ruin the illusion” or whatever.
And I wished this was around in 2007 when all of this was beginning for me. But I don’t regret my early ties to prince.org because I learned a lot from all those people. And many of them were generous enough to send me albums or whatever else… they said I couldn’t be properly educated unless I hear some bootlegs. I still have more than I know what to do with- and haven’t even listened to everything yet.

As they always do, they start with “the hosts”… so that’s where I’ll start.

I’d spend so much time with these guys, they’re kinda like my new best friends. Of course that says so much about my social life [meh… all us being on computers all day, it’s kind of isolating, but I’d always been a shy introvert that has trouble beginning a conversation].
And I’d gotten to know their individual quirks or at least their voices.

MC is the host (which I guess is why he chose the name). I used to think of him as the most level-headed one of the group. He always kept things on track and running smoothly within the narrative.
Then I started to get to know him more and I couldn’t be more wrong 😛 when he’s enthusiastic (for better or for worse) about a Prince track or album, he is not shy about it. He goes full in- Captain too.

Captain was the first of the guys I was able to identify. His voice has so much energy and combined with the Aussie accent, it is always entertaining. Whether he’s a huge fan of something or he isn’t. And his opinions are like a box of chocolates. You don’t always know what you’re going to get.
Just to give a quick overview, he likes a lot of tracks that are universally hated and he hates some tracks that are fan favorites.

Toejam, I think I remember seeing him on prince.org a few times, but I don’t remember anything specific. Except I think he was one of those guys who wrote posts longer than me [google DreamyPopRoyalty and I’m sure you’ll find any of my old posts on there… I’d done everything but trademark that moniker on an official website] and they were succinct and technical. On the podcast, he’s always the musician of the group. He picks up the chords, he picks up the instruments and how songs are put together. And he’s played bits of songs on the air, which is always really cool to listen to because he hits all the notes as if the original was being played.

Player [although I say it written as “Playa”]- his voice is the lowest and grittiest of the four, which is how I was able to pick him out second of the four.
As for his personal tastes, I agree with him on a lot of tracks, but I can’t remember anything specific.
That isn’t to say I don’t find him interesting… it’s just hard to remember when Captain is so damn hilarious to listen to. [Toejam and Player are the ones a little more laidback, it feels like. Not quite as enthusiastic… although there was one exception with Toejam I’ll include later]

I might go in length on this another time next year, but prince.org was never short of interesting when I was a big part of that place. I got a lot of attention because my posts were lengthy, heartfelt and enthusiastic. But there were a handful of people I didn’t get along with because they thought I was an idiot newbie drinking the purple Kool-Aid.
But there were also a handful of people I didn’t like reading posts from because they were always negative or they liked to hate on certain Prince songs and so on. Some I really liked.

The point I’m getting with this… if Captain was posting on prince.org in 2007/2008, I don’t think I would have liked him very much.

But after having time away from Prince, I’ve honed my own personal tastes, I can take criticisms of him more easily and I can accept a difference in opinion.
I mean, there are some tracks adored by fans that I don’t personally like either.

One point where we would have disagreed years ago- he is the sole voice I’d heard who loved Tony M’s contributions to Prince’s music. He went on a rant about him, saying he did what Prince wanted him to do and just said how he was awesome.
It took me a while to really like Tony’s contributions. I’m still not a fan of Prince rapping or Tony rapping, but I don’t have that outstanding hatred anymore. [Peach & Black had him on as a guest for one show and it was one of the best shows they ever did- I learned so much from behind the scenes, like how he choreographed some stuff in Purple Rain and appeared as a dancer at First Avenue. He was such a cool guy to listen to- made sorry for anything negative I said or felt about him previously… not like I was relentless or anything]

But when Captain doesn’t like something… give him room to rant 😛
“Valentina” on MPLSound… omg, I lost it… I can’t quote it exactly but he said something “I don’t like the music, I don’t like the beat, I don’t like the lyrics…” he said “I don’t like” at least five times…

He had that one LOL moment where I had to stop listening- when he and MC met Prince and Jim Crow came into the conversation… his comment was… I just freaking died 😛

One of the best moments in the history of the podcast- the battle of MC and Captain over “The Morning After”… MC hates it and Captain loved it and kept bringing it up… and MC got increasingly annoyed. Seeing them have this exchange would have been :falloff: hilarious, but the voices alone… what a good time.

the one stand-out of Captain dislikes- “If I was your girlfriend”…

he also likes the weirdest songs… notably “Wedding Feast”… just what?
then when he said he liked “Man in a Uniform”… I applauded. I always liked that one. but I also had no idea it was disliked so much.

Some of his Captain-isms:
“blow your head off” [it sounds even cooler with the accent]
and “It’s just a song”

I’m going to listen to the Planet Earth podcast soon… and I’m probably not going to like him quite as much afterwards. But it’s my first new Prince release… so I’m kinda protective of it 😛 and I get a little bent out of shape that it’s universally disliked among his fans.
The Rainbow Children gets rave reviews and Planet Earth gets trampled because it’s R&B anyone else could do?

MC standout moments…
well, him reviewing the Gold Experience and saying how it’s maybe his favorite album… that already makes me a fan of him. [I can’t wait to go over that podcast again- I don’t remember if I heard it the first time but every now and then he brings up TGE as one of those classic Prince albums]
it was sad to hear him rant about how “Beautiful, Loved and Blessed” kinda ruined 3121- not cuz I love the song, but he has such a good attitude about Prince’s music and it’s always kinda sad to hear him HATE anything.
and of course the notorious Batman show where he officially retired from rating albums because he gave it a 4.

The notorious “Batman rating”… I think someone else, probably Captain, gave another album “the Batman rating”… maybe MPLSound [cuz he doesn’t like R&B]? I don’t remember.
But I agree- I’m not all that jazzed about Batman. It’s good and decent when I haven’t heard it in a while, but hearing it a few times in a given month… eh…

I’ll go into more detail at a later date, but Batman is probably near the bottom of the barrel of Prince albums for me. That and maybe The Black Album. Just don’t listen to them all that much and I don’t always look forward to them.

And now I guess I have to take a break from this because it’ll be time to leave soon and I can’t think any more highlights to mention.

Back again… and I survived the Planet Earth review.
I didn’t read a lot of the posts about it on prince.org when it came out because I wanted to get my own opinion. But the overall impression is people thought it was crap.

At least when these guys don’t like something, they can be tactful about it. And to a point, if they don’t like something, I can understand why.

Planet Earth, I can understand why there’s negativity towards it. “Mr. Good-night” is my jam so much that I ended up writing fan fiction that eventually led to bringing that song to life. But I can understand why a lot of guys just don’t get it… it’s a freaking fantasy track.

“Future Baby Mama”- Player said he just didn’t like the title. I completely agree- the only thing that kinda keeps the song from being perfect.

“Lion of Judah” split the panel the way “The Dance” did on 3121… and funny enough, it split the same way. Player and Captain don’t like it, but Toejam and MC do.
I like it a lot… although not quite getting the lyrics. It’s more about the music for me anyway.

“Resolution”… bleh, I haven’t heard that song in years. The last few times I played the album, I’d actually stopped before I got to it.

And I’m sure if this was back in 2007, we would’ve had an argument over “Chelsea Rodgers”… it was the one song I didn’t like on the album because it was so different.
The funk had to grow on me.
Shelby J also took it over a bit for me and I’m not a huge fan.

I was saying how I had nothing about Player that I really remembered- no stand-out moments or isms. He gave a really summation of NewPower Soul, explaining why the album didn’t work as a Prince album, asking why it wasn’t credited to him (the reason made perfect sense), and saying Shelby J. kinda takes over songs when they perform live and distracts. That’s the one criticism I had about The Twinz. At least when Mayte or Cat danced with Prince, they gave another facet to the performance and enhanced it rather than taking away from it.

Speaking of isms, MC did one on the “1999” podcast where we all laughed collectively.
“Who does this?”- every time he’s over the moon about something in a Prince song or his music in general, he says “who does this?”

Captain had one more I just remembered… now I can’t remember it 😛 just a couple days ago, he started following me on Twitter… and I can’t imagine why. I’d been plugging Peach & Black like crazy and they’d like a lot of my comments about the podcast.
I’m kinda hoping it’s like prince.org where I developed some friendships (granted, I only maintained the one and we worked together on a podcast temporarily)… it’s much harder to develop a friendship over Twitter because you’re only given so many characters. Plus there’s the whole time difference between here and Australia. 16 hours, I think.

But he’s probably thinking the same thing- him and the other guys. Like “we’re just four guys from Australia talking about Prince music- it’s nothing special but people seem to like it”
Captain’s profile ends with “useless opinion giver”
…I mean, it’s always nice to get a 2nd opinion on Prince music, even if it is negative, an additional POV enhances the experience.
That’s why I knew I had to be part of a fan site as soon as I became serious about this Prince thing. That way, I’m around people who know him and different opinions lead to different perspectives- and that helped with my album collection a lot.

I mean, The Gold Experience, after seeing the Leno performance of “Dolphin,” I really didn’t want anything to do with it. But someone suggested seeing the “Love for one another” VH1 special and that last song was life-changing. I mean, the album overall was a bit of a shock to the system with the lyrics… but eventually it became a personal favorite album. I think I have a top 7 Prince albums that I always keep in mind. But after getting the 2nd album, it might not be able to hold at just 7 anymore.

Captain is the type of guy who doesn’t listen to lyrics. My dad said he doesn’t either- that it’s all about the music and how the momentum shifts and changes. With Coldplay and Wendy & Lisa’s first album in particular, I can understand how music can be more of a feeling than a story.

But with “If eye was ur girlfriend,” I feel like Captain is missing why it’s so well liked from not checking the lyrics out.
And the Peach & Black guys didn’t mention that particular Susan Rodgers engineering mistake story in their Sign o’ the times review. They remembered “Forever in my life” but not this.
The back-up vocals got distorted somehow but Prince didn’t seem to notice. Susan Rodgers also talked about how it was inspired by Wendy, Lisa and Susannah, how girls have a special relationship with their girlfriends that’s kind of intimate and that he wished he could’ve had with Susannah.

I got this from a 2003 BBC radio special “Purple Reign” with Mica Paris narrating.

But after at least a dozen podcasts, it’s kinda funny to hear Captain say how he doesn’t really go into lyrics yet he still references them every now and then.

Just thinking if I’ll ever able to post this entry or if I’ll keep adding to it. I’ll have to put myself in podcast rehab January 1st I think. And maybe try to avoid (omg, this sounds crazy) listening to Prince until February… kinda flushing his music out of my head for a bit before I go back and relive the SuperBowl HalfTime show and go through his albums.
I might go chronically, now that I have enough where I can… and then listen to podcasts afterwards.

Since I was coming to an end with this this week, I figured I’d go for a high. And I heard the 1999 review again. Carrying it over 2 days is also great. It means less I have to download from the site.
I didn’t remember much about it because I haven’t heard this podcast in a couple years. I started with Purple Rain, I think, and did The Gold Experience (I think… I don’t remember). 3121, I did for sure. I tried with The Rainbow Children and lost interest after 20 minutes… I listened to that podcast again and then listened to the album the day after.
I think I got a little more out of it because of them… but it’s still not one of my favorite albums. MC’s opinion is almost identical to mine- it’s really good music, but just can’t get past the lyrics. I forgot what he gave it as a rating. Maybe 5.5 or 6. I’d give it a five most likely… but I have all next year to do my own ratings.

Then I think I was starting to go back to them and listen to Diamonds and Pearls. But that was shortly before Prince passed away… yeah, that was hard.
When I listened to Come yesterday, I thought about the one day. Maybe a Saturday. I was in college. I had my own dorm at this point, no roommate that semester. I just laid around for four hours and listened to 4 albums back to back. Diamonds & Pearls, O(+>, Come and The Gold Experience. I slept (metaphorically, not physically) on every other album and the other two, I just came alive and my pulse rushed with it.
But since then, the other two have come around. D&P especially I have a personal connection with now. I had it in my car the day he died- and Cream was the last song I heard when he was still alive.

I checked my archives and my entry where I wrote a story based on images I go listening to “Come”… that came before I had my four hours with Prince and those albums. But I’m tempted to say it’s sometimes my favorite album because I have that as a result of it.

Toejam was especially great on the 1999 review. It’s easily one of his best albums, but he said it might be his favorite album of all time. Certain songs, he said were his favorites of all songs.
But his greatest highlight in any podcast I’d heard so far- him giving the play by play of songs from 1999. “Automatic” was so great to listen to him discuss. And MC comes in and says “he’s not talking about a movie here, guys- he’s talking about a song”
And “Lady Cab Driver” as well. He was so enthusiastic about this album, it made me so excited for the next time I listen to it. Which won’t be until March, supposing I listen to an album a week starting the first week of February.

So Come was the last album review I listened to- because Come is an album I like to end the year with.
When Toejam said “sleigh bells” and how he said “winter” to describe the opening track, I pumped my fist and said “hell yeah!”… between the cover art, it being the death of Prince, the sleigh bells… I always considered it a winter album.
Heck, I mentioned something to that effect when I wrote my chapter on it for my book on Prince.

A book, as time goes by, that I’m starting to think will never get done. I mean, it getting published at all would be a hardship in itself.
But I got Matt Thorne’s book on Prince for Christmas so I can determine what I don’t want to cover in my own. If anything, my book would be a more concise version of what Peach & Black already does, which is cover Prince albums. The only thing they don’t do is read into what some songs are about.
I don’t go too far into it, but I do moreso than them.

It was a great review, of course. I can understand why MC would be tempted to give it 10 but not quite sure whether to do so. If something is very vivid in your head, you think it’s the greatest thing in the world and you lose objective.
Toejam was the only one who wasn’t over the top about it. But I can guess why. He seems to be the type of guy more into the earlier stuff. 1999 is a good indication of that.
Captain said he got into Prince around 1992, so I understand his perspective for sure (and it also explains why he loves Tony M and Michael B and Sonny T… that comes up a lot, but the other guys like Michael B and Sonny T also).

Speaking quick on NPS, it was great hearing the guys explain why the album isn’t as good. Not being overly mean, but going in detail about what doesn’t work. MC didn’t officially retire from rating albums after Batman because he gave this a 3.5… wow! I don’t like the album either, so I’m tempted to say I agree… but I kinda don’t. It’s definitely not a 10, though.
And doing 1999 right after that… it was weird… because there was so much love for this album and I’d gotten used to them having disagreements over songs. Not that they’re a negative bunch, but they weren’t as critical because it’s hard to be critical of a masterpiece album like that.

Almost forgot to mention that for a couple minutes after listening, my mind will think in Aussie accents. and if I’m talking to myself in the car (don’t judge, everyone does it, lol), I’ll talk in that Aussie accent.

And I ended all this today with their 2016 podcast. Another great one that brings up a lot of good points. For starters, I’m glad I didn’t get 4ever if “Moonbeam Levels” sounds like the bootleg version I still have on my iPod (I put it on my extended Purple Rain playlist before the last three songs of the album- it stands in for the scene where he trashes the basement).
They brought up some good points about what to do with Prince’s estate and releasing music. I hope that they do release the book he was writing, however many pages are done.
All of them want video releases (Captain not as much, his short attention span prefers audio).
That is a cool idea to have something like the NPG Music Club again, where you can download whatever songs you want if you subscribe.
But first I want them to release the extended cut of Purple Rain- the album with all the associated artists, although I have pretty much all the music in some form.

Also found out that MC’s show is Obsessed About Music… I gotta check that out. Captain also has a show that he occasionally posts. I’d be interested to look for that. Especially since he started following me 😛

And Player also recently liked one of my tweets, which is cool.
Toejam doesn’t seem to have a Twitter account, but MC does and he hasn’t commented just yet on any of my tweets. Makes me wonder if he’s a little more reserved outside of the show.

Anyway… this year could have been a lot worse with Prince’s death. But thanks to people like the Peach & Black gang, I was able to get through it a lot easier.

So if any of you guys read this, thanks.

And I hope you’ll read some of the blogs I post next year about Prince. Where I’ll go through his albums chronologically and close the weeks out with their podcasts on the album. Heck… maybe I’ll like what I hear so much I’ll want to listen to the album again.

I find that when I immediately listen to the album after the podcasts… I don’t enjoy it quite as much, maybe because the opinions are too fresh in my head.
But I heard 3121 before the podcasts and had a good time with it.

I’ve heard a couple of these albums recently.
This year, I listened to D&P, O(+>, Come, Planet Earth, 3121, 1999, Prince, Around the World in a Day, Parade, Sign o’ the times, The Black Album, Lovesexy, Batman, The Gold Experience, Emancipation, The Rainbow Children, Lotusflow3r, MPLSound, 20Ten (once), One Night Alone (I heard it once since I got it and this was the 2nd time… won’t be doing their podcast on it for a while), and Hit N Run Part 2…
also PlectrumElectrum and Art Official Age…
when I list them all, I realize that it’s a lot. I hadn’t listened to Prince much since the Sochi Olympics happened (and all that came with it). I came back to him a bit when he released the two albums that yet, but had been a while for quite a while.

Hard to believe I was slowly regaining that interest and had that album in my car on April 21st…

Now I guess I’ll end this.

Here’s hoping for a good 2017.

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