Monday, February 05, 2007

That Sexy M.F. [Actually Updated]

[Posted by reader_iam]

(Here are the lyrics in case you're not where you want to listen to/watch this.)

Were people you know upset by the shadows cast by Prince's performance during the Superbowl halftime show last night?

(Updated with photo, which actually appears this time! Sorry for the various technical difficulties I've encountered this evening:)

C'mon, we're talking Prince here. This was mild, certainly nothing to get all hot and bothered about. He's been using that forked symbol for ages and ages now, and as for his work having sexual overtones: Rain is wet. And electric guitars themselves have been phallic symbols forever. That's so even if they're not intended to be, when you think of where they naturally fall when being played, and especially "how" in rock, blues, R&B, and sometimes even in jazz styles. Really, it's inevitable. In laughing together about Prince's projection, my husband, himself a guitarist, acknowledged this--though he still maintains that in his experience, it's been the drummers who tick up the highest pickup scores.

I thought Prince's performance was great fun--one of the better Superbowl halftime offerings I've seen in awhile. Of course, I'll confess bias. I've thought he's brilliant from the start, and if there's some Prince stuff we don't have in our collection, I can't think what it would be. (Unlike some, I even think he's gotten better as he's gone along, and don't really buy the '80s heyday thing, in terms of his creative development, if not his general popularity.)

It is true that since our son come along, we don't listen to Prince nearly as often. Not everything is "for the children," after all, and it's too much of pain to try and always remember what track is coming up next. It's not that we worry about corrupting him or anything (though of course there's Prince stuff that IS way too explicit for certain age groups), but we produced a kid who tends to memorize songs within one to two hearings and then belt them out at random. It's been fun when he suddenly comes out with, for example, Angels We Have Heard On High, Istanbul/Not Constantinople, Ain't No Mountain High Enough, Picture Book, Oyster Soup (from King Crimson) or even the theme song from "Ghostbusters" or an Althouse podcast.

Now, Sexy M.F., Cream or Little Nikki? Those wouldn't be so amusing rendered by a little kid, so we've exercised discretion and selectivity. Which I thought, given today's context and expectations for Superbowl halftimes, is what Prince and the organizers of the show also did. Don't you?

On the other hand, maybe the relatively unsuggestive nature of Prince's performance had more to do with his reported need for hip replacement surgery.