Song of the Day – “I Feel for You” – Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan had started with the band Rufus in the seventies. When she decided to cover a 1979 Prince album track, she actually had someone chant her name over the track to make the song her own. It actually worked, and Prince has the more restrained version of the song. Imagine that.

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Song of the Day – “Nothing Compares 2 U” – Sinead O’Connor

One of the consequences of having a strong persona like Prince did is that songs you have done become very hard to cover. One of the only people to cover Prince and wrest the song away from his version is Sinead O’Connor. The mere fact that she could make you forget, if only for a moment, that this is a Prince song is a testament to her own skill as a performer.

Song of the Day – “Controversy” – Prince

Life is just a game
We’re all just the same

Because I prepare a week’s worth of Songs of the Day at a time, I can’t respond to events as quickly as I like. But last Thursday’s news of the death of Prince is something that will take a long time to process.

I chose a live version of this song to post immediately. As I’ve said over the years, Prince kept a tight hold on his music, and official videos are few and far between on the Internet. This video has popped up, and I don’t know how long it will remain available.

Prince started as a controversial figure, and managed to stay controversial throughout the past 35 years. He was an unbelievable great musician, a titan of the studio, and an electric performer. It was always hard to reconcile his retiring persona in interviews with the immediate connection he could make with millions of people onstage, as he did in that rain-soaked Super Bowl show I watch over and over.

I can’t understand how he could be gone, and I can’t comprehend how we will get along without him.

iPhoneography Apps – Drop me a line: a discussion of edges

Those of us who came into artistic endeavors late, like me, find ourselves using photos to create our art. Of course, artists in traditional mediums might use photos also, as a reference, but that’s not how I use them. Artists that have been trained in traditional mediums are used to sketching out a work and getting the lines to look pretty much like what they wanted. Try as I might, I can’t – this line is too thick, that line is too jagged, I have no earthly idea what that figure was supposed to be. I understand the purpose of the line work – to add structure to the artwork – but I can’t make my fingers produce the useful lines. So I depend on software to create the lines, and I am constantly searching for the perfect line for use in my artwork.

I write a lot about iColorama because I use it constantly. iColorama has an Edges submenu under the Style menu with 19 Edges presets. Sometimes those edges are just the lines I require, but many times they are not. So in this article I am mostly going outside iColorama for a source for my edges. I then use iColorama to modify and use those edges. This first image (which I will recreate later) uses iColorama Edges exclusively.

Edges_01

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Song of the Day – “New Music” Wednesday – “When I Wake Up Tomorrow” – Cheap Trick

Crunchy power-pop from the masters. Cheap Trick has released Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello, their first new material in seven years.

They are without drummer Bun E. Carlos, which helps explain the lack of humor in the new album. Rick Nielsen’s son fills in capably on the drums, but that fun that Carlos brought to the group is sorely missed.

Song of the Day – “Name’s the same” Tuesday – “Love’s Got a Lot to Answer For”

Nick Lowe – Elton John

A couple of songs today from pop stars looking back over their lives. Nick Lowe has settled most comfortably into his years, releasing an entire album called At My Age.

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John’s look back is not as successful as Lowe’s, perhaps because it was part of 1997’s The Big Picture. That was a full ten years before Lowe’s album.

I do like the key change for the chorus, though.

Song of the Day – “Remind Me to Smile” – Gary Numan

From mechanical techno-pop to industrial, it has always seemed that Gary Numan has been telling people to remind him to smile. (I never have to be reminded, since I find many of his song titles and robotic persona to be humorous.)