One of the good things about working at B&N is getting free magazines. See, when a new issue of a magazine comes in, we throw the old ones out after ripping the cover off to send to some publishing company. So, once the old mags are set aside in the back, we can pick through them and take what we want. I have de facto subscriptions to the New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, the Economist, Mojo, Uncut, Total Film, Empire, American Cinematographer, Film Comment, various writing magazines, the Believer, Spin, and Rolling Stone thanks to working at B&N. (And, really, that's one of literally three perks. The other two are getting free paperback books when they similarly have their covers ripped off and getting free CDs when they come off the in-store play list -- that is, when there's something good to take. So I guess the number of perks is two and a half.)
The downside to getting all these magazines is finding the time to read them. Rather than have a floor-to-ceiling pile of mags, though, I go through the issues I take home, rip out the stories and pages I want to read, set them aside, then throw away the rest. Trouble is, there's still a lot of time I need to commit to read all the stories I save. So, from time to time, I'll go through the stack of random pages and put a small dent in it.
I did just that a few days ago, going through CD and other reviews, small interviews, and other one- and two-page articles. One of the things I read was this page I ripped out of an issue of Spin, a regular column called something like Albums That Changed My Life.
I had a few of these, from people like Sufjan Stevens and Frank Black. Another was from this guy named Slug from a group called Atmosphere. The albums list was ho-hum, but I saw Prince's Sign 'O' the Times on the list and, being a fan of Prince and the album, I paid a little closer attention. The actual write-up was fairly blah; Slug, apparently, is the stereotypical "I don't give a shit about nothin'" DJ. Or whatever. But Slug is, apparently, a Minneapolis native -- as Prince is -- and had a fairly funny way of describing living in the same city as the Purple One:
"In Minneapolis, [Prince's] influence is not musical; it's that of an enigma. Like, 'Don't say his name too loud, or purple lightning will come down from pink clouds and strike you down.'"
If that's what happens when you say "Prince" in Minneapolis, I'm going to be on the first flight out there because that's fucking amazing!
Now, I'm not usually one to get into the whole Prince-is-weird discussion -- that's something better served for a real freakish individual, like Michael Jackson, not someone who exists on the outskirts like Prince -- but Slug's description about his aura is unreal. Not only does the idea of purple lightning cracking from pink clouds sound like something straight out of a Prince song, but would anyone be surprised if that did happen in Prince's world?