Raining All The Time: An Earth Ball Writes Yet Another LetterHello. Earth Ball here. For those of you who do not know me from my previous letters, I am a jumbo-size inflatable ball, also called a cage ball, currently residing in suburban Baltimore, where I am used by junior-high-school physical-education coaches to entertain students on bad-weather days. The weather has been especially bad of late: cold and rainy, with a 100 percent chance of unpleasant.
Ben Greenman's new book on Prince, Dig If You Will The Picture: Funk, Sex, God, and Genius in the Music of Prince, is a personal account of fandom: part criticism, part hagiography, part non-sequential biography. It's a fittingly sprawling and lyrical tribute to the often confounding late artist, who died a year ago today, April 21, 2016. Greenman originally intended to conclude the book with a short fiction piece, imagining Prince as an 85-year-old man.
We knew it would happen. A year after Prince died, in shocking fashion, from an accidental overdose of the powerful opioid fentanyl, new material is starting to trickle out. Or, rather: it’s trying. The particular batch of material that surfaced this week, timed to the first anniversary of the star’s death, came in the form of an EP titled “Deliverance,” which consists of one full-length song (the title track) and four fragments stitched together into a mini-opera.