Before/After Genius – The New Isht at Trip Cityon March 15, 2012 at 6:28 am
Today marks the debut of my new bimonthly column at Trip City; Before/After Genius. Steel City Noir (fiction) will alternate with B/A Genius (non fiction), and hopefully, folks will see that I’m capable of writing a few things that aren’t comic books (not that it’s a bad thing, but diversifying is always good).
A little bit of history: Before/After Genius wasn’t created for Trip City. Not originally. Many moons ago, my good friend, Ron Richards, started a new site called Murmur. It was a pretty ambitious idea; basically an interactive community with user generated content, it was as close to the old zines we’d get at hardcore shows as you could get. Ron grew up in that atmosphere, and when he asked me if I’d be interested in submitting, I came up with B/A Genius. So why wasn’t I on the site? Well, I didn’t know it was user generated; I thought it was by invite and when Ron never followed up, I thought it was because he had all the content creators he needed. So, I shelved it and when Dean and Seth asked me if I was interested in “working” at Trip City, I brought this out as one of bullets in my creative pistol.
So, the next question…why Prince? I get into it a little in the article, and I won’t spoil that, but it’s a fairly simple reason. A couple of friends asked me to rank the top ten most influential musicians, and when I thought about it, I had to rank them in order of importance to me and the way that I make/made music. Prince was number one (followed by John Coltrane and the Police). There was a point, about 10 years ago, where I could not stop listening to Sign O’ The Times because it was, and still is, everything I could ever ask of music. It was fun, it was touching, it was sexy and it was incredibly real to me. Still is. Prince is undeniably a musical genius, even if we can’t hear that anymore. And that’s where the idea of before and after came in. I wanted to focus on the one moment of genius and look at what came immediately before, and what came immediately after. I could spend time on multiple albums, but the focus was important to me. Sometimes, genius never goes away and sometimes, that lightning strikes once. I wanted to spark discussion, not only about Prince, but about genius in general. Go to Trip City, read the article, and let me know how I did.