MUSICOLOGY

Battle of the bands hits Paisley Park in an homage to Prince's values as an artist

Photo courtesy of Paisley Park/NPG Records

By Lianna Matt

Over the funk chords and strolling bass line, Prince sings, “Wish I had a dollar for every time you say, ‘Don’t you miss the feeling music give ya back in the day?’”

It’s from the second verse of his single “Musicology,” the title track of his 28th album. The values of “real bands making real music” and teaching others about music were central to Prince and to “Musicology.” Now they're back and hitting Paisley Park in a new incarnation: the first battle of the bands at Paisley Park.

Musicology 2017 Poster with butterflies, zebras, saxaphones, guitars and more.

Image courtesy of Paisley Park/NPG Records

From Aug. 31-Sept. 3, Musicology will have nine bands competing in evening sets in Paisley Park. The bands were chosen from an open pool of submissions by some of Prince’s associates for, among other things, talent and their embodiment of what Prince would consider a true artist. Besides being able to play on Paisley Park's Soundstage, the winning band will also win recording time there and a mentoring meeting with Prince’s supergroup, New Power Generation.

“One of the things that made him so special besides that he was gifted in the arena, as a performer and as a multi-instrumentalist, was that he was also an amazing teacher. With individuals who worked with Prince in the past, they'll tell you it was difficult at times because he was a perfectionist,” says Mitch Maguire, spokesperson and tour operations manager. “But as a result, it elevated their own game. That’s the type of knowledge they can impart to the winner.”

Awards aside, the organizers wanted the battle of the bands to harken back to the ‘70s when Prince and his colleagues—Jimmy Jam, Morris Day and Terry Lewis, to name a few—challenged and inspired each other through competitions all over Minneapolis. To help show that formative time in Prince’s life, new exhibit items will highlight some of the places he performed when he was younger, like Bunkers and Capri Theater.

A day pass to Musicology will get you a tour of the museum, the evening performance and the after-party dance fest. For the battle of the bands, you'll not only be able to experience Prince's space, but you'll be able to catch a glimpse of the musical energy that helped propel him forward as a young artist.

“Paisley Park was always this living, breathing space where artist and fans could come together and celebrate music,” says Maguire. “Just because Prince isn't here in the same way he was here before, this is a part of him we want to see exist in the future.”

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