Inside Prince’s Listening Party for ‘PlectrumElectrum’ and ‘Pretzelbodylogic’
By Jeremy D. Larson
There are tales of Prince parties in which he orders flapjacks for everyone just before dawn. Sometimes the story’s fake, and sometimes the story’s real. So when it’s 4:30 a.m. and Prince is dancing to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Check the Rhyme” about eight feet away from you wearing some kind of vegan-yellow leather bell-bottoms, yellow heels, and some kind of vegan black fur fest, there’s always a chance that this isn’t surreal enough.
Before Prince showed up to his own post-Super Bowl, post-New Girl listening party at The Darby in Chelsea, the focus wasn’t really about the celebrity of Prince and his five body guards that moved in perimeter around him at all times. It was ostensibly about getting a sampling of his long-in-the-works album, Plectrum Electrum.
Led by Damaris Lewis, an ESPN swimsuit model who has been dancing with Prince on tour for two years, his new band 3rdeyegirl took the stage. The lean trio, composed of Donna Grantis (guitar), Hannah Ford (drums) and Ida Nielsen (bass) strolled up on to the tiny stage in a line just after midnight, and begin coyly demure about the new album, with their excitement bubbling just beneath.
Listen: Prince - “Pretzelbodylogic”
“This is the first time anyone else other than us has heard it,” said Nielson. “So come on we really want to know what you think!”
To the corps of press people and VIP friends of friends who really didn’t know what to expect of the evening, the songs we heard aligned with much of the rock-heavy one-offs that Prince has been leaking out through his website over the year, 3rdeyegirl.com.