You’d think Prince would’ve mobilized the newer power generation by now, but the Purple One has always had a tough time going digital. In 1998, he pissed off lots of his fans by asking them to pre-order Crystal Ball online, only to ship the box months after its retail release in a far inferior package. In 2006 he won a Lifetime Achievement Webby, but inexplicably shut down his official online fan community a few weeks later (“we have decided 2 put the club on hiatus until further notice”). And you’re no doubt familiar with Prince and Web Sheriff’s more recent quest to “reclaim his art on the internet” by banning babies from dancing to “Let’s Go Crazy.” Anyway, that brings us to today and the launch of Lotusflow3r.com, a (surprise) buggy new fanclub that charges $77 for a bunch of brok3n promises.
The user-unfriendly site launched last night, and while registrants did get to hear the three new albums coming to Target on Sunday (Prince’s Lotusflow3r and MPLSoUND and protégé Bria Valente’s Elixir), it wasn’t easy. Rolling Stone reports:
On message boards like Prince.org, many fans have already started complaining about the site’s bandwidth problems, its inability to recognize underscores in user name and passwords, downloading issues, choppy videos, its inaccessibility to Europe and more. Even figuring out how to enter Lotusflow3r proved difficult: Fans encountered a riddle of sorts just to access the site in order to pay $77. A purple ticket stub on the lunar ground of the Flash-heavy site was the gateway to purchasing the membership. The stub read “Mar. 07 ______, followed by _________, California,” and only by correctly filling in the blanks could you acquire a membership. Turns out, the answer (“1986?, “Los Angeles”) lay in the prelude to the “Kiss” music video that was being teased on the flickering television screen also on the Lotusflow3r lunar surface. We’re just as confused writing this as you are reading this, so check it out for at the site yourself.
Here’s what you get — or don’t get — for your troubles. Via Prince.org user SquirrelMeat:
No hard copies of the album?
No crimson and clover?
No chance to gettickets unless you were lucky enough for the site to work in the first 5 mins?
No high res vids?
No downloadable vids?
No exclusive pics, just 21 night pics?
A tee shirt that you have to pay shipping on, and they won’t ship to Europe?
And the kiss video all chopped up on a screen the size of a postage stamp?
Way to go Prince! You did it again!
Expect a torrent of abuse!
User IstenSzek summed it up best:
if you’ve downloaded the albums, this entire new galaxy is very close to the real outer space: dark and empty
Ouch. Prince will promote the three new albums with three nights on Leno (starting tonight) and three L.A. gigs (Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, Conga Room and Club Nokia) all on Saturday. I guess we won’t be posting any video from them.