If you're scouring your local record stores and eBay looking for Prince albums on vinyl at newly inflated prices, Warner Bros. seems to have a message for you: Let's not go crazy. Prince's heyday-era record label is set to release nine of his biggest post-"Purple Rain" titles newly pressed to wax this year, starting with "Around the World in a Day" on June 21. One or two albums will be released per month. Amazon and other retail sites are now offering pre-sale orders starting around $20 for the new editions. This vinyl reissue campaign was already in the works before Prince's death, and started with a remastered version of his 1978 debut "For You" on Record Store Day, April 16. It seems Warner Bros. is expediting the rest of the series in the wake of his death — shrewd business, sure, but also undeniably good news for music lovers. The label had already pressed new vinyl editions of "Purple Rain," "1999," "Dirty Mind" and "Controversy" in 2011 (still widely available), so it skipped ahead to his late-'80s and early-'90s records. These new pressings will feature the albums in their original format (no bonus tracks). Chris Riemenschneider
'Queen' honors Prince
Helen Mirren, who won an Oscar for starring in "The Queen," honored Prince at the White House Correspondents Dinner Saturday by dressing in a purple floor-length gown and sporting a purple tattoo of his glyph on her right collarbone. Mirren confessed two things to the Washington Post: "I admire great artists and he was a great artist" and the tattoo was temporary. "I'd love to say that Prince himself did it in 1988 or something, instead of me in the bathroom this morning!"
When Frank Vascellaro runs a charity auction, you realize the immaculately coifed WCCO news anchor is quick with the glib comments. But when he was emceeing and auctioneering Saturday at the 34th annual PACER Center benefit starring Idina Menzel, Vascellaro turned into a bit of a softy. On a big video screen, PACER told the story of Sam Graves, a young man with cerebral palsy who started using PACER's services when he was 3. He eventually became a PACER intern and hours before the PACER event, he graduated from Augsburg College. When Vascellaro announced the graduation, that brought tears to his eyes because Graves is one of his neighbors. "Sam has seen me laugh a lot," the anchorman announced. "He's never seen me cry."
Neal Cuthbert, who started the arts program for the McKnight Foundation, will retire at the end of the year. Cuthbert was kicked upstairs in 2005 to become vice president for the program. He joined McKnight in 1991 as the first arts program officer, after careers (of sorts) at Artpaper and the Metropolitan Council. Cuthbert became widely known in the arts community as an advocate when McKnight made its funding decisions. His influence and leadership led one publication to once call him artist of the year. Well. Let's not get ridiculous. But he has been a champion who began the McKnight's Distinguished Artist Award program and has become a voice for artists across the state. Asked what he had planned for retirement, Cuthbert recently said, "I'm going to sleep for two months."
Best in glass
The Uptown Art Fair's commemorative posters typically tout the neighborhood's charms — bikes, lakes, sailboats, the Uptown Theatre marquee and Famous Dave's barbecue joint. So the choice of handblown glass by Robinson Scott for the 2016 poster is a surprise. A 30-year veteran of the Uptown fair, Anoka-based Scott has won many Uptown awards over the years, including five "Best in Glass" citations and the crowning "Best of the Best" in 2002. Scott launched his career in Minnesota and refined his glass blowing techniques with a yearlong apprenticeship in Sweden in 1987. Uptown will unveil and toast his 2016 commemorative print at Scena Tavern at 5 p.m. on May 23. The fair runs Aug. 5-7.
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