Your opportunities to celebrate Prince and absorb his music won’t end this week with the first anniversary of his death. In fact, this year might offer more noteworthy Prince-related events and releases than even last year did.
Here are some of the things to look forward to in the coming months.
“Purple Rain” expanded reissue: An idea Prince himself signed off on about a year before his death, Warner Bros. Records will give the landmark 1984 album the royal treatment it deserves with several more discs’ worth of bonus material, tentatively set to be released June 16. Exact contents are still under wraps, but Warner promised “two incredible albums of previously unreleased Prince music and two complete concert films.” We’d like 20 of each, but we’ll take it.
The Revolution reunion tour: Right after their gigs Friday at Paisley Park, Prince’s mid-’80s bandmates — who first reunited over three emotional nights last September at First Avenue — head to Chicago to kick off a 24-gig outing scheduled through July and spread out from New York and Toronto to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Closest to home, there’s a May 12 date confirmed at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, Wis. (Tickets at LiveNation.com.)
“This Thing Called Life” tribute: Three of the well-known local NPG members of the early-’90s, bassist Sonny Thompson, keyboardist Tommy Barbarella and drummer Michael Bland, will revive the tastefully and tightly played shows they hosted last year at the Parkway Theater for three more nights at the Fine Line, also featuring Greazy Meal singer Julius Collins, members of Prince’s Hornheads and more. (June 8-10, Fine Line Music Cafe, Mpls., ticket info TBA.)
New Power Generation tribute tour: Another lineup of NPG, led by keyboardist Morris Hayes, is also planning tour dates this year. Other members will include Barbarella, Levi Seacer Jr. and Kirk Johnson, with pre-“Purple Rain” bassist André Cymone and ex-Twin Citian Kip Blackshire serving as vocalists. Their first confirmed gig is May 22 in Redondo Beach, Calif., with more to be announced — hopefully including a few in Minnesota.
Dez Dickerson documentary: The “1999”-era guitarist, who left the Revolution to become his own frontman, collaborated with filmmaker Mike Kirk on a documentary about Prince’s early years in Minneapolis, titled “Nothing Can Stop Us Now.” Cymone, First Ave’s Steve McClellan and Prince’s first manager Owen Husney are some of the others who are featured. Dickerson screened the trailer at the South by Southwest Music Conference in March ahead of a planned fall release.
Fall concerts at Paisley Park: Although the idea is still in the tentative planning stage, Graceland Holdings managing partner Joel Weinshanker — the guy now in charge at the Chanhassen museum — told the Star Tribune that his team is planning to host another concert series in the fall, one that “will be geared more to the local fans.”
Minnesota-made books: Two new tomes from local music scribes are coming in mid-October with heavy Prince ties, one by 89.3 the Current reporter and former City Pages music editor Andrea Swensson about the 1960s-’70s funk and R&B scene titled “Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound” (University of Minnesota Press); and another by the writer of this article about the club that became Prince’s launchpad, “First Avenue: Minnesota’s Mainroom” (Minnesota Historical Society Press).
More reissues or vault releases (maybe): While the details of Prince’s different record deals are as murky as his guitar solos in “Bambi” and still being sorted out, there’s a good chance that Universal Music will also make good on its deals with the singer’s estate and release music by year’s end. That could mean a reissue of one of his post-Warner Bros. albums — many missing from Spotify and other streaming services, such as “The Gold Experience” and “Emancipation” — or a collection from the overflowing vault that has never been released. Or both, if we’re lucky.