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Prince plans 3-night Labor Day weekend party at Paisley Park

With a new album arriving Monday via Jay Z’s new music-streaming company Tidal, Prince is going to throw an old-fashion three-night marathon party at his Paisley Park studio complex in Chanhassen this weekend.

News of the “international dance party” arrived this morning via Prince’s official Twitter account, @Prince3EG. The tweet includes a virtual poster for the party that lists a 9:30 p.m. start time and a $40 cover Friday through Sunday at his compound. “Live music” is all that’s promised, not necessarily a performance Prince himself. Usually when tickets are priced that much, though, it means the little man has big plans.

The ad (posted below) also states that the reason for the event is “2 celebrate the global release of Prince’s new music.” Titled “HITNRUN,” the album was co-produced with Joshua Welton, who also helped with one of Prince’s 2014 albums, “Art Official Age,” and is the husband of drummer Hannah Welton from Prince’s band 3rdEyeGirl.

Only Tidal subscribers will be able to hear the new album come Monday. Membership starts at $9.99 per month. Prince is already featured on the front page of Tidal's site leading up to Monday's release. The record has not yet been made available to music critics, and so far the public has only heard the recent, guitar-cranking viral single “HARDROCKLOVER.”

Joshua Welton, who’s only 25, said this about the album to Entertainment Weekly: “I would say it’s an experimental Prince record for fans who just don’t care about him sounding like a certain thing. I know he has different types of fan bases and this is kind of for the [hardcore] Purple Collective, the ones who say ‘I don’t care what he puts out! I love Prince.’ And because he’s such a creative, it gives him that freedom to say, ‘I just want to make music like this today.’”

Always one to also search for freedom on the business side of things, Prince said this about his decision to issue the record via Tidal, which is touting itself as an artist-driven answer to the slumping recording industry:

“After one meeting, it was obvious that Jay Z and the team he has assembled at TIDAL recognize and applaud the effort that real musicians put in2 their craft 2 achieve the very best they can at this pivotal time in the music industry. TIDAL have honored Us with a non-restrictive arrangement that once again allows Us to continue making art in the fashion We've grown accustomed 2 and We're Extremely grateful 4 their generous support."

Paisley Park is about a 25-minute drive from downtown Minneapolis at 7847 Audubon Rd. (Hwy. 5) in Chanhassen. Events there are always alcohol- and cell-phone-free, and tickets are first-come, first-served at the door.

Maiden Minnesota: Thursday's listening parties presage long-awaited tour date

Fifteen years since they last played in Minnesota, the demand for Iron Maiden in the Twin Cities seems to be growing like an inflatable version of their undead mascot Eddie.

Two different listening parties are taking place around town Thursday night on the eve of the British metal vets’ latest album release, “The Book of Souls.” Not only is it their first record in five years, it’s a double-LP, and it’s accompanied by news of an ambitious worldwide tour that should finally end the long wait for their return to Minnesota next summer – possibly even with a stadium concert. Insert your two-handed metal horns here.

Catching on to the buzz, Grumpy’s Northeast in northeast Minneapolis and the Amsterdam Bar in St. Paul are each hosting special shindigs Thursday night. Grumpy’s mainstay and musician Tony Zaccardi said the event was actually the idea of the beer reps from Trooper, Maiden’s own, popular brand of brew -- tallboy cans of which will be on sale for (what else?) $6.66. The Grumpy’s party will also feature a giveaway of the band’s entire discography on vinyl.

Trooper will also be available at the Amsterdam in St. Paul, where local tribute band Maiden Minneapolis will perform before the first spin of “The Book of Souls.”

Here’s info on each of Thursday’s party:

GRUMPY’S NE: Metal DJ at 6 p.m., “The Book of Souls” listening at 8:30, free, 2200 4th St. NE, Mpls.

AMSTERDAM BAR & HALL: Maiden Minneapolis performs at 7:30 p.m., listening at 8:30, 6th St. & Wabasha, downtown St. Paul.

As for that long-awaited concert date, the band put off touring until next year while frontman Bruce Dickinson recuperates from having tumors removed from his tongue. An initial itinerary of dates that leaked a few months ago listed an Aug. 11 show at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, but it's unclear if that was accurate then or now. There are also murmurings of a local arena date this winter, which matches up with recent buzz of the tour starting with U.S. dates in February. Either way, it sounds like the Twin Cities is a lock to get a show.

The last time Maiden performed in town was way back in the year 2000 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, soon after Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith rejoined the band. They have enjoyed quite a resurgence in the 15 years since, but the nearest they have come to us was a headlining slot at Rock Fest in Cadott in 2012.

Here's the first video/single from the new record.

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