Category Archives: prince

French Fry Diary on The GAR! Podcast

PrinceLess on The GAR! Podcast

The latest episode (#21) of The GAR! Podcast features a special interview with writer Jeremy Whitley and artist Emily C. Martin of the awarding winning comic PrinceLess from Action Lab Comics.

In the episode we discuss PrinceLess, inspirations, publishing, art styles, teaching, Breaking Bad, Death, Prince, Batman, and the upcoming releases from Action Lab Comics – all that and more!

Check out the podcast here, and you buy PrinceLess online here, in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area at All Things Fun!, or at your local comics shop.

Alyas Batman en Robin

Alyas Batman en Robin ~ This film, made in the Philippines in the early 1990s, is hard to describe. On one hand it is the stuff of legend, like Andy Warhol’s Batman, or the also Filipino Alyas Batman at Robin from 1963, something few people in the United States have even ever seen. On the other it’s just bizarre. Though made in the Philippines it has many of the hallmarks of a Bollywood film – comedy, drama, romance, and people spontaneously breaking into song and dance.

The plot has criminals taking on the identities of their idols – the Penguin, and the Joker, among others – to rob banks. To counteract this, two men, I am unsure if they are brothers or father and son, dress up like Batman and Robin, and have their car souped up to look like the Batmobile. Hilarity, romance, as well as song and dance numbers ensue, as one would expect.

For an unauthorized film using DC Comics characters, some of it looks good, not great, but some is better than that prime time NBC “Challenge of the Superheroes.” The costumes are plays on the 1966 TV series rather than the Tim Burton films of the time. Comedian Rene Requiestas as the Joker reminds me of Prince’s alter-ego Gemini, and not in a good way.

All in all this is probably worth a look for the curious. If you watch it in the wrong mood, you’ll be horrified, but if you watch it with the right attitude, you’ll be satisfactorily entertained.

Don Kirshner 1934-2011

One of America’s greatest music producers, and a driving force in popular music for decades, Don Kirshner, passed away yesterday from heart failure in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 76.

I think it’s sad that there are probably generations who don’t even know his name, or if they do, it’s because of late night infomercials, or they think he’s a character Paul Shaeffer played on “Saturday Night Live.” Of course they are other generations, before the advent of MTV, who know the man and his contributions.

Kirshner was instrumental in starting the careers of numerous songwriters in the 1960s with his “Brill Building” school, where friend and producer Phil Specter also worked. ‘Graduates’ included Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond, Howard Greenfield, and Gerry Goffin. Together they scored dozens and dozens of hits, before they went on to have careers of their own, while Kirshner himself started several record labels and moved on into television. Known as “The Man with the Golden Ear,” he was one of the folks who created the Monkees, as well as the cartoon Archies, both groups prefabricated, and he also discovered many ‘real’ music acts as well like Bobby Darin and Kansas.

Kirshner was also a 1970s fixture on Sunday late nights with his legendary “Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.” There he introduced many acts to America for the first time like Prince, Blue Oyster Cult, Earth Wind and Fire, Parliament Funkadelic, the Sex Pistols, Alice Cooper, Rush, Linda Ronstadt, KISS, Ted Nugent, David Bowie, and the Ramones, just to name a few of the hundreds who appeared on the program. The series, which ran from 1973-1981, was notable for being live and not allowing acts to lipsync, a widespread curse of the 1970s. We didn’t have MTV, we had Don.

We have lost one of the true geniuses of the music industry, he will be missed.

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Lost Hits of the New Wave #3


“Controversy” by Prince.

Prince is one of my three favorite artists, along with Kate Bush and Nine Inch Nails, and this song, from the 1981 album of the same name, was probably the first one I ever heard by His Purple Badness. I heard it on WYSP, believe it or not. Long before he was pop or R&B, music programmers thought of Prince, and this first real crossover song as rock or new wave.

The video itself is like most of the early pre-Purple Rain videos in that it’s a performance, and it also spotlights the Revolution, before he (they) actually became known as Prince and the Revolution. Great song, love it, and him.

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Chuck

McG comes to TV with surprising results in “Chuck” which debuts tomorrow night as a lead-in to the much-anticipated second season of “Heroes.” Definitely tune in early to check out “Chuck” because the way NBC is advertising it (or not advertising it), it’ll be gone shortly. And that’s a shame.

The series rests on an annoying and unbelievable premise that should best be accepted – that lead character Chuck has all the secret intel from two government organizations in his head. Just accept it and move on, then you can enjoy the show.

Other than that this is a great little show that reminded me quaintly of both “Spaced” and Free Enterprise. It’s geek chic, and it rocks. The segment of the population that will get all the jokes in this one will love it. Those that scratch their head and go “Wha?” – – well, who needs ’em? Those latter folks however might be what dooms this show before it gets a fair chance, so see it while you can!

Chuck, you had me at “Vicki Vale.” 😉