The Beautiful One

Truth be told, music has a much stronger hold on me than geek culture. While I love all things geek/nerdy/afrogeek/astroblack, music is how I experienced love. Growing up in an immediate household that was nothing but abuse and the absence of love, music was my portal to some place safer. My mom was a horrible mother, but she built upon a stellar record collection. A collection that she’d let me listen to without being beaten. After our year of frozen homelessness, we got an apartment where the previous tenant left a sizable record collection. Among the Chaka Khan and Rufus, Mandrill, Chuck Mangione, The Wailers, Miles Davis, and Santana albums were Prince’s For You and Dirty Mind. Despite the racy content, my mother and I listened to those albums until they were warped and scratched beyond all hopes of rescuing. We loved it because it sounded so different compared to anything else we listened to — which was mostly reggae and jazz. But it wasn’t until 1999 dropped in ’82 that I had to come to terms with the idea that Prince was going to be one of the foundation stones of my pop cultural biography. Continue reading “The Beautiful One”

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Who’s Gonna Stop Gotham’s Balloons?

Last week, I got some grief for writing about why I was done with Gotham. So naturally, I not only tuned in for Episode 3, “The Balloonman,” I live-tweeted it as well. The fact that this episode had nothing to do with the B-side to Prince’s “Batdance” was already strike number one for me.

I won’t go into all of the problems I have with the show’s premise — since I already did that. A couple times. I will say that I realize that the reason I’m so bitter about this show is because I always wanted a Gotham Central series, and that Fox’s attempt is just a half-assed one. Because Gotham Central is the non-Batman police procedural series we deserve, just not the one we’re getting right now, apparently.

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Check Out Cliff Chiang’s Batgirl for Purple Rain’s 30th Anniversary

Tim Burton’s Batman is 25 years old this week, which means Prince’s Batman soundtrack is also 25 years old! I’ve said it before, and it might be blasphemous to admit, but Batman is my favorite Prince album. While most knowledgeable Musicologists might scoff, it’s true. The main reason is likely because I was too young to really appreciate Prince’s earlier catalog and Batman was my in. I still contend it’s one of his better records, and not just because of the Batman association — even though it has barely anything to do with the movie.

There’s another Prince album celebrating a landmark anniversary this week. Thirty years ago, the Purple Rain album was released — a full month before the movie hit theaters — and the history of pop music was changed forever. Since no one at the NOC wanted write about the Batman album, I figured we’d celebrate that other landmark with one of my favorite pieces of Cliff Chiang art.

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Feeling Nostalgic for Nolan’s Batman Begins

Unless you were living under a rock (or fell down a well and got trapped inside a cave) yesterday, you’re probably aware that Zack Snyder officially revealed the first look at Ben Affleck in the Batsuit. And of course, I — along with everyone else on the internet — went a little nuts over it. In my write up about the Batmobile/Batsuit reveal, I mentioned how it’s already a little more than ten years since the last time my anticipation for a Batman movie was at this kind of a fever pitch.

Coincidentally, the same day that Snyder tweeted out his Batmobile tease, Cinemax happened to be airing Batman Begins. It had been a while since I sat down with the movie, so I quickly got sucked in. An hour into it, I remembered I had a twitter feed.

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