Friday, June 26, 2009

who will blog about michael jackson today?


And everyone will have their reasons. Is his death blog worthy? Yes.

Regardless of his freakshow persona, Michael Jackson was a STAR. Anyone between the ages of 35 and 45 cannot disagree with that. In the 80s he was everywhere all the time. His performance of the moonwalk on the Motown anniversary special was extraordinary. No one had seen that move before. No one in mainstream North America, anyway. We were sure he was magic. There was no PVR instant replay and everyone jumped up off their "chesterfields" and shouted "What the hell was THAT?!" Based on that one thing MJ did the world of dance opened up. It's thanks to him that we have breakin, poppin, lockin, street, crump. And, if it weren't for MJ doing that one move on live TV we would NOT be seeing it on prime time television today.

The Thriller video premier was an EVENT. Everyone stayed in to watch it that night, like it was the Superbowl or the Royal Wedding. It changed the face of music video, which was like this before Michael Jackson came along and showed us how it could be done. Not only was Thriller a great song but there was a story attached to it, preceding it, wrapped around it.... and Michael was going to tell that story the best way possible. He wouldn't do it any other way. Sure, MTV shortened the video and played that regularly but he made history with the 14 minute version. 14 minutes!! Unheard of. John Landis? A cinematic director? Unheard of. Even wiki calls Landis' Triller Video a "short film". It was so popular MTV had to air it twice an hour. People wanted to see it but there was no way to show it without planning around it. It was just too long. How can you sell ads when you're taking up all your time showing content? Announce that you're showing it and make people wait. We sat and watched those ads because we couldn't stand the thought of missing even a moment of that video. The reaction was astounding. Everyone wanted to be like Michael. Everybody did their own version of the moonwalk in their paneled basements. Everybody was talking about it the next day.


People cried because they couldn't stand to see Michael looking so horrific. The special effects like that were unheard of in music video. The cinematography. No blue screens! The make up. His cat eyes. Holy shit, the dancing. The choreography was so sophisticated people are still inspired by it 25 years later. People like Wade Robson.

Every video was a song first and the Thriller album is still the best selling album of all time and if you were around to buy it on vinyl you remember how excited you were to open up the jacket and see Michael reclining in the white suit. (I still have the portrait of Michael Jackson I drew using that jacket as inspiration. And I still have my original copy of Thriller. Track number one is a different colour than all the others because it is so worn down. I will never give away that album. I've kept it for 25 years for a reason. It was special. But I might sell the portrait if the price is right ;)

I'm not discounting all the freakshow antics neither - the endless surgeries, the baby dangling, the allegations. That's not what this blog is about, though. This blog is about what made him a star right up until his death.......

Why will everyone blog about MJ? It was impossible to google his name when the news broke. Impossible.

A Google spokesperson confirmed: “Some Google News users experienced difficulty accessing search results for queries related to Michael Jackson.” This difficulty occurred between 10.40pm and 11.15pm UK time.

During this period Google News did not go down, but users searching for Michael Jackson related information were asked to verify they were indeed a human and not a computer attempting to launch a spam attack.

The last time there was such strain put on the web was in the aftermath of 9/11. However, despite certain individual sites being unable to cope with the pressure in 2001, most notably the BBC which went blank for a period, people could still surf the rest of the web.

(That's a snippet from here.)

Twitter tweets doubled. Facebook traffic tripled. Another first for Michael Jackson. Someone needs to add that to his wiki. He broke the Internet.

RIP Michael Jackson but this post is dedicated to Farrah Fawcett.

Friday, June 5, 2009

so you think you can blog

There should be a reality show where all the up and coming amateur bloggers all over the great wide web compete in front of a live audience of millions to become the season's best blogger.

A panel of judges consisting of industry champs evaluate each competitor's ability to blog on the spot regarding a completely improvised subject. A word, please, any word. Give me a word and I will blog upon it.

And they'd have to blog in myriad styles. Like, this week is Shakespeare blog. Next week is Tommy Lee blog. Week after that is British Invasion blogging. Yeah, that's the ticket.

People would vote on the bloggers/blogs/blogging performances just like they do on Idol. MMMMMMM. Imagine. 88 million votes for l'il Jimmy Pohkipsie blogging about LEMONS. People liked him best because he whistled while he blogged. (The pucker was brilliant.) Coming in a close second is Margaret Hogart from Flommo, Indiana who blogged while she knit a lemon cozy. Both scoring multitasking points. Of course the cutest blogger would win after 13 weeks of sweaty, competitive blogging and behind the scenes action.

They'd be judged on their ability to link to exterior sites, insert images and video, use widgets. Et cetera. How exciting would that be? The whole of America tuned in on prime time television listening to celebrity judges high on pain killers give advice like "Your fingers need more flexibility! That's the kind of blogging I'd expect to see on a cruise ship. If you don't end up in the bottom three, I'll be surprised. People will forget that blog by tomorrow."

The show's opening imagery could be something like this with music like this. I'm sure if I pitched this to the networks they'd buy it. I'm just sure. The thought of that kind of programming gives me chills right up the very core of my spine.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

to download or not to download

that is the question.

Do I feel guilty? No. Should I? Maybe but thanks to the Roman Catholic upbringing I received I feel guilty about quite enough already. Thank you kindly.

I've spent my whole life paying for music and movies and music and movies. So much money. I have a huge collection of CDs and DVDs and I had a HUGE collection of ..... get this CASSETTE TAPES! And vinyl and now?

Now vinyl is back and it costs so much more money than it ever has. I'm not talking about some new hot DJ bootleg mix of some Lady GaGa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa poker face, neither. I'm talking about any vinyl you want to buy. If it's new it's on 180 gram press or something or other. Whatever it is it's thick and black and heavy and pricey. Not that floppy vinyl we used to buy in the 70s, yo.

I fully support vinyl coming back! I fully support the warmth of analog and the rich sound you can get from an integrated tube amp like this.

And I get that if you have a great system with wicked speakers and a turn table you want to pay for your sound cos you paid for your sound. And I support and love all you audiophiles out there. Because I love and support the audiophile in me.

But when it comes to the audiophile in me having a credit card I have to cool my heels, slow my low ride, get a gangster lean, swerve low. I can't come up with anything else so you get the idea. It's too expensive to be an addict! I have to have some freebies and I think that I am such a share-monkey that I'm walking advertising for people if I can just get access to their stuff. I pay for things I should pay for and I take some stuff for free. That is the way the world works.

I mean, Radiohead got tons of money for their last album when they asked us to PWYC. Or WYTIW. The fans will support their bands at any cost. But there is no way in hell I'm paying to TRIPLE REPLACE my Depeche Mode collection. I love Depeche Mode. I have been a fan since the early days when they were played only after 11PM on CFNY when CFNY was CFNY and not 102.1 THE EDGE. (Give me a break. I'm sure I stopped listening the moment they went from using call letters to THE EDGE. Yes, CFNY was cool at one point. That's where you heard New Wave and that was where I first heard the Violent Femmes Add It Up. I should say that is THE ONLY radio station that I have EVER heard play that song. The irony here is that they will not play that song today.)

But back to REPLACING music. No I won't pay for it. I had the entire DM collection on tape. I have since bought some DM on vinyl. I had the DM collection on CD. I STILL PAID FOR IT AGAIN WHEN I GOT MY FIRST I POD. But after that ipod kakked. After my hard drive fried itself like pop eats itsself I had to stop paying for DM. It's like quitting smoking. I mean, smoking is just stupid so if you're still smoking you know you're doing something really stupid. Paying for the same thing over and over is just stupid.

So I downloaded DM. That's right, all of it. (Okay not the new stuff cos I'm not interested but you get the idea.) Do you think I'm a "fan" or a "pirate"? Do you think their record company suffered? Are Dave Gahan's kids starving in the street? Selling their bodies to pay for mp3s?

I listen to everything. I love music. DM is ONE BAND on a list of x to the power of n. How many collections do I replace?

We haven't even started to talk about the DVDs. Soon, that technology will be poof gone. Am I going to buy all those movies and box sets again and again as the formats and players disappear? Two words - Blu Ray.

Some more words - avi mp4 mp3r kindle tamagatchi flac DTS ogg ATRAC AAC TTA AIFF WAV dolby reel to reel (which i used to edit with a grease pencil and a razor blade) DISCONTINUED HD DVD laserdisc high 8 super 8 polaroid look at this do you know how many people don't know what this is?

Really. Technology=uroboros. Download or .....