Showtime Presents Spike Lee’s MICHAEL JACKSON’S JOURNEY FROM MOTOWN TO OFF THE WALL Documentary

Sources: Broadway World | All Thing Michael

186.1

Showtime will debut the world television premiere of Oscar nominee Spike Lee’s latest documentary, MICHAEL JACKSON’S JOURNEY FROM MOTOWN TO OFF THE WALL, tonight, February 5th at 9 p.m. ET/PT, with multiple plays throughout the month on-air, on demand and over the internet.

The film focuses on a rarely examined chapter of Jackson’s career as he evolves from the lead singer of Jackson 5 to a solo artist recording what will become his breakthrough, seminal 1979 pop record, Off The Wall. Audiences will travel with the global superstar as he strikes a new path with CBS Records, first with his brothers as The Jackson’s and then stepping out on his own to create his own music with his own team. This illuminating portrait traces how an earnest, passionate, hard-working young man becomes the “King of Pop.”

MICHAEL JACKSON’S JOURNEY FROM MOTOWN TO OFF THE WALL contains a wealth of footage, including material from Michael’s personal archive, and in his own words. The documentary also includes interviews with prominent entertainment and sports stars including Lee Daniels, The Weeknd, Pharrell Williams, Kobe Bryant, Misty Copeland, Mark Ronson, John Legend, Questlove, L.A. Reid, and more, as well as his parents Katherine and Joe Jackson, and his brothers Jackie and Marlon Jackson. Off The Wall created a whole new category in pop music. Written by Michael Jackson, the first single from Off The Wall, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” earned Jackson his first Grammy® and was his first single to hit No. 1 in the U.S. and internationally as a solo artist. The album was an enormous commercial success; as of 2014 it is certified eight times platinum in the United States and has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. Off The Wall not only “invented pop music as we know it,” wrote Rolling Stone, it transcended music and entertainment altogether, BECOMING an important moment in African-American history.

The film is produced by Spike Lee, John Branca and John McClain.

SHOWTIME is available to subscribers via cable, DBS and telco providers, and as a stand-alone streaming service through Apple®, Roku®, Amazon and Google. Consumers can also subscribe to Showtime via Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Sony PlayStation® Vue.

Goosebumps

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_asjdwsx0228ss0wcsg04owk84_640

Goosebumps.

It happened again this afternoon, working on some edits. I heard a section of a guitar solo by Slash and I I was thrown back in time, back into the studio. It was weird and amazing.

Michael was complicated in many ways. He wasn’t just a singer, he wasn’t just a dancer. He didn’t just love pop music, he didn’t just love classical. He didn’t just love statues, he didn’t just love books. He loved it all and wanted more. He pushed the limits constantly in terms of music, dance, creativity, philanthropy and fashion. He was complicated, and loved extremes. “More guitar!” he pleaded with Bruce during mixes. “More strings… I love the strings!!”

I have mentioned this before, but Michael had this habit – for lack of a better word – where his emotion would get the best of him and he would throw his head back and shriek or howl if he loved something. And it wasn’t an act – it was him fully letting go of what he was feeling. Since I am a stoic Swede, this took me a while to understand. If you are not ready for a Michael Jackson shriek next to you, it will wake you up.

Over time I started to love seeing him light up over a mix, or a new ride, or a even a piece of classical music. I remember clearly building him a giant sound system at the ranch – which filled an area about the size of a football field – and bringing him out to hear it. I chose DeBussy as my demo music, as I knew how much he loved that composer. As the music swelled he clenched his fists, closed his eyes and raised his face to the sky – and let out the loudest “HOOOOOO!!” you can imagine.

Goosebumps.

So this afternoon I was listening to some of the music with Slash’s guitar. Slash and Michael had the coolest friendship. Michael wasn’t going to be pigeonholed as a pop singer, or an R&B artist, or a great dancer. He blew the doors of genre. He brought in Steve Stevens and Slash and Eddie Van Halen. And the New York Philharmonic. And Biggie Smalls. And Babyface. And Paulinho. It was hard to keep up with him musically.

But today it was Slash. I heard a song I had not listened to in quite a while, and Slash owned it. He owned it, battered it, deep fried it and served it. And even though it isn’t on the track, in my mind I could hear Michael howl. And I got goosebumps. It stopped me in my tracks. My daughter Amanda has been working with me on some of the show edits and production, and I made her stop and let me listen to it again. Just for fun. Just for that momentary throwback into the studio. I didn’t want to leave.

It’s funny when I am somewhere unexpected and I get thrown back into the studio with Michael. It might be in a grocery store when I hear Smooth Criminal while picking out a bag of spinach. Or ice skating in New York (this actually happened a few weeks ago) when they decided to play You Are Not Alone. Just for a few seconds the world stops and and I’m back in a session from more than two decades ago, listening to Michael record a vocal.

I don’t have a time machine. I can’t take you there, though I wish I could, because I think you would really like it. I think you would get goosebumps.

After listening to Slash a couple more times I regained my focus and continued with some of the last-minute edits. But it’s weird. You know that dumb saying, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?” OK, maybe it’s not dumb, but hear me out. In my daily life I very rarely play Michael music. Don’t get me wrong – I love many of his songs, and dislike a few also. But I don’t just hear the song. I feel the memories, like they happened yesterday. I hear his laugh. I hear his curious questions. I hear his ideas. I hear the vocal layers. I hear the snare and the kick. And, sometimes, I get the goosebumps. Like today.

I’m not a dancer, I’m not a singer, and you really don’t want to hear me shriek. But maybe Michael’s style of taking a big bite out of everything you do is something I can learn from. Don’t just hire a guitar player – get Slash! Don’t just dance – Moonwalk! Don’t just sing a song – own it with every fiber of your being!

Yes, I loved being in the studio with Michael, and yes, I miss it. I can’t go back, but I can appreciate, study, learn and teach what it was like, what we did right, how we did it, and why. But teaching will only go so far – at some point you have to feel. You have to close your eyes and raise your head and feel. The goosebumps will come.

vibe-vixen-michael-jackson-gif21

http://inthestudiowithmj.com/events/

Source: In the Studio With Michael Jackson | All Things Michael

Who’s Bad Gets At The Center Of A Michael Jackson Classic

Sources: The Daily Progress – By Mary Blackwell | All Things Michael

tumblr_mokaa1oy3J1r8a7j9o1_500

It was January — 36 years ago, last week.

“Rock With You” became the No. 1 single in the country.

It was one of four No. 1 hits off the groundbreaking “Off the Wall” album.

That was the album that launched Michael Jackson’s solo career. It is relevant to this day.

“Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Spike Lee’s second documentary on the King of Pop also will air on Showtime on Feb. 5.

It features archival footage from the singer’s personal collection, some of which many have never seen before. John Legend and Pharrell Williams explain why the music is still relevant to them. It follows the young singer from his days with the Jackson 5 to his breakout solo album, his first with producer Quincy Jones.

Jones and Jackson met while filming “The Wiz.” Relevance? The remake of last month’s “The Wiz Live” drew more than 11 million viewers. It was the most-tweeted live special on Nielsen Twitter.

Don’t stop ’til you get enough. And you don’t have to wait. At least not until Friday.

It seems fans still like to get out and dance to the blend of Jackson’s funk, pop, disco and jazz, even nearly seven years after the singer’s passing.

Who’s Bad has been ever accommodating, packing venues across the U.S. since 2004.

The “Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute” band will be returning to Charlottesville for a Friday night show at the Jefferson.

Vamsi Tadepalli put together a group of top musicians and dancers from North Carolina. The composer and saxophonist added the finishing one-gloved touch with not one, but two frontmen — Joseph Bell and Taalib York.

York has been dancing since he was 7, copying the moves of his childhood idol. As an adult, the award-winning dancer and choreographer also will be showing off his vocal abilities. He not only has recorded his own music, but he also has written and co-written for various artists for Motown and Def Jam Records.

Bell, originally from Connecticut by way of Atlanta, has the voice down pat.

mj1 (1)

To perfect his craft, Bell worked with Travis Payne, lead choreographer of Jackson’s “This is It” tour, and choreographer Frank Gatson. Gaston was one of the dancers in the “Smooth Criminal” video.

He also appeared in the made-for-TV film “The Jacksons: An American Dream.” His other credits include performing on “Star Search,” as well as the big screen’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It.”

All told, the frontmen are just two members of a nine-person group that enjoys bringing Jackson’s spirit and sound to audiences around the globe. In fact, they have performed on every continent.

Who’s Bad has sold out nearly 50 venues in the United Kingdom, including London’s O2, where Jackson was scheduled to perform at the end of his tour.

It is all relevant.

If you want to watch the reel deal, Spike Lee’s DVD — along with the reissue of 1979’s “Off the Wall” album — will go on sale Feb. 26. You even may be able to find “Bad 25,” which Lee released in 2012. (Don’t be surprised if there is a thriller of a trilogy in the future.)

In the meantime, go see who’s bad. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Who’s Bad — The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute

8 p.m. Friday, January 29th. Doors open at 7 p.m. $17; $15 advance. Call (800) 594-8499 for more information

Jefferson Theater

jeffersontheater.com

 

Read more here

‘Off The Wall’ Shows Promise Of Young Michael Jackson

1169273305

I’m sure I’ve told you this a million times before that I’m a big fan of Michael Jackson, but then aren’t we all? His estate and record label are extremely astute at keeping his legacy alive and finding new ways to present his incredible back catalogue.

Next month ‘Off The Wall,’ his 1979 album is having the reissue treatment with all the usual extras you would expect including a glossy booklet and a documentary directed by Spike Lee. When Jackson is discussed there are no end of plaudits for ‘Thriller’ which is understandable as it did rather well sales wise. More than 100m copies at last count and still has the accolade as the world’s biggest-selling album. A record that will probably stand for a while yet.

So it’s no wonder that ‘Off The Wall’ is often overlooked by fans and critics alike. There are tracks on the record that everyone will know including ‘Rock With You’ and ‘Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough’ but it’s also crammed with hidden gems which makes it really worth a listen if you are not familiar.

Jackson recorded the album at the age of 20, his first with producer Quincy Jones. Of Course Michael Jackson was a child star with his brothers at Motown. He had released solo records previously but ‘Off The Wall’ was his coming of age. He really found his trademark vocal style with all the yelps and ows and shee hees he is so famous for. It was also the first time we heard his gruff powerful voice on tracks like ‘Workin’ Day And Night.’ He was always known as a soul singer but this album was more than just soul, it was funky. And heartfelt at the same time. The ballad ‘She’s Out Of My Life’ is simply beautiful.

The album was a massive indicator of what was to come. Jackson was a great pioneer of the music video and you will see some his early experiments in the field with this album. They may look a little primitive by today’s standards but at the time they were considered cutting edge and no one else was making them.

Rolling Stone Magazine once described the album as the record that “Invented modern pop music as we know it.” High praise indeed.

Read more at Pendleton Today

 

Tribute To Michael Jackson Symphonic

Fullscreen capture 1172016 64225 PM

Michael Jackson was a true American music superstar who ruled the world’s stage for nearly four decades. He had a great impact on the face of pop culture – not only did his songs gained huge notoriety; also he became famous with a revolutionary approach to music short films and popularized dance moves such as the moonwalk and the robot.

Leading Polish artists Natalia Kukulska, Cuba Badach, Ania Dabrowska, Riffertone and dozens of artists will perform on stage in tribute to King of Pop in symphonic arrangement. Jack Piskorz is the musical producer and arranger for this event, which will include members of l’Autunno Symphony Orchestra and Academic Choir of the University. Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, will perform songs of the pop icon symphonic version.

Tribute to Michael Jackson Symphonic: featuring Ania Dabrowska, Natalia Kukulska, Cuba Badach, Riffertone.

Date: March 19, 2016

Time: 19:00

Place: Hall and Entertainment – Sports Street. Śniadeckich 4 in Koszalin

Presale tickets prices range from 69 to 189 PLN. To purchase over the counter at the Hall, call tel. 94 343 61 43. To purchase online, visit bilety.hala.koszalin.pl.

Sources: All Things Michael | GK 24 PL

LASER SPECTACULAR’S THE SPIRIT OF MICHAEL

71437036_10

Laser Spectacular’s “The Spirit of Michael,” an amazing multi-media experience paying tribute to the life and legacy of Michael Jackson’s forty-year career, will be held at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Friday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m.

The program features live performances of Jackson’s amazing choreography and also includes state-of-the-art lasers, large screen video projections and concert sound. This show takes the audience on a visual journey that captures the essence of Michael Jackson his early years as a child prodigy to mega star.

Michael Jackson was the undisputed King of Pop. His numerous works in video, film, live appearances, and his unique and varied creations expanded the boundaries of the visual arts, thereby making Michael not only the King of Pop, but the King of Multi-Media as well. Along with the laser beams and graphics, the Laser Spectacular show is designed to give the audience the same experience of a live concert.

For tickets ($47.50 Adults, $37.50 Children), call or visit the box office at The Ridgefield Playhouse, (203) 438-5795, or order your tickets online at ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

Sources: All Things Michael | Ridgefield Playhouse

A Quick Story About Noel Lee, Michael, Bruce And Monster Cable

Sources: In The Studio With Michael – By Brad Sundberg

tumblr_inline_n7qjx7EyHu1sycy1f

This year at CES in Vegas (no, I won’t be there this time) Monster Cable is hosting a huge tribute event for Michael Jackson. Noel Lee is no stranger to hosting these monster events (are two catch-words in one sentence too many?), and I take my hat to his quest for perfection and showmanship.

I met Noel many years, as you might expect, in the studio. In the early days of the Bad album there was some sort of sponsorship agreement between Monster Cable and Michael, so before we knew it there was a truck behind the studio unloading case after case of some of the most beautiful cables you have ever seen.

Now, I admit that I am a bit of a geek with this sort of thing, but these cables were amazing, in every style and format imaginable. That was the good news. The Bad news (catch-word number three) was that Bruce actually wanted to use them. All the time.

OK, it wasn’t bad – but it was work. Studios are wired in such a way that all of the cables are hidden in the walls, feeding patch bays and mic panels. Typically all the engineer needs to touch is the microphone, a short mic cable, and maybe a patch cord.

Now Bruce wanted me to drag hundreds of feet of Monster Cable for recording vocals, drums, guitars, etc. No need for the gym – these cables were like small fire hoses, only heavier.

And yes, they did sound great.

Bruce was so particular about using these cables – I swear this is true – that he would record drums on a fat 2″ 16-track analog machine, then IMMEDIATELY look at me and say, ‘”OK, let’s transfer them to digital.”

This would mean I would have to get the Monster Cable “harness” which weighed about 9000 lbs, and connect the outputs of the analog machine directly into the inputs of the digital machine. I still remember my hands getting sore from unplugging and plugging in all of these cables, over and over again. We took this stuff very seriously. (By transferring those “fresh” tracks right after recording, we were forever capturing the analog sound on a digital format – the best of both worlds so to speak.)

For vocals we would run a long Monster Microphone Cable from the Michael’s mic in the studio to Bruce’s Preamp in the control room. I would have to jam it under the doors and remind Michael not to trip on it in the dark. (Jam and Trip – two more points.)

Bruce even went to so far as to have Monster make custom blue and yellow patch cords for the patch bay, because Bruce (and I) are Swedish, and those are the colors of the Swedish flag. (And the Ikea sign, but that’s not part of this story.)

Noel Lee used to make occasional visits to us in the studio. We had various guests who would stop by, friends of Michael, Bruce or Quincy, but not too many. Noel was a pro at knowing how often to visit and how long to stay. He was always friendly and upbeat, with a huge smile and endless curiosity. And – he loves music. He was allowed to hear mixes and production tracks that we were working on, something that I think he very much appreciated.

There were other guests – who shall forever remain nameless – who I was perhaps less “enthusiastic” when they arrived, but Noel was always a pleasure to be around. In no small way does he represent the “American Dream” of building a huge company from nothing. And he’s a blame nice guy to boot!

I wish Noel nothing but ongoing success in his business ventures as well has his tribute event for Michael this week. I wish I were in Vegas to see what he has put together!

We will be in Helsinki, Stockholm and Paris in less than two weeks. My new edits and segments are almost finished (although the seminar will always be changing and trying new things), and I am very excited to spend a few days in the cold!

I hope you will consider joining us in the studio – it’s always warm in here.

Tickets on sale now at www.inthestudiowithmj.com/events

Will You Be There?

Why Michael Jackson ONE Is A Must-See In Las Vegas

Fullscreen capture 152016 81954 AM

It’s an understatement to say the superstar dominated not just black culture, but pop culture for much of the ’80s and ’90s. And because of this impact, Michael Jackson will forever live in on for future generations. His legacy will live on most especially in the spirit of those talented performers, musicians, and artists who continue to reinvent, reinvigorate, and re-imagine Michael’s legendary music. MJ lovers can get a taste at one of the amazing performances offered in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay with Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil.

The show, in a word, is riveting. Fans ages five to 50-plus are treated to a visual feast of intricate costumes, transformative stage production, and, of course, decades worth of iconic dance sequences helmed by the “King of Pop” himself. Featuring an electrifying fusion of acrobatics, dance, and visuals that reflects the dynamic discipine and talent of MJ, ONE immerses the audience into the world of not just Michael’s music, but his life that was exposed through his lyrics…….

Read the full review here

 

Sources: Black Enterprises | All Things Michael