Songs Featuring ‘White’ In The Title

Sources: Star Pulse – By Brent Faulkner | Edited By – All Things Michael

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Sometimes one word provides common ground for numerous, unrelated songs. Yes it sounds crazy and probably is, but if the old genre-divided playlist has grown old, it’s time to shake things up. The possibilities that happen courtesy of a randomized playlist using one word as the inspiration is nothing short of magical.  Hence why this playlist, formed by songs featuring the word ‘white’ within their titles, is truly something… 

1) Michael Jackson, “Black or White” (Dangerous)

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Honestly, how can you leave ‘the king’ off of any list, particularly if he has a song that fits? “Black Or White” sits in first place, even if this is a noncompetitive playlist.  “Black Or White” was the sole #1 hit from Dangerous and is certainly one of Jackson’s beloved classics.  A standout lyrical moment –  “Don’t tell me you agree with me / when I saw you kicking dirt in my eye.”

2) Taylor Swift, “White Horse” (Fearless)

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Taylor Swift is a queen who rules the world – we all know this.  Before she began “shaking it off,” Ms. Swift embraced her failed relationships and the missteps involved throughout her songs.  On “White Horse,” Swift tells her former flame he has no shot with her anymore: “Try and catch me now…it’s too late to catch me now.”

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Stealing From The Best

Source: Huffington Post – By Patricia Ward Kelly | Edited By – All Things Michael

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The outpouring of responses I received for my piece about Gene and the upcoming stage production of An American in Paris prompted me to think about creativity and influences and the question — from whence comes art? Early in our conversations, Gene answered the question for me. “I believe that everyone has been influenced by people before him — or events or happenings,” he said. “The best just don’t simply spring full-blown from the earth. They’re picking up a seed that has been planted before.”

For Gene, the seeds were many. “I stole from everybody,” he said. Sometimes the borrowing was very conscious, as it was when he and his younger brother Fred went to Loew’s Penn Theater in downtown Pittsburgh and picked up the steps of the great Bill Robinson. In Gene’s mind, Robinson was “the epitome and the quintessence of tap dancing perfection.” As he said, “There were guys that did more exciting stuff, like Buck and Bubbles, in rhythm styles. But Bill Robinson was it. I was very fortunate to be a young man coming along learning dancing when he was around.” When I asked what was distinct about Robinson’s style, Gene explained, “Nobody could get the ease and the grace and the sound that Bill Robinson got. I’ve never heard it quite that clean and clear again.”

When I asked if he could he identify something in his films directly connected with Robinson, he said, “Sure, there are variations of Bill Robinson in the dance I do with Donald O’Connor in Singin’ in the Rain — ‘Moses Supposes.’ Variations of it, but, basically, some of those steps are from Bill Robinson.” According to Gene, “Bill himself had lifted from older minstrel men and vaudeville people before him; things such as asides to the audience or making jokes during the dance.” And then there was Robinson’s famous canting of his hat that would become one of Gene’s signature gestures. “He always wore a derby and he would take that off and fan himself or twist it. And when he’d make an exit, sometimes he would cock it over his eyes. We all stole that from Bill Robinson, and, Lord knows, he might have stolen it from an older minstrel man before my day, before I was even born.”

The influences spread through all forms of dance. “I soaked up everything that everybody had to teach,” he said, “I went to every dance performance that played in Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago, wherever I was. I would look at it. I’d imbibe it and it would be part of me.” And, earlier, “I stole from Martha Graham and the American Ballet Theatre and all its great dancers. But I didn’t think of it as that. I thought it was educating myself and knowing everything about dance I could know. I wanted to have enough dance that I could dance like Peer Gynt or I could dance like an American sailor getting off a ship.”

It didn’t stop there. Gene also turned to painting, sculpture, athletics, musicals, movies, books. “The more a dancer learns,” he insisted, “the better he will be.”

When I mentioned Gene’s voracious appetite to dance historian Elizabeth Kaye, she said it reminded her of her friend Rudolf Nureyev. “He was like a huge Hoover, scooping up everything.” When she asked him about his consumption, he replied with an impish grin, “I only steal from the best.”

Though Gene appreciated when people paid tribute to his work, he never relished literal renderings. He preferred, instead, to see artists take his steps and ideas and turn them into something new. Referring to the role of the artist, he said, “If he just follows the leader and accepts what’s been done before, naturally, that can be brought to a very high skill. But if he wants to change it in some way and do it differently, then it jumps up to the major league.”

To Gene, Michael Jackson was one who made this leap. His movements were derivative, yet he transformed the many borrowings into a new and exciting art form. Like Gene, Michael had an uncanny ability to imitate things precisely. One night when Michael invited us to his house for dinner to discuss the possibility of him starring in a musical version of Frankie and Johnny, he stood in the living room and performed an exact rendition of Gene’s “Ballin’ the Jack” — not the vaudeville-style number with Judy Garland in For Me and My Gal but the sexy, earthy version from Gene’s hard-to-find 1959 Pontiac television special. He had it down to the minutest detail, including the Bill Robinson-inspired cocked hat. Later, when we were seated at the dining table, he launched into a near-perfect copy of “Makin’ Whoopee,” saying he loved Gene’s harmonizing with Donald O’Connor on the old Eddie Cantor song.

I was struck by how much Gene and Michael were alike. Both were sponges, taking what they needed, modifying it, and setting aside the rest. By watching everything Gene did and mimicking his moves, Michael absorbed a whole history of dance — a range of influences from the simple, clog-shoe-steps of Bill Robinson, to the masculine ballet of Russian Adolph Bolm and the modern ingenuity of Martha Graham — and so much more.

Gene appreciated that Michael had “respect for the older generation,” and that he made “no secret” of those who had helped to shape his style. For Gene, dance was a matter of influences and all dancers “have generations behind them.” As he had advised his friend Fred Astaire years before when someone had stolen one of Fred’s routines: “You mustn’t get angry at this. You should be flattered that the guy stole your number. That’s the sincerest form of flattery. That’s happening to me, and I’m not going to resent it. I’m going to be proud of it.”

Stealing from the best, indeed.

 

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Related article: http://www.examiner.com/article/classic-movies-influenced-michael-jackson-s-performances

 

Cuz It’s A Monday Video: ‘Working Day And Night’ By Michael Jackson

Sources: Khits Chicago | All Things Michael

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Sometimes we all feel like we’re “Working Day and Night” don’t we?

“Working Day and Night” is by Michael Jackson from his 1979 album “Off The Wall.”

The song was never officially released as a single, but it was still one of MJ’s biggest songs and was a staple of Jackson’s live shows.

It’s also been sampled by everybody and their brother to create new songs! You’ll hear parts of it in songs by Timbaland, Will Smith and others!

Here’s hoping your Monday flies by!

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The Soul Rebels Cover Michael Jackson’ s Off The Wall

Sources: Jam Base | All Things Michael

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New Orleans brass band The Soul Rebels are adding to the fun of their current fall tour by rolling out a freely-downloadable “Song Of The Week” each Wednesday until the run is finished in December. We’re excited to take part in the program by sharing this week’s Song Of The Week – a brassy cover of Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” that was recorded live on tour in California earlier this year.

The Soul Rebels’ instrumental take on “Off The Wall” has been a show-stopper in concert as who doesn’t love to dance to MJ? Edward Lee lays down the song’s signature bass line on tuba as the rest of the horns go to work on its melody, making for a slamming cover of Michael Jackson’s 1979 smash.

Take a listen to The Soul Rebels’ interpretation of “Off The Wall:”

 

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Deconstruction: Michael Jackson’s Thriller (Two Instructor’s Break It Down)

Source: Point Blank London.com | All Things Michael

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The midnight hour is close at hand and we’re celebrating by ripping apart a Hallowe’en (or any other time of year) classic. Michael Jackson’s Thriller album is still the biggest selling album of all time and the title track was a landmark in production and was MTV’s first world premiere video. Written by Rod Temperton, producer Quincy Jones, along with engineer Bruce Swedien, crafted an inimitable sound, iconic for its bassline, synth strings and of course, spoken-word Edgar Allen Poe-style spiel from Vincent Price. While we might not have the Harrison 3232 console or the synth collection from Westlake Studios, LA c.1982, we will try our best to show you how the track came together using Ableton Live.

Our Electronic Music Composition instructor Ski Oakenfull will work the keys to re-create this MJ classic and if you want to learn directly from Ski, not just composition, keys, scales and structure, but mixing, mastering and much more, check out our Ableton Live Diploma here. It covers sound design, music business, mastering and in the EMC module, you’ll get exclusive deconstructions from Avicii, Julio Bashmore and more. Find out more about the course here and watch the FFL! below! Happy halloween!

 

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Twisted Music Video Of The Week Vol. 158: Michael Jackson “Ghost”

Sources: Bloody Disgusting – By  Johnathan Barkan | Edited By – All Things Michael

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We’re gonna get a little funky with this Twisted Music Video Of The Week entry by showcasing Michael Jackson‘s “Ghosts”! We’re showing the shortened video, which comes from the longform Michael Jackson’s Ghosts, a near 40-minute video that was co-written by Stephen King and directed by FX wizard Stan Winston! That video was also awarded the title of “longest music video in history” by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2002.

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“Ghosts” comes from Jackson’s 1997 remix album Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix.

If you want to watch the full version, simply head on over here.

 

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Top Inspirational Songs

Sources: The Celebrity Cafe – By Nathan DeLaTorre| Edited By – All Things Michael

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Music is a powerful tool and can impact our emotions in a variety of ways. Some songs make us want to dance, some remind us of a joyous time in our lives, and some bring tears to our eyes.

There are some songs that push you to run that extra mile on the treadmill and some that give you the smallest glimmer of hope that you need to get through an exhausting work day.

Every diverse artist on this list lives up to that very title. From Eminem to U2, all of these performers have created songs that have become a major part of our culture and inspire us to be better people. Although some of them like Michael Jackson are no longer with us, their music lives on.

You will most likely have heard a few of these songs at some point in your life, simply by watching a movie or going to a sports event. This is a list of 10 of the most inspirational songs that remind you to never give up.

1. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

The number one spot on this list goes to a song that combines two terrific inspirational songs to create one perfect, peaceful melody that brings a tear to your eyes and joy to your heart. The late Israel Kamakawiwo’ole did the impossible by redefining an already iconic song sung by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

Whenever you are feeling sad or confused, don’t be afraid to turn to one of these songs or one of your own favorite songs to renew your spirits.

2. “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson

The world lost the King of Pop when Michael Jackson passed away in 2009. Jackson released “Man in the Mirror” in 1988 as part of his album Bad.  No one can argue that Jackson is one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Even after his death, Jackson has become immortal through the legacy of his music.

3. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

Nothing is quite as recognizable as the opening melody of “Eye of the Tiger.” The song was created by Survivor at the request of Sylvester Stallone who wanted the perfect theme song to match his character in Rocky III. If you ever need a song for a montage, it is impossible to go wrong with “Eye of the Tiger.”

4. “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey

One of the greatest karaoke songs in existence, Journey released “Don’t Stop Believin'” in 1981 and since then the record has become a staple in popular culture. You might recognize the song as an anthem for your favorite sports team or from HBO’s The Sopranos. The song is also featured in the Broadway musical Rock of Ages so it’s clear to see that “Don’t Stop Believin'” speaks to and inspires a variety of audiences.

 

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“No Mortal Can Resist The Thriller!” – A Cute Story About A Woman’s Mild Obsession

Sources: Connect Statesboro – By Brittani Howell | All Things Michael

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I was deeply saddened to hear that “Thriller” practice would be cancelled this week due to rehearsals for the upcoming Dracula ballet (page 15, in case you’re interested). This is going to sound completely dorky, but I have to admit it: dancing in a “Thriller” zombie parade has been on my bucket list since I realized that was a widespread tradition.

My first encounter with the “Thriller” was back in my senior year of high school. My AP Calculus class was an odd bunch to the man, right down to our teacher. At some point during the semester we decided that learning “Thriller” would be a better use of our class time than preparing for the AP Calculus test. We performed the dance at the Halloween pep rally, and it was fantastic — almost worth the fact that we all pretty much bombed the AP Calc test later in the year.

Ever since then, though, I get mildly obsessed with the cult classic every time Halloween rolls around. Macon used to do a “Thriller” parade every year and I always, without fail, managed to be out of town when it happened. One year I happened to be walking through the park when I saw the zombie mob out practicing. I jumped in just for kicks, even though I didn’t know anybody and wouldn’t be there for the performance. That’s how weird my obsession with this dance is.

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So my course of action seemed pretty clear last year when, as a teacher in Thailand, I had to come up with something to do with my class of rowdy little Thai seventh-graders for their Halloween English lesson. My other English co-teachers did Halloween vocabulary Bingo or had them create their own monsters. Really good, smart, academic activities — and, of course, not what I was going to do at all.

On Oct. 31, all of my classes walked into our classrooms throughout the day to find the desks pushed up against the walls, the Michael Jackson video projected on the white board, and Teacher Brittani standing at the front of the class wearing a witch costume and a mildly manic grin.

Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that no mortal can resist the evil of the Thriller, but I will assure you that not one of my little Thai students could. Despite the looks of absolute horror that spread throughout the room when they figured out we were learning a dance for the day’s lesson, every single one of them had mastered the zombie hands and the Michael Jackson shimmy by the end of class, counting out the steps in Thai and dissolving with laughter at how stupid we all (okay, mostly me) looked trying to learn the dance. Even my rowdiest, naughtiest kids threw themselves into the activity, and by the day’s end, I had set loose a horde of little zombies on the town.

My classes were taught on a rotating schedule, so I only had half of my 360 students on Oct. 31. The next day I came into class in normal clothes with lessons prepared, and as I wrote up the exercises my kids all came rushing into class, wildly excited — and then confused, when they saw a distinct lack of Michael Jackson in the room.

“Teacher,” one of them called out, his hand in the air. “Teacher, play game?”

“No, bud, not today,” I answered, wondering what had made him think that was on the day’s agenda. I looked around the classroom. The kids looked at best crestfallen ­­— at worst, devastated. The boy who’d spoken first put his hand in the air again, looking earnest and confused. “Teacher, Halloween?”

And that’s how 40 Thai children guilted me into a full class of playing Bingo to make up for not teaching them a Michael Jackson dance.

And that’s a long, meandering way of saying: If you aren’t planning on dancing the “Thriller” at the Oct. 25 Scare on the Square, you’re missing out.

Brittani Howell is the editor of Connect Statesboro. When she signed up for “Thriller” practice, she was the first adult. The second-oldest person was, like, six. If you want to get in touch, shoot her a message at bhowell@connectstatesboro.com!

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