Michael Jackson Inspired Heel To Be Featured In Giuseppe Zanotti’s Latest Designer Collection

Sources: All Things Michael | E Online | Style.com

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Giuseppe Zanotti’s latest collection will featured a shoe in honor of Michael Jackson.

Pulling inspiration from the King of Pop, the designer dreamed up the “MJ,” a caged heel with silver hard wear detailing in 2002.

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“MJ” shoe with design drawing

The shoe is part of the Italian designer’s Rock ‘n’ Roll line, which celebrates the brand’s 20th anniversary.

“The pop legend has been a source of inspiration throughout my career. I worked with Michael numerous times. It was a great privilege to have known and collaborated with such an iconic star.”

He also designed a sexy black stiletto for Kim Kardashian, named Mrs. West, which features oversize metal hardwear down the front. This peep-toe bootie was created for Kim upon Kanye’s advice, while visiting my factory in San Mauro Pascoli. This is the first shoe Kanye had made for Kim, before they got married.

Mrs. West

“Mrs. West”

Mrs West shoe design drawing

Mrs West shoe design drawing

The entire collection hits shelves this December.

 

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Autistic Teen Gets Down To ‘Thriller’ At Michael Jackson Tribute Show

Sources: Times Free Press – By Shawn Ryan | All Things Michael

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Jesse Hullender, center, poses with Meleeke McCants, left, and Danny Ware after the Black Jacket Symphony performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” at the Tivoli Theatre. Ten-year-old Meleeke sang songs from Jackson’s days with the Jackson 5, while Ware was the vocalist for the rest of the show. Photo: Shawn Ryan

He appears in the aisle of the Tivoli Theatre, right down front, as the Black Jacket Symphony bounces through Michael Jackson’s funky, bubbly “The Way You Make Me Feel.”

Eyes are drawn to him — black hat, just like Michael’s; red jacket, just like Michael’s’ mirrored shades, just like Michael’s and, of course, the single silver-sequined glove, just like Michael’s.

And then he starts dancing, throwing down some of Michael’s moves.

“I saw him! He was in the middle of the floor, and man, he was jammin’!” Black Jacket vocalist Danny Ware, who sounds as much like Michael as Michael, says effusively after the show last Saturday, standing in the Tivoli lobby.

Yes, 16-year-old Jesse Hullender loves Michael Jackson, has since he was about 11 years old. He’s listened to the albums, knows them by heart. He has danced as Michael in talent shows at Bradley County’s Ocoee Middle School and Walker Valley High School, where he’s now a sophomore.

“I like his music,” Jesse says, slowly and quietly, after the Black Jacket Symphony show. “It’s my favorite dance style.”

Jesse, you see, has autism, a case so severe, when he was diagnosed at 4 years old, doctors said he’d probably end up in a mental hospital. For life.

“He was so bad … we were told he’d probably have to be institutionalized, that he’d never speak, that he didn’t have any imagination,” recalls Monte Wilson, his grandfather. “It about broke our hearts; I almost tear up thinking about it now.”

“All I knew about autism was the movie ‘Rain Man,'” says his mother, 34-year-old Lindsey Johnson. “I remember praying every night for God to keep me alive at least long enough for Jesse to know who I was and how much I loved him.”

But Jesse has taken those predictions and moonwalked over them. He speaks just fine, although carefully and cautiously in short sentences; he shakes hands and makes eye contact, unlike many with autism, and doesn’t seem ill at ease in a crowd; he is doing well in school and wants to be a chef when he graduates.

“His favorite shows are ‘Hell’s Kitchen and ‘MasterChef.’ He loves Gordon Ramsey,” his mother says.

Knowing how much Jesse loves Michael Jackson, Wilson decided to surprise him when the Black Jacket Symphony came to town with its note-for-note, song-by-song performance of “Thriller” plus a selection of Jackson’s greatest hits. To get it right, they even hired Ware, a Michael Jackson impersonator from Orlando, Fla., to handle lead vocals.

Wilson bought tickets to the show but didn’t tell Jesse; instead, he told him there was a talent show that night downtown and maybe Jesse could get dressed up and do his Michael Jackson impersonation in it. Jesse didn’t know he was going to the concert until they walked up to the Tivoli.

“I was in shock from the very first moment,” Jesse says.

But he got over it quickly, spending a lot of the concert dancing in the aisle, unable to stay seated.

And that thing that doctors said about no imagination? His grandfather just laughs and, in the Tivoli lobby, points to Jesse’s outfit and hip-shaking joy at the show.

“No imagination?” Wilson asks, hugging Jesse shoulder-to-shoulder. “Just look at him.”

“Jesse is my miracle,” his mother says. “He inspires me to be a better person, and I admire his perseverance and his determination.”

 

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Joel Vogel’s Essay For The National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress On Michael Jackson’s Thriller

Sources: Joel Vogel | Edited By All Things Michael

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Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” changed the trajectory of music-the way it sounded, the way it felt, the way it looked, the way it was consumed. Only a handful of albums come anywhere close to its seismic cultural impact: the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper,” Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” Nirvana’s “Nevermind.”Yet “Thriller” remains, by far, the best-selling album of al l time. Current estimates put U.S. sales at close to 35 million, and global sales at over 1 10 million.

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Its success is all the more remarkable given the context.  In 1982, the United States was still in the midst of a deep recession as unemployment reached a four-decade high ( l 0.8 percent). Record companies were laying people off in droves.  Top 40 radio had all but died, as stale classic rock (AOR) dominated the airwaves.  Disco had faded.  MTV was still in its infancy.  As “The New York Times” puts it:  “There had never been a bleaker year for pop than 1982.”

And then came “Thriller.”  The album hit record stores in the fall of ’82.  It’s difficult to get beyond the layers of accolades and imagine the sense of excitement and discovery for listeners hearing it for the first time–before the music videos, before the stratospheric sales numbers and awards, before it became ingrained i n our cultural DN A. The compact disc (CD) was made commercially available that same year, but the vast majority of listeners purchased the album as an LP or cassette tape (the latter of which outsold records by 1983). The rapid explosion of portable cassette Walkman personal stereos meant people could experience music privately and on the go.

Once listeners popped in their cassette of “Thriller,” they were taken away. Three ricocheting drum beats kick off the frenetic opener, appropriately titled “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin.”‘ There simply wasn’t a genre for a song like this in 1982. It wasn’t disco. It wasn’t funk. It wasn’t R&B. It wasn’t new wave. It was something new: a song that contained strains of each of these styles, and more; a song so wild and energetic it nearly bursts at the seams, unpredictably culminating in a triumphant Swahili chant. This was the sound of a new pop renaissance. It had no borders. It was a sonic carnival, perfectly capturing the diversity, fusion and velocity of a new era.

Critics have often characterized “Thriller” as a collection of hits, rather than a coherent album with a unified theme.  This assessment is partially correct.  Seven of its nine songs, after all, became Top Ten hits.  “Thriller” isn’t a concept album, and never settles on a particular motif or emotion.  Instead, it is about shifting tensions:  between traditional instrumentation and electronic sounds, innocence and experience, optimism and dread, anxiety and ecstasy.  The chaotic energy of its opener dissolves into the effortless glide of “Baby Be Mine”; the breezy charm of “The Girl is Mine” transitions without warning into the dark Gothic robofunk of the title track. “Sequencing an album,” explains Quincy Jones, “is one of the joys  in being a producer because it’s like making a movie.  That’s why I had ‘Human Nature’ right after ‘Billie Jean’ on “Thriller.”  Because ‘Billie Jean’ was in three parts, like a mantra.  The other one is like a kaleidoscopic harmonic collage, with all the harmonies running around the place. The ear loves that-it loves to feel that growth and change and movement.”

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Jackson and Jones sifted through over 600 songs before settling on a final tracklist of nine. Jones referred to this process as “Polaroids.” Each potential song was held up to see if it had the right qualities and how it fit with already-existing material. Jackson brought in at least a dozen self­written tracks, including album standouts “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin,”‘ “Billie Jean,” and “Beat It.” Rod Temperton, a talented British musician who was also a key contributor to Jackson’s previous album “Off the Wall,” composed over thirty potential songs for Jackson. Three made it onto the album:  “Baby Be Mine,” “The Lady in My Life,” and the title track (originally titled “Starlight”).  Other tracks were switched in the rotation later in the process, including the gorgeous Steve Porcaro and John Bettis-penned  ballad “Human Nature,” which Jackson described as “music with wings.” “P.Y.T.” was originally written by Jackson, but later re-worked by Quincy Jones and James Ingram into a funky Minimoog synth jam.

The final result was an album that, as Jackson put it, had “no B-sides.” The material was strong from top to bottom. The public responded accordingly and “Thriller” led sales and airplay throughout 1983 and into 1984. Within 15 months, it became the bestselling album in the history of the music industry, shifting more than 22 million copies. It would also go on to win a record seven Grammy awards in 1984. The album seemed to cross every barrier imaginable: it appealed to black and white, young and old, middle-class and poor, American and beyond.

Its unprecedented success perhaps seems inevitable today.  Jackson had already been a star for a long time:  in the early 1970s, he and his brothers achieved enormous crossover success as the Jackson 5, and his 1979 solo album, “Off the Wall,” became the bestselling album ever by an African-American artist.  Yet in the early 1980s, radio was largely segregated, adhering to narrow programming based on racialized genres.  MTV, likewise, was strongly oriented toward rock and rock was often synonymous with white, while R&B was synonymous with black. Jackson challenged and ultimately demolished this logic with “Thriller.” It wasn’t only that his music featured rock icons like Paul McCartney and Eddie Van Halen or even that his music didn’t fit neatly into conventional categories; it was that his songs and videos were too good to be denied.  People wanted to hear them on the radio and see them on TV.  Eventually, the gatekeepers relented and the 1980s became the most integrated decade in music history.

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Beyond the innovative music and groundbreaking short films, this is “Thriller’s” legacy. It broke down barriers, creating a new musical landscape in which artists of color were no longer relegated to the margins.  Over 30 years since it first hit record stores, it remains the defining album of a decade and one of the holy grails of pop.

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Joseph Vogel is a literary, film, and music critic, cultural historian, and author of the critically­ acclaimed book “Manin the Music:The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson” 2011). He holds a PhD. from the University of Rochester in American Literature and Culture. His work has been featured  in “The Atlantic,”  “Slate,” the “Huffington Post” and PopMatters,and is forthcoming in “The Journal of Popular Culture”and the “Journal of Popular Music Studies.

* The views expressed in this essay are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Library of Congress.

 

Link: http://www.loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb/registry/essays/Thriller–FINAL.pdf#page=1&zoom=auto,-13,677

Thriller Live 20th Longest Running Musical In West End History!

Sources: London Theatre1 | All Things Michael

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Celebrating its 6th record-breaking year at the Lyric Theatre and after selling more than 3 million tickets worldwide, Thriller Live  will soon overtake the West End records set by Grease and Oliver!

Thriller Live has entered the record books to officially become the 20th longest running musical in West End history!

Recently it overtook the records set by the legendary stage musicals The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady, who have now dropped forever out of the Top 20.

Thriller Live has played 2391 performances at the Lyric Theatre (as at Wednesday 24th September). It is just 138 performances away from overtaking the record set by the 1993 revival of Grease (which ran 2529 performances before closing) and just 227 from leap frogging the original 1960 production of Oliver! (2,618 performances). In 2015 it will beat the record set up Evita, which closed after 2,900 performances at the Prince Edward Theatre.

As it continues its sensational record-breaking 6th year in the West End, the producers of Thriller Live announced earlier this month that the show was further extending its booking period to 6th September 2015. It had been booking to 26 April.

Producers Paul Walden & Derek Nicol said in a statement today: “We are thrilled that Thriller Live has entered the record books and joined the exalted ranks of the 20 most popular long running shows in the history of the West End. We look forward to breaking more records in 2015!”

Thriller Live continues to set and break records and new territories around the globe. To date it has now performed to standing ovations in 28 countries from South Korea to Norway, and South America to China. The latest world tour will take in Australia and New Zealand for the first time.

In October, Thriller Live will open in the UK, playing Eden Court Theatre, Inverness (20 – 25 October), Festival Theatre, Edinburgh (27 October – 1 November), Alhambra Theatre, Bradford (3 – 8 November), Grand Theatre, Wolvehampton (11 – 15 November). The cast then move to Australia where it will premiere in Perth then play Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, then stop off for two weeks in New Zealand. More dates will be added in the regions.

In London, Thriller Live is the longest-running production in the Lyric Theatre’s 125-year history. It first moonwalked into the West End in January 2009 after three acclaimed UK tours. When Michael Jackson died, the Lyric became a focus for fans from all over the world, who created a massive shrine of flowers, candles, and tributes.

Thriller Live brings to life on stage the distinctive high-energy dancing and pulsating sound of many of pop’s greatest hits, blending eye- popping video footage and effects together with dazzling choreography by the show’s award-winning director Gary Lloyd.

Thriller Live was originally conceived and created by Adrian Grant, a long time associate of Michael Jackson, and author of Michael Jackson – The Visual Documentary. It is produced by Paul Walden and Derek Nicol for Flying Music in association with Adrian Grant for Key Concerts.

The Top 20 Longest-Running Musicals in West End History
1. Les Misérables – still running, over 11,963 performances
2. The Phantom of the Opera – still running, over 11,632
3. Blood Brothers (closed, 10,013 performances)
4. Cats (closed, 8,949 performances)
5. Starlight Express (closed, 7,406 performances)
6. Mamma Mia! – still running, over 6,479 performances
7. Disney’s The Lion King still running, over 6250 performances
8. Chicago (closed, 6,187)
9. Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story (closed, 5,140)
10. We Will Rock You – (closed, 4,659)
11. Miss Saigon (original 1989 production / closed 4,264)
12. Billy Elliot The Musical – still running, over 3,952)
13. Wicked – still running, over 3,358 performances
14. Jesus Christ Superstar (original 1972 production / closed – 3,357)
15. Me and My Girl (1985 revival / closed – 3,303)
16. Evita (original 1978 production / closed – 2,900 performances)
17. Jersey Boys – still running, over 2739 performances
18. Oliver! (original 1960 production / closed – 2,618 performances)
19. Grease! (1993 revival / closed – 2529 performances)
20. Thriller Live – still running, over 2391 performances

 

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Barcade’s New Video Arcade Will Feature Moonwalker, Streetfighter And Other Classic Video Games

Source: DNAInfo – By Lisha Arino | All Things Michael

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EAST VILLAGE — At Barcade’s new St. Mark’s location, the ’90s are back — at least when it comes to the video games.

About 30 games from the decade — including classics like “Rampage: World Tour” and “Street Fighter II” — will be available to play when the combination bar and arcade opens its second Manhattan location next week at St. Mark’s Place near Third Avenue.

“What’ll be very different about this location is that we’ll have mostly ’90s games, where usually, the ’80s is more of our focus,” said co-owner Paul Kermizian.

Other gaming highlights include two Neo Geo machines, which allow players to choose from multiple games within each arcade cabinet, and “Moonwalker,” a game that features pop legend Michael Jackson dressed in a suit and fedora.

“You play Michael Jackson and you’re saving children. And you do dance moves as your special power,” Kermizian said. Barcade will announce the rest of the game lineup on Friday via its iPhone app, he said.

Barcade — which has locations in Chelsea, Williamsburg, Jersey City and Philadelphia — will also have 24 American craft beers on tap and serve three to five different wines.

Its owners agreed not to serve hard liquor after neighbors voiced their concerns about rowdy late-drinkers during a community board meeting in June.

The 2,200-square-foot space will seat about 50 people, Kermizian said, and offer a menu that’s
similar to its Chelsea location, which features pub grub like burgers and sandwiches.

The menu will also have food offerings specific to the East Village location, like a roasted chicken banh mi sandwich and a New Jersey-style “fat sandwich” called the “Fat St. Mark’s.” The substantial sub is stuffed with fried chicken breast, pulled pork, French fries, cheese sauce, lettuce, tomato and fried egg, Kermizian said.

He said he was excited to open on St. Mark’s Place, in the same building that once housed a Kim’s Video, which he visited often when he first moved to the city in 1998.

“It’s just cool to be in the same space and to try [to] be here for a while, hopefully catering to the same nerdy, geeky crowd they did, just gamers instead of movie nerds,” Kermizian said.

Barcade, located at 6 St. Mark’s Place, will be open from noon to 2 a.m. daily, starting Oct. 8.

 

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Will.i.am Tells Xposé About Irish Visit With Michael Jackson

Sources: TV3.ie | Edited By – All Things Michael

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Xposé’s Lisa Cannon flew to Paris last week to interview Will.i.am at the unveiling of the special edition Lexus, which airs on tonight’s show at 6pm.

The Black Eyed Peas frontman and judge on The Voice UK told Lisa about a special visit to Ireland to record with Michael Jackson describing it as a beautiful place.

He said that Michael also thought it was amazing in Ireland because he loved the green, the hills and the trees.

“The ambience, the environment, the set up there at the cottage and in the studios, it was just amazing. And then the music was great.”

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To catch the full interview, tune in to Xposé from 6pm tonight (Wednesday 1st October) on TV3.

Xposé airs weekdays from 6pm – 7pm on TV3.

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Spectrum Athletic Club Launches “Thriller” Workout Starting October 3

Sources: Manhattan Beach Patch – By Groff Hinman | All Things Michael

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Ever want to learn the dance from the Michael Jackson “Thriller” video? Well here’s your chance. Spectrum Athletic Club in El Segundo (2250 Park Place) is opening its doors to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis for a workout designed to teach participants the moves to the classic video that revolutionized the music video genre and propelled Jackson into the stratosphere of superstardom.

Each Friday in October from 6 – 7 p.m., instructor Jerry Howard will lead the charge and at the conclusion of the 5 weeks, the class will have learned the entire “Thriller” routine. The last class will be held on Halloween, October 31, and participants will perform the entire routine. They will also be encouraged to dress in costume and food and beverages will be served for a party immediately after. The class, which is normally $25, will be offered for free to the public with an R.s.v.p. Those interested in participating must email Terri Cisneros at tcisneros@SpectrumClubs.com.

Spectrum Athletic Clubs boast spacious, modern facilities, highly trained staff, the latest in fitness equipment, high-end amenities and a full range of fitness programming. The clubs are recognized leaders in providing a fitness experience that helps members achieve their individual goals. For more details about memberships or fitness class information, visit www.spectrumclubs.com.

 

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Doublie App Allows You To Spices Up Your Selifes With Homemade Stickers And Celebrities

Sources: Techcrunch – By Josh Constine | Edited By – All Things Michael

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(This picture is for illustration purposes and not of actual MJ Doublie app photo)

Your photos are boring. Doublie can fix that. The app lets you add any of 10,000 stickers and celebrity cut-outs to your pics so you can fake a selfie with Beyonce, get a kiss from Obama, or have Miley twerking in the background. You can even make your own stickers of your face or anything else, paste them to a photo, and share them to SMS, Facebook, or anywhere.

Doublie isn’t trying to reinvent Instagram. It doesn’t have its own feed. Instead it wants to make our pics sillier and more unique, no matter where we post them. That might seem frivolous, but were rapidly reaching photo sharing fatigue because everything looks the same. The first phase of mobile self-expression was snapping pictures indiscriminately. Then came filters, selfies, and videos. Doublie is betting the next phase is augmenting our photos with LOL-worthy fantasy and special effects.

Da Fuq Is A Doublie?

That’s actually what Doublie’s first App Store screenshot says. If it wasn’t obvious, this isn’t your dad’s photo app. The whole thing is filled with ridiculous little flourishes, starting with the tour of the app being led by Kanye West wearing a horse head.

Basically, you open the Doublie iOS app take or upload a photo, then tap the flyout wheel in the bottom right to choose from a wide array of categories full of themed stickers to slap atop your pic. There are celebrities ranging from Michael Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio to Justin Bieber and…Steve Jobs. Some are cut outs of them kissing the air, so if you want to look like you’re getting a smooch from Ryan Gosling or Angelina Jolie, Doublie can make your fantasy come true.

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There’s also categories of accessories like sunglasses and Batman masks, superpowers like laser eye blasts and Wolverine claws, and Mike Tyson’s face tattoos that you can use to jazz up your mug. Or if you hate your face, you can cover it with a lion head, or distract people with Grumpy Cat or Boo. There’s even a whole “Tech Bro” section so you can add Google Glass, a drone, don a hoodie, or outfit yourself like a venture capitalist, which apparently means a fleece vest and khakis. There’s a ton of options, but an upcoming search feature will make it easier to find the perfect image without endlessly spinning through the wheel.

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If none of the pre-made stickers suit you, you can also cut out your own, similar to the Imoji app. Trim off the background and color in what you want to keep with Doublie’s relatively easy tool. Once you pick or make a sticker, you can resize it, move it around, and paste it into your photo. Then you can share it with SMS, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat.