My Thoughts and Reflections on Everything

Basically just my take on life as I see it :)

Archive for the category “Music”

Michael Jackson isn’t HIStory after all?

Text-portrait of Michael Jackson

Text-portrait of Michael Jackson

I’ve been following the events since Michael Jackson’s passing on 25th June 2009; the triple autopsies, the hoax deaths blogs and videos, and the increase of MJ awareness around the world. In the duration of the month of his death, Michael Jackson’s music was played everywhere around the world. I know this because I was passing through Indonesia, Turkey, Morocco, England and Malaysia at the time; it’s been no exaggeration, he was being played in all of these places!

One of Michael Jacksons signature dance-illusion move in Michael Jacksons Moonwalker

One of Michael Jackson's signature dance-illusion move in 'Michael Jackson's Moonwalker'

What interests me about this whole MJ phenomena is that after he died, the musician managed to gather the once pessimistic world together and to reflect the passing of a legend as one. Also, in death, he managed to create new fans around the world, both old and young. My 7 years old daughter is one of the new legion of fans. He still has a magical touch with kids. See Moonwalker.

Michael Jackson : Unmasked

Michael Jackson : Unmasked

Within a week of his death, the book “Michael Jackson : Unmasked” was released. The author made the allegation that Jackson could be homosexual however not a child molester. If that were true, UK sensational tabloid The Sun might have carried the headlines; “Wacko Jacko = Homo!” to keep up the momentum in the neverending media circus.

I’ve been following websites and blogs that believes Michael Jackson is still alive. I find myself open to the suggestion because it feels like MJ’s passing was too well rehearsed. I mean this year alone we’ve seen the passing of stars like Farrah Fawcett and Patrick Swayze that I found them to be genuine. Weeping relatives, traditional funerals and so on; natural. All of us have been to funerals at least once in our lifetimes so we do feel the sense of sadness that emits from them.

I didn’t get that with Michael Jackson.

I suspect that he is still around. A person like Michael Jackson doesn’t simply go away just like that especially with the likes of him. I feel that there’s more to this than what has been shown.

Anyway, I’ll be monitoring the web and see whether this whole death hoax is by itself a hoax. For curiosity (read if you got nothing significant to do with your life today) sake click on these 2 links for more of the good stuff…

Derek Clontz ‘Answered: Top Ten ‘MJ-Is-Alive’ Questions

Michael Jackson Death Hoax Investigators

‘Kehilangan’ – Firman /My Indonesian Souvenir :)

We were doing some shopping somewhere in Bandung a few weeks ago, when I heard this song playing in the store’s radio.

I liked it immediately! The melody and arrangement of this song in my opinion is pretty good. Just for note, I don’t care much about the lyrics of any songs, for as long as the music and beat are fine, I’m easy :).

I later found out that the singer, Firman Siagian, had participated in Indonesian Idol Season 2 in 2005 and got 3rd placing. I was trying to find his album there but to no avail so I have to be content with the above video.

I hope you like it 🙂

My Thoughts On Michael Jackson

When I first heard of the news that Michael Jackson has died, I was stunned for the whole day. I just couldn’t believe it. Suddenly he’s gone. Just like that, the world’s greatest entertainer is gone.

Like many people, I grew up on MJ’s ‘Thriller’ and ‘Billie Jean’ being my favourite song. My only problem with him at that time was that girly voice of his. Later I realised the real problem was that I couldn’t sing along because his pitch was too high!

I don’t believe all the child molestation allegations. He was just a boy forced to grow up fast in the music industry.

Listen to and read the lyrics of his songs especially ‘Childhood’ which is his answer to the sexual allegations that were made against him.

There’s a saying that when one dies, the truth will be out. With MJ, this is so. I believe him now. A bit late but at least I’m now enlightened about MJ’s ‘weirdness’.

His skin colour change was due to vitiligo, a skin disease. A disease which causes a skin to turn white. MJ didn’t bleached his skin, he simply applied pancake make-up to cover the patches on his body. If you surf the internet and study his photos, you can actually spot the affected areas of his body. i.e if you got photoshop, just convert his colored photos to black & white. I’ll update this post later about this topic.

With his passing, he has earned a place in the pantheon of legends; Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley… But I beg to differ.

MJ is now greater than these people and his legacy is undying.

What makes me say all this?

My 7-year-old daughter is now a huge fan of MJ who is just discovering the greatness of his magic through his songs and videos.

Like Peter Pan before him, he will forever excite little children with his adventures over and over again.

Rest In Peace, Michael Jackson.

List of 51st Annual Grammy Awards Winners

grammy-logo-gold

A complete list of winners at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards.

Album of the Year: “Raising Sand,” Robert Plant and Alison Krauss; T Bone Burnett, producer; Mike Piersante, engineer/mixer; Gavin Lurssen, mastering engineer (Rounder)

Rap Album: “Tha Carter III,” Lil Wayne (Cash Money/Universal Motown)

Male Pop Vocal Performance: “Say,” John Mayer; track from “Continuum” (Columbia)

Record of the Year: “Please Read The Letter,” Robert Plant and Alison Krauss; T Bone Burnett, producer; Mike Piersante, engineer/mixer; track from “Raising Sand” (Rounder)

New Artist: Adele

Rock Album: “Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends,” Coldplay (Capitol)

Pop Collaboration With Vocals: “Rich Woman,” Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, track from “Raising Sand” (Rounder)

Song of the Year: “Viva La Vida,” Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Chris Martin, songwriters (Coldplay), track from “Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends” (Capitol Records; Publishers: Universal Music-MGB Songs)

Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “Stay,” Sugarland, track from “Enjoy the Ride” (Mercury)

R&B Album: “Jennifer Hudson,” Jennifer Hudson (Arista)

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Rick Rubin Producer of the Year, Classical: David Frost

Female Pop Vocal Performance: “Chasing Pavements,” Adele, track from “19” (Columbia/XL)

Traditional Pop Vocal Album: “Still Unforgettable,” Natalie Cole (DMI)

Pop Vocal Album: “Rockferry,” Duffy (Mercury)

Pop Instrumental Performance: “I Dreamed There Was No War,” Eagles, track from “Long Road Out of Eden” (Eagles Recording Company)

Pop Instrumental Album: “Jingle All the Way,” Bela Fleck & The Flecktones (Rounder)

Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals: “Viva La Vida,” Coldplay, track from “Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends” (Capitol)

Alternative Music Album: “In Rainbows,” Radiohead (TBD)

Solo Rock Vocal Performance: “Gravity,” John Mayer, track from “Where The Light Is: Live in Los Angeles” (Columbia)

Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals: “Sex on Fire,” Kings of Leon (RCA)

Hard Rock Performance: “Wax Simulacra,” The Mars Volta (Universal Motown)

Metal Performance: “My Apocalypse,” Metallica, track from “Death Magnetic” (Warner Bros.)

Rock Instrumental Performance: “Peaches En Regalia,” Zappa Plays Zappa featuring Steve Vai and Napoleon Murphy Brock (Strobosonic/Razor & Tie Entertainment)

Rock Song: “Girls in Their Summer Clothes,” Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen), track from “Magic” (Columbia; Publisher: Bruce Springsteen)

Rap Solo Performance: “A Milli,” Lil Wayne, track from “Tha Carter III” (Cash Money/Universal Motown)

Rap Performance by a Duo or Group: “Swagga Like Us,” Jay-Z and T.I. featuring Kanye West and Lil Wayne (Roc-A-Fella/Grand Hustle/Atlantic)

Rap/Sung Collaboration: “American Boy,” Estelle featuring Kanye West, track from “Shine” (Homeschool/Atlantic)

Rap Song: “Lollipop,” Dwayne Carter, Darius Harrison, James Scheffer, Stephen Garrett and Rex Zamor, songwriters (Lil Wayne featuring Static Major), track from “Tha Carter III” (Cash Money/Universal Motown; Publishers: Young Money Publishing/Warner-Chappell Music, Herbalicious Music/Blackfountain Music/EMI-April Music, JimiPub Music/EMI Blackwood, Three Nails and A Crown Publishing/Roynet Music)

Country Song: “Stay,” Jennifer Nettles, songwriter (Sugarland), track from “Enjoy the Ride” (Mercury Records; Publisher: Jennifer Nettles Publishing)

Country Album: “Troubadour,” George Strait (MCA Nashville)

Female Country Vocal Performance: “Last Name,” Carrie Underwood, track from “Carnival Ride” (19/Arista/Arista Nashville)

Male Country Vocal Performance: “Letter to Me,” Brad Paisley, track from “5th Gear” (Arista Nashville)

Country Collaboration with Vocals: “Killing the Blues,” Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, track from “Raising Sand” (Rounder)

Country Instrumental Performance: “Cluster Pluck,” Brad Paisley, James Burton, Vince Gill, John Jorgenson, Albert Lee, Brent Mason, Redd Volkaert and Steve Wariner (Arista Nashville)

R&B Song: “Miss Independent,” Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen and Shaffer Smith, songwriters (Ne-Yo), track from “Year of the Gentleman” (Def Jam/Compound; Publishers: Pen in the Ground Publishing, Universal Music-Z Tunes)

Contemporary R&B Album: “Growing Pains,” Mary J. Blige (Geffen)

Female R&B Vocal Solo: “Superwoman,” Alicia Keys, track from “As I Am” (J)

Male R&B Vocal Solo: “Miss Independent,” Ne-Yo, track from “Year of the Gentleman” (Def Jam/Compound)

R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals: “Stay With Me (By the Sea),” Al Green featuring John Legend, track from “Lay It Down” (Blue Note)

Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: “You’ve Got the Love I Need,” Al Green featuring Anthony Hamilton, track from “Lay It Down” (Blue Note)

Urban/Alternative Performance: “Be OK,” Chrisette Michele featuring will.i.am, track from “I Am” (Def Jam)

Dance Recording: “Harder Better Faster Stronger,” Daft Punk, Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo, producers; Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo, mixers; track from “Alive 2007” (Virgin)

Electronic Dance Album: “Alive 2007,” Daft Punk (Virgin)

Bluegrass Album: “Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass: Tribute to 1946 and 1947,” Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder (Skaggs Family)

Traditional Blues Album: “One Kind Favor,” B.B. King (Geffen)

Contemporary Blues Album: “City That Care Forgot,” Dr. John and The Lower 911 (429)

New Age Album: “Peace Time,” Jack DeJohnette (Golden Beams/Kindred Rhythm)

Contemporary Jazz Album: “Randy in Brasil,” Randy Brecker (MAMA)

Jazz Vocal Album: “Loverly,” Cassandra Wilson (Blue Note)

Jazz Instrumental Solo: “BE-BOP,” Terence Blanchard, soloist; track from “Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival” (Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars) (Monterey Jazz Festival)

Jazz Instrumental Album Individual or Group: “The New Crystal Silence,” Chick Corea and Gary Burton (Concord)

Large Jazz Ensemble Album: “Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard,” The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (Planet Arts Recordings)

Latin Jazz Album: “Song for Chico,” Arturo O’Farrill and The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra (Zoho)

Latin Pop Album: “La Vida … Es Un Ratico,” Juanes (Universal Music Latino)

Latin Rock or Alternative Album: “45,” Jaguares (EMI Music) Latin Urban Album: “Los Extraterrestres,” Wisin y Yandel (Machete Music)

Tropical Latin Album: “Senor Bachata,” Jose Feliciano (Universal Music Latino)

Regional Mexican Album: “Amor, Dolor y Lagrimas: Musica Ranchera,” Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) in a tie with “Canciones de Amor,” Mariachi Divas (Shea/East Side)

Tejano Album: “Viva La Revolucion,” Ruben Ramos and The Mexican Revolution (Revolution)

Norteno Album: “Raices,” Los Tigres Del Norte (Fonovisa)

Banda Album: “No Es De Madera” Joan Sebastian (Musart/Balboa)

Traditional Folk Album: “At 89,” Pete Seeger (Appleseed Recordings) Contemporary

Folk/Americana Album: “Raising Sand,” Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (Rounder)

Native American Music Album: “Come to Me Great Mystery: Native American Healing Songs,” (Various Artists) Tom Wasinger, producer (Silver Wave)

Hawaiian Music Album: “Ikena,” Tia Carrere and Daniel Ho (Daniel Ho Creations)

Zydeco or Cajun Music Album: “Live at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival,” BeauSoleil and Michael Doucet (MunckMix)

Engineering Album, Classical: “Traditions and Transformations: Sounds of Silk Road Chicago,” David Frost, Tom Lazarus and Christopher Willis, engineers (Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Alan Gilbert, Silk Road Ensemble, Wu Man, Yo-Yo Ma and Chicago Symphony Orchestra) (CSO Resound)

Reggae Album: “Jah Is Real,” Burning Spear (Burning Music Production) Traditional

World Music Album: “Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu,” Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Heads Up International)

Contemporary World Music Album: “Global Drum Project,” Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju and Giovanni Hidalgo (Shout! Factory)

Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: “Juno,” (Various Artists) Peter Afterman, Jason Reitman and Margaret Yen, producers (Fox Music/Rhino)

Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Television or Other Visual Media: “The Dark Knight,” James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer, composers (Warner Sunset/Warner Bros.)

Polka Album: “Let the Whole World Sing,” Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra (Rounder)

Gospel Performance: “Get Up,” Mary Mary; track from “The Sound” (Columbia)

Gospel Song: “Help Me Believe,” Kirk Franklin, songwriter (Kirk Franklin); track from “The Fight of My Life” (Fo Yo Soul Ent./Zomba Gospel; Publishers: Universal Music-Z Songs/Kerrion Publishing)

Rock or Rap Gospel Album: “Alive and Transported,” TobyMac (ForeFront Records EMI CMG)

Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album: “Thy Kingdom Come,” CeCe Winans (PureSprings Gospel/EMI Gospel)

Southern, Country, Bluegrass Gospel: “Lovin’ Life,” Gaither Vocal Band (Gaither Music Group)

Traditional Gospel Album: “Down in New Orleans,” The Blind Boys of Alabama (Time Life)

Contemporary R&B Gospel Album: “The Fight of My Life,” Kirk Franklin (Fo Yo Soul Entertainment/Zomba Gospel)

Classical Album: “Weill: Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny,” James Conlon, conductor; Anthony Dean Griffey, Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald; Fred Vogler, producer (Donnie Ray Albert, John Easterlin, Steven Humes, Mel Ulrich and Robert Worle; Los Angeles Opera Chorus; Los Angeles Opera Orchestra) (EuroArts)

Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: “Down to Earth,” (“WALL-E”) Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, songwriters (Peter Gabriel) (Walt Disney/Pixar; Publishers: Walt Disney Music, Wonderland Music/Pixar Talking Pictures/Pixar Music)

Musical Show Album: “In the Heights,” Kurt Deutsch, Alex Lacamoire, Andres Levin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Joel Moss and Bill Sherman, producers; Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer/lyricist (Original Broadway Cast with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Others) (Razor & Tie Entertainment/Ghostlight)

Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling): “An Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore),” Beau Bridges, Cynthia Nixon and Blair Underwood (Simon & Schuster Audio)

Musical Album for Children: “Here Come the 123s,” They Might Be Giants (Disney Sound)

Spoken Word Album Children: “Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live,” Bill Harley (Round River)

Comedy Album: “It’s Bad for Ya,” George Carlin (Eardrum)

Instrumental Composition: “The Adventures of Mutt,” (from “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” John Williams, composer (John Williams), track from “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” soundtrack (Concord)

Instrumental Arrangement: “Define Dancing,” (from “WALL-E”) Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, arrangers (Thomas Newman), track from “WALL-E” soundtrack (Walt Disney)

Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s): “Here’s That Rainy Day,” Nan Schwartz, arranger (Natalie Cole), track from “Still Unforgettable” (DMI)

Engineered Album, Non-Classical: “Consolers of the Lonely,” Joe Chiccarelli, Vance Powell and Jack White III, engineers (The Raconteurs) (Third Man/Warner Bros.)

Remixed Recording: “Electric Feel (Justice Remix),” Justice, remixers (MGMT), Track from: “Oracular Spectacular” (Columbia)

Surround Sound Album: “Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition; Night on Bald Mountain; Prelude to Khovanshchina,” Michael Bishop, surround mix engineer; Michael Bishop, surround mastering engineer; Robert Woods, surround producer (Paavo Jarvi and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) (Telarc)

Opera Recording: “Weill: Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny,” James Conlon, conductor; Anthony Dean Griffey, Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald; Fred Vogler, producer (Donnie Ray Albert, John Easterlin, Steven Humes, Mel Ulrich and Robert Worle; Los Angeles Opera Orchestra; Los Angeles Opera Chorus) (EuroArts)

Orchestral Performance: “Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4,” Bernard Haitink, conductor (Chicago Symphony Orchestra) (CSO Resound)

Choral Performance: “Symphony of Psalms,” Sir Simon Rattle, conductor; Simon Halsey, chorus master (Berliner Philharmoniker; Rundfunkchor Berlin) track from “Stravinsky: Symphonies” (EMI Classics)

Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (With Orchestra): “Schoenberg/Sibelius: Violin Concertos,” Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor; Hilary Hahn (Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra) (Deutsche Grammophon)

Instrumental Soloist Performance (Without Orchestra): “Piano Music of Salonen, Stucky, and Lutoslawski,” Gloria Cheng (Telarc) Chamber Music Performance: “Carter, Elliott: String Quartets Nos. 1 and 5,” Pacifica Quartet (Naxos)

Small Ensemble Performance: “Spotless Rose: Hymns to the Virgin Mary,” Charles Bruffy, conductor; Phoenix Chorale (Chandos)

Classical Vocal Performance: “Corigliano: Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan,” Hila Plitmann (JoAnn Falletta; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra) (Naxos)

Classical Contemporary Composition: “Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan,” John Corigliano (JoAnn Falletta); track from: “Corigliano: Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan” (Naxos)

Classical Crossover Album: “Simple Gifts,” The King’s Singers (Signum)

Short Form Music Video: “Pork and Beans,” Weezer, Mathew Cullen, video director; Bernard Rahill, video producder (DGC/Interscope)

Long Form Music Video: “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Peter Bogdanovich, video director; Skot Bright, video producer (Warner Bros.)

Recording Package: “Death Magnetic,” Bruce Duckworth, Sarah Moffat and David Turner, art directors (Metallica) (Warner Bros.)

Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package: “In Rainbows,” Stanley Donwood, Mel Maxwell and Christiaan Munro, art directors (Radiohead)

Album Notes: “Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition,” Francis Davis, album notes writer (Miles Davis) (Columbia/Legacy Recordings)

Historical Album: “Art of Field Recording Volume I: Fifty Years of Traditional American Music Documented by Art Rosenbaum,” Steven Lance Ledbetter and Art Rosenbaum, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineering (Various Artists) (Dust-to-Digital)

Somewhere In Time by John Barry (1980)

John Barry is the composer who wrote the musical scores for the James Bond movie series, the Charlie Chaplin bio-pic Chaplin and this favourite of mine, Somewhere In Time which was starred by the late Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour. The story is about a man who travelled back in time from the year 1979 to the year 1912 to search for the lady whose photograph he fell in love with. The ending was sad because… hey I won’t spoil the plot; if you guys are really interested check the movie out over at YouTube…
Below is the original theme music to Somewhere In Time
While I was checking out the original version I also came across a guitar piece by Maestro Jose Valdez of whom I think is from the Philippines . I’m impressed enough to post his video here. It’s an excellent guitar piece too bad about the background noise and all:

The next version by Ernie Vasquez, though not as full as the one above, was the one that inspired me to seek out the guitar tablature of this song. This version sounds sweet and easy…

If weren’t for John Barry’s music, the film wouldn’t have any impact at all. In this case, the music helped the movie a lot. If the music were to be mediocre, even Superman himself won’t be able to save the day… (Okay, okay… the time traveling theme is good but its predominantly a love story and with romance, one needs to have the mood… I’m getting ahead of myself and it’s not even Valentine’s Day yet!)

Anyway, do check ’em out to remind ourselves that love is still a force to be reckoned with and there’s more to life than watching the upcoming by-elections this year… 

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