Friday, March 30, 2012

Pepsi Partners With Michael Jackson Estate for Commemorative Packaging

This is awesome news to me. It seems to confirm a BAD25 Anniversary Album and a BAD Tour Concert DVD forthcoming this year from Michael's Estate.  Pepsi was sponsor for Michael Jackson's BAD Tour  ~ Qbee 

Pepsi is paying homage to the King of Pop one more time.

The brand is working with Michael Jackson's estate to create a limited edition package featuring the singer, according to an executive close to the company. The package coincides with the 25th Anniversary of the "Bad" album, which was released on Aug. 31, 1987.

The package will be a 16 oz. can available in convenience stores and grocery stores around Memorial Day, according to Beverage Digest. The can, said to have a blue background with an image of Mr. Jackson dancing, is expected to cost 99 cents. Pepsi declined to comment.

Pepsi sponsored the 1988 Bad World Tour. The tour spanned 16 months, including 123 concerts in 15 countries attended by 4.4 million fans. When it concluded, it was the largest grossing tour in history and the tour with the largest audience.

The brand's relationship with Mr. Jackson dates back to 1984 and the "New Generation" campaign. Infamously, the singer's hair caught fire during a commercial shoot that was part of that campaign. Mr. Jackson appeared in a number of commercials for the brand over the years, performing versions of "Billie Jean" and "Bad," among other songs.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Michael Jackson's 'Blood on the Dance Floor,' 15 Years Later

Author Joseph Vogel

The strange story behind the global hit,
which was released a decade and a half ago today

On June 6, 1990, musician Teddy Riley was supposed to be at friend and fellow band member's birthday party. Instead, he spent the night at a Soundworks Studio on 23rd Avenue in Queens, working on grooves for none other than the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

"I told [the group] I had a lot of work to do," Riley recalls. "Michael was my priority. I was going out to California to meet him soon, and he wanted me to bring my best work."

It was a fortuitous decision.

Later that evening, Riley learned someone was shot on the dance floor at the party he had skipped. He was shaken. At just 23 years of age, violence and death were already becoming a recurring theme in his life. Within that same year, his half-brother and best friend both had also been murdered.

The rhythm track Riley worked on that night was aggressive, ominous, menacing. But it had no words, no title, and no melody.
The following Saturday he was on his way to Neverland Ranch to meet Michael Jackson. Riley was nervous. Jackson had already tried out a handful of people to replace legendary producer, Quincy Jones, including L.A. Reid, Babyface and Bryan Loren. None stayed on.

Jackson had high hopes, however, for Teddy Riley, whose street-inflected New Jack Swing style brilliantly fused jazz, gospel, R&B, and hip hop. Indeed, perhaps its greatest achievement was in bridging the divide between R&B and hip hop, a bridge, incidentally, that Jackson had been hoping to find since working on Bad.

Jackson listened carefully to the tapes Riley brought with him and instantly loved what he heard. The tracks used different chords than he was accustomed to. The rhythms were fresh and edgy. The beats swung with velocity and hit like sledgehammers.

Among several tracks Jackson listened to that day was the groove Riley worked on the night of the party. Jackson had no idea about the context. "He knew nothing about it," Riley says. "I never told him anything about it."

A couple of weeks later, however, Riley says he was shocked to learn Jackson's title for the track: "Blood on the Dance Floor." Riley got goose bumps. "It was like he prophesied that record. He felt its mood."

Over the subsequent months, Jackson and Riley began working feverishly on a variety of tracks, sometimes separately, sometimes together at Larabee Studios in Los Angeles. "I remember he came back with this melody, 'Blood on the dance floor, blood on the dance floor.' I was like, 'Wow!' He came up with these lyrics and harmonies. Then we just started building it up, layer by layer."

Riley used a vintage drum machine (the MPC 3000) for the beat. The snare was compressed to make it pop ("I want it dry and in your face," Jackson used to say). It was a sound they used throughout the Dangerous album. "Listen to 'Remember the Time,'" Riley says. "It's very similar."

Ultimately, however, "Blood on the Dance Floor" didn't end up making it onto Dangerous. "It wasn't quite finished," Riley says. "There were still some vocal parts missing. Michael loved the song, but he would listen to it and say, 'I like what you did here, but we still need this here.' He was a perfectionist."

As the Dangerous sessions continued, other tracks began to take priority, including "Remember the Time" and "In the Closet." Jackson wouldn't resume work on "Blood" until nearly seven years later. It was now January of 1997. Jackson was in the midst of his HIStory World Tour, and had decided to visit Montreux, Switzerland during a break between the first and second leg (according to news reports, while there he also tried to purchase the home of his longtime idol, Charlie Chaplin).

Here, at Mountain Studio, Jackson went to work on the old demo. "We took Teddy's DAT (Digital Audio Tape) and worked it over with a four-man crew," recalls musician, Brad Buxer. The completed multi-track, engineered, and mixed by Mick Guzauski, was modeled very closely on the last version Jackson and Riley recorded.

"When I heard it finished, I wished I could've been the one to [complete it]," Riley says. "But Michael knows what he wants, and he was happy with it."

It was, in some ways, an unusual dance song. Like "Billie Jean," its subject matter was dark and disturbing (in this case, a narrative about being stabbed in the back in the place he least suspected--the dance floor). Jackson's clipped, raspy vocals evoke a sense of foreboding, as the electro-industrial canvas conjures a modern urban setting. Still, the song feels anything but bleak. The beat cracks out of the speakers like a whip and the hook is irresistible.

Jackson told Riley he believed the song was going to be a "smash." "He explained it like this: A hit is a song that stays on the charts for a week or two. A smash is a song that stays up there for six weeks," Riley says. "He felt 'Blood on the Dance Floor' was a 'smash.'"

"Blood on the Dance Floor" was released on March 21, 1997. Strangely, the song wasn't even promoted as a single in the U.S. Riley says Jackson didn't mind in this case. "He figured people in America would find it if they really wanted it. He wasn't worried about it." Globally, however, the song thrived, reaching the Top Ten in 15 countries and hitting No. 1 in three (including the U.K.).

 It also proved ripe for remixes and received frequent play in clubs and dance routines. Left off Jackson's two major studio albums that decade, "Blood" ironically became one of Jackson's most durable rhythm tracks of the '90s.

Fifteen years later, what makes the song unique? I ask Riley. "It was just a direct, aggressive sound for Michael. He always pushed for something stronger. But what was really amazing was how he pre-meditated the energy of the song. He knew what it was about even before I told him what happened that night. I've never witnessed anything or anyone as powerful as Michael."

Source:   Joseph Vogel
Joseph Vogel is the author of Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Two suspects arrested and charged with stealing Michael Jackson Songs.

Sony music had its second major security breach in a year, when thieves targeted unreleased Michael Jackson material.

Sony confirmed there had been a security breach and that the Michael Jackson songs had been stolen but refused to say how many songs were downloaded.

Last year Sony paid the Jackson Estate $250 million for the seven-year rights to the material allowing  them to release 10 new Projects. Jackson's estate had been informed about the incident but the breach was not made public as there was no customer data involved.

Liz Young, spokeswoman for Sony Music Entertainment stated  the company noticed a breach of its systems in May, and immediately took steps to secure the site and notify authorities. As a result, two suspects. James Marks and James McCormick were arrested.

Computer experts had traced the hack to the UK by examining a "fingerprint" allegedly left behind.

SOCA The Serious Organized Crime division took up the case and two men appeared in court last week charged with offences  under the Computer Misuse Act and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act at Leicester Crown Court.

James Marks and James McCormick denied the charges and were remanded on bail.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

David Walgren & Deborah Brazil Receive Clay Award

With this year's CLAY (California Attorneys of Year) Awards, we recognize lawyers throughout the state whose legal work made a significant impact in 2011. They include state and county prosecutors, sole practitioners, and lawyers from large international firms. The awards identify 25 accomplishments in 19 areas of legal practice, ranging from criminal law and intellectual property to personal injury, and appellate work at the California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. These victories reflect the breadth and depth of the work performed by California lawyers. Congratulations to all the winners.

Deborah Brazil                                          David B. Walgren
Los Angeles county                                   Los Angeles County
District Attorney's Office                           District Attorney's Office

In the pressure cooker of a trial under TV lights and with a mob of music fans outside the courthouse, Brazil and Walgren scored a major prosecution victory in one of the most closely watched criminal cases of the year. The jury's conviction of Dr. Conrad Murray of involuntary manslaughter in the drug death of the "King of Pop," Michael Jackson, came after 49 witnesses and 23 days of trial spread over six weeks. More than 2,200 reporters from around the world obtained credentials to cover the proceedings - more than for the O. J. Simpson and Scott Peterson murder trials, combined.

The scientific challenges of the trial required the prosecutors to become experts in anesthesiology and the proper use of the drug propofol, which was found at high levels in Jackson's system after his death. Propofol is commonly used during surgery, but Murray administered it as an at-home sedative for Jackson.

During the trial, Walgren questioned most of the prosecution's 33 witnesses. He also handled both the opening statement and closing argument.

Though both Brazil and Walgren have significant experience with homicide cases, a death from propofol toxicity was unknown to them and to the coroner's office. Lead trial lawyer Walgren focused on the science, presenting a clear picture to jurors that Murray had been infusing Jackson with propofol nightly for weeks to help him sleep, even though the doctor was not well trained in its use and failed to monitor Jackson once the drug was administered. Brazil presented witnesses at trial and helped to devise the county's legal strategy.


MJJC discuss it with other Fans

That Grape Juice’s Artist Of The Decade... guess who ?

Is it any wonder that even today Michael still slays in all these various polls or contests. No one in this decade or the past 4 decades has had a greater Impact on pop culture or music than Michael Jackson ~ Qbee

That Grape Juice’s Artist Of The Decade.

Indeed, with a whopping 219, 366 votes cast in favor of your favorite acts, you have voted for the artist you feel has made the most impact on Pop Culture from the years 2000- 2012.

With a grand total of 114,387 votes, Michael Jackson is That Grape Juice‘s ‘Artist Of The Decade‘, beating Britney Spears (62,516) to the top spot.

Despite his last LP being released in 2001, his work is just as influential today as it was in the 90s and the 80s before them.

Because, from Britney Spears to Beyonce, Usher to Justin Timberlake, there is no denying the impact Michael made on many a budding icon and their material.

Serving as the vocal blueprint for Timberlake‘s ’Justified’ in 2002 and influencing GaGa‘s ‘Born This Way‘ in 2010, Jackson’s work continues to inspire from the grave, breathing life back into dance by way of Cirque Du Soleil‘s ‘Immortal‘ and saving lives worldwide with the ‘Heal The World Foundation’.


See Michael's impact as Beyonce presents him with Diamond Award 2006

No one in this decade or the past 4 decades had a greater Impact.