Category Archives: michael jackson

Lost Hits of the New Wave #13

“Come On Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners

This song, and “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, is one of the reasons I started this “Lost Hits of the New Wave” project. It really bothered me how these two songs are usually what folks who weren’t there, think the new wave is all about. There was so much more, and so much that has been sadly forgotten. It’s not just “Safety Dance” and “Come On Eileen.”

“Come On Eileen” hit huge in the summer of 1982 in the United States, filling the number one spot in the charts between Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.” Like most acts of the era, Dexy’s Midnight Runners had already had several hits in the UK. The group at this time, was led by Kevin Rowland, who would eventually take lead billing over the Runners, and also included the addition of a fiddle section called The Emerald Express.

The album “Too-Rye-Ay” also introduced a new look for the band, a kind of ragged gypsy farmer fashion that was unique at the time. I remember the first time I saw the music video for “Come On Eileen” was on “Dancin’ On Air,” and the host made much of asking the kids what they thought Dexy’s Midnight Runners looked like. One kid said he thought they were all shiny like ABC. Most were surprised.

“Come On Eileen” was followed up in the States by two more songs from the album that went nowhere, making “Eileen” a true one hit wonder. The Runners broke up after another album, multiple hits in the UK, and even attempted a couple reunions. Supposedly there is a new album in the works, with the latest release date June of 2012.

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Lost Hits of the New Wave #9

“Don’t Change” by INXS

I was a big INXS fan, before they made it really big, and once they did, I kinda got sick of them. Honestly if I ever hear “The Devil Inside” again, I’ll hit someone. A lot of their stuff in hindsight is a bit dated, but I still like the early stuff. And Michael Hutchence is still missed. To this day, “Mediate” and especially “Mystify” remain among my favorite all time tunes.

I have to sheepishly admit how stupid I was when I first discovered them. I went to Listening Booth at the Echelon Mall to get their album Shabooh Shoobah. I actually worked at rival Sam Goody, but everyone knew LB had all the imports, and the ‘good’ stuff first. If you wanted Michael Jackson, you went to Goody’s, if you wanted something with an edge, it was the Booth all the way.

Anyway, I saw an album with that title, but didn’t think it was INXS, because I was looking for a band I had heard pronounced as ‘In Excess.’ Yeah, I was an idiot. Finally bought it, and I loved it.

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The Dumpsta Players Tonight – Dead 00s Revue

The Dumpsta Players are at it again with a posthumous tribute to all our fav stars who faded in the 00s! That’s right — they’re all coming back for one last swan song performance in the “Dead 00’s Revue”!

Expect the unexpected from all your favorites including 60s Loner Legend and outlaw Johnny Cash, the very addicted rock of Robert Palmer, jazz siren Peggy Lee, the smooth soul of Luther Vandross, the Dirty Dancing of Patrick Swayze, the 80s dance pop of Laura Branigan, the persuasive gospel according to Tammy Faye, the timeless comedy of “The Golden Girls”, the very sexxxy and raunchy duo of Teena Marie and Rick James, the exquisite feline seductress Eartha Kitt, legendary punk band The Ramones, and the very King of Pop, Michael Jackson!

Many more stars are still being added!!

Come see what happens when we stir the melting pot of deathly delights in the — “DEAD 00’S REVUE”!!!!

AT: Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South Street, Philadelphia PA, 215-545-4511, $1.99 21+
TONIGHT! Doors open at 10 PM, Showtime at 11 PM Sharp!

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Michael Jackson’s This Is It

Michael Jackson’s This Is It ~ Compiled by High School Musical wizard Kenny Ortega, these are the dress rehearsals for the concert tour that would have been had Michael Jackson not died. All told, other than some amazing dancing, music and showmanship – it’s a glimpse inside the mind of a genius at work.

I’m not going to give the man sainthood like some folks have since his death, or dismiss any of the evil he may or may not have perpetrated on children and the media, but there’s no denying the talent of Michael Jackson.

There are some very electrifying sequences in this disjointed film/documentary that must be seen to be believed, as well as intriguing background footage. It shows that there was indeed more to the man’s soft-spoken media persona than we saw, or were allowed to see for all those years. Worth seeing.

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Pop Culture Poser

Brad Benson, of Brad Benson Hyundai. This guy bugs me. His commercials appear far too frequently on News Jersey 101.5 FM. He does his own commercials, making pop culture references left and right, and trying to be funny, and one would hope (for his sake at least), selling cars.

The thing that bugs me, other than the frequency of the commercials, and his implied agreement with some of the station’s gay-unfriendly hosts (his ad about the pilots who missed their landing is horrendous and irresponsible, and don’t get me started on Dennis and Michele), is that he often gets his pop culture references wrong.

Now it’s one thing for KYW to pronounce Janeanne Garofolo’s name as “Jane-anne Garroh-folloh” or CNN to have commentators at the Michael Jackson memorial who don’t know who Berry Gordy is, but this falls into a whole ‘nother category.

On the surface, Brad Benson saying Susan Boyle was on the British “American Idol” instead of “Britain’s Got Talent,” for instance, may seem petty, but look at it this way… Have you ever bought a car? Remember the scary and unreasonable amount of detailed paperwork involved in buying a car? Yeah, that’s a lot of stuff, and a lot of stuff to make sure is absolutely right, T’s crossed and I’s dotted.

Do you want a guy who won’t even do a moment’s research on a commercial he’s paying for to handle details on a car you’re paying for? I don’t. I want someone very detail-oriented, someone who won’t make mistakes and just laugh it off. I guess I’m not buying a Hyundai from Brad Benson.

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RIP Sky Saxon

While the world was/is mourning the passings of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, we also lost Sky Saxon yesterday morning. Equally a pop music icon of his time, he was the lead singer and founder of The Seeds, a frontrunner of the California garage band sound of the late 1960s.

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The King of Pop, Dead at 50

My first memory of Michael Jackson is in third grade when I smuggled my AM transistor radio to school, and tuned in to WFIL as I was walking home from school, and “Rockin’ Robin” came on. The kids that were with me were all excited that it was Michael Jackson. Dummy me, I didn’t know who that was, but I was quickly schooled that he was one of the Jackson 5, and that he was actually our age – or at least a little kid just like us.

Over the years Jackson continued to be part of the soundtrack of my early life. Whether it was the Saturday morning cartoon featuring him and his brothers, singing the theme to Ben, or his entry into the disco scene with “Off the Wall” and also with his brothers now just the Jacksons – he was always around.

After I graduated high school Michael made a comeback known as “Thriller” In the advent of MTV I was working at a record store during the Christmas that the album was out. It’s one thing to say it was one of bestselling albums of all time, it’s a whole ‘nother thing to be working retail when it was at its zenith. I can remember filling the shelves and walls over and over and over again.

This was also at a time when VCRs were fairly new and at the back of the store we were demonstrating them, and demo-ing them with a very special new videotape, “The Making of Thriller.” Every time when the music video for the title song would come on, the back of that tiny mall store would fill up with no less than a hundred people. It happened that way at least once an hour all through that Christmas season. That’s how hot Michael Jackson was at the time.

I remember the night of the Motown 25 special, just as I remember the night Fox aired the longform video for “Black or White” when he smashed up a car and grabbed his crotch. I remember the releases of “Thriller” follow-up albums “Bad” and “Dangerous.” As his behavior became more erratic and the paparazzi more insidious, Michael became even more bizarre and reclusive. With all the strangeness, it began to affect his popularity, and he retreated further.

It was at this time that allegations of child molestation began to surface. Sadly his fame became infamy as the allegations and rumors mounted and continued. Michael, while a pariah in the States still maintained an Elvis-like fame in the rest of the world. His death earlier today by cardiac arrest, was on the brink of a major new tour.

Despite what may or may not have happened in recent years or before that, Michael Jackson was a gigantic talent, a serious musical force that shaped the world, a phenomenal performer, and he will certainly not be forgotten.

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William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead

To celebrate the end of Zombiedelphia Month we went to see the Plays & Players production of William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead.

Detailing the zombie invasion of 1599, where notables of the time take refuge in the newly built Globe Theater while London is under undead siege, this is actually a well-researched, smart and clever little play. Seriously, zombies aside, somebody really knows their Shakespeare. The controversy of who really wrote what and how much ‘borrowing’ the bard did from experience and people he knew and work he saw and read is center stage here, with just a bit of living dead horror thrown in just for kicks.

I really loved this. The midnight show featured free drinks for those who dressed as zombies, and to be sure, the audience would have made George Romero proud. Like a Rocky Horror experience, the production was interactive with zombies in the audience and blood (Karo, peanut butter and chocolate syrup) being spilled and spurted from the stage. Luckily for the squeamish, plastic sheets were provided for folks in the first couple rows – the splatter zone.

Cast standouts include Ryan Walter as the boisterously entertaining Will Kemp, Molly Casey as Kate Braithwaite, and special props to Jacqueline Halloway who choreographed the fight and dance scenes. yes, there was a bit of zombie-fighting but the prize of the show was the finale to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” After all, what better way to end any undead production than “Thriller.” Dazzling!

High School Musical 3