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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson 1958 - 2009: Never Can Say Goodbye

Stunned is an apt representation of the events that unfolded on June 25, 2009. Farrah Fawcett,erstwhile icon of the 70's and 80's icon, passed away after a brave and valiant fight against anal cancer. Only days before Ed McMahon, denizen of so many of my early TV memories, from Johnny Carson's sidekick, to host of "Star Search" and even a stint as a Publisher's Clearinghouse pitch man, had passed away. The iconography of my growing up was in upheaval. Rejoinders of "what is going on?" came from all sides. But there was more in the offing. Just was the news of Farrah Fawcett was sinking in, there came the disheartening news that Michael Jackson had been rushed to the hospital. Death had been working overtime, had he decided to take another for his trouble? As it turned out, he had. Though, on the one hand, Michael Jackson's stunning and dramatic death seemed almost fated, it still took everyone by surprise. Reactions varied from moderate concern to shocked sadness to overwhelming grief. A nation united in mourning an icon. Such was the power of Michael Jackson's talent that he'd done what world leaders for millenia have been unable to do. Bring people together, united in a singular pursuit. Working out how to say goodbye when you really, never can say goodbye.

The writers over at Associated Content have written some wonderful tributes.

Remembering Michael Jackson by Frank Deutschen
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Monday, March 30, 2009

"Idol" Thoughts

Update: Since I made this post American Idol has said goodbye to Megan Joy and Scott MacIntyre. Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds are hanging by a string. Both are great talents but need to up their games to have any hope of competing with Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud, Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta.
Despite the naysayers, "American Idol" is back and doing better than ever. From a crop of over 70,000 hopefuls, the field has been culled down to 9.

Adam Lambert
- Envelope pusher. Best know for his sitar infused version of Johnny Cash classic, "Ring of Fire" and his penchant for fingernail polish and eye liner. His performance this past week took it to another level and separated him from the competition.

Matt Giraud
- Soulful and Funky. This dueling piano player has been making a name for him self because of his soulful style and sexy swagger. A master at song choice, he been spot on since Hollywood week. Compared to popular performers, Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke, Matt delivers performances that are 'radio ready' every week. While Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey have been given the edge, if they are not careful, Danny could sweep in and take it all.

Danny Gokey
-Blue eyed soul balladeer. Danny's a sentimental favorite; coming to the competition on the heels of the death of his wife. She'd always been a fan and after her passing, he tried out in honor of her. Danny's got the chops and impressed during Hollywood week and early on but has been exhibiting some inconsistency of late. The Idol audience is a fickle group. Danny needs to buckle down and giveit his all from here on out.

Allison Iraheta
-Old style rock goddess. At only 16, Allison sings with the heart and passion of an old soul.. With a voice that is reminiscent of "Heart's," Ann Wilson. Allison has been making great song choices and delivering competent, heart felt performances. One waits to see what the next few rounds of Idol will bring for her.

Anoop Desai
-Contender. He could be a contender. Anoop has got a hip hop sensibility and a beautful clear voice with a decent range. After a few missteps, he delivered a very nice performance during Motown week. As the competition progresses, Anoop has to be careful with song selection. With the wrong choice he can come off slightly karaoke. Anoop seems to still be finding himself and his voice.

Kris Allen
-Cute and smart. Kris Allen puts one in mind of Jsaon Mraz. His everyman style and unassuming manner have the tendency to cause the judges to think that he's a forgettable character. The truth is Kris has been delivering performances that are true to his style and garnering new fans daily. Kris doesn't have the swagger of Matt or edginess of Adam but he delivers songs that are contemporary and is as cute as a button. He could be the one to watch for the finals.

Lil Rounds
-Ol' School Soul and Blues Belter. Lil should be leading the pack. She's near the bottom of this list because she's made some unfortunate song choices. Either that or she hasn't prepared as well as she should. Since Idol shows are notorious for the number of illnesses that make the rounds. This is probably because all the contestants are under tremendous stress and getting very little sleep. Whatever the case. Lil should be at the top of this list. She should be knocking the bottom out every week. She's Simon's favorite kind of singer and he's been dissappointed in her less than stellar showings. The fact that she didn't shine during Motown Week was a shock. She has time to make it up but things are getting tight and some of the performers are bringing their A games every show.

Scott MacIntyre
-Musical Genius. There's no getting around the fact that Scott MacIntyre is talented. As a visually impaired person he is also an inspiration. The problem is that Scott is a lot like Brooke White from last years show. She made a decent showing because she was always true to her musical vision but she wasn't able to bring home the whole pot. Of course, once you're in the Top 10, you can write your own ticket. Brooke capitalized on her style and got her album produced. So it doesn't really matter that Scott might not take it all. He's true to himself performing songs with his own inimitable style. While Simon seems to be saying without saying that he should grow a pair. I think he's just fine doing his thing.

Megan Joy
-New age chanteuse. Bjork devotee, Megan has gone through a number of name changes this season and maybe that's why she can't pin down a style. She's got a unique delivery, there no denying that and that wouldn't be a bad thing if she gave some better performances. Maybe the fact that her style is unquantifiable is really what's important. She dares to be different and in the words of Simon. I don't get it. Of course it's not for me to get. Megan has a solid fanbase and keeps going on round after round. With the backing of her voters, she could cause one of the sure things to get ousted. There's still time for Megan to deliver on her promise from Hollywood week.

Now you know what I think about the Idol going's on. Let's see some other AC Sources are saying.

Hartley Engel

RM Gal

Tina Molly Lang

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Twitter - Everyone's Doing It

Who knew there'd ever come a day when twittering would be acceptable. Imagine people twittering everywhere. On the bus, One the train. People are twittering from the Senate floor and from the delivery room.

Maybe our need for connection is far greater than we ever imagined. There is no caste system is twitter. The actual act of twittering is known as sending a tweet. Tweet, Tweet. The famous, the infamous and the unknown are all sending tweets.

Just a blurb. With twitter you've only got 140 characters to get your point acrosss. It helps a lot for those of us who have problems with brevity and conciseness. The impact of twiiter has not gone unnoticed. Twitters popularity induced Facebook to come up with a much lamented change to it's users home pages to be more competitive with twitter. While the change may be more competitive with twitter it has ticked off a number of facebook users who don't like the change.

Writers on Associated Content have weighed in on twitter. In honor of twitter's 3rd birthday let's see what everyone is saying.

Twitter is Now 3 Years Old by Curtis Johnson

Why I Use Twitter by Randy Inman

Celebrities Who Use Twitter by Single Mom

Twitter. Twitter: A Case for Social Media by Roomy Naqvy

Don't Be a Follower Except on Twitter by Claudia Broome

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