Category Archives: Music

How To Avoid A Hole In Your Face Courtesy Of Your Neighborhood Brown Recluse Spider

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*Imagine waking up from a sound sleep the way country singer Meghan Linsey did recently:  with an “awful” stinging pain in her face.

She’d just been bitten by a brown recluse spider. She’d awakened to the little guy dying in her hand.  

Sadly, Linsey did not develop super strength, agility, nor the ability to swing through the city via webs spun from her wrists.  

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“The swelling was the first thing, and then I ended up just having crazy, crazy symptoms,” Linsey said.  “I had muscle spasms, and I had a body rash all over.”

Just over a week later, she developed an open wound at the site of the bite, which she called “a hole on my face.”

That’s what I’d call it too.  This MF took a chunk outta her CHEEK!   Continue reading

Miss Jackson Surprises Us…Again

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*The element of surprise has been a hallmark of superstar Janet Jackson’s 30+ year career.

If you’re too young to remember, Jackson’s landmark 1986 Control album, with its defiant distancing from her famous family, surprised even her most ardent fans.

I was one of them; I’ve loved that girl since she was little Penny on Good Times.  I still can’t look at a clothes iron without experiencing a little anxiety, and I still have an emotional reaction whenever I see actress Chip Fields

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Send me an email if you’re with me on that!

As I think about it, the launch of Jackson’s recording career was a complete surprise, with her having spent the first years of her career focused on acting instead of trying to compete with her incomparable older brother, Michael.  Beginning with her eponymous album,  the youngest Jackson delivered passable pop with an urban edge that suggested there was something more to come.

At the age of 19, Jackson fired her father (he’d been her manager) and shocked the entertainment world as she emerged from Michael’s enormous shadow via a series of huge hit records, courtesy of wünderkinds Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Continue reading

Gorillaz Is Hosting A Global Listening Party On Their New AR App

gorillazIf listening to your favorite album isn’t enough, you may now be able to see it right in front of you. This is the experience that the band Gorillaz wants to give to its fans with the release of its upcoming album “Humanz.” Pitchfork reports that the band has released an augmented reality app that superimposes parts of their music videos onto the user’s immediate environment using a smartphone camera.

 
“Fans will be invited – via the app – to the Humanz House Party, an exclusive worldwide listening event which will allow fans to hear the new album in full for the first time,” the band said in a press release. “The Humanz House Party will be the largest ever geo-specific listening experience bringing people together across 500 locations.”
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How A 45-Minute Visit With Michael Jackson Led To Years Of Nightmares

Michael, David Munk

*This might be the absolute saddest ‘True Story’ you’ve ever read about Michael Jackson. A friend sent it to me and after reading it, I tracked down the author to ask if we could reprint it. His name is David Munk, and he graciously allowed us to publish his story. Get your coffee, tea or juice and snuggle up. It’s a long and fascinating read.

Here it is in its entirety.

In the years since Michael Jackson’s tragic death, passion for all things related to the brilliant, troubled superstar has only increased.  From the profound—his peerless musical legacy, to the perverse—endless speculation about his nose and myriad of other personal eccentricities, it seems that no subject is beyond the interest of his ever-growing fan-base.  In the early-2000s while running the music publishing company for songwriter/socialite Denise Rich, I had an unexpected and unforgettable opportunity to spend 45 minutes in private audience with the “King of Pop”  Though the circumstances were mysterious and the take-away confusing, it was certainly unforgettable.  Here is my completely true, first-hand account of how I came to have a private audience with Michael Jackson, one of the greatest recording artists of all-time.  I have written the entire story from notes that I wrote shortly after our visit; nothing is exaggerated.

The intercom buzzed.  It was Denise…obviously.  “Oh, oh, is this David?  It’s Denise,” she said, always emphasizing the second syllable of her name in that breathy, singsong, little-girl voice, as if I might not be able to identify my boss, with or without the caller I.D. that said “bedroom.”  Denise’s voice was a curious instrument that sounded like a B’nai Brith Marilyn Monroe and frequently made me feel like she’d stepped out of a photo session with Bert Stern just to tell me a secret.  “Hi, Denise, yes it’s me,” said I, with an insincere air of surprise, in what had come to be our version of Rhoda’s daily routine with Carlton the doorman.  “Oh…okay,” she’d say, trail off for a moment, and then return, breaking into a nervous but warm laugh, which seemed to celebrate the simple act of having clearly established our identities and proximity to each other within the spralling 5th Avenue triplex aerie she called “home” and I called “office.”  Denise’s happy laugh was always a sign we were moving in the right direction, like the chortle of a baby that had only just discovered its toes.

This same bit of business played itself out every time we spoke—which is to say incessantly—but for Denise Rich, songwriter/socialite (that was the order she liked me to use), each time she spoke to me on the intercom was like our first hello.  “Listen…what I wanted to say was…okay…be ready to leave…in about a half an hour..be ready, okay?”  The word “distractible” did not begin to measure Denise’s level of conversational disengagement. “Sure,” I said.  “Where are we going?”  “I’ll explain on the way…I’ll come down…I’ll see you soon…Okay…Buh, bye!”  Click. Continue reading

Deborah Cox Stars in ‘The Bodyguard’ at Hollywood Pantages, and Has New Album to Boot!

Deborah Cox in The Bodyguard
Deborah Cox in The Bodyguard

*After having been compared vocally to the film’s original star for her entire professional career, R & B star and Broadway legend Deborah Cox has decided to take the comparison head-on.

She has been touring the country — and earning rave reviews — in the lead role in The Bodyguard musical, which was first introduced to audiences via film in 1991.

Cox has also just released I Will Always Love You, an exceptionally well-sung collection of  covers including anthems, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and “The Greatest Love Of All.”

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Fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Cox has done the legend justice, and in a couple of cases, her versions actually improve upon the originals.   Continue reading

New Beauty and the Beast Flips the Script on Gender, Race Roles

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*The new live action Beauty and the Beast succeeds on almost every level, and actually surpasses the original in a couple of key aspects.

I know.  I was shocked, too!  

I had trouble believing that Hermione from the Harry Potter franchise would be believable as one of Disney’s most engaging princesses, but within minutes, Emma Watson made me a believer. I should have known she’d be able to handle the CGI-intensive role, as she spent over a decade perfecting her gaze into a green screen in eight Harry Potter smashes.

Watson finds her vocal footing quickly and by the time she scales that clover-lined hillside singing “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere,” she gives Julie Andrews a run for her money. I fell in love with Watson’s Belle at the exact moment that the Beast did, as will every other father of a daughter. I won’t give the moment away, but have some Kleenex ready. And Watson absolutely nails that critical scene at the end that precedes Belle’s “happily ever after.”

Watson and director Bill Condon conjure up a new image in this Beauty that’s been ignored or missed by other critics. When Belle rides up on her white horse to save the day, as she does two or three times during the film, the image effortlessly reverses over a century of Hollywood’s almost exclusive positioning of men in that critical “hero” role. It’s an image that I won’t soon forget — nor will any girl who sees this film. Belle beat Hollywood’s Wonder Woman to the punch in the hero department by a month or two. Continue reading

Oleta Adams Delivered, Made Fans Quiver in Concert Last Weekend

Oleta Adams live at Yoshi's in Oakland, California March 26, 2017. Photo courtesy of Coleman Communications.
Oleta Adams live at Yoshi’s in Oakland, California March 26, 2017. Photo courtesy of Coleman Communications.

*Music legend Oleta Adams took the stage just after 7pm for the first of her two Yoshi’s shows, with “It’s Alright With Me,” the lead track to her exceptional new album, Third Set. Her voice is still an absolute wonder, albeit a bit rawer than that of decades ago, but timeworn, battle-scared, wise.

Adams tore into her performance with a ferocity of a woman who perhaps thought she had something to prove. It almost felt as if she questioned whether she could still thrill a crowd as she had decades ago with her breakout hit “Get Here.”

She could. And she did.

Other highlights of the show included searing versions of Frank Sinatra’s “Only The Lonely,” Joni Mitchell’s “Don’t Interrupt The Sorrow” and “River,” and Nina Simone’s “Do I Move You,” all from her new Third Set collection.

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“To be quite frank, I struggled with [recording] that one because I’m on the brink of being an old lady, and I just keep hoping that even though I’m not quite as subtle as I used to be, people can still feel the soul of my music,” Adams had confided with me by phone, before the show.

We could. And we did. Continue reading

Jackson Fans Go Nuts Over FB Live Videos of Author Shana Mangatal and EURweb’s DeBorah B. Pryor

L-R Shana Mangatal and DeBorah B. Pryor

*Oh boy! We couldn’t let this one go by.

Apparently, EURweb senior editor DeBorah B. Pryor has been steppin’ out on us. As it turns out, she and ‘Michael and Me’ author, Shana Mangatal, have been hosting Facebook Live videos, and from the number of views and active participation, MJ fans have been overjoyed at the teaming — with some even saying they should get a talk show!

In this, the 2nd of their FB Live videos, Shana reveals exclusive never-before-released naughty lyrics dictated to her by Michael Jackson over the phone, when she was a receptionist at the office of his management team, Sandy Gallin and Associates. Continue reading