Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Month in Review: A Letter for Michael

FB4MJ wishes You a Happy New Year!

Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s the end of December, as well as the end of 2010. For many, the last day of December has its usual bitter- sweetness, and for others (me), it is past time for a fresh start. Good luck to you all in this new year of 2011.

But before we look to forward into the future, for now it is essential for us to look back at this month, as well as this year, so as to better improve ourselves, and ultimately take a long look in the mirror in order to make that change.

One of the events that made us, the fans, more vocal in our fight for our beloved’s justice, was the announcement of the Discovery Channel’s (a.k.a. OWN) plan to air a mock autopsy of Michael. Through relentless efforts by all that did their part (including the family and friends), Discovery cancelled the broadcast which was to be aired two weeks into the new year. All I can say is thank God we were successful! However, this does not mean our letters and phone calls, and emails should stop. Who’s to say the Devil won’t have other tricks up his sleeve… say on another date or another OWN affiliated network?

Don’t be fooled when the devil does a goods deed… he is still the devil. Stay vigilant my dear friends, stay vigilant. -Karen Faye via Twitter

And who could forget the release of the posthumous album MICHAEL, which continues to stir endless controversy? Although some fans seem to be enjoying their purchases, many have not given in to the temptation to purchase the $ony released album. First there was the questioning of the validity of the vocal arrangements. We then find out Michael had a little more help than many would have liked from melodyne and autotune, rather than the addition of his own perfectionist touch on the tracks. (This happens to be the final deciding factor on my reasons for not purchasing.) But regardless of the touch- ups (mess-ups if you ask me), the album was no flop by any means, and became number one in many countries worldwide. It still so funny to me that the media continues to underestimate not only the power of Michael Jackson’s fans, but his everlasting legacy as well. It looks as if they’ll never get it.

Aside from all the major distractions that we were presented this month, it should be a well-known fact that by now we should all expect to continue to fight throughout this new year for Michael. As long as there is a positive aspect to Michael’s legacy, there will always be those certain demons that will try to tarnish such.

Must we remind ourselves why we fight for Michael; it is all for love, and will always be.

 L.O.V.E.

Blessings to You All

-Daryn

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In the Spirit of Christmas…

 During the holiday season, as we see the end of another year, now is the time we make our resolutions and promises to make 2011 better than 2010. And what better way to get inspired and even more thrilled for Christmas lurking around the corner than to watch Michael’s messages to his fans and friends. Once his  messages are in your mind, allow them to got to your heart in order to become even more driven to fight for his justice. No one deserves it more. 

That’s my Christmas wish.

Thank You All!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

-Daryn

“Michael”, Melodyne, and Teddy Riley: Just When You Thought You Were Past the Controversy

So the quencher to our burning, lingering questions about the vocals on ‘Michael’ may have finally brought the closure to some, but for me, it’s another story.

Lately, Teddy Riley (the guy from Guy who worked with Michael in the production of the Dangerous album) is finally coming out of the shadows to shed some light on the whole “is it MJ, or isn’t it” fiasco. At last! One month later, we get answers to the questions that should have been answered way back before the controversy started.

What’s the rush? Why all of a sudden, I wonder. Why wait until the days surrounding the release of ‘Michael’ is it now acceptable to have your word taken for instead of a month ago when everyone was ready to rip each other to shreds? What good does it do to keep controversy surrounding something related to Michael Jackson whenever possible? One minute it’s okay to shun those who purposely inflict controversy to MJ legacy in one breath, only to aid in the keeping of a secret that should have been out with the first released and questionable song?

Enough of that rant; now for some answers. According to an interview with Teddy Riley recently, a technique called Melodyne was used to enhance Michael’s (demo!) vocals.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/4455565/Voice-on-Jackson-album-far-from-finished

Recordings of Michael Jackson’s voice on a new album being released this week were far from the finished article and required considerable digital enhancement, according to one of its main producers.

But Teddy Riley, who worked with the King of Pop on several records before his death, believed that Michael would go down as a classic, albeit short of the heights of Jackson’s heyday in the late 70s and early 80s.

“I had to do more processing to the voice, which is why people were asking about the authenticity of his voice,” Riley told Reuters of the first album of new Jackson material since the singer’s sudden death 18 months ago.

The project has been mired in controversy since members of Jackson’s family were quoted questioning the authenticity of the voice on some tracks and his father’s lawyer said the perfectionist would never have wanted the music released.

“We had to do what we had to do to make … his voice work with the actual music,” Riley added in an interview.

“He (Jackson) would never consider it being a final vocal. But because he’s not with us he cannot give us new vocals. What we did was utilise the Melodyne (technology) to get him in key.

Riley worked on three of the 10 songs on the album – Hollywood Tonight, Monster and Breaking News.

“With the Melodyne we actually move the stuff up which is the reason why some of the vibrato sounds a little off or processed, over-processed. We truly apologize for that happening, but you are still hearing the true Michael Jackson.”

The last two were recorded at the New Jersey home of the Cascio family in 2007, along with a third Cascio track Keep Your Head Up.

It was these recordings that led some to cast doubt over the authenticity of the songs, although Riley, and record label Sony, have been at pains to show they were genuine.

PRICE OF FAME

Riley said much of the negative publicity surrounding the album came from people within Jackson’s entourage who did not approve of the project.

“That don’t just happen like that, that has to come from somewhere and where it came from was not a great place. It was from a family member, and some family members … didn’t totally get the last say so they kind of hate the project.

“So there you have it, a chain reaction, a domino effect that makes the credibility of Michael go down,” he said.

“I am here to protect that, because I know it’s him, I know it’s great material, I know that it needs to be out, I know that the legacy needs to continue because he’s such a great person, and there’s more to come.”

Michael is the first album of new Jackson material since Invincible in 2001, and the first in a reported $US250 million ($NZ320.83 million) deal between Sony and the executors of Jackson’s estate to release 10 albums through 2017.

Author J. Randy Taraborrelli, who wrote a 1991 best-selling biography of Jackson, said on Monday that Jackson’s estate had another 60 songs but did not plan on releasing all of them

“They’ve got 60 incomplete songs but they’ve only got about 20 left with vocals that they feel, that the estate feels, are worthwhile,” Taraborrelli said in a US interview on the CBS TV network’s The Early Show.

“They’re not releasing everything. They’re releasing the things that they believe Michael would want released, and that’s about 17 to 20 more songs,” Taraborrelli said.

Asked if he would agree to produce future posthumous Jackson material, Riley replied:

“If it was my decision, yes, I would be involved in anything that Michael was involved with. If they will have me I will definitely be a part of it. I’m here, I came out here to be a servant to my friend.”

Among the topics Jackson tackles on the new album is people’s thirst for fame and the high price of becoming a star.

In Hollywood Tonight he describes the real-life experiences of an unnamed friend who heads to Los Angeles aged 15 to make it in the movies, and in Monster he sings about the paparazzi.

“The Monsters are the ones who, when you’re up they come to get you and they beat you down and when they get you down they go to the next artist,” Riley said of “Monster.”

“That’s their job, to hit you while you’re up and step on you while you’re down, and that’s what he always said.”

Reviews of Michael, which hits British stores on Monday and US stores on Tuesday, have been generally positive.

So for those who favor Teddy and who believe his word, ain’t nothin’ but Michael on the CD.  However, let us not neglect that since we can detect the differences in the sound of Michael’s vocals therefore, there is no getting around the fact that a lot of this technique (along with autotune) was used to complete demos. In other words, Michael played almost no part (except for maybe a little teeny bit of Divine intervention) in the completion of these songs.

That’s all I needed to be reminded of for my conscience to set in. Needless to say, I didn’t purchase the album. I went to the store to buy it, however, but got a little cognitive intervention of my own, if you will.

With the help of a fellow blogger friend, I was able to post some videos that break it down step-by-step on how Autotune and Melodyne are applied to vocals.

One Day until the Release of ‘Michael’…Are You Buying? (Updated)

So there’s one day left until ‘Michael’ hits stores everywhere in the US. And like many others, I’m torn. I am still stuck on if I will buy it or not. So I’ve been meaning to write this post about the pros and cons of buying the album to help me and those few others decide. Let’s see how this goes, shall we.

First off, we’ll weigh the pros. The obvious first being it has Michael’s name on it, however the drawback there is that that’s how Sony operates. They find it simple to put Michael’s trademark on something and voila! You’ve once again cashed in on the biggest cash cow of them all.

Most of the album includes songs that have never been heard before with the exception of (I Like) The Way You Love Me, which had already been released on Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection. But one plus with the re-released song is that it has a little speaking intro in the beginning that is sure to make your heart skip a beat.

Then, there’s the fact that if I don’t get it, I’d be missing out on having the actual CD to put in my collection of MJ collectables. If I were to buy it, I wouldn’t get it from iTunes, in part because my iPod is on the fritz anyway. Plus, a CD is always better.

Not to mention, there’s that possibility that if I miss out on purchasing and the album isn’t as successful as it should be (in MJ terms), it would be labeled a “flop” by the media, and I would have played a part in the destruction of Michael’s reputation.

On the other hand, we have the cons. One previously mentioned, is about the Michael brand automatically making this album a best-seller, as well as one driving controversy– a reoccurring theme. Sony knows by doing this, they’ve already made millions, which, judging by their history with Michael, is the controversial thing to be weary of.

And what about the validity of some of the songs? That one has been in the back of my mind since I first heard ‘Breaking News’. From what the family saying, there are three questionable– meaning not 100 percent MJ– songs on there. I know one bad apple don’t spoil the bunch, but no one ever said anything about what three would do. Though, we kind of got an idea, didn’t we…  raise all hell. Lol.

And lastly, Michael isn’t here to o.k. it, to put his golden touch on it, to release from his blessed hands, because one: some of the songs were recently (as of a few months ago) “brought to completion” according to that letter from Sony. That just goes to show that profiting from Michael was number one on their agenda. What’s wrong with a CD of demos? I’d likely appreciate that more because I know it came directly from MJ and wasn’t toyed with after the fact. I know I’m not alone in my thinking and frustration. We know another vocalist may  have been added on some of those questionable tracks; why won’t Sony just come out and say so?  One word: M-O-N-E-Y.

Did I miss anything?

And now, I have gotten myself more confused, and I’ve only got 8 hours and 20 minutes to decide!

But wait! There’s always the lazy person’s route! I could always drop little hints for Xmas gifts now couldn’t I?

Good Luck in your decisions.

UPDATE:

Starting at midnight, fans everywhere will be involved in the twitterthon promoting ‘Michael’. In order to take part in showing your love through tweets, all you need to do is sign into Twitter using your account, (or make one: https://twitter.com/signup) and spread Michael’s word following #MICHAEL in order to get talk for the album a trending topic (tt).

Happy Michaeling all!

Calling All Troops! Mock Autopsy of MJ to be on Primetime! (Updated)

I know I’m getting to the topic kind of late, but I didn’t really want to put any depressing posts since this month is supposed to be filled with cheer and good tidings and what not. However, this is one of those despicable things that calls for the attention of everyone!

I received an email December 9th about the disgusting low level filthiness the American media plans on stooping:

MJ Justice Project and MJ Children have united to bring you the truth about the Discovery Channel.

The Discovery Channel, which is actually the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) will broadcast 13 January 2011 a documentary on events surrounding the death of Michael Jackson. Based on the autopsy report and court documents, the film will show a reproduction of the body of the star in every detail. The documentary aims to follow a doctor who will dissect the body and reveal the true reasons for his death. Let me say it again;

The Discovery Channel is actually OWN,The Oprah Winfrey Network.
 
Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications formed OWN, which will be seen in 70 Million U.S. homes, and includes the power of Oprah.com
 
OWN,The Oprah Winfrey Network
 
 
Are you enraged? If you are, join us.
~Please E-mail your letters to MJ Justice Project at mjj@innocent.com
Need I say more?
 
 
UPDATE:
Discovery Uk is not budging! Now is the time to get even more fierce in your fight, if you have no done so already. It is best advised that you make multiple copies of your letter of outrage and repeatedly send them to the following addresses listed below.
 “We have to speak up. Thus is URGENT. Write a letter to the Discovery/OWN Channel. Tell them that what they are doing is disgraceful, disrespectful, and unnecessary. This is going too far to get ratings. Are you enraged? If you are, join us!
>
> Address your letters to:
>
> Nicolas Bonard Senior Vice President
> Discovery Enterprises International Discovery Networks Europe /Oprah Winfrey Network
> Chiswick Park Building 2
> 566 Chiswick High Road
> London, W4 5YB
> UK
>
> E-mail your letters to MJ Justice Project at:
>
> mjj@…
>
> MJ Justice Project and MJ Children have united to bring you the truth about the Discovery Channel. The Discovery Channel is actually OWN,The Oprah Winfrey Network. Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications formed OWN, which will be seen in 70 Million U.S. homes, and includes the power of Oprah.com
>
> OWN,The Oprah Winfrey Network:
>
> http://corporate.discovery.com/?dcitc=w99-540-ah-1001.
>
> FOR MORE INFORMATION, MJ JUSTICE PROJECT AND MJ CHILDREN WILL EXPLAIN & ANSWER QUESTIONS: Sunday, December 12 at 1pm CST (11am PST and 2pm EST)
>
> A Place In Your Heart Radio
>
> Hosted by Rev. Dr. Catherine Gross
>
> This is the link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/a-place-in-your-heart

Less Than One Week Until ‘Michael’ is Released… Preview the Album Now!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we officially have less than one week until Michael hits stores everywhere in the US!

Today, Michael Jackson the Officical site is streaming the entire album directly from the site. For those who have yet to pre-order, and are aside the controversy, you can pre-order and listen to the album exclusively here: http://www.michaeljackson.com/us/news/listen-entire-michael-album

Speaking of previews, BET will be airing the worldwide televised premier of “Hold My Hand” tommorow night at 9:30pm (EST) as part of a 30-minute Michael Jackson special. The video will also be aired on MTV, VH1, and FUSE. However, the premier of the full video will take place tomorrow, Thursday December 9th at 12:01 (EST. For other times click here: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?month=11&day=17&year=2010&hour=19&min=0&sec=0&p1=137) on michaeljackson.com, vevo.com and youtube.com.

http://www.michaeljackson.com/us/news/michael-jackson-video-hold-my-hand-duet-akon-premiere-week?cid=lg:t7&utm_medium=post&utm_source=twitter

Dinner of a Lifetime: Who Else Would it be with?

 

Michael JacksonJust before the scheduled video shoot for ‘In the Closet’ in March of 1992, MTV held a global competition for one lucky fan to have the dinner of a lifetime: “Dinner With Michael”. The Australian winner of the 1992 competition recounts her incredible night with the king of our hearts.

“It was back in March 1992, yet I remember it like it was yesterday. They were premiering his new clip then, ‘Remember The Time’, here in Australia, like they would have been all over the world and with the premiere and the promotion of his upcoming ‘Dangerous’ tour there was also a competition, where the winner and their partner would be flown to America to have dinner with Michael. The anticipation for this video was huge and I remember watching the video clip in awe, over and over again, amazed at how just when you think you have seen all there is to see from Michael he brings out something even more brilliant then before.

The next night, while still at the dinner table with my family, and while writing out the last of my entries for the competition of a life time, a competition that nothing could stop me from entering, I remember turning to my somewhat skeptical family to say the least and saying; “Just you all wait and see, I am going to win this!” The funny thing is that I did win and I didn’t even know it.

The following Monday I called work not feeling well and to advise that I wouldn’t be in. My supervisor did mumble something about Michael, but as I was not feeling well, I didn’t take much notice and hung up. Within a couple of minutes I had a call back from work from one of the other girls hysterical on the phone shouting, “Paula you won! Paula you won!” It took about two more calls from work and another two from MTV before I actually believed it. I swear that when I hung up from that last call the whole neighborhood must have heard me scream. They had drawn the Australian winner the previous Saturday, but we were at a wedding and didn’t even see it. I mean you don’t really think that you are going to win. Anyway, about a week or two later my husband and I were on our way to America to have dinner with Michael.

We were greeted at the airport by a Starlite Limo and driven to the La Belage hotel in Hollywood where we caught up with our MTV representatives and the other winners. There were thirty winners all together and their partners. They held a party for us to all meet that night and the next morning we were driven by bus to the Marriott Palm Desert hotel in Palm Springs where we had time to get ready before they came and picked us up to take us to the dinner to meet Michael that night.

We were driven to a secret location where they had been filming Michael’s ‘In The Closet’ during the day. The feeling was surreal when they took us to take photos on the actual set, before Michael arrived. I look at the photos even now, then look at the film clip with Michael and Naomi and it is still hard to believe that we are actually standing on the same set.

A big Marquee had been set up for the dinner with a real tropical carnival theme going on. There was lots of entertainment organized for us that night, from animals, like an elephant, a cheetah, a camel, a llama, a chimpanzee, as well as a puma who you felt was going to rise up and change into Michael at any moment, like it does in ‘Black or White,’ to a magician, people on stilts, fire eaters, and Rio dancers. The atmosphere was amazing and Michael had spared no expense. The place had been set up like a restaurant with small round dinner tables. We had been seated right up the front and next to our table was an empty reserved one. Much to our delight we were told that this was Michael’s table.

By this time we were overwhelmed by excitement as at any minute Michael was going to walk through the door and come and sit right next to us. We could barely contain ourselves and the agony of the wait was killing us. I remember us going outside and waiting to see Michael arrive by helicopter, but we were soon told we had to go back inside and sit down before he would come out of the helicopter and walk in. We did go back inside and finally Michael walked in. It was like the Earth just stood still. The media had been cruel, even back then, by claiming Michael was strange and weird, but let me tell you, I saw nothing strange or weird. I saw this beautiful, well dressed man walk through the door that was polite, well spoken, and gracious like he always is, and I will never forget that smile, that mesmerizing smile of his that just took your breath away. He truly looked amazing! The only thing strange I remember is how everything he walked past just seemed to light up and of how you just couldn’t take your eyes of him.

Michael greeted people as he walked past and then came and sat down. I remember going over to him with my husband, giving him a hug and a koala (not real of course), that he placed on his lap and started patting. The picture at that moment was priceless. We thanked him for the dinner and asked him whether he was coming to Australia soon and he replied “yes” and said that he would be touring. He was referring to the upcoming ‘Dangerous’ tour. (The Australian tour was later cancelled and we had to wait till the ‘History’ tour to see Michael again.) I had gone over in my head all the things that I was going to say to him and here I was up close and the words just wouldn’t come out. He literally left me speechless.

I remember Michael getting up and dancing the Conga. He and Naomi were both pulled up by one of the Rio Dancers and everyone else joined in a line behind. Here we were dancing the Conga with Michael…Not something you do everyday. I also remember how they called us and Michael over for our photo shoot together and of how my husband who was positioned directly behind him for the photos, placed both his hands on Michael’s shoulders and kept them there, even after being told to take them off by the photographer and of how Michael just turned his head around and gave this adorable smile. I also remember Michael turning around once the photos had finished and shaking our hands and bowing his head to us as we bowed to him. Here is this huge superstar, the world’s biggest Entertainer ever, that still has this humble nature about him. The only thing that night that I don’t seem to remember, even though it was a dinner, was eating any food. I know that there was plenty of food there, all personally prepared by Michael’s chef, and I remember Michael taking the first mouth full to start the dinner, but I don’t remember eating a single thing. Believe me that with Michael being so close to me, food was the last thing on my mind that night.

Michael was supposed to stay for only half an hour that night but he ended up staying for about two and a half hours. These were the best two and a half hours of my life and they will be remembered and treasured along with Michael for the rest of my life.

We weren’t allowed to take any photos of Michael ourselves, and had been told that if we did, Michael would probably just get up and leave and no one wanted that. I guess this way he could relax a little more and enjoy the night without it feeling like a media attack with cameras constantly in his face. We were however sent a few photos and a short video of Michael with us by MTV. I frequently look at the photos and play the video to remind myself that it did really happen, that it wasn’t just a dream.

Michael may have been taken away from us physically but he is embedded so deep in both mine and my husband’s heart that no one can ever take him away from there without taking our hearts out as well.

Thank you Michael for this beautiful memory – Thank you Michael for all you have given us and for all that you were. You will always be loved and you will never ever be forgotten!”

http://twitpic.com/3cvm5y

http://www.mjworld.net/features/dinner-with-michael/

Raising Awareness: Today is World AIDS Day

There is an international day set aside for the awareness of HIV/AIDS for a reason. Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is an incurable disease that is home to more than 30 million worldwide. http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm

And Michael, being the humanitarian that he was, was no stranger to this devastating disease. Michael, who selflessly reached out to many children worldwide was involved in a touching friendship with Ryan White, a young boy from Indiana who contracted HIV/ AIDS in the 1980s from a blood transfusion, and became the poster child for HIV/AIDs. Ryan White, who died in April of 1990, was shunned and harassed for fear of his disease. Not long before Ryan passed, Michael befriended the boy, aiming to allow the world to realize that this child was just that- a child. Michael attended the funeral of the young boy and wrote the song Gone Too Soon in honor of his lost friend.

Below is a video of Michael singing the song dedicated to Ryan at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Afterwards, Michael asked that President Clinton to provide research and treatment funding to better combat the disease. In August of 1990, the Ryan White Care Act was passed.

On October 21, 2009, the House passed the Ryan White HIV/ AIDS Treatment Extension Act (S.1793) reauthorizing the Ryan White program for four years. A little over a week later, Ryan White’s mother, Jeanne Ginder-White was present at the signing ceremony of the fourth extension of the original Care Act. This Act has gone on to help people with HIV/AIDs for nearly twenty years, and has no intention on stopping any time soon providing care, treatment, and support to almost a half million people affected.

Below is an interview involving Ryan’s Mother on he and Michael’s friendship.  

If you care to give a hand or donate to a charity that will help in the research and care for those afflicted, this link will provide you with many foundations dedicated to AIDS research. http://www.looktothestars.org/category/1-aids#charities

“Ryan White” (Written By: Michael J.Jackson)Ryan White, symbol of justice
Or child of innocence, messenger of love

Where are you now, where have you gone?

Ryan White, I miss your sunny days

We carelessly frolicked in extended plays

I miss you, Ryan White I miss your smile, innocent and bright

I miss your glory, I miss your light Ryan White, symbol of contradiction

Child of Irony, or child of fiction?

I think of your shattered life Of your struggle, of your strife

While ladies dance in the moonlit night

Champagne parties on chartered cruises

I see your wasted form, your ghostly sight

I feel your festering wounds, your battered bruises

Ryan White, symbol of agony and pain

Of ignorant fear gone insane In a hysterical society

With free-floating anxiety

And feigned piety I miss you, Ryan White

You showed us how to stand and fight

In the rain you were a cloudburst of joy

The sparkle of hope in every girl and boy In the depths of your anguished sorrow

Was the dream of another tomorrow.

from the book ‘Dancing the Dream’ by Michael Jackson