July 2009

Today was Michael Jackson’s funeral service. I had it on in the background during the day at the office (through CNN.com/Facebook, the next generation in monumental event live-viewing).

I wanted to watch because I felt like this was my generation’s Elvis or Marilyn . . . and what amazes me more than anything is the bond people are forming over the music.  Not over the scandals, the weird news stories about him over the past ten years, or the court allegations.  Yes, they are all valid and should be noted.  However, the most amazing thing that is lasting over everything else is the music.  And it’s incredible to watch how something as simple as music can bring people together.

Tonight, at my Zumba class at the gym, the instructor ended the class with an MJ tribute.  She put on “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” and instructed us all to move closer together.  Then, she led us in a simple routine to the classic dance song.  At first, there were a few smiles, grins, people slowly getting into it.  But by the end, there were wide grins, cheers, hoots, hollers, arms waving in the air, and people squealing and singing.

Here was a group of 50 women or so, of all races, colors, creeds, ages, and sizes, who normally don’t even make much room for each other during class, much less talk.  However, with this one song on such a monumental day, we were brought together into a group of women who just loved letting loose to some great music.

I know, it sounds cheesy and silly.  But honestly, even after watching the 2 hour ceremony today, even after hearing Michael’s choked up daughter speak about her father, the whole thing didn’t hit me until that class.  I was near tears watching the power of the song as it came over the group, and thinking about how much I treasured Michael when I was 3, 5, 7 and 12, but haven’t really appreciated him much as of late.

So I want to get back into his music, as cheesy and clichéd as that is to do now.  Because he is-was-an incredible dancer, singer and musician, and I don’t want to forget that.  I want my kids to know about it, and their kids.

As Rihanna sings in her classic song that samples one of Michael’s,
“Please don’t stop the music.”

[Or as my 2-year-old squeaky voiced self used to say, “Biwee Jean, snap my luhv, Biwee Jean, snap my luhv…can you heahw it?”]

I’m currently rocking out to “Say Say Say.” 

What Michael Jackson song are you currently digging?


Looking for ideas for your 4th of July party playlist this year? Here are some ideas, in no particular order, that will keep the party going long after the fireworks quiet down:

  • John Mellencamp – “R.O.C.K. in the USA”
  • Counting Crows – “American Girls”
  • Mat Kearney – “Girl America” (great late night summer song)
  • Live – “Merica”
  • Matt Willis – “Sound of America”
  • The Soup Dragons – “I’m Free”
  • Better Than Ezra – “American Dream”
  • James Brown – “Living in America”
  • David Bowie – “Young Americans”
  • Razorlight – “America” (another chill summer evening tune)
  • Phil Vassar – “American Child”
  • George Michael – “Freedom”
  • Elton John – “Philadelphia Freedom”
  • Madonna – “American Life”
  • Andrews Sisters – “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”
  • Tom Petty – “American Girl”
  • Supertramp – “Breakfast in America”
  • Bree Sharp – “America”

*Note – although some of these songs are not about America per se, or might even be slightly derogatory, they’re still great for a patriotic party!!

What songs am I missing?  Post your suggestions, too!

Have a great 4th of July!

(I so want these shoes!)