Friday, June 26, 2009
Brand new god: Rest in peace, MJ
Check out this latter-day "Billie Jean," a stunning piece of conceptual theater. The exaltation-of-the-Glove bit at the beginning is like some sort of bizarre occult ritual. (Note the insane sensitivity of the mikes--the unlocking of the case is deafening!) Now that I think about it, I had no real sense that MJ was still bringing it this hard onstage in '01. The only time I saw him live was when I was five, and as I recount in the Volume's collective tribute, I was absolutely terrified by the loudness. He's obviously lip-synching in the clip above--as he is in almost every live vid I've checked out last night and today--but it doesn't really matter. What's amazing about this is how clearly it illustrates what he was in the minds of fans: They literally appear to be beholding a deity. Every audience member's expression indicates a sublime mixture of disbelief and sheer joy that you'd never get to see in an everyday context. It makes you realize that no one but a pop megastar can elicit this sort of adoration. Kind of a weird thought, maybe even a disheartening one--if MJ's music weren't so staggeringly awesome. All proper respects to him, and farewell.