Sorry, Sarah Palin. Nothing personal, President Obama. If politics was all the rage for costumes last Halloween, this year it’s out and pop culture is in, you betcha. Palin’s beehive has been replaced by “Twilight” vamps, Lady Gaga wigs, and, of course, sequin-heavy tributes to the late, great King of Pop. It’s time to go back to the future with totally awesome ’80s costumes in general and homages to pop icon Michael Jackson in particular. When darkness falls across the land Oct. 31, and the midnight hour is close at hand, it’s going to be “Thriller” time. Good luck finding one of Jackson’s trademark glitter gloves. “It’s all about the glove and the socks,” says Jackie Littlejohn, manager of the Spirit Halloween store in Milpitas. “And all of the popular stuff is gone, or almost gone.” Jackson is one of the biggest trends in costumes this year, alongside other celebs, from Madonna and Lady Gaga (go bottomless with a blond wig?) to Kate Gosselin (of “Jon & Kate Plus 8″ fame) whose hairstyle has been described as a reverse mullet. The spiky-blond Kate wig is cheekily dubbed “Eight Is Too Much.” “Michael Jackson is huge for kids. Every time we get those little red Thriller jackets in the store, boom, they’re gone,” says Kellie Hudson, owner of the Halloween Bootique at Oakridge Mall in San Jose, where many little boys also seemed to favor the classics — you know, “Toy Story,” “Transformers” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” “It’s a nostalgia thing for parents who are children of the ’80s.” Jen Norcia, for one, is in the mood for a little moonwalk down memory lane. “I’m going ’80s for Halloween, with the big hair and everything. I just had my 20th high school reunion and I want to reminisce a little,” says the San Jose mom as she chased her 3-year-old son from one monster mask to another. “I tried to get my son Nick to be a mini-Michael Jackson this year but it was a no-go. He insists on Sonic the Hedgehog.” The recession may be one reason retro is back this year. The National Retail Federation estimates that Halloween spending will tumble 18 percent to $4.75 billion, down from $5.77 billion last year. Rummaging through the closet for a full-on ’80s ensemble is one way to bargain hunt. Shoulder pads? Check. Parachute pants? Gulp. Bet you wish you hung onto that Members Only jacket. “Costumes can seem pricey,” says Krysta Delfino, who works at Natasha’s Attic costume shop in San Jose. “A lot of people are looking to take a 20-year-old pair of leg warmers and pull it together as an ’80s costume.” Monsters remain huge, from the “Twilight” vampires (especially Dakota Fanning’s creeptastic red-eyed Jane) to those hipper-than-ever brain-eating hordes from “Zombieland.” “Freakin’ vampires, man,” says Delfino, who is planning to dress up as a Zombie pinup girl. —‰’Twilight’ is so in right now.” The popularity of ghouls and goblins might be one indication that folks are eager to banish their fears about reality with some quality escapism. “The recession is such a downer,” Delfino says. “People want to get their minds off of it and have some fun.” Indeed, our Halloween rituals are rooted in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Masks were worn to ward off demons and offerings were left on the doorstep to appease evil spirits. Throughout the ages, the holiday has been a way to brighten the deepening gloom of winter. These days, Halloween costume trends are also a snapshot of the zeitgeist. We dress up both as the icons we want to be (Megan Fox? Sienna Miller?) and the ones we don’t (Bernie Madoff? Balloon Boy?). Wish fulfillment rarely comes so cheap. “Halloween allows us to express some personal side of ourselves,” says Dan Vado, founder of San Jose’s SLG Publishing, who plans to be a devil. “Whatever it is you want to be or do, there is a place for it.”
Beachdown Festival will also be celebrating what would have been the King of Pops 51st Birthday on the 29th August with a medley of artists covering their favourite Michael Jackson songs. Full line-up: Grace Jones, Ocean Colour Scene, The Zutons, Laurent Garnier (live), Super Furry Animals, The Rakes, Saint Etienne, Grandmaster Flash, Prince Buster and the Delroy Williams Junction Band, The Fall, Ida Maria, Terry Callier, Alice McLaughlin, Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics, Quantic and his Combo Barbaro, James Hunter, Acid House Brass, Band, Secret Affair, Joey Negro and the Sunburst Band, The Blockheads, James Taylor Quartet, Dreadzone, Gilles, Peterson, Jazzanova, The Apples, Snowboy and the Latin Section, Jazz CoTech Dancers, Lack of Afro, Nostalgia 77 Octet, Laura Izibor, Belleruche, The Impellers, Funkshone, The Fantastics!, Jah Shaka Sound System 3 day residency, Favela Chic Arena of Stupidity 4 day residency ft Radio Favela, Belleruche (Live), Swap-A-Rama, Zeep Acoustic, Renegade Cinema, The Wheel of Bestune compered by Gringo Da Parada, Ross Clarke, Clek Clek Boom ft Tchiky and Monsieur Boo, Savoir Faire Soundsystem, Sofrito Sound System, Vibes Unlimited, Healer Selecter, Spiegel Tent, Super, Cinema, Cool Cabaret, Postonove Madness, Baile Beats, Samba Stupidity.
Club nights: Blah Blah Blah, Dub Pressure, Slackers Convention ft Pav Luquas and Dirtbomb, Go Bang!, Shameless vs Pop Musik with special guests The Food Fighters and The Justice Force 5 plus Tatoo Parlour, Face Painting, Dance Offs and Competitions, Spellbound, JFB and Ed Solo present Multijam, Bust the Box and Tekkitangwan Sound System presents the Boogie Beach Hut, Playgroup ft Manjinga 7, Kalakuta Millionairs, AK/DK, The Devils Way, Bad Sandwich, Beatabet Band, The Resonator Plus DJ¹s Shamblin Sexton, Baca Maraca, Chiv, Dad Disko, Somewhere in the Universe, Stick it On, full line up TBA, Roots Garden Present Nation Vibration Sound System ft Manasseh, MC Kenny Knots and Leroy Horn, Supercharged ft Cagedbaby, Stero:Type and Sneaky, Ocean Rooms presents Our Friends Electric with very special guest, JP presents Return of The Funky Man, Grace Jones After Party with Wild Fruits Jon Byrne and Dulcie Danger, Tru Thoughts ft Rob Luis, Natural Self and Kinny, Mufflewuffle, Balearic Jukebox ft Trevor Fung.
DJ line-up: Youth ft Zoe, Dub House Disco ft Greg Wilson, Derrick May (& Jim Masters), Soft Rocks and Weirdo Police (live), Wayne Hemingway, Ben Balafonic, DJ Farmer Palmer!, Kliks ft Dan Bell, A Guy Called Gerald, Mia, Alex Smoke, Lee Smith and Mark Lerman, Breakin Bread ft DJ Skeg, Nealy Wheely and Natural Self, Good Times ft Norman Jay, Dave Lee, Craig Woodrow, Hospitality ft High Contrast, Skream, London Elektricity, Ed Rush, Cyantific, Caspa, Break, Randomer, Rod Azlan, MC Wrec and Script, Skints Damian Harris and Andy Mac, Gordon Kaye.
Michael Jackson dies leaving legacy of award-winning music. Michael Jackson, who died today at age 50, ruled the music world throughout the 1980s, selling millions of records and concert tickets and dubbing himself the “King of Pop.” And while Michael Jackson won multiple times at such popularity contests as the American Music Awards and the MTV Awards, he also earned the respect of his peers in the music industry with his 13 Grammy Awards. After striking out on his own from the Jackson Five, Jackson won his first Grammy in 1980 for best R&B male vocal performance (“Don’t S top ‘Til You Get Enough”). That track from his chart-topping “Off the Wall” album also contended for best disco recording. “Thriller” – his second solo effort as an adult – was released in November 1982 and spent a record 37 weeks at No. 1, producing an unparalleled seven Top 10 singles. In March 1983, Jackson debuted his moonwalk dance to “Billie Jean” on Continue reading →