Lunar Landing: One Giant Step for Mankind

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Today marks the 40th Anniversary of the lunar landing. On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. On July 20, astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped off the “Eagle” onto the surface of the moon, as millions gathered around their televisions to watch.  “Celebrate Apollo: Exploring the Moon, Discovering Earth” – will honor the Apollo program, its accomplishments and the benefits to human lives.

Giant Step Resident 47: Michael Video List

badBy Mawuse Ziegbe

No need to expound upon his achievements or even mention his last name. We all have our favorite Michael moment. Mine is headbanging to “Bad” as a toddler in pre-school. Instead of nap time our teacher let us run around like, well, babies. Me and a roly-poly, pigtailed friend nearly snapped our necks every afternoon. I’m pretty sure that guy was fired. But I would always see him bopping around Boston with his headphones on; very likely bopping along to “Bad.”

Part of Michael’s legacy is the advancement of music videos. Every time we see a lit dance floor, an errant tiger, Prohibition-era pop-lockin,’ or massive flying marbles, Michael will be on our minds. But for every indelible hip thrust, he also left a rash of quirky videos that are largely beeping off the radar. Here are some of Michael’s equally awesome – if less celebrated – moments.

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R.I.P. Michael Jackson: A Video Tribute

We are all saddened and shocked by the untimely passing of Michael Jackson.  As a tribute, we’ve picked 3 of our favorites from different periods in his career. It was a hard choice, so please share some of yours with us in the comments.

To embed a video in the comments section use the following code:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/YOUTUBE_ID" width="320" height="265" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]

You can find your YOUTUBE_ID in the url of the video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOUTUBE_ID

Producer Of Massive Attack’s Blue Lines And Unsung Innovator Of Trip Hop Dies

On May 29, Jonny Sharp, better known as Jonny Dollar – the producer behind Massive Attack’s Blue Lines and Gabrielle‘s triple-platinum album Rise – died of cancer at the Royal Marsden hospital.

Polydor president Ferdy Unger-Hamilton recounted to Music Week, “I knew Jonny from his work with Neneh Cherry; he co-produced a lot of her work with Cameron McVey and Massive Attack. He also produced Blue Lines. ‘Buffalo Stance’ and ‘Man Child’…had a profound effect on me when I was about 14. And when I first heard ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ – like everybody else who heard it, I don’t think I could really believe what I was hearing.” Ferdy continued that Jonny was, “as committed and driven a producer as I’ve ever met, I literally had to take the tracks by force back off him, he was so determined to make them perfect. He was as tough artistically as he was gentle a person.”

Dollar is survived by wife, Harriet, and his four children.  A private family funeral in Cornwall will be held, followed by a memorial service in London. He was 45.

Femi Kuti’s Club Shut Down By Nigerian Officials

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Fela Kuti’s son’s music venue, the new Africa Shrine, was closed by Nigerian authorities last Tuesday morning. According to Fela Kuti’s oldest child and co-manger of the club, Yeni Kuti, the family was given a notice on Monday evening, stating that they had 48 hours to “to abate the nuisance and restore the land to a conducive environment.” The letter from Lagos authorities held the club responsible for “noise nuisance, illegal street trading, indiscriminate parking, blocking of access roads and obstruction of traffic.” By the following morning, the establishment had been permanently closed by the government. Yeni told AFP, “I’m shocked, indignant.”

Fela Anikulapo Kuti‘s original Shrine built in the seventies suffered the very same fate when it was forcibly closed by the Nigerian authorities shortly after his death in 1997.

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force are on tour in America and are collecting signatures at every stop.

Femi Kuti’s MySpace