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Awesome or deplorable? Check out Michael Jackson’s new ‘holographic’ performance

michael jacksons posthumous holographic performance jackson

Are posthumous performances of our favorite artists cool, or just ghoulishly macabre? That’s the question that’s been thrust back into the spotlight thanks to Michael Jackson’s ‘holographic’ appearance at last night’s Billboard Music Awards. MJ magically appeared as a projection onstage alongside live human dancers to perform “Slave to the Rhythm” for the recently released Xscape, recorded before his death.

For many of us, last night’s image immediately calls to mind a similarly ghostly experience back in 2012, in which Tupac Shakur took the stage at Coachella alongside live performers such as Eminem, Dr. Dre, and others. At the time, just like the aftermath of last night’s show, viewers seemed torn between being captivated by the afterlife cameo, and creeped out that a near-live image of a human is being used essentially as a puppet.

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Posthumous albums are one thing, but posthumous live performances? We’re not so sure. If we allow these ‘holograms’ to proceed, what’s next? Will Jim Morrison sing “Light My Fire” at the grand opening of a barbecue joint someday? How about Kurt Cobain singing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at a high school graduation?

The idea cuts into deeper issues about humanity and mortality, which will continue to arise as technology begins to outpace evolution. Where does the line exist, and how will we know when we’ve crossed it? Apparently, for many, the proof is in the experience. Social media was abuzz after the performance with users who saw the image as an affront to the memory of Michael Jackson, regardless of however clouded his legacy may be by his own improprieties during his life. That said, others reveled in the spectacle of the performance, enjoying a glimpse of MJ, in whatever form. Frankly, we had trouble getting past the sync issues, regardless of the other factors at hand.

In case you missed the show, we’ve embedded the video below. What do you think about posthumous performances? Do they go too far, or is it just a cool technology? Let us know in the comments.

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Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch for sale, without the zoo or rides

Once home to elephants, tigers, orangutans, horses, giraffes, and a slew of other animals, Michael Jackson’s former residence is on sale for $100 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Dubbed Neverland Ranch by the singer, it’s now called Sycamore Valley Ranch.

The property no longer has any animals, except a llama, and the amusement park rides -- including a Ferris wheel, pirate ship, and octopus ride -- have gone. There’s still almost 2,700 acres of land. The main residence, built in 1982, is 12,598 square feet, with six bedrooms, seven full bathrooms, and two partial ones. The mansion houses a large kitchen, five fireplaces, a hot tub, and wine cellar. Dozens of other buildings are scattered over the property, including a 50-seat movie theater, three guest houses, barns and animal shelters, and corrals. The four-acre lake has a waterfall. The upkeep cost Jackson $240,000 a month, CNN reports.

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Look out Jack White: Trevor Jackson’s new album released on 12 old-school formats
format trevor jackson vinyl cd vhs

Today's digital music files and wireless audio have made listening to music such a hands-off affair, it’s easy to forget all the different tangible forms music once took. To bring back a bit of nostalgia for the days when you could hold an actual recording in your hand, artist Trevor Jackson has released his latest album in nearly every physical format that exists.

Appropriately titled Format, Jackson’s first album in 14 years will be released for a limited time across 12 different mediums, with each getting just one of the album's 12 tracks. The formats at play will include all three vinyl sizes (33, 45, 78), 8-track tape, reel-to-reel tape, cassette, DAT, CD and mini CD, USB, VHS, and even Sony’s failed Mini Disc.

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Sony’s Music Unlimited offers pre-released tunes from Michael Jackson’s “Xscape” album
sony music unlimited and michael jackson xscape album art 3x2 final

In anticipation of Epic Records' May 13 release of Xscape - a posthumous compilation of previously unreleased Michael Jackson songs - Sony announced today via blog post that its music-streaming service Music Unlimited will stream one new song from the album each day from May 5 to May 9, giving subscribers a chance to preview five of the songs before the album's official release. Sony will also be revealing exclusive artwork along the way. Today's announcement also included details on new functionality updates to the PlayStation 4 Music Unlimited app.
Sony's Music Unlimited service comes in two subscription packages: the $5/month "Access" and the $10/month "Premium."
The Access plan gets you, well, access to the services library of over 18 million songs, but you'll only be able to use the service on PlayStation 3 and 4 consoles and Internet-connected PCs and Macs... no mobile. Double up for Premium and you get a plethora of other device options: PlayStation Vita, Xperia phones, Sony tablets, Android phones and tablets, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players, among other Sony home theater and audio devices. And, perhaps most importantly, Premium offers an offline mode for listening to music (on selected devices) without an Internet connection. Sony also offers a free trial for those  who haven't been swayed to drop the dollars but may still be interested in giving it a try.
The new app udates announced for the PS4 Music Unlimited app  include a new "PS Share button" - gamers can now share the music they're listening to via the service across Facebook and Twitter by simply pressing the new button. Secondly, Sony introduces integrated curated playlists: the music-streaming service has an in-house team of music experts and guest artists/celebrities who handpick tunes across genres to bring users the latest music in the form of unique playlists. And last but not least, Sony has allegedly made the PS4 version of the service "faster than ever" through a few "backend updates."
Whether you need another music service or not, big MJ fans who want to be the first ears on the unreleased tunes may find it worth signing up for a month. At least, that's what Sony is hoping.

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