Tag Archives: Michael Jackson

Todos Somos Zombies

Remember when swine flu happened and we all thought DF was going to be taken over by zombies? I got a glimpse into the Apocalypse that never was this Saturday when I went to check out “Yo si Bailo Thriller” at the Monumento de la Revolución on Saturday. El Universal reports that more than 50,000 people showed up for the event and of those, 11,628 were registered dancers who helped to break the Guiness World Record for most people dancing to Thriller in one place.

When I first read all the hype around the “Yo si Bailo Thriller” event, I thought it was kind of random that the organizers would choose that song to bring together the masses. I’ve always been more of a fan of Billy Jean or Smooth Criminal. But looking out at the rain-soaked women in bloodied wedding dresses, grown men with their heads wrapped in surgical tape and little kids dressed as the dead pop star, it suddenly all made sense. It was so… Mexico. In a place where car accidents, decapitations, and point blank shootings are fodder for the front page of metro tabloids, anything with a tinge of the macabre is a guaranteed hit for the masses. Celebrating the life of a long-cold pop star by recreating a video where said pop star turns into a date-ruining zombie in a graveyard? Sure, why not? Bring the kids too.

The swelling crowd began to grow anxious around 4 pm so the organizers attempted to fend off a zombie attack by playing “Heal the World.” The be-wigged revelers were really into it, but most of them only knew a few choice words and attempted to improv the rest. Then it was time to weirdly wish Ghost Michael a happy 51st birthday.

It was eerie enough hearing the pulsing crowd sing “Las Mañanitas,” the traditional Mexican birthday anthem, but some of the lines were downright creepy, like this one: “Despierta, Michael, Despierta” or, “Wake up, Michael, wake up.”

Then, it was finally time to practice for the main event. An organizer/ voice of God gave the dancers some last minute tips. “Ok, todos somos Zombies,” he said, “Todos somos ZOMBIES!” We’re all zombies here. The practice run went along well, as many of the dancers had been practicing around the city for weeks. But the sense of anticipation was palpable.

What or who was everyone waiting for?

The answer came around 5:30 pm in a glittering white jacket and a taped-up nose – Hector Jackson. The famed Mexican MJ impersonator choreographed the event and showed up just in time to lead the masses in breaking the record.

I had a great vantage point and even fought off a Televisa reporter to get some great footage of HJ’s performance. Unfortunately, something entirely apropos happened to the video. Instead of uploading with the rest of the 87 files I captured, my perfect Thriller video is lurking somewhere in the limbo of my camera’s internal memory. It’s like it’s too awesome to live, but refuses to die.

Instead of Hector Jackson, I leave you with a video that almost sums up the event. Skeletor really wants to heal the world.

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MJ Thriller Pics

Check out homeboy in purple shirt practicing in the background.

Check out homeboy in purple shirt practicing in the background.

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Guillermo Jean

Remember the Cumbia de la Influenza? The H1N1 virus had scarcely become a Twitter trending topic and some tipos had already written and recorded a song about Indiana Jones rescuing Chilangolandia. Couple that anecdote with the fact that on any given night in Mexico there’s a DJ somewhere playing “Rock With You,” or “Beat It” for a rabid crowd of Michael Jackson fans and you shouldn’t be surprised that a Sonoran Norteño group, Los Picadientes de Caborca, have already come up with a purely Mexican version of MJ’s classic, “Billy Jean.”

Since I couldn’t be in Los Angeles to pay my respects, this is how I will thank the man who inspired my first awkward gabacha dance moves:

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Y tú, no bailas?

Claro, otro día.

Remember what it was like the first time you went to Disneyland and realized that there was a real life utopian fantasy filled with 3-D versions of all of your favorite characters? If you were lucky you may have even gotten Goofy to sign your little puffy autograph book. Well, that’s kinda the feeling I got on Friday when I stumbled into the Patrick Miller disco in Roma. All of my imaginary friends from picture books and music videos – trannies, disco divas, pimps, female bouncers who look like they could snap your head just by looking at you, taxi drivers on their night off – suddenly materialized into living, breathing, characters – just like Michael Jackson on Captain EO.

From what I’ve been able to discern, Patrick Miller has been around since the golden days of disco, and some of the people who go to shake their grove thangs every weekend have clearly never left. Nowadays the club looks more like a roller disco sans rollers. You want lasers and a skull shattering bass? You got it!

Only about 10 percent of the people actually dance, and everybody else just stands around and gawks and/or secretly wishes they could have such great moves. There was one guy there with a Metallica necklace and a tight black shirt covering his beer belly who was bustin’ it up and must have been doing the same moves he debuted during the 70’s. Only now his kicks are only about half as high as they used to be. Many of the other dancers wore some variation of sleeveless tank top and some manner of gloves, whether they were inspired by traffic cops or Billie Jean. There were a few odd hipsters snickering in dark corners, but overall everyone seemed blissfully happy to get smashed and dance like a fool in front of a warehouse full of people.

When I got home from the club I realized that there was another place – other than my dreams – that I had seen all of these folks before, and that was in a video by one of Chilpancingo’s greatest sons, Silverio. Apparently, he filmed Yepa, Yepa, Yepa in Patrick Miller and a lot of the club’s characters are featured.If you are not yet familiar with the genius work of this man, behold his majesty! If you and Silverio have been acquainted, watch again and remember why you fell in love in the first place.

After the jump you can watch a video of raw unadulterated footage from a real night at the club. Don’t be surprised if you can’t tell the difference between the two videos.

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