Saturday, April 30, 2011

Who's playing at my nasty grandstand?

Add one more concert to this year's list. First it was Lady Gaga in March. May brings Kylie Minogue in Dallas. And today, we scored tickets to Janet Jackson performing at...believe it or not...the Iowa State Fair.

As has been the common refrain around here in response to the news that Janet Jackson would be playing the State Fair - how the mighty have fallen. Heidi and I were talking about it tonight and she said "I always feel bad for people that have to play the State Fair because that kind of means they're over." I pointed out a couple of other acts that were playing the State Fair - both country acts - and she said "yeah, well country is kind of its own thing." It is true though. Most of the time when someone's playing the Iowa State Fair Grandstand, they are way WAY past their prime. Jeff and I always used to say that we would only see Madonna when she was playing the State Fair, a prediction that decidedly did not come true. And yes, I haven't been interested in much of anything Janet has done in probably 10 years (2001's All For You was the last Janet album I bought) but when I found out she was coming to the State Fair at a fairly reasonable price, I couldn't resist.

Back before she was the punchline in a wardrobe malfunction joke, Janet had an amazingly good run. Between 1986 and 1996, she had hit single after hit single and, despite having a less-than-stellar voice, she made many memorable songs and a few classic albums. Arguably, her high point was 1993's janet. from which the photo that accompanies this post has its origins. I was always a little bit ho-hum on that album. I found it to be a bit too dependent on samples but over time, I've come to recognize it as being a good album with a few misses. Her best album, for my money, is still Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, or as we always called it Janet Jackson's Urination 1814. That album and Control were part of the soundtrack of my high school years and, in the case of Rhythm Nation, the first part of my college years as well. What do you expect when you spin 7 (or 8) singles off of an album? Talk about something that would never happen now.

The last few albums have not been my cup of tea, mostly because she has been releasing more or less the same stuff over and over again. I did like the song "Rock With U" from the Discipline album a couple years back, but mostly, I haven't been that interested. Judging from the set list from her most recent concert, it doesn't sound like familiarity with the newer songs will be essential. It looks more like a hit parade.

Since I had to work today, it fell to Heidi to get the tickets. We're going with Jeff, Caryle, Mary and Mike. Six tickets ended up costing $427, which is the price of one HELL of a Madonna ticket. Apparently, Ticketmaster was being its normal bitchy self, but Heidi managed to not only score us tickets, but she scored EIGHTH ROW seats. They are seriously rock star seats. Now why can't I get tickets like that for Madonna? (Answer: Fan club presale.)

So it'll be a fun show. And in the spirit of xolondon, here's my Top Ten (plus 1) Janet songs.

1) Love Will Never Do (Without You)
2) Because Of Love
3) When I Think of You
4) What Have You Done For Me Lately?
5) If (Brothers In Rhythm House Mix) - the original I can take or leave.
6) Nasty
7) Free Xone
8) Escapade
9) You Can Be Mine
10) Come Back To Me

+1 = Throb (I can't help it. Hearing her mutter "DJ make me wet" just cracks me up. Every. Single. Time.)

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