Tonight I’m going to The Crash Mansion. That’s not an exclusive club, or anything like that. It’s on S. Grand Ave. in LA, and should be a relatively quick commute. For twelve dollars a ticket, you can get in. Tonight they’re going to limit the five hours of dance music to two artists in a battle where no matter who wins, we… win as well, actually.
The Title Holder: Prince Rodgers Nelson. AKA Prince AKA The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, AKA Slave, AKA Partyman, AKA Camille, AKA Azifwekaré, AKA Alexander Nevermind,
Songs most likely played: Erotic City, 1999, Uptown, When Doves Cry, Let’s Go Crazy, Soft and Wet, Sign O’ The Times
Surprise contenders: 17 Days, Joy in Repetition, Sleep Around, Pussy Control
The Challenger: Michael Jackson AKA Lil’ Michael AKA Creepy guy who turned white and touches boys
Songs Most Likely Played: Rock With You, Shake Your Body (down to the Ground), Billy Jean, Beat It, Thriller, P.Y.T., One More Chance
Surprise Contenders: Working Day and Night, Say Say Say, Somebody’s Watching Me (for the backing vocals), Remember the Time
The Verdict: As a solo artist Michael Jackson has two albums, and then after that, no real voice to his recordings. None of the follow-ups are without merit, it’s just Jackson succinctly essays the differences between being an artist and being a performer. It’s fair to say both Off the Wall and Thriller could go a couple rounds with Purple Rain, Dirty Mind, Sign O’ The Times, and could readily pummel an Around the World in a Day, Come or N.E.W.S. But The Gold Experience, Controversy and Chaos and Disorder are all more pleasurable than anything Michael Jackson’s produced over the last fifteen years or so, and everything from Bad on has aged poorly and sounds way more generic.
Prince hasn’t exactly been killing it, per se – mellowing into old age has left his licks a little less lickable – but his live shows (when he’s not doing medleys) will melt your brain, put it in a blender, then serve it over ice with a touch (just a touch) of Sambuca. MJ’s been kicked around, and in a way he’s the proto-Britney, where Prince has always seemed to have his head screwed on (even though he’s gone into The Jehovah’s Witness, which I don’t care about more than taking some of the sex out of his music), and he had no problem having sex with beautiful women. That is to say, Prince is the Han Solo to Jackson’s Luke, if Luke after the end of Return of the Jedi went nuts and started having sex with the Ewoks. That said, I reall don’t care about Michael’s sex life or anything about that, it’s just that he got famous at a young age and his mind is permantly warped, and then producing Thriller put him in a position that made it impossible not to fail because he had no control over the material.
Normally I wouldn’t hit a club until 11 at the earliest, but I can see myself getting sucked into showing up around 10. I could see myself hitting at 9:30. I don’t care about being cool. I just wanna dance.