The first music act poster I ever bought (age 9).

I'm having a temporary affair with Michael Jackson's music of the 1980s (think approximately 1983 to around 1988 give or take).  I refer to the Michael Jackson before he became a "freak" - before he got sick or strange or whatever it was that led him to become the odd recluse he is today.  The Michael Jackson who turned crappy music videos into ground-breaking short films with real directors.  The Michael Jackson who appealed across racial lines and who was as loved by kids as he was by many parents.  The guy whose career spanned several decades of excellent and totally original music before his image went south...

ANYway, I just thought I'd mention him because after about 15 years of following indie rock (and it's predecessor grunge) it's nice to look a bit further back and remember that some "pop" music used to be genuinely GOOD.  It used to be COOL.  Michael Jackson was gifted and he was a one-and-only talent, and while he was bizarre beyond understanding later in life, he was by leaps and bounds a more talented artist and performer to see (or hang on your wall) than Britney f-ing Spears or Miley i-totally-love-myself Cyrus.

Do yourself a favor and pull out (or download) some old Michael.  You may find you've missed him as much as I did.  Maybe it depends a bit on your age, but I think it's true for a lot of people.  When I woke up this morning I listened to "Man in the Mirror" like four times, then rocked out to "P.Y.T." 

If you don't remember how huge "Man in the Mirror" was (overlooking the more obvious ones like Thriller and Bad), here's a link to the video, which has probably the best collection of American archive footage ever used in a music video (admittedly because he could afford to license it): 

If I can stop being cynical for one day, you can too.

And I want to hear from you:  What's your favorite Michael Jackson song?  You may want to look him up on iTunes ( for a little refresher on his vast library - I'd be surprised if you didn't have at least one MJ song to which you know (and would sing) every word...
  Comments, please.