The late 70s were an interesting time for pop music. Punk, new wave, and rock grappled each other in a sweaty, lust-fueled, ménage à trois that resulted in blessed offspring like Graham Parker, Elvis Costello, and Nick Lowe. Often forgotten in this dinner jacket savvy, ivory tickling, falsetto friendly era is English composer, musician, and author Joe Jackson.
Jackson is known for his sweetly awkward odes to doomed affection, like Is She Really Going Out With Him? and Breaking Us In Two. Its those songs that prove Jackson not only understands the romantically disenfranchised but is a card-holding member of the club. Thats why his fans have stuck by him for the last 30 years while formats have evolved from vinyl to cassette to CD and now digital downloads, the need for great break-up songs has never diminished.
Another reason they flock to his concerts is that Jackson is simply passionate, man. Rabidly so. Its a trait you understand more thoroughly when analyzing his relocation from New York to Berlin. See, one suitor that Jackson has openly confessed to never abandoning are his tobacco-filled love sticks, or cigarettes, as non-smokers so callously call them. Fed up with New Yorks smoking ban, Jackson wrote a 20-page pamphlet called Smoke, Lies, and the Nanny State to educate the public on his personal research regarding smoking, and more specifically, second-hand smoking. Then he promptly relocated to a country that shares his puff-friendly ideals. You can catch him at 8 p.m. this evening when he sings his lovelorn serenades at the Fillmore (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Tickets cost $41.50 to $51.50. Visit ticketmaster.com.
Sat., Nov. 15, 2008