Saturday: The Full Jackson: Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Jackson 5 Karaoke

Nov. 28

Michael Jackson's work, beginning with his pop hits as a child in the Jackson 5 and going all the way through his solo career—whether it's the nervy disco of "Off The Wall," the mixed-bag masterpiece that is "Thriller," the quasi-hair metal of "Bad," or the weirded-out political pop of "Dangerous"—is second only to maybe The Beatles in terms of universality and its ability to get people singing together. At a Halloween party last month at 5th Dimension, Michael Jackson-inspired performer Dimitri Reeves got a room of drunk punks and metalheads dancing like mad. During the uprising, a frequent chant was "All I wanna say is that they don't care about us," from MJ's 1995 song 'They Don't Care About Us.' All of which is to say, his songs are ideal for karaoke. Even if you screw it up—and you will, if only because you're singing songs by one of the best to ever do it—enough people will join in and pad your weak performance. Sister Janet Jackson's work, meanwhile, is worthy of reconsideration. Futurist soul records like "Control" and "Rhythm Nation 1814," the slow-jams-meets-dicey-sexual-politics exploration of "The Velvet Rope," and hey, all the way up to this year, where Jackson's latest album, "Unbreakable," a half-masterpiece of retro dance-pop, are all striking and challenging and catchy R&B. Too bad this Full Jackson karaoke night does not, at least in title, extend to when the brothers grew up and went by The Jacksons, though maybe you can sneak five of your friends up there and crank out a version of 'Can You Feel It.' 9 p.m., the Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St., (410) 244-0899, themetrogallery.net , free. (Brandon Soderberg)

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