Think you have what it takes to dance alongside “The World's Greatest Party Band” in front of thousands of people? The B-52s want you to prove it. This Thursday, Burkhart's hosts a Halloween Scream Dance &am...
Kate Pierson is one of the iconic voices from the B-52’s, the Athens, Georgia band that began in the late 1970s and has spanned over four decades. Pierson released her first solo album, “Guitars and Microphones...
Friday, June 28, 8 p.m.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Gay factor: Lead singer Fred Schneider and guitarist Keith Strickland are both gay, as was founding member Ricky Wilson (brother of B-52s member Cindy Wilson), who died of AIDS in 1995. Member Kate Pierson operates a funky Catskills resort with her life partner, Monica Coleman.
The B-52s headlined Atlanta Pride in 2000, driving what still may be the festival’s largest ever single-day attendance. The band, and Fred Schneider solo as a DJ, have performed for multiple gay and HIV causes.
The B-52s never put out a holiday record and that’s a shame. But fear not, out B-52s front man Fred Schneider has teamed up with Noah Brodie and Dan Marshall to form The Superions and release “Destination... Christmas!” (Fanatic). Even without Kate Pierson or Cindy Wilson, “Destination…Christmas!” sounds like it could be a lost B-52s record, in (Christmas) spirit, at least.
The 11 new songs, with titles such as “Christmas Conga (Jungle Bells),” “Crummy Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Those Bells,” “Laughter At Christmas” and “Christmas Tears,” have the kind of kooky lyrics we’ve come to expect from Schneider. There are also plenty of opportunities for dancing on “Santa’s Disco” (as you might have guessed), “Fruitcake,” “Santa Je T’aime” and the Cerrone-like “Teddy and Betty Yeti.”
Schneider isn’t the only out Georgia musician making the most of the holiday season. Amy Ray and Emily Sailers of Indigo Girls wrap up a dozen songs on their first holiday disc “Holly Happy Days” (IG Recordings/ Vanguard). Originals such as the bouncy banjo number “The Wonder Song,” the yearning “Mistletoe,” and the inclusive “Your Holiday Song” are welcome additions to the Christmas music songbook.
Almost 35 years after the B-52s formed, the seemingly ageless group is still kicking it. Openly gay Keith Strickland and his fellow B-52s colleagues Fred Schneider (also gay), Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson will perform at Chastain Park next week alongside Blondie, combining classics hits such as “Love Shack” with newer material.
Although the band still tours regularly, they decided a few years back to do a new album.
“I think the idea was to come up with ideas to sing live,” says Strickland. “We needed new material and just decided to do it.”
35 years later, Georgia's own B-52s are still going strong