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B-52's keep the party out of bounds

of the Oakland Press

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When the B-52’s emerged in 1979 with idiosyncratic hits such as “Rock Lobster” and “Planet Clare,” it was hard to imagine the Athens, Ga.-founded group would ever play venues as mainstream as a casino. But these days the quartet is finding itself welcome pretty much anywhere music is served.

“It’s been quite a trajectory,” agrees singer-keyboardist Kate Pierson. “When you’ve been together almost 35 years there’s bound to be the ups and downs ... but it just seems like we’re sort of eternal because we’re a party band and partying, having fun, never goes out of style.

“So people come to have a good time, and it can be repeated. It’s not that kind of thing ... ‘Oh, I’ve heard this song before.’ When you hear ‘Love Shack’ or ‘Rock Lobster,’ you dance. It can be repeated.”

The B-52’s are still hawking its 2008 album “Funplex,” which was the group’s first new release in 16 years, but there’s more on the horizon. Pierson says the band — whose bassist Tracy Wormworth, is a Detroit native — is compiling a live album and has also commissioned some remixes of its material that may be released in some form. Bandmate Fred Schneider, is releasing a holiday album, “Destination Christmas!” in October, while Pierson is continuing to work on a solo album of her own.

“Everybody keeps busy on their own,” says Pierson, 62, who co-owns the Lazy Meadow Motel in Mount Tremper, N.Y., and also appeared on the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim album “Here Lies Love.” “Doing (new) B-52’s music is hard. We all live in different places so to come together we have to travel, fly, and it’s very expensive. I’m sure we’ll do something again, but it takes a lot of coordination.”

The B-52’s and the Mydols perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, at Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino-Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $48, $40 and $35. Call 313-309-4700 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.

Web Site: www.motorcitycasino.com

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