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The B-52's at Arts, Beats & Eats, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Anniversaries “all run together” when it comes to the B-52’s, according to the group’s Cindy Wilson.

Depending on how you count it, the Athens, Ga.-formed group either turned 40 last year because its members first jammed at a Chinese restaurant in 1976, this year because it marks four decades since their first actual show, or next year to mark the 40th anniversary of its first single, “Rock Lobster.”

The salient point, however, is that the B-52’s are still around 40-or-so years later, with seven albums and an EP and additional hits such as “Planet Claire,” “Private Idaho,” “Love Shack,” “Roam,” “Good Stuff” and more. What once seemed like a gimmick, with bouffant (i.e. B-52) hairdos and oddball arrangements, has become a lasting and going concern, which is the last thing Wilson, 60, and her cohorts expected four decades ago...

• That the B-52’s are still together is “really wild,” Wilson says by phone from Vancouver. “We just did it to have fun. We had no real ambitions. It was just for us and our friends, and then our next goal was to go and play in New York, and to us that was the end. Then we decided we need to put out an independent 45 (single), and it just went from there.”

• The B-52’s, however, has not released anything new since 2008’s “Funplex,” which Wilson expects will be the group’s final full-length album. “We’re thinking about maybe recording one song,” she says, “but I don’t think we’ve got it in us to get a whole album together. But maybe one song we could do. We were kicking that around.”

• Wilson, meanwhile, will be releasing her first full-length solo album, “Change,” in November following two previous EPs. “It started, I guess, about three years ago or so,” Wilson says. “I worked with all these younger musicians, which was really great; I learned so much from them, even though you’d think they’d learn more from me. It’s been a really amazing thing with (the B-52’s) to look out and see our work make people so happy, but at the same time it’s been really great to be able to step out and work in a really serious way with another band that reflects a new side of my vocal range and maybe more of a softer side There’s a lot of variety there now, more than I think I have with the B-52’s even.”

If You Go

• The B-52’s

• 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1.

• Michigan Lottery National Stage at Arts, Beats & Eats in downtown Royal Oak.

• Admission is $3-$7, depending on time of day.

• Visit artsbeatseats.com.

Web Site: www.artsbeatseats.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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