Letters

Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

Home · Articles · News · Music · It‘s The B-52s
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It‘s The B-52s

Rick Coates - August 17th, 2009
Calling all Rock Lobsters
It’s The B-52s
By Rick Coates 8/17/09

Okay, it is time to bust out the poodle skirts, cat-eyeglasses, saddle shoes and beehive hairdos to “jump in a car as big as a whale,” and “Roam” to the “Love Shack” on “Planet Claire” (Odawa Casino) for your own “Private Idaho” and a little “Rock Lobster.” Yes, after riding the New Wave music scene of the late ‘70s and ‘80s, The B-52s are still going strong and are on the second leg of their two-year tour in support of a new CD and a resurgence of their music.
Bursting on the scene 33 years ago, The B-52s will take the stage this Saturday night at the Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey.
They have mysteriously dropped the apostrophe with the release of their new album; according to band member Fred Schneider “there are more important things for us to concern ourselves about than whether or not we have an apostrophe, to put it simply we are going forward from this point without one.”
Schneider’s mysterious response to the now apostrophe-less B-52’s seems to fit the band’s musical moniker of often catchy but lyrically meaningless songs. Though Keith Strickland, the band’s original drummer who took over the guitar duties when founding member Ricky Wilson (brother of Cindy) died of complications of HIV-AIDS in 1985, might disagree with their songs having meaningless lyrics.

A FEELING
“I’m trying to convey a feeling when I write,” said Strickland. “I like to think of my instrumentals as landscapes. The chord changes, rhythms and sound quality of the instruments are all aspects of a sonic space, which is designed for Cindy, Fred and Kate to step into. I want them to feel inspired by the music and expand on that feeling with their melodies and lyrics.”
That is the approach the band took with Funplex, their first CD in more than 16 years.
Working with Strickland’s instrumental foundations, founding members Kate Pearson, Fred Schneider and Cindy Wilson commenced with their trademark “jamming,” creating melody lines, lyrics, and vocal harmonies, to create the new CD.
“Most people could not do this,” laughs Wilson, of their democratic modus operandi. “What we’re trying to do is rare, but it works out. And you get a song that is multi-faceted, and has different senses of humor, and depth to it.”
Funplex debuted at number 11 on the Billboard album charts, the highest ever debut release for The B-52s. Despite several hits and having their “Cosmic Thing” CD go platinum five times anchored by songs “Love Shack” and “Roam,” the group has never had a number one hit in the United States (“Love Shack” went to number three as did “Roam” -- both were number one hits in Australia). This fact doesn’t concern Schneider or his bandmates who are pleased that their fans have embraced their new work

ELECTRONIC DIRECTION
“In one sense it is very different than what we have done in the past, it is a lot more electronic and I think that stems from us all listening to a lot of electronic music,” said Schneider. In another sense Funplex sounds like us, just updated. It is the B-52’s now or maybe 15 years from now.”
So, after 33 years do these punk/new wave rockers still have it? Kristian Bush of country duo Sugarland believes so.
“We decided to surprise everyone at this year’s CMT Country Music Awards by having them join us on stage,” said Bush. “We did ‘Love Shack’ -- at first, it was just Jennifer and I singing the song, then we brought them on stage to sing it with us and they brought the house down.”
Will fans have to wait another 16 years for the B-52s to put out another CD?
“I do not know, we financed this one ourselves and with all this downloading and hardly anyone buying CDs it is a difficult and expensive endeavor,” said Schneider. “I was actually working on solo stuff when the rest of the band wanted to put this CD together, so I put those projects on the back burner. After all, what people really want is a B-52s CD.”
They also want to see them live as their concerts have been selling out all over the world. The B-52s “We Don’t Need No Apostrophe” tour comes to the Odawa Casino Resort this Saturday with only a few tickets remaining. For ticket information odawacasino.com or call 877.442.6464 and for more information on the B-52s and to listen to a sampling of songs from Funplex check out theb52s.com

 
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