Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I bitch a lot about the bands that don't come to West Virginia --less complaints are given about the entertainers who brave crossing the border from Ohio. I don't always dig what they do, but I dig that they still come here to do it. I give props to the endless stream of Contemporary Christian and down on their heels mainstream Country bands that seem to hit every single county fair in the state.

I'm glad we get them. I wish it were more, but apparently there's not a lot I can do about that.

Anyway, the Clay Center is supposedly bringing in the B-52s and Blondie. I can't say for sure since after I learned of the show and spoke to the Clay Center, the websites who leaked the information mysteriously pulled the listings. It was like magic.

Regardless, I'm more than a little excited about the show. Sure, both bands are a bit long in the tooth. Debbie Harry is 64. The B-52s are very middle-aged and probably have grand children of some type, but it hardly matters. I grew up on both of them and the B-52s are still in permanent rotation on my stereo.

So, what makes this different than say the Pointer Sisters, who are coming to Charleston during Festivall? It's hard for me to put a finger on. Technically, they're a contemporaries. The Pointer Sisters were active during the same period, had hits and an outrageous over-the-top stage presence...

Maybe it's because the Pointer Sisters always seemed like a top 40 band who mostly adjusted and adapted to the mainstream to keep fitting in. Blondie and the B-52s seemed like outsiders who managed to become popular when the mainstream audience found them.

If anything, it looked to me like they lost a sizable chunk of their audience when they tried to cater too much to mainstream tastes. They stopped growing, started conforming and kind of faded away.

The Pointer Sisters, I think, were more a victim of a sea change in R&B that followed the genre's embrace of hip hop and a grittier urban atmosphere. They just didn't belong in the neighborhood any more.

Not that this is what really happened with any of them... Not that it matters.

I'm still pretty excited about maybe getting to see Blondie and maybe hear Fred Schneider's absurdly nasal voice tell me he's got a Chrysler that's as big as a whale and it's about to set sail.

It's probably a sickness.

1 comment:

Hippie Killer said...

I'm holding out for Cheap Trick.