Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Wave Wednesday: The B-52's, "Private Idaho"

Long before karaoke spoiled Love Shack for the the world, the B-52's rocked college dorm rooms with an underground sound that was alternative before "Alternative". Formed in New York in 1976, the band took the 60's surf music sound and turned it on its head.

The B-52's took their name from the over-sized beehive wigs worn by singers Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson that resembled the nose cone of the military aircraft of the same name. The woman provided tight harmony back-up to the spoken word vocals of out gay front man Fred Schneider. Their signature sound was a combination of upbeat party music and absurd lyrics which makes them New Wave icons to this day.

The song "Private Idaho" was the inspiration for the movie "My Own Private Idaho", which helped launch the career of the monotonous and over-rated Keanu Reeves.

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