Friday, February 27, 2015


At 66 years young (I hate when people say that, so why did I?) The B-52's songstress Kate Pierson is finally releasing her first solo album. I have loved The B-52's, and specifically Kate, for as long as I can remember. My first experience was their amazing 1986 single Summer of Love, from Bouncing Off of Satellites, and I have been hooked ever since. Kate has been thinking about a solo record for years and now we get the pay off. Guitars and Microphones is energetic and lovely, full of Kate's one-of-a-kind harmonies and very personal. Three of the songs on the album are co-written by super-hitmaker Sia and she also co-executive produced by her as well. The result is luscious, fun and wonderfully wacky and addictive. Bring Your Arms, co-written by Sia, is a contemplative, emotional song about looking for support as we travel through life. Second single Mister Sister got a lot of (undeserved) controversy when Kate said she wanted it to be a "trans anthem", but Huffington Post added [gender] after trans, completely changing what Kate meant. She then was, of course, attacked by people who made assumptions about what she meant without researching Kate's history with the LGBT community . She responded in an open letter:
"I was just trying to use "trans" as this kind of umbrella term meaning anyone in the gender spectrum. It was definitely not about specifically a transwoman. It's really about a little boy who wants to play with his inner girl. He could be a future drag queen or a future transwoman, or it could be about a girl who feels betrayed by the mirror....The B-52s have spent our whole career fighting for rights of people who feel different or LGBT, the whole gay community, you know."
Anyway, that's not what this post is about. This post is about the incredible work that Kate has finally, in the sixth decade of her career, putting out for those of us who have been waiting all these years. The sensational ballads Crush Me With Your Love (the title of which Kate's partner Monica came up with) and Pulls You Under show a side of Kate we have never been able to see with The B-52's, and she doesn't disappoint with the adorably jaunty title track or the "we're all special" anthem Throw Down The Roses. I would say, without a doubt, Guitars and Microphones is well worth the wait. Check out Bring Your Arms and Mr. Sister below.

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