Saturday, May 26, 2018

Summer, y'All!

"Dance This Mess Around" / The B-52s

I don't care what astronomers says -- summer begins Memorial Day weekend. (Or as I have always thought of it -- being from Indianapolis -- Race Weekend.)  The thermometer has found its groove in the 80s and 90s, and if there's rain, it's a thunderstorm. Fireflies begin to haunt the shrubbery at dusk, and mosquitoes sharpen their whine to a sonic sneer. Granted, school isn't out yet, but honestly, it should be. (Am I right, kids?)

Summer means parties -- dance parties if you got 'em. And who is my all-time favorite dance party band?

Every lick of this song is purtnear darn perfect. No onanistic instrumental solos, just clockwork guitar and drums with occasional hysterical cries of electric organ. It's all about the beat, and the improv comedy of those three lead singers, riffing off each other, all non sequiturs and cryptic catch phrases. Like, "Why don't you dance with me? I'm not no Limberger!"  (Originally I heard this as "limber girl," which also makes sense if you squinch your mind just so...).

Then there's Fred Schneider proclaiming, "They do all sixteen dances!!!" Well, I only count nine, and some of those are dances I know I've never heard of (maybe they were big in Athens, Georgia, where the B-52s got their start, but even so -- you tell me, have you ever danced the Camel Walk, the Hypocrite, or the Aqua Velva?) I could fake it, but still.

And as things whip to a delirious height, they fill in with vintage dance hit nonsense, "Hibby hibby forward hibby forward hibby hibby hibby shake." But let's not overlook the tightness of this band, with their razor-sharp attention to the cresting drama of the track.

And who doesn't think this five or six times a week?: 
Kate (or is it Cindy? They switched wigs so often, I never knew which was which): "Hey, doesn't that make you feel a whole lot better?"
Fred and Cindy (or is it Kate?) reply, "What you say?"
Kate (or Cindy), "I'm just ask-ing!"

A mantra for summer. Personally, it makes me feel a whole lot better . . . if you're asking.

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