live from the downtown club in atlanta ga ...
September 11, 2023 6:47 PM   Subscribe

... the bee-52s in 1978!! This is a grainy black and white video, but the sound's decent and the vibes come right through
posted by pyramid termite (10 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
the vibes come right through

The buzz, surely?
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:55 PM on September 11

I had no idea they'd been around that long. I always thought of them as late 80s.
posted by jferg at 7:40 PM on September 11

posted by JHarris at 7:57 PM on September 11

Oh how I loved that band back in the day!! But oh, Rock Lobster is waaaaay too fast!!! Great to see them so young and in the throes of their emerging popularity
posted by seawallrunner at 8:47 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]

Interesting to see them honestly nervous and stilted, rather than professionally, theatrically nervous and stilted. Doesn’t hurt the music! Ricky Wilson was just such an amazing guitar groover.
posted by bendybendy at 8:49 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]

I'd like to draw attention to this snapshot of the B-52s performing "Give Me Back My Man" in 1980.

For my money, this is peak B-52s. So energetic, so raw. It's the heaviest B-52s. It gives me chills.
posted by smcdow at 7:44 AM on September 12

Where was the Downtown Club? It is a hard name to search.

I was in Atlanta at the time, but only 16, so not clubbing yet. I have loved the B-52's since the Rock Lobster single, which looks like it was 1978.
jferg, they had a huge surge in popularity with "Love Shack," which was from 1989, but the first two albums are by far their best work, before their original guitarist died from AIDS. Check out the song Planet Claire. Mind bogglingly good.
posted by bitslayer at 8:02 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]

I had no idea they'd been around that long. I always thought of them as late 80s.

O my sweet summer child.

For the leading edge of Gen-X, the B-52s were a quirky band with cartoon voices and a minimalist arrangement style who, weirdly, had a massive hit with “Rock Lobster.” There’s lots of great stuff from that era (“Planet Claire,” “Dance this Mess Around,” “52 Girls”) but they receded from the spotlight in popular culture and were generally in the one-hit wonder bin.

In 1989 they released Cosmic Thing, which had two sizeable hits in “Roam” and “Love Shack.” Then the eye of pop culture moved on and I think their most recent album was fifteen years ago now, although they have toured steadily.

I am not a massive fan, and that decade-long gap between “Rock Lobster” and the Cosmic Thing tracks makes me unconsciously divide these tracks into “the old stuff” and “the more recent stuff,” although the newer songs are nearly 35 years back now.

I have heard the mermaids singing each to each.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:50 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]

I've never heard of the Downtown Club and assume it was gone not long after this viddy, but the B-52s were a staple on the Atlanta-Athens music circuit axis by the early-mid-80s when I was in college. Always fantastic shows; the only band I could consistently call "higher energy" was Fishbone, but they were playing 3d chess not checkers. And really nice folks...Dee Snider and Kate Pierson were fun to talk to. As a fraternity social chair I thought maybe we could get them to play a party, but they were already a bigger draw than we could afford. That was a golden age of music of that genre around here; not only did you have B-52s you had REM, Pylon, Indigo Girls, Love Tractor, Widespread Panic, Black Crows, Georgia Satellites and others coming and going. And that's ignoring the whole emergence of Atlanta as a Rap/Hip-Hop and Hispanic music hub that happened at this time. Good times.
posted by kjs3 at 9:37 PM on September 19

But oh, Rock Lobster is waaaaay too fast!!!

So punk rock esp. in black & white. Loved it
posted by Press Butt.on to Check at 6:06 AM on September 20

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