Monday, June 06, 2005

dance this mess around

The B-52's - Whammy Kiss

As Marc-o said in his DEVO post, Johnny Domino operate in a broad musical church with only a few meeting points for all of us in between. DEVO are one, but the absolute motherlode of Johnny Domino consensus is The B-52's in general, and this song in particular.

After releasing three great new wave art-pop albums (plus their remix album, "Party Mix"), "Whammy!" was the band's 1983 drum-machine-and-synthesizer experiment and was the first album of theirs I bought - mostly because I had a vague memory of hearing 'Queen of Las Vegas" on the Annie Nightingale show a couple of years previously. Like all of their albums it's a mixture of trashy dance music and camp melodrama, often all at once. "Whammy Kiss" is melodramatic trashy dance music. It's also a bit camp.

This song is so exciting - the relentless pounding dum machine, rumbling synth bass and the incredible playing of the late, great Ricky Wilson, the single biggest influence on the way I play guitar.

Pretty much every band I've ever been in has sounded a bit like The B-52's in some way, Johnny Domino most of all. We borrowed the synth sounds and the pummeling beatbox, as well as Ricky's guitar playing and the inimitable barking vocal style of Fred Schneider, and wrote our tribute to them, Ricky And Fred.
Unfortunately, we don't know ANYONE that can sing like Kate Pierson or Cindy Wilson...

Buy Whammy!
Buy Nude On The Moon
Read The B-52's Universe

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