I’ve always held a torch for Kate Pierson of the B-52s. She’s quirky, funny and in my humble opinion, has one of the most distinct voices in pop music. At 66-years-young, she just released her debut solo album, Guitars and Microphones, a retro set of songs co-written and executive produced by her friend, Aussie hit-maker Sia.
She performed every song off the album in order, starting with the deliciously defiant ‘Throw Down the Roses.’ ‘Mister Sister,’ her first single off the album, caused a bit of a dust-up in the trans community with claims that Pierson played to stereotypes. While I didn’t have ‘fish nets in my closet’ growing up, my sexual and emotional identity was definitely trapped in a fish net, so I can see both sides. The song makes me smile and it beautifully showcases Pierson’s pristine vocals.
My favorite moment was ‘Crush Me With Your Love,’ a gorgeous song written by Sia with the title inspired by Pierson’s partner Monica. I also liked ‘Wolves’ which featured the recorded barks of her two German shepherds at the end. ‘Bring Your Arms’ was also great and I learned it was inspired after witnessing a sea turtle rescue during a trip Kate, Monica and Sia took together in Tulum. Kate supports the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
For her encore, she welcomed her good friend Debbie Harry to help her sing ‘Roam,’ the B-52s song Pierson is probably most famous for. It was pretty much amazing to see these two legends of the ’70s punk and new wave scene perform together. City Winery is no CBGB, but it definitely qualified as one of those New York moments. Thank you, Kate, for a great night. Keep on rocketing through the wilderness.