Cindy Wilson (of The B-52s)

Saturn Presents:

Cindy Wilson (of The B-52s)

Yip Deceiver, Material Girls

Wed, November 29, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Saturn

Birmingham, AL

$15.00 - $30.00

This event is 18 and over

Cindy Wilson (of The B-52s)
Cindy Wilson (of The B-52s)
Known the world over as a vocalist, songwriter, and founding member of the one and only B-52s, Cindy Wilson has made a truly extraordinary solo debut with her new CHANGE (Kill Rock Stars). The album – which arrives just in time to celebrate the legendary singer’s fortieth anniversary in the musical spotlight – marks a milestone for Wilson, abounding with pop creativity, ingenious production, confident songcraft, and deeply felt emotion.


“This music is beautiful,” she says. “And I love beautiful.”


CHANGE began for Wilson nearly a decade ago upon her part-time return to her hometown of Athens, GA. She first encountered local musician Ryan Monahan when his Beatles tribute band was hired to play her son’s birthday party – “One of the best parties ever,” says Wilson. The veteran vocalist and talented young musician began teaming up for gigs, beginning with R.E.M.’s star-studded 30th anniversary event.


“Ryan and drummer Lemuel Hayes and I put together a few songs and it was fantastic,” Wilson says. “That started our own musical relationship.”


Wilson and her new bandmates continued performing together, first playing classic garage and psychedelic covers but ultimately deciding to create new music all their own. They hit the studio in 2014, with local producer-musician Suny Lyons manning the board. The songs and sonic concepts flowed like the Broad River, leading Wilson to invite Lyons to join her fast developing combo.


“We went to Suny’s studio to kick around ideas and see if we can do anything interesting,” Wilson says. “We wanted to see how our styles would blend. He comes from a totally different place than I do but I was great. It also became immediately clear we had to bring Suny in to be part of the band, he also had wonderful ideas. I had a really great team.”


Backed by her gifted collaborators, Wilson developed a distinctive sound that is both utterly contemporaneous and also rooted in her long history of kaleidoscopic pop reinvention. A pair of EPs – SUNRISE and SUPERNATURAL – introduced the world to Wilson’s modern vision, with both EPs acclaimed by PopMatters for possessing “an undeniable sense of adventure.”


Produced by Lyons at The Space Station in Athens, CHANGE is as bold as anything in Wilson’s groundbreaking four decade canon, melding future pop, disco drama, American standards, electronica, and more into her own distinctive creative vision. New songs like “Mystic” and the transformative title track are intricate and inventive, lush and luminous with strings, synthesizers, harmonies, and Wilson’s utterly distinct vocal magic.


“Our sound is both consistent and still evolving,” Wilson says. “All these ingredients come together from left field to create something really interesting.”


Further album highlights include a pair of unexpected covers: a widescreen orchestral rendition of New Colony Six’s soft rock classic, “Things I’d Like to Say,” and “Brother,” written and originally performed by Athens’ own beloved Oh-OK.


“We played a show, Athens musicians playing songs by other Athens bands,” Wilson says. “We did an R.E.M. song, a Pylon song, and ‘Brother’ by Oh-OK, which turned out so great we decided it had to be on record. It hits you over the head; it’s an interesting texture. It brings the album home I think.


Though she is fast to praise her musical partners’ contributions, the center of CHANGE is Wilson’s instantly identifiable voice, as radiantly human as anything in her prior work only now being showcased in heretofore-unprecedented fashion.


“My voice is very rustic,” she says with a smile. “It has a realness that I hope comes through.”

A veteran of one of pop’s most consistently entertaining live acts, Wilson is heralding CHANGE with an unprecedented multimedia concert tour. Merging conceptual structure, unique visuals, and kicked off in March with SXSW, Wilson and her bandmates are touring the US (in a van, it should be mentioned).


“The show is totally different from anything I’ve done before,” Wilson says. “It has an incredible flow, from beginning to end. The great thing about touring a show like this is you can solve problems and tweak things as you go along.”


With CHANGE, Cindy Wilson has once again remade pop in her own innovative, irresistible image. Excited and energized by the experience, the iconic artist is already looking forward to her next evolution.


“Everyone has other bands, other jobs,” Wilson says. “I’ve got the B-52s’ fortieth anniversary, there’s a lot going on with that. At the same time, I’m very committed to this record and continuing to perform with these guys. We’re trying to go into the studio at least once a month, to continue working creatively and keep the songs coming. We’re still experimenting, still growing, but it retains a certain sound. I feel very comfortable in this band. I’m loving it."
Yip Deceiver
Yip Deceiver
"Two dudes, two mics. Anything can happen."


Behold, the proclamation of Yip Deceiver, the tag-team all-analog dance duo, who broadcast sexxed-up jambox jaunts and light club floors ablaze at home in Athens, Georgia and beyond. Their debut album, Medallius, dishes out 11 tracks of rump-shaking, fist-pumping ecstaticism, from the minimalist Detroit-style bassline and funktified guitar strums of "World Class Pleasure" to the tightly-wound dance-anthem, "Get Strict." The sonic lovechild of producer/songwriter, Davey Pierce, and executive vibes manager, Nicolas "Dobby" Dobbratz, Yip Deceiver fills the void for music that can stoke a party-fire and eschews cooler-than-thou posturing. 


Perhaps it's Italo-disco without the Italy, blasting iridescent electrofunk that howls with neon keyboard trills and 8-bit handclaps or more simply – synth-pop. "Medallius is an attitude and a lifestyle," Dobby says of the philosophy of their made-up title. "Medallius is always keeping an elegant attitude regardless of how trashy a situation is." The album keeps it classy. "Color Me In" could be music for an after-hours fashion show on Venus, or "Lover," Davey postulates, could provide the soundtrack for "an '80s or early '90s super-triumphant fringe sport movie, where someone moves somewhere and becomes a bad-ass at karate, skateboarding, or BMX riding." Dobby calls it "'smooth punk," Davey thinks it's "indie R&B."


Whatever you call their music, the result is undeniable: Motion. Emotion. Undulation and perspiration whether you're singing along in traffic jams or sweating it out in a dark, dank club. It's all by design. "Most of the songs on Medallius started as completely different songs before getting to the final version," Davey says,"'Tops Part II' started as a sort of homage to Led Zeppelin's 'Kashmir' and we decided that it would be better if Babyface produced it."


Onstage, they're antidote to the laptop jockeys and deejay types these days who simply sway behind a MacBook. This is a rock show you can dance to. "We try to make our live show as intimate as possible," Davey says. "We like everyone who bothered to show up feel like they are apart of the whole thing, because they are. We wouldn't be there if they weren't there and we want them to know that." And Yip Deceiver really works for it; they trade off wielding the mic, take turns charming the audience, and jump from keyboards to beat box and back again. "When we get up on stage and sing those songs, we mean it," Dobby says, "but we're not afraid to literally laugh at ourselves at the same time. It is a genuine expression of who we are and what we love without taking ourselves too seriously." 


When producing Medallius, the guys created and recorded the collection in their Georgia homes and in Dobby's California studio, but back in the tightly knit creative community of Athens, Dobby says, is where the sound developed. They would ride bikes to mix the album with Andy LeMaster, whose studio was two blocks away from theirs. And to provide the album's signature retro-futuristic feel, they decided to use only the most cutting-edge technology circa 1983. "We are totally addicted to analog synths, FM synthesis, and MIDI Sequencers," Davey confesses. "We program our drum tracks on an MPC and we don't use soft synths or the like. Everything is hardware. We enjoy the process, the experimentation, and the immediacy of the machines we work with. We spend hours finding a sound and as soon as you change anything, it's gone forever. We love that."


Dobby's process springs from a source much less IBM and more, let's say, NSFW. "I have a dirty mind," he says. "I write dirty versions of all of our songs first to get it out of my head then erase the bad words and rewrite. I also tend to imagine myself as a strong Anita Baker or Chaka Khan, female R&B type when I'm writing. It's a delusion and a weird process but Davey lets me do it." Davey understands because he secretly strives to be the masculine side in their buoyant brand of indie R&B: "I try my hardest to emulate Luther Vandross."


After all, their obsession for R&B brought them together in the first place, back when Dobby was crashing at Davey's house in Athens. "One day he picked me up in his car to show me all the good places to eat lunch," Dobby recalls, "and the radio was on and we both started singing along to some Usher song or something. We were both laughing at each other surprised. Every once in a while you find someone who's got the same secret musical taste, they just don't talk about it. It's never who you think."


Yip Deceiver wants to be your guilty pleasure, that secret music that brings friends and strangers together for their outlandish and irresistible brand of new New Jack Swing, post-proto synth-funk, or whatever musical box that they will never cease to obliterate. Perhaps Davey puts it best: "It's music for a weird night of random adventure."
Material Girls
Material Girls
Venue Information:
Saturn
200 41st Street S
Birmingham, AL, 35222
http://www.saturnbirmingham.com/