Georgia's B-52s have become the hottest new-wave band in America in the last six months. Steeped in the teen-aged tradition of East Coast beach music, the B-52s are masters of contemporary dance music and coordinated quirkiness.
The band's songs are rhythmic puzzles, the pieces sifted from the pop cultural debris of the '60s -- girl groups, dance crazes, TV themes and sci-fi flicks, bongos and organ fills, and Leslie Gore and Little Eva. When these elements are put together right, you get a song like "Rock Lobster," one of the best and most idiosyncratic novelty numbers ever.
A packed house at the Bayou was treated to an eccentric dance party as well. Some of the dances, like the Shy Tuna and Aqua Velva, haven't even been tried yet. Like the band, the dances are totally original.
Opening the show was one of the best and toughest local rock bands. the D. Cats. The band plays a hard and choppy brand of rock 'n' roll that gains intensity and drama from Martha Hull's charged vocals. Hull, whose husky singing reeks of passion, misery and anxiety, has developed into one of Washington's most compelling performers.