When: Sat., Aug. 25, 8 p.m. 2012
Athens, Ga., legends The B-52s have intermittently flown a freak flag of chimerical, cosmic camp on the fringes of pop, alternative and New Wave for nearly 40 years. In his own way, ostentatious Music City glam-pop performance artist/rocker Brandon Jazz (and His Armed Forces, a rotating cast of charitable local musician friends) has staked his own lionhearted claim on the local rock scene. Jazz’s most memorable stunts include infiltrating a writers’ night at the local Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre (where he treated followers of the faith to a karaoke performance of his infectious trash-pop anthem “Radical Luv”), and confronting Fred Phelps’ deplorable Westboro Baptist Church (the God Hates Fags folks), performing an all-smiles, similarly styled karaoke rendition of his toe-tapper “Vultures (You Never Shut Up)” in front of the hate group’s picket line in 2010. Footage of such antics won the hearts of The B-52s, who invited the good-natured local provocateur to open tonight’s Ryman appearance. It’s not the first time Jazz has graced the Mother Church stage. American Idol judges Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson unceremoniously gave Jazz the gong treatment during a second-round AI audition held at the auditorium. Given The B-52s’ history as affable, oddball party-rock artistes, the band’s fans will hopefully give Jazz and his bold shenanigans a warmer welcome this time around, thus turning the Mother Church into a veritable Luv Shack.