Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist w/ over a decade of experience. Lover of good music, fringe movies, day baseball & chicken shawarma. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week Pop Shots is hitting you with thoughts on everything from Adele’s insane first week sales numbers, to Katy Perry switching dance partners, to Maple Leif Garrett (aka Justin Bieber) canceling on Stephen Colbert, and since it's Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
* Adele's 25 shattered first week sales records, moving over three million copies this past week. We're still waiting to hear if there was a correlating spike in sales over at Ben & Jerry's.
* After locking lips with Meghan Trainor during their American Music Awards Performance, singer Charlie Puth cleared the air regarding any dating rumors, saying the two are not an item, and the kiss was purely performance related. Upon hearing this, Trainor became one of the more than three million people who bought Adele's album.
* Katy Perry has a new holiday song titled "Every Day is a Holiday," and it's part of H&M's #HappyAndMerry campaign. In a clip posted to social media, a small segment of the song can be heard while Perry dances among gingerbread men. After seeing this, Left Shark became one of the more than three million people who bought Adele's album.
* During an interview with Pride Source, Joe Jonas hinted that a Jonas Brothers reunion may happen at some point in time. After Nick Jonas realized what would have to happen to his insanely successful solo career in order for this to become a viable option, he became one of the more than three million people who bought Adele's album.
* Maple Leif Garrett, aka Justin Bieber, canceled an appearance on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert, tweeting out an apology just hours before the show was scheduled to tape. After seeing the tweet, Stephen Colbert became one of the more than three million people who bought Adele's album.
* In more Maple Leif Garrett news, Bieber's stylist, Karla Welch, was asked by Esquire magazine about the rock fans who weren't thrilled when the Biebs was seen wearing a Nirvana t-shirt (a $1,500 re-cut Nirvana t-shirt from Fear of God). Welch said, "I’m sure Kurt Cobain would be like – I mean I can’t speak for him, obviously – but I don’t think he was so snotty, or that he would diss anyone who appreciated his music." After reading this, Kurt Cobain rose from the dead, burned down every place selling Nirvana t-shirts for $1,500, and then became one of the more than three million people who bought Adele's album.
* The Toronto Raptors held their second annual Drake Night this past Wednesday. The evening was an exciting one for Drake, but this is still Drake we're talking about, so you already know he was one of the more than three million people who bought Adele's album.
* Lady Gaga will grace the cover of the January 2016 issue of V Magazine, and, as has become the trend with many publications, she’ll guest edit the issue, as well. Upon hearing this news, every single editor looking for work became one of the more than three million people who bought Adele's album.
* Finally, now that her life is perfect, Adele, in a quest for more sadness, became one of the more than three people who bought Reh Dogg's album.
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.
Do you ever hit up your favorite artists' YouTube pages and find a random gem you'd somehow missed the first time around? That was the case for me when I happened upon Kawehi's amazing cover of the Garbage classic "I'm Only Happy When It Rains."
If you frequent this site, you know I'm a huge fan of Kawehi, who is a looping artist who allows listeners to watch her process in her videos (making each one of them a one shot deal). In addition to her killer covers, she also makes great original music, and has a must-see live show (that I've must-seen multiple times).
Check out her cover of "I'm Only Happy When It Rains," and subscribe to her YouTube channel. I guarantee you'll be hooked in no time!
This week's NYC Scene Report is a little different. Three acts I've written about here have either recently released, or are scheduled to release, new EPs, so I decided it would be a great idea to share those projects in their entirety. That's right, three full EPs are right here for your listening pleasure, so kick back and enjoy the world premiere of the upcoming EP by herMajesty, along with just released efforts from baeb rxxth, and Shilpa Narayan.
* Last month I saw herMajesty perform an absolutely kick ass show at Webster Hall in NYC. On December 9th, having sufficiently rocked the faces off of audiences all over the city, the band will be releasing their debut EP, My Body Your Mind. Led by frontman John Pasagiannis, herMajesty have taken care to differentiate between their live experience, and their album experience, as their live shows are big, and bold, while their EP allows a listener to sit with the music, and really digest the lyrics. Featuring a sound that would fit in perfectly alongside the likes R.E.M., The Cure, and Radiohead, My Body Your Mind is an intelligent rock EP worthy of repeat listens. Check out the world premiere of the EP right here, and if you're in the NYC area, you can catch herMajesty at Pianos on January 6th.
* baeb rxxth is the awesome teaming of Nasimiyu Murumba, and Devon Craig Johnson, a duo who have created a unique brand of music they like to call trap-pop. After giving a listen to baeb rxxth’s debut EP, omw, I think you'll find trap-pop to be a highly enjoyable genre. The EP has a very intentional track sequencing, working its way from the high energy of "gutter" and "STRP," to the album’s chill finale of "groundhog day." The entire EP is a very cool ride that features great vocals, dope production, and excellent songwriting. Give it a spin.
* If you're looking to add some R&B to your life, you're going to want to give Shilpa Narayan's new EP, Through Haze, a listen. Narayan plays at the edges of the genre, sounding a bit like Rihanna, but with more power, and less whine, on songs like the opening "Whispers." She then switches things up with "Baby Go Home," which is more of a throwback, and fits in perfectly with the classic soul inspired pop that's found its way onto the airwaves (Meghan Trainor, Elle King). Closing everything out is the big pop ballad "Behind These Walls," which shows off Narayan’s impressive vocal prowess. Click play to hear it all.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.
Signing a deal with a record label is often thought of as not just a major step in an artist's career, but a signifier that all the hard work that's been put in has paid off. To put it another way, it's a heck of a high. That high, however, can be short lived if the label you sign to folds. No one ever wants to think about the proverbial walls crashing down, but it's a very real possibility. And when it happens, it can leave an artist in an extremely difficult place.
I caught up with four artists who were on record labels that folded: Lacey-Lee Brass of Lillix (who were signed to Maverick); Ace Ha (2KSounds); Michael McKnight of Soulidium (Adrenaline Music Group); and Patrick Keenan of The Winter Sounds (Livewire Recordings) to find out about their experiences and how long it took them to get back on their feet.
Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week Pop Shots is hitting you with thoughts on everything from Adele verbally hugging it out with Beyonce, to Adam Levine showing his love of mythical creatures of the sea, to the way One Direction will be embracing the new year, and since it’s Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
* There was a rumor floating around that Adele had turned down a collaboration with Beyonce, but the UK singer set the record straight during an interview with Beats 1, saying, “I’d never disrespect her like that.” Beyonce, meanwhile, would throw Adele out of a moving bus if it would help sell a few albums, and the Beyhive would spend the next 48 hours on social media shouting about how Adele was lucky their queen would even think about touching, let alone, throwing her. They would then demand Adele issue an apology because Beyonce should have never had to set foot on a bus.
* In more Adele news, the balladeer premiered a live performance of a new song, titled "When We Were Young," from her just released album 25. At only age 27, Adele either has no idea that she can't use "young" in the past tense yet, or she has a fairly morbid notion about her potential lifespan.
* Adam Levine has a new tattoo; a giant mermaid that takes up a large portion of his back. There’s no word on if he'll also be getting a singing lobster tattoo to go with it... or if he has one already.
* During an interview with the U.K.'s Capital FM, Selena Gomez was asked to reveal her favorite thing about her friend Taylor Swift. She did NOT reply, "Being asked questions about her instead of the projects I'm working on," although she should have.
* Carly Simon revealed the second verse of her 1972 hit "You're So Vain" was about Warren Beatty. This makes sense, since everyone knows Bulworth was totally about Carly Simon.
* Amy Heckerling is working on a musical adaptation of the 90s classic Clueless, and she has a wish list for who she'd like to see play the lead role of Cher. One of the names on that list is reportedly Katy Perry. Rather than an acting reel, Perry could simply submit a list of names of her ex-boyfriends to prove her cluelessness.
* One Direction will be returning to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve to ring in 2016. The boy band will be headlining the Billboard Hollywood Party in Los Angeles, while Ryan Seacrest will be in Times Square for the ball dropping ceremonies. Folks, I know how many "ball dropping" jokes can be made here, whether they're about 1D, or Seacrest, but instead I'm gonna focus on the fact that Dick Clark's been dead for three years, yet we all pretend he's alive every December 31st. At what point do we rename this show Tales from the Crypt's New Year's Rockin' Eve?
* In former One Direction member news, Zayn Malik revealed to Fader that he decided to go solo because he didn’t find his work with 1D creatively fulfilling anymore. Just wait until he finds out how often he’ll get to try out ideas at his future job as “Abercrombie & Fitch salesperson, nights and weekends.”
* Finally, on a personal note, my car has been to the mechanic twice in the past week. With that in mind, I feel like it's only right to spin this Devin The Dude classic.
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.
If you've listened to J Ross Parrelli over the years you already know how well she mixes genres, having not just dipped her foot into hip-hop, reggae, and soul, but having dived in head first. Diving in is an apropos phrase, as Parrelli's latest is titled "Underwater."
With soul as the backbone of the song, "Underwater" also features elements of hip-hop, and downtempo, as Parrelli once again chooses to blaze her own path, with a unique sound and style.
Make sure there's a lifeguard on duty when you click play on this one, because J Ross Parrelli is going to take you "Underwater."
B-Listers are a select group of artists that were featured in my Artist Of The Week series that ran every Monday from April of '06 to April of '11. All of these artists have two things in common; extreme talent, and a flight path far too under the radar for my liking. They took on the title of B-Listers as they embraced being featured by me, Adam B. Check out the AOTW Archives for all the interviews.