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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Vid Pick: Post Season – Long Shot, Lost Cause
Friday, June 22, 2018

In sports, when your team does well they have a chance at making the postseason. In music, when you hear pop-punk done well there’s a chance you’re listening to Post Season.

The Pennsylvania fivesome are currently gearing up to release their self-titled sophomore album, due out July 13th via Know Hope Records, and the latest single off of that effort is “Long Shot, Lost Cause.”

I caught up with Post Season frontman Dan Tippery to find out more about “Long Shot, Lost Cause,” as well as his push to spread positivity in the world, and whose cat makes a cameo in the video.

The video for “Long Shot, Lost Cause” features a VCR, and a classic television set. What came first, the concept for the video, or you guys acquiring those vintage pieces of entertainment equipment?

Our friends who filmed the video had them, and have been wanting to use them in a video for a while, so we just made it all work.

With all things old school in mind, tell everyone about a quality about yourself that you feel is decidedly old school.

I personally don't play any game consoles newer than a N64. I'll love cartridge games forever and always!  

Whose cat made a cameo in the video, and was that planned, or was he all, “Filming a video? Cool, I’m doing my thing anyway.”

That's our guitarist’s roommate’s cat, Mumford. He was just chilling, and kinda was like, “Yo guys, I got an idea,” so we ran with it.

“Long Shot, Lost Cause” is ultimately a triumphant song, but that said, in your circle of friends, or even the world in general, do you see a lot of folks feeling like a long shot, lost cause? Is this an emotion that you want to help people snap out of?

I feel like too many people focus on negativity, and just prefer (to think) that the world is burning, when in all actuality it's not. A lot of people are doing a lot of cool and meaningful things in this world. In my experience, the people that aren't are the most vocal about putting people down. The ones focusing on themselves are typically too busy to worry about putting others down. This song is just saying to ignore negativity, and push through to make things happen. Lean into the swing and win the fight! 

One lyric that really caught my attention was, “And it's so damn sickening how this world gets off on misery.” Do you have any theories on why so much of the world is like this, and what can be done to change it?

Wow, that's a tough one, and one that would take quite some time to truly answer.

I guess a quick viewpoint on this is I feel like it's all in allowing yourself to grow. I think it's easier to just be negative than to put yourself out there, and show any form of vulnerability, whether that be in performing, painting, or creating in any fashion, or even just as simple as allowing yourself to admit you don't understand something in a conversation.

People put up such a guard, and social media doesn't do anything to help. Most social platforms are just a breeding ground for negativity. I personally try to go out of my way and compliment at least one person a day. Hopefully that helps.

I really like that idea. Speaking of ideas, your upcoming self-titled album is due out July 13th, which happens to fall on a Friday, so is there any chance there will be some sort of Friday the 13th themed promotion?

{laughs} We have some ideas. We have a lot of reaper and bones in the album art, as well, so it kinda made sense. 

What was the most memorable session from the writing/recording process?

For me it was trying to write lyrics for “Fracture” over and over and over again. I couldn't come up with anything at all. On the drive to the studio – at that time it was from North Carolina to Maryland for me – I got in the car, drove 30 minutes, and had the whole thing written with lyrics, melodies, and all.

I'm super happy with that song, and how it just pulled together last minute. I feel like we're a fourth quarter team. {laughs} 

Finally, I hear a tour is in the works. Where will folks be able to see you this summer?

We are looking into performing the album in the fall. No crazy details to be released at this point, but we are going to try and make it as special as we can for this album!

For more Post Season check out postseasonband.com, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
NYC Scene Report – L’FREAQ, TMBOY, & more
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

This week’s NYC Scene Report features a view of dark synth-pop artist L’FREAQ in the “Moonlight,” electronic avant-pop duo TMBOY putting things into “Focus,” singer-songwriter Rue Snider’s “Experiment In Love,” and Van Bellman rocking our socks off.

* Certain songs immediately grab your attention, and “Moonlight,” by NYC-based dark synth-pop artist L’FREAQ, is one of those songs.

Her breathy vocals, combined with the slower, almost downtempo, synths make for a powerful one-two punch that’s downright captivating.

“Moonlight” is off of L’FREAQ’s upcoming EP, Weird Awakenings, and if the rest of the EP is anything like the single, it will be one wake up call that will be a pleasure to receive.

L’FREAQ is planning a Fall tour in support of Weird Awakenings, but you can open your eyes, and ears, to “Moonlight” right now.

* Brooklyn-based electronic avant-pop duo TMBOY are putting things into “Focus” with their latest single.

Sarah Aument, who is one half of TMBOY, with Will Shore being the other half, says of “Focus,” “This song is super personal. It’s about my childhood and feeling like I was very different from my siblings. I spent a lot of time trying to push down the things that made me different from them, for about a decade or so, until everything exploded out of me. ‘Focus’ is really about that process, and also forgiving myself for trying to redirect, or control, who I was.”

Musically, she says, “The song started with a simple cowbell sample that Will made, and it had this steady propulsion to it that immediately made me visualize water rushing towards me like some inevitable pressure bursting forth. That sample actually dictated the key of the song while also setting the tone for the lyrics.”

Check out the stunning black and white music video for the song, and get into “Focus” with TMBOY.

* The end of a romantic relationship is never a simple thing, and Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Rue Snider’s latest single, “Experiment In Love,” tackles this reality.

“Lost love and heartbreak sometimes lead to obsession, which can fester like a wound,” he says of the inspiration for “Experiment In Love,” and the accompanying music video, “That’s something we often keep private, even from people closest to us, but the pain and the creeping darkness are real. Unchecked, they can become very powerful forces in a person’s life. The video attempts to make that internal struggle external, and show a person unraveling, and giving in to the sadness.”

“Experiment In Love” is the second single off Snider’s forthcoming album, City Living, and you can check out the video right here.

* Are you ready to rock? No, really … are you? You are? Good, because Van Bellman – which is the brainchild of Brooklyn-based musician Zac Taylor – has released his debut single, “I Hate To You See This Way,” and it has the ability to rock your socks off.

The theme of “I Hate To See You This Way” is the pain of watching someone you love self-destruct, and not being able to help them, and from the opening salvo your emotional level will be anywhere from “aggressive head nodding” to “flipping over your desk” (If it turns out to be the latter, Adam’s World, and the NYC Scene Report, will not be held responsible … but we will party with you).

Click play and check it out.

For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
3 Qualities That Can Make an Album a Classic
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The word “classic” is thrown around a lot today, especially among critics, and those on social media, who are always looking to heap praise on their favorite artists. We’ve reached a point where people are calling albums classics on the day of their release, after just one listen.

While being a passionate fan can be great, that’s going just a wee bit overboard.

An album can’t be a classic after 12 hours. You can really like an album in that time, but that doesn’t make an album a classic. Here’s what does …

1. The album stands the test of time

How often have you heard, or read, someone exclaim that the big release of the week is “an instant classic,” and then a week later that same person has tossed that “instant classic” album to the side in favor of the next “instant classic?”

It happens a lot.

Partly, our short attention spans are to blame, but the fact of the matter is if an album is a classic it stays in rotation not for days, not for weeks, not for months, but for YEARS, and we can’t possibly know if an album will stay in rotation that long until it actually does.

We all have a finite amount of listening time, and the albums that we keep going back to again and again, year after year, have the potential to reach classic status.

For the albums we like that came out yesterday, it’s no insult to say, “That’s a great album,” but that’s really all we can say, at least for now.

2. Future generations listen to the album

While it’s a pretty awesome feeling when we all collectively love an album, whether or not future generations listen to it is huge in determining whether the album is a classic, or simply a great moment in time.

Think about all the diamond albums from the TRL era. A lot of those albums are the soundtrack to people’s middle school, high school, and college years. They hold a special place in people’s hearts, and bring up great memories when they’re played. That said, did the next generation of listeners feel the need to listen to those albums?

You may say, “Who cares what the next generation thinks?” and that’s a valid question, but I’ll answer it with another question – “Doesn't every generation pick up Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Nirvana albums?” This is part of what makes those albums classics, rather than simply being moments in time.

Similarly, every generation of singer-songwriters listens to Joni Mitchell, and Paul Simon. In ten years we’ll see if John Mayer gets added to that list, but for now, two of those artists have created classic works, while the other has some great albums.

3. The album becomes a reference point

Back in the ‘80s, hard rock and hair metal had their day in the sun. There were so many bands with teased hair, and varying degrees of heroin habits, that you couldn’t throw a rock out of a window without hitting one. That era gave us a plethora of great albums, but what’s the first one you think of? It’s probably Appetite For Destruction, which is why that Guns N’ Roses album is one of the true classics of the bunch.

A second important aspect of this, and it’s something that might be hard for people to accept, is that our personal preference is not enough, on its own, to make an album a classic.

I’ll give a few examples from my own collection.

I love The Summer Set’s 2013 album Legendary. I’ve had it in rotation for the past five years. That said, even if it stays in my rotation for another decade I would still hesitate to call it a classic. This is because when it comes to pop-punk it will never be a reference point. Blink-182’s Enema of the State, however, which I also enjoy, is a classic, because it’s one of the first albums people think of when you mention pop-punk, making it an album everyone needs to know.

Here’s another example – back in the day I was a big fan of Eminem’s work, specifically his first three full length albums. My fandom faded, however, and I don’t think of those albums as being required listening for hip-hop fans. Eric B. and Rakim’s Paid In Full, however, is an album I bought years after its release, and is an album that’s required listening for hip-hop fans, as it set a new standard for lyrics, and flow, for all emcees.

When an album, years after its release, becomes a reference point, or standard bearer for a genre, it’s safe to say it has achieved the status of “classic."

So the next time you, or someone you know, is thinking of calling an album a classic, make sure it checks off these three qualities. If it doesn’t, just say it’s a great album, enjoy it, and give it more time to potentially reach classic status.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
Pop Shots – Conscious Coupling
Monday, June 18, 2018

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 Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s engagement, to Katy Perry’s visit with an old friend, to Eddie Vedder teaming up with the Chicago Cubs, and since this is Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.

* After dating for somewhere around a month, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson are now engaged. Hey man, shout out to Pete Davidson for knowing when he’s outkicked his coverage and making sure to lock it down as quickly as possible. You, sir, are a hero, and an example for the rest of us.

* Alessia Cara released a new single this past Friday, titled “Growing Pains.” I’m currently looking for someone to help me to decode the lyrics to figure out what it has to do with the Seaver family.

* With Katy Perry’s Witness World Tour currently winding its way through Europe, the singer decided to make a quick stop in Stockholm to say hi to an old friend – pop god Max Martin. Martin wrote pretty much every Katy Perry song you know all the words to, including “I Kissed a Girl,” “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “E.T.,” “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” “Wide Awake,” “Roar,” and “Dark Horse.” With Perry’s most recent album being a bit of a flop, this could be the first step in bringing the old Katy back.

* Dave Matthews Band’s Come Tomorrow – yes, that’s right, Dave Matthews Band is still making albums – debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Apparently one thing that hasn’t changed since I was in college is that if you want to score with a white chick who smokes weed, you’re gonna need a Dave Matthews Band album.

* 21 Savage ended up involved in a brawl at an Atlanta mansion pool party when a random guy attempted to hit on a woman in the rapper’s crew. Video footage showed Savage pulling out a gun – which he reportedly received from a friend after seeing someone from an opposing crew draw a gun of their own – but he did not fire any shots. While no one ended up getting arrested, 21 Savage, and his crew, should not be expecting any evites to pool parties for the rest of the summer.

* XXL revealed the cover of their 2018 “Freshman Class” issue, and after taking a look at it I have never been more in favor of Freshman hazing.

* The 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin is coming up this year, and the surviving members of the band have found a perfect way to celebrate the occasion – they’re releasing a 368-page book titled Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin, this October. Hey, that’s just in time for my birthday!

* Lifelong Cubs fan Eddie Vedder will be releasing his upcoming 7-inch vinyl single in a unique way – it will be given out with every ticket sold for the July 6th Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. The release will be under Jack White’s Third Man Records, and feature a Vedder original, “All the Way,” on the A-Side, and a 1984 performance of Steve Goodman’s Cubs anthem “Go, Cubs, Go” on the B-side. The Miami Marlins would love to do a similar promotion, but most artists want to move more than 17 units.

* Lily Allen released a wild video for her latest single, “Lost My Mind.” The song is off her fantastic new album, No Shame, and the gravity defying clip is quite the sight to see.

And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
Vid Pick: Headsnack – Addicted to Phone
Friday, June 15, 2018

Nowadays it’s unusual to see someone walking around with their head held high. This isn’t due to a collective crash in confidence. Rather, it’s because almost everyone is in a constant state of staring at their phones.

Noticing this, New Jersey, by way of Long Island, artist Headsnack created his latest single, “Addicted to Phone,” a hip-hop anthem to help those obsessed with their tiny screens look up and see the world around them.

“Addicted to Phone” is off of Headsnack’s upcoming solo debut, Secret Handshake, and while this may be his first official solo effort, he’s no stranger to music. Headsnack has spent nearly two decades as a member of groups, making guest appearances on songs, and releasing singles on his own.

I caught up with Headsnack to find out more about “Addicted to Phone,” as well as the creative claymation video for the song, and what else listeners can expect when they learn his Secret Handshake.

Which came first, seeing other people addicted to their phones, or noticing you were addicted to yours?

I think it’s rare that we notice our own addictions before those of others.

For me it was definitely the concert thing. I go to a LOT of live shows, and I couldn’t stand that people were spending mental energy to get a five minute video instead of giving the artist their real attention.

It’s a tough thing for some people. They want to share this awesome experience with their network, but they don’t realize they’re not truly experiencing it themselves. 

Did you have a specific moment when you realized your own cell phone use had gotten out of hand?

I have one friend that is an old school face-to-face type. We were at a sporting event, and while I was posting a pic of us he made a comment about me being self-absorbed with my phone. I felt really crummy because the most important people in your life are the ones you are with at any given moment. 

Was there something specific you did to help break your cell phone addiction?

No, but when I first made this song I remember briefly thinking that it constituted as addiction therapy. I thought, “I made a song about it, so this is my free pass to act like a self-absorbed recluse!” But I don’t think that anymore, because I’m cured! This message was actually converted from Morse code!

Truly old school! Speaking of old school, how’d you come up with the concept for the video? Was it a lifelong dream to have a claymation version of yourself?

I wouldn’t want to take that honor for myself. I believe it’s a lifelong dream of all humans to see themselves in claymation.

As for the concept I just storyboarded the lyrics. 

One line from the song that I’d love for you to expand on is in the second verse, when you’re rapping about how you “gotta stay connected,” while clearly not being connected to the world around you. How can we reclaim the concept of being connected to bring it back to being on a more human level?

I think having social media, and screen, detox weeks are a good idea for everybody, especially children.

I would also like to encourage people to actually call their friends and family. Texting is fun and easy, but you really need to set time aside for a call. Show somebody you really care by listening to their words, inflections, and emotions.

“Addicted to Phone” is off of your upcoming album, Secret Handshake. What can you tell everyone about it?

My debut solo album, Secret Handshake, has 14 songs, many of which revolve around society enslaving its people with the very technology it develops to free them.

There’s a track about cloud storage wars, one about Google knowing more about you than your loved ones, and one where I fall in love with a robo-call. Lots of fun for the whole family.

In a few months it's going to be released on Grammy-winner Phil Nicolo’s private label, Phil’s Records. Phil and his brother Joe are known throughout the industry as the Butcher Bros. They’ve worked with everybody from Sting to Lauren Hill, and are known for having started Ruffhouse Records (Cypress Hill, The Fugees, etc.). Needless to say, I’m stoked, and oozing gratitude.

What are some of your favorite things about writing, and releasing, hip-hop music at this stage of your life – i.e. married, with kids?

I love that I have a larger audience. Now, in addition to my awesome hip-hop fans, I have a lot of young kids, and soccer moms, that also dig my stuff, but usually for different reasons.

Also, despite me having a song on my new album that’s dedicated to the art of hip-hop, I wouldn’t pigeonhole myself into that genre. Headsnack is its own thing, with its own style and sound unlike anything else. This album has hip-hop, electronica, rock, and jazz influences, so there’s really something for everybody, regardless of your preference. 

Finally, I saved the toughest question for last – when the f*ck are our Mets going to get their sh*t together?!?!

The word on the street is the Wilponzies have been holding back this organization for decades. We need to get them out! Being a Mets fan is like having a disease you enjoy.

For more Headsnack check out headsnack.com, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
NYC Scene Report – The Classic Kids, Katie Rush, & more
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

This week’s NYC Scene Report features indie pop-rockers The Classic Kids helping people have “Better Days,” an indie pop gem about the “Stage Life” from Katie Rush, a tour of electro-pop-rock artist Isador’s “Jungle,” and singer-songwriter Camille Trust looking to “Move On.”

* If you’re in need of a pick me up, or are simply in the mood to feel good, The Classic Kids’ latest single, “Better Days,” should be in your personal rotation.

The Brooklyn indie pop-rock foursome’s vocalist, and guitarist, Matty Boy explains, “During these hard times of political differences, we wanted to create lyrics that can just take your mind away from all that, and give you something to feel good about. These are our better days.”

The video for “Better Days” features the band roaming around NYC, attempting to make the day better for everyone they encounter. It’s pretty much guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, so check it out.

* Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Katie Rush is giving listeners quite the rush of classic ‘80s and ‘90s pop vibes with her latest single, “Stage Life.”

According to Rush, “Stage Life,” which is off of her upcoming LP of the same name, is a love song to music, and her Brooklyn stomping grounds, as she explains, “The song is a fun, upbeat track about coming into my own as a singer and really enjoying life.”

The video for “Stage Life,” which was directed by Teresa Kudarauskas, is a conceptual behind-the-scenes look at the fantasy of being a star, and fits the vibe of the song perfectly.

Click play and get a rush from Katie Rush.

* Isador – the multimedia project of Queens-based artist Warren Heller – is welcoming everyone to his “Jungle,” an elecro-pop-rock song, and video, that that will have you casting your chair aside, and dancing at your desk.

In a statement, Isador explained the video for “Jungle,” saying, “We tried to build a kind of sci-fi world to capture the conflicted feelings that inspired the song. It’s about the paradoxical crossroads that the music industry – and by extension every industry – puts you in. You have to avoid the machinery that tries to exploit you, you and your passion, but (you) also have to work with it enough to survive. To highlight the cyclical, difficult-to-escape nature of it we shot most of the video in reverse.”

While the video was shot in reverse, Isador, and his work, continue to make huge leaps forward. Check out the clip, and get lost in his “Jungle.”

* Camille Trust is looking to “Move On,” but that’s sometimes easier said than done, as she adeptly expresses in her latest song, “Move On.”

“Move On” is the final single from the powerhouse vocalist’s recently released EP, No Other Way, and she describes the separation that inspired the song, saying, “Making the smart decision isn't always easy, and I didn’t know if I could see out to the other side. It’s important to feel and breathe through that pain. During that time, it was difficult for me to speak my mind out loud in conversation, but when this song was created I tapped into a new wave inside of me.”

The wave is a powerful one you can feel, and not just in the lyrics, but in the way Trust sings those lyrics. The way she holds a note during the first chorus is freakin' incredible!

Check out the video. I promise you won’t want to “Move On” from Camille Trust.

For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM   0 comments

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