Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Music journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie artists. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
Producer Configa has been a purveyor of true school hip-hop for as long as I can remember (and I originally featured him here in 2007, so it's been a while!). His collaborations with emcee HaStyle have been a hip-hop head's dream. Dope beats, great lyricism, and fantastic flow, highlight their work together, and with their latest, "Hastility," they continue this trend.
"Hastility" is the first single off of the upcoming collaborative album of the same name, which is due out August 29th. If you love hip-hop, it's a song that will have you clicking the "replay" button again, and again, nodding your head the entire time. I know this, because as I was writing this post I did it myself!
With this in mind, I caught up with Laura Donelan, Assistant Vice President, Business Development Leader at MusicPro Insurance, to learn about the basics of gear insurance and get the answers every musician needs.
If you’re a music lover from a certain era, you fondly remember Columbia House and its irresistible offer of eight CDs for a penny. Most of us didn’t bother to read the fine print about having to buy a bunch of CDs afterward at jacked up club prices. We wanted those eight CDs, and we sent away for them.
Our album collections filled up quickly, but when the catalog, and occasionally the Selection of the Month, arrived, we found interesting ways of avoiding having to fulfill our contract with the club.
From changing addresses, to legal loopholes, these are some true stories of how people took their eight CDs for a penny, and ran.
The owner of 14 Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, and Country Airplay, charts (five of which have hit number one) Joe Nichols is a superstar in every sense of the word. His latest single, “Undone,” is currently on the rise, and while Nichols was taking a quick break from finishing up his upcoming ninth studio album, I caught up with him to find out more about his new music, his man cave and the one thing he’s happy to see less of at shows.
In this week's NYC Scene Report, vintage indie pop act The Shacks introduce us to a "Strange Boy," we rock out with the well-traveled Sunflower Bean, Fences pens something fantastic on his "Pale Paper," and retro punk rockers Cheena return to remind us of what the scene once sounded like.
* Sometimes an artist, or band, can sound like they're from another era, and this is definitely case with The Shacks. As soon as you click play on "Strange Boy," which is their collaborative effort with El Michels Affair, you're transported back to the '60s, as the music sounds like it would be completely appropriate in rotation on your favorite oldies station. It's kind of crazy to think about the fact that the band's main twosome of Shannon Wise and Max Shrager are only 18, and 20, years old, respectively.
The Shacks’ upcoming debut EP is a self-titled effort due out October 7th, and with “Strange Boy” as the opening salvo, I can't wait to hear more.
* Keeping with the retro theme, up next we have NY psych-rock trio Sunflower Bean, whose music sounds like it could fit into just about any of the past four decades. The band released their debut album, Human Ceremony, earlier this year, and have pretty much spent every waking moment on the road ever since.
The trio hit the stage at Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo, and are currently on a tour that will take them around the world, Those tour dates began on August 13th, and run through the day after Thanksgiving, and include the entire US, as well as Europe, and Asia.
Although, with the exception of their show dates, it may be impossible to catch up with the band in real life, you can catch their latest video here. It's for the single "Come On," and judging by the sound, and overall vibe, I can understand why Sunflower Bean are so big on the live experience. After hearing the song, I want to see ‘em in concert!
* Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Fences (aka Chris Mansfield) has a new six-song EP titled To The Tall Trembling Trees dropping on September 9th, and he’s written at least one of the songs for it on some "Pale Paper."
The first single off of the EP, Mansfield describes "Pale Paper" as, “a torn-up love letter to New York City." It's a letter many will be glad he taped back together to create the song. Mansfield's voice, and style, fit perfectly together, and the result is a great tune, with an upbeat feel. Check it out.
* I don't know about you, but I've enjoyed rocking out to the music of NYC retro punk act Cheena over the past few months as they've geared up for the release of their debut LP, Spend The Night With.... Well guess what, that album is finally out (via Sacred Bones Records), so now you can spend as many nights as you want with Cheena!
That came out sounding a little more provocative than intended, but if you're looking to get a little closer to Cheena, check out their latest single, "Lost My Way." It will definitely help you find yor way if you're looking for some retro punk rock goodness.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.
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 not feeling so “super,” to Maple Leif Garrett (aka Justin Bieber) leaving Instagram, to Madonna auditioning to work at the AARP version of Scores, and since this is Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
* Adele claims she turned down an offer to perform at the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show, although according to the NFL, and halftime show sponsor Pepsi, that's news to them, as they deny an offer was ever made. This means Adele fans are now only two years away from an album of thinly veiled disses of Roger Goodell, and Wild Cherry Pepsi.
* Britney Spears will be performing at this year's MTV Video Music Awards. I think I speak for everyone when I say, bring the python or we riot!
* After reading a multitude of negative comments on his Instagram, Maple Leif Garrett, aka Justin Bieber, threatened to make his account private. His ex, Selena Gomez, replied, in a comment, "If you can't handle the hate, then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol – It should be special between you two only. Don't be mad at your fans. They love you." Bieber responded to this by deleting his Instagram account. Gomez, feeling a bit bad about how things escalated, jumped on Snapchat to apologize, writing, “What I said was selfish and pointless.” Hey Selena, just because you may feel, in retrospect, your comments were selfish, and pointless, doesn't mean they weren’t also accurate.
* Amy Lee, of Evanescence fame, will be releasing an album of children's music, titled, Dream Too Much. Due out September 30th, exclusively via Amazon Music, there's no word on if there will be a breastfeeding version of "Call Me When You're Sober," but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
* Taylor Swift donated $1 million to Louisiana flood relief efforts. This means Taylor Swift has done more to help the victims of this disaster than our government. Taylor Swift for president! Print the bumper stickers now!
* Justin Timberlake made a newlywed couple's day when he happened to walk by while they were in the middle of their wedding photo shoot. The father of the bride convinced JT to take a quick photo with the bride and groom, although he apparently didn't need to do all that much in the way of convincing, as JT was more than happy to take a few pics with the couple before letting them know he was about to go to another wedding. After hearing this story, I just have to say... Justin Timberlake for vice president on the Taylor Swift ticket! Swift-Timberlake! Print the t-shirts now!
* Lady Gaga and her father, Joe Germanotta are releasing a cookbook. The elder Germanotta owns an Italian-American restaurant in NYC. The younger Germanotta has featured someone who vomits on her on stage. Here's hoping the cookbook won't inspire the latter.
* In celebration of her 58th birthday, Madonna partied in Cuba, dancing on a table for the enjoyment of onlookers. Normally if you want to see a 58 year old mother of four dancing on a table you have to show up pretty early at the strip club.
* Billy Corgan has been named president of Impact Ventures, which is the parent company of TNA Wrestling. It's now only a matter of time before every wrestler in TNA has a Smashing Pumpkins song as their entrance music.
* Finally, I wish American pop stars would have more pajama themed choreography in their music videos (you'll want to go full screen with this one).
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.
Don’t believe everything you hear, or read, about Chanel West Coast (except this article, of course). The entertainer — who is well known from Rob Dyrdek’s MTV shows Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness — and her former association with Lil’ Wayne and his YMCMB crew, has heard, and seen, her fair share said about her. As with many in the celebrity realm, not all of it’s been true.
I've been a fan of Snow Tha Product since I first interviewed her way back in 2011. Her flow is impeccable, and she's always been unafraid to tackle issues that are important to her. Take, for instance, her latest single, "Snooze." Covering everything from racial issues in America, to depression, and social media's influence on our emotions, Snow takes her usual no holds barred approach to speaking her mind.
She can be a party rapper, she can be a straight up lyricist, and with songs like "Snooze" she can be a socially conscious emcee. Snow The Product is a total package every hip-hop head can embrace.
It’s 2016, and if you want to hear a certain genre of music all you have to do is click on the streaming music service — or YouTube playlist — of your choice to hear exactly what you’re looking for. In the not so distant past, however, the only way to get such a curated collection of songs was via Time-Life Music, which had a CD set for seemingly every genre, and mood, imaginable.
If you’re of a certain age you probably remember watching the half hour infomercials that were hosted by either an artist of the genre being advertised, or an actor who needed a pay day.
We’ve combed the Time-Life archives and unearthed five of their most memorable infomercials that even we have to admit we nearly opened up our wallets for.
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.