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Name: Adam Bernard
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Pop Shots – Check The Guest List
Monday, December 09, 2019

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 who will be featured on Halsey’s upcoming album, to Knotfest having some uninvited visitors hit the stage, to Drake buddying up with another underage girl, and since this is Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.

* Halsey announced her upcoming album, Manic, which is due out January 17th, will feature guest appearances from Alanis Morissette, Dominic Fike, and Suga (of the Korean boy band BTS). In a related story, I now have a month to figure out who those last two people are.

* Ariana Grande told fans she’s currently working on a live album. I just have to say – it isn’t truly a live album unless it includes an appearance by Ed Kowalczyk.


* Camila Cabello's sophomore album, Romance, was released last week, and Cabello celebrated with a Versailles-themed pop-up shop in Los Angeles on December 6th and 7th. With the pop-up being Versailles-themed I have to wonder if she kept it truly authentic and murdered all of the people who made the mirrors. (history is fun!)

* After Slipknot and Evanescence were forced to cancel their sets at Knotfest the event turned into a riot, as fans went on a rampage destroying things, including torching Evanescence’s drum set. The official cause of death of the drum set will be listed as a “Sweet Sacrifice.”


* Alanis Morissette is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Jagged Little Pill with a 31-date summer tour featuring Liz Phair, and Garbage. Finally a tour where middle aged guys can throw their underwear at the stage … wait, you’re saying that’s never appropriate? Shoot, there goes my plans!

* Dua Lipa confirmed that her next album, Future Nostalgia, will be released in 2020. I’m sorry, but that album title immediately makes me think an old Mitch Hedberg joke


* Drake was Spotify’s most-streamed artist of the decade, with over 28 billion total streams over the past 10 years. The rest of the top five were Ed Sheeran, Post Malone, Ariana Grande, and Eminem. Sheeran’s “Shape of You” was the most streamed song, with over 2.3 billion streams, and I am disappointed in the world, as a whole.

* In more Drake news, the Canadian rapper’s personal habits continue to border on creepy, as in an interview with Vanity Fair, Billie Eilish revealed that the 33 year old Canadian rapper texts her on a regular basis. Eilish doesn’t turn 18 until next week, but she’s still much older than one of Drake’s other texting buddies, 15 year old Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown. I feel like none of us would be all that surprised if Drake suddenly released a collaboration with R. Kelly.

* In more Billie Eilish news, the singer inadvertently created a social media meltdown last week when, in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, she revealed she wasn’t familiar with the band Van Halen. I don’t want to “Jump” to conclusions, but maybe Eilish just needs to take a trip to “Panama” “Right Now” and go “Runnin’ with the Devil.”


* The Pussycat Dolls are making a comeback. The Nicole Scherzinger led group performed a medley of hits on the U.K.’s The X Factor: Celebrity, and will be touring the U.K. in April. Sooo the underwear thing … still not appropriate? Damn!

* Lil’ Wayne announced the launch of his own cannabis brand, GKUA Ultra Premium. I feel like the old rule of “never get high on your own supply” may not be rigorously enforced here.


* Kid Rock was escorted off the stage by security at his own venue in Nashville after verbally attacking several television personalities, including Oprah Winfrey, Joy Behar, and Kathie Lee Gifford (all of whom I’m reasonably sure were not in attendance). In all honesty, I don’t know if he was escorted off for verbally attacking those celebrities, or for clearly not knowing what decade we’re in.

* Chicago, and Rick Springfield, will be touring together in 2020. Why am I writing about two acts whose fan bases are almost entirely AARP-aged? Because it allows me to post one of the greatest Heineken commercials of all-time


That’s all for this edition of Pop Shots, but come back next Monday for more shots on all things pop.

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Stacking The Deck with Mia Berrin of Pom Pom Squad
Friday, December 06, 2019

Stacking The Deck is a feature exclusive to Adam’s World where I bring packs of 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusiCards to artists, and we discuss who they find in each pack.

Brooklyn-based rockers Pom Pom Squad aren’t here to bring it on, they’re here to bring it.

The “it” in this case is raw, emotion filled rock that passes on school spirit in favor of diving deep into the human spirit.

With a vibe that’s equal parts Liz Phair and Courtney Love, Pom Pom Squad have been making a name for themselves throughout the city over the past few years with their buzzed about live shows, and two EPs – 2017’s HATE IT HERE, and 2019’s Ow, the latter giving listeners the killer single “Heavy Heavy.”


I caught up with Pom Pom Squad founder and frontwoman Mia Berrin at the Think Coffee on the corner of Bowery and Bleecker to open up some packs of MusiCards, and the artists we found sparked conversations about the “punk Guy Fieri,” putting a pushy finance guy in his place, and a flaming hot take on The Beatles … well, at least their name.

I swear there’s plenty about music in here, too!



Paula Abdul

I think what I want to talk about first is just how hot Paula Abdul looks in this photo. I’m very inspired by this.

You can go with the blazer/bra combo, too?

Oh absolutely. Very current, modern.

Over the summer I saw someone walking down Bowery wearing that combo.

It’s a pretty iconic look. You’re playing with the masculine, the feminine … you really have it all.

I also have a lot to say about the ‘80s hair, the huge bangs. That’s a trend that I am not excited to see come back.

You’re not gonna embrace that?

I had emo bangs as a tween. I refuse to show people (pics).

You’ve untagged all those photos on Facebook?

Oh yeah, absolutely. There’s no trace of them, and when I say there’s no trace of them, that means somebody is going to scour the internet and find a picture of me from my bat mitzvah.

When Pom Pom Squad gets huge, that’s when the pictures comes out.

Yeah. That’s gonna be why I get canceled, for having horrible fashion choices.

I don’t think anyone’s allowed to be cancelled for that, because we have all been guilty at some point in time.

Listen, it was pretty bad. I thought I was extremely stylish. I watched a lot of Disney Channel, and thought that putting outfits together based on the combinations on the Disney Channel was a fantastic idea.

It was not a fantastic idea.



Billy Idol

Speaking of fashion choices, let’s go from Paula Abdul to the leather pants of Billy Idol.

I was really interested in this jacket with the hot rod flames. He looks a little bit like a really hot Guy Fieri in this photo.

Do you see it? He has the glasses, he’s got the frosted tips, he’s got the hot rod flames on the jacket. This is like punk Guy Fieri.

Do you think Guy Fieri would be upset to not be considered punk Guy Fieri?

You know, I actually saw him once at Veselka, which is my favorite restaurant. I don’t get star struck really, (but) I was with my dad and I saw Guy Fieri, and I put both my hands on (my dad’s) shoulders like “Dad, that’s Guy Fieri!” and shook my dad’s shoulders.

I was so shocked, and I just sort of felt like I’d stepped into an alternate universe where everything was good, and Guy Fieri was filming Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

It probably felt good to be in a place where he was filming, because you knew you were eating good food.

Yeah, well, (my friends and I) used to go there at 4am after being really drunk because it’s a 24 hour diner, to the point where I have this one waiter that knows me, this really sweet man, also named Adam. He has gray hair. He has a baby named Rose Marie. He always asks me about the band. I always ask him about the baby. He’s met every person I’ve dated for the past four years. We have a real bond.

But it was comforting, in a way, to see Guy Fieri at Veselka.



Santana

I think that I truly picked Santana because at my job, on what was going to be the hottest day of the year, we declared it “Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas day. It’s gonna be a hot one.

And now that song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the night.

Oh yeah, and don’t you forget it!

I also think there was a story about Santana, because Clive Davis signed him … I think there were two majors bidding over him, and he basically fucked up the first show that he knew the first label was coming to, and the one that Clive came to he went really hard, and full Sanatana-ed it, and then got signed.

I wish I were a shredder. That’s still something that eludes me. Everyone in my band is a better musician than me, and it’s honestly nice.

Are you just saying that to be humble?

No. I’m the latest to music of everyone in my band. Maria (Alé Figeman), who plays bass, when she first started in Pom Pom Squad was playing lead guitar. We ended up losing our bassist, and I had a friend who wanted to play lead for us, so I was like OK, let’s look for a bass.

(Maria’s) kind of like the Paul McCartney (of the band), where it’s like she wants to be on lead, so she makes the bass the lead, and it’s just so incredible. And then Shelby (Keller) grew up playing jazz, and is an incredible jazz drummer.

When we practice, sometimes they do some crazy shit, and I feel insecure in the right way, where I’m like alright, I have to work so much harder. So that’s good. I’ve gotten way better at guitar since I started this band.



Fleetwood Mac

I LOVE Fleetwood Mac.

When I was a teenager I saw Fleetwood Mac with my parents, and I think that Stevie Nicks blessed me. I was 17 …

Were you at the edge of 17?

Correct. I listened to that song at midnight on my 17th birthday.

When I saw them, and she played “Gypsy,” she said that she wrote the song about the moment when she knew she was gonna be a rock star. I remember the montage behind her was all of these clips of New York. I was like, that’s a weird choice, why New York?

I got rejected from basically every college that I applied to, and the last letter I got, and my only acceptance, was NYU. It was like a week or so after the concert, so it all felt very symbolic.

I love Fleetwood Mac. I wanted to be Stevie Nicks so badly when I was a teenager.



Bob Marley

I listened to a lot of Bob Marley growing up.

My parents were obsessed with mash-ups. They had a whole CD of mash-ups, and for some reason there was a mash-up of “No Woman No Cry” with Jack Johnson’s “Taylor.” Weird mash-up, right? But I remember really being drawn to the “No Woman No Cry” part of the mash-up, and that was my intro to Bob Marley.

Also, his granddaughter, Zuri, went to my school, and is just a sweet sweet angel. We’re like internet buddies. We were both in the Clive Davis program at NYU.

Do you think the school is gonna take money off your tuition if you mention them enough in this interview?

They have already bled me dry.

It’s funny because when I transferred it was kind of out of necessity.

I ended up going to school because I was just like, I don’t want people to tell me what to do anymore, and I want to be able to produce, and I want to be able to be like, “I want this mic,” and, “I want to go to the fifth here.”

Being out in the real world I kinda thought it was not school, but it really really is.

I feel like I’ve been able to win in a lot of fights when people try to tell me, “This has never happened for a band like yours,” or “there’s no context for that,” or “this isn’t something you can actually do in your music,” and I’m like “eh, that’s not true.” I also just love proving people wrong. That’s probably my fatal flaw. That’s what will eventually kill me.

Fatal flaw? It sounds like it’s a good theme to have in life.

I like it. I enjoy it, but it also means that I scream on people in a subway.

Did that happen earlier, on your way here?

That happened yesterday, actually. {laughs}

This is something I talk about a lot, it comes up in my music – I deal with depression pretty regularly. It’s something that I’m open about, and I’m seeking help for now, but I was in a really really bad episode this week.

You know, you try to get to work, and you try to do your thing, and I was holding it all in, and then I started openly sobbing on the subway, and nobody said anything.

Because it’s New York, and no one cares.

Yeah, of course. No one makes eye contact with you, but then also you’re like, the world is a terrible place.

I was getting off the subway, and this gangly suited business bro was walking towards me, and he did that thing dude’s do where they’re walking towards you and you’re walking towards them and they expect you to move, but I wasn’t gonna move, and he didn’t move.

So we were standing face to face with each other, and he just kind of like tries really uncomfortably to move to the side, and there was one of the subway poles, so he’s kind of backing into the pole, but there’s a lot of space around me, a lot of things he could’ve done, many moves he could’ve made. Then he just sort of shrugs at me like “I don’t really know what you want me to do.”

For some reason that unlocked a rage in me unlike any other, and I just was like, “FUCKING ANYWHERE! YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE!” And he ran away from me. His eyes got so wide, and I saw him jump a little bit, like when an animal hears a car horn, he did a little jump and then kinda scurried out of the way.

It’s not my first subway outburst. It certainly won’t be my last.



Screaming Trees

I feel like that’s a good transition to Screaming Trees.

I only picked this because I have a theory that every band name is bad. Not every band is bad, but The Beatles … I’m going to get a lot of shit on Twitter for this, but The Beatles – terrible band name. Great band. Grew up on The Beatles. Love The Beatles. Do I like the band name The Beatles? No, I don’t, and I’m proud to admit that to myself.

What is it about the name?

It’s mostly the pun. I feel like if it was The Beetles I wouldn’t mind it as much, because you’re clearly referencing a certain bug, but The Beatles with the “beat,” like a drum beat? Fuck off.

It’s like when someone’s trying really hard to be fun and clever. Stop it.


For more Pom Pom Squad, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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NYC Scene Report – Safer, Jennifer Silva, & more
Wednesday, December 04, 2019

This week’s NYC Scene Report features Safer tearing down countercultural saviors, an introduction to Jennifer Silva’s incredible voice, a retro-cool video from The Jay Vons, and rockers Station continuing to make the present feel a little bit like the ‘80s.

* If you’re looking for a savior from false rock gods, look no further than the latest single from Brooklyn-based indie-rock artist Safer. Titled “Countercultural Savior,” the song is a satirical takedown of the rock ‘n’ roll mystique.

Explaining the inspiration for “Countercultural Savior” in a statement, Safer said, “As teens we build up these figures as gods, and canonize their names, but looking at it with a bit of perspective I just see a bunch of sad men Pied Piper-ing their fans into self-destructive behavior and consumerism in the name of profit.”

Check out “Countercultural Savior,” I guarantee you’ve never had a better time tearing down false gods.


* A couple weeks ago I was at The Bowery Electric for a headlining performance by longtime column favorite Anna Rose. Of course, I showed up in time to check out the opening acts, the first of which was so good I immediately stopped everything I was doing and paid attention to what was happening on stage.

The artist was Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Jennifer Silva, and I – along with the rest of the audience – was transfixed by her soulful voice, and fun personality, for the rest of her set.

Later in the evening I caught up with Silva, and found out she released an album in 2018 titled Bluest Sky, Darkest Earth, and is currently working on new music for 2020.

Check out her song “Command Z” and get a taste of why I, and everyone else at The Bowery Electric, immediately became fans of Jennifer Silva.


* NYC-based quartet The Jay Vons sound like they’re from another time, and with the clip for their song “Changing Seasons,” they now have a video to match!

The video was directed by the band’s keyboardist, Dave Amels, who discussed the concept for it in a statement, saying, “Like a narcotic dream, in a Panamanian copy of Germany’s Beat Club we find the band. The name, Club de Carne, is a misinterpretation of the Beat Club name as Meat Club. A time machine, black and white, analog video, (it’s) a 1968 visual fantasy.”

Click play, and go back in time with The Jay Vons.


* Speaking of bands that could be from another era, NYC rockers Station recently released their third album, titled Stained Glass, and the single “A Matter of Time” sounds like it’s straight out of the ‘80s in the best possible way.

If you grew up in the ‘80s, or appreciate the era’s rock music, you’ll absolutely love Station, and probably wonder where they’ve been all your life. Actually, maybe you won’t wonder that, because Station tour regularly, and I’ve been mentioning them in this column since I first saw them at Mercury Lounge back in 2015.

It’s only “A Matter of Time” before I see them again. Click play on the video, and hear why.


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

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Pop Shots – Lizzo, Stan Culture, and Weaponized Fan Bases
Monday, December 02, 2019

Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, every once in a while I like to use this column to talk about something serious that’s going on in the pop world, and this would be one of those times.

Recently, we’ve seen a very ugly trend in music – the weaponizing of fan bases. This past week Lizzo was an artist who took center stage in this conversation, as her fans verbally attacking a delivery woman after reading one of Lizzo’s tweets has led to a lawsuit.

Before getting into the lawsuit, it’s important to look at how a fan base can become a weapon. It’s a phenomenon that has its roots in Stan culture.

“Dear Slim, I wrote you but you still ain’t callin’”

Stan culture, which gets its name from the Eminem song “Stan,” is when a fan is so attached to an artist they worship everything they do, and will essentially do anything for them.


B.G. once rapped that Cash Money is an army, and thanks to Stan culture every artist with a big enough fan base now essentially has an army of their own. An example of this is Beyonce’s “Beyhive,” which attacks pretty much anyone who dares say anything negative about their beloved idol.

Stans usually attack people via social media, which makes much of what they do online bullying, and much like in offline bullying, the bullies – in this case the Stans – are obscenely proud of their work, oftentimes bragging about it.

It’s truly ugly behavior, and it really makes you wonder if any of these individuals know the Eminem song the term comes from, and how that song ends (spoiler alert – Stan kills himself).


In the case of one food delivery person, her life has been temporarily ruined by Lizzo’s Stans.

Lizzo and the libel case

Back in September, Lizzo was in a Boston hotel when she placed an order for food via Postmates under the pseudonym Bonnie V. When delivery person Tiffany Wells arrived the hotel staff told there was no Bonnie V staying there.

Following company protocol, Wells waited five minutes. Going above and beyond company protocol, she spent an extra five minutes trying to get in touch with “Bonnie V” before leaving for her next delivery. This is when Lizzo’s Twitter fingers went into action.


The rapper/singer tweeted “Hey @Postmates this girl Tiffany W. stole my food she lucky I don’t fight no more.” The tweet also included a screenshot of Wells’ picture from the Postmates app.

Lizzo’s Stans immediately pounced on Wells, spending the following hours making threats against the delivery person.

The next day Lizzo deleted the tweet, and attempted a mea culpa, writing, “I apologize for putting that girl on blast. I understand I have a large following and that there were so many variables that could’ve put her in danger. Imma really be more responsible with my use of social media and check my petty and my pride at the door.”

Lizzo may have naively thought her tweet wasn’t going to result in such vitriol – although that’s hard to believe being that this isn’t her first day on the internet, and we all know how social media mob mentality works – but for Tiffany, the damage had already been done, which is why she’s now suing Lizzo for libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of privacy. According to the lawsuit, Tiffany “was scared to leave her house and as a result was forced to stop delivering as a courier altogether—directly affecting her ability to earn a living,”


Personally, I hope Wells wins her lawsuit – not because I have anything against Lizzo, who I think probably does feel bad about the situation, but because a precedent needs to be set, as this wasn’t an isolated incident. In the past month alone both Taylor Swift, and Amanda Palmer, have intentionally weaponized their fan bases.

Swifties seeing red

It’s no secret that Taylor Swift was unhappy with the sale of her former label, Big Machine Records, to Scooter Braun, and before the American Music Awards her beef with him reached a new level of intensity.

Swift publicly alleged that Braun, and Big Machine’s founder, Scott Borchetta, were preventing her from performing a medley of her hits on the AMAs, and stalling production of a planned Netflix documentary. On November 14th she wrote a long post on social media telling her side of the story, and it included a call to action – “Let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this.”

The next day Big Machine Label Group’s headquarters in Nashville was forced to close early because Taylor Swift Stans – who are known as Swifties – were making death threats to employees of the company.


This is absolutely 100% on Taylor Swift. She purposefully weaponized her fan base by riling them up, and telling them to go on the attack. Artists of her stature can’t hide behind the false notion that they had no idea there would be negative actions as a result of their words. As I noted earlier, it isn’t your first day on the internet, you know how social media mob mentality works. Swift is a smart woman, smart enough to know exactly what she was doing here, and what the potential results of her words would be.

On November 22nd, Braun finally commented on the situation, writing that his wife had received a threatening phone call at their home, and that Swift – although he doesn’t feel she intended for actual harm to come his family’s way – needs to understand the extreme influence she wields.


Then there’s the case of Amanda Palmer, who has known the influence she wields for quite some time, and is perfectly comfortable weaponizing her fans to attack people she doesn’t like, including a journalist who didn’t cover her most recent tour.

Palm readers

In late November, Amanda Palmer – who has a history of actions that have made her a persona non grata for many in the music industry – decided to post a series of tweets that included an attack on the Guardian for the lack of coverage they’ve given her latest project.


Predictably, Palmer’s tweets led to her fans taking up her cause. Their actions included verbally attacking the Guardian’s deputy music editor, Laura Snapes.

While dealing with the attacks, Snapes tweeted some background info on the situation, writing, “In recent months I have been dealing with a bizarre situation with Amanda Palmer. I blocked her years ago, I think we had a spat about that tour where she offered to pay musicians in hugs and beer. She recently became fixated by this and asked her 1m fans to find out why I had.”

What Palmer did was incite, and weaponize, her fan base. This was intentional, and while many have chalked it up to Amanda Palmer being Amanda Palmer, the fact of the matter is she should be held accountable for what her fans did as a result of her tweets.

Gang related?

Insane Clown Posse’s fans, known as Juggalos, are classified as a gang by the FBI. It’s a ridiculous classification they fought (unsuccessfully) with a march on Washington D.C. in 2017.


The Juggalos aren’t a gang. The recent actions of the Stans of Lizzo, Taylor Swift, and Amanda Palmer, however, have those three artists’ fan bases a bit closer to that designation.

At the very least, the actions of Lizzo’s, Swift’s, and Palmer’s Stans can be classified as harassment, and much like a bartender can be liable if they overserve a person who then causes a car accident, artists should be held accountable for the results when they overserve emotion, and intoxicate their fans to the point of making death threats, and ruining lives.

If we don’t start holding artists responsible for these actions now, things will only escalate, and I fear at some point a Stan will go much further than a tweet, or a phone call.


That’s all for this edition of Pop Shots, but come back next Monday for more shots on all things pop.

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3 Responsibilities of Being a Music Industry Veteran
Friday, November 29, 2019

Breaking news – I’m old.

I’m not old in the sense of getting senior discounts, but in the music industry, being 41 qualifies as downright aged.

I‘ve probably been “music industry old” for a few years now, but only recently have I started to think about what it really means.

I used to say I never wanted to be the oldest guy at a concert, but now that I’ve experienced that more than a few times, it really isn’t that big of a deal.

My fear came from seeing a few old guys at concerts when I was younger, and they were clearly trying to recapture their youth. I never wanted to be like those guys. You know the type, the ones that still shop in the youth clothing stores, and for some reason use current slang.


Thankfully, I don’t shop at Hot Topic, and the only way you’ll hear me say the word “bop” is if it’s preceded by “unskinny.”

I’m at the shows, though, and I’m closing in on 20 years writing about music. On a recent train ride home from a concert I jotted down a few ideas on what it means to be older in the music industry. I came up with the following three responsibilities of being a music industry veteran.

1. Know good sh*t / Expose good sh*t

If you’re an industry veteran, there’s really no excuse for not having explored the music world deeper than whatever’s hot.

To put it another way – your top ten albums of the year list shouldn’t look like everyone else’s. If it does, what’s the point?

It’s our job to find the good sh*t, the buried gems, the acts that deserve to be heard, but aren’t on most people’s radar yet.


We should all be excited about artists and bands nobody’s ever heard of, and with that, we should be doing what we can (based on our roles in the industry) to help give those artists and bands a platform.

I’m not saying your favorite artist can’t be someone who’s going platinum. I’m saying that you should have at least an equal amount of favorite artists who’ve yet to receive any radio airplay, and you should be doing what you can to tell the world about them.

2. Recognize what the youth like, but also know you don’t have to “get” it

This one can be hard to come to terms with because it’s such a huge indicator that you’re old. When you turn on the radio, and hear a song that’s climbing the charts, and your first thought is, “I have no idea what’s going on here,” you are no longer a cool kid.


It’s OK, because you can still be a cool grown up, just take a step back, listen to the song, and do your best to figure out why the song in question is so popular, and why the youth connect with it, and rather than mutter the old cliche that the everything in the mainstream is crap, respect that the younger generation has found something they love.

What I’ve come to realize is that as an older person in music, I don’t have to understand everything the youth are into, I just have to recognize it, and respect that they like it.

This could also be called The Billie Eilish Rule, because while I think “Bad Guy” is a great song, when I listened to the rest of When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? I was like, “Ooook, I’m glad the kids are into some weird sh*t, but lemme put on something else for myself.”

3. Share knowledge / Provide guidance

We all had hurdles we had to jump over in our careers, but just because we had to jump over them doesn’t mean we then have to keep them up for the next set of people.


There’s an old phrase, “Knowledge is Power,” but that knowledge isn’t supposed to be power over others, it’s supposed to be power to help others.

There’s no glory in keeping all your knowledge to yourself. If someone needs advice – give it to them!

At some point the next wave of folks are going to have the proverbial keys to the car. If they crash the car, it’s because we didn’t do a good job of teaching them how to drive.


And now, as a “music industry old” person, I think I’ll take a nap (ha, you know that isn’t true, I’m about to crack open a sugar free energy drink and listen to some new albums).

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NYC Scene Report – Rue Snider, Emily Yacina, & more
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

This week’s NYC Scene Report features Rue Snider doing it live, Emily Yacina “Gleaming,” Sean Henry’s pop project, and Elle Winter looking to present her true self.

* If you’ve ever seen NYC-based indie rock artist Rue Snider live you know he puts on a heck of a show. Come December 6th, you’ll be able to take that experience home, as Snider will be releasing his first live EP, Pete’s Candy Store pt. 1.

Recorded at the Brooklyn music venue the EP is named after, the first single off the project is “Dark Crystal Daze.” Snider discussed the song in a statement, saying, “It’s about letting go before you’re ready. It reflects the moment when a relationship is ending, and a person’s best attempt at surrender still involves asking the other person for something. It’s a selfish, emotional space that many of us move through before finding healing after experiencing a broken heart. There’s the subtle manipulation of saying ‘go ahead and go, but please remember X, Y and Z.’ It took a lot of work for me to realize how truly manipulative and controlling that kind of language is, and that it proceeds from a place of lack, and neediness, not love.”

Snider continued, adding, “I spent a lot of time projecting my own pain and fear onto other people, and that takes work to unlearn. We’re all on a journey, and I think the spaces on the way to healthiness and self-compassion are very interesting and important to write about. This song captures a tiny piece of that journey.”

Click play on “Dark Crystal Daze” and hear why earlier in the year I referred to Rue Snider’s work as “fearless.”


* I only have one problem with singer-songwriter Emily Yacina’s latest single, “Gleaming” – it’s only 1:39, and I want to hear more!

The NYC, by way of Pennsylvania, artist will be releasing her debut album, Remember the Silver on December 6th, and the gorgeous “Gleaming” is a perfect introduction. Check out the video for the song. I’m sure it won’t be the last time you see her in this column.


* Sean Posila, who records under the moniker Sean Henry, needed a change of scenery. “New York had broken up with me,” he laments.

Returning home to suburban Connecticut earlier this year, he dove into working on his recently released album, A Jump from the High Dive. “I was doing a lot of couch surfing, living where I grew up, in a Connecticut ghost town, and touring around the country,” he explains, “I was all over the place. Amidst trying to sort things out, I wanted to make my version of a pop album.”

Sean Henry is now back in NYC, and after listening to the single “You Fall Away,” I think you’ll find his version of a pop album is pretty great.


* NYC’s resident rising pop songstress Elle Winter will have an EP out early next year, but you don’t have to wait until you hang your 2020 calendar to hear new music from her, as she recently released the single “Thought of Me.”

A bouncy pop jam that would sound at home on Top 40 radio, Winter explained the inspiration for the song in a statement, saying, “‘Thought of Me’ speaks to the contradiction of how we present ourselves to the outside world versus who we really are as a person. I know that as an artist, and being active on social media, I do not always present the ‘true me’ online. Sometimes I find it easier to let people hold on to this idea of me instead of opening up, and letting someone get to know me. This song addresses that dilemma I face, and I hope it resonates with my listeners, and helps people realize we all experience the same problems and issues no matter who we are, or where we come from.”

Check out “Thought of Me,” and get real with Elle Winter.


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

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