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. See my complete profile
DYLN may look familiar to frequent readers of this site, as she bears a striking resemblance to longtime Adam’s World favorite Stef Lang, but this is a whole new Stef Lang. Call it a rebirth, call it an artistic alter-ego, whatever you decide to label the name change, one thing listeners will agree on is that DYLN is giving us some great pop music with “Better Things.”
Check out the song, and the video, as “Better Things” sounds like it would fit in perfectly on Top 40 radio, blasting from your car on a beautiful spring day.
This week’s NYC Scene Report features a pop-punk tune by Talay about living with your parents, “nu-wop” trio PEP getting their Betty Boop on, something “Unforgettable” from the Frankel Sisters, and a track with bite from indie rockers Monograms.
* More and more college grads are stuck living with their parents, and if you happen to be one of those folks, NYC’s Talay has your anthem with her new single “Parents’ House.”
A playful pop-punk tune about less than ideal living conditions, Talay – who some may recognize from the all-girl Guns N’ Roses tribute band, Guns N’ Hoses – goes through the ups and downs of living rent free, but with two extra sets of eyes on you at all times.
“Parents’ House” is off of Talay’s upcoming self-titled EP, which is due out June 2nd, and you can check out the song, and video, right here.
* Brooklyn-based “Nu-Wop” trio PEP have a new single, titled “As Lovers,” and an accompanying lyric video that features some classic Betty Boop animation.
In a statement, PEP said of the song, and the clip, "'As Lovers' is one of the darker songs on the album, and we've always thought Betty Boop, while presumably meant to be playful and jolly, has an eerie, and even borderline psychedelic, vibe. So we looked up Betty Boop footage, and we were amazed when we stumbled across this video, which matched perfectly with our music and lyrics!"
PEP, who put a modern spin on doo-wop, and three part harmony, are currently prepping an EP that will be released later this year. While we wait for the EP, we can all enjoy “As Lovers.”
* Speaking of acts that employ three part harmony, over the past few years the Frankel Sisters have been making a name for themselves both in their NYC stomping grounds, and throughout the country.
Thanks to numerous appearances at local venues, and on shows such as The X-Factor, and The Voice, the sister duo of Jaymee and Lianne, who perform with their vocalist/guitarist father, Josh, have seen a huge boost to their notoriety, and come this summer they’ll be releasing their debut EP.
Check out this clip of the Frankel Sisters performing their original song “She’s Unforgettable” to get a taste of what’s to come from this talented trio that keeps it all in the family.
* Indie rock band Monograms started as a solo bedroom project of Brooklyn musician Ian Jacobs, but over the course of time it’s grown into a four piece band, and on April 21st that band will be releasing a new EP, titled Silencer
Silencer will feature four tracks, recorded over the past year, each with a different lineup. The lead single is “Sharp Teeth,” a loud rock tune that, much like its name, has some serious bite.
Check it out, and rock out to Monograms.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.
Fear can be a motivating factor for many of us. It can change our actions, and even our way of thinking. Overcoming fear, however, is an infinitely more powerful force, and that's the concept at the center of alternative R&B artist Jessica Manning’s new single, “What If I Run.”
Hailing from Minneapolis, MN, by way of Sweden, Manning has released a video for the smooth, soulful “What If I Run,” and Myspace has the exclusive premiere, as well as my Q&A with Manning about the song, and the video.
Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week I’m hopping into my time machine again, this time setting the coordinates for 12 years ago this week. As I step out of my time machine … holy heck 50 Cent is EVERYWHERE! I’m not exaggerating, folks, we may not have realized it at the time, but in 2005 it was 50 Cent’s world, and the rest of us were just living in it.
Need proof? Look no further than the Billboard Hot 100 from this week back in 2005. Judging by the chart, I don’t think a single radio station went ten minutes without playing a 50 Cent song. Even adult-contemporary stations probably went from Celine Dion to Fiddy.
So let’s get into this exploration in Billboard Hot 100 history. Of course, since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
1. 50 Cent w/ Olivia – Candy Shop
Did you know this song doesn’t actually have anything to do with candy? A shocking revelation, I know. Another fun fact, Olivia attended Hofstra for a bit, and was there at the same time I was! Sadly, I never saw her on campus.
As with all of 50’s early Shady Records work, the production on “Candy Shop” inspires cranking it up to high volumes. Lyrically, it’s more charisma over content, but hey, it hit number one, and it’s tough to knock what works.
2. The Game w/ 50 Cent – Hate It Or Love It
I know I may be in the minority here, but I’ve always felt 50 Cent and The Game were at their artistic peak when they were working together. They seemed to bring out the best in each other when it comes to emceeing. “Hate It Or Love It” is a prime example of this, as they go back and forth trading stories about how they came up.
This isn’t the only collaboration of theirs on this edition of the Billboard Hot 100, because, “Hate It Or Love It,” Fiddy ruled this thing.
7. 50 Cent – Disco Inferno
If you want to know how big 50 Cent was in 2005, “Disco Inferno” had a video so explicit it could only be shown on BET Uncut, with blurred out nudity (and included legendary adult film star Daisy Marie), yet the song was still a hit. Why? Because when a DJ threw it on crowds went nuts.
Fiddy knew how to make a party song, and “Disco Inferno” was a perfect party song. Oh, and the unedited version of the video was a feast for the eyes (hey, I’m a guy, sue me!).
12. The Game w/ 50 Cent – How We Do
“How We Do,” the second collaborative effort between 50 Cent and The Game on this edition of the Billboard Hot 100, features the two artists at their absolute best. Each one plays off of the initial verse of the other, formulating parts of their second verse based off of the flow of the other’s first verse. Whether or not you’re a fan of the lyrical content, from a writing standpoint it’s fantastic.
51. 50 Cent – Just A Lil Bit
I have to admit when I saw this one listed at #51 I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember the song. Then I clicked play, and it all came rushing back.
“Just A Lil Bit” wasn’t one of Fiddy’s biggest hits, but it didn’t have to be. As we’ve seen, he was everywhere, so anything he released was going to receive airplay. When he spits, “Number one on the chart all the time, man,” he was simply stating, at least for 2005, an undeniable fact.
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.
What happens when a fantastic NYC rock band covers a legendary NYC rock band? In the case of LTrain’s cover of Blondie’s “One Way or Another” the answer is – f*cking magic!
LTrain has been rockin’ the city for quite a while now, and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing them live you know they’re an amazingly good time. One can easily see how they fall into the lineage of Blondie, which makes this cover, with Crystalla Gonzalez being her own kick ass self, rather than attempting to be Debbie Harry (which is impossible), so perfect. It’s an NYC rock band paying tribute to a predecessor, and it sounds amazing.
If you like your hip-hop on the wild side, Insane Clown Posse affiliated emcee The R.O.C. is ready to hit you with some “Voodoo.”
The R.O.C.’s voodoo is Digital Voodoo, his first full length solo release in over a decade, which was released today on Majik Ninja Entertainment. Myspace has the exclusive premiere of the video for the title track, as well as my Q&A with The R.O.C. about both the video, & the album.
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.