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
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 R.E.M.’s big retirement news, to Justin Bieber’s big date, to a big fight over some Schweddy Balls, and since it’s Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
* R.E.M. has announced that they’re going from rapid eye movement to a deeper sleep as the band is calling it quits after a 31 year run, during which time they lost their religion, made people shiny and happy, and stood in the place where they lived. This isn’t the end of the world as we know it, but it’s understandable if you feel a little orange crushed. For a lot of folks R.E.M. was the one they loved, but everybody hurts sometime.
* If you’ve smelled like teen spirit recently it’s not because you changed your brand of deodorant, it’s because Nirvana’s Nevermind album celebrated its 20th birthday this past week. The seminal record that put grunge not just on the map, but at the forefront of music, was originally released on September 24th, 1991. Very little from 1991 has had the kind of lasting impact Nevermind has, just look at the way we completely ignore of every anniversary of the slap bracelet.
* In news that will make you want to punch a 17 year old in the face, Justin Bieber took Selena Gomez on a date where they had the Staples Center, home to the Lakers and Clippers, all to themselves for a private screening of Titanic. The real kicker? The multimillionaire kid had to pay exactly zero dollars for the experience. Since he’d sold out the Staples Center three times, and the venue had nothing planned for the night, they just gave it to him, no rental fee required. Bieber, apparently not realizing the rest of the world doesn’t get entire arenas to themselves for free, then tweeted “romance isn’t dead. treat your lady right fellas. #REAL” Pretty big words for someone who shelled out less for the Staples Center than the rest of us have to for something off a dollar menu.
* In the current pop music scene it almost seems as though people enjoy tearing artists down as much as they like building them up. It wasn’t always this way, though, which is why it’s sad to see musical legends, those who truly earned their spot at the top, fall. Sly Stone is the latest to take that fall as the New York Post revealed that the funk pioneer is now living in a van. His history of substance abuse, and living an opulent lifestyle, took away plenty of his money, and his selling of his publishing rights to Michael Jackson for a mere $1 million took away a lot of his earning potential, but according to the Hollywood Reporter he’s now suing his manager, Jerry Goldstein, for $50 million, alleging fraud and 20 years of stolen royalty payments. Stone says he was tricked into signing a contract with Goldstein in 1989, which gave his manager control of his finances. So if you’re playing at home, Sly Stone, musical legend, is living in his van, while Justin Bieber, 17 year old multimillionaire, gets the Staples Center for an entire night for free so he can take his girlfriend on a date.
* I don’t get to talk about Schweddy Balls much while writing Pop Shots, but this week I finally have the opportunity thanks to an insane organization called One Million Moms that’s calling for a protest of the limited edition flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that’s named after the classic Alec Baldwin Saturday Night live skit. I can only imagine what trouble the kids of these one million moms are getting into while their mothers protest a flavor of ice cream. Meanwhile, the race is on in the pornographic film industry to see who can put together a “Schweddy Balls in One Million Moms” movie first.
* If you thought “Need You Now” was going to be the only time you heard from country music trio Lady Antebellum you have lost that bet in a big way. Their latest album, Own the Night, debuted at number one of the Billboard albums chart this past week with sales totaling nearly 350,000. The success of their latest effort is thanks in large part to the album’s lead single, “Just A Kiss,” and the painfully saccharine video they have for it that everybody likes, but won’t admit to liking.
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.
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.