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 a new toy from T-Pain, to a new sensation in Afghanistan, to new music from Lights, and since it’s Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
* Because embracing mediocrity isn’t just for adults, T-Pain has released a special “I Am T-Pain Mic” that’s for kids. The microphone uses a voice modification technique similar to the way Auto-Tune “fixes” T-Pains singing, and features a selection of beats for kids to sing, or rap, over. Because we live in an age where everyone wants to broadcast every single thing they do in hopes of heaps of praise and a future filled with fame, the microphone comes with a USB plug so kids can share their songs, and because Swizz Beatz still exists we can expect him to be passing the microphone’s pre-programmed beats off as his own any day now.
* It’s been a weird week for Michael Jackson, and that’s saying a lot considering who we’re talking about. First the horrific image of his corpse showed up all over TV and the internet, then his doctor’s defense attorney appeared on the Today show, which was a big no-no, as it resulted in the judge in the doctor’s manslaughter trial to issue a gag order for all attorneys working on the case. The news wasn’t all bad, though, as Cirque du Soleil are paying tribute to MJ with their new show, The Immortal, which debuted in Montreal on October 2nd and travels to 47 cities in North America through July 14th. Michael Jackson had nothing to say about any of this because, well, he’s still dead.
* TBS is using the same Tinie Tempah song, “Written In The Stars,” for the MLB playoffs that the WWE used for Wrestlemania and is still in light rotation on the radio after what had to have been half a year of heavy rotation. Please make note of that in any article involving “Pop Shots Writer Goes Insane.” Thank you.
* In the coolest story of the week, Afghanistan hosted its first rock concert in thirty years this past Saturday. Bands from Australia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan performed a variety of styles of music, including blues, indie rock, electronica and death metal, for a crowd of nearly 500, which was an exceptionally large audience considering the date and the venue of the show was kept a secret until the last moment for fear of an insurgent attack. And to think, our biggest concerns at rock concerts are overactive mosh pits and whether or not the guy next to us is going to puke on our Converse. We have it easy!
* Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is debuting an opera on October 12th. If this sounds like a bad idea to you, you are not alone. I love the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but an opera? Described as a “psycho opera” (OK, this is getting a little better), Stop The Virgens (not a typo) will debut in Brooklyn, NY, as part of the Creators Project. If you need to figure out how to get there, consult your “Maps.”
* One of the mother’s of hip-hop passed away last week. Sylvia Robinson, who, with her late husband, ran Sugar Hill Records, the label that released the Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” died of congestive heart failure last Thursday at the age of 76. Because of “Rapper’s Delight” many of us still rap when putting hot butter on our breakfast toast.
* Lights, who you all know is one of my favorite artists, just released her latest album, Siberia, yesterday. The latest single and video off of it is “Toes” and it’s filled with a heaping dose of 80s inspired synth pop goodness. The video also features a pair of shorts that can capture just about anyone’s attention.
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.