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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.
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3 Reasons You Should See Like Minded Criminals Live

NYC Scene Report – Soren Bryce, Fiona Silver, & more
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

This week’s NYC Scene Report features some awesome alt-pop from Soren Bryce, the soaring soul-pop vocals of Fiona Silver, Americana artist Butch Parnell covering a Beyonce song, and singer-songwriter Brooke Moriber dealing with some stormy weather.

* Brooklyn-based artist Soren Bryce is the latest addition to the city’s indie alt-pop scene, and with her new single, “Cellophane,” she’s making a heck of a first impression.

“Cellophane” is off of Bryce’s upcoming full length debut, Discussions With Myself, which is due out in early 2018. For the album, Bryce worked with producer Justyn Pilbrow (Halsey, The Knocks, The Neighbourhood), and while she notes Pilbrow took on a mentor-like role in honing her production skills, she handled the bulk of the album's pre-production work on her own.

Bryce explains the growth in her artistic process, saying, “I used to make music in a way that was more folk-influenced, where I'd sit in my bedroom, and play guitar, and write like I was writing in my diary, but for this record I got so much more into production, and started approaching the songs by thinking about things like rhythm, and composition, first, and then creating from there.”

Click play on the trippy video for “Cellophane,” and hear the alt-pop gem she’s created.


* Frequent readers of this column know that 2017 has been a year where I’ve become obsessed with the music of Fiona Silver. Her vocals are, in a word, special, and her name should be involved in any conversation about the city’s soul, pop, or indie rock scenes, as her music can fit into any of the above.

Silver’s latest is “Here Comes The Fall,” which, as of now, is a standalone single, following her fantastic 2017 album, Little Thunder.

Check out the gorgeous black and white video for “Here Comes The Fall,” which was directed by Cortney Armitage, and “Fall” for Fiona Silver.


* I know there may not have been a whole lot of folks clamoring for Americana covers of Beyonce’s music, but after hearing Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Butch Parnell’s version of her song “XO,” the demand might start to grow at a fairly rapid rate.

Parnell’s version of “XO” is off of his recently released EP, The Fall, and he explains how the song became one he wanted to put a unique spin on, saying, “In past releases, I've included at least one cover, and they have mostly been songs from the ‘70s. So for this EP, I thought I might do the opposite, and try to make a more current song live in a new light. It just so happens that I had shot my promo photos in Coney Island a week before I got the idea to do this song. The original Beyoncé ‘XO’ video was shot in Coney Island. It's colorful and vibrant, and that is precisely why I went in the opposite direction with the song, and the video. While the lyrics are very present in the moment, I wanted the music to evoke nostalgia.”

Parnell continued, adding, “Musically, the bridge for Beyoncé is the arrival, the top of the Cyclone roller coaster, if you will. I decided to make my bridge reflective, and pull everything away. It's not a roller coaster, it's more like the Wonder Wheel Ferris Wheel that stops at the top so you can take a moment to look around, and see things from a height, and vantage point, you normally can’t."

Check out the video for Parnell’s version of “XO,” and hear the song in an entirely new way.


* Singer-songwriter Brooke Moriber is giving listeners “99 Days of Rain.” No, she hasn’t become a meteorologist in the Seattle area. “99 Days of Rain” is the name of the NYC-based powerhouse vocalist’s latest single.

Off of her 2017 EP, Here and Gone, the song has a slight country influence, stemming, in part, from Moriber’s writing and recording sessions in Nashville with songwriters Brian Desveaux and Bill DiLuigi.

The video for “99 Days of Rain” features a shadow playing games with Moriber in an altercation that’s one part shadowboxing, one part interpretive dance. Click play and check out the creative clip.


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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Stacking The Deck with Kasador
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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.

If you’re looking for the next rock band that could take over Top 40 radio, look no further than Kasador.

Hailing from Kingston, Ontario, and consisting of (photographed left to right) Boris Baker (bass), Nick Babcock (keys/vocals), Will Hunter (vocals/guitar), Julien Laferriere (drums), and Cam Wyatt (guitar/vocals), Kasador has a sound, and an energy that will resonate with wide variety of audiences. If the band were on stage at a large festival, 99% of the crowd would end up fans (there’s always that 1% who refuse to like anything everyone else likes, but we won’t worry about them).


I caught up with Kasador when their most recent tour hit The Bowery Electric, in NYC, and we opened up some packs of MusiCards. The artists we found sparked conversations about everything from artistic influences, to potentially reworking a classic, to each member’s childhood crushes.



Billy Idol

Boris: I actually didn’t know he was British until right now. I thought he was American.

Will: Isn’t he in an Adam Sandler movie?

The Wedding Singer.

Will: “White Wedding” is a great song.

Boris: That is actually a great song. He looks a lot like Deryck Whibley (of Sum 41). I feel like Deryck modeled his look after him.

Have you ever considered covering a Billy Idol song?

Will: I’d do “White Wedding.”

Boris: I could get on board with that. There are a lot of ways to bastardize that song – It’s a nice day for a cardigan. It’s a nice for a … this is weird, my parents owned ferrets, and my mom used to say nice day for a wet weasel.

That probably has another meaning, I’m just gonna guess.

Boris: … or was it my dad who said that?



Nelson

Will: They have an identical twin situation going on. A very Spinal Tap look. I don’t know any of their music, but if I was just going off of the baseball card, I would choose this band to hang out with.

In terms of hair bands, and hair metal bands, were you influenced by any of them?

Will: I grew up with a lot of ‘80s stuff, but not so much hair metal. More like Bryan Adams, but you know, the whole Spinal Tap movement, all that stuff just really speaks to my childhood.

Boris: Yeah, Spinal Tap, definitely for me, but hair metal wasn’t really allowed in my household growing up.



Annihilator

Cam: I actually know of them because I’m from Ottawa and they’re from Ottawa, and back in the day when I was learning guitar I did this jam clinic thing where they basically put you in bands, and (frontman Jeff Waters) was one of the special guys they had in. He was really damned good, and I was like I’m gonna be as good as this guy.

Will: They were huge in Japan.

Cam: I’ve also heard they were not the nicest people.

But was he nice to you?

Cam: No.

But you said you were young, you were a kid.

Cam: Yeah. He didn’t talk to me. I was like Jeffery, Jeffery! He backhands me.

I don’t believe that.

Cam: That’s wise.



Eric Clapton

Nick: One of my biggest influences. The reason I started playing guitar.

Will: What do you play in the band?

Band: {laughs}

When was the first time you heard his music?

Nick: Probably when I was a child. We had a bunch of Clapton CDs. I remember “Layla” being played a lot.

You guys did that during your sound check.

Will: I do it for Nick.

Have you ever checked out the guitar festival he does?

Nick: Crossroads. Yeah. I’m also a big John Mayer fan, so that goes hand in hand because John was very influenced by Eric Clapton, and they’ve done Crossroads together.

Boris: I’ve got a dark Clapton comment. I was reading a book about The Clash, and it detailed this festival they played for anti-racism, or pro-immigrant, in the late ‘70s, and it was partially in response to anti-immigrant comments Clapton made.

Nick: He (also) stole George Harrison’s wife.

No one’s stolen anyone else’s wife from this group, right?

Boris: Not yet.

Will: I’d rather not say.



Sonic Youth

Julien: I don’t know their discography, but I’m super into their style. It’s really weird. I’m super into the dark, New York grunge scene. Those were lower Manhattan guys, from around here, actually.

(They had) really loud guitars. I was super into that. Weird noises. They’re really cool.

Are we in for weird noises later?

Julien: Yeah.

Will: I got a pretty cool weird one. The Rainbow Machine, that pink pedal there, it does some weird noises. Part of it says “magic,” and you just click it and you hope for the best. It’s fun.

Boris: Tell him about the pedal you were gonna get, but didn’t.

Will: I was gonna buy this pedal, it sounds really cool – Dr. Scientist BitQuest – but it was $400, and I was like, I’ll never use it. Now I see it everywhere. I was just four months ahead of the game.



Belinda Carlisle

Belinda was an absolute heartthrob to everyone in the ‘80s. Who were your personal heartthrobs from when you were growing up?

Nick: I’ll start. So, that girl in School of Rock who plays the bass, Katie, when that movie came out I watched it several times just to see her.

Will: Actually, we talk about this a lot, School or Rock was a very influential thing for this group. That movie came out, and starting a band, and being with your friends, that seemed to be a very inspiring thing. So I’m gonna go with Katie, as well.

Nick: Also the girl from National Lampoon’s Vacation, who’s married to Chevy Chase in the movie. There’s a scene where they open the shower curtain …

Was that one of those growing up moments for you?

Nick: That was like VHS, pause it, and then it’s got the fuzzy bars.

Will: We’re learning a lot about Nick today.

Boris: Since maybe I was six, or seven, That ‘70s Show, Mila Kunis. She, probably forever, will be my heartthrob.

So are you mad she ended up with Ashton Kutcher?

W: I’m actually happy that happened.

Boris: He seems like a pretty sweet dude. I like Ashton Kutcher. I like to think if that was my thing he would be my heartthrob. So yeah, it’s kind of perfect.

Cam: I was into Topanga (from Boy Meets World).

Will: Everyone you’re saying, I’m on board. We have similar taste.

Boris: Get your own heartthrob.

Cam: She’s mine. Also, Chelsea from That’s So Raven.

Anyone else have a heartthrob?

Boris: Jules man, heartthrob? Who’s your heartthrob?

Julien: Selena Gomez.

You’ll have to fight Justin Bieber for her, but that should be an easy battle.

Boris: Is Selena Gomez Canadian?

She seems to date Canadians.

Julien: So you’re saying there’s a chance.


For more of Kasador, check out KasadorBand.com.

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Pop Shots – Past, Present, & Future
Monday, December 11, 2017

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 Fergie’s hallucinatory past, to Melanie Martinez’s questionable present, to previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix songs becoming available in the near future, and since this is Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.

* In an interview with the British publication iNews, Fergie discussed a time in her life where she was, in her own words, “Hallucinating on a daily basis.” The singer noted that even when she’d become clean of drugs, “I’d just be sitting there, seeing a random bee or bunny.” Is Fergie sure she was hallucinating, because there’s also a very real chance she could’ve just been waking up in her pantry, staring at boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios, and Trix.


* Melanie Martinez – the soft voiced singer with two toned hair who first made a name for herself on The Voice, was accused of rape by former friend, and fellow musician, Timothy Heller (who is a woman). Martinez tweeted a response, saying, “(Heller) never said no to what we chose to do together.” Yes, you read that correctly, Martinez’s defense is that she is unaware of synonyms.

* John Mayer was hospitalized last week for an emergency appendectomy. Jeez, and here I thought I had the monopoly on holiday season surgeries for Fairfielders who work in the music industry. Yo, John, wanna be scar bros?


* David Mueller, the former radio DJ who was ordered to pay a symbolic $1 to Taylor Swift for groping her at a photo op, reportedly mailed the singer a Sacagawea dollar last week. He says he intended the coin featuring the prominent female Native American as a final jab at Swift, whose team called the court ruling a win for all women. Who knew all it takes is a dollar to double down on being a total moron?

* Pearl Jam has a new song in the upcoming Brie Larson romantic comedy Basmati Blues. I guess in a world where Ice-T can play a cop, former ‘90s grunge gods can provide music for rom-com soundtracks. If you need me, I can be reached at my new number …


* RZA and Power have partnered with Live Nation's merchandise division to relaunch Wu Wear. If Live Nation’s merch division is anything like their ticketing, you’ll be charged an exorbitant handling fee, even if you’re carrying the clothing out of the store yourself.

* Lil Wayne’s next mixtape, Dedication 6, is scheduled to be released this Christmas. Soooo Merry Weez-mas?


* Experience Hendrix, and Legacy Recordings, will be releasing a 13 track album titled Hendrix’s Both Sides of the Sky on March 9th, 2018. Ten of the 13 tracks will be previously unreleased songs. Jimi Hendrix’s hologram reportedly can’t wait to perform the new material.

* My homegirl Fjer is a future pop superstar, and her latest is “Awesome.” Check it out, I think you’re gonna love it.


And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.

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Vid Pick: Joey Golden – How The War Was One
Friday, December 08, 2017

If you have two minutes to spare for some boom bap, and real raps, you should click play on the latest from O.I.S.D. (Operation Industry Shut Down) emcee Joey Golden, “How The War Was One.”

“How The War Was One” is off of Joey’s Problematic EP, which was released earlier this year, and no matter what era you’re from, it’s going to fit into your definition of real hip-hop.

Wanting to know more about the song, and the EP, I caught up with Joey to get the story behind “How The War Was One,” and to find out what’s going on with everyone from O.I.S.D.

“How The War Was One” is the last track on Problematic. Why did you want it to be the final statement on the EP?

The concept of the whole thing was a dichotomy of having a super spiritual mind frame, and a super materialistic mind frame, which is pretty much me.

“Gold” and “Everywhere” represent the spiritual, more wholesome side, but are also disconnected from societal issues. “Bentley” and “Problematic” represent the materialistic, earthly, more linear side, which almost worships materials, and leans too much into societal issues.

“How The War Was One” was the end result of dealing with those inner battles of trying to decide if how I feel is right, or wrong, which why the song is just sure, just knowing.
 

Even a not so keen eye will notice the use of One instead of Won in the title of the song. Why is the war One, rather than Won?

“How The War Was One” represents how this whole experience in life is just one thing – an experience. Everything is happening at the same time, the good and the bad.

Coming from the understanding from the first four songs, it reaches the point to where the lyrics brag, but without being selfish, and are spiritual, but without isolation. Then, on forward, with the competition, with that balance and understanding. 

The song has an old school boom bap vibe. What draws you to that kind of production?

These are the beats I feel the most comfortable to go on rapping, and not worry about any type of format for writing a song; just to write freely without thinking about bridges and choruses and trying to be catchy. I can just talk my shit.


Tell everyone more about Problematic. In what ways are you hoping the music connects with listeners?

I didn’t really care to connect with anybody. I just wanted to get my bars off.

I have strong opinions, and the type of person I am, it’s hard for me to relinquish them.

Specifically for the title track, I was talking about things that I felt that may be controversial in some eyes, so it was more like fuck a connection, this is what I think about things. If you like it, or agree, cool.

This was, more so, groundwork to set the foundation of who Joey is, how my mind works. 

Finally, your O.I.S.D. hat is prominent throughout the video. What’s the latest on the rest of the crew, and any possible O.I.S.D. group projects?

My O.I.S.D. hat, and clothing, will always be prominent in everything I do. That’s my foundation.

Our crew is how I started making music, and I’ll continue with that, especially through representing our team with our clothes. I treat it like Larry Bird would treat a Celtics Jersey, or Magic with the Lakers uniform.

JohnNY U. and I are always together, whether it’s his project, or a feature, or we just need to vent to each other. Khid Touché is into photography, and video, and handles the bulk of our artwork and videos. JMNOP has been DJing, and working on his projects. Showtyme, aka Supaman, aka whatever nickname he has now {laughs}, is a professional dancer and has been on tours, and dancing for famous award shows and all types of amazingness, but we will drag him back to finish his parts.

As far as a group project, you should absolutely expect something in 2018. I’ll make sure of that. JohnNY just dropped an EP called Regular Everyday Mind (REM), JMNOP is gearing up for his solo, and I’m releasing music via streaming services every week.

For more Joey Golden, and O.I.S.D., check out jmanifesto.com, and the O.I.S.D. Facebook page.

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3 Reasons You Should See The Either Live
Thursday, December 07, 2017

It’s rare to find a band that’s wholly original. You can almost always think of an act that might be an inspiration. That, however, is not the case with The Either, an electronic rock trio based in New York City that features traditional Chinese instruments, and modern synths.

I was at The Bowery Electric for The Either’s Underneath EP release show, and lemme tell ya, in 17 years of covering music, it was a totally unique experience.

Here’s why I will definitely see them again, and why you should be in the audience, too …

1. You’ve never heard anything like them

The Either consists of Zongli on vocals and keys, Jiaju on the pipa, and Yang on the erhu. Unless you’re a scholar of traditional Chinese instruments, you probably haven’t heard of those last two, and even if you are a scholar of traditional Chinese instruments (totally my site’s wheelhouse in terms of audience), you probably haven’t heard them played in this way.

With electric versions of their instruments, Jiaju, who performs with picks taped to her fingers, plays her pipa like an electric guitar, and Yang plays his erhu in such a way as to imitate a cello. All of this goes on with Zongli on keys, as the trio creates a radically unique mix of electronic rock, progressive metal, and dream pop.

The Either is the sound of the past manipulated, and enhanced, to create the sound of the future, and it’s wild to hear.

2. You’ve never seen anything like them

To say the members of The Either are instantly recognizable is an understatement. The trio have a futuristic, Mad Max, thing going on with their performance outfits, and overall look, and it’s a perfect visual representation of their music.

The Either are not of this world … or they’re at least not of this time.

3. Their fan base is crazy dedicated

Despite The Either being a relatively new project for each of the members – the band formed in June of this year – they already have quite the dedicated following. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw an audience so transfixed by everything that was happening on stage, but there I was, right there with everyone else in the crowd, unable to take my eyes and ears off the band.

The Either keep their audience locked in, and on this particular night, after their set the band attempted to say hello to as many of those attentive fans as possible.


To find out when, and where, The Either will be performing next, check out their Facebook page for show dates.

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NYC Scene Report – Beechwood, Jeremy & The Harlequins, & more
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

This week’s NYC Scene Report features a retro rock n roll tune from Beechwood, a Roy Orbison inspired cover of a Madonna classic from indie rockers Jeremy & The Harlequins, a pop gem about new romance from Sheare, and some kick ass hard rock from Dead Superstar.

* According to their bio, NYC-based rock band Beechwood consists of “an anti-social petty thief, a male hustler and a delinquent runaway.” After one listen to their single, “I Don’t Wanna Be The One You Love,” you’ll marvel at how such a misfit trio could form a rock n roll Voltron.

“I Don’t Wanna Be The One You Love” features influences from four decades of rock, as there are elements of ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and modern rock all interwoven to make an undeniably great indie rock song with a retro rock vibe.

Beechwood’s upcoming album, Songs From The Land Of Nod is due out January 26th via Alive Naturalsound Records, and you can check out “I Don’t Wanna Be The One You Love” right here.


* Even people who don’t really like Madonna have to admit “Like A Prayer” was an incredible song. NYC indie rockers Jeremy & The Harlequins recently found themselves inspired by the tune after being reminded of its greatness in the unlikeliest of places.

The band’s frontman, Jeremy Fury, explains, “About a month before we went into the studio, I was walking in a bodega and Madonna's ‘Like a Prayer’ came on. Of course, I've heard the song a million times, but I had never paid too much attention to the lyrics until then. I went home and quickly learned the song on the guitar and it reminded more of a Roy Orbison tune than the original dance version we all know. We decided to record it because it was a song everyone knew that we felt we could totally flip, and those are my personal favorite types of songs to cover.”

This is one of the coolest versions of “Like A Prayer” you’re going to hear, so click play and enjoy.


* If you’ve ever fallen in love at first sight, and fantasized about running away with that person – and let’s face it, who hasn’t had at least one, or ten, moments like that on any given night out – Brooklyn-based indie pop artist Sheare’s “you + i” is a potential soundtrack for your life … or at least for your evening.

As he sings the chorus of, “Change your plans tonight, it’s just you and I,” you’ll jot down the lyrics to make sure to remember to use them later.

“you + i” is off of Sheare’s upcoming EP, Music for Photo Booths, due out February 23rd, and you can check out the song right here.


* Loved the ‘90s hard rock scene? Long Island-based band Dead Superstar have resurrected the vibe of the era in its full glory with their latest single, “Beware of the Knife.”

“Beware of the Knife” is some kick ass, no hold barred, hard rock, and if the song is any indicator of what’s to come on the band’s upcoming 2018 album, I Did It For The Rock Gods – which was was produced by Jerrod Mankin (Bobaflex), recorded at Red Barn Studios, and mixed by Grammy Nominated producer Johnny Karkazis – next year is going to get off to quite the rockin’ start.

Check out the video for “Beware of the Knife,” and rock out with your … well, let’s not go there, you might be at work reading this.


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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