I have my first piece in The Nervous Breakdown, “an online literary publication type deal.” It’s titled “A Tale of Two Nominees: Justin Bieber and Esperanza Spalding,” and it uses the 2011 Grammy awards as a pivot to discuss two very different types of musicians. Bieber you might have heard of. Spalding is a jazz bassist and vocalist.
(Please go read the article. And leave a comment at the end. For complicated technical reasons, the piece had a rough birth, so it didn’t get a lot of promotion. Thus, the comment stream consists mostly of my mom’s friends, which is gratifying, but also makes me feel like a nine year old who’s full of promise … but I digress.)
When I wrote the piece, I spent a little time researching Bieber, especially since I heard that after Spalding won the Grammy for Best New Artist, instead of him, he went to congratulate her. (MTV has video of that encounter, but it’s tiny and inaudible.)
What’s a lot more prominent is a cringe-worthy interview of them together, apparently jammed onto the same stool, where they compliment each other, and each other’s hair … and then Bieber pets her hair.
After I saw Esperanza Spalding perform, I wanted to write about her, and realized that the notoriety she gained after Bieber fans attacked her Wikipedia page made Justin Bieber and appropriate comparison.
But after suffering through that video of him and Spalding at the Grammys, I’m pretty sure I’ll never write about Bieber again.