Brianna Goldberg

Brianna Goldberg is a writer and radio producer from Toronto whose work has appeared in both of Canada’s national newspapers and on all three radio services of its public broadcaster. She’s happiest working on stories about arts and music and how they intersect with compelling moments in history. Brianna has been travelling and freelancing since September 2010, making multiple stops in the Caribbean and, now, Nigeria. Find out more about her work and adventures at or by following her at @b_goldberg.

Jun 012012

Best (So Far) finds the finest first-round covers of the latest pop hits.

If anyone could give vats of melted cheese a sexy pop culture “comeback,” it’s Justin Bieber. With his runaway single “Boyfriend,” in which he arguably crossed over from tween heart-throb to adult sex symbol by rapping in a whisper, Bieber painted many steamy pictures of romance: Justin lying in the snow with his girlfriend, Buzz Lightyear flying across the globe, lots and lots of something called “swag.” Continue reading »

Feb 202012

Original Pop Diva. Powerhouse. Train-wreck. Amongst these and other controversial titles eulogizing Whitney Houston upon her passing last week, let us add one more: Queen of Covers.

It’s true that Houston’s legacy shines bright with accolades that are all-Whitney. The diva received more than 400 industry awards in her lifetime, including six Grammys and 20 Billboard Awards; she scored an impressive string of seven number-one singles with “Saving All My Love For You,” “How Will I Know,” “Greatest Love of All,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “So Emotional,” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go;” her debut album, “Whitney Houston” was the best-selling female vocal record, ever, upon its release. And never mind the music career, the lady was also a critically acclaimed actor, model and producer. Oh yes, and a mom. Continue reading »

Jan 312012

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Oh, the dark deeds that must occur on the birthday of the spiky-hair-crowned prince of punk. How does one fete a man whose very name conjures smoking images of filth, fetidness and psychopathy — Decorate a cake with rancid raspberries spilled over the Union Jack? Present a champagne flute of fermenting trash juice to pour on DVD copies of the Queen’s Christmas address? Continue reading »

Dec 022011

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

They do say it’s my birthday. To which my go-to retort is, “Yep, me and Britney Spears.” Though the Princess of Pop Insanity owned December 2 since before I was born (girlfriend is turning The Big 3-0 today, while I’m not quite there yet…), our shared special day has cast its shadow on mine since she pranced down the “Hit Me Baby One More Time” high school hallway in those pigtail braids a dozen years ago. Continue reading »

Nov 222011

It’s the end of the era of Etta and her more than fifty year stretch of hit singles, cross-genre awards and industry-shaking influence concludes with a dream. A dream that features Axl Rose… without being a nightmare!

With her most recent release, The Dreamer, Etta James announced her retirement from the music business. Her family recently disclosed that the 73-year-old suffers from leukemia, along with a number of other physical complications, and revealed her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in 2009. While her decision to end her career is no surprise, what does startle is the nature of the final album with which Etta chose to take her bow. A curious collection of covers in which a handful of true blue soul and R&B standards rock alongside the likes of Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle.” Continue reading »

Nov 212011

The King is dead, long live the Queen. This Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Freddie Mercury, Queen frontman and rock mega-idol. It would be ridiculous to even try to quantify Mercury’s impact on pop culture. The whimsical force behind Queen’s unique style and aesthetic, many point to him as one of the best performers in the history of popular music. And don’t forget, his sometimes enigmatic voice brought alternative sexuality into the public conversation. Continue reading »