Dec 31, 2021

New Music Stars On 2022 Horizon (This’ll Help Keep Them There)

A sneak-peek at the acts we’ll be talking about never

By Ed Goldman

As we prepare to embrace 2022—if doing so won’t get us summoned to a meeting with the head of HR and force us to undergo counseling and write sincere letters of apology—I’ve been thinking about the concerts I’m looking forward to in the new year.

Ever since I stumbled onto the music of the Weeknd—I know, I know, even if this is the stage name of someone, shouldn’t the first letter of “the” be capitalized and shouldn’t “Weeknd” be spelled correctly?—I’ve been thinking about the new crop of performers who’ll modestly refer to themselves as “artists.”

Edgy Cartoon

Followed by a Spelling Bee!

Fortunately, my pop culture consultant, Trendin Tarrantino, has clued me in. Here are the names of “artists” we can expect, in rapid order, to hear from, fall in love with and more than likely dump from our iTunes account in a few months:

1. MENTAL HEALTH DAY. While not quite as compelling an “artist” as the Weeknd, and certainly more grammatically correct, Brit rocker Morrison Van “Mental Health” Day is a force of nature unto himself (a zephyr, in fact: downgraded from a whirlwind). 

Proudly misogynistic, unrelentingly racist and shockingly profane, it’s predicted that “MHD” will have one hit in 2022 (“Shoot All My Ex-Girlfriends!”) and one follow-up (“I Just Shot All My Ex-Girlfriends!”). The latter will not only make him an overnight millionaire but also a person of interest to both the FBI and the county DAs in seven states.

2. VAXXIN8. Let’s unwrap this rapper whose rap sheet kept us rapt until someone rapped at the door. (It was the delivery person from our favorite ethnic restaurant, Thai Won On.) Vaxxin8, whose real name is Florenz Nightingale, is an “artist” known for having street creds, a criminal record and absolutely no ear for music. The lyrics to his angry hip-hop songs are adapted from catchy graffiti and tattoos he copies into the large spiral notebook he always totes in his back pocket; in fact, the notebook’s weight causes his already low-rise sweat pants to descend further down his body, which prompted a judge at his aesthetic-abuse trial to declare, “Another crack like that and I’ll clear the courtroom.”

3. PERSON OF INTEREST. Rumors abound in the world of rock journalism—which the late Frank Zappa famously characterized as “people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read” (true quote)—that Person Of Interest is actually Mental Health Day wearing Rite-Aid reading glasses as a clever disguise. After all, it works for Clark Kent.

Here’s the transcript of a phone interview with the magazine Entertainment Writ Weakly (EWW), during which the suspected MHD put a handkerchief over the ear part of his landline thinking it would muffle his voice:

EWW:  Hi, is that you, Person of Interest?


EWW: You sound a lot like Mental Health Day. Has anyone ever told you that?

PERSON OF INTEREST: Yes, someone once trolled my hat.

EWW: That’s not what we’re asking. Can you hear us all right?

PERSON OF INTEREST: Yes, I love a clear bus all night.

4. ASPARAGUS SPEARS. This thrice-removed cousin of Britney Spears, the pop and legal-conservatorship legend, bursts onto the scene singing her own Britney-inspired songs such as: “Oops! I Missed Court Again!”; “Maybe One More Time”; and “From My Bottom (and My Broken Heart)”.

Unlike her distant cousin, Asparagus Spears does not perform wearing negligees, hot pants and, for retro fans, the occasional pair of go-go boots. Instead, this product of our age of better eating habits, taking a page from Lady Gaga’s famous meat costumes, is bedecked entirely in fresh vegetables, gardening knee pads and durable shoes. “My message is that climate change isn’t very good,” she courageously declares. “My managers have told me not to say that but I won’t be silenced—not by them, the radio stations indifferent to playing my recordings nor the public. And I hope everyone notices I used the word ‘nor’ correctly. Take that, you misspelled Weeknd!”

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).