A: The latest iteration of a peculiar American rite of generational passage that serves up one relatively palatable teen idol to grab the hearts of our adolescents without angering the blood or spurring radical sentiments. They tend to be slight of figure and possessed of a lingering adenoidal quality.
Who is Justin Bieber specifically, though?
A: Just 18 years of age and blessed with an appealing though limited high vocal register, Stratford, Ontarioâs, favorite son rose to prominence through the mentorship of Usher, whose bubblegum R&B informed Bieberâs 2010 debut full-length, My World 2.0. Proper follow-up Believe arrived earlier this year to even greater sales. Forbes Magazine named Bieber the third most powerful celebrity alive.
How deserved is this bounty?
A: Whether accident of timing or no, he rode the ascension of social media with unrivaled success by nabbing 27 million or so Twitter followers and filling a YouTube channel with faux-homemade videos prior to album release. As well, heâs growing nicely into his looksâhe best resembles a cherubic Margaux Hemingwayâand heâs somehow steered clear of all trace of scandal.
A: More or less. While lazier critics hoped Believeâs first single, âBoyfriend,â would be the first tentative step into darker waters (a la Justin Timberlakeâs âCry Me a Riverâ), the album features an insistent core of overpowering guests (Drake, Ludacris, Nicki Minaj), dully professional studio wizardry and referencing of kings of pop past. If nothing else, future wedding DJs should be guaranteed a few embarrassment-free floor-fillers.
On a scale of David Cassidy to Jacko, how dearly should we worry over Bieber?
A: Much depends upon the hair, of courseâeven the fiercest Belieber wonât long endure the thinning of that tousled mopâbut, as these things go, he seems eminently prepared. Heâs also finally indulging his powers as tastemaker: The Bieber team recently signed South Korean super-meme Psy (âGangnam Styleâ) and paved the way for tour opener Carly Rae Jepsen to unfurl nonpareil summer jam âCall Me Maybe.â
Oh, I know that one! "Hey, I just met you, and this is craaaaaaazy!"
SEE IT: Justin Bieber plays the Rose Garden, 1 N Center Court, on Monday, Oct. 8. Sold out.
[MUSIC] What began as a bedroom recording project for singer Ed Droste has evolved into one of the most compelling bands of its era. Shields, Grizzly Bearâs fourth album, finds the group continuing to map its own, resplendent cosmos. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 248-4335. 8 pm. $36.25 advance, $39.50 day of show. All ages. [COMEDY] In addition to making the late-night rounds and appearing as skeevy pawn-shop clerk Dave on Flight of the Conchords, the stand-up comedian hosts a Flash series about his cat Poopy. Yup, Poopy. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm Thursday, 7:30 and 10 pm Friday-Saturday, Oct. 4-6. $15-$27. 21+.
STREETCAR MOBILE MUSIC FEST
[MUSIC] Finally, someone figured out a useful application for the streetcar: as a venue for a music festival! For four hours, legit Portland artistsâincluding Sun Angle, Jeffrey Jerusalem and Cloudy Octoberâwill set up on every streetcar between the Rose Quarter and OMSI. Multiple locations. 6 pm. Free with streetcar ticket, streetcarmobilemusicfest.org. [THEATER] This Richard Nelson work, set on Election Day 2010, is the first in a planned cycle of four plays about the Apple family, a clan of devoted Democrats exploring the shifting currents of politics and relationships. Winningstad Theatre, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-4335. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through Oct. 28. $22.25-$41.25.
[THEATER] A stage adaptation of the greatest teen vampire film ever made. This could either be amazing or painful. Weâre pulling for the former. Ethos/Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, 5340 N Interstate Ave., 283-8467. 8 pm Fridays-Saturdays and select Thursdays through Nov. 3. $18.
PORTLAND FRESH-HOPS FESTIVAL
[BEER] Fresh-hops festival season is in full bloom. This one is at Oaks Park, with local breweries pouring fresh-hopped beer and free root beer for the kiddies. Oaks Park, Southeast Spokane Street and Oaks Park Way, 233-5777. Noon-8 pm. $13.50-$20. [GROOMING] Urban Waxx is celebrating five years of removing unsightly body hair with a 24-hour Waxx-a-thon. Beer, wine and Voodoo Doughnuts will be available as you get that Brazilian youâve always wanted just in time for winter-coat season. Urban Waxx, 1036 NW 18th Ave., 219-9299. 9 am.