Easy listening power duo Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett have been showing up a lot on the television as of late, duetting “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in a commercial for Barnes & Noble. They sound terrific together, as anyone who listened to last year’s Cheek to Cheek knows, and to be quite honest it will be a shame if Gaga goes back to her pop career—those buzzy dance singles just obscured the reedy tone of her voice, as clear-blue on standards as that of Dinah Shore’s herself.

Though Gaga’s a unique artist in her ability to shift so far left, her progression does poses the question: what other pop stars today could fit so perfectly in a genre so opposite to the one in which they began? Taylor Swift already shifted from modern country to ‘80s pop, and it’s fun to imagine Nicki Minaj making a straight soca album, or Gwen Stefani going totally country. But Justin Bieber has done the imagining for us—if this whole EDM diva thing doesn’t work out for him, he has a promising future as the leader of a bar band in Palm Springs, or Reno, or Atlantic City.

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TMZ has video of the Biebz unexpectedly popping up at a bar called Marine Room Tavern in freaking Laguna Beach last night, and covering “Hotline Bling” which is definitely gonna be the “Mr. Jones” of 2030. It’s a pretty great look for Bieber, to be honest; he and transforms its lyrical shaming into chill-ass reggae gestures worthy of your mans Jimmy Buffett. The Marine Room’s tagline is “Live Music, Whiskey, Pretty Girls,” after all.

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It seems Bieber was singing with the house band, Slingshot, who performs at Marine Room Tavern every Sunday. According to their bio on the bar’s website:

Slingshot was originally formed in 1977. Mirk Richardson, one of the founding members, Performed 8 years with Slingshot. Everyone went their separate ways in 1985 but have now regrouped adding Joe McMahon on guitar and vocals, and Randy Wakefield on Drums and vocals. With the addition of midi implementation, give the band rich full Horns, Strings and Keys that only adds to the already powerful sound!

I see a great future for this phenomenal Bieber-led quartet in the future. Here’s an old Slingshot demo from 2008.


Contact the author at julianne@jezebel.com.