BANTER BLENDER #92: Discussing Bieber’s Racism, the Kimye Wedding, and Hot Actors

On this very special episode of “The Banter Blender,” Ben Mandelker ( is joined by three of his high school friends: Michelle, Lauren, and Caty. The three immediately launch into a variety of topics, including Justin Bieber’s racist rant, the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West wedding, and, of course, ranking hot actors and athletes.

Plus, no high school reunion is complete without stories of yore, and this podcast definitely has an airing of grievances…

Check it out, and remember that if you use the promo code banter295 on checkout at, you can get a new dot com or domain transfer for just $2.95. How awesome is that?

BANTER BLENDER #84: Online Etiquette, Survivor, and Justin Bieber

This week on “The Banter Blender,” Ronnie Karam ( joins Ben Mandelker ( again to discuss a variety of topics, starting with online etiquette. The two delve into the world of baby status updates, humble brags, and Instagram offenses, among other things.

Next the guys take on the latest season of Survivor and roll their eyes at Justin Bieber’s latest antics. Plus, details about meeting BRENCHEL (a.k.a Brendon Villegas and Rachel Reily) from Big Brother and Amazing Race. Just the usual mix of topics for The Banter Blender. Come listen!

And remember to use the promo code “BANTER295″ on checkout at for one new or transfer .com domain name for one new or transfer .com. Or you can simply follow this glorious link:

BANTER #82: A New Banter Era; Special Guest Ronnie Karam

“Banter” is back, but it’s a little different. After three amazing years, the irreplaceable Lisa Timmons has moved on, but fear not, the podcast will continue with guests every week. In the hot seat this time around is Ronnie Karam (@watch-what-crappens, to help talk about all sorts of fun topics like… anti-gay laws in Arizona, Darren Sharper’s rape charges, Paula Deen’s return from racism, Woody Allen’s molestation controversy, and Justin Bieber.

Okay, maybe not the sunniest of topics, but we still managed to have fun. Come listen!!

BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #81: On Richard Sherman’s Rant, Bieber’s Eggs, and Pussy Riot’s Concert

This week on “Banter with Ben and Lisa,” Ben Mandelker ( and Lisa Timmons weigh in on NFL player Richard Sherman and his recent postgame rant. Classless maniac or amped up athlete?

Then it’s on to Justin Bieber, whose recent egging spree may land him behind bars. Plus, Ben and Lisa discuss a Florida teen who’s been suspended from school for doing gay porn, and after that, there’s talk of “Downton Abbey,” “Sherlock,” and Tyler Florence’s San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. Oh, and Pussy Riot too!

Other topics include cell phone use when driving, Grand Theft Auto V, and, of course, Sade. Come listen!

5 Best ‘Call Me Maybe’ Tributes

Since Los Angeles Top-40 radio stations are perennially six weeks behind the rest of the country, I’m only now discovering the pure joy of a pop confection known simply as “Call Me Maybe.” The song, which is in iTunes’ top ten (and notably #74 on KIIS-FM Los Angeles’s playlist), might be described by the casual observer as “vapid” or “ridiculous.” But to me, I call it nothing short of SHEER GENIUS.

Sure, Carly Rae Jepsen’s mere name might make you want to go running for the hills, and sure she might be the protege of The Biebs, but don’t let this pseudo-Michelle Trachtenberg scare you. The only thing you should fear is the song’s hook taking up permanent residence in your head for the next several weeks.

Nevertheless, after the jump, check out five surprisingly fun and charming tributes to “Call Me Maybe,” including one co-starring Justin Bieber himself!

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And Now The Inevitable Bieber/Mariah Christmas Video

A few days ago, I posed a question to the readers: who has ruined “All I Want For Christmas Is You” more — Michael Bublé or Justin Bieber. I suggested that the latter performer merely had his vocals slapped onto the classic Mariah track, but now comes an official music video of the “duet,” and as it turns out, Mariah is an active participant in the sullying of her own legacy. I can’t imagine why she would do this. I assume it’s a way for her to stay relevant, but personally, I like to think that the record label simply threatened to photograph the left side of her face.

Hey, at least Mariah shed that baby weight. Good for her.

Now excuse me while I satisfy my sudden compulsion to purchase a Nintendo 3DS at Macys.

BIEBER VS. BUBLÉ: Who Ruins ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ More?

When it comes to Christmas music, there are few contemporary songs better than Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” which was released just a shade over (gulp) seventeen years ago. The inimitable tune (co-written by B-Side Blog friend Walter Afanasieff) has been covered many times since its release, but this Holiday season, it has been sullied by not one but two very popular recording artists.

In one corner we have Michael Bublé, who trades out the song’s signature spunk for his own typical, jazzy blandness. The word “neutered” comes to mind. I don’t actually mind the arrangement, but Bublé’s voice (some call it velvety, I call it boring) really drains the recording of any life. Of course, I’m sure we’ll hear this version on many a TV drama soundtrack. I already anticipate Grey’s Anatomy chomping at the bit for the rights. I don’t love Bublé’s take on the song, but I can’t begrudge him for changing things up. I reluctantly dole out a smidgen of credit for showing some creativity.

In the other corner, we have Justin Bieber, who’s been copy and pasted into the Mariah Carey original. That’s right: same song, but now with 50% more Bieb. On the plus side, the spirit and arrangement of the track have been preserved. But on the major minus side, this feels like cheap coattail riding. Bieber is just piggybacking on Mariah’s hard work, which might be more offensive than Bublé sapping the song of its soul. Plus, let us not forget that for every second that Bieber is singing, Mariah is not. If Bieber is going to take on this vaunted classic, he should just do his own thing with his own arrangement instead of barging in on Mariah’s territory. This is HER song. She don’t need no help from no Hilary Swankish teen idol.

So, who ruins the song more? Michael Bublé, who is creative but boring, or Justin Bieber, who lets us enjoy the original but is altogether too intrusive? To help inform your thoughts, click through to the embedded songs for reference after the jump.

The floor is open.

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VIDEO: The Inevitable Justin Bieber Christmas Song, ‘Mistletoe,’ Arrives

It’s mid-October, and Christmas season has officially begun! Actually, it began in late September when I saw the first glimpses of Yuletide trinkets at Ikea, but I digress. The point is that musical genius Justin Bieber has released a Christmas song called “MIstletoe,” and the best way to describe it is Jason Mraz lite, except with more uses of the word “Shawty.” But the worst part of all is that it’s actually kiiiiind of catchy.

Nevertheless, the video, above, is a generic piece of work filled with Bieber, looking more Hilary Swankish than ever, spending most of his time standing on an empty street woefully underdressed as snow comes down. In fact, everyone in the video seems to be entirely too warm considering the wintry mix descending upon them. People, IT’S BELOW FREEZING. PUT A JACKET ON. Also the distinct lack of holiday sweaters (see the fashions of “Last Christmas”) is highly offensive.

I give this entry in the holiday oeuvre a distinct EH. What about you?

AND WHATNOT: Britney’s New Video, Britney’s Biggest Fan’s New Career, and Denim Diapers

Fourfour: “I Wanna Go” video review hakiu
Popbytes: Chris Crocker is doing gay porn now!
Socialite Life: Chris Brown Angers Justin Bieber
TVLine: The Voice Semifinal Results: Did the Right Four Singers Advance to the Finale?
TVLine: Gossip Girl Exclusive: Taylor Momsen and Jessica Szohr Not Returning For Season 5 (how did I miss this?? Vanessa ruins EVERYTHING, even her own presence!)
Reality Blurred: Fox’s MasterChef faked crowd shot
I Am The Arbiter: Collector’s Item (denim diapers)
D-Listed: This Dumb Bitch….

Check Out Justin Bieber’s New Hair


Did you hear the news? Justin Bieber cut his hair! That’s right, the iconic bangs-pocalypse on his forehead is now gone, and in its place is a shaggier, scruffier coif that resembles my very own ‘do when I wake up in the morning (although, based on pillow angle and side-sleeping, my hair does have a tendency to naturally form a faux-hawk on occasion).

Bieber’s new look after the jump…

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