Review: Belly – IMMIGRANT

Belly - Immigrant

Belly is a Canadian rapper with Palestinian-Jordanian ancestry. Hoping to escape violence and poverty, his family immigrated to Ottawa, Canada when he was a boy. It was during this phase of his life that he learned how to sell drugs, and live with the challenges of being a Muslim in a primarily non-Muslim country. On IMMIGRANT, Belly tells this story with the help of some top-rated producers, such as TRAKGIRL, Ben Billions, Metroboomin, and Southside who deliver the catchy beats as he captivates listeners with his thought-provoking lyrics.

Anberlin Announce New Show

Anberlin have announced a show with Underoath in December. Their website has also been updated.

I’m honestly shocked. I remember reading this and everything else the band said when they did their final tour, and thinking they’d be one of the bands to never come back:

Honestly, we as Anberlin will never play another show. It would have to be such grandiose circumstances to change that, somebody sick, or something that’s just overwhelming that we couldn’t say no to. But I think it would take away from the legacy that we built, or tried to build anyway, as Anberlin, and I think it would take away from these shows if we were like “2018 we’re going to do a reunion!”

I think it’s kinda funny in hindsight that he mentioned 2018 specifically. Still, bring on more Anberlin! Guess it’s time to break out that discography again.

Update: Here’s a quote from the Underoath press release about this show:

“We’ve been playing shows in the Tampa area with Anberlin since we were basically kids,” Underoath said.”We knew them coming back to play this hometown show with us was a big ask — but it just felt right. We have said we couldn’t be more pumped to close out the ‘Erase Me’ tour with this show in our hometown. But we’ve been proven wrong.”

“All the Anberlin dudes reconnected over this last year, hung on the beach together, and then, when we got asked to play this show with Underoath, in our hometown, the answer was ‘yeah!,'” said Anberlin drummer Nathan Young. “I mean why wouldn’t we do that? Life is short and we should almost always say ‘yes’ to rad stuff. Plus, we’ve been homies with Underoath for 15-plus years. [Guitarist] Tim [McTague] is my brother-in-law and we’ve never played a proper show together. It’s just way overdue.”

How Playing Music Benefits Your Life

Mike Duffy, writing at Fender:

The research found that the guitar players of today are more diverse than ever before. Women continue to define the emerging guitar market, accounting for 50 percent of all beginner and aspirational players – begging the question, is the future of guitar female? The growing diversity of players expands beyond gender, as well. Both African-American and Hispanic consumers now represent a significant and growing share of new players: African-Americans account for 19 percent of aspirational players, while Latin players make up 25 percent of beginners.

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Review: A Star is Born Soundtrack

A Star is Born Soundtrack

On the music for A Star is Born, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s on-camera chemistry translates brilliantly onto the charismatic and charming soundtrack. The album opens up with an intro of a band tuning up and quickly blends into “Black Eyes,” that features Bradley Cooper on lead vocals in a bluesy rock track that shows off his impressive vocal delivery. The track itself was co-written by Cooper and Lukas Nelson and is an excellent way to start the soundtrack.

One major disclaimer about this album is that it is interspersed with movie dialogue throughout, which was a bit of a turn off for me. Some may like remembering these key scenes of dialogue from the film, but on an album that has 34 tracks, I found it a bit distracting from the songs themselves.

An Oral History of the Stone Pony

Nick Corasaniti, writing at The New York Times:

Since it opened in 1974, the club, the Stone Pony, has been the beating heart of Asbury Park, a beacon for musicians and fans alike. But its survival, much like that of its host city, has been a constant battle, a story of resilience and revival, of sold-out shows and shuttered windows.

Here is the renowned club’s history, as told by the owners, musicians, staff and fans who have called its dark black interior and low-slung stage home.