So, I've Been Trying New Things....

Aside from writing awesome reviews, interviews, blogs, and other stuff for ACRN, I recently became apart of the video staff. I help in just about any way possible filming video for a new section out of called Guest List, where we (the staff crew) shoot as bands put on an exclusive performance just for us (the music lovers)!

Below is the finished product of the first Guest List I did. I was the boom operator (first time, and mastered it.. somewhat LOL). Not to toot my own horn, but I've never done anything video-wise, and being a boom operator was a lot of work!

*In all seriousness, all I did was hold the microphone and made sure it wasn't in sight of the camera's view.*

But, I also got to meet some cool people, artists who I wouldn't give a chance at first sight, but put out very good music.

So I want to show you ACRN's Guest List: Skeletonwitch (for more photos, background info on the band, and such, click here)!

Guest List Episode 5: Skeletonwitch from on Vimeo.

Lil' Wayne's Rebirth - My Take (from

Word was I was too soft on Weezy F. Baby. I still ripped him though in this review of his latest album Rebirth. Enjoy below! (And check out for more reviews, features, and videos!):

Lil Wayne:Rebirth
[Cash Money Records; 2010]
Rating: 4/10
By Star Watson
February 4, 2010
Lil Wayne’s new album Rebirth has the potential to be a joke (or at least unreal) to the hip-hop community, as well as a smack in the face to the rock genre he tries to replicate.
The sound of this album ranges between the '80s electro-pop movement and late '90s to early '00s nu-metal alternative music, which isn’t necessarily the prime of the rock genre. Lil Wayne’s autotune-powered screaming sounds entirely too much like Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, and his lyrics sound like he ripped them from the debut Linkin Park album Hybrid Theory.
In “Ground Zero,” Wayne’s hook resembles the darkness of late '90s nu-metal and rap-metal bands: “Let’s jump out the window / Let’s jump off a building, baby.” In the hook's delivery (which sounds like it was done over the phone), Wayne totally jacks the style Linkin Park had in its prime. It’s deep, like a lot of his lyrical content, but the delivery has been done before.
The verses he drops are lackluster, and definitely not represent the lyricism that won him a Grammy in 2009. His typical freestyle lyricism is still there, but it’s nowhere near the quality his fans have heard in previous albums.

It’s difficult to spot Weezy's wordplay on many tracks. Not to say that his flow sounds better on a rap album, but his sing-song delivery for this rock sound doesn’t work as well. It’s almost like hearing a poet who may have written a nice poem, but decides to sing their lyrics. Instead of giving the people his idea the way it should be (in rap form), Lil Wayne’s lyrics are drowned out by synthetic singing.
He does bring some positive and creative additions to his Rebirth sound. Although he sounds just like various nu-metal bands, Wayne manages to make the content more explicit than those guys. And it’s not only with the F-bombs he drops in “Drop the World" -- he also comes with straightforward content. For example, in “American Star,” he’s a self-proclaimed drug dealer turned rocker.
No, really. “I’m a dope boy with a guitar” is the song's hook.
Although the rock star look is hot in the ‘hood, the sound, especially that heard on Rebirth, will be seen as a joke to his fans in the hip-hop community and the rock community. The bottom line: Lil Wayne’s Rebirth swagger-jacks Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory. Maybe Weezy needs to go back in the womb and be born again, next time with something different to show.

Photo credit:

Corrine Bailey Rae: In Review (from ACRN)

From, my review of Corrine Bailey Rae's new album. Enjoy!

Corinne Bailey Rae:The Sea
[EMI Records; 2010] 
Rating: 8/10 
By Star Watson, Staff Writer
January 30, 2010
Key Tracks: "I'd Do It All Again," "I Would Like to Call It Beauty"
Corinne Bailey Rae stepped onto the scene in 2006 with one of the most feel-good singles of the decade. “Put Your Records On” not only got her nominated for a Grammy, but she also won the hearts of millions with her spirited vocals and uplifting music. Her entire album, Corinne Bailey Rae, gave people just what they needed: a sense of love, longing, belief and pleasure.
Her latest, The Sea, is definitely not that kind of album.
This album is much darker and more somber than her previous work, likely because of the death of her husband, saxophonist Jason Rae, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2008. The whole album feels like a beautiful funeral.
In “I Would Like to Call It Beauty,” she starts off with: “So young for death / We walk in shoes too big / But you play it like a poet / Like you always did.” This song seems like a letter she writes to him, as she uses words like “you” and “we.”
A similar song is her first released single for this album, “I’d Do It All Again.” On this track, she sings about not regretting what she said in a fight with her husband because she would never leave him. The song is about a love that is often bruised but never broken. A song claiming that love is never perfect, but she’ll always be with him – no regrets.
She does shine a little hope on her loss, but it comes in a very gloomy way. In “Love’s On Its Way,” she is inadvertently telling herself that everything, despite her loss, will be okay. She says in the second verse, “When the day comes / I wanna be able to say / That I did more than pray / … But did more than sulking, singing, and writing… I hope it’s not too late.” The first verse does include broader social issues, but the last, which is sad yet uplifting, is an inspirational song to the world and especially herself.
Her sound and vocals are greater evidence of the darkness present on this album. Where the beginning of her career saw a feel-good sound,The Sea is far more serious and personal. Her debut single, “Put Your Records On,” is considered a bubbly song for everyone to play. None of the songs on this album are bubbly, and they are not for everyone.
The closest thing to a “bubbly and upbeat” sound on The Sea is “Paris Nights New York Mornings,” which still doesn’t quite reach everyone as it praises living as a young adult and not caring about life’s responsibilities. Her vocals in “Put Your Record On” were strong, happy and confident to the point where she almost shouted her lyrics. Throughout this album, her vocals are rather airy, soft and almost depressing.
Still, she continues to lift spirits through her beautifully written words. Those words ultimately succeed in peeking through her sad soppiness. It’s a different kind of beauty than that of her first album, but beauty nonetheless. Corinne Bailey Rae can certainly bring something wonderful out of loss, but has displayed a completely different persona than what fans know her to be in the process.