In 1985, Tina Turner sang “We Don’t Need Another Hero.”
In 2021, maybe we do?
Asbury Park hip-hop stalwart Bulletproof Belv assumes a hero’s stance on his new album, “A Hero’s Pain.” It’s 13 tracks bearing witness to the travails of standing tall in a time of cheap villainy, as seen through the lens of a post-pandemic world.
It shouldn’t be a world of what have you done for me lately, Belv says. It should be a world of what have you done.
Guitar arpeggio chords sets off “Seen What I Seen,” which documents the hero’s experiences.
“If you get shot, that’s what you get,” Belv rhymes. “You get what you get and you better be prepared.”
Bulletproof Belv, aka James Anderson of Asbury Park, was shot along with his brother on his Bangs Avenue porch in 2010.
“So Much Pain” is about carrying a burden but carrying forth: “I was raised in the trenches, I was born to last.”
But if you’re “Quick to Hate,” you’ll be slow to love.
Belv takes a victory lap on the uptempo “Hood Hero”: “I made it out of the hood, I’m a hood hero.”
Hey, remember to have a good time, though. “Catchin’ Vibes” is an appealing party flow with a Caribbean flavor. Keep on looking for those better days, Belv says on the song.
The tracks are produced by South Banks, Loon, Trapo Cheese and Matty Carlock. The grooves are definitely not made of clay. Belv delivers the word, sometimes with a straight up rhyme, sometimes in a sing-song with vocoder effects. He’s a hero of cadence and phrasing.
“The ‘hero’ part is always doing the right thing, no matter now many times people cross you, no matter how many times they weren’t loyal to you,” Belv said. “You got to take the pain, and you could respond back in turn with something worst. But instead, I don’t.”
Bulletproof Belv, “A Hero’s Pain,” instagram.com/bulletproof_belv
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Bob Dylan birthday celebration
Happy birthday, Bob Dylan. The Bard turns 80 on Monday, May 24. How does the Jersey Shore celebrate Dylan’s birthday? With the annual BobFest, featuring Pat Guadagno and Tired Horses. There’s two shows this year on Sunday, May 23, at the Vogel inside the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank.
How does it feel to turn 80? Like a Rolling Stone …
BobFest: A Musical Celebration of Bob Dylan’s 80th Birthday with Pat Guadagno and Tired Horses, 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 23, Vogel at the Count Basie Center for the Arts, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank. $49.50. thebasie.org.
Irving Plaza returning
Irving Plaza, the 1,200 capacity New York City venue that’s hosted Paul McCartney, Joe Strummer, Nas and more since the late ’70s, is set to reopen after a multi-million dollar renovation.
Country star Ashley McBryde will have the honors on Aug. 17. Upcoming shows include Colter Wall, Sept. 11; Ben Folds, Sept. 12; the Struts, Oct .8; Lotus, Oct. 15; Kevin Gates, Oct. 15; Armor for Sleep, Nov. 5; Jesse McCartney, Nov. 15; and the Lemonheads on Nov. 23.
Visit www.mercuryeastpresents.com/irvingplaza for the complete lineup.
“We are excited to reveal our grand reopening series of shows and look forward to reopening our doors and bringing live music back to New York City. It will be great to finally be able to reconnect music fans with their favorite artists, especially here in this beautifully restored room,” said Geoff Gordon, Regional President, Live Nation, in a statement. “Irving Plaza is filled with incredible music memories and these spectacular renovations will allow us to host even more amazing concerts.”
Live Nation operates the venue. Upgrades include improved sightlines, state-of-the-art sound and lights, enhanced wi-fi, VIP lounge with private bar, and balcony level boxes, according to a news release.
No word yet on capacity limits, mask mandates, or if attendees will need vaccination cards to enter the upcoming shows.
“Any updates will be shared on our website and directly with ticket holders with information needed to plan a visit to Irving Plaza, including the latest policies and procedures to know before entering the venue in accordance with guidelines from local health and public safety officials,” said a Live Nation rep via email to the USA Today Network.
Visit livenation.com for more info.
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Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers entertainment and features for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; firstname.lastname@example.org.