The Sopranos Is Getting Its Own Fan Convention in New Jersey

Getty Images
Getty Images

While San Diego Comic-Con still rules the fandom roost, a number of more specialized conventions attract fans of specific properties. In early October, Chicago's Stranger Con will celebrate Netflix’s Stranger Things; later that month, Supernatural followers will gather in Toronto. And soon, viewers of HBO’s The Sopranos will be able to walk a con floor.

The inaugural SopranosCon to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary is scheduled for November 23 and 24 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. Fans of the series, which ran from 1999 to 2007, will be able to meet and attend panels with cast members like Tony Sirico, who played Paulie Walnuts, and Federico Castelluccio, who portrayed Furio Giunta. Actors Vincent Pastore and David Proval will also be in attendance, as well as a number of supporting performers or guest stars. Only one of them may refuse to sign an autograph: Goldee, the horse who played Pie-O-My.

The convention’s organizers say the event will be “visually inspired” by The Feast of St. Elzéar, which is a street festival depicted in the sixth season episode, "The Ride." Trivia, fan art galleries, and related celebrations of local Italian culture will also be featured.

Tickets are priced from $50 for basic one-day admission to $750 for a VIP experience for two guests that includes an overnight hotel stay and an after-party trip to Satin Dolls, the strip club that stood in for the Bada Bing on the series. A $150 ticket includes a reception with cast members and a meet and greet.

There is no word on whether series creator David Chase might appear, but it's possible his schedule might not allow for it. Chase is currently working on The Many Saints of Newark, a feature film prequel to the show set in 1967 that will feature a young Tony Soprano played by Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini. That film is set for release in September 2020.

[h/t The A.V. Club]

This Course Will Teach You How to Play Guitar Like a Pro for $29

BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images
BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images

Be honest: You’ve watched a YouTube video or two in an attempt to learn how to play a song on the guitar. Whether it was through tabs or simply copying whatever you saw on the screen, the fun always ends when friends start throwing out requests for songs you have no idea how to play. So how about you actually learn how to play guitar for real this time?

It’s now possible to learn guitar from home with the Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle, which is currently on sale for $29. Grab that Gibson, Fender, or whatever you have handy, and learn to strum rhythms from scratch.

The strumming course will teach you how to count beats and rests to turn your hands and fingers into the perfect accompaniment for your own voice or other musicians. Then, you can take things a step further and learn advanced jamming and soloing to riff anytime, anywhere. This course will teach you to improvise across various chords and progressions so you can jump into any jam with something original. You’ll also have the chance to dive deep into the major guitar genres of bluegrass, blues, and jazz. Lessons in jam etiquette, genre history, and how to read music will separate you from a novice player.

This bundle also includes courses in ear training so you can properly identify any relative note, interval, or pitch. That way, you can play along with any song when it comes on, or even understand how to modify it into the key you’d prefer. And when the time comes to perform, be prepared with skilled hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends, trills, vibrato, and fret-tapping. Not only will you learn the basic foundations of guitar, you’ll ultimately be able to develop your own style with the help of these lessons.

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle is discounted for a limited time. Act on this $29 offer now to work on those fingertip calluses and play like a pro.


The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle - $29

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How the Trapper Keeper Trapped the Hearts of '80s and '90s Kids

Courtesy of Cinzia Reale-Castello
Courtesy of Cinzia Reale-Castello

No matter when or where you grew up, back-to-school shopping typically revolved around two things: clothing and school supplies. And if you’re an adult of a certain age, you probably had a Trapper Keeper on that latter list of must-buy items.

Like the stickers, skins, and cases that adorn your smartphones and laptops today, Trapper Keepers were a way for kids to express their individual personalities. The three-ring binders dominated classrooms in the '80s and '90s, and featured a vast array of designs—from colorful Lisa Frank illustrations to photos of cool cars and popular celebrities—that allowed kids to customize their organizational tools. 

In this episode of "Throwback," we're ripping open the Velcro cover and digging into the history of the Trapper Keeper. You can watch the full episode below.

Be sure to head here and subscribe so you don't miss an episode of "Throwback," where we explore the fascinating stories behind some of the greatest toys and trends from your childhood.