August 11, 2014 Alright, it's time to be honest with ourselves - music is distracting. If you're still in denial about this, then you're probably still finishing that report that was due 3 weeks ago. When it comes to listening to music, you must pick and choose your battles. For me, I know that when I write and listen to music simultaneously, the only words that will fill my page are the lyrics of the song. So instead, I listen to my music as often as I can in environments where multi-tasking is possible and productivity is increased by my "tuneage." Working Out (shower) The first one, well two since they go together, is the ever-daunting workout followed by a relaxing shower. See, I could go to the gym without music in my ear, but then I would be surrounded by a symphony of unpleasant grunts and misplaced sex noises. Now with music, my workout suddenly inhabits a state of clarity where the motivational lyrics of my favorite musicians give me new motivation to conquer the last mile. Finally, music in your post-workout shower will change your life. Not only can you sing along to your favorite artist with out relentless humiliation, but you get to clean yourself in the process! Chores There isn't anything I hate more than sweeping the living room and doing dishes to the noise of obnoxious neighbors or blaring sirens. But as soon as I turn on Marvin Gaye and get in a state of soul filled OCD, all of the sudden the sinks empty and my floor's cleaner than a Pine Sol commercial. Repetitive Tasks At some point or another, you will be working a job that requires you to do mindless repetitive task, and you will lose your head unless you find something, anything, to make it bearable. Music! Insert your earbuds, blast your newest jam, and that repetitive, boring, devilish, unbearable task will suddenly be less cumbersome, and you may even find yourself working at double the rate. Cooking The only thing sweeter than the aromas of a delicious meal, is when its accompanied by the multiplatinum EDM artist Skrillex. Ok, well maybe not Skrillex, but music can definitely enhance the quality of the cooking and dining experience. The orchestral vibrations of Bach's Fifth Symphony can set the mood for a romantic evening, or maybe even inspire the extra dash of Tapatio you've been holding off on all these years. Music creates adventure, and with cooking that is never (sometimes) a bad thing. Travel The older we get, the more time we spend alone. Whether it be waiting in stop-and-go traffic or simply skateboarding to class, the world can be a lonely place. But it doesn't have to be! Taking the time to pick a song that fits your mood, can cut the perceived travel time in half - what felt like four hours before, now only feels like four minutes. Even if it isn't actually more productive, it at least feels a like less of a waste of time. By: Ben Slavich
July 16, 2014 Now that it's midsummer and the semi-annual sales are flooding the retail stores, you may want to enjoy the remainder of July before fall hits.
July 9, 2014 It's natural to take pity on the lone stranger who dines out or goes to the movies alone, but why? A solo outing isn't a proclamation to the world that you don't have anyone to accompany you. The thought of attending an event in public, by yourself might make you feel like an outcast on social display, but it's not the case. When it comes to concerts, I, for one, know I'd rather endure the imagined scrutiny of my fellow concert-goers than miss a great show or an artist I'd been dying to see. In fact, I've been to several shows by myself because, as a journalist, sometimes that's just the nature of the job. And guess what? The world kept spinning. Here are some reasons to consider catching a concert without a plus-one. The devil is always in the details, which suggests there is a correlation between positive experience and proximity to the stage: the closer you are, the more you see (if you're willing to be jostled a bit by your neighbors). It's much easier to finagle your way to the front when you're only maneuvering one body, and people seem to notice less, too. The chain-gang, let's-all-hold-hands-and-snake-through strategy never works out well, and you can do a lot better by yourself You're not bogged down by social obligations, like taking the perfect Instagram photograph with all your friends that prove you all went and saw that awesome band. Unless you're the confident type, you probably won't draw attention to yourself by taking a selfie at the event to prove you went solo. You also don't have to sacrifice the real estate you claimed in the front row to accompany your friend to the bathroom, the bar, etc. People watching. As though those two words aren't self-explanatory enough, there is an eerie joy in being the unseen observer. It can be pretty fascinating to note the age and gender demographic the musician draws, and whether they pull from strictly the hipster crowd or if they have fans that also listen to One Direction. Or, if you're weird like me, you can gawk at the hip piercings, tattoos and hairstyles or count the number of obscure, thrift-shop printed button-ups you see. None of it is ever quite noticeable until you're killing time before a show Airplane-syndrome. Just like when you're hurtling at approximately 500 mph at 35,000 feet above sea level, at a concert, you're trapped in a room for a finite amount of time with people you're in all likelihood never going to see ever again. It's the perfect time to bust out that embarrassing dance move or sport that outfit you aren't sure you can pull off. Being by yourself can be therapeutic. We all listen to music and go to shows to unwind, so why not use a concert as your personal form of meditation? The show is more personal. When you see a performer with a friend, the experience is split between your connection with the musician and with your companion. You exchange glances when the artist plays their mega-hit or whisper criticisms about the performance and nod along when your friend qualifies. Alone, you only rely on your own influence. You don't need to be a writer to jot down your opinion later. You might be surprised at your discovery. Don't sweat it if you get to the venue and you feel a burning need for social interaction. You already have one thing in common with every single person in the room: you're all there for the same reason. By: Alexa Girkout
June 27, 2014 As luck would have it, 2014 has been the year for Erik Hassle to move alongside some of music’s most fascinating up-and-comers. Prior to joining breakout Danish artist Mø on a sold-out North American tour, the Swedish born singer-songwriter released his EP Somebody’s Party in February of this year, which included guest appearances by 2014 XXL freshman class’s Vic Mensa as well as rising R&B starlet Tinashe. For Hassle, whose past writing credits include the Shakira and Rihanna collaboration “Cant Remember To Forget You,” his EP marked a re-introduction to the world and a readiness to make it out on his own. Already surrounded by great company, Hassle is only getting started. On Somebody’s Party, the track “Talk About It,” featuring Mensa, is an eerily recanting R&B ballad filled with dramatic vocals billowing forth from a sparse electronic arrangement. The song, detailing a problematic relationship sustained by one partner’s secretive suffering, is telling of Hassle’s talent for fusing narrative with a penchant for what constitutes the right amount of production, the basic formula to giving any song its real wings. From Somebody’s Party, one derives Hassle’s style is fashionably lean and smooth, geared towards and equally attuned to both R&B and pop. With his producing intuition and the fact that his vocal versatility alone could hold an audience, it’s almost as if he’s Timbaland and Justin Timberlake in one observing, hip package. We recently caught up with Hassle in Los Angeles after he wrapped his tour with Mø. Watch our interview above, where we discuss songwriting and Somebody’s Party, and stay tuned for more updates on his album.
May 13, 2020 Now is a better time than ever to rediscover a classic or binge-watch a new favorite.
Author: Maxamillion Polo
October 22, 2013 Contrary to popular belief, there's a lot more to veganism than shopping at Whole Foods and swapping your clothes and dairy out for hemp alternatives. And no, not all vegans are hippies by nature either. According to the animal rights organization peta2, a vegan saves the lives of more than 100 animals every year from life on a factory farm and slaughter. Well, that's preeetty cool, but we were curious to know what it's like to actually live and breathe veganism. So we asked one of our favorite vegan musicians out there - AFI's Davey Havok. Just this year, Davey appeared in a widespread peta2 campaign and created a vegan shoeline with his clothing brand, Zu Boutique - proving that vegans can be fashionable and bona-fide rockstars to boot (no pun intended..?) We caught Davey just as he arrived back in town from London to promote AFI's new album, Burials, which dropped today. Catch our interview with him below! You're currently on tour with AFI and promoting your new album, Burials. Your schedule must get insane with recording and touring - what's the most difficult part about being a full-time vegan/jet-setting music artist? Davey Havok: Not too much difficult parts; there aren't many and they're easy to overcome. Unfortunately the diet is relatively expensive if you're not cooking for yourself. The social aspect can be hard if you don't have a peer group who eat like you. Which I'm lucky in that I do - I have peer circle that is strongly, strongly vegan and vegetarian. My tour manager is vegan, my bass player is vegan as are many of my friends. Jade is a vegetarian. There are some occasions where I step outside of my social circle and I'm eating with people who are participating in mainstream diets and I'm eating in a mainstream-eating establishment. Usually I eat before I go out and eat with those people, because in some instances there isn't anything you can eat. But these days it's less common to find a place that won't serve you something. If I can't eat beforehand, then I have to reconcile myself to not eating in that situation, and just participating on the social level and not the consumption level. Was there a particular moment that impacted your choice to become vegan? I was a vegetarian for two years before taking the step into veganism. It truly was the straight edge and hardcore scene that influenced me to be a vegetarian in the first place and that educated me in health and animal rights, and it was the same community that led me to veganism by education. There was actually a book I read called Diet For A New America by Dr. John Robbins and it was immediately thereafter that I decided to make the change. What cities and vegan restaurant joints do you look forward to the most on the road in the U.S.? There's a great spot in San Francisco called Millennium that's one of my favorites. In New York, there's a place called Candle 79 on the Upper East Side: I would fly to New York just to eat there. And unfortunately on tour, sometimes you just don't have the time even if you're in the city and you're right next door. There's a spot I really want to eat in Philly called Veg. You also seem like a globe-trotter even while you're not on tour. What are the most accommodating places in the world to eat as a vegan? Canada accommodates pretty well, there's Le Commensal, a buffet style vegan/vegetarian restaurant that's predominantly vegan. Canada's been on it for a while, but England - not so much, which is ironic because veganism first started in England. Japan is less difficult than it used to be but Europe still is. Any fond moments while abroad? In Antwerp there is a really quaint vegan spot with a photo of Moby on the wall and a paper mâché cow hanging from the ceiling and a wonderful woman who spoke 7 languages running it. She was really kind, great food - I unfortunately don't know what it's called but it's the one vegan restaurant in Antwerp. I remember having a phenomenal tiramisu there. So do you cook? No cooking - even though cooking really will decimate the cost of eating vegan. I don't have the ability. What if you were going to a potluck - what dish would you bring? I would probably have my friend's girlfriend make something for me - what she would make would really be up to her - she's vegan.
January 25, 2014 Beyond a curtained-off tier at the House of Blues Los Angeles, Lorde, Rihanna, and Katy Perry gathered on Friday evening to mingle and mug for photos at RocNation's pre-Grammy party.
February 18, 2014 Sometimes, the ordinary becomes extraordinary when you learn the history behind a place.