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Arts & Entertainment

Three useful music apps that aren’t Spotify

Unlike music lovers of yore, today’s college students no longer have to rely on friends’ mixtapes, word-of-mouth or the radio to find new music, local concerts and other ways of filling their need for music. Instead of shelling out 99 cents a song, like when iTunes was in vogue, or, more often, illegally downloading, many users are turning to streaming services like Spotify, which offers a 50 percent student discount to college students. With the unveiling of Apple Music in June, it’s clear that subscription streaming services have won the lion’s share of music industry.

Even as these streaming services have saturated the market and saddled students (and consumers) with the tyranny of choice, there are still more apps and websites being introduced to help you on your quest to musical nirvana. In order to help you sort through all the chaos and bad user interfaces, we profiled three non-streaming music applications that are worth checking out.

Bandsintown (iPhone, Android, Web)

bandsintown screen.jpg

As an app and website, Bandsintown can help you track your favorite artists and let you know when they’re in town. If you load your music preferences from various music services including Spotify and Soundcloud, it will also suggest new local music shows that you may like. Although I primarily find out about the shows I’d like to see via the (optional) weekly email blast Bandsintown can send, their mobile app uses your location to suggest nearby shows, which came in handy when I was traveling in Europe this summer and located a Jacques Greene concert during my stay in Paris.

Songkick (iPhone, Android, Web)


Although considered a concert-tracking app fairly similar in nature to Bandsintown, Songkick also offers in-app ticket purchases and an in-app calendar of all the shows. Their website is better supported than Bandsintown’s, which annoyingly redirects you to Facebook for authentication. Additionally, if you’re like me and would rather not share your music preferences with your friends, Songkick’s ability to sign up sans Facebook email makes it the perfect option for people who prefer to keep their listening habits discreet.

Jukely (iPhone, Android, Web)


Though less of an app and more of a subscription service, Jukely, which recently began its pilot program in Los Angeles, is well worth the $25 a month it offers for unlimited concerts in various cities. If you’re the kind of person who goes to at least two shows a month, you’ll get your money’s worth by attending at least two Jukely-linked concerts or shows. Although most artists are local and probably new to you, big names can be found as well. Jukely stresses the importance of being open to listening to new artists, since the limited tickets for the larger names, such as, most recently Zedd and Disclosure, are obviously much sought after.

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Arts & Entertainment

HashItOut: Episode 2

Digital Managing Editor Eldrin Masangkay and Social Media Director Francesca Manto are back again to discuss 3 trending hashtags from this past week. This week we talk about #StephGonnaSteph, #BadInventions and #Being13 This is a great listen for NBA Warriors fans or for those who just want to remember their early teen years. Take a break from studying and enjoy.

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Arts & Entertainment

Hiatus Kaiyote brings its neo-soul to the El Rey Theatre

Neo-soul has returned with a futuristic twist and Hiatus Kaiyote is leading the movement.

Hiatus Kaiyote, a quartet from Melbourne, Australia, played two sold-out shows in Los Angeles this past weekend as part of its world tour for its new album, “Choose Your Weapon.” To make matters more exciting, the group chose the El Rey Theatre, a decently sized venue lined with red carpet – yes, even on the walls – and intricate glass chandeliers.

The act, well known for bringing back neo-soul from the late 1990s, includes vocalist and guitarist Nai Palm and band members Paul Bender, Simon Mavin and Perrin Moss.

It’s been two years since Hiatus Kaiyote released an album, and “Choose Your Weapon” has come as a gift to all of us. Its 2013 album, “Tawk Tomahawk,” is what caught my eye, but the new album seems to pave the way for a new style of funky rhythmic shifts with hints of punk rock instrumentals.

In the midst of a trendy crowd, all dressed in forms of vintage fringe and New Member jackets, Knxwledge opened up the show with hip-hop remixes of tracks by Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre. You heard that right. Knxwledge, the opener for this year’s Bruin Bash that wasn’t too well received, opened for Hiatus Kaiyote.

I laughed to myself at the coincidence and couldn’t help but roll my eyes in memory of how poorly the crowd received his opening act. This crowd seemed to agree as they responded with some side conversations and yawns. Queen Magic, another opener, took over to perform some of his songs that have been trending on Soundcloud. The crowd loved Queen Magic, especially when he brought out an interpretive dancer for his last song. It was unexpected and that’s exactly what the crowd needed.

After almost two hours of openers and a pair of numb feet, the crowd was greeted by Hiatus Kaiyote with “Choose Your Weapon,” enticing the crowd with the band’s idiosyncratic keyboard drift and gritty bass. The song, filled with diverse grooves and electronic additives, sounded like the beginning of a ’90s video game but to many it was a preview of the wild journey the night was about to become.

In between songs, Nai Palm explained that Japanese anime influenced many of her songs, especially “Laputa.” In this particular song, Hiatus Kaiyote demonstrated something nostalgic in that the band brought back the slow easy drifts, a technique the group based its last album off of. The swaying crowd basked in the purple stage lights. For those five minutes, the El Rey seemed to be at peace.

The quartet then switched up the mood with “Breathing Underwater,” a musical tribute to Stevie Wonder, allowing Palm to display her incredibly talented guitar solos. The band flipped the tempo playfully throughout the track, making it easy to spot the shoulder-dancers in the crowd who weren’t familiar with the song.

“Prince Minikid” and “Jekyll,” two songs that spotlight the Afro-beat ballads and intense funk vibes, were recent additions to the lineup. The new songs on this album definitely strayed away from classic neo-soul and distinguished themselves individually with a splash of funky, spooky, orchestral and rhythmic concord.

Hearing “Molasses,” one of the album’s most decorative songs, sent exhilarating chills down my back; it was almost terrifying to feel the bass vibrating in my bones accompanied by Palm’s silky voice. The crowd loved “Molasses” – we attempted to sing along, but quickly realized that we couldn’t keep up with Palm’s next-level voice.

For $40, Hiatus Kaiyote provided an A-plus night to old and new listeners not only with an excellent execution of their musical charisma but also with the group’s humility, as Palm was constantly thanking the crowd. My favorite song “Fingerprints” wasn’t performed, but I guess that’s just another excuse for me to catch them at Hiatus Kaiyote’s next American tour.

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Journalism, the Trading Card Game

As journalists, our trade is stories.

Listen in on a gathering of journalists out to dinner – or more likely out for drinks – and you’re likely to hear sophisticated talk about the advances in data journalism or high-minded conversation about ethical considerations of publication, wedged in between the gallows humor that describes the state of the industry, and how we’ll end up broke and on the streets with only our humanities degrees to keep us warm.

But stay long enough and you’ll get to the real meat.

Here’s an observation for you: In any discussion between journalists given enough time, you’ll start to hear other people’s stories exchanged like Pokémon cards on the third grade open market.

Do you have the one with the lady with quite obvious mental health issues who regularly barnstorms city council meetings? How about the one about the professor publicly ridiculed for his race at a professional event? The one about the recovering Catholic with an autistic son and a gay best friend?

We’re not doctors or lawyers and we don’t have the same sort of rules governing interactions with our sources. The relationship between a subject and a reporter is somewhat more tenuous under the Obama administration, and without thesame privileges. But in any case, how could we not gleefully blab? It’s only a natural qualification of our jobs.

I don’t know when I first realized the profession that I fully intend to pursue in post-collegiate life is inherently immoral.

It might have been when I first talked to a woman who opened up about discrimination she experienced throughout her career. I turned around and made it a lede.

Or it could have been when I had a conversation with a homeless guy from Alaska, snatched a few quotes from him and left him in line at the shelter.

Or maybe it was when I first read Janet Malcolm’s indispensable work on journalism ethics, “The Journalist and the Murderer.” In the first paragraph of the book, she lays it out quite bare and beautifully. “Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible,” she writes.

I was talking to a fellow young aspiring journalist a few weeks ago and asked her why she got into the profession. She answered that she “wanted to tell the stories of people who couldn’t do it themselves.”

It’s a sentiment I might have spouted off a few years ago if you asked me the same question, but I’ve discarded it for the incredibly patronizing reasoning. I believe I’ve come to terms with the fact that I love journalism for the baser reasons of my personality, along with my better angels.

The gossiper that digs up mud on celebrities on TMZ? There but for the grace of God (or Harvey Levin) go I.

The big ego who needs to know things before other people and make sure everyone else knows it. Well there’s a reason why Twitter is mainly popular with celebrities and journalists.

Even the quiet, but relentless ambition. Which I would contend makes me a hungry reporter, but others have chalked up as just being nosy.

The thing is I think I’ve done good work even with this realization, or maybe in small part because of it. I’ve looked into the tamping down of free speech on college campuses, the plight of street-food vendors on Los Angeles sidewalks and even the occasional missing tortoise.

So much for my short-lived efforts to steer clear of shameless self-promotion.

All this is not to say that journalism is a bad field and I hope no one thinks I’m discouraging anyone to get into it – far from it. Being all those things doesn’t preclude you from being honest, brave and, most importantly, compassionate. While the practice of journalism may sometimes be distasteful, its fruits can be quite nourishing.

We need the gossipers, the ambitious and the talented with enormous egos. These are the ones who write brilliantly about the state of healthcare in America using the example of the veteran who can’t get his medication, the ones who risk their lives trying to get the real story out from war zones and the ones who help lead the charge in taking down a corrupt team owner caught with his pants down.

I’m just letting you in on a secret: Journalism – even (or especially) if performed with good intentions – is still just journalism.

But all of this comes from one. So take that with a grain of salt, or better yet, a shot of whiskey.

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