10 Essential Record Store Day Releases

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By Jessica Klinner

Record Store Day has finally arrived. For vinyl lovers, RSD is the equivalent to Christmas Day. Every year artists and bands release special edition albums and singles specifically for Record Store Day. Thanks to Rad Vinyl Records and More, Montgomery now has a resident record store to help local vinyl enthusiasts take full advantage of Record Store Day without having to travel to another city. Take a look at 10 Record Store Day releases that I think are worth checking out this year.

 1. Fun.- Point and Light (10-inch on rainbow splatter vinyl)

The 10-inch rainbow splattered vinyl pressing of Point and Light is a necessity for any Fun fan. It features unreleased demos from their first album, Aim and Ignite. It’s always interesting to hear demos of songs to see how they developed into the album versions. If you’re a fan of Fun, you will not be disappointed by this special release.

 2. Paramore- “Ain’t It Fun”

Paramore’s most recent single, “Ain’t It Fun,” is slowly taking over the airwaves. The special Record Store Day 12-inch vinyl release appears to be a broken record because of the half black and half clear design. Lead singer Hayley Williams designed the unique looking vinyl herself. If you’re familiar with the music video for “Ain’t It Fun,” the broken record design will come as no surprise.

3. Green Day- Demolicious

Demolicious is a collection of 18 demos recorded by Green Day in 2012 while they were recording their Green Day ¡Uno!, Green Day ¡Dos! and Green Day ¡Tres! album trilogy. The release will also include an unreleased track called “State of Shock” and an acoustic version of the song “Stay The Night” from Green Day ¡Uno!. The two-disc set will be available on CD, cassette and clear or red vinyl.

4. Nirvana- “Pennyroyal Tea”/ “I Hate Myself And I Want To Die”  

The 7-inch release features one of the standout songs from Nirvana’s 1993 album, In Utero. The track was supposed to include a grungy B-side called “I Hate Myself And I Want To Die,” but the original release was cancelled after lead singer Kurt Cobain’s death. This month marks the 20th anniversary of Cobain’s death, and this release is a great way to commemorate it.

5. Death Cab For Cutie ft. Magik*Magik Orchestra- Live 2012

This double LP documents Death Cab For Cutie’s 2012 tour with Magik*Magik Orchestra. With hits like “Transatlanticism” and “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” on the track list, it will make you feel like you’re experiencing the concert first hand. This release needs to be at the top of your list of Record Store Day purchases.

6. American Authors/The Mowglis- “In A Big Country”/”You Make My Dreams Come True”

This split 7-inch vinyl features breakout band American Authors and their friends in The Mowglis. The bands took two classic pop songs and put their own spin on them.  The two bands have spent a lot of time together this year on tour so releasing a split vinyl for Record Store Day was an appropriate and smart move.

7. The Ramones- Meltdown with the Ramones

Meltdown with the Ramones was released in 1980 in the U.K. as a promotional-only sampler. For this year’s Record Store Day, it is being released in the U.S. on navy vinyl. This record is essential for any punk rock or Ramones fan.

8. Hank Williams- The Garden Spot Programs 1950 EP

The Garden Spot Programs 1950 EP features previously unreleased performances from country icon, Hank Williams. The special Record Store Day release includes tracks like “Lovesick Blues” and “Mind Your Own Business” from a radio broadcast in the 1950s.  Since Williams was a native of Alabama, you should almost feel obligated to pick up this record.

9. Bastille- Of The Night EP

Bastille’s Of The Night EP, a 10-inch picture disc, features the title track, a live version of their song “Oblivion” from 2013’s Bad Blood and two remixes of “Of The Night.” The U.K. natives have made a name for themselves in the U.S. after the release of their debut album last year. It’s a shame this EP is limited to 2000 pressings because it is sure to be an incredible release.

10. Cage the Elephant- “Take It Or Leave It”/ “Jesse James”

Kentucky rockers Cage The Elephant are releasing a limited edition 7-inch vinyl for Record Store Day. This 7” will include the songs “Take It Or Leave It” and “Jesse James” from the Melophobia sessions. If you can get your hands on one of the 1500 copies being released for Record Store Day, consider yourself very lucky!

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10 Must-See Summer Music Festivals

By Jessica Klinner

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1. Beale Street Music Festival

If you’re looking to attend a music festival that caters to all types of music genres both new and old, look no further than the Beale Street Music Festival. Based out of Memphis, Tennessee, this diverse festival attracts people from all over the country every year. This year marks the 38th anniversary of the festival. Located on the famous Beale Street in Memphis, Tn., this music festival will be an experience you’ll never forget.

When? May 2-4
Where? Memphis, Tdnn
Lineup: Kid Rock, Alabama Shakes, Foster the People, Pretty Lights, Avenged Sevenfold, Snoop Dogg, Fitz & the Tantrums, Third Eye Blind, Juicy J, Grouplove, Blues Traveler, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Twenty One Pilots any many more!

2. Bonnaroo

The Tennessee based music festival Bonnaroo is maybe the closest thing we have to a modern day Woodstock. At Bonnaroo, festivalgoers can choose to stay on site and camp out for the entire four-day festival. This seems to be the way to go if you want to get the full experience of this festival. Not only does the lineup include incredible musicians every year, but also many comedians. This year Ed Helms and SNL’s Taran Killam are among the dozens of comedians who will make appearances over the duration of the weekend.

When? June 12-15
Where? Manchester, Tenn
Lineup: Elton John, Kanye West, Jack White, Lionel Richie, Vampire Weekend, The Avett Brothers, Phoenix, Skrillex, The Arctic Monkeys, Frank Ocean, Wiz Khalifa, Neutral Milk Hotel, Cage the Elephant, Capital Cities, City and Colour, and many more!

3. Vans Warped Tour

This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the Vans Warped Tour, and founder Kevin Lyman and his crew are pulling out all the stops to make sure this summer is the best Warped Tour to date! Since the lineup is being revealed week by week, there are still many more bands to be announced, and the tour already holds some of the biggest names in alternative rock music. Before long, the traveling festival will have scooped up every great alternative band out there to bring along for the summer.

When? June 14- August 3
Where? All over North America
Lineup: Of Mice & Men, The Maine, Anberlin, Bowling for Soup, Every Time I Die, Four Year Strong, Mayday Parade, Saves the Day, The Devil Wears Prada, Yellowcard, and many more!

4. Firefly Music Festival

The Firefly Music Festival is a very different festival experience. Not only does the festival offer the best in popular and upcoming music acts, but also amazing attractions such as the Hammock Hangout, TOMS Style Your Own Sole and the Coffee House. These attractions, an on-site farmers market and a variety of delicious food vendors make for an incredible festival experience you’ll never forget.

When? June 19-22
Where? Dover, Del.
Lineup: Foo Fighters, Outkast, Jack Johnson, The Lumineers, Imagine Dragons, Beck, Young the Giant, Weezer, Arctic Monkeys, Tegan and Sara, Band of Horses, Cash Cash, A Great Big World, Sleeper Agent, John & Jacob and many more!

5. Lollapalooza

Featuring artists and bands from an array of genres, Lollapalooza might have the most diverse lineup of the summer. By doing this, Lollapalooza appeals to all types of music fans. The festival features great music, local food vendors, pop-up shops and a farmers market. If you want to bring along kids, Lollapalooza features a unique experience for parents and children called Kidzapalooza, which is held in a separate part of Grant Park in Chicago.

When? August 1-3
Where? Chicago, Ill.
Lineup: Eminem, Outkast, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Skrillex, Lorde, Foster the People, Krewella, The Avett Brothers, Zedd, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Grouplove, Bombay Bicycle Club, Cage the Elephant, The 1975 and more!

6. Hangout Music Fest

Every year the lineup of the Hangout Music Fest gets bigger and better. This year is no different. With bands like Outkast, The Black Keys and new break out artists The 1975 and Bastille on the list, this year’s lineup might go down as the greatest yet. Ten stages placed around the beach make for a unique and fun festival experience. What’s better than hanging at the beach for three days listening to great music?

When? May 16-18
Where? Gulf Shores, Ala
Lineup: The Black Keys, The Killers, Outkast, Zedd, Conor Oberst, Matt and Kim, Needtobreathe, Bastille, The 1975, Modest Mouse and more!

7. Toadlick Music Festival

The Toadlick Music Festival is a fairly new music festival held on the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds in Dothan, Alabama. In past years, it has attracted thousands of people and featured some of the biggest names in country music. This 3-day festival is one of the most reasonably priced at a flat rate of $99. With the festival only being two hours away, it’s a great way to spend a weekend away from responsibilities.

When? April 24-26
Where? Dothan, Ala
Lineup: The Band Perry, Merle Haggard, Billy Currington, REO Speedwagon, Joe Nichols, Gary Allan, Colt Ford, Gloriana and many more!

8. Counterpoint Music Festival

Counterpoint Music Festival is an outdoor music festival held in Kingston Downs, Ga. This 3-day festival has the best to offer in music, food and activities. Between watching your favorite bands play, there are carnival rides, an arcade and art displays to enjoy. This festival has something for everyone. If you aren’t one for camping, try Counterpoint’s unique style of camping called glamping. This luxurious camping experience is like being in an outdoor hotel room.

When? April 25-27
Where? Kingston Downs, Ga.
Lineup: Outkast, Pretty Lights, Foster the People, Krewella, Janelle Monae, J. Cole, Phantogram, Major Lazer, Chance the Rapper, Moon Taxi and many more!

9. Shaky Knees Festival

The 2nd annual Shaky Knees Festival will be held at Atlantic Station in downtown Atlanta. Unlike other festivals, Shaky Knees features late night performances from several bands on the lineup that take place at music venues throughout the city. It is a unique festival experience because it takes place in the heart of the city of Atlanta. If you’re looking for a new kind of festival experience that doesn’t involve camping and wide-open fields, Shaky Knees is perfect for you!

When? May 9-11
Where? Atlanta, Ga.
Lineup: The National, Modest Mouse, Alabama Shakes, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Dropkick Murphys, Portugal the Man, Jason Isbell, Cage the Elephant, The Gaslight Anthem and many more!

 
10. CMA Fest

Starting in 1972, CMA Fest began as a way for artists and fans to interact in a new way. CMA Fest brings the biggest names in country music both new and old in to one huge festival in Nashville, Tennessee. All proceeds from the festival go to support music education in Metro Nashville Public Schools and other programs through the CMA Foundation’s Keep The Music Playing program. If you’re a big country music fan, this festival needs to be at the top of your list this year and every other year to come!

When? June 5-8
Where? Nashville, Tenn.
Lineup: Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Hunter Hayes, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Rascall Flatts, The Band Perry, Zac Brown Band and more!

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Spring Break Playlists

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By Jessica Klinner

Spring break is finally here! After spending half of the semester freaking out about papers, deadlines and tests, it’s time to relax and unwind for a whole week. For many people, spring break is a week spent taking road trips with friends, beach days and fun nights out. Music is always a huge part of any of those activities. From tan lines to conga lines, here are a few playlists to keep your spring break moving. Enjoy!

Road Trip

  1. Best Day of My Life- American Authors
  2. I Feel Alive- We The Kings
  3. Pompeii- Bastille
  4. Radioactive- Imagine Dragons ft. Kendrick Lamar
  5. Treasure- Bruno Mars
  6. The City- The 1975
  7. Young Volcanoes- Fall Out Boy
  8. Tightrope- Walk The Moon
  9. Ain’t It Fun- Paramore
  10. It’s About Time- Young the Giant

Beach Day

  1. Waves- Sleeper Agent
  2. The Wind- Zac Brown Band
  3. Little Black Submarines- The Black Keys
  4. Happy- Pharrell Williams
  5. Good Times- Cassadee Pope
  6. Kangaroo Court- Capital Cities
  7. Chillin’ It- Cole Swindell
  8. 19 You and Me- Dan + Shay
  9. Give Me Hope- New Politics
  10. Diane Young- Vampire Weekend

Night Life

  1. Wild For The Night- A$AP Rocky, Skrillex, Birdy Nam Nam
  2. Neon Lights-Demi Lovato
  3. Hesher- Wallpaper
  4. m.A.A.d city- Kendrick Lamar
  5. Talk Dirty ft. 2 Chainz- Jason DeRulo
  6. Drunk In Love- Beyonce, Jay Z
  7. Take Back The Night- Justin Timberlake
  8. This Is How We Do- Katy Perry
  9. Holy Grail- Jay Z, Justin Timberlake
  10. Stay The Night- Zedd, Hayley Williams

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10 Vacation Spots Within 6 Hours of Montgomery

By Jessica Klinner

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Spring break is only a few weeks away, and it’s time to figure out how you’ll be spending your week long vacation! While there may not be a lot going on in the city of Montgomery during the break, there are several vacation destinations within a six hour drive of Montgomery that are sure to be a great getaway.

 1. Destin, Fla.

Travel time: 3 hr. 50 min.

Why visit? This beach trip destination is sure to be a perfect choice for a group of friends or family. Instead of sitting on the beach for the day, rent a boat and cruise over to Crab Island. This popular sandbar even has floating food vendors, inflatable slides and trampolines to make the experience more enjoyable. To recover from a day of partying and fun, visit Destin Commons for an evening of shopping or a movie at the IMAX theatre. Another fun attraction to check out in Destin is The Track, a family fun center with a huge go-cart track, arcade and mini golf course.

2. New Orleans, La.

Travel time: 5 hr. 5 min.

Why visit? New Orleans is a classic southern city filled with many historical sites and fun attractions. During the day, explore the French Quarter or take a tour of the many historic houses, plantations and cemeteries in the city. At night, take a walk down Bourbon Street or slip into a cozy jazz bar. Before leaving, you have to stop for beignets and coffee at the world famous Café Du Monde.

3. Nashville, Tenn.

Travel time: 4 hr. 46 min.

Why visit? It’s the home of country music! Walk into a bar on Broadway at any given time during the day and you’ll find a band or solo act performing. The city is alive with music at all times of the day. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame to see how the genre got started and where it stands today. Buy a ticket to the Grand Ole Opry or Ryman Auditorium, and enjoy a night in a historic venue listening to great music. Whether you consider yourself a country music fan or not, Nashville is a great city to visit.

4. Atlanta, Ga.

Travel time: 2 hr. 34 min.

Why visit? With the shortest travel time on the list, Atlanta is already a great place to spend your vacation. This city offers a variety of fun attractions including the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Centennial Park and the CNN Center. Hit TV shows The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries film in and around the Atlanta area, and you can book a tour to see where the action of the shows takes place! After spending the day exploring various areas of the city, take in a nice concert at one of the many music venues.

5. Pensacola Beach, Fla.

Travel time: 3 hr. 9 min.

Why visit? Pensacola is not one of the most talked about beaches in Florida, but it is one of the most beautiful. The quiet, laid back atmosphere of the beaches in Pensacola makes it the perfect choice for a quick vacation. Since it is located on a small island, there is no need to drive anywhere because everything is within walking distance of most hotels and condos. Spend the day on the beach, and dance the night away at Bamboo Willie’s. If you’re not one for dancing or partying, enjoy a nice dinner at The Grand Marlin, and go for a moonlight stroll on the Portofino Boardwalk.

6. Panama City Beach, Fla.

Travel time: 3 hr. 41 min.

Why visit? When you think of spring break in Florida, Panama City is sure to be one of the first places that pops into your mind. In recent years, it has become the go-to beach spot for spring break activities. If you’re into the party scene, the hot spot to check out is Club La Vela especially during spring break. After a few days of partying, wind down with a trip to Pier Park, an open-air mall with a great mix of local shops as well as name brand stores.

7. Gulf Shores, Ala.

Travel time: 3 hr. 38 min.

Why visit? There are so many fun attractions in Gulf Shores that it’s almost impossible to do all of them. Take a dolphin cruise. Try the zipline course at the Gulf State Park. Visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. If you’re more into catching rays than exploring the town, head down to the beach for a day of relaxation. For a nice evening, head down to The Wharf for dinner, shopping and if you’re lucky, maybe there will even be a concert at the amphitheater during your visit.

8. Biloxi, Miss.

Travel time: 3 hr. 52 min.

Why visit? While Biloxi is most commonly associated with its many casinos, the small Mississippi town is actually another historically rich destination. There are several museums worth visiting including the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art. The Biloxi lighthouse is a beautiful landmark on the gulf coast and a wonderful spot to take a picnic lunch and relax for a few hours. After a relaxing afternoon, take a chance and press your luck at one of Biloxi’s fine casinos. If gambling is not your style, buy tickets to a show at one of the hotels instead.

9. Savannah, Ga.

Travel time: 5 hr. 46 min.

Why visit? Savannah, Ga. has been called one of the most beautiful cities in the country and for a good reason. The architecture found in Savannah is beautiful and breathtaking. Take a stroll along the Riverfront Plaza, a nine-block stretch of shops, cafes and restaurants, and feed your southern appetite by dining at Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons.

10. Memphis, Tenn.

Travel time: 5 hr. 37 min.

Why visit? Memphis is a city rich with musical history. Elvis Presley resided here until his death and now his home of Graceland is a famous tourist attraction. While in the city, you must visit Beale Street, a location brimming over with cool clubs and fantastic restaurants. Not too far from Beale Street lies a small recording studio called Sun Studio where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded music. Another must see attraction in Memphis is the National Civil Rights Museum and Lorraine Motel. The museum displays the rich history of the Civil Rights Movement and features a tour of the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took his final breath before being assassinated on the hotel balcony.

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10 Things to Watch on Netflix

By Jessica Klinner

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Netflix: the best tool for procrastination. We all do it. There’s an assignment due tomorrow, but instead of getting it out of the way, we decide to catch up on the latest season of our favorite TV show.  During the cold, winter months, most of our time is spent indoors trying to keep warm, and what better way to spend that time than cuddling up and watching a great movie or TV show on Netflix? Here are a few of my suggestions for what to watch on Netflix when you need to procrastinate or just want to relax.

1. Stuck In Love

Stuck In Love follows the story of an acclaimed writer, his ex-wife and their two teenaged children as they all come to terms with love in its various forms over the course of one year. Each member of the family battles their own personal struggles with love as well as trying to mend their broken home. Starring Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins and Logan Lerman, this film will have you reminiscing about first love and realizing the importance of second chances.

For fans of: The Spectacular Now, Definitely, Maybe and The Perks of Being a Wallflower

2. Parks and Recreation

This hilarious sitcom follows the lives of the workers in Pawnee, Indiana’s Parks and Recreation department. Some of the notable actors and actresses in this series are Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Rashida Jones and Aubrey Plaza. This hilarious cast never ceases to provide an escape form reality for a matter of 30 minutes. Their sharp wit and humor make for a great comedy mockumentary very much like The Office.

For fans of: 30 Rock, The Office and Arrested Development

 3. The Aristocats

One of the greatest things about Netflix is its extensive selection of classic Disney movies. The Aristocats is only one of the few Disney classics on the Netflix roster. Others include Dumbo, Pinnochio, Pocahontas and more! Instead of having to pull our your old VHS tapes and VCR to watch these classics, simply turn to Netflix for your classic Disney fix.

For fans of: Pocahontas, Dumbo and Cinderella

4. Arrested Development

After losing airtime in 2006, Arrested Development returned last year with a brand new season only available to stream on Netflix. The beloved show gained tons of publicity with its long awaited return and gave fans the satisfaction of continuing a story that was left open ended. The show follows the shenanigans of the dysfunctional Bluth family. After his father is imprisoned, level-headed son Michael Bluth tries to hold his family together, but often, his attempts are in vain. Arrested Development provides endless laughs as the Bluth family gets into all sorts of crazy situations.

For fans of: The Office, Community and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

 5. Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive

Aziz Ansari, best known for his role as Tom Haverford on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, steps out in fashion in this stand-up comedy show. On the cusp of turning 30, Ansari delivers an hour full of laughs, covering topics such as babies, love and marriage. If you love Ansari in Parks and Recreation, you’re sure to enjoy his stand-up act. It’s great entertainment after a long, tough day at work or school.

For fans of: Parks and Recreation, Dane Cook and Kevin Hart

 6. House of Cards

This political drama series aired exclusively on Netflix last February. The entire season was available for stream, allowing viewers to watch the show at their own pace. House of Cards introduces us to a new way of watching original content online. It was nominated for nine Emmy Awards and won three of those nominations. House of Cards is a step in a new direction of how consumers will view television series.

For fans of: Scandal, The West Wing and The Newsroom

 7. My Strange Addiction

TLC has a way of creating shows that make you feel a lot better about your quirks and weird antics. My Strange Addiction is certainly no different. The show reveals true stories of people who have a strange addiction. Some examples of cases on the show are eating drywall, pulling hair out of shower drains, having an intimate relationship with a car and sniffing baby powder. It is a show that presents such unbelievable habits that it’s hard to look away or change the channel.

For fans of: Hoarders, My Crazy Obsession and Extreme Couponing

8. Good Ol’ Freda

Freda Kelly was a shy girl living in Liverpool when she was asked to work for a local band aspiring to make it big. Little did she know, the local band was on their way to becoming one of the most legendary bands in history. Good Ol’ Freda tells the story of long time secretary of famous rock and roll band, The Beatles.  In this documentary, Kelly opens up for the first time in 50 years about her experience working for The Beatles. The film features appearances from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and gives an insider perspective of the band that forever changed the shape of music.

For fans of: Salinger, Almost Famous and Nowhere Boy

9. Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks tells the story of two groups of teenagers dealing with the hardships of high school during the 80’s and honestly displays the awkward years between adolescence and adulthood. NBC only aired 12 episodes before cancelling the show in 2000. Eventually, the network released the rest of the first and only season of the hit TV show. Looking back, I’m sure NBC regrets cancelling the show that inevitably launched the careers of acting sensations Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and James Franco.

For fans of: My So-Called Life, That 70s Show and The Inbetweeners

10. The Avengers

This action packed movie was all anyone talked about for months after the release. Featuring the combined efforts of Captain America, Thor, the Hulk and Iron Man, The Avengers makes for one of the best action packed superhero movies of the past decade. The film is based after the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. Prior to the release, each hero’s story had been told in their own movie, making The Avengers a more powerful story than it might have been on its own. The movie created so much buzz that a sequel will be released in 2015.

For fans of: Thor, Captain America and Iron Man

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Top 10 Viral Videos of 2013

By Jessica Klinner

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Nothing unites everyone in the world more than a viral video. They make us laugh. They inspire us. They may even confuse us. These videos are the ones that we all enjoy watching because so many other enjoy watching them as well. At the end of every year I look forward to looking back at the viral videos, and that’s exactly what I’ve done in this list. The 10 videos listed below are only a small sample of viral videos from 2013. I hope you enjoy looking back on them just as I did.

 1. “#Hashtag” with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake

 

Whenever Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake collaborate, they create comedy gold. The “Hashtag” video aired on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and gained immediate attention from audiences. Any Twitter user will find the video hilarious because of its relatability and honest comedy. Fallon and Timberlake carry on a conversation using mostly hashtags. They even created a hand signal to indicate a hashtag while they talked. Anyone familiar with Twitter will die laughing while watching this video.

 2. Jimmy Kimmel Twerk Prank

Twerking: the new dance move on everyone’s radar. In response to this new dance movement, many people filmed themselves twerking to instruct other how to master the art or simply for recreational purposes. One young woman shocked the country when her failed twerk attempt on camera ended with lighting herself on fire. Jaws around the country dropped as they watched the events of the video unfold. Later, it was revealed that the video was actually a hoax, and late night TV show host Jimmy Kimmel was behind the whole thing. The creators of the twerk fail video posted it online without any sort of promotion. It went viral, and currently has over 15 million views. Kimmel said he hoped the video would bring an end to twerking, but it seemed to only spawn more videos of people twerking to get attention.

 3. Screaming Goat 

 

It all started with a Taylor Swift song and slowly spiraled out of control. The notorious screaming goat began appearing in music videos everywhere. While it caught some off guard, others relished in expecting it. It’s most fascinating because goats are not supposed to make a noise that sounds eerily similar to a human scream. It’s funny. It’s strange. Put it in the middle of a music video, and it’s downright entertaining.

 4. Kid President 

Kid President began as a project set forth by the Freed-Hardeman University’s Office of Marketing and University Relations to promote the school’s benefit dinner, and turned into something much bigger. The first viral video featuring Kid President called “A Pep Talk From Kid President to You” currently has over 30 million views. Robby Novak is the 10-year-old comedian behind the Kid President persona. He has created a video series as Kid President urging viewers “to make the world awesome”, “be a party” and “to give the world a reason to dance.” Kids President’s videos challenge us to make the world a better place. He reminds us all of the simple facts we inherently know, but often do not act upon.

 5. Harlem Shake 

 

Dance crazes come and go like the seasons. In 2011, it was LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” In 2012, it was Psy’s “Gangham Style.” 2013 will always be known as the year of the Harlem shake. Everyone from celebrities to students made a Harlem shake video.  The song starts out with a steady beat in which participants act uninterested in the song. After a voice commands to “do the Harlem shake,” everyone erupts into an odd behavior or dance and continues to repeat that same behavior for the rest of the song. It seemed that no outfit was too weird and no behavior too crazy for the Harlem shake videos. Every video consisted of the same things, but that never stopped anyone from watching every version they came across and loving it.

6. Wrecking Ball

 

 

In the words of young Miley Cyrus, she’s just being Miley. It has been years since Cyrus released any new music. After her performance at the VMAs, all eyes were on the former Disney Channel princess turned grown-up artist. When Cyrus released her video for “Wrecking Ball,” everyone had an opinion on it. The controversial video featured Cyrus atop a swinging wrecking ball, unclothed and later, seductively licking a sledgehammer. Many people ruled this video unnecessary, but Cyrus declared it as her artistic representation of the song. Whether positive or negative, the video received tons of attention and that’s really all any artist can ask for.

7. Carlton Dance

 

People grow older and TV shows go off air. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air will always be associated with the famous “Carlton dance.” Early in 2013, Will and Jaden Smith appeared on the BBC’s Graham Norton Show. The two entertained the audience by rapping different songs including the theme song from Fresh Prince, but the real entertainment came when the Smiths invited their friend Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton Banks) to join them onstage. What followed would go down as one of the most memorable moments of the year. The three proceeded to perform the Carlton dance. The viral video filled viewers with nostalgia and joy. Even though Ribeiro will be plagued with being asked to perform that dance wherever he appears, it’s good to know that he still embraces it with a smile on his face.

 8. What Does The Fox Say? by Ylvis

 

Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis created this strange yet catchy tune and rode it to the top. The song sounds like it should be a learning tool for young children learning their animal sounds. The verses are quite normal with a light melody, but when the chorus kicks in, things get weird. The video currently has over 334 million views. It goes to show that strange sells. Throughout the song, several different propositions are made as to what sound a fox makes, but by the end of the video, viewers are still left wondering: what does the fox say?

 9. Coachella Lie Witness News

 

In this video, Jimmy Kimmel sent his crew to Coachella to interview festivalgoers about what bands they were excited to see perform during the weekend. There was a small catch, though. The interviewer made up all of the band names. All of the people being interviewed went along with the fictional band names, saying they were excited or not so stoked to see their set. Sometimes they would even describe the sound of these non-existent bands. Many music fans enjoy knowing about bands that no one has ever heard of so this prank was perfect for such a big festival as Coachella. Even though none of the bands existed, it didn’t stop people from pretending to know them.

 10. Prancercise

 

This video features a woman performing a very unique way of exercising called prancercise. The term is defined as “a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward,similar to a horse’s gait and ideally induced by elation.” If you’ve seen the video, this definition will make perfect sense. Joanna Rohrback, the creator of this innovative new workout, posted the video in December of 2012. It sat on the Internet unnoticed until May 2013 when it went viral. The video was so popular that John Mayer featured Rohrback performing a new version of prancercise she named “romancercise” for a lyric video of his song “Paper Doll.” Currently, the video has over 9 million views.

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10 Gifts on a Budget

By Jessica Klinner

gifts

As if the year hasn’t flown by quick enough, it’s now time to start thinking about holiday gifts. New gadgets and gaming consoles often top wish lists and while they’re fun to receive, they’re not as fun to give, especially if you’re on a budget. Instead of giving a gift card or money as an alternative, try stepping outside the box and giving something a little more personal. Listed below are a few ideas for giving personalized gifts without having to spend a fortune.

1. Cards Against Humanity

“Cards Against Humanity” is a new party game that is taking the country by storm. It’s basically “Apples to Apples” for adults. The rules are simple: Each player draws ten white cards. One player is selected to be the Card Czar and plays a black card. The remaining players pick out a white card that completes the sentence or phrase on the black card. Once all the cards have been submitted, the Card Czar picks his/her favorite one. The player whose card is selected wins the round. It’s a great gift to give a friend or family member who has a great sense of humor and likes to have fun. The card game can be purchased or downloaded for free on the company’s website.

2. Magazine Subscription

Instead of buying someone a gift that might be used once and never looked at again, buy them a subscription to their favorite magazine. A magazine subscription is the gift that keeps on giving all year long. They’ll receive a new issue once a month for a whole year without having to pay a dime. For the sports lover, get “Sports Illustrated.” For the music lover, a subscription to “Rolling Stone” will be perfect. Most subscriptions cost no more than $20. So many specialized magazines exist today that it will be easy to find the perfect fit for everyone on your holiday shopping list!

 3. Movie Night Basket

Not everyone has the time or money to go see a movie when it’s in theaters. One of the best gifts you can give during the holidays is a personalized movie night basket. Buy a basket or bucket to fill with candy, popcorn, and a few great movies or just one of the best new releases. Try to personalize the basket by finding out the person’s favorite candy and a few movies they love that they may not already own. The recipient of this gift will love the thought put into the gift more than a fancy new gadget or gift card.

4. Make a Scarf

Instead of buying an expensive scarf at a small boutique, grab a crochet hook and make one yourself. While this may not save you time, it will surely save you money. Go to the nearest craft store to buy supplies like yarn and a “How To” book and you’ll be ready to go. A handmade gift shows how much time and effort you put into making it and will impress anyone who receives the gift.

 5. Quote Jar

Many people enjoy buying daily calendars with tear away pages containing inspirational quotes or funny jokes. This year, instead of buying a calendar, make your own motivational quote jar. Jars can be purchased almost anywhere, but the best place to get them would be a craft store. Print out as many quotes as you see fit, and place them into the jar. Try to pick out quotes that are special to you or pertain to a certain memory with the person who will receive the gift. Tie a colorful ribbon around the jar for a hint of decoration. This will be a wonderful gift to give to both friends and family. As they read the quotes throughout the year, they’ll be reminded of you.

 6. iTunes gift card

While this may fall under the category of impersonal gifts, iTunes cards are a great gift for the people on your list who are hard to buy for. The cards can be purchased at varying prices depending on how much you’re willing to spend. Not only can music be bought with the card, but also movies, music videos, TV shows and audiobooks. It’s a surefire way to please even the most difficult to buy for person on your list.

7. Personalized gifts

Have you had professional pictures taken lately? Or maybe there is a family photo that you just love? Why not put those pictures on a mug, t-shirt or iPhone case? Websites like Snapfish and Shutterfly allow you to print your own personal pictures on several different items. One of the more popular selections on these websites is the option to create a photo book. Basically, this allows you to create a scrapbook without having to spend days or weeks making it. The prices are very reasonable, and the quality is great. This will be the perfect gift to commemorate a special event or chronicle a year in your life.

 8. Coupons

Is there a service you can offer that would be helpful to a family member or friend? Make them a small coupon book filled with different favors you can do for them. This could include anything from doing the dishes and washing the car to giving a foot massage or paying for dinner and a movie. The possibilities are endless depending on who the gift is for. Coupons are an easy and fun gift to give anyone on your list.

9. Jar recipe

Sometimes trying to bake dozens and dozens of cookies for your co-workers, boss or friends can become a tiresome and time-consuming task. Not to mention the fact that sometimes your oven likes to burn things. To avoid spending hours slaving over a hot oven, fill a jar with dry ingredients for a favorite cookie recipe or hot chocolate. Be sure to include a copy of the recipe tied with a ribbon around the jar. This gift is a great way to share recipes and serve a delicious treat without spending hours baking.

 10. Sharpie mug

Mugs are great gifts for just about anyone, but finding the perfect one in a store can be difficult. The best way to give a personalized mug is to make one yourself. All you need is a plain white mug and a sharpie. Draw or write anything you like on the mug, bake it at 350 degrees and in 30 minutes, you’ll have a perfectly functional personalized mug. Some ideas for designs could be lyrics to a song, a personalized note, a quote or a drawing. This gift is an easy way to show off your crafty side while staying within budget.

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10 Interesting Facts About Thanksgiving

By Jessica Klinner

MH900362110It’s that time of the year again. You know, the time to stuff your face with delicious casseroles, glazed meats and pies until you pass out from a food coma. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Thanksgiving. Every year, we gather with family and friends to celebrate our lives and enjoy great food and company.  With Thanksgiving less than a week away, here are 10 interesting facts about Thanksgiving you probably didn’t know.

 1. The first Thanksgiving dinner took place in Plymouth Colony (modern day Massachusetts) in October 1621. English men and Wampanoag Indian men were present. Very few women, if any, attended the first Thanksgiving.

2. The first Thanksgiving lasted three days! It was a celebration of the first harvest in Plymouth Colony. The men spent most of the time eating and hunting. If our modern-day Thanksgiving feasts lasted three days, we would all be in serious food comas.

3. Staple menu items like green bean casserole, dressing, and sweet potatoes would not have appeared on the first Thanksgiving table. The Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians would have enjoyed venison, birds, fish, clams, nuts, pumpkins, carrots, peas and squashes.

4. George Washington advocated for Thanksgiving to become an official holiday on Oct. 3, 1789.  However, the holiday did not become official in the U.S.  until Abraham Lincoln declared it so in 1863, making 2013 the 150th anniversary.

5. In 1940, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the modern date of Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November. Retailers wanted Roosevelt to move the holiday to the fourth Thursday instead of the last Thursday of the month to ensure that shoppers would have enough time to get their Christmas shopping done. If you’re someone who hates how Thanksgiving is overlooked because of the coming of the Christmas season, this shows just how long retailers have controlled the holiday.

6. At first, the American South recognized Thanksgiving as a “Yankee” holiday and did not celebrate it. After the country reunited against a common enemy during the Spanish-American War, Southerners began to celebrate the holiday. If it had not been for that, the South would have never contributed dishes like sweet potatoes and pecan pie.

7. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked was 2,020 pounds. Measuring over 12 feet long, the pie consisted of 900 pounds of pumpkin, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, seven pounds of cinnamon, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, two pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of pie crust.

8. The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924. Originally, the famous parade was called Macy’s Christmas Parade to signify the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Today, some 3 million people attend the parade and around 44 million watch it on television. It has become a tradition for many families to watch the parade to start off their Thanksgiving festivities.

9. The first football game that took place on Thanksgiving was in 1934 when the Detroit Lions took on the Chicago Bears with 26,000 fans present. The NBC radio network broadcast the game on 94 stations across the country, making it the first national Thanksgiving football broadcast. Since then, the Lions have played a game every year on Thanksgiving. In 1956, people across the country could watch the game on television for the first time.

10. Minnesota produces the most turkeys every year in the U.S. Indiana, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri and Virginia are also top producers.  Together, these six states account for nearly two-thirds of the 248 million turkeys that will be raised in the U.S. this year.

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Classic Rock Albums That Still Rock

By Jessica Klinner

If you’re anything like me, you’ve lived your entire life believing that you were born in the wrong decade. You’ve dreamed of going back in time to Woodstock, envied those who got to watch Elvis perform live, and longed to witness the iconic years of the British Invasion. Nothing in your lifetime will ever seem to amount to the events of these musical time periods. Thankfully, the music of classic rock bands made a lasting impact on the world. As a result, we are still able to enjoy the music as if we were living during the time of its release.

1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band– The Beatles

1When I was in middle school, I started going through a Beatles phase. I wanted their pictures all over my room, their music on my iPod, and their biographies on my bookshelf. Beatlemania was still very much alive in my little world. As it turned out, this wasn’t just a phase. My love for The Beatles has carried on into my young adulthood, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving this band. Sgt. Pepper marked a turn in The Beatles’ musical style, introducing psychedelic and symphonic elements into their sound. The album features songs like “With A Little Help From My Friends,” “A Day In The Life,” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” Since its release in 1967, the album has sold over 70 million copies worldwide.

2. Some Girls– The Rolling Stones

2It would be a shame to talk about albums from iconic rock bands without mentioning Some Girls. Not only is this my favorite Rolling Stones album, but it’s also one of my favorite albums of all time. When it was released in 1978, it became an instant hit and exactly what the band needed to keep their career alive. To this day, Some Girls remains the best selling Stones album. Unlike many iconic rock bands, the Rolling Stones are still releasing music and touring the country, which is great if you’re a young fan who was born in the wrong time period.

 

3. The Doors– The Doors

3Ever since I watched a documentary called When You’re Strange, I have been infatuated with The Doors. If you’ve never seen the film, I highly recommend it whether you’re a huge fan of the band or not. The Doors is the self-titled debut album from this iconic American rock band. I love the psychedelic tone of the album because it sounds exactly how I would expect an album released in the 60’s to sound like. Jim Morrison, tragically a member of the 27 Club, is one of the craziest front men of all time. If you’re ever bored or just curious, simply Google his name and you’ll find countless stories of the crazy things he did on and off stage.

4. Rumors– Fleetwood Mac

4You probably saw this one coming, didn’t you? Rumors is the most well-known and loved release by Fleetwood Mac. Personally, my favorite thing about this album is the story behind it. The band was literally in shambles upon entering the studio. To put this into perspective, Fleetwood Mac had more drama during this time than Kim Kardashian has had over the span of her entire life.  I’m very thankful for the drama though because without it, we wouldn’t have the beautiful masterpiece that is Rumors.

 

 

5. Hotel California– The Eagles

5The fifth studio album from this iconic rock band further established the group as the most successful American band of the 1970s. Hotel California became the band’s best-selling studio album, with over 16 million copies sold in the U.S. alone and over 32 million copies worldwide. With songs like “Hotel California,” “New Kid In Town,” and “Life In The Fast Lane,” it’s easy to see why this release has seen such tremendous success.

 

6. Highway 61 Revisited– Bob Dylan

6Released in 1965, Highway 61 Revisited gave birth to Dylan’s arguably most popular hit, “Like A Rolling Stone.” Previously Dylan recorded his albums acoustically, but the sixth studio release from the iconic singer-songwriter featured a full band. This album is a timeless classic containing songs Dylan still frequently plays at shows. It’s the perfect album to enjoy on a quiet, rainy day spent relaxing indoors.

 

 

 7. Elvis Presley– Elvis Presley

7It’s hard to imagine what music would be like without the influence of Elvis Presley. He was the reason musicians like John Lennon, Johnny Cash and countless others began their musically journey. This self-titled album kick started the legendary singer’s career. Featuring classics such as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Blue Moon,” and “Tutti Frutti,” Elvis Presley spent 10 weeks at #1 on the charts, making it the first rock and roll album to sustain that position.

 

8. London Calling– The Clash

7London Calling is the third studio album from English punk rock band The Clash. The album art paid homage to Elvis Presley’s self-titled album. It marked a change in the band’s sound, experimenting with ska, reggae and funk. The Clash held nothing back in creating this album, including clearly voicing their opinions on political issues and social stigmas of the time. Since its release in 1979, the album has sold over 5 million copies worldwide.

 

 9. Are You Experienced– The Jimi Hendrix Experience

9Only a year after forming, The Jimi Hendrix Experience released their debut album Are You Experienced and immediately found international success. The contained some of the band’s most popular songs including “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” and “Foxy Lady.” The album introduced Hendrix’s psychedelic, faded style of guitar playing. Even after his death, Hendrix continues to inspire aspiring musicians everywhere.

 

 

10. Rocket to Russia– The Ramones

10Last but not least, I must mention the punk rock classic by The Ramones known as Rocket To Russia. I’ve always thought of the Ramones as the punk version of The Beach Boys because many of their songs could be described as edgy surf rock. A close friend of mine first introduced me to the band a few years ago, and since then I haven’t been able to stop listening to their music.  This album gets to the roots of punk rock and makes us appreciate how far the genre has come today because of the Ramones.

 

[Edited by Silvia Giagnoni - 11/16/13]

 

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10 Ways to Finish the Semester Strong

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By Jessica Klinner

Midterms have just passed, and the holidays are quickly approaching.  You are not completely satisfied with the grades in your classes, but your motivation to do any kind of work has gone out the door. Three papers, two presentations, and 4 finals stand between you and a month away from the stress of school. Instead of falling deeper into a slump, it’s time to pick yourself up and end the semester on a high note. Maybe you didn’t study as hard as you needed to at the beginning of the semester. Well, now it’s time to make up for lost time and turn your semester around.

 1. Prioritize.

Three papers, two presentations, and 4 finals? That’s a lot to juggle at once. Instead of waiting until the last minute to tackle all of these tasks, space them out according to the due dates. Plan a specific day and time to sit down and get the assignments done. Go ahead and knock out the harder tasks first so you’ll be less stressed.

 2. Study with others.

Studying is always more fun when it’s done with other people. Quiz each other. Make practice study guides. Share notes and ideas. Do anything it takes to make sure you understand the material you’re going to be tested on. Stay focused, though. Study groups can quickly turn into a social hour. If you need to, pick people who you know will stay focused and help you better understand the material.

 3. Find a good place to study.

While studying in your room sounds like an ideal place, it’s usually not the best idea because there are too many distractions. Instead of studying, you’ll find something to clean or start watching television. Isolate yourself to the library or somewhere where you know you will be free of distractions and able to accomplish your work.

4. Use study apps.

Technology is a beautiful thing. Study apps will be a tremendous help to students who have a hard time with studying. For example, the StudyBlue app allows you to create notecards on whatever subjects you want. As you study the notecards, you can weed out the ones you get correct and continue studying the ones you get incorrect. This particular app also allows you to view other sets of notecards different users have created.

 5. Reevaluate your commitments.

As the holiday season approaches, many activities are popping up on your calendar. While you want to participate in everything you have scheduled, it may not be the best idea for your mental health or your grades. It’s important to remind yourself that you don’t have to do everything. There will be plenty of time for you to volunteer at the local soup kitchen or go shopping with your friends once you ace your finals!

 6. Talk to professors.

Don’t be afraid to ask your professor about unclear material. They won’t know you don’t understand unless you tell them. Talk to them about the format of the test so there are no surprises. If you’re worried about your grade, set up an appointment and talk one-on-one with the professor to see what you can do in order to excel on your finals. More than likely, they will be more than happy to help you in whatever way possible. Just put your pride aside and ask for help!

7. Set goals for yourself.

Set goals for the end of the semester and never lose sight of them. Having something to work towards makes it easier to get focused. Nothing feels better than working hard for something and having it pay off.

 8. Take a break.

Studying for hours at a time can be a daunting task. Don’t drive yourself crazy and brain dead by not allotting yourself time to take a break. When you’ve had too much studying, take a walk or go get dinner with a friend. These breaks will give your brain time to chill out and refocus for the next intense study session.

 9. Sleep

Everyone loves to sleep, but when finals roll around, it becomes our mortal enemy. Sleep takes precious time away from studying, right? While pulling an all-nighter may seem like a good idea, it’s probably not. You’ll be more productive and alert if you get an adequate amount of sleep at night.

 10. Celebrate

Once you ace that test or paper, celebrate! All the hard work you’ve put in the whole semester has finally paid off. Be proud of all you accomplished! You’ve made it through another semester of college and that’s more than a lot of people can say.

Contact the writer: jklinner@aum.edu 

[Edited by Dagur Jonsson - 11/12/13]

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