Spotify; A Not So Review

For Christmas I received a Spotify gift card for a premium membership from my brother, not because he didn’t know what to get me or that he lacks creativity in gift-giving, but because I asked for one (even though both are true). Although I want to do a quick review on my experience, I want to get a nuance out of the way beforehand; It’s been a month and I still haven’t used my gift card. This is because Spotify did a promotion for the new year, which lowered the cost of membership for three months to $1, and so instead of using the gift card my brother got me for $3o I’ll be saving it until the membership for a dollar runs out…which is stupid that he had to spend that money. But now I get to listen to new music with zero commercials for a total of six months! Sorry little brother.

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Now that you know not to subscribe to Spotify until after the holiday season, here are some general thoughts on my user experience:

 

The best thing about Spotify would probably be the playlists they make for various genres and in particular the new releases as well as the top charts playlists from different countries. It’s always great to hear what’s up and coming as well as what people are listening to on the other side of the globe. Another cool feature on Spotify is being able to click on an artist’s bio to not only read about them but also see where they’re getting their top plays from. Not incredibly necessary, but pretty neat nonetheless.

Things that sucks about Spotify premium are the things that really suck about Spotify. Although I get that you can only download music when you’ve got internet connection so you can listen when you’re offline, I hate that I’m only able to download full albums or playlists but not individual songs. I’m sure there’s a way around it, probably just by making your own playlist and downloading it, but it seems like Spotify could create an easier, less annoying, way to do this. Also, and I’m not sure if it’s because of my recently purchased iPhone 7 that I still may not know how to use properly, but when my phone is in my pocket and I make any abrupt movement, the song will change or skip over. Again, this may not be Spotify’s fault, but while I’m sitting here complaining I might as well let every frustration out.

And so, here’s to ranting and covering it up as a “review”. Cheers.

Dally Auston drops “99¢”

c1bkdynuaaawoxqChicago has been put in the spotlight for many years to work from city natives Twista, Common, Kanye West, and more recently: Chance The Rapper. For years, social media has been exploding over good friends of Chance and affiliates of the “Savemoney army”. Talent in this super-group are Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Joey Purp, RnB artist Brill, Towkio and more. Although all of these are artists have developed over the past few years, they still give back to Chicago and often host concerts and secret parties for their most loyal fans.

In the month of January, fans have expressed their excitement for one of the member’s new projects: Dally Auston. It is his first project in about 3 years and everyone is very eager to jam on his latest work. On January 20th at 3pm (CT), Dally released his latest project, titled “99¢”. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Dally will be live on UIC Radio’s Thumpin’ Thursdays show on Feb 2nd at 3:30pm (CT)

Make sure you follow us on Instagram:
@CeaseDays @DjSoundUTB @LiveLenora @ThumpinThursdays
And tune in Thursdays from 2-7pm (CT)

Blahsmopolitan No. 7: “No Crying in the Uber” AKA “Help! I’m Stalling and I Can’t Get Up!”

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This is Blahsmopolitan, a weekly column about one freshman’s misfortune as he navigates his New Adult Life in Chicago, and the songs that soundtracked it. New stories are posted every Thursday, alongside a curated Blahsmo playlist available on Apple Music and Spotify to complement your reading and get you through the week with some new music. (Not this week, though!) This week, our columnist breaks his leg, breaks the same leg again, and considers a conspiracy theory in hopes you can learn from his mistakes.

The first week of my first semester, I did a celebratory kick at my first college party, tore a ligament, and fell in blinding, screaming agony in front of everybody. Within seconds, a circle of staring sorority girls had cleared around me as I frantically tried to pull myself off the ground to no avail. In retrospect, I probably looked hilarious, but at the time, it was no joke. I could straight up not stop screaming. Not, like, cute groaning and embarrassed smiling. No performance- dead eyes, and full-bodied shrieking. Water on the Wicked Witch of the West. Not kidding.

Continue reading “Blahsmopolitan No. 7: “No Crying in the Uber” AKA “Help! I’m Stalling and I Can’t Get Up!””

Blahsmopolitan No. 6: “Love, Contractually” AKA “Queer’d Science”

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This is Blahsmopolitan, a weekly column about one freshman’s misfortune as he navigates his New Adult Life in Chicago, and the songs that soundtracked it. New stories are posted every Thursday, alongside a curated Blahsmo playlist available on Apple Music and Spotify to complement your reading and get you through the week with some new music. This week, our columnist deals with a close friend coming out of the closet, speaks to a Lobster Demon, and turns into a goldfish in hopes you can learn from his mistakes.

Stream this week’s playlist on Apple Music or Spotify.

My sophomore year of high school, I got a Facebook message from a guy who once made himself hard during AP European History and showed me the outline through his sweats.

He was shorter than me, but with absolutely shredded abs and an attitude that was incredibly easy to fantasize about. Someone who hates every single person in school except for me? Someone who despite being sixteen told me he knew how to finish a guy without even touching their dick? I asked him for advice on how to get a body like his and he delivered anecdotes of sprinting shirtless in the coldest hours of the morning. A Katy Perry song played in my heart for him.

Continue reading “Blahsmopolitan No. 6: “Love, Contractually” AKA “Queer’d Science””

Blahsmopolitan No. 5: “Lullaby for a Roommate” AKA “Hello Daddy, Hello Mom, I’m Your Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Child With Mental Illness”

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This is Blahsmopolitan, a weekly column about one freshman’s misfortune as he navigates his New Adult Life in Chicago, and the songs that soundtracked it. New stories are posted every Thursday, alongside a curated Blahsmo playlist available on Apple Music and Spotify to complement your reading and get you through the week with some new music. This week, our columnist heads home for the holidays, writes an actual advice column, and repents for his dorm life sins in hopes that you can learn from his mistakes.

Stream this week’s playlist on Apple Music or Spotify. Blahsmopolitan and its playlists contain mature themes. 

I get that it’s super corny to be the person who goes away to college and then can’t shut up about how much they miss home. College is supposed to be the holy Mecca of good times, the cure-all to high school’s nine circles of social hell, the place where you go to become your true self and never look back. Don’t get me wrong, my first semester of college has given me tastes of all of those things, but there is no such thing as an overnight cure to having a terrible and mostly pointless life, and there’s no such thing as a semester-long cure either.

My qualifications to say this are as follows: I’ve gone to a city college with a 60% commuter population for about three months. I’ve made about four friendships that I could see becoming deeper than just someone to get wasted with, I’ve been passed out drunk almost every weekend, and I’ve taken strictly 100-level courses in areas mostly unrelated to my major. Despite all these deeply formative experiences, I am incredibly excited to go home.

Continue reading “Blahsmopolitan No. 5: “Lullaby for a Roommate” AKA “Hello Daddy, Hello Mom, I’m Your Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Child With Mental Illness””

Blahsmopolitan No. 4: “The Panic at KΔP” AKA “Veni, Vidi, Veni Again”

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This is Blahsmopolitan, a weekly column about one freshman’s misfortune as he navigates his New Adult Life in Chicago, and the songs that soundtracked it. New stories are posted every Thursday, alongside a curated Blahsmo playlist available on Apple Music and Spotify to complement your reading and get you through the week with some new music. This week, our columnist gets a lesson in weed culture, outsmarts some sorority girls, and goes home with a stranger in hopes that you can learn from his mistakes.

Stream this week’s playlist on Apple Music or Spotify. Blahsmopolitan and its playlists contain mature themes.

Before I begin this story, I want to be very clear on my feelings about U of I. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a god forsaken land. God has left the building, and 18-21 year olds have been left to their own devices to roam the Earth and think of new mixed drinks and hazing methods. This story takes place within the span of 24 hours. It took 24 hours to do all of what you are about to read. U of I is where innocence goes to get tied up by all four limbs and attached to pygmy horses, yanked at with just shy of the correct force to totally sever it- forever in a limbo between responsibility and debauchery.

If you have even the mildest case of FOMO, I do not recommend going for any longer than a weekend. If you are a person like me, who does stupid things for the story, do not go at all. I am already considering going back to have more material for this column. It is the sort of place where every time you go out, you will be greeted by some sort of mistake that informs who you are to your very core, and you will never regret it, but you will almost definitely fail your classes if you have even the slightest dwindling in your willpower.

Anyway.

Last Friday night, I got a bad feeling.

Continue reading “Blahsmopolitan No. 4: “The Panic at KΔP” AKA “Veni, Vidi, Veni Again””

Rad Radar: Clara Tang

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My friend, Clara Tang, is a musically talented chick who hails from Connecticut. She samples pop vocals and mixes dreamy beats to create chill electronic music you can cruise late nights to. Under the moniker SleepyHaze, her tunes have been making waves.

When did you start making tracks?

I started making music midway through junior year of high school – so two years ago. My brother made music, so he had me download software awhile ago. Basically, I got super depressed and I couldn’t play violin anymore. So then I started making electronic music to fill the void – the creative void – that I had. So at that point I didn’t really listen to electronic music. I was in a huge indie phase, but I had just started listening to Tokimonsta and Flume. They are kind of younger. Especially Tokimonsta; she’s a Korean female producer and I thought that was really cool. You don’t see many female producers lately. It made me realize that I could do that too. Those were the first two that kicked off everything else, and then I started to get into more electronic stuff.

Who or what do you sample from the most?

Honestly, I just have a folder on my computer of random vocal stems that I find on the internet. Most of them are pop songs. I’ll just kind of shove it into a song until one of them works, and then usually I’ll put a bunch of effects and then make it seem like – you usually can’t tell what I’m sampling. I like that about it. I try to blur the words a little bit so you can’t really tell what they are saying. I’ve sampled One Direction, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and stuff like that.

What is the best set that you have experienced that you want to pay yourself?

Favorite set that I’ve ever seen was my first show here, in Chicago! It was the Soulection show. I saw AbJo, Stefan, and Joe Kay. The sets were really – they start off a little bit more chill and vibey and they got really – not hype but more trappy and future-bass. I really like that and it kept you dancing for a full four hours. I think that if I ever were to play a live show it would be – I don’t know. My music is too slow, I think, for a live show. I’d probably do more of a DJ set and I’d want it to be that kind of vibe.

How did you come about with the name SleepyHaze?

It’s so lame! SleepyHaze… I was tired as hell, so I took a shower at 5 p.m. and was feeling all groggy. Then, mid-shower, I thought of the name and realized it was totally my sound.

What is the ideal scenario you would want your songs to be played during?

Well a lot of it is inspired by night driving, so that would probably be a good situation. Or like a montagey, lo-fi indie film type thing – I could see my music being played on top of that. Teen angst type, I guess.

If you are, like most of us, feeling that teen angst because of recent political events, take a good hour to relax with SleepyHaze’s recent release, WeakNights, on blast. A chill, downtempo feel is what you will get from this electronic piece. Inspired by thinking too much late into those dead nights that you just drift, the album’s ambient soothing is what SleepyHaze stands for.

Blahsmopolitan No. 3: “The First Rule of Dying is Don’t Talk About Dying” AKA “How to Succeed in Astral Projection Without Really Trying”

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This is Blahsmopolitan, a weekly column about one freshman’s misfortune as he navigates his New Adult Life in Chicago, and the songs that soundtracked it. New stories are posted every Thursday, alongside a curated Blahsmo playlist available on Apple Music and Spotify to complement your reading and get you through the week with some new music. This week, our columnist turns nineteen, is visited by a Prophet who spoonfeeds him Ramen, and has an intense encounter with a psychic in hopes you can learn from his mistakes.

Stream this week’s playlist on Apple Music or Spotify. Blahsmopolitan and its playlists contain mature themes.

Happy Birthday

In one day, I am going to be nineteen years old. There is something about the thought of being alive for damn near two decades that makes you feel like you have been milling around the world picking your nose and saying “duhhh” for your entire conscious life. Twenty years is a long time to be alive and talking about probably writing a book someday. Twenty years is a long time to be alive with little to show for it except two tickets for underage drinking on public record.

What would people say at my funeral at this point?

“Gosh. Good old Nick, man. Pretty loud and gay, huh? Anyway, l’chaim.”

Continue reading “Blahsmopolitan No. 3: “The First Rule of Dying is Don’t Talk About Dying” AKA “How to Succeed in Astral Projection Without Really Trying””

Blahsmopolitan No. 2: “Healthy, As It Were” AKA “Barbecue Chips are the Most Fun a Boy Can Have Without Taking His Clothes Off”

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This is Blahsmopolitan, a weekly column about one freshman’s misfortune as he navigates his New Adult Life in Chicago, and the songs that soundtracked it. New stories are posted every Thursday, alongside a curated Blahsmo playlist available on Apple Music and Spotify to complement your reading and get you through the week with some new music. This week, our columnist waltzes around a stranger’s kitchen island, takes a thirty year old’s virginity, and lays in silence for three hours thinking about calories in hopes you can learn from his mistakes.
Stream this week’s playlist on Apple Music or Spotify. Blahsmopolitan and its playlists contain mature themes.

Before I rip myself to shreds this week, I would like to acknowledge that I am a beautiful person from the neck up. I was blessed with the best genes from both sides of my family: thick, dark hair that attains the happy medium between messy and manicured that some people spend their whole lives chasing, eyes that are at once drugged-out and animated, a nose that is mindbogglingly Not Jewish, eyelashes that just won’t quit, and bone structure that makes me look so mysterious that people are truly surprised when the first thing that comes out of my mouth is my life story.

I have struggled with the rest of my body for as long as I can remember, which isn’t to say that I’m the poster child for Michelle Obama-targeted morbid obesity, but rather that I just have a little bit extra, everywhere. Naturally, with the thought of living on my own, mere minutes from a cafeteria full of temptation and free sustenance, I approached college with a crippling fear of the freshman fifteen.

In my dorm, I am without a scale, but luckily I get to have my biggest hater in tow at all times- myself. In private moments before and after showers, all it takes is a few little bounces in front of the mirror to get a gauge on where I am. Jiggles like one hundred and eighty pounds, quacks like one hundred and eighty pounds, must still be a hundred and eighty pounds.

As luck would have it, I was wrong.

Continue reading “Blahsmopolitan No. 2: “Healthy, As It Were” AKA “Barbecue Chips are the Most Fun a Boy Can Have Without Taking His Clothes Off””

That New New

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November: a period of time when all sun-toned leaves end up on the ground, we start packing on the layers, some people stop shaving, and we start to see turkeys and cornucopias every where. It also is the last month of Autumn.

As this cozy season is ending, I wanted to start my opening month as a official blogger with a focus on the concept of new. My weekly posts for November will be interviews with fresh faced creatives or first time events. From internet-aesthetic art shows to learning about a cosmetic craft, I’ll be coming at you with alternative, current posts.

But since this month has just begun, I’m currently setting those interviews and sorting out plans. For now,here are three new things that I have discovered in the past week.

1. Ridin Round- Kali Uchis FT. Tory Lanez (Oshi Remix)

Thanks to my friend Clara, I started getting into Kali Uchis over the summer. After a hearing a quick snippet of Uchi’s “Loner,” I showed her the song and, being a music producer, she already knew about her album. She introduced me to the soulful, poppy R&B “Ridin Round” and it got a place on my summer sixteen playlist. Fast forward to fall, I had Kali’s Soundcloud on a endless run when this gem comes on. Oshi’s remix churns the single into a super cute flavor with hard trap undertones. This beat would’ve been more appropriate in the eighty degrees with a slight breeze, but I’m still blasting this as I chill in the fifties.

2. Joan Cornellà

(Warning: Slight blood)

Until Joan Cornellà, I haven’t seen an illustrator as impactful and unlike any other since Banksy. Last Thursday night I had the satisfaction of turning in my last midterm on Blackboard. It was 2AM, I had no school the next day, so naturally I turned on Solange’s magnificent album, A Seat at The Table, and started scrolling through an art blog on Tumblr. There I found  Cornellà’s Gangsta Grandma, which highlights police brutality and racism. The illustrator’s theme is definitely bright in visuals, yet definitely dark in topics and philosophies. His absurdist, surrealist comics and animations are a reflection of today’s societal norms, pressures, and issues. His work is certainly becoming iconic.

3. bopNgrill

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Last Friday night I ventured to The New 400 Theater’s annual Scarefest to view Takashi Shimizu’s The Grudge. Sweating while you scream your head off can burn calories – not that I did any of those things – and my group were hungry for munchies. It was my second time attending the event, but it was only this year that I noticed bopNgrill a block away. The Korean and pub-food place features “Bop Plates,” meal sets where the customer can choose a main dish that will be accompanied by rice, salad, and kimchi, and signature or customizable burgers. Being a progressing vegan, I ordered a tofu and kimchi Bop Plate with a request to use vegetable oil to sauté the kimchi. The serving was huge and the flavor had a great impact as well. The tofu was a savory umami, kimchi provided a crisp tang, and the sides were great pallet mellowers. If you are around Loyola campus or off the CTA Belmont stop, I would highly recommend giving this fusion restaurant a try!

Next Wednesday look out for the first of five in my November New series!