Students Want Live Concerts on Campus

BY SAMANTHA CASTRO // APRIL 29, 2015 //

“I think there is a big problem that students do not leave their residence halls and enjoy the events happening on campus,” said Anna Lombardo, director of Student Activities. “There is an event every weekend.”

That may be true. But according to many students, the problem is not the quantity of social events on campus. It’s the quality.

“Sometimes I get dressed and go to these campus events and wish I would have stayed in my room,” said Lexi Hansen, a sophomore communication major. “They don’t even play the music everyone likes.”

Students are eager for some live music on campus. // PHOTO BY BARBARA WILLI, creative common
Students are eager for some live music on campus. // PHOTO BY BARBARA WILLI, creative common

And music is at the center of many student gripes. According to many interviews, students want live concerts on campus and are frustrated that they never occur.

Shay Sinnott, who graduated with a degree in communication from Curry in 2013 and was formerly the music director of WLMN, said it was her dream to host a concert on campus during her time here. She said she was unable to pull off a spring concert due to a lack of support from the Student Activities office.

“My vision was to have a huge show in front of the Student Center, which was referred to as ‘tumble weed terrace’ when I was there due to the lack of use of the gorgeous area,” said Sinnott, who now works in public relations for St. Mary of the Hills School in Milton. “I would be so happy if someone would be able to accomplish that.”

Some students, like junior criminal justice major Ana Flores, speculated that the college puts little effort into hosting concerts because of potential noise and public safety concerns.

“But if they did have one on campus, I would definitely be there,” she said. “It would get a lot of students excited to have a well-known band on campus.”

Lombardo said she would happily work with any students or student group that wants to bring a band onto campus. However, she added, it would ultimately be the responsibility of the students and/or student group to organize and manage the event, as well as identify funding for the performers, caterers and security.

Setting the Record Straight

BY JACKSON CARMUSSIN // FEB. 20, 2014 //

It was 50 years ago that The Beatles appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the group’s U.S. broadcast debut. Most college students are familiar with The Beatles, but few know anything about the band’s many musical inspirations.

If you watched the recent Grammy’s tribute to The Beatles on Feb. 9, you might have heard Buddy Holly’s name and even his hit 1957 song “That’ll Be The Day.” In fact, the insect-themed name “Beatles” was in homage to Holly’s band “The Crickets.” The Crickets even appeared on Sullivan’s show a mere five years before the Beatle’s iconic performance, on Feb. 9, 1964.

11_12_8_webAnother of Holly’s classic songs is “Everyday,” a song often overlooked but instantly recognizable from its use in various movies and commercials.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Back to the Future,” then you’re guaranteed to have heard a version of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” a somewhat autobiographical song from the musician released in 1958. The song is instantly recognizable from its opening guitar lick. The Beatles knew Berry’s music well; “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Rock and Roll Music” made their way into the Beatle’s list of cover songs.

Vinyl records may no longer be in fashion, replaced by the ease and clarity of digital music, but there are plenty of places to still enjoy music as it was originally recorded by the all-time greats. When you put the needle on the disc and sound comes out, you’ll notice the difference in sound quality almost immediately and hear parts that you may never had heard on the digital version.

Owning a record player is easy, if you take adequate care of it. You can get cheap ones nearly anywhere that you can find records. There are also numerous options online, ranging in price from $45 to hundreds of dollars.

You can often find a Beatles record at a chain record store for $15 and up. However, at flea markets and some independent stores the price can be less than $10.

A good starting point for your collection of vinyl is the closest Newbury Comics. That store is located at 859 Boston/Providence Hwy on Route 1 in Norwood. Newbury even has a bin full of its newest used records to satisfy your ears.

If you’re interested in walking around a flea market to see what you can find, there are four record stalls at the flea market in Raynham, Mass. Among various other stalls, you’ll run into some of the greatest rock and roll records of all time. Dive in and enjoy.

Services Worth Streaming About

BY TYLER COLLINS // OCT. 28, 2013 //

When it comes to your choice of a radio streaming service, you have more than a couple of good interfaces to select from.

These options include free versions and premium ones. However, almost all premium accounts will charge you a monthly or annual fee. This blog will focus on the differences between Spotify and the newly released iTunes Radio service, which came along with Apple’s new iOS7 system, released in September. If you are indecisive or are having trouble choosing between Spotify and iTunes Radio, this may help clarify some of the important details between the two.

Apple's iTunes Radio is among the newer music streaming systems on the market.
Apple’s iTunes Radio is among the newer music streaming systems on the market.

The interfaces used for Spotify and iTunes Radio are very similar. As a listener, you can stream music free of charge from your computer, phone or tablet as long as you are connected to the Internet. The downsides to the free services are the occasional advertisements you have to listen to.

Spotify offers two solutions to stop the nagging advertisements that stand between you and your music. Spotify’s upgrade—called the “Unlimited” account—can be purchased for $4.99 a month. The account includes no advertisements and access to millions of tracks. But wait, there’s more! If you are looking for an even better music streaming solution, Spotify’s second-tier upgrade is called “Premium.” This account enables users to access key features, such as unlimited streaming and offline playlists—meaning you don’t need to be connected to the Internet—in addition to no advertisements.

Apple’s iTunes Radio is the new kid on the block. The free music streaming service is available to all with an iTunes account. One of the major Apple-only features is the ability to purchase a song while listening to it. If you recently bought an iPhone 5s, you literally can buy a song using only a quick scan of your fingerprint—via “Touch ID”—a new feature that enables the user to unlock his/her iPhone or, in this case, obtain music with a personal touch.

Another unique feature offered by iTunes Radio is the ability to use Siri, the built-in voice-command application for many of Apple’s newer products, to make a song request. This feature may be more along the lines of a device-specific component, however, it works to bolster the compatibility of the service with the products it streams from.

According to Apple, iTunes Radio provides more than “250 DJ–curated and genre-focused stations” to choose from. The service is easy to use in that you can choose existing stations based on a specific artist, song or genre, as well as customize and create your own stations to your liking. You have the ability to edit or add songs on the go from your mobile device or tablet, as well as sync all of your music selections to each of your devices.

With “iTunes Match,” available for $24.99 a year, you can store all of your music using iCloud. This includes songs imported from CD’s. The Match account also allows users to enjoy advertisement-free music and the ability to stream from your entire library wherever you are.

Of course, there are a number of other streaming services out there. Google Play Music All Access is among the biggest and newest in the market. But ultimately, the choice comes down to which service you trust or envision being more user-friendly for your music-streaming enjoyment.

Free, But Not Worth the Price

BY KEVIN DIFFILY // MARCH 4, 2013 //

It’s no secret that most college students download music illegally. Colleges try to make it more difficult by blocking various sites and downloading methods, but, despite what you might have heard, young people can be resourceful.

Curry College, for example, blocks all file-sharing protocols from its Internet network. But it’s laughable to think that actually stops students.

There are a number of YouTube converter sites, which allow users to turn a YouTube video into an MP3 file. Since most songs are posted on YouTube in some format (music videos, videos with lyrics, fan-made videos, etc.), it is easy to simply get any song you want from YouTube. The audio quality isn’t great, but it’s hard to complain.

The RIAA wants to scare you into buying music legally. // PHOTO BY http://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/1621179/sizes/m/in/photostream/ //
The RIAA wants to scare you into buying music legally. // PHOTO FROM http://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/1621179/sizes/m/in/photostream/ //

What most people do not realize, or perhaps choose to ignore, however, are the potential repercussions for this seemingly harmless and simple method of obtaining music.

A few years ago, a former Boston University student was sued for downloading a number of songs illegally. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued the student for $22,500 per song. That’s close to a full semester’s tuition at a private school like BU or Curry, all for downloading a single three- or four-minute song. Since he had downloaded 30 songs, his fine was $675,000. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld that verdict last year.

To me, this was a ludicrous and heavy-handed attempt by record companies to make up for the profits they are losing. But regardless of how we may feel about the penalties, they are real. While only a couple individuals have gone to trial for downloading music illegally, there have been plenty of settlements for smaller, but still absurd, amounts. The BU graduate was offered a $5,000 settlement, but declined.

Is this going to happen to you? Probably not. The RIAA is (hopefully) too busy to find and sue every perpetrator of illegal downloading. But in light of recent events, perhaps it would be wise to find new sources of music.

There are several free or cheap options for listening to, but not downloading, music. Spotify has become huge over the past year, and has a large selection of songs. Moreover, it costs no money whatsoever. Rhapsody is a subscription-based service, but also offers a great selection to choose from. Pandora Internet Radio allows you to select a genre of music, album, artist, or song, and creates a playlist of similar songs for you to listen to.

While it is certainly tempting and seemingly reasonable to download music for free, the potential consequences greatly outweigh the risks. If you want your music to be free, turn on the radio, try one of the aforementioned programs, or just buy songs from iTunes. Paying $1.29 per song is definitely more reasonable than $22,500.

Orchestrating a Scene

BY ANDREW BLOM // SEPT. 11, 2012 //

The music scene on Curry’s campus has room to improve. // STOCKVAULT.NET

People always have something to say about music.

Bob Marley (yeah, that guy on the poster on your wall smoking a joint was also a musician) once said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” I’ll even sell out to the masses for a second and mention Taylor Swift, who said, “People haven’t always been there for me, but music has.”

Not much is being said about music at Curry because the college lacks a consistent music scene. But I can’t really blame Curry for this—although the student-run radio station, WMLN, really needs to stop playing the same songs over and over. There’s more to music than Lady Gaga, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and random Buddy Holly tunes. Bands like Nirvana, R.E.M., and the Pixies (from Boston) are far more fitting for a college radio station.

That said, I knew Curry wasn’t a hotbed of music when I applied. Obviously, if I wanted to enroll in a school with a great music program, I would have check out The Julliard School in New York City, or the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Maybe I should have checked out the University of Georgia in Athens, a city that has been described by Rolling Stone magazine as the “#1 College Music Scene.”

But there is a small and sporadic music scene on and around campus, and Curry students are leading it. Whether it’s students playing guitar in their dorm rooms until 3 a.m., “Open Mic” nights in the Student Center, or concerts in Boston, there is something for every music fan.

The Life is Good Festival in Canton on Sept. 22 and 23 is literally right down the street from the campus, and it will feature some cool artists like Dave Matthews. Travel a bit farther down the road, into Boston, and you have the House of Blues (“The All-American Rejects,” Sept. 22) and Paradise Rock Club (the Wallflowers, Sept. 29).

And don’t say you can’t make it. You have the Curry College off-campus shuttle, which drops you off at Faneuil Hall, and all it takes is a 10-minute cab ride. You should be able to make it to the 1 a.m. shuttle back to Curry.

I truly hope Curry’s music scene will grow this year and beyond. Because when you have a scene, you have people coming together. And when people come together, that’s when you start to make a difference.