Friday, October 31, 2014

We Are The In Crowd Announce A Very Non-Denominational Holiday Get Together Shows

>> Temperatures are gradually dropping and We Are The In Crowd are thinking forward to next season.  The band just announced a string of dates for their Very Non-Denominational Holiday Get Together. You can check out the tour flier & dates below a message from the band.

UPDATE: Nick Santino will be the opening act for these shows! See the dates and ticket links below.

We’re excited to announce we’re going to be doing a few really small full-band-acoustic performances in December!
We’d like to formally invite you to our “A Very Non-Denonominational Holiday Get Together” we’ll be doing our first full band acoustic performances EVER and playing tons of songs off Guaranteed To Disagree, Best Intentions, and Weird Kids! It’s going to be an awesome and very intimate week of shows and we hope you can be a part of it!

12/16 - Boston, MA @ Middle East -
12/17 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary -
12/18 - New York, NY @ Studio at Webster Hall - 

12/19 - Hamden, CT @ The Space -
12/21 - Vienna, VA @ Jammin Java -

VIP and General admissions tickets will be available at 10AM Local Time tomorrow, these rooms are small so make sure you get yours fast! VIP experience will include some really cool gifts from WATIC and Non-Denominational Santa as well as your one and ONLY chance to get your very own Awkward Family Photo professionally taken (Sears style) with WATIC (remember our holiday cards from a few years back?).

We’re so stoked for these shows, can’t wait to hang with all of you.


- Kate Russell
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Reggie and the Full Effect Release "37" Video

>> Reggie and the Full Effect released a video for "37," a song off the album No Country For Old Musicians.  The video is full of monsters, humans, and Bruno Mars references, making it something not to be missed on a day like today. Watch it below!

>> Catch the Full Effect on tour with Saves The Day and Say Anything starting 11/14! Each band on this run will be performing an album in its entirety, and Reggie will be performing Under The Tray... Click here for the full list of dates.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

An Interview with PARLOUR TRICKS

>> Having recently dropped the "Lily and the" from their name, NYC based PARLOUR TRICKS are aiming high this season.  I spoke with Lily, the band's lead singer, before CMJ week about the band's new video for "Lovesongs," their experience playing the 3rd annual CBGB Fest, and more.  You can read the full interview below!

Please introduce yourself - name, role in the band, and anything else you want us to know about you. How did PARLOUR TRICKS first come together?
I'm Lily, lead singer and writer for the band. I love Elvis Presley and I hate bananas. I also want to lie to you about how the band got together, but I can't come up with something good enough at the moment. It's boring. We met in college and we fell in love. All six of us. That was that.

For those who aren't familiar with you yet, how would you describe your sound? 
It's been described as "50's nostalgic, 90's familiar, and 2020 progressive all at once". That about sums it up.

You recently released a new song called "Lovesongs." What went into that song? How did it feel being able to make something so relatable and so personal at the same time?
We're happy to hear it's relatable. The song didn't take long to write, but it grew exponentially from when I wrote it to when we collectively finished the arrangement. It's tentative at first, but ends up surging into a disco explosion (which was definitely unplanned). It's a song about love songs; about the feeling they give you. Everybody knows that feeling. It's deeply personal and totally universal at the same time.

What was your favorite part about making your new video for "Lovesongs?"
Everything. Our plan was so minimal. We borrowed a green screen kit and lights, got a little naked, threw on some body paint and sang our hearts out for hours on end. It got a little weird. It was never not fun.

What do you hope fans will get out of the video?
We hope it inspires them to take off their shirts and sing along.

This summer you performed at Bonnaroo and Summerfest, and you just performed at the CBGB Music Festival. What has the experience been like at each of these festivals? 
Overall it's been wonderful. The staff at these festivals are so incredibly nice and welcoming. But for us every show is important, festival or not. We try to learn as much as we can from the elements at hand at every show: what problems/magic arose from our own mistakes, or shitty sound, or strange setups, or rough crowds. Every experience is informative; even the bad ones. Bonnaroo was a special moment for us though. We loved playing that show.

Being from NYC, what was being a part of the CBGB fest like for you specifically?
CBGB Fest is a sweet way to honor the old venue and all of its ideals. The city is so different now from how it was in CBGB's heyday, but it is nice to have that namesake live on in new ways. We also loved being on the bill with bands we're friends with (Rocket & The Ghost and Mother Feather). That's a nice "hometown" feeling.

Next on your list is a performance at CMJ - How do you plan to top last year's performance this time around? Can fans expect some new songs and/or dance moves at that show?
We always have new tricks. Honestly, we are new Tricks this year. We've done some major renovating since 2013. New name, new game.

After CMJ, what's next for PARLOUR TRICKS?
We're looking forward to a few weeks off, and then a really fun holiday show at Mercury Lounge on December 13th. Then we're looking forward to a super busy Winter 2015. Got some stuff we can't wait to share with everybody.

Source: Johannes Anderson on flickr

>> If you haven't already, be sure to watch the colorful new video from PARLOUR TRICKS here!

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OK Go Release Video for "I Won't Let You Down"

>> Known for their inventive and downright cool videos, OK Go have released a 5+ minute video for their new single, "I Won't Let You Down."  The song is on the band's album, Hungry Ghosts, which was released on October 14th.  This video involves something similar to a tremendously large flash mob featuring precise choreography and crazy patterns made with umbrellas.  You can see the detail oriented video below.

>> You can download OK Go's new album, Hungry Ghosts, here.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 CMJ Showcase Round Up

>> No time to sort through every news post about every CMJ showcase before the music marathon kicks off tomorrow? No worries! Here's a list of what's happening, when, and where.
*Note- all start and end times are approximate* 

>> These are by no means the only showcases happening this week, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for other great events happening throughout NYC! Need something else? Visit or

Tuesday October 21st, 2014:

Wednesday October 22nd, 2014:

Thursday October 23rd, 2014:

Friday October 24th, 2014:

Saturday October 25th, 2014:
  • BrooklynVegan Official CMJ Night Show
    • 7pm @ Baby's All Right (Brooklyn)
    • Free w/badge or $15 // 21+
    • feat. The Jazz June, Pity Sex, Beach Slang, & more
  • Do NYC Presents:
    • 8pm - 11:30pm @ Shea Stadium (Brooklyn)
    • $5 //
    • feat. Charly Bliss, Public Access T.V., Bully, & Made Violent
  • The Wild Honey Pie's Bee Hive
    • 12pm - 2am @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar 
    • Free w/ RSVP // 21+
    • feat. Little Daylight, Zella Day, Modern Rivals, and more

Be sure to download the 2014 CMJ Mixtape if you haven't already! Get it here.

Special thanks to Alexa Gallo of Wordless PR for helping me compile this list!
- Kate Russell

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Friday, October 17, 2014

The College Experience with Jaime Schultz

>> Happy Friday all! It's time we look at another student with dreams. For those of you who don't know what this feature is for, here's a brief explanation of what I'm after: The College Experience is my way of discussing the pros and cons of taking steps to have a career while still being a student, or how the desire to be involved with the music industry could interfere with the pursuit of a degree. I'll be asking a selection of folks the same basic questions regarding their school, their role in the industry, their struggles, and their goals. I'll also ask about each person's individual projects, whether they are photographers, musicians, aspiring publicists, writers, promoters, and the like. I think it'll be interesting to see how each of us deals with the difficulties of balancing and prioritizing the various obstacles we face as students with big ambitions.

>> After discussing the efforts of promoting and performing music last week, today we look at someone who captures other people's moments.  Jaime Schultz is a music photographer who is currently interning with Universal Music Group while in her third year of college. She's recently photographed Colbie Caillat at NYC's Central Perk location among other cool things.  Find out about Jaime and her college experience below.

Source: Jaime Schultz Photography

Please state your name, age, what school you attend, what year you’re in, and what your major is.
Jaime Schultz, 20, The School of Visual Arts, Junior, Photography Major

When and how did you first get involved with the music scene?
I’ve been involved with music my entire life, my parents used to listen to a lot of country and some rock music. When I was seven or eight I started to develop my own taste which ranged from Missy Elliott to Korn (Weird choices for a eight year old but hey it was 2003). My neighbors accidently bought a Korn album when I was a kid, so they ended up giving it to me and I fell in love with heavy music at that point. I still maintained a love for pop and hip hop because artists like NSYNC were popular for my age group, and Ciara was coming up in the scene in those years too. Since then I started to get exposed to music like AFI and My Chemical Romance and would sit at my computer for hours just looking up musicians and listening to all types of artists. High school came around and I was already taking photos in a serious manor and wanted to figure out how to merge my love of photography with music. I started getting approved for shows to shoot in my sophomore year of high school -- at this point I had no outlet but managers were more willing to hand out passes back then. I was getting opportunities to go to shows but of course, my parents wouldn’t let me go to shows so I didn’t really shoot much. I think I shot four shows from 2009-2010. That being said I got really involved in the local scene in Northern California, I went to this venue called Red House in Walnut Creek, CA every weekend. I didn’t always shoot but I really learned how to take pictures at shows in that venue. From there I got more leeway with my parents and I tried to shoot everything I could get my hands on.

If you got involved at a relatively early age, were age restricted shows ever a problem?
I got involved young: I started taking it seriously at the age of 14 and haven’t looked back since. My parents were a HUGE obstacle for me, even to this day if I’m home they generally don’t want me going out and shooting shows. I remember the first time I got really mad at my parents for not letting me shoot a show, it was on 4/20 in 2010(I think…) and HIM was playing in San Francisco. At the time HIM was one of my favorite bands since I was like 10 and I was approved for a photo pass and my parents wouldn’t let me go. I was crushed and most likely cried and threw a fit all day, because I could see what I wanted in such close range but my parents refused to let me go.

Now that you're in college, has that aspect gotten easier? Are things more accessible to you now?
Now that I’m in college and living in NYC It’s gotten a lot easier. I’m also thousands of miles away from California so my parents can’t really say no. Also it’s a lot cheaper to take a subway to shows rather than having to drive or attempt to take SF public transit in California. I do burn myself out now that I really don’t have limits to what I can shoot, and how far I can travel.   

What experiences have you had so far in the industry?
So far I haven’t had a lot of “Industry” experience. I’ve been shooting live shows for a handful of online outlets and have been published a few times recently. Right now I have a photo internship at Universal Music Group which is absolutely amazing and I love it here. I’m hoping to get a part time job at a label or management company soon because that would just be so great for me concreting a position in this industry.

Where did you have your photography published?
Right now I’ve been published in the August issue of Premier Guitar and I contribute to New Noise Magazine, mainly their online site but I was published in their August print issue as well. For Premier Guitar it was a photo of this great band from Brooklyn called Sharkmuffin. I had to do a school project so I got to shoot them in a recording studio and I was really exited when I was contacted about publishing that photo. For New Noise it’s a photo I took of Major League when Nick Trask was still their singer.

What was your reaction when you found out that someone wanted to publish your work?
No doubt, I freaked out when I was contacted by Premier Guitar looking to use some of my photos. I jumped around my house and called my mom at work in excitement. I was mainly exited because it was a print magazine that is international. For New Noise I was also really exited because I had no idea my photo was picked, I saw Major League post the article and saw my photo, also I freaked out a tad and was really exited about it. My parents were so happy that they purchased two copies of each issue that I had photos in.

What have you been doing at your internship at UMG so far? How did that position come to be?
The first few weeks were really slow.  I shot Nick Jonas’s music video premiere on his 22nd birthday and did a few in office showcases. After that I was doing some spreadsheets and a little editing here and there, not an insane amount of work. In the last two weeks I’ve been doing a lot more. I got to shoot Misterwives, Jessie J, Kiesza, and the most amazing experience was last night shooting Def Jam’s 30th anniversary show. It was truly mind blowing being surrounded with so many industry people and being able to shoot all 15 acts that performed including 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, DMX, Ashanti, Ja Rule and a bunch more. Most of these artists I never thought I’d get a chance to see, let alone photograph. I’m still in a daze about the entire event. Things seem to be picking up right now so hopefully a lot more work for me in the upcoming weeks!

What did you get out of each of those experiences?
I love being able to see the inner workings of a label, working on so many aspects of what it takes to keep an artist a float, not just photography based. I’m taking this internship as a huge learning experience as well as a opportunity to make connections and maybe get a job out of it.

Are you involved with any clubs or teams relevant to your interest in the music industry?
I’ve never been involved with any clubs, promoters, or street teams. I’m super shy and relatively anti social so street teaming would never be an option for me. I could never stand on a street corner and pass out fliers. I know street teamers do a lot more than that but I never really had an interest in that side of the industry.

Are there any companies in the industry that you particularly admire? Whether they’re companies you’ve worked with or just companies you follow, what appeals to you about them?
There’s a handful of companies I really enjoy working with and admire for their work ethic. Big Picture Media is one I love everyone who works there and they are seriously so hard working with everything they do its really amazing to work with them and their artists. Also, Universal who I intern for because they have such a big span of artists and people working on a million things at once and its full of great people that I enjoy working for. I have a few friends that are Tour Managers who I love to death because they’re great and are always helping me out. There’s a few other companies I really like working with like The Chamber Group, Sight and Sound Management, and Warner Brother.

Being actively involved in the music industry, how often have you been tempted to skip class or put off an assignment in order to attend a show? How do you make the choice?
Oh, I do that often. I’m terrible when it comes to school. I tend to schedule my classes around times that shows won’t happen. So I refuse to take anything that starts after 6. I’ve left classes early multiple times for shows and sometimes skipped class all together depending on how far I have to travel. It’s a terrible thing to do but I try to balance it out. I’m a total procrastinator so projects generally get done the night before they’re due. I’ve had that mentality my entire life and I should totally change that….. one day.

Have you ever arranged your schedule based on music related obligations? Have you ever had to turn something down or reschedule something based on your school schedule?
100% I arrange my school schedule based on times show starts, my classes better end by 6 or I don’t take that class. I really hate turning things down and rescheduling, I don’t think I’ve ever had to do that due to something school related, but I have due to being sick or something like that, which I often will go to shows if I’m sick, I basically will go unless I can’t walk. Which has only been the case two or three times.

Are you often faced with tough choices when it comes to priorities and scheduling as a student who's also involved in the music industry?
My priorities are generally music related first and for most just because I want to do everything I can to further my career. School is a close second, obviously its important but I generally will take a show and just pull an all nighter if I have to, in order to catch up on work. I also have family close by when I’m in NYC for school and trying to schedule weekends to come visit has been really hard because shows are always on weekend nights. I have to find weekends that I have no plans and they have no plans, so I don’t get to visit as often as I’d like.

Do you ever struggle to find space to store your equipment, especially when living in a dorm? Is traveling with fragile equipment ever a struggle? Is affording the equipment you need ever an issue?
Sadly I’ve been living the dorm life the past three years and I struggle with thinking someone will steal my equipment more than not having space for it. I don’t have a lot of equipment so I have space for what I do have. I don’t really worry about traveling with my equipment I’m careful enough to not drop things or throw my bag down. I luckily live around the corner from my class building so generally I just go home and grab my equipment before I head out to a show, in the event that I need to leave right a way, I don’t mind carrying my stuff all day. Not having money to buy equipment is the biggest difficulty. I’m lucky enough to be a photo major at a school that is fully stocked with equipment that I can take out almost whenever I want free of charge, which is amazing.

As someone who dorms, do you struggle with roommates? Do they ever complain about you taking up too much space or being too loud with your musical endeavors?
I had a single room my freshman year, and because I wanted to have my own kitchen I took the plunge and got a dorm with two roommates. Worst mistake of my life. I grew up as an only child so having to share a small dorm with two other people was an absolute nightmare for me and I will never do it again. Not only did I not know who I would be dorming with but we didn’t get along. Long story short, it was a nightmare and I hated it. I didn’t really listen to music too loud, so I didn’t bother anyone with that but my stuff did take up a lot of space, not all camera related I just have a lot of things. Other than that it was a lot of petty crap that I dealt with between the three of us.

What is one of the biggest obstacles you've faced while trying to progress your career while still in school? Have you faced many tough obstacles like that, or has being in school helped you take those next steps?
The biggest issue I’ve come across thus far is not really being able to tour. Don’t get me wrong, I have yet to get an offer but if something did come up I’d more than likely have to turn it down and that would just kill me. Going to a fine art based school hasn’t helped me progress in really any way. I learned more things about using the camera, lighting, and editing but career wise, most teachers expect you to take photos of fruit baskets and hang things up on a gallery wall. I’m 100% not into it and get a lot of bad critiques from teachers due to not knowing how to handle someone who doesn’t shoot “fine art.” As I like to say, school is “Struggle City.”

How has being in college helped you advance your involvement in the music industry? Do you think the pros of being in both outweigh the cons?
School has done absolutely nothing for me as my advancement in this industry. My photography has gotten better but I feel like that would have happened even if I didn’t go to school. I’m not a fan of school, I’ve never liked being in school but at my age I feel like it’s necessary to go to college and come out with a degree. Nowadays without a degree its really difficult to get a good job and especially in the art/music industry its even harder. I’m really getting a degree as a backup plan if I can’t make a living with what I’m doing now.

Do you think it's been beneficial to start your career in the music industry while you're still in school?
I think it’s important to work towards a career when you have the fire in you to work extremely hard for what you want. If you don’t know what you want don’t try to put your life into something that you end up not wanting to do a year down the line. I’ve been in love with photography my entire life and music has been a huge part of my life as well. The idea to merge the two started when I was 13 and now I’m 20 still pursuing it because I love it. Seven years of dedication and hard work and I still have the fire in me to work for everything I want with no doubt in what I want.

What are your plans for after graduation?
After I graduate I really don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m hoping to get either a good enough connection with a label, management company or a magazine in the industry to get a full time job as a photographer or a good enough connection to tour with a band full time. If I don’t have a full time option by time I’m half way through my senior year, I’ll likely go back to California for a while and live at home while I look for a full time job. I’d prefer to stay in NYC but that may not be in the cards for me down the line.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Circa Survive Announce New Album

>> Circa Survive will be releasing a new album, titled Descensus, on November 24th through Sumerian Records. Pre-orders for the album will start on October 27th, the same day that the band will release a new song.

>> You can watch a trailer for the new album below.

>>  Circa Survive will be touring with Title Fight, Tera Melos, and Pianos Become The Teeth next month. The run begins on November 5th in Boston, MA, and comes to a close on December 14th in Philadelphia. Visit for tickets and more information.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Planetary Group/Dutch Impact CMJ Showcase

>> As a Manhattanite, I get caught up in the CMJ buzz. Some of you might not be in town for these showcases, but some of you might be - and that's why I'll be posting details for several of the CMJ showcases I come across.  Some of you might be interested in seeing cool bands play cool shows, and that's enough for me. For the rest, feel free to scroll to the other cool, non-CMJ related content on the site.  -- Kate

>> The CMJ Music Marathon is almost here! The Planetary Group has partnered with Dutch Impact and Eurosonic Noorderslag to present their annual CMJ showcase.  The show involves two stages at Pianos (upstairs and downstairs) and will run from noon to 6pm on October 24th.  The full list of artists performing as well as set times can be seen below.  Click here to RSVP.

Friday October 24th, 2014: 12-6pm @ PIANOS:

— Downstairs Stage —
12:50-1:15PM - Future Loves Past
  1:30-1:55PM - Nothing But Thieves
2:10-2:35PM - Bad//Dreems
2:50-3:15PM - The Delta Riggs
3:30-3:55PM - Liam Bailey
4:10-4:35PM - Go Back To The Zoo
4:50-5:15PM - Monomyth
5:30-5:55PM - DUNE RATS

— Upstairs Stage —
12:30-12:55PM - Monokino

1:10-1:35PM - Eden Mulholland - Music
1:50-2:15PM - hundreds
2:30-2:55PM - GO WOLF
3:10-3:35PM - Lydia Ainsworth
3:50-4:15PM - Gossling
4:30-4:55PM - Lay Low
5:10-5:35PM - Taymir

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Catch the 3rd Annual Texas Take Over Party at CMJ

>> Artists from all over come to NYC every year to participate in the CMJ Music Marathon - and for good reason.  This year, attendees can look forward to the 3rd annual Texas Take Over Party on Tuesday October 23rd at The Delancey.  This showcase will feature performances from Emily Wolfe, The Sufferers, The Please Please Me, and more!  The event is free, but don't forget to RSVP here.  The full line up and set times can be seen below.

The 3rd Annual Texas Takeover Party:

WHERE:      The Delancey | 168 Delancey Street | New York, NY 10002
WHEN:        Thursday, October 23rd | 3pm - 11pm
INFO:           FREE with RSVP | 21+

Set Times:
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM          Pageantry
3:25 PM - 3:55 PM          Girl Pilot
3:45 PM - 4:15 PM          K Phillips
4:10 PM - 4:40 PM          Sphynx
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM          Somebody's Darling
4:55 PM - 5:25 PM          DJ Ipod Ammo
5:15 PM - 5:45 PM          BLSHS
5:40 PM - 6:10 PM          -Us. (DJ Set)
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM          Catch Fever
6:25 PM - 6:55 PM          Night Drive (DJ Set)
6:45 PM - 7:15 PM          Pompeii
7:10 PM - 7:40 PM          Ravin' Symone
7:30 PM - 8:00 PM          Flavor Raid
8:05 PM - 8:35 PM          Wrestlers (DJ Set)
8:15 PM - 8:45 PM          East Cameron Folkcore
8:50 PM - 9:20 PM          Featherface
9:00 PM - 9:30 PM          Holiday Mountain
9:35 PM - 10:05 PM        The Please Please Me
9:45 PM - 10:15 PM        Walker Lukens & The Side Arms
10:20 PM - 10:50 PM      Emily Wolfe
10:30 PM - 11:00 PM      The Suffers

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The Madden Brothers Announce Select Tour Dates

>> The Madden Brothers (Benji & Joel from Good Charlotte) are taking their new band on the road next month!  The tour kicks off on November 17th and runs until just before Thanksgiving.  You can see the dates for the upcoming Madden Brothers tour featuring Keta and Front Porch Step below!

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Topshelf Records Announce 2014 CMJ Showcase

>> It's that time of year again! Topshelf Records is partnering with Washed Up Emo to host their annual CMJ showcase.  This year's showcase will take place on October 24th at Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn.  The show is free for everyone (21+), but is expected to be at capacity for most of the night so plan ahead! Details from Topshelf for the showcase featuring The World Is A Beautiful Place and more can be seen below.

With the venue being on the smaller side, we expect it to be at capacity all night. To ensure entry without issue — even if we’re at capacity — we’ve made 50 VIP tickets available (you can order one or learn more about them here). Here’s the line-up and info for the show: 
Washed Up Emo Presents: Topshelf Records 2014 CMJ Showcase
@ Cameo Gallery // 93 N 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
October 24, 2014, 6:30pm // 21+ // free, VIP tickets limited to 50
Washed Up Emo DJ set: 11:30pm - 4:00am downstairs immediately following the show 
Here’s the Facebook event page if that’s your thing. 

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The College Experience with Asha Sing

>> >>  Hello, all! Let's keep this experience sharing going, shall we? In case you're wondering what this feature is for, here's a brief explanation of what I'm after:  The College Experience is my way of discussing the pros and cons of taking steps to have a career while still being a student, or how the desire to be involved with the music industry could interfere with the pursuit of a degree.  I'll be asking a selection of folks the same basic questions regarding their school, their role in the industry, their struggles, and their goals.  I'll also ask about each person's individual projects, whether they are photographers, musicians, aspiring publicists, writers, promoters, and the like. I think it'll be interesting to see how each of us deals with the difficulties of balancing  and prioritizing the various obstacles we face as students with big ambitions.

>> For the most part, The College Experience has dealt with writers, photographers, and the like, and I'm particularly excited to finally discuss the experience of being a musician while also being a student.  Today's feature highlights a talented musician by the name of Asha Sing.  You can view her latest video for "Satellite" below, then get to know the artist behind the song.

Please state your name, age, what school you attended, and what year you graduated.
Asha Sing , University of Miami, Graduated in 2013

When and how did you first get involved with the music scene?
I grew up in a very musical family. I first started really understanding and getting involved in the entertainment industry when I competed at the Amateur Night Talent Contest hosted at the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY. I was crowned a winner and signed to the Carson Adler Agency the next day.

What was it like to first really get involved in the industry through winning a talent contest at the Apollo Theater? How was your reaction to really starting your career that way?
I didn't really understand what was going on at the time and I definitely didn't understand what a big deal it was. I was 16 years old when I competed. It was probably during my sophomore year of college, I really started to get the significance of the accomplishment and appreciate the benefits of what had happened through signing with the Carson Adler Agency.

Do you find that you have more or less free time generally now that you’ve graduated?
I definitely have a lot more free time to think and plan now that I'm out of school. I am able to put a lot more thought into my sets and vision for my shows.

What experiences have you had so far in the industry?
Too many to even name. I have interned with entertainment lawyer, Charlotte Towne, the Florida Chapter of the Recording Academy, Top 40 radio station Power 96, publishing company EMI CMG and professional theater company The Mosaic Theater.

When I wasn't interning, I was performing or working on writing projects. One of my most memorable performances was being a back-up singer and dancer for Shakira. She has had a huge influence on my music and incorporating my Indian culture into my sound. I made my first cut as a songwriter awhile back when Daddy Yankee put a song I wrote called "Lose Control" on his album. The song went on to be featured on MTV and VH1.

It seems as though you purposefully interned in all different sections of the music biz. How did those well-rounded experiences help you as an up-and-coming musician?
Absolutely. I wanted to be able to understand the different parts on the entertainment industry, develop contacts in each part and also figure out if I liked anything in particular. I learned that I really enjoyed my radio internship the most.

What was it like getting to perform with Shakira? How did that opportunity come about, and how did that factor in with your school work?
Performing with Shakira was life-changing for me. It helped me realize that I wanted to include my culture into my artistry the way Shakira did in her music. I received the opportunity through a friend at UM. Univision was looking for back-up singers and dancers. They didn't mention it was for Shakira, only that is was a paid gig. As a broke college student, the opportunity was tempting and I went from it. I didn't know I was performing for Shakira till the day before where we met and rehearsed with her. It didn't really affect my school work as it was only one performance.

Describe the feeling you had when you first heard a song you wrote on MTV & VH1. How did you react to not only being able to write a song for a successful artist, but to then see that song become successful in its own right?
I felt satisfied. I get a different feeling of accomplishment for my songwriting than I do when I'm performing. Songwriting is a much longer process and a lot of time and thought is put into creating a song so to see companies like MTV and VH1 choose something I wrote for a show they program was really gratifying and made me feel like I was on the right path.

Being actively involved in the music industry, how often were you tempted to skip class or put off an assignment in order to attend or play a show?
Temptation varied haha. Sometimes I would really get into a vibe during a writing session and I wouldn't want to stop. What if I couldn't get back into that magic place after class? What if this is a song that has a huge amount of potential? I was lucky enough to major in music so a lot of my assignments revolved around the projects I was already working on. Its tough to balance school work and your artistry but If you want to succeed at both (which I wanted) then you'll find a way.

Have you ever arranged your schedule based on music related obligations? 
Music related obligations are the story of my life. Even now, my schedule is constantly revolving around when my engineer or guitarist are available, when we can rehearse, when we can record etc. I have been in the position of school conflicting with music but if it was a music opportunity that I couldn't miss, I would just work it out with my teachers. Attending a music school had its perks especially when it came to performing. My teachers were really understanding of our music obligations.

What was one of the biggest obstacles you've faced while trying to progress your career while still in school? Did you face many tough obstacles like that, or did being in school help you take those next steps?
School overall helped me take the steps I needed to to launch my music. I didn't think so at the time but the network I developed there helped me tremendously.

How did being in college help you advance your involvement in the music industry? Do you think it's been beneficial to start your career / path in the music industry while you're still in school?
My college degree has helped me tremendously. The first benefit of pursuing a college degree were all of the internships. I met my producer and made my first cut as a songwriter through an internship. The second benefit of a college degree is of course getting a job. I work as a Promotions Coordinator for WHYI Y100, iHeart Media - one of the most powerful Radio/Media Companies in America.

What have you been up to since graduation?
After graduation I took 6 months off to release my debut single "Mercy" which landed at the no. 7 spot on Billboard's Hot Single Sales. I have just released my second single 'Satellite' which you can stream here and will be embarking on my first US Tour.

What are you most looking forward to with your upcoming (and first) US tour?
I am really excited to connect with fans on a more intimate level. During this tour, I speak to kids about my experiences, perform, do a Q&A, and meet each kid and take a picture with them, talk to them etc. It's much more intimate than a normal 15-30 minute set.

What would you say to someone debating how to pursue a career in the industry while still in school? 
If you can balance it, DO IT. If you can't balance a job, you have to intern. You just have to. The opportunities that have come out of interning have been life changing for me.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I'm really looking to collab and meet new artists so make sure to hit me up!

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2015 Tour Dates: Four Year Strong with Comeback Kid

>> Four Year Strong will be hitting the road with Comeback Kid and special guests beginning in January.  VIP & Pre-sale tickets will be available tomorrow, October 7th, starting at 10am EST. General on-sale will begin Friday October 10th at 10am EST.  The full list of dates for this run can be seen below.

Four Year Strong January Tour with Comeback Kid:
Jan 6 - South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
Jan 7 - Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
Jan 8 - Toronto, ON @ The Opera House
Jan 9 - Pontiac, MI @ The Crofoot
Jan 10 - Louisville, KY @ Vernon Club
Jan 11 - Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
Jan 13 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
Jan 14 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
Jan 15 - Charleston, SC @ Music Farm
Jan 16 - Ybor City, FL @ The Orpheum
Jan 17 - Orlando, FL @ The Beacham Theatre
Jan 18 - Jacksonville, FL @ Underbelly
Jan 20 - Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry
Jan 21 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
Jan 22 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
Jan 23 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Jan 24 - Amityville, NY @ Revolution

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XTRMST (Davey and Jade from AFI) Announce Debut Album

>> Davey Havok and Jade Puget of AFI announced details of their new project - a straight edge hardcore band called XTRMST.  The band will release their self-titled debut album on November 18th through Dim Mak Records.  You can read a statement from the band below and listen to their song "Words For The Unwanted" here.

We are XTRMST 
"The straightedge philosophy is something that we gravitated toward at a young age, drawn by concepts and ideals that seem almost foreign in modern society. Like much of the other subcultures we were a part of growing up, it put us at odds with 99% of the people around us, which was something we embraced. It seemed natural that this crucial ideology would find a musical expression.

For the release of XTRMST, we are extremely excited to be partnering with Dim Mak and Steve. This record is one of the most important we’ve made. The songs are of purity, passion and truth. May they speak to you.” - XTRMST

Album pre-order + first single “Conformist” available October 7. Digital + vinyl LP in stores November 18.

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