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Neon Trees create buzz in the music scene


By Alison Sikes NYU

Utah. A state known for its outdoor activities and scenic views, not for flash and bright colors. Alternative band Neon Trees hopes to electrify their home state’s reputation.  Self-described as post-pop punk, Neon Trees’ sound is infectious, entertaining, and dance-worthy.  Lead singer Tyler Glenn accredits bands like Passion Pit and The Big Pink as well as French DJs to their enthralling music. These influences are apparent in their first single “Animal.” The catchy song is a solid debut about comparing the start of a relationship to…well, to an animal. The upcoming video for “Animal” also takes from an interesting source of influence—Batman. As a teenager, Glenn loved superheroes like X-Men and of course, The Dark Knight. The band drew from their love of the Tim-Burton-directed Batman and paid homage to the Joker scene in which he and his cronies wreak havoc in an art gallery. Whether inspired by caped-crusaders or by electronic tastemakers, prepare for Neon Trees’ forthcoming album, Habits, to be filled with seductive vocals and hard-edged tracks about the habits of a relationship. Be sure to give Habits a listen when it is released on March 16th!

The Evils of the Merger


by Alexandra Rivera        Boca Raton Community High School

Recently, the United States Department of Justice confirmed the merger between two of the largest ticket retailers in the country, TicketMaster and Live Nation. For avid concert-goers like me, this is probably the worst decision ever made in the world of music. Is any good going to come out of it?

The world of government anti-trust issues dates all the way back to the mid-1800s, post-Civil War era, when corporate giants such as John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan broke onto the scene with trusts and mega-corporations in the oil and banking industries. Fast-forward to 2010, and the predecessors for our anti-trust laws and governmental control over some companies sparked the beginning of this awful merger that victimizes fans across the country.

The merger clearly brings the two companies together and is now being called “Live Nation Entertainment, Inc.” to incorporate the titles of the two as well as to “reflect the combination of Live Nation’s concert promotion expertise with Ticketmaster’s world-class ticketing solutions and artist relationships,” according to the DOJ (whatever THAT means). The DOJ also states that “Through this merger, the parties believe that the combined company will have the tools to develop new products, expand access, improve transparency and deliver artists and fans more choice.  This will drive greater attendance at live events and bringing more value to all major constituents in the industry. The combined company also expects to pursue significant growth opportunities in markets around the world.” I rolled my eyes at the end of that statement.

As previously stated, I am an avid concert-goer. I attend at least three shows per year and sometimes the numbers increase, and ticket prices are already expensive to begin with, especially in the economic state that our nation is in. Throw all of the extra “service fees” and “processing charges” on top of a General Admission price and your $15.00 ticket shoots up to about twice of what it’s worth. I usually buy my tickets from Live Nation, and they charge the same fees, but the prices are usually not that bad compared to TicketMaster’s. Thus, TicketMaster merging with Live Nation is going to make the prices of tickets completely skyrocket into the clouds while simultaneously downsizing the amount of people that are going to spend their hard-earned money on tickets. TicketMaster’s so-called “ticketing solutions” are just ways to make people spend more money than they have to.

Also, how is this merger going to increase the attendance at shows? When I go to shows, they’re usually at smaller venues, such as Culture Room (Ft. Lauderdale) or Revolution Live (Ft. Lauderdale), and even then the venues don’t reach their maximum capacities. As a matter of fact, Culture Room receives more shows because they sell their tickets so cheap that it costs Revolution too much money to hold a show there. But, this merger won’t increase attendance, it’ll just decrease it, because no one has the money to go see their favorite artists anymore, and if they do go to shows then they will attend them at smaller venues that sell tickets for more affordable prices. The days of shows at sold-out arenas and theaters are far from over, and the times of shows at underground clubs or bars are ever-present.

Aside from the merger directly affecting fans, it also directly affects bands. From their perspective, the merger means less and less fans at shows since the price of renting venues is  constantly increasing and also because ticket sales are so low. According to Yahoo, artists and bands are not thrilled about this at all:

“Bruce Springsteen, already furious with Ticketmaster for directing fans to a subsidiary selling tickets for above-face value, recently posted a statement on his Web site saying a deal with Live Nation could end up ‘returning us to a near-monopoly situation in music ticketing.’”

Clearly, this merger poses hundreds of problems and it hasn’t made people very happy. America is supposed to be a democracy, which also means that mega-corporations cannot monopolize and break our anti-trust laws just to get more money to line their overstuffed pockets. With that said, although we as fans may not have a lot of power to do something about this, the only thing we can do is continue to support our artists and try not to let the merger get in the way of what we want as an audience—real live entertainment.

Hot Chip was On Fire!



It was a freezing New York night.  The temperature was well below 20 degrees and the wind  was at least 17 miles per hour. I, like 600 fans, waited in this unbearable weather to see British electro-pop band Hot Chip perform their first show in over a year at the Highline Ballroom.  Thanks to MySpace Secret Shows, the concert was free but honestly, I would have paid my entire salary to experience that concert again. I have never been more impressed by a band. Let me start off by saying that prior to the show, I knew two Hot Chip songs, “Ready for the Floor” and “Boy from School”—which they played incredibly. It’s safe to say that I had no expectations.

When lead singer Alexis Taylor walked out in all yellow and orange dress shoes, I knew I was in for a good time. Beginning with “Thieves in the night” off of their latest release One Life Stand, the audience and I were immediately enthralled and instantly felt compelled to dance. . For two hours,  we jumped and gyrated and did not stop until show was over.  Hot Chip sounds as great, if not better live, than they do in your iPod.  Incorporating synths, a steel drum, and your basic rock instruments, their music translates into a heavy-dance-laden rock that sends you into a sensory-overload. After the show, I downloaded their entire discography and can’t stop listening to them. One Life Stand is a fantastic album, be sure to check it out. If Hot Chip ever comes to your town or you’re invited to one of their shows, do not hesitate. GO! You will have a great time.