travel

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They say that travel is the most mind-opening experience a person can undergo. The sights, the people, and the overall change of atmosphere tend to yield inspiration and irreversible effects on an individual. How might this affect a band who’s been relocated numerous times? Sure, it’s easy to get settled in one city, get a small fan base going, and then continuously get booked in the same bars night after night. But what if you have to uproot your act and switch coasts? What if you need to do this multiple times in a single career?

Well, meet Boston’s long-time shoegaze outfit, Soccer Mom.

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  • They have definitely put in their fair share of time (and then some) in the songwriting department.
  • Whether in San Francisco,  New York City, or Boston, Soccer Mom have never put their musical endeavors on the back burner.
  • They’ve managed to release a record in London a few years back, thanks to English label 100m Records.

But now that they’ve settled down in our very own backyards, Soccer Mom have finally managed to release their self-titled full length. Although I may be a little late to the party (their record release was at Great Scott last Saturday), this record isn’t one you want to sleep on.

Soccer Mom have created quite the masterpiece. A guitar-player’s dream, this record contains a perfect balance of the fuzzed-out dissonant melodies one would come to expect from an outfit like Soccer Mom, yet it is met with dreamy, smooth harmony as well. Their persistence is unrelenting, and when the opportunity to catch Soccer Mom perform again, I highly recommend doing so.

How do you think a band that has been relocated many times will be affected? Do you like Soccer Mom?

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The start of the Spring semester is, in my own personal opinion, the most daunting period of the year.

The struggle is formed from a number of things, things which you will hear students (myself included) whine about every day:

1. It’s really freaking cold out; like REALLY cold. For people like myself, who live in off-campus apartments and have to walk upwards of a mile to school, this temperature drop is unbearable. But, being college students and all, we’re trying to save a few pennies and avoid that outrageous parking fee on campus.

2. Winter break has just ended which instills a feeling of sadness in us all. But, there’s a major difference in the end of winter break and the end of summer break. You see, summer is usually spent outdoors being active, while winter break is generally spent on the couch/in bed nursing pints of ice cream. For this reason, it’s not as easy to snap back into things as it would be after a summer spent frolicking about.

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Regardless of these factors, I must admit I am still able to look back on my winter break with much pleasure. Contrary to my expectations, I managed to accomplish more over break than I would’ve guessed going into it.

Christmas was really hectic this year, as both my girlfriend and myself come from separated families. Now that we’re “adults,” it was our responsibility to attend all of our family parties, so as not to leave any loved ones feeling left out. So we spent most of the holiday driving between Stoughton, Middleboro, and Falmouth. I’m not gonna Google Map this for you; just trust me it was a LOT of driving. Although it might have been a bit draining, it was still the best Christmas I’ve experienced thus far, and all the travelling was well worth it.

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After New Years, I found myself at a loss of what to do with myself. I didn’t need to stress out over things like presents and party planning anymore, so what was I to do? I suppose the only answer was to enjoy myself, so I did just that.

Aside from my normal favorite activities (hanging with my gals and playing with puppies), I found myself actually quite busy playing shows in Boston. Sometimes upwards of three nights a week, I spent a lot of time freezing my ass off trying to find a place to park and load gear in the city streets. The frequent gigs led to another band asking me to play for them, to which I obliged. Musically, I was far busier than I’ve ever been, and was paid a lot more than I’ve been used to.

Another adventure I went on took place entirely in my bedroom (suggestive… I know). I wound up spending way too much money at Ikea and turning my room into an off-campus oasis. After honing my interior design skills, I confidently feel that this bedroom/monastery will make my studies much more enjoyable.

Honestly, how tied up I was over break makes me feel as though my semester will be a bit more leisurely. I know this probably sounds asinine, but it’s true; at this point doing nothing and studying sounds a lot like relaxation to me. Granted, I’m not going to feel this way in a week. Hell, maybe even when I start my next assignment in a few minutes. Alas, I feel like my winter break was fulfilling to say the least, and I’m more than ready to get back to the grind of spring courses.

Did you consider your winter break to be a busy period? Do prefer the Spring or Fall semester?

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I Was Once a Monkey

by Alexandra Pivero on January 29, 2014

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One of the hardest parts about traveling to a different country for winter break is, and always will be, returning back home. This winter was particularly difficult because not only was I coming back to late-night shifts and midterm exams, but I was returning back to a sub-zero polar vortex of a Himalayan wasteland.

But this doesn’t mean that I don’t continue to do it. I absolutely love traveling during winter break, especially to warm tropical locals such as Singapore and Indonesia. Both of which I loved.

Singapore is a very crowded, humid and technologically-advanced city-state of over five million people. I renamed Singapore the City of Escalators because seriously these people ride escalators everywhere they go. It is a very expensive and very beautiful city.

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I was also privileged enough to spend a week in Bali, Indonesia, which was totally and completely incredible. It is everything one hopes a dream vacation would be.

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White sand beaches, delicious cultural cuisine, and $10 massage spas on every corner. In all seriousness, I think I received on the plus side of eight massages in one week. My boyfriend and I ate disgusting amounts of food and sprawled out by the infinity pool for seven whole days. I think we actually started to transform into slugs.

But by far the best and most amazing part of my entire trip to Southeast Asia was… drumroll… THE MONKEY FOREST.

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Located in Ubud, Indonesia, this place is my true home. I believe that I was actually meant to be born here and live amongst my primate friends. It is the most amazing place where monkeys are free to crawl all over you, all the while freshly stealing things out of your bag. I even had one frisky pal look up my skirt! #lovedit.

But sadly, all amazing vacations must come to an end, and back to reality I’ve come. Despite the 28-hour plane ride, I would do it again in a heart beat. And I most definitely will be.

Did YOU travel anywhere during your winter break? Where did you go?

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