Music Meets Tech

FOR YOUR LOWS, CHECK OUT HIGH HIGHS
August 22, 2016 11:43 am

 

As  great new bands go, High Highs definitely have to be one of my all time favorites. Their sweet melodic instrumentals are mixed with soft melancholy vocals that evoke a sense of depressing hope. Now if that doesn’t make sense to you, then you obviously haven’t heard them.

The band, based off New York “via Sydney”, is one of the few who is able to capture this feeling of hope that is not altogether what it seems to be. They’ve got a peculiar sound reminiscent of The Shins, flashbacks to sad Xavier in high school days commence, it is a sound that is not only pleasing to the ear but one that stirs up a sense of real feelings.

Cascades, their latest album and their single of the same name, is one that’s particularly pleasing. While still keeping the same tone of their previous albums, the new track seems to have more upbeat sounds while still keeping lyrics that continue to have you grounded in a beautifully surreal existential crisis. In a good way, if that makes sense.

High Highs also put out a new video in July for their song “London, After the Rain“, whose subject matter seems to match its form. The video, which depicts naked bodies being painted, mirrors its artfully skilled song that gets sung as the brush strokes the bodies in an effortlessly mellow way. A visual as relaxing as the sounds of “London, After the Rain”.

While High Highs has been around for a while, it is a crime that they don’t seem to have the following that they deserve. Next time you are having a breakdown, thinking about a lost love, or are feeling overall melancholy (me, always), consider High Highs as the soundtrack to your soothing sadness.

ON THE EVIE OF TECHNOLOGY
August 10, 2016 9:56 am

As organizers go, there are many ineffective ones out in the market. Some do too much, some not enough. Evie does something magnificent. Evie is able to find the middle ground of an app that helps you manage your phone, without overwhelming you.

Evie acts as an organizer of sorts, that completely does away with your home’s set up. It gives you option to find things in an easier and more orchestrated fashion.

While we are all used to the template of having all of your apps in your home screen, Evie allows you to remove all that clutter, while making the search for your top apps easy.

 

Evie’s initial function clears out the home screen while teaching you that by swiping down, a screen showing a search bar will open up. The search bar can be used in the same way that a computer’s search function works.

If that is too easy, by swiping right on your phone, a tab will open from the left side of the screen, that has all of your apps and widgets in alphabetical order. A more convenient way to look for apps, at least for me.

Now you are thinking, why would I download an app that completely will redo everything that I have already taught myself? An app that will reteach me to use my phone? Get it because it is something new, it is something that I am sure your friends don’t have. Just because we all have the same phone, it doesn’t mean that we can’t use them differently, does it? Give it a try and it could become your new best friend.

ADD SOME SOUNDS TO YOUR INSTAGRAM POSTS
July 6, 2016 5:53 pm

We all have choices when it comes to streaming music on our phones. From Pandora to Spotify, Apple Music to Play Music, the options for discovering new music every day are seemingly endless. That being said, not all apps do what Sounds does.

Sounds tries to do a bit more than just help you discover music. Through the Sounds app, your discovery becomes your friends’ discovery as well. The app allows you to share a song through Instagram. You thought those videos of you at the beach or those pictures of your cat were as good as they could be? They’re about to be kicked up a notch.

The app allows for customizing the song through the app, to either attach photos or videos to the song and add a whole different vibe to your Instagram page.

The app is surprisingly enjoyable with this customization. Not only do the Instagram boosting features make it cool, but it’s a pretty solid music app as is. It has no ads at the moment and while it might not have exactly everything you are looking for in the music department, it does have a good selection of indie to listen to.

Sounds is only as enjoyable as you are though, so try to be open and take into account all the possibilities and fun opportunities you could have sharing songs through Instagram.

10 TECH CITIES TO LOOK OUT FOR
June 29, 2016 6:28 pm

As a writer I always looked down on articles that focused on lists, I always thought it was lazy to do that. To base your writing around an arbitrary numeric countdown of biased information that is grounded in data that is not fully sound was just against my journalistic integrity. Without further ado, here is my countdown of the top ten tech-driven cities in the US of A.

Many know about California’s Silicon Valley that is synonymous with tech, it even has a show with its namesake, centered around Tech. But tech culture thrives elsewhere as well.

austin-at-night

AUSTIN, TX

Austin has been an up and coming mecca when it comes to all things music and tech recently. Hosting SXSW which has previewed everything from games to television shows, Austin is a city to look out for. It is one that was featured in over 5 “Top 10” articles and good reason to be. The city is the host to 3M, AMD, Apple, AT&T, Dell, Evernote, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Nvidia, and PayPal. An article on the city dons it “Silicon Hills”.

BOSTON, MA

Boston is slowly becoming much more than just its odd accents and rampant Catholicism. The city has started this initiative to get tech companies to come over by starting their Innovation District, which aims to be a tech friendly environment for up and coming start-ups. Boston’s innovation district aims to make this once great, dangerous city into a thriving economic tech powerhouse.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN

Minneapolis is another one of these unexpected cities. Whenever I think Minnesota, I think of Fargo; a cold, accent heavy (again) city. Now, if you haven’t noticed, I get most of my point of references from television or movies, but for Minneapolis, there is a lot more than meets the ear. The city is a host to its “Twin Cities Startup Week.” think Fashion Week, but with actual importance. It is a way to advocate for tech in a city that is very much in the tech game.

ATLANTA, GA

Yesterday, the white house announced that it would fund two different grants. Both of which would total a 7.7 million dollar teaching program in Atlanta. One of these initiatives is set to train youth and young adults in Atlanta in all things tech. The program, aptly titled, ATL Tech Hire will enable kids to learn coding. A step into building a more tech savvy city.

washington-dc-skyline-photoWASHINGTON, DC

Washington DC has been called by many, the Silicon Valley of the east. It is the host to the Dulles Technology Corridor, a cluster in DC that contains many tech businesses. Washington DC can easily become not only the capitol of the country, but the tech capitol as well.

 

RALEIGH DURHAM, NC

For those of you who have never heard of Raleigh, you have some real research to do. Raleigh is home to companies such as Cisco, IBM, The Research Triangle, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, Red Hat and many others. The city is a hub of tech in the southeast region of this country and it is a force to be reckoned with.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

San Francisco is close enough to Silicon Valley to almost have been skipped out on my list, but it is distinct enough to not have been. San Fransisco’s tech culture is so evolved that it has affected real estateenough to give the city national attention. Zenefits and Dropbox are just two of the many unicorns that have led this city’s housing crisis on its in.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Seattle’s tech status can be summed up by the fact that Google is giving a third of a million in grants to the city, in order to bring Wi-Fi to low income residents and parks across the city. Seattle might become the first in its kind with city wide Wi-Fi. Seattle is also the home to T-Mobile, Boeing, F5 Networks, Qumulo, Redfin, Extrahop Networks, Socrata and Avvo to name a few.

NEW YORK, NY

My city, of course it is an up and coming tech city. With Tesla moving into our backyard, and it being home to ATYPICAL SOUNDS, a music meets tech magazine, New York has in the past few years to bring more tech jobs into the city. With Google and Amazon here, who knows what is next for the greatest city in the world.

BALTIMORE, MARYLANDseason 2 silicon valley

When you walk through the garden, you better watch your back since Baltimore has rounded out our list. Baltimore has come a long way since its crime-addled days of The Wire and has since shown potential to be a tech powerhouse. CUNY students will recognize one of Baltimore’s over 200 tech companies, Blackboard. The city is also rolling out IBM’s P-Tech education program that partners high school kids with mentors in the hopes of getting them more involved in IT.

Which cities will continue to rise to power in tech advancement? And which ones do you think will join this list? Tweet us @AtypicalBeasts!

BROADCAST YOUR IDEAS WITH ANCHOR
June 20, 2016 4:53 pm

The ways in which we connect and communicate in this age are so vast that you can talk about a plethora of topics in a plethora of ways. Most of which that happens online however, usually lead to misinterpretations of meaning.

Anchor is an app that acts as a 21st century ham radio of sorts, but not quite. The app allows you to be the anchor of your own radio show with a bunch of other people. The app, only available at the apple store, makes global connectivity and global discussions easy by sharing short audio clips in seconds. People will respond to your broadcasts and have the opportunity to share their opinions on these things.

The great thing about this app is that it allows the users to partake in conversations that are important and relevant. The sample Anchor conversation on the site is one that talks about political correctness in the 21st century. A topic that gets talked about so much that at this point it is extremely commonplace.

You get to hear a conversation from both sides of the argument, at the same time you get something that you definitely miss out on if it is on Twitter or a forum type discussion; tone. Tone is so easy to get wrong online, this isn’t the case with Anchor. Cadence and vocal volume can add so much more to the intent of the content of your argument and Anchor sure helps with that.

I don’t have much to complain about when it comes to this app, it is a good-looking app and works great with really good user ratings. Unfortunately, the only complaint that I have, and one that seems to come up very often, is the fact that it is only available for iPhones.

If you’re an outspoken person who wants to partake in an honest conversation without the shouting match that seems to happen while talking on reddit and other sites, then check out Anchor, you’re gonna love it.

INSIDE LOOK INTO INSIDEHOOK
June 10, 2016 1:47 pm

As a recent graduate with lots of free time on my hands, I spend a great sum of it looking at different things that might peak my interest. While most of those things do seem to be job related, some of it has to do with style. Admittedly, I’ve never been one to know anything about fashion, let alone some kind of style icon. Yesterday I wore this old grey Pokemon shirt that has ketchup stains from middle school still on it. It is one of my most prized possessions.

While there are various sources to seek tips on how to be stylish- or even how to be a “man”- Inside Hook is definitely one worth taking a peak at. While it mostly markets to an older demographic, I’m 22 going on 23 and I find it useful. It is definitely one to consider.

The site has a sleek and modern design, and it’s content is actually pretty entertaining. I just spent the past few minutes looking at their “Culture Hound” pieces that give you an insight into that month’s pop-culture “happenings.” Now I don’t know about you, but I love me some pop-culture. This month they included some movies to watch and while I disagree with their recommendation of Independence Day, (that movie does not need to be re-done I’m not going to go into a rant, I’m not going to go into a rant, I’m not going to go into a rant) I do agree with some of their other ones. I even came across something new when they recommended the Star Wars “Floating Disk Vinyl.” Why is that a thing? I don’t know! But doesn’t it sound oddly cool?

While some of the site’s content can be great, other stuff just might not apply to you. For example their “Father’s Day Gift Guide” includes a horseshoe set that seems more useless than a tie, but costs over 900 dollars. I am not included in their demographic if they think that I can A.) afford that and B.) think that that kind of monstrosity is a good gift idea. Another thing that bugged me about the site is that on their latest “Where to go on dates” section they had a piece about “Netflix and Chilling” while watching A Clockwork Orange. Now I’m just going to blissfully assume that you, my dear reader, have watched this masterpiece and therefore understand why this is definitely not a good date movie. Your date will likely not be comfortable watching a little bit of that ultra violence that occurs in that beautifully fucked-up film.

While I can’t say that my journey to seek sources that will assist in my becoming the man that I can be is over, I can say that I will consider Inside Hook for light suggestions. While it may be a little bourgeois, that’s definitely not enough reason to overlook it. It is a site that you should also consider, male reader. Or female reader. Or person that would like to be a little more like Rob Lowe.

THE MULTI-HEADED STARTUP NEED/WANT
June 9, 2016 3:47 pm

Being a writer here at ATYPICAL SOUNDS has opened my eyes into the world of the modern startup. A thing to remember is that startups are usually the smartest of businesses because of one thing that doesn’t stop them, restrictions. There is no restriction when you’re a startup, you can be as many things as you want to be as long as you can do them. In our case we here at ATYPICAL SOUNDS are just a branch of the much bigger and broader tree that is Atypical Beasts Agency. In this same spirit, the company Need/Want has found themselves the base of the many headed beast.

Need/Want is an ambitious company that manages a plethora of products. It is the head of Peel phone cases, Smart Bedding, Mod notebooks Emoji Masks and Second an A.I. personal assistant, see my previous foray into a.i. assistants.

The company started in 2013 when its two co founders Jon Wheatly and Marshall Haas met over twitter and came up with the idea for smart bedding. After Smart Bedding’s initial success, the two went on to think up the idea for Mod, then called Draft. The two decided to start Need/Want after their realization that making more than one successful product would probably work out best in the long run.

The company also runs an online publication as well as their own blog, which was initiated with the intent to keep their costumers in the know. The company seems to put a very high importance on transparency, something that is very uncommon yet held to a high regard in this world as well as startups.

The products produced by Need/Want are some that are very helpful. The Peel cases are light and practical, they are also very adequately priced. Smart Bedding was initially decent cheap linens and have since turned themselves into the luxury linen market… probably the right move for Need/Want, not so much for me as I can’t really say whether or not the bedding is any good. What I can say though, is that it does look very good.

Mod notebooks are paper notebooks that can be synced to the cloud! How amazing is that? While I only have physical notebooks, because I am weary of the internet, this idea does intrigue me as I have journal content that I don’t really want to lose. Emoji Masks are pretty self explanatory and just seem like a fun gift to give to a friend. Lastly their A.I. personal assistant Second, previously called “Jarvis” I’m sure they didn’t receive a cease and desist from marvel, that’s definitely not the reason they changed the name. Second acts as a personal assistant for only 25 bucks a month, a lot more than a corporal one would cost you.

MONITORING MADE EASIER (FOR THE GOVERNMENT)
May 8, 2016 11:00 pm

Alright so you know how a few months ago there was the debate between Apple and the FBI about whether or not unlocking the San Bernadino terrorist’s iPhone was a good idea? Whether the benefits outweighed the incredibly ridiculous notion that the skeleton key that they wanted them to create for this purpose would only be used for this one case, and not set a precedent of an invasion of privacy that Apple had been so adamant about? Well, be ready to be puzzled about another weird grey area when it comes to tech.

Tech Tats. A tech company out of Austin texas, Chaotic Moon Studios, put out a video in November about this product that they were hoping to come out with as a new idea for bio wearables,“Tech Tattoos.”

The idea was that these tattoos, which would use “conductive” ink (sounds scary), could help monitor you, medically speaking that is. At least in the beginning. These tats would be embedded in your skin to read off your vitals and to let you known what is wrong with you even before it happens. Anything from early signs of fever to vital signs, it would help you know before you got sick.

Tech tats are also hoping to be imbedded, pun intended, in the banking community. To have all of your banking information already on you would save a lot of trouble, right?

Now to me this all sounds fine and dandy, but so did Skynet before the T-800’s, and the Cylons before they rebelled against man. Now I know what you’re thinking; “Xavier, you’re a fucking dork. That’s Battlestar Galactica and Terminator, those are science fiction stories!” You’re right, I am a fucking dork. That is why I know that this kind of stuff is scary and can ultimately be used for a bad purpose. If sci-fi films have taught me anything, it’s that technology like this always turns against man by greedier men.

There was also a Justin Timberlake movie where the currency was time and it was controlled through clock tattoos also, but that one was lame so we’re keeping that out of this.

In any case, I implore you to watch the video made by the Chaotic Moon people and to think about how this looks like found footage that a protagonist of a Sci-fi movie finds later on in the year 2121 that details the beginning of the fall of man. Or you know, think about how cool it is that there is bio-wearables. Technology that you can wear could be cool. For a while.

THE ROCK CLOCK IS EVERYTHING YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU WANTED AND MORE
May 5, 2016 2:47 pm

ARE YOU A LAZY PIECE OF SHIT?!

IS YOUR SNOOZE BUTTON YOUR BEST FRIEND?!

IS THIS TOO MUCH? There, is that better? Good. Like I was saying, are you in need of a better way to wake up in the morning? Well look no fucking further my friend, cause The Rock Clock is here.

I often feel like a lazy piece of shit in the morning, I’ve got a total of four alarms. One at 6 that tells me that I have two hours of sleep left. One at 7 that tells me that I have one hour left. One at 7:30 for 30 minutes and the final one that just tells me to wake my lazy ass up for school/work/trips to Six Flags Great Adventure. (Six Flags, I’m shouting you out! Give me free stuff!)

Like an unexpected gift from your grandmother, The Rock came out with this amazing product and it is the best. This alarm clock is revolutionizing motivation to a whole new level that fucking Rocks. You just set up whatever your goal is for, then go on to choose the type of alarm you want to set for it. It can be relaxing like the “Beach Jams” alarm, to which you hear a soft rock guitar rift that is accompanied by the sweet sounds of Dwayne Johnson going “oh yeah!” Or choose the “Classic Alarm” which is Johnson going “BEEP BEEP BEEP, I can do this all morning, BEEP BEEP.”

Honestly, I could spend my whole night writing descriptions for each one of these alarms, but I honestly think you should just download the app and listen for yourself. It’s a fucking treat. You’re still here? It’s over, go download the app!

A SIDELINE FOR YOUR SIDELIFE
April 29, 2016 11:00 am

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 11.07.33 AMFor a long time, keeping a double life has been a hard thing to do. Whether that is keeping your affair under wraps or hiding your crime-fighting alter ego away from your friends, it has never been an easy thing to do. Sideline makes all of that a lot easier.

Sideline utilizes your phone carrier and gives you a second phone number, free of charge, to use for whatever your need may be. Sideline gives you a pick of a US phone number, along with your choice of area code (to confuse your super villains) as well as a voicemail setup. Although it is more of a business oriented app, you can do anything you would do with your regular phone number with this number as well.

If you are me though, you use this number to randomly text friends and fuck with them. Whether you’re using this app to cure a mid-afternoon boredom, or to text your mistress, it is one that can come in handy in a plethora of ways.

Although the app is littered with ads, it is one that is still very useful for what it does. If you mind the apps there is also an option to upgrade to the paid (ew) version of it. Which you probably won’t need to do if you’re using an app in order to get a secondary number. Burners are still a thing, drug dealers use them all the time, or so I’m told.

For all of your duplicitous or business related needs, use Sideline.