Music Festivals: The Best Bang for Your Buck

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, and no, it’s not Christmas.   On the cusp of spring and summer, musicians are out on the road looking to bring their tunes to the masses.  Even though some of the biggest fests like Coachella, Ultra, and Lollapalooza are already sold out, fear not; you can still get in on the best music parties of the season. 

In this 3 part series, we’re breaking down a few of the best festivals that can get you some serious bang for your buck, and for our first installment we’re going to start with the best events in the indie/alternative scene. 

Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, IL is put together by Pitchfork.com, the go-to media platform for everything independent (and weird) in the music scene.  Hipsters everywhere might try and deny the pull this publication has on the music industry, but they are extremely influential and with that, you can expect a lineup of some of the best.  So far, they have only announced a handful of artists for the 3-day summer event including Vampire Weekend, Feist, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Hot Chip and more. With a ton more bound to be added before July, the best part about Pitchfork is the price.  At only $110 for the 3-day pass, you’re only looking at $37 per day for base costs–almost half the price of the other big fests.  So get your tickets early, this one will sell out soon.

Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN is the haven for modern hippies, serving as the more granola alternative to big city fests.  Resembling a neo-Woodstock, Bonnaroo is a 4-day campout with a whole slew of impressive acts this year, like the gods of alternative, Radiohead, as the top headliner.  Other notable acts include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beach Boys, Alice Cooper, Phish, The Shins, and the Avett Brothers. The base price for the 4-day ticket comes out to be $64.75 per day, significantly more than Pitchfork but the lineup is stellar and the event is known to be legendary for those who are looking for the full festival experience.

Sasquatch! in George, WA has been giving a Pacific Northwest spin to the hot summer fests at the beautiful Gorge Amphitheatre.  This 4-day festival rings up at about $78.75 per day, this might sound like a lot, but it’s an all-inclusive ticket with all fees, as well as parking and camping costs included. With a great lineup this year including Beck, Jack White, Bon Iver, The Roots, and Zooey D’s main musical squeeze, M. Ward, this year’s Sasquatch is going to be one heck of a party up in the mountains

Movie Ticket Inspirations

All of our daily deals inspire us in numerous ways; for example, our travel deals leave us feeling more adventurous and our e-cigarette deal (hopefully) inspires people to quit smoking. Our movie ticket deal this week, though, has our mind overflowing with movie-going possibilities. There’s so much to see in the coming months!

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a tiny little independent movie called “The Hunger Games” coming out. Few stories have sparked my imagination so much, not to mention the fact that the book literally kept me up all night turning pages! The story of an underdog (Katniss) chosen to participate in a televised fight to the death with 23 other people (don’t worry it isn’t TOTALLY as violent and scary as it sounds). Jennifer Lawrence is PERFECT casting as our heroine, and if Peeta makes us swoon half as much as he does in the book we’ll be mighty happy!

“The Hunger Games” isn’t the only movie coming out soon that is destined to bring out the 12 year-old girl in all of us. “Titanic” is being re-released, y’all! In 3D! That’s right; the most popular movie of all time is being released just in time for the 100th anniversary of the luxury liner’s fateful journey. James Cameron has the best understanding of 3D in the business, so this 3D presentation will absolutely add an entirely new layer to the epic love story. Plus we get to see Leo at his most handsome in 3D.

If you’re not interested in swooning over the likes of Peeta and Leo, though, “The Avengers” are right around the corner! Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow AND Hawkeye all team up the fight the bad guys and save the planet. We would be there even if it didn’t have the incredible eye candy of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner. This is going to THE superhero movie to beat all superhero movies and we will be there opening night. Plus the idea of seeing Scarlett Johansson kicking some serious butt has us intrigued.

So, what movies are YOU looking forward to?

Corporate Culture in a Concrete Jungle

At the new Silicon Valley-inspired Saveology headquarters in sunny South Florida, we have some unusual amenities.  If you think a putting green, Jelly Belly wall, or barbershop are among those most eccentric features our CEO, Benny Aboud, has implemented to our creative playground, think again.  By far, the most unusual additions to our office are the furry and fuzzy office “mascots”: two Marmosets, named Missy and Bubba.

Bubba hanging out in the atrium at Saveology corporate headquarters.

Marmosets are a species of New World Monkeys considered to be relatively primitive primates in terms of their brain development.  Measuring out at an average 20 centimeters long (8 inches), Marmosets are one of the smallest members of the Primate Order, are predominantly arboreal (meaning lives in trees), and true to their behavior in the wild, Missy and Bubba can be found in the atrium of the Saveology complex swinging playfully from branch to branch and munching on fruits.

Although Marmosets are considered to be of “low concern” on the threatened species scale, Missy and Bubba were brought together to breed, and will help to perpetuate a lineage of these forest creatures.  Not all primates have been so lucky.  In fact, the amount of primate species that are considered critically endangered is astronomical, and raises severe concerns of animal conservation groups.

Among the top endangered primates in the world are the lemurs of Madagascar, gorillas of Cameroon and the Congo, red colobus monkeys of Kenya, orangutans of Indonesia, and spider monkeys of Brazil — just to name a few.  Unfortunately, that is just skimming the surface of the survival hardships many primates are forced to battle in the midst of an industrialized, deforesting world.

To learn more about primate conservation and endangered species, please visit http://www.primate.org/.  To donate to the world’s leading conservation organization, WWF, and assist in the global effort towards endangered species conservation, visit http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/index.html.

Oscar Hits (and Misses)

After watching the Oscar telecast, the most I could say was that it wasn’t boring. With “The Artist” winning just about everything leading up to the big event, I had a hunch that it would be a big winner last night. It’s a fun, light-hearted film that really brings out the nostalgia in all of us while simultaneously encouraging the audience to look ahead to the future. Not an easy task! I was, however, a little bummed that some of my other favorites (“The Help,” “The Descendants,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”) weren’t recognized, but I was happy to see such a fun film win the top prize. Plus, a best picture win for “The Artist” meant we all got to see Uggie the dog up on the stage which is a plus in my book!

Another disappointment; both Clooney and Viola Davis lost the top acting awards. Luckily Jean Dujardin and Meryl Streep are charming as heck, so my sadness lasted for approximately 5 seconds because they’re speeches were amazing. Meryl Streep’s speech in particular was memorable, who even said on the stage that she knew audiences would be disappointed in a best actress win for her. But ,really, she’s only won Best Actress ONE other time thirty years ago; I think it was time for the greatest living actor to get recognized once again, especially in a year that seemed high on nostalgia.

The presenters were fun; I particularly liked the Emma Stone/Ben Stiller segment, and it’s always a treat to see the Bridesmaids up on stage. Billy Crystal was the perfect choice to host as he harkened back to great Oscar telecasts of yesteryear. Come to think of it, the hosting line-up this year was jam-packed with stars! We got to see Meryl, Angelina, Sandra, Jennifer and Cameron all strut their stuff on stage. AND the telecast included a Justin Beiber cameo, which earns points in my book.

 

What was your favorite part of the show? And have you seen “The Artist” yet? If you haven’t, we have a sweet deal that might help you out with that!

iTunes Fun

We’re running a bunch of fun deals right now that should add that extra oomph to your iPhone or iPod Touch- everything from an on-the-go speaker to iPhone Bumpers to iTunes Cards! With that iTunes card, you’re sure to want to upgrade your iPhone or iPod Touch with all the latest (and best) music, movies, and apps! Here are our picks:

TV/Movies

There’s so much to catch up on in the TV/Movie world, most of which is available in the iTunes store. One smart download would be the second season of Downton Abbey. It’s a wonderful show, terribly addicting and airs on a TV network that isn’t available in all areas. This is why we should all be grateful for iTunes! The show is available for download in the store which is probably a better medium to watch it in anyway because it allows the viewer to watch all the episodes in one sitting.

Then, of course, many of this year’s best picture nominees are available for download in the iTunes store; everything from “The Help,” to “Moneyball,” to “Midnight in Paris.”

Music

Of course, iTunes is best known for its music and there are a huge variety of big hits that have recently debuted or are about to be released! If you haven’t downloaded the Adele album you absolutely must. It’s gorgeous, full of themes we can all relate to, AND it’s catchy. If you’re a fan of Indie bands, then check out the new album by a band called Fun. Their new single, “We Are Young” is currently at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 (and serves as the awesome Chevy Sonic commercial Anthem). They are a true talent to keep an eye on!

Apps

If you’re more interested in downloading apps, the official sequel to Angry Birds is being released March 22nd! Although that’s probably all the convincing you need, here’s another fun fact: the new Angry Birds is set in space!

We also recommend a cool app called Camera+. It gives users the ability to add some KILLER filters to photos, more so than Instagram, and allows the user to post them, too. Fun stuff!

LCD, 3D TV Madness

Celebrate LINsanity or March Madness! We’re giving away a 60” flat screen LCD, 3D TV AND a Blu-Ray player to celebrate basketball’s biggest time of the year! Surely, not everybody is a sports fan though, which got us to thinking about all the OTHER shows, movies, and specials coming up that would look great on a brand new TV!

The Oscars! Hollywood’s biggest night is nearly upon us and you know you want to see what the hottest celebs look like in HDTV. After all, it might be a bit of an ego boost to see that some of the hottest stars are actually kind of normal looking in high definition.

Then, there are the shows currently running on major networks that should be wrapping up in the coming months! “The Voice” is sweeping the nation and with this TV’s killer sound system and beautiful image, it’ll add a whole new layer of enjoyment to watching Christina cut down her fellow judges. And if you’re a “Gleek” like me, you’ll want to see whether or not Rachel marries Finn up close and personal!

On top of the great TV, there are also the season’s biggest films coming to Blu Ray and On Demand very soon! The breathtaking 3D of the Oscar-nominated Scorcese film “Hugo” will look brilliant on your brand-spankin’-new TV.  And one of the biggest films action films this season, “Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol” comes to your TV screen in April.

So what are you waiting for? Get in on the sweepstakes, grab yourself some Saveology bucks along the way and get ready for some AWESOME entertainment coming to a living room near you!

The Biggest Night in Hollywood

 

My favorite time of the year is upon us: Oscar season! Celebrities and their “people” are probably pulling looks as we speak.

This year, we have the amazing Billy Crystal to look forward to. His Oscar numbers are always fun, and he really is loved by all of Hollywood. Also, the Muppets are scheduled to appear with him at some point as well, so the stage will certainly be full of hosting talent. One question though: When will Tina Fey host?

The Oscars are not only one of the biggest nights in film; it’s also one of the biggest in fashion. Oh, Oscar fashion, how doI love thee? Let me count the ways! Most of it is simply breathtaking — but I equally look forward to unfortunate fashion mishaps. Remember Bjork’s swan dress? That dress is STILL one of the most talked-about fashion disasters ever!

Alas, the night really is all about movies and their stars. A few favorites I’m rooting for: “The Help,” “The Descendants,” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” I REALLY want Viola Davis to win for “The Help,” although Meryl Streep is TOUGH competition. George Clooney also deserves “Best Actor”, but I fear it might be an uphill battle for him.

 What is your favorite part of Oscar night? If you haven’t caught up with all your Oscar contenders yet, we have a deal that might help you out with that!

Oprah’s Finest Moments

One of our sweet deals- 52% off the subscription price for a year of O, The Oprah Magazine – got us thinking. She’s touched everyone on many different levels, but few people have had a greater impact on pop culture than the infamous media queen.

What immediately comes to mind is her book club. I, for one, have spent countless hours with Oprah’s book selections for her infamous book club. One of her 2007 picks, The Road, had a tremendous impact on my life and deeply inspired me. One of her 1998 picks Where the Heart Is, the story of a girl who gives birth to a daughter named Americus in the back of a Walmart, kept me turning pages all night. And Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much is True is, to this day, the longest book I’ve ever finished (998 pages).

And then of course there was her show; alternately inspiring, entertaining, and fun. It gave me something to look forward to every day when I got home from school. She always had the best guests; Nelson Mandela, famous casts and even a woman with 92 distinct personalities. She also always went on fun adventures. She taught audiences that big dreams are entirely attainable if you have the will power and courage to do so.

But my fondest memory is this: One Christmas Day, she had a very special episode about a girl’s school she was opening in Africa. She traveled to Africa and talked to the girls who were to be its first students; exploring their home lives and their willingness to learn and educate themselves amongst dire conditions. I watched it with my dad on Christmas day and it made both of us cry.

However you feel about Oprah, you can’t deny her cultural contributions to our world. She has had a lasting impression on all of us, around the world, and her impact will be felt for decades to come.

Holidays That Everyone Can Celebrate This Week

Many people are not in the mood or position to celebrate a certain holiday this week (which will remain unnamed), so here are some other fun holidays to observe this week.

Feb 14th – National Organ Donor Day

Why this day gets over shadowed by that “other” holiday is beyond me. On this day, we recognize the individuals who have donated organs to those in need. Whether organs come from someone who is deceased or someone just willing to live without, let’s take a moment to thank these brave individuals. This day is also a great day to become registered as an organ donor if you are not one already.

Feb 15th – Singles Awareness Day

Singles Awareness Day is basically the antithesis to all things lovey-dovey. The day on which this peculiar holiday is celebrated varies depending on the celebrator as it may fall on the 13th or 14th as well. Many, many people are single when mid-February rolls around and, who wouldn’t get sick of all those heart-shaped and pink advertisements? This is a great day for singles to express their excitement for being independent by hanging out with friends or simply having dinner SOLO. Who needs love when you have happy hour specials?

Feb 16th – Do a Grouch a Favor Day

This day may not be for everyone but there are a few people out there who can put other’s needs, even those of relative strangers, above their own. Try and step out of your comfort zone to make a grouchy person’s day better. Going out of your way to make them happy, even for a moment, might make them forget about their grouchiness in the first place.

Random thought: It’s a bit ironic that this day falls right after lovey-dovey day. Coincidence? I think not.

Stay tuned next week for more holidays to keep your days busy. If you need more to celebrate in the upcoming days, you’ll be happy to know that this week also brings Ferris Wheel Day, National Gum Drop Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day, National Battery Day, and National Chocolate Mint Day. Yes, I know there is one more but…that one will remain nameless.

Valentine’s Day Alternatives

 

Although many claim that Valentine’s Day is just a Hallmark holiday, the sting of being alone on Valentine’s Day isn’t all that fun. My single friends and I try to make the most out of it and celebrate Singles Awareness Day with a fun dinner and cocktails. Valentine’s is about ALL the people that love us — not just our significant others. In order to celebrate Valentine’s Day while single, you have to look at it a whole new way.

If you haven’t quite found your valentine, look around you. Your valentine can be a best friend, your mom, heck even my dog was my valentine one year. Since one of the best things about Valentine’s Day is the fun little gifts, get or make them a little something. It could be anything from a homemade card to a small box of candy or, if your Valentine is your dog, a new collar!

Treat yourself, too. Don’t be so hard on yourself for being single. In my 25 years of life, I’ve had 1 Valentine’s Day that I spent with a very special someone, and if I’ve learned anything — it’s to be nice to yourself on this “special” day. Maybe grab yourself a fun treat from Starbucks, a scoop of ice cream, a massage, or a book you’ve been dying to pick up. Just be nice to you.

 

Last but not least, keep things in perspective. Yes, it’s a day of the year that a lot of people get to spend with their significant other, but it doesn’t make YOU any less significant. You are awesome and singledom is in no way a reflection on who you are! Think of it like you’re just being choosy. If you want that special someone, they will! Until then, celebrate Singles Awareness Day with whomever you want, and however you want to celebrate it!