President Biden may be canceling piles of student loan debt and grabbing all the headlines, but for millions of current students, this is the time of year to get back on campus and save for the future. And if you’re figuring out where classes are, thinking about a third elective in statistics, or wondering where the best parties are, Rock Music Menu has you covered.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be covering ways to make the most of your cramming environment, long hours trying to grasp your least favorite subjects, and still maintain a social life. This week’s theme is getting around in the most efficient ways.
Let’s take a look at the first part of our 2022 Back to Campus Basics series.
HIBOY S2R ELECTRIC SCOOTER
Last fall, Rock Music Menu went to Reykjavík for the first time since the pandemic at the annual Iceland Airwaves music festival and was shocked by the number of residents and tourists riding around the city on electric scooters. It turns out that the city has an e-scooter sharing program where you scan a QR code, get on a car and drive to your desired destination, paying for the distance.
After returning to the States, I immediately set out to find an electric scooter for my personal use, and my research led me to the company Hiboy. They offer a variety of motorized scooters in various prices and sizes for children and adults. The Hiboy S2R is the perfect entry-level model in that it’s compact and highly portable in addition to being lightweight at just 30 pounds and affordable at under $500.
The S2R is ideal for campus commuting and is less intrusive than a bicycle. It reaches a top speed of 29 mph and can travel up to 27 miles before needing a charge. One of the best selling aspects is the removable battery, which means that if you don’t have time to wait for a charge or are driving a long distance, simply remove the battery and throw in a new one – the latter of course is sold separately.
The Hiboy S2R features cruise control, ultra-bright headlights and taillights, dual braking systems – electronic and disc – and two riding modes that are easy to adjust on the digital LED display. There’s also the Hiboy app, where you can adjust the speed and cruise control, as well as braking response when accelerating, the ability to enable cruise control, and lock the scooter. Jump to hiboy.com for more information.
MASTER LOCK 8170D U-LOCK
Speaking of locks, as you can imagine, it is important to keep your electric scooter safe from theft. Master Lock remains the most recognized brand of security products, and for something like the Hiboy S2R, the signature 8170D U-Lock is all you need.
The U-Lock is just over six inches wide and features a case of hardened steel – with a protective scratch-resistant vinyl coating on the outside – for maximum strength and reliability. The ½-inch diameter double-lock bracket is eight inches long and is also made of hardened steel for added resistance to gouging, cutting and sawing, while the disc wrench cylinder prevents extraction. Like all of its products, Master Lock provides a limited lifetime warranty on the 8170D. Head to masterlock.com to see all available locks.
GRAVEL Everyday Carry/Tour Backpack
Whether you’re riding around campus on your fresh scooter to make it to class, heading to Starbucks to run errands, or hitting the park for a day, the bag you need is a clutch. Gravel creates products for adventures big and small, and their compact Daily Carry/Travel Backpack is a multi-purpose piece that can be indispensable if you use it right – and it has several options.
The Daily Carry/Travel Backpack works as a backpack, tote bag, and briefcase. It measures about 16″ x 10″, has a capacity of 11L, and has plenty of pockets, including expandable pockets that can hold up to a 32oz water bottle. The bag has a laptop pocket that can hold a laptop up to 16 inches diagonally, and weather-resistant snap-lock zippers. It’s also a good choice for your camera, iPad or Kindle, power bank, cords, chargers, external drives, snacks, and anything else you can think of to keep for a day trip or getting from A to B.
As a bonus, the weatherproof and insulated pack is made to attach to the front or back of the Gravel 42L Backpack with g-hooks. Hike to graveltravel.com to see all their bags and other travel products.
VINYL OF THE WEEK
Watch this space as we’ll be taking a look at new or soon-to-be-released vinyl from different artists each week. It could be a reissue of an iconic record, a special edition or a new collection by a legendary band. This week marks the 25th anniversary of the third album from one of Britpop’s most iconic and oft-maligned bands.
OASIS: BE HERE NOW: 25TH ANNIVERSARY
The hype surrounding Oasis’ third album, Be Here Now, was not only one of the biggest to surround the burgeoning Britpop genre in the mid-’90s, but it was well-deserved. Eventually, the band, fronted by brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, burst onto the English rock scene with their debut album Definitely Maybe in 1993, achieving iconic status by their follow-up album, 1995’s (What’s the Story) Morning. Glory?” and headlined the prestigious Knebworth in England in 1996, drawing a record 250,000 people over two nights.
Released in August 1997, Be Here Now was certainly off to a good start. It was the fastest-selling album in British history, selling around 700,000 copies in its first week, which began on Thursday, which makes the feat all the more impressive given that sales were counted in just three days. But despite becoming the UK’s biggest-selling record of the year, it would mark the end of Oasis’ unbridled dominance as it was met with negative reviews calling the album “bloated”, “overproduced” and “indulgent”.
Of course, all of this criticism may have had merit. Fortunately, time has been a little kinder to the work, and it just got a 25th anniversary collectible limited edition. Formats include silver double LP, as well as double picture disc and cassette, available exclusively from the band’s online store, oasisinet.com, all with remastered audio.
Although they never conquered the States, by 1997 Oasis were at the height of their success and had become ubiquitous in British youth culture. The appetite for “Be Here Now” was huge, and it was in the midst of this fervent anticipation that they made perhaps the most anticipated record since the heyday of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Recorded at several studios including Abbey Road, Ridge Farm, Air, Master Rock and Orinoco Studios between November 1996 and April 1997, it opens with “D’You Know What I Mean?”, the band’s third No. 1 single. The album also features the ambitious nine-minute “All Around the World,” the classic “Stand by Me,” and the heartfelt, soon-to-be-classic “Don’t Go Away.”
In retrospect, a unique album in the Oasis catalog with its uncompromising excesses and massive swagger, Be Here Now has legendary status as the band’s generation-defining sound at their peak.
The 25th anniversary edition of “Be Here Now” can be found online and at all reputable vinyl retailers.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out his website thechroniclesofmc.com.