President Biden cancelling a bunch of student loan debt might be grabbing all the headlines, but for millions of current students, this is the time of year to head back to campus and rack up future balances. And whether you’re figuring out where classes are located, second thinking that third elective in Statistics or wondering where the best parties will be, Rock Music Menu is here to help.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting ways to make the most of the cramming environment, the long hours attempting to grasp least favorite subjects all while maintaining a social life. This week’s theme is getting around in the most efficient ways possible.
Let’s have a look at the first part of our “Back to Campus Essentials” series for 2022.
HIBOY S2R ELECTRIC SCOOTER
Last fall, Rock Music Menu was over in Reykjavík for the annual Iceland Airwaves music festival for the first time since the pandemic and was shocked at the number of residents and tourists tooling around town on electric scooters. It turns out the city has an e-scooter share program where you scan a QR code, hop on a unit and zip to your desired location, getting charged by distance.
Upon arriving back in the States, I immediately made it a mission to track down an electric scooter for personal use, and my research led me to the company Hiboy. They offer a bevy of motorized scooters at various price points and sizes for kids and adults. The Hiboy S2R is the perfect beginner model in that it’s foldable and highly portable in addition to being lightweight – just 30 pounds – and affordable, well under $500.
The S2R is ideal for using on campus to get around and less intrusive than a bicycle. It tops out at 19mph and can go up to 17 miles before requiring a charge. One of the best-selling aspects is the battery is detachable, meaning if you find yourself without time to wait for a charge or going on a long distance, simply pop out the battery and throw in a fresh one – the latter sold separately of course.
Hiboy’s S2R features cruise control, an ultrabright headlight and taillight, double braking system – E-brake and disc – and two riding modes which are easy to set in the digital LED display. There’s also a Hiboy app, where speed and cruise control can be customized along with acceleration brake response, the ability to turn on the cruise control as well as lock the scooter. Scoot over to hiboy.com for more information.
MASTER LOCK 8170D U-LOCK
Speaking of locks, as one can imagine, it’s important to keep your electric scooter safe from theft. Master Lock remains the most recognizable brand of security products, and for something like the Hiboy S2R, the company’s 8170D U-Lock is everything you need.
Checking in at just over six inches wide, the U-Lock has a hardened steel body – with an anti-scratch protective vinyl exterior – for maximum strength and reliability. The ½ inch diameter double locking shackle is eight inches long and is also made of hardened steel, providing extra resistance to prying, cutting and sawing, while the disc key cylinder prevents picking. Like all of its products, Master Lock provides a limited lifetime warranty with the 8170D. Head to masterlock.com to see all the locks available.
GRAVEL DAILY CARRY/TRAVEL BACKPACK
Whether you’re zipping around campus on your fresh scooter to get to class on time, heading to a Starbucks to get some work done or playing hooky for the day at the park, having the right bag is clutch. Gravel makes products for adventures big and small, and their compact Daily Carry/Travel Backpack is a multi-functional piece that can be indispensable if you use it the right way – and it’s got a few possibilities.
The Daily Carry/Travel Backpack works as a backpack, tote and briefcase. It’s around 16” x 10” with an 11L capacity and a bounty of pockets, including an expanding one that holds a water bottle up to 32oz. The bag features a laptop pocket that holds a laptop up to 16” and has locking, weatherproof zippers. It’s also a good choice for a camera, iPad or Kindle, power bank, cords, chargers, external drives, snacks and whatever else you can think of storing for a day trip or getting from point A to point B.
As a bonus, the weatherproof and abrasion resistant pack is made to connect to the front or back of the Gravel 42L backpack with g-hooks. Hike over to graveltravel.com to see all their bags and other travel products.
VINYL OF THE WEEK
Keep an eye on this spot as each week we’ll be looking at new or soon-to-be-released vinyl from a variety of artists. It might be a re-pressing of a landmark recording, special edition or new collection from a legendary act. This week, it’s the 25th anniversary of the oft maligned third album from one of the most recognizable Britpop bands.
OASIS: ‘BE HERE NOW: 25TH ANNIVERSARY’
The buzz around the third album by Oasis, ‘Be Here Now,’ was not only some of the biggest yet to surround the burgeoning Britpop genre of the mid-90s, but it was also wholly deserved. After all, the band, led by brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, exploded onto the English rock scene with their 1993 debut, ‘Definitely Maybe,’ reached icon status by the time of its follow-up, 1995’s ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’ and headlined the prestigious Knebworth in England in 1996, drawing a record setting 250,000 people over two nights.
Released in August 1997, ‘Be Here Now’ certainly got off to a good start. It was the fastest selling album in Britain’s history, moving some 700,000 copies its first week, which started on a Thursday, making the feat that much more impressive since sales only counted for three days. But though it would go onto be the biggest selling record in the UK that year, it would spell the end of unstoppable domination by Oasis as negative reviews poured on, calling the album “bloated,” “overproduced” and “self-indulgent.”
Granted, all those criticisms may have had merit. Thankfully, time has been a bit kinder to the work, and its just received the limited-edition collectors’ treatment to celebrate the 25th anniversary. Formats include a silver-colored double heavyweight LP, plus a double picture disc and cassette available exclusively from the band’s online store, oasisinet.com, all with remastered audio.
Though they never quite conquered the States, by 1997, Oasis were at the pinnacle of their success and had become omnipresent in British youth culture. The appetite for ‘Be Here Now’ was immense and it was amid this overheated anticipation that they made arguably the most eagerly awaited record since the heyday of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Recorded at multiple studios, including Abbey Road, Ridge Farm, Air, Master Rock and Orinoco Studios between November 1996 and April 1997, it kicks off 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 soon-to-be classic “Stand by Me” and heartfelt “Don’t Go Away.”
Standing retrospectively as a unique album in the Oasis catalogue with its unrepentant excess and supersize swagger, ‘Be Here Now’ has legendary status as the sound of a generation-defining band at their absolute peak.
The 25th anniversary edition of ‘Be Here Now’ can be found online and from all respectable retailers who carry vinyl.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to [email protected]. Also, check out his website at thechroniclesofmc.com.