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Adrianna Velazquez

Adrianna is a 20-year-old college student attending Wayne State University majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Journalism. With a passion for music and photography she spends most of her time at concerts photographing and interviewing musicians. She also enjoys baseball and coffee, lots of it!

Affordable Travel For The College Budget

With spring break slowly approaching and summer vacation creeping around the corner, the travel bug is biting students hard.

Limited to college budgets, traveling seems to go as far as a couple hours north, south, east or west of students’ hometowns. What students don’t know is that there are many places in the U.S. and outside that are friendly to their college budgets.

When thinking of travel opportunities this summer that won’t break the bank consider some of these five affordable options.

1. Phoenix
With three-digit temperatures signaling most travelers to stay far away, Phoenix offers a great travel experience with its scenery, affordable hotels, resorts and plenty of restaurants, museums and bars to keep you entertained. Round-trip airfare to Phoenix averages out to $274 according to usnews.com with average hotel rates rolling out at $67/night.

2. Denver
Denver boasts plenty of ways to satisfy any young traveler, from taking a ride on a roller coaster at Lakeside Amusement Park to watching a ball game at Coors Field or taking in the mountainous sights, Denver has plenty to offer. According to usnews.com average round-trip airfare to the mile high city are just $270 while hotel rates average at about $52/night.

3. San Juan
Puerto Rico offers an exciting getaway for students looking to explore a more tropical setting that’s budget-friendly. With round-trip airfare averaging to $334 according to hotwire.com students are sure to enjoy an unforgettable tropical and cultural experience. Hotels in San Juan average to $109/night as reported by usnews.com.

4. Costa Rica
Costa Rica offers a sweet, tropical escape at a budget-friendly rate. From its sandy beaches, crystal clear waters to hiking or bungee jumping, Costa Rica offers endless possibilities when it comes to spontaneous travel and immersing yourself into a new culture.

5. Amsterdam
With plenty of free tours, free concerts and other free activities for young travelers to take part in. Amsterdam offers a fun travel experience on a tight budget. Students that travel in groups can even find cheaper rates for trips to the Netherlands.

HTC Allows Android Users To Be A Part Of The Bigger Picture With New Power To Give App

HTC is allowing people around the globe to become an integral part of the bigger picture by simply downloading their Power To Give app on their Android phones, plugging it in and connecting to Wi-Fi.

The app is an initiative to aid scientific research for projects dedicated to researching cures for cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease as well as projects dedicated to understanding climate change and searching for extraterrestrial life.

So how does downloading their app, plugging in your phone and connecting to Wi-Fi make you an integral part of their initiative?

By doing so, the app runs in the background while your phone is charging and receives research projects that it utilizes your phone’s processing power for meaningful number crunching that it then returns to the beneficiary.

Being a part of HTC’s initiative doesn’t diminish your battery or use your data but rather allows you to be an integral part of the future in a simple, yet very powerful way.

According to HTC, the processing power of 1 million Ones is comparable to the power of a single one-petaflop supercomputer so the more users, the more powerful.

The Power To Give app currently hosts 9 projects run by universities and independent researchers that include but are not limited to: projects that revolve around asteroids, cancer research, ebola research, mathematics and more.

The app targets colleges and universities as a way for students to get involved with causes and projects that interest them. However, the app is available to any Android users and is available for download from the Google Play Store.

Tim McGraw Shares Specifics About Shotgun Rider Tour

Earlier this year, country music legend Tim McGraw shared with fans that he will be embarking on a nationwide tour and more recently, he shared the specifics of the tour that fans have been waiting for.

The Shotgun Rider tour will kick off this June in Little Rock, Arkansas with shows pinned all over the past from east to west, north to south, McGraw will wind around the country before ending the tour in Irvine, California in mid-September.

With him on the road this summer will be “Take It On Back” singer Chase Bryant and Billy Currington. The tour will make stops in 33 cities.

McGraw released his latest album, Sundown Heaven Town in 2014, making it McGraw’s thirteenth studio album which was released on Big Machine Records. Sundown Heaven Town debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 having sold more than 71,000 copies.

McGraw’s upcoming tour is titled off of the album’s third single, “Shotgun Rider” which has received rave reviews from critics while performing well on country radio. “Shotgun Rider” was also certified gold by the RIAA as of January having sold more than 550,000 copies.

For tour dates and ticket information regarding McGraw’s Shotgun Rider tour this summer featuring Chase Bryant and Billy Currington click here.

If You're Reading This It's Too Late, Drake's Already Dropped A New Album

Following Beyonce’s lead, Canadian rapper Drake surprised fans just before Valentine’s Day by dropping a surprise 17-track album on Feb. 13 titled, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late when he posted a picture of the album’s cover art to Twitter.

The album features collaborations from Lil Wayne,Travi$ Scott and PartyNextDoor and was released just after Drake took to Twitter to debut a short film entitled Jungle which contained footage of historical scenes and even pictured a young Drake singing and rapping.

In light of Taylor Swift among many other artists who have pulled their music from Spotify, Drake’s latest album has broken a most-streamed debut week in Spotify history only beating out a record set by his 2013 album, Nothing Was the Same which held the record with 15.8 million streams in its debut week.

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late broke the previously set record with 17.3 million streams in just three days following its release.

Billboard reported that the album may sell upwards of 400,000 copies, becoming the rapper’s fourth No. 1 album to date.

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late can be streamed from Spotify here.

Album Review: Whiskey On My Breath by Love and Theft

RATING: 7/10

It’s been a long time coming for country duo, Love and Theft to release new music.

The duo whose 2011 hit single, “Angel Eyes” rode a wave of success along radio air waves and released their debut album, Love and Theft via RCA Nashville in 2012 have been, for the most part, under the radar.

Things started to heat up when the duo released their hit single, “Night That You’ll Never Forget” which received positive feedback and renewed excitement among loyal fans eager to hear a new record from the duo made up of Eric Gunderson and Stephen Liles. 

This past January, the intensity began to grow after Love and Theft announced that they would be releasing their sophomore studio album, Whiskey On My Breath. The album released on Feb. 10 is a redefining moment for the duo who recently came clean about being released from their label.

Whiskey On My Breath was released on  independent label, Hate & Purchase and contains 11 new tracks. In addition to party anthem, “Night That You’ll Never Forget” the album features love songs equipped with unforgettable harmonies on tracks like “Anytime, Anywhere” a love song about being unashamed to show the world your love for your significant other and being willing to kiss them anytime, anywhere and “Like I Feel It,” a more energetic love anthem that takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions when love is still young, fresh and fun.

The album’s title track, “Whiskey On My Breath” is one of the deepest songs on the album about a man meeting Jesus with whiskey on his breath. It’s a track about alcoholism being a bad habit hard to break despite how bad he knows it is. Stephen and Eric sing about not wanting to answer for their sins if it means meeting Jesus with whiskey on their breath.

The most creative track on the album is “Everybody Drives Drunk” with a title that immediately sparks thoughts about partying a little too much and driving home drunk the song takes the title and gives it a creative twist. “Everybody Drives Drunk” is about heartbreak and unfortunate events that we all endure at some point in life. It’s about hurt feelings and heartache from our past that lives on in us and influences our lives forever, it’s a track about “driving life drunk” after you’ve been hurt.

The first thing that stands out when listening to the album one time through is the organic nature of each song as it was pieced together. Love and Theft strayed away from electric guitars and stuck to primarily acoustic elements on the album that take you back to 90’s country versus modern day bro-country you can find on every radio station. Whiskey On My Breath was a redefining moment for the duo and it does well in showcasing their genuine talent that hooked fans from the start, their powerhouse vocals and sweet harmonies.

Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa to Co-Headline "Boys of Zummer" Tour

Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifia are embarking on a co-headlining tour this summer. The Boys Of Zummer tour kicks off on Jun. 10 in Camden, New Jersey and will criss-cross all summer long before wrapping up at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California on Aug. 10.

Rapper Hoodie Allen has been confirmed as special guest for the tour. Allen released his debut album, People Keep Talking this past October which peaked at No. 2 on Billboard 200.

Tickets for the tour go on sale Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. via Live Nation.

The tour will support Fall Out Boys highly anticipated sixth studio album, American Beauty/American Psycho. Khalifa’s fifth studio album, Blaac Hollywood released last August and quickly became his first No. 1 album to date.

American Beauty/American Psycho is the follow up Fall Out Boys’ 2013 album, Save Rock and Roll. The album is set to release on Jan. 20 but can be streamed now through Vevo in its entirety. The album’s two singles, “Centuries” and “Immortals” have received rave reviews and garnered radio success— proving their power in mainstream music with Top 40 hits.

The tour will hit more than 40 cities this summer. For a full list of dates click here.

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello Engaged After Six Months

Joe Manganiello popped the question to his beautiful girlfriend, Sofia Vergara on Christmas Day while vacationing in Hawaii where the Modern Family actress and True Blood stud also celebrated Manganiello’s 38th birthday on Dec. 28.

The couple who have been dating only six months are now engaged after Vergara said ‘yes!’ and shared the news on Instagram.

“Happy happy bday to my love and best friend… to the one that makes me laugh like crazy!have a healthy wonderfull year babe!!!@joemanganiello,” Vergara posted to Instagram accompanied with a photo.

A source told US Weekly that Manganiello wanted to do it over the holidays in front of family where they were joined by Vergara’s 21-year-old son Manolo and relatives during their tropical getaway.

The two initially met at a White House Correspondent’s Dinner last May when Vergara was engaged to Nick Loeb at the time before announcing their split later that month. Vergara and Manganiello were first spotted as a couple in July.

Interview: Oh Honey talks success of "Be Okay," discovering true friends and more

A talk with indie-pop duo Oh Honey

For indie-pop duo, Oh Honey, it was a time of dire need when the lives of Mitch Collins and Danielle Bouchard intersected. The pair who initially met years prior to their musical venture reconnected during what Collins recalls as the lowest point.

“I was dodging eviction notices, I didn’t pay my rent for months, anything to just try to  make this work. I started this and I was working more just trying to get by, producing records. I put everything on hold to start this band and make a go at it,” said Collins during our interview. 

It’s without a doubt that the two were bound to reconnect for purposes beyond simply making music, but it’s their collective talent, passion and dedication to living out their dreams that has fueled their succes to date from the success of their single, “Be Okay” to inking a record deal with Atlantic Records. 

We sat down with Collins and Bouchard to talk about their musical venture, touring, and the trials and tribulations both they face both personally and professionally as a result of being involved in the music industry. 

strong>CN: What inspired your group name and when did you decide to come together and pursue music?
strong>Mitch Collins: What inspired our group name was definitely How I Met Your Mother. It’s a Katy Perry episode, that’s the name of the episode, Oh Honey and I’m a big Katy Perry fan.
I was kicking around this idea for Oh Honey for awhile and I was just kinda going back and forth in my brain, like “what is this going to be?” I knew I wanted to kinda put together a guy-girl duo kind of vibe. And a buddy of ours kind of– I met Danielle a couple years prior to us reconnecting musically. A buddy of ours sent me a voice memo of her singing and I was like, ‘who is this?’ and he’s like ‘that’s Danielle Bouchard’ and I was like ‘no way’ and we kinda fell back into that way and she was the missing link.

strong>Danielle Bouchard: At the time for me, I had just graduated college, I went for acting. I was living in the city just auditioning and also trying to do music on my own, just trying to figure out my life. And then I got a call from my friend and he’s like, ‘you need to stop what you’re doing right now and sing into your phone and send it to me’ and I was like ‘okay’ so I just sang Acapella into my phone and sent it over to Mitch and we connected

CN: How does living in NYC influence your music?
MC: It’s New York City. It’s our favorite city in our opinion. It’s the best city, we love it. It’s definitely a melting pot. It is what everybody thinks it is. It’s a melting pot, it’s chaotic, it’s stressful, it’s a whole lot to deal with but there’s different things popping up everywhere you turn, there’s music, art and culture everywhere you turn. It’s an interesting thing. Like the subway, I always think I’m sitting across all these different people but I’m never going to see them again.

DB: I feel like when you live in New York it has a tendency to bring out the worst and the best in you. I’ve lived there for like six and a half years and I feel like I’ve lived a lot since I’ve lived there and I’ve experienced all kinds of things like heartbreak and happiness and success and a lot of failures so I feel like it also gives us a lot to talk about by just living in such a crazy, diverse place like that.

CN: Who would you say are some of your musical influences?
DB: I love Bon Iver, he’s my favorite. I grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac with my parents. I love Stevie Nicks, she’s my idol for life. I listen to a lot of Sara Bareilles, Damien Rice, a lot of artists like that; singer-songwriter kind of vibe.

MC: I’m a big Bruce Springsteen fan. I grew up in Jersey, so. My mom was big on him as well. Michael Jackson, I’m also big on Ryan Adams. I definitely love the new Taylor Swift record.

CN: You recently signed to Atlantic Records last year and since you’ve released your debut EP, With Love and your single “Be Okay.” What has that ride been like for you?
strong>MC: It’s definitely wild. We were in a really unique position I think compared to a lot of bands– we hear it all the time from friends of ours like “Oh my god, it’s crazy that you guys released that so quickly.” We were in a unique position because we had a lot of momentum going on with the song on its own like Sirius XM was playing the record and the song was selling and we had tour offers coming up. So to wait was going to be very detrimental to what we were doing so we were definitely in a unique position just getting stuff out, like pouring gasoline on the fire.

CN: Be Okay was picked up by Glee, what was your initial reaction to that?
DB: That was unbelievable. I went to school for acting, so I used to watch the show so I was like, ‘What!’ It’s so crazy. We watched it together at a friend’s apartment and had a little watching party. We kept rewinding it and watching it over and over again but it was cool to know that half the country was watching this at the same time as us. It was cool seeing our YouTube and Twitter and Instagram blow up, it was a really surreal moment.

CN: How would you describe your songwriting process?
MC: Different. Every song has a different beast. Sometimes songwriters have one way that they do it. Every song takes on its own different thing like sometimes I’ll wake up and I’ll have an entire song in my head or sometimes Danielle will have lyrics and we’ll just fidget with it and put music with it and try to figure it out. Sometimes we’re in the studio and we’ll just play a guitar riff, sometimes I’ll not write a song for six months. It’s just one of those things where every song has its own beast.

DB: We try to keep our songwriting as organic as possible and not force anything; write about what we know.

CN: How would you say you have evolved personally and professionally between your two EPs?
MC: Personally, yeah. The songs I think grew a little bit. A lot of the songs that we have released were written around the same time with the exception of maybe two or three. Personally we’re always progressing, learning more and more as we write more songs. Especially being on tour as much as we have. Being away from family and friends is hard so there’s always stuff to write about.

DB: I feel like I’m a totally different person since everything has gotten moving for us. You definitely live a lot touring in a van months and months out of the year. You definitely learn about yourself. I’ve learned how to relax because things get really hectic and crazy and can totally bring out the worst in people but you have to learn how to chill and go with the flow sometimes because otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy.

CN: What’s your favorite and least favorite part about touring?
MC: Playing shows every night, honestly.
DB: Yeah, that’s mine too, just getting on stage every night in front of new people especially when you see people sing back your words there’s no way to describe how awesome that is, I love that.
MC: Least favorite, it’s really lonely touring. Touring is awesome, you get to be in a new city every day, you literally get to meet new people, and play music for a living, it’s a dream. But the other side to it is that it’s lonely and sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it’s hard being in a van hours on end, living out of a suitcase, being away from your friends and family– your loved ones and your significant others– you feel like people forget about you. I feel like you find out who your friends are really fast on tour because I found that a lot of friends that I thought I had were just out of convenience and you find out who your real friends are because they’re the ones that’ll stay in touch.

DB: Yeah, you find out who your real friends are and there’s a lot of value to that.

MC: I remember posting on Facebook something like loneliness is a vein and somebody commented about getting to play for thousands of people every night, people screaming your name and it’s an amazing feeling but sometimes there’s nothing lonelier than just– literally this van is your life, you’re driving and traveling and don’t get me wrong– it’s the dream. But at the same time you feel like everybody forgets about you and what you’re used to is no more. 8 to 9 months out of the year you’re in a van or in a bus.

DB: It’s like anything else though, It’s like everything has its up and its downs and its positives and its negatives. This is what we love, and we’re really thankful to be doing it. It’s just getting used to the extreme lifestyle.

CN: What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not on tour or in the studio?
DB: I love to shop and go to the gym. I love hanging out with my friends, especially my girlfriends because I’m in a van with a bunch of dudes.

MC: I like to watch TV. I love TV and I never get to do it. So when I have a day off I like to sit in my sweat pants and just watch TV. I love Law and Order. My dream other than this is to be one of the guys who finds the dead body on CSI. I’m a singer-songwriter by day as well, so I’ll be in the studio. I’m in the studio as much as I can be working with other artists.

CN: What would you consider to be the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome since pursuing music?
MC: I was very poor for awhile, it sounds cliche or whatever but before this band– I’ve seen dark times. I was dodging eviction notices, I didn’t pay my rent for months, anything to just try to  make this work. I started this and I was working more just trying to get by, producing records. I put everything on hold to start this band and make a go at it. Until we signed a deal, I remember the lowest point for me I was checking my balance in my bank acount and I literally had to ask a stranger to buy me a bagel because I hadn’t eaten all day and I had no money and I wasn’t getting paid until next week. That was the lowest point for me. Now getting to make a living, paying rent and not having to worry about that and doing music, it’s awesome.

DB: I think for me over the years it was always the fact that there was going to be failure and there was going to be rejection in this field and it was about not letting that get the best of me and keep going no matter how many doors were slammed in my face. I think you just have to grow from that, to grow and adapt and change and keep going and keep persevering until you get where you want to be. Sometimes you want to give up when you keep hearing no but you have to– I think if you really want something you have to keep going for it. That’s what I struggled with over the years but have learned to accept.

CN: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
MC: It sounds spiteful but honestly it’s being able to look at everyone from high school and family members and friends who have been like, ‘what are you doing? why don’t you go to college and get a job?’ and just being like ‘I did it.’ It sounds spiteful but it’s very validating, just being like ‘I was right, I did it.’

DB: I think for me it was the first time hearing our song on the radio because I dreamed of it. I was actually with my dad in the car, he was following our tour around and we were driving to the next show and I started freaking out and my dad started tearing up and it was just one of those moments. This is what I’ve worked for and it’s finally coming true.

MC: I felt like for a long time I was letting my family down because my sisters would give me money sometimes and my mom would at times when she could and I never asked for anything but they knew I was struggling. Being able to make them proud now, that’s definitely a big achievement.

Real Housewife Heads to Prison

Real Housewife Teresa Giudice is now residing at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star arrived at the prison on Monday morning when she left her Montville Township manse with her attorney. Giudice who was convicted of bankruptcy fraud will be serving 15 months at the institution. 

“I think she was anxious to get in, get this thing started, get it behind her, and get back to her family, her attorney James J. Leonard Jr. told ABC. “Her four daughters are her primary focus.”

Giudice’s oldest daughter, 13-year-old Gia took to Twitter to express her thoughts. “Support system is unreal,” she posted with the hashtag #soblessed. The aspiring pop star also retweeted a tweet from her 3KT bandmate Cristianna Cardinale who took to Twitter to share her support.

“The 2strongest girls I know and nothing’s going to change that,” she posed alongside a photo of herself with Gia and Teresa. 

There is no doubt this is a stressful and sad time for Giudice and her family. 

When she completes her 15-month sentence her husband Joe Giudice will begin his 41-month long sentence since the were allowed to serve separately in order for one parent to be with their daughters at all times. However, Joe Giudice could face deportation following his release as he is not an U.S. citizen. 

For now, the family seems to be keeping it together and it is expected that Giudice will be seeing her family soon, possibly as early as this weekend.

Jessica Biel Spoils Popstar Husband Justin Timberlake with Pancakes

Jessica Biel stepped out in West Hollywood, California on Wednesday sporting a zip-up sweatshirt and black leggings with what appears to be a baby bump in full force. Us Weekly first announced the two who have been dating on and off for five years were expecting a child back in November. 

The mom-to-be surprised her popstar husband, Justin Timberlake this morning with an impressive batch of pancakes in honor of what would have been Elvis’ 80th birthday. The 7th Heaven alum prepared a batch of peanut butter and banana pancakes– a folkature says the King loved fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Timberlake took to Instagram to share a picture of his delicious fluffy pancakes topped with bananas, nuts and blueberries with a caption that read, “Also… In honor of the KING’s Bday, Wifey made your boy some PB and Banana Pancakes (with a little Blueberry for The Prez… Lol)!!!”