Star Apps: Kraak & Smaak

Posted by Harshad

Star Apps: Kraak & Smaak

Star Apps: Kraak & Smaak

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 04:45 PM PDT

Dutch DJ trio Kraak & Smaak are best known in the US for singles like 2008's "Squeeze Me" and 2010's "Dynamite." A soulful house track, "The Future Is Yours," leads off "Chrome Waves" (perhaps my favorite party album of 2013) and has already topped US college radio charts. Kraak & Smaak returned to SXSW this week for three shows.

Kraak & Smaak, riding the Chrome Waves of success.

(Credit: Krijn Van Noordwijk)

Are you excited to return to SXSW? What will you be doing there? It's great to be back again. We missed the US a lot! We will do three showcases on Tuesday and Wednesday with our full live band. And a lot of talking and hand shaking, hopefully.

How would you describe a Kraak & Smaak performance? The live band is very dynamic in terms of songs and dance tracks, ranging from downtempo to club. For SXSW, however, we have prepared a more uptempo set, especially because the set times don't amount to very much -- max 45 minutes. Moreover, we have two vocalists (one male, one female) on stage, one after the other, and with their own K&S songs in the set. So there's a lot happening on stage visually as well. Sound-wise it's a blend between analog instruments and our studio sound, as we don't want to sound like a regular live band or a fully electronic one.

Within the DJ set, we have always been quite eclectic on our styles, but lately th... [Read more]


File your return from anywhere with these top tax apps

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 12:10 PM PDT

Avoid the mad, end-of-tax-season scramble by getting some apps to help you calculate how much you owe Uncle Sam. Even if you've already filed, these apps can help you get organized and prepared for next year's return.

Organizing your tax records

Shoeboxed (iOS, Android)

(Credit: Shoeboxed)

Gone are the days of keeping all your receipts in a box above the fridge. Shoeboxed makes it easier to track your expenses -- just take a photo of your receipts, and Shoeboxed will safely store them. From there the app will archive based on dates and sort your spending into different categories (food, travel, and so on). A free account will net you five free receipt sortings a month, but an upgrade is a must if you're running a small business or have a lot of expenses.

Receipt Scanner for Expense Reports (iOS)

(Credit: iCubemedia)

Receipt Scanner for Expense Reports helps you track your business expenses, income, mileage, and the amount of time spent working. Better for small business owners than individuals, the app lets you log hours worke... [Read more]


Top apps and services for filing taxes

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 11:53 AM PDT

One of the smartest men ever claimed that "the hardest thing to understand in the world is income taxes." Einstein may have lost some hair filling out his tax forms, but you don't have to. Here are free tools to reduce the stress and get the most back from your income-tax filings.

Tax-preparation software

Need help preparing your taxes? Try one of these free apps:

TaxAct TaxAct Free Federal Edition supports most basic tax returns, including the 1040EZ, but also just about any IRS e-filing form. Like TurboTax and H&R Block, TaxACT promises maximum return and 100 percent accuracy. Though federal taxes are free, state taxes require a small fee.

TurboTax TurboTax is a popular e-filing program. If you've used TurboTax before, all your information from last year's returns will automatically transfer over. TurboTax's user flow is known for its intuitive form sequences and easy-to-follow instructions.

H&R Block H&R Block's app provides free tax-expert advice and helps you file your federal income taxes, as well as state taxes for a small fee. H&R Block includes a bui... [Read more]



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