By Caleigh Horan
"Wish me luck, I know you'll think I need it." -The Avett Brothers
What makes some goodbyes more significant than others? It’s a word I say daily, to my roommates as I leave for class or as I hang up the phone with my parents, but often, the weight of this word makes my heart feel like a lead balloon. This feeling is the airport goodbye.
The airport goodbye has evolved over the past few decades. What was once a painstakingly long and drawn out process of waiting with your one-way destination-ed partner in their terminal has been truncated to a mere drop-off zone, one that you must shuffle through with haste or risk a brisk whistle from airport security. This song captures, in slow motion, all of the feelings surrounding an imminent goodbye: the anticipation, the heartache, the longing, without saying a thing, simply suggesting “I know. I know.”
How many times in your life have you wished there was more you could say, more you could do, just to keep someone around a little bit longer? I know. I know. I think that’s what is so difficult about the airport goodbye. You know the person you are letting go will not be the same once you meet again, and that is scary and sad because it never feels good to consciously drift from someone you care about.
But have you ever considered that maybe you’ll be different too? It’s intimidating to tackle the world solo, but it’s often necessary to grow as an individual. It may be lonely at times, but The Avett Brothers are here to remind us that, “Everyone I know out here is lonely, even those that have someone to lie beside them at night”. These are universal feelings that demand to be felt, and this song is an honest tribute to the beauty underlying these feelings.
By Lauren Smith
When my friends told me they were really going to the show to see Bad Bad Hats, the second opener, I didn’t bother with any research. Little did I know that I was familiar with a handful of their songs- their equal parts angsty and catchy alt-rock songs had engraved themselves into my mind over the course of the past year. After arriving at my favorite venue in St. Louis, The Firebird, we quickly made our way to the bar for a pair of very necessary and intensely refreshing 24 oz. tall-boys. Funny enough, the Firebird is the antithesis of its own location- home of the Pabst Blue Ribbon consumer, it sits on an awkward block full of corporate offices in Midtown. The black rectangle of a building has no street-facing sign, you have to walk around the back to find its hidden entrance. The shabby, no-frills demeanor allows you to blend into the crowd and enjoy a concert the way a concert should be enjoyed.
We walked in the door as Bad Bad Hats was beginning their set- their powerful sound filling up the space. I was immediately enchanted with the lead singer and her red, curly bob and 90’s mom outfit. Her Minnesotan influence shone through due to the thin pair of black sunglasses that sat on top of her head. The way she would perform a deadpan soliloquy about all-too relatable fits of emotion was mesmerizing- her voice sounded as if it came out of a car dealership commercial from the 50’s, making everything she said comical.
Photo By Sophie Sissie
Prefacing the song “Super America”, “a love song to a time-honored midwestern treasure” of of their debut LP, Psychic Reader, Alexander explained that “sometimes you just need to sit on the couch in your comfortable pants, alone with your sorrows and a good snack”. Somehow, her lyrics turn an ode for a gas station in a meaningful tune that you can connect with. “I want a sweet tea and a heart that won't break, I want an Icee a nice boy to date”, she sings. She explained that “Things We Never Say” was written about sleeping with your phone “in case the love of your life suddenly texts you to say ‘I too, am madly in love with you’ so you can respond promptly and accordingly”. Alexander’s way with words may stem from her degree in creative writing from Macalester College, a liberal arts school in St. Paul where the band came together. After recent critical acclaim from big names like NPR, Spin, Pitchfork, and Stereogum, the band is a long ways away from its humble roots at Midwestern open mics.
By Sophie Mueller
Everyone loves that first day of spring. You know what I’m talking about. That moment when the overcast skies magically clear and the sun breaks through. Or when the rainy days cease and all of a sudden buds on the trees appear and the flowers start to bloom. People seem to come out of hibernation and purge all their excess stuff, whether it be physical objects or the winter blues that tends to stick with us just like the snow. When we eliminate all the stuff holding us down, we also embrace and acknowledge the things that liberate us. Music, especially around the spring time, encapsulates these feelings of letting go and starting over with a new outlook and the promise of sunnier skies.
Here are songs that are absolutely quintessential for that day: when the rain ceases, the sun shines, and nothing can stop you, because you are invincible and there's a damn good playlist to prove it.
2. Nobody Dies - Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
Head banger, requires you to dance around like a fool or at least crack a smile.
3. Oceans - Vallis Alps
Light Beatz, heavy beatz, and everything in between. Essential for walking to your last class on a Friday afternoon, to give you that “I survived this week” kinda glow.
4. Real Love Baby - Father John Misty
Groovy guitar beats plus this song was in the wedding episode of This Is Us, so need I say more?
5. Knock On My Door - Faouzia
This song reminds me of a cross between Sara Bareilles/Natasha Bedingfield circa 2000s/Kelly Clarkson breakup songs. Listen if you need to shake off some negative vibes.
6. Next Year RAC Remix - Two Door Cinema Club
A soft head banger r that makes you smile as you bask in the spring sun.
7. Don’t Move - Phantogram
You’re a badass, this song lets you own it.
8. Otherside - Perfume Genius
No words, just listen and let the music do the talking.
9. Inside Out - Spoon
Feeling Irritated/scared/relieved/excited at how the year is wrapping up? This song is for you.
10. I Will Smile When I Think of You - J.E. Sundae
A song that breaks hearts with its simplicity, somehow making you miss people only a room away.
11. Loving is Easy - Rex Orange County
A feel good song for all those peeps you love, it makes you want to dance in the street and high five a random stranger.
bY tOM bERGAN
Rules are meant to be broken, right? Specifically, I am talking about the rule that says you should stay where your assigned seat is during a concert. More specifically, I am talking about the moment in which I decided we (my friends and I) needed to try our hand at getting as close as possible to the stage for Lorde’s encore, which was going to happen any minute after the confetti-blowout of “Green Light”. A frantic jacket grab and fast paced walk throughout the pit later, and we found ourselves mere feet away from Ella and her beautifully fluffy pink outfit, groveling at the stage which became altar for the evening. With no more than herself and a drum machine, Lorde jumped right into “Loveless,” the counterpart of her “Melodrama” track “Hard Feelings,” which was performed earlier in the evening. Somewhere between the multiple spellings of the track's name that occurs throughout the song, I found myself surrendered to the music and dancing like an absolute fool, more so than usual. Suddenly I made eye contact with two girls, younger than myself to the point where they were definitely born in a different millennia, and with the exchange of a head-nod and smile we somehow communicated in a single moment that “Yes, we are both at very different points in our lives, and yes sometimes life throws us curveballs that are hard BUT we are here now and it is glorious and we are dancing like fools and life is well.” And that is what matters.
Have you ever gasped so hard for breathe that you suddenly remember that moment in which your doctor offered to prescribe an inhaler that one time you booked an appointment because you had some pressure in your chest? But you thought to yourself “It’s just a case of allergies, I’ll be fine.” That is where I found myself as the opening saxophone notes to “BOOGIE” blared out throughout the speakers in The Pageant on a frigid Tuesday night. The cold rain stuck to my clothes as if it was applied with adhesive glue suddenly transformed to sweat, as “America’s Favorite Boyband” skipped onto the stage and nearly incited a riot in the process. Never before have I experienced a crowd that synced up the thrashing of its bodies so perfectly, a formidable match against the foundation of the venue we inhabited. Luckily the floor of the Pageant held strong, and BROCKHAMPTON broke all of the pre-written rules about what it means to be a boy-band for the next hour and a half. Again I found myself making eye contact with strangers in the crowd, exchanging no words yet somehow both acknowledging that this moment was a special one, a notion that should always be recognized when it occurs.
By Lauren Smith
At the ripe age of eighteen I was newly single from my first ever relationship, training for a half marathon, and desperately ready for a change. I remember playing Lorde’s debut album, Pure Heroine, on shuffle as I went for lengthy sunset runs through trails and trees with my best friend at the time. Her music feels electrifying- a means to escaping the drab normalcy of a teenage suburban lifestyle. “I love these roads where the houses don’t change, where we can talk like there’s something to say”, she sings. With an album out at the age of seventeen, Lorde connected intensely with the international youth who reaches for something more. Her painfully honest lyrics tell stories of the rush of adolescent house parties, young love, and the slow process of coming of age. Lorde sings of “counting dollars on the train to the party” and feeling “hollow like the bottles that we drain”, leaving her audience to image a scene of unassumingly fabulous high school girls drinking through the ‘burbs of New Zealand.
On her second night of the Melodrama tour, after opening with hit single “Sober”, she explained that these massive parties were never all that, asking her crowd of adoring St. Louisans if they’ve “ever felt alone when a hundred people were in their house”. The vibrant community of fans that gravitate towards Lorde included a bearded man in a pink dress and trench coat and grown woman sporting space buns and a metallic rainbow top on this particular evening- the kind of confident, shimmering people who are ready to dance on a Friday night. Her lacy black two-piece pantsuit was completed with a floor-length cape, emitting an aura somewhat relative to a brooding moon child. Lorde caught us up on her last few years, accepting that she’d always be a vivid dreamer and over-reactor and claiming that she’s learned a lot about herself before slowing it down for a stunning cover of Frank Ocean’s “Solo”. For the last few sets she jumped and danced around in a light pink tulle bodysuit that emphasized her every movement. After an explosive performance of “Green Light”, she left the eclectic crowd of Midwesterners feeling invigorated and unstoppable.
By Caleigh Horan
There aren’t enough words in the English language to explain the range of emotions I experienced whilst in the presence that is Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, better known by her stage name, Lorde. This concert was a highly-anticipated one for me, as I spent the majority of last summer pouring over Melodrama, her sophomore slam-dunk. That being said, I was eagerly waiting to lose my mind during fast-paced bops like Green Light and Perfect Places and to shed a few tears to the heart-wrenching Writer In the Dark and Liability. While all of these scenarios did occur on this twisted Friday night, the moment that struck me the deepest was found in an old friend.
Ribs is a song that I’ve resonated with for almost five years now, with its angsty tones of teenage bliss. As I’ve gotten older, its lyrics have held onto me like my favorite sweater, warm and familiar. While Lorde explained that she had written this song after a weekend with friends when she was sixteen years old, I thought about how I felt hearing this song for the first time around the same age. Back then, Ribs encapsulated the impending fears about the future that served as a backdrop for my high school experience. I wondered what my sixteen year-old self would think of me now, at 21, three quarters done with undergrad on the brink of my dreams. Would she be proud of me? All of these thoughts danced around my brain as the expected synth beat of the song was replaced by a slow, emotional piano. As the song descended into the chanting of “I want it back,” I thought about the moments from my past that I longed for: the simplicity of a lazy Sunday afternoon spent listening to records, the comfort of a home-cooked meal shared with family, the weightlessness of youth.
But the more I reminisced, the more I understood that I have found these things I long for in different forms. Simplicity now comes in the form of a long walk across campus on a chilly Spring afternoon. Home-cooked meals are currently the product of my crock-pot experiments shared over FaceTime with my mom. And I still feel weightless, in a way that I could have never dreamed. I have built a life for myself here at school, one that I am proud to live. As messy and emotional and chaotic that can be on a daily basis, I am happy.
The lyric that always stood out to the most to me in Ribs was, “you’re the only friend I need”. As I screamed these words in unison with Lorde, tears streaming down my face, I noticed that both of my hands were over my heart, and the lyric took on an entirely new meaning. I had always associated the friend in the lyric with one of my friends throughout life, one I absolutely could not do without. In that moment, I realized that the only friend that I absolutely cannot do without is myself. So yes, it is really, really scary getting old. These days it feels as though time is a train that I am perpetually thousands of feet behind. But with each day that passes, my legs get a little stronger, my mind focuses a little harder, and my heart opens a little wider. I remind myself that these are the good kind of growing pains, and I laugh until my ribs get tired.
By Sophie Mueller
A broken heart.
A cold Wisconsin winter.
These were all an essential part of Bon Iver’s debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago. For three months Justin Vernon, the lead vocalist and musician, retreated to a family cabin after recently breaking up with his girlfriend and dispersing from his previous band, DeYarmond Edison. This was the beginning of a venture that created a beautiful, sad, uplifting, and heart-wrenching album. Who knew what Bon Iver was about to become? Three albums and one Grammy later, Justin Vernon continues to innovate and curate music that heals the human soul. After ten years, Bon Iver revisited the beauty and ingenuity of their debut album. I was fortunate enough to attend his concert in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The stage, littered with various candelabras in sync with the percussion, lighting up on beat and creating an ethereal atmosphere. The simplistic lighting and stage set up made a crowd of about 20,000 people feel as if they were at an intimate concert with 20 of their closest friends. The opening bands, Field Report and Collections of Colonies of Bees were equally impressive and built up the energy in the crowd. Each from Milwaukee, they graciously took the stage and fans eagerly gave them their full attention, with both bands getting standing ovations. Although Justin did not play any songs from his most recent album, 22, A Million, he played the entirety of For Emma, Forever Ago. His performance of “Creature Fear” brought the whole arena to its feet, as it started with a simplistic guitar and swelled into a massive production with layered guitar. As soon as Vernon started playing the first chords of “Skinny Love”, the entire crowd erupted with happiness, singing along with every word. Vernon’s rendition of “Woods,” emphasized his solitude on stage, as he used the loop pedal, filling the arena with his powerful vocals. He brought his former roommate and friend who contributed vocals for “Flume” on stage to perform the song, seemingly transporting everyone in attendance back to the inception of Emma. In between songs, he shared personal information regarding touring For Emma, Forever Ago as well as the people that helped him make the album possible, giving his mega fans an inside look into the creative process. Quite possibly the best moment of the night was when Justin dedicated his song “Holocene” to the city of Milwaukee, causing the crowd to erupt into cheers when he sang “you’re in Milwaukee off your feet.”
Vernon is also curating an awesome in environment in his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. A small town four hours north of Milwaukee, Justin has opened a hotel there as well as creating a music festival, dubbed Eaux Claires, which occurs in the summer and is going on its fourth year. His philanthropic work with local organizations prompts others to get involved with the community. Working with other acclaimed artists such as Feist, Grizzly Bear, and Iron & Wine, Justin collaborated on the album, Dark Was The Night, with all proceeds going towards HIV/AIDS research. Additionally, he was honorary chair of AIDS Walk Wisconsin, an event put on each October through the non-profit AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin. The night of the concert Justin also gave a shout out to the Sojourner Peace Center, which helps women suffering from abuse. Clearly, Vernon has made it a priority to put his time, money, and effort into creating a stronger local community in conjunction with his music career.
After the concert, my family and I looked at one another taking in the greatness of the past hour and a half. This concert was a special night as we listened to our favorite songs from the past 10 years together. Bon Iver and their performance was essentially a love letter to Wisconsin, embracing imperfections and flaws, and surrendering our burdens or stress to the power of music. Despite the excitement of Bon Iver celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Emma, Vernon warned us that we must be careful, as he said “nostalgia can be a dangerous thing.” Yet for everyone that has been following Bon Iver’s journey, this one night was unforgettable as we celebrated music that continues to unite us, even after ten years.
By Lauren Smith
While living in Madrid, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Hinds perform a hometown show in front of their friends and family at Joy Eslava one fateful Thursday night in 2016. Having only listened to their album a handful of times, I was blown away by their endlessly cool and confident aura, sporting silky pinstripe men's shirts, styles of sneakers I didn’t even know existed, and overalls most likely snagged from one of the many thrift stores along the streets of Malasana, Madrid’s most trendy neighborhood. The second they enter the stage, they redefine your perception of cool.
Hanging around their ex-boyfriends in the recording studio, they never thought to pick up a guitar themselves, given Spain’s somewhat “machismo” culture. Although the “garage-band” scene in Madrid was more alive than ever, there were few female artists, let alone bands in entirety until Hinds. Lead singer, Carlotta Cosials and lead guitarist, Ana Perrote, made their start covering Bob Dylan songs to learn guitar. They started performing small gigs and recorded their first two singles, “Bamboo” and “Trippy Gum”. By 2014, the four person chick rock band was receiving accolades from illustrious magazines and critics and playing shows and festivals throughout Europe. Their first album, “Leave Me Alone”, debuted at number 47 on the UK Albums Chart and began to raise awareness of their sound in the states.
True to form, Carlotta walked on stage with a tallboy PBR and water in bright red bell bottoms for their performance on January 18th at the Old Rock House to a medium-sized, but avid group of fans. Their grungy style and endearing Spanish accent captured our hearts the entirety of the performance. Heads were bobbing and swaying to their endlessly catchy indie beach-rock sound. The adoring crowd also got a taste of “I Don’t Run”, their long-awaited sophomore album set for release August 6th. Over a cigarette after the show, Carlotta explained its soccer-themed social media campaign. “In these political times, we thought, What would be more Spanish than anything else? Soccer!”. Their “New For You” campaign shows the band and their close friends dancing around the soccer field. With their addicting personalities and sound, “I Don’t Run” is sure to be a smash success.
By Brigid Dolan
When I was sent the Slow Dakota EP, Rumspringa, at the end of January, I didn’t have any background knowledge of his previous work. After rifling through the countless albums I was being asked to promote that week, I finally got around to listening to Rumspringa, and was instantly enthralled. The EP masterfully weaves influences of chamber pop, electropop, and delicate instrumentals to form an entirely unique sound; almost reminiscent of your favorite new wave band of the 80s with a twist of entirely modern lyrics.
Listening to this at the end of January in the Midwest, where it was a devastating temperature of below freezing accompanied by ice and wind, was a much-needed refresher, and was amplified by finally getting around to reading the book I promised myself I would read in early December. If we’re going to talk about ~aesthetics~ the artwork on the album alone would draw me in, if it wasn’t my job to listen to it in the first place. The artwork presents images of vintage and rustic Americana-esque visuals, but I was surprised with what played when I started the album.
And in case you’re wondering, the beautifully entropic relationship of the artwork and the initial sound does hold up throughout the EP. My favorite song from Rumspringa, Jebediah Iowa, expresses this beautifully in the idea that once you think you have the sound of the song figured out, it does a 180 and completely changes into a totally different sound, yet still staying harmonious with the beginning.
The music was like a punch in the face, but in the best way possible. When writing this review I tried to think of similar artists that I could compare, but none came to mind. Not knowing how to exactly describe the genre of Slow Dakota is a much-welcomed surprise that I was happy to experience. I’m already calling it and saying that Slow Dakota will be one of my favorite new artists (to me) of 2018, and I’ve started delving into his earlier work, with much of it taking over my unreasonable amount of playlists on Spotify. So please, do yourself a favor, and give Slow Dakota a listen for your own sake.
Perfect scenario for listening: a mild-temperature Spring day reading in your room with the windows wide open
By Annie Bryan
But wait, there’s more! Quick disclaimer to toss on this bad buoy, being that this article is an opinion piece and does not reflect the mindset of Already Bored, unless it does, in which case, that’s pretty cool.
Get this. It’s 11pm on a Friday night. You, a gradually aging, over-educated, and painfully self-aware sack of drying skin and ever-weakening bones, are just trying to dance in a friend of a friend’s apartment. You have recently turned in a painfully disappointing term paper, destined to fail, and getting a lil’ “loosey goosey” for 2 hours is the only way your double-stuffed with suffering week will be worth it. You spent thirty minutes on your winged eyeliner. The host is playing “Dixieland Delight,” a topic-neutral country song, and barely a third of the crowd is participating through chanting the ‘Bama verses between the lines. You, trapped in Tartarus, are beginning to crumble as the song is played for a second or third time. The night is floundering, as nobody in the squished abode has been given access to change the song, and are thus forced to repeat “f*ck Auburn” over and over again. Time is running out before the big mood of the group plummets into the nether regions forever. Don’t let “Dixieland Delight” ruin the life of the party.
Fix the night. Take the AUX, free the crowd from whatever h*ll-scape “Dixieland Delight” is, and experience some Iyaz. With these 12 super quick and mega-simple steps, you too can run the AUX and save your comrades at any social event from the vicious “Dixieland Delight” dictatorship.
1. Stop being a passive member of society.
The time to act is now. From side-comments and petty drama between peers to centuries-old social justice movements, your participation fuels the way the nation moves. Do not forget the power you have within yourself, or the power you hold when people grow and act together. Acting at a small scale may influence big change, and know that you playing “Hey-Ya” by OutKast could fuel a relationship that promotes structural change.
To bend the social pressures of passivity is to become engaged. “An engaged member of society will take the time to educate oneself, form an opinion, and participate civically,” SLU graduate Brenna Sullivan wrote for Her Campus at SLU, “an engaged member of society will be given the time and the capacity to critically think and act within the world around them for true betterment of society.” We must push aside our demons of silence and empower ourselves. Only through pursuing engagement and personal growth may we hope to better our communities. By extension, pushing ourselves to take that AUX away from its doom may promote community through shared enjoyment of music.
2. Adopt an intersectional and trans-inclusive feminist mindset and command your space.
Commanding the space your body takes up? What a concept, by dudes. As a recently-engaged member of your local community, you have probably heard tale of the cultural phenomenon on the intersection of gender identity and the space your body takes up in an environment. On the reclamation of space, particularly for ~women~, author A. Lynn writes for the Nerdy Feminist:
“On a daily basis, I am acutely aware that the dominant message to me and people like me is that we should be smaller... women are socialized to take up as little space as possible. However, I can't help but feel that this is one of those cases of an intersection where the pressure to be smaller on fat women is doubled... it's simple politeness to not invade other people's spaces and to keep your body within your own seat/space. But I also need to make a shift to realizing that I am allowed to take up the space that is actually designated for me. It's not bad or wrong to do so and I shouldn't have to shrink away because someone else is in my space.”
As Lynn reflects, there is more to reclaiming space than just gender and mass. Intersectional identities that ~women~ hold other than their gender also come into play, such as body size, race, ability, language, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, the physical context and its dominant culture, and felt, expressed, and presented gender. In recognizing the oppressions that impact the lives of everyone around you, it’s important to be consistently conscious and respectful of intersectional oppressions that impact every person in different ways in different settings. With setting-relevant intersectional and trans-inclusive feminism in mind, it’s important for each of us to recognize the times of our lives in which we hold a privileged identity, whether those settings last decades, like the formal and informal education we received, or seconds, like brief and negative interactions with people in work environments. Oppression and identity will consistently play a factor in one’s life and their experience and interpretation of the world.
Though you may interpret space differently than every human around you, do not invalidate the pressure you may feel to be a less-engaged and “space-filling” person. You deserve to be here, and you deserve to take up the space you command. The social event you are currently at, the “Dixieland Delight” massacre of happiness, it’s time for you to take up more space than you think you should.
Work at not being a passive member of a social setting, command your space and presence at this gathering, and know that you could be the one to take the night from the mighty host, and give it back to the people. How many people really want to be listening to “DD” right now? Your guess is as good as mine, but those around you probably want to listen to Jason Derulo as much as you do. Recognize the relative and context-dependent space that you can and do take up, and up your game. It’s time for Justin Bieber.
3. While you’re at it, get a little bit into that whole Marxism thing.
Adopt a Marxist “mi casa es su casa” mentality. This gathering was hosted with the only goal of entertaining friends. It’s literally hours devoted to giving rights to those who attend. No matter whose home you’re in, remind yourself that this conglomerate of time is devoted to the public. Their event is your event, and everyone has the same rights.
“Mi casa es su casa?” More like “my party is your party.” More like “my AUX is your AUX.” Property and ownership is a manifestation, and night-time social gatherings are not (hopefully) driven by the manipulation of the labor force for personal economic profit. The people around you deserve to all be living on the same page, having fun, enjoying the same things, and entertaining the same rights.
There is power in our shared AUX, and without aggression, a smooth transition of power can take place. We are here to foster a community driven by the consent of ourselves and each other in stepping away from the misogynistic Inferno of all that “DD” represents. How can you hope to foster an environment for equality when your values physically will not let your body scream “Hold her uptight, against a wall” with a gaggle of strangers? Go rogue like Sarah Palin and jump head-first into Marxism at your next social gathering, empower yourself and empower your peers. Nobody deserves to suffer to “Dixieland Delight,” free the people and step up to the plate. Everyone is suffering under this regime, and your democratic values must now drive you to grow from a citizen to a conscious, malevolent, and temporary citizen leader.
4. Do you often experience social anxiety? Ignore her.
If possible, try to temporarily push aside your demons, my friend. Mental illness? Don’t know them, sorry. Adopt the haiku found below for a moment instead.
“Good-bye my demon!!!!!!!!!!
Just until the other side!!!!!!!!!
Time for me to fly!!!!!!!!!”
6. Hype yourself up.
Life is filled with platitudes. Here are some that you have heard so many times that they may mean nothing at all. Read them anyway.
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
“When everything seems to be going against you,
remember that the airplane takes off against the wind,
not with it.”
Are you hyped up? I sure am, brother. If you’re not hyped as heck, some other ways to be your own hype-man include reminding yourself of a good grade you received last week, thinking about the affirmation your friend told you recently, making a list of all of your accomplishments, forgiving yourself for something, and preparing “Eenie Meenie” by Justin Bieber on your phone to blast to the world. Now the real fun begins.
7. Find the AUX.
Use your eyes and ears, young one. Where is the sound coming from? Focus. You got this. Don’t like using your eyes and ears? Echolocation is the big mood this season, hop on the bandwagon before it’s too late. Whatever your means of sensory analysis reigns most effective, use that method and find the sweet sweet speaker system.
8. Plug your phone in.
Bye bye, “Sweet Caroline!” Unplug the disaster phone with the force of Thor. Boom, the room is hurtled into silence. Tension rises as everyone looks your way, four billion pairs of eyes land on you.
9. QUICKLY! Remember that it’s okay to be a “Bad Feminist.”
With steps 1 and 2 firmly established, it’s important to forgive ourselves for the horrid values found within the song you are about to ring through the cosmos. Our song choice is rather sexist. However, we must not over-police ourselves for all that we do. On the pressuring constrictions of feminism, Roxane Gay valiantly states:
“Bad feminism seems the only way I can both embrace myself as a feminist and be myself… I cannot and will not deny the importance and absolute necessity of feminism. Like most people, I'm full of contradictions, but I also don't want to be treated like shit for being a woman. I am a bad feminist. I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all. (The Guardian)”
Self-criticism to the point of self-harm is not the goal of playing a socially-necessary song to a body of 30 or so undergraduates. Recognize the flaws within the music you want to hear and move forward with your microcosm of social and structural change. All you can do it be conscious of the things that influence our society and act as often as you can.
10. With that out of the way, we can now play “Eenie Meenie” by Justin Bieber on the speaker system.
Yes, this tune turns women into actual soulless nouns for beloved JB to manhandle. Yes, thinking about the lyrics to this song makes your blood boil. Yes, her beat is popping. Yes, she is catchy. Remind yourself of Roxane Gay, remind yourself of who you are. Let yourself have this. Self care. Let go.
11. Whether you are a queue or shuffle kind of guest, give your crowd a round of songs to launch you into stardom.
With Justin Bieber playing, vibes are sure to have a big come-up. Though you can never hope to implement a perfect AUX playlist, know that you came from the masses suffering the “Dixieland Delight” dictatorship, with best intentions in mind. Most leaderships born with benevolent meaning and design, from the people, are destined to be an improvement from leaderships recycled from the previously mighty.
To distribute power, in part, back to the people is to take the AUX and to lead in producing the night’s music from a grassroots perspective. With the power established, phone plugged in, it’s time to take your next steps as a leader to ensure the enjoyed success of your DJ identity. Find a playlist with hits, or search and queue a bundle of jams to blast to the entire gathering. Whatever your mode of preparing music is, be sure to do so with your experience as a consumer in mind. Ask your friends what they want to hear, and make sure that they stay involved with the songs to come. With as many people involved as possible, the bops are sure to make a positive impact on your community, boost the vibes, and uplift the night.
12. Rejoice! In! Fellowship!
You, my dear, Have done it. Holy cow, what a wild ride it’s been. Be proud of yourself. Take a deep breath, look around, and scream those Jonas Brothers lyrics like it’s the only reason you were born. You’re here, you’re present, and you’ve saved the night. My hero, I’m so proud of you.
Ta-da! By using an easy to use 12 step method, you too can take any depressing and oppressive AUX cord and turn her into a tune-chucking banger ribbon. A bop wire. A hope rope. Integrate yourself into social interactions. Communicate with others, and make yourself proud. In support of Britney Spears, Jordin Sparks, and the Jonas Brothers. Take that AUX. Don’t let them play “Dixieland Delight.” Don’t let them ruin their own evening. Take control of your night. Command your space. Lead with conviction, kindness, and a good taste in music. Claim the power back to the ears of you and your peers. Vote in your next election.