+amp+

Good music is good music.

Gretchen Wilson, American country music artist (1973-present)

Everyday I go to the gym, I wonder what people listen to while they workout.  Obviously not everyone listens to music while they workout, i.e. my one friend studies on the treadmill by watching chemistry videos, but most of us are generally plugged in while we whip ourselves into shape.  Some may have their go to playlist, while others just listen to whatever’s on their phone.

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Personally, my playlist(s) changes depending on my mood.  There are days when I just want to listen to the old songs on my phone, while on other days, I will listen to a set of playlists targeted for certain workouts.

On my old songs days, some of the songs I jam to are

  • Avicii vs. Nicky Romero, I Could Be The One (Nicktim)
  • Boys Like Girls, The Great Escape
  • DJ Sammy, Heaven ft. Yanou, Do
  • Enrique Iglesias, Bailando ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente de Zona
  • G-Dragon, Black/Without You
  • Jimmy Eat World, The Middle
  • Justin Bieber, Sorry
  • Marina and the Diamonds, Blue/Forget/Froot/Primadonna
  • Phoebe Ryan, Mine (Illenium Remix)
  • Secondhand Serenade, Fall for You
  • Seven Lions x Illenium x Said the Sky, Rush Over Me ft. HALIENE
  • Shakira, La Tortura ft. Alejandro Sanz
  • We the Kings, Check Yes Juliet

On my old songs days, I basically workout to any song I have heard from the late 90s to today.  And if I’m not feeling a song while I work out, I just simply skip it and listen to the next song in the queue.

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When I’m feeling anal, I have multiple playlists that I must listen to.  These playlists are targeted for a specific workout; the cardio songs are different from my weight training songs.  I may be projecting too much, but I try to match the energy required for the workout with a respective song that will maintain that energy during the workout.  I don’t know if this is a scientifically proven thing, but personally, I feel that whenever I do this, I’m able to maximize on my productivity.

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Here are some of the songs in these playlists, separated by routine:

Walking to the gym and warm-up

  • AJR, Weak
  • Avicii, Wake Me Up
  • Daft Punk, Get Lucky ft. Pharell Williams
  • Jason Derulo, Talk Dirty ft. 2 Chainz
  • Sean Paul, Get Busy/Temperature
  • Slushii x Marshmello, Twinbow
  • Survivor, Eye of the Tiger

Cardio

  • All American Rejects, Dirty Little Secret
  • Cash Cash, Matches ft. ROZES
  • Ellie Goulding, Burn
  • Lady Gaga, Applause
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Can’t Hold Us ft. Ray Dalton
  • Pitbull, Timber ft. Ke$sha
  • Sia, Cheap Thrills ft. Sean Paul
  • The Chainsmokers and Tritonal, Until You were Gone ft. Emily Warren

Weight training

  • Alan Walker, Alone/Faded/Sing Me to Sleep
  • Eminem, The Monster ft. Rihanna
  • Jennifer Lopez, On the Floor ft. Pitbull
  • Jon Bellion, All Time Low (Shew Remix)
  • Snakehips & MØ, Don’t Leave (Gryffin Remix)
  • The Chainsmokers, Roses ft. ROZES
  • will.i.am, #thatPOWER ft. Justin Bieber

Abs

  • Alan WalkerTired
  • Alexandra Stan, Mr. Saxobeat
  • David Guetta, Play Hard ft. Ne-Yo, Akon
  • Lady Gaga, Paparazzi
  • Porter Robinson & Madeon, Shelter
  • Rihanna, Diamonds
  • The Chainsmokers, All We Know ft. Phoebe Ryan

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I feel like when you work out, you can never go wrong with songs by Sean Paul, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna.  Their songs have a great combination of relevant lyrics and addictive beats that get you into the mood to move.

While I didn’t include my dance playlist, many of the songs scattered throughout my playlists have gotten inspiration from my dancing days.  Sean Paul, Usher, Britney Spears, and many more greats all have a place in my heart, as they are the original dance practice songs I would listen to when I was younger.  Just writing these names makes me want to dance as often as I used to.

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EDM songs are also a great choice to work out to because their beats usually keep you motivated throughout your workout.  Some of these choices are obvious, like Ellie Goulding’s Burn, to burn off your fat, or like The Chainsmokers and Tritonal’s Until You Were Gone, whose music video was a tribute to cardio (shoutout to soul cycle 🤗).  Other songs are there to boost your self-confidence, like Rihanna’s Diamonds and AJR’s Weak because “I’m weak, and what’s wrong with that?”, a clear tribute to my noodle arms that struggle the most during arm workouts.

xoxo,

the girl who proudly shows off her noodle arms at the gym

p.s. I compiled the songs featured in this posts into a large melting pot playlist.  Feel free to listen to these songs while you work out, and I hope they help you on your fitness journey!

 

IMAGE CREDIT: Pjatt.is

+pringles+

 

Not a playlist, but I just had to share this song.

Verse 1
I deserve it
I know I hurt you with the truth
I was certain
No matter what we make it through
I don’t mind perfect
If I really needed

Pre-Chorus
Would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand and pull me out
Would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand and pull me out

Chorus
I’ve been drowning in hot water
Yeah, I know I let you down
And I’ll find a way to say I’m sorry
But my time is running out
But would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand and pull me out
Would you le-le-le-le-le-le-le-le
(I know perfect)

Drop
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
(I’m sorry)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
(I’m sorry)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
(I’m sorry)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-le-let me drown

Verse 2
If you were on your last breath
And there was no one else around
Despite what I said
I swear that I would help you out
Like a siren
I hear that old familiar sound

Chorus
I’ve been drowning in hot water
Yeah, I know I let you down
And I’ll find a way to say I’m sorry
But my time is running out

Drop
Would you le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-let me drown
(Hot water)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-let me drown

Bridge
Heaven knows you wanna let go
Heaven knows we’re caught in echoes
And I don’t know if you will let go of me
Like I let go of you
And heaven knows that I’ve got regrets
Heaven knows I meant what I said
And I don’t know if you will let go

Chorus
I’ve been drowning in hot water
Yeah, I know I let you down
And I’ll find a way to say I’m sorry
But my time is running out
But would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand and pull me out
Would you le-le-le-le-le-le-le-le
(I know perfect)

Drop
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-let me drown
(I’m sorry)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-let me
(Hot water)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-let me drown
(I’m sorry)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-let me, let me drown

(via Genius Song Lyrics & Knowledge)

♓️

While I do think this song’s pretty dope, I wish artists would make more ~hit~ songs about being single.  Us single people need love, as well as an anthem moaning about the hardships of being single.

Love sells, but shouldn’t the absence of it sell as well?  Just a thought.

xoxo,

the girl who wants to live vicariously (?) through music

IMAGE CREDIT: YouTube

You may say I’m a dreamer,
but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.

– John Lennon, Imagine (1971)

+hi+

“Far away / You got me standing in the outfield / By the way / Sometimes it’s almost like you’re not real / I always swore that I would get to you some day / I’m getting closer, but I’m still so far away / You got me standing in the outfield”The Night Game, The Outfield (2017)

Before I start off today’s blog, I just wanted to share a funny story of how I ended up going to see The Night Game live.  During Jasmine’s concert, my friend asked me if I wanted to see The Night Game the next day.  To no surprise, I read this as a night game show, and since I had never gone to a taping before, I excitedly responded that I was down to go, and asked her what kind of game we were going to see.  She was confused at my question and repeated herself, which was when I realized she meant Martin Johnson’s newest band, and not something along the lines of Jeopardy.  Oops.

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I would call The Night Game rock music of the future because we are not yet worthy to receive such a gift.  Considering how most people mindlessly listen to the Top 40 in a loop, most of us aren’t ready to listen to Martin’s great vocal talents that are on display in a way that’s very different from Boys Like Girls.

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The concert was scheduled to begin at 9:45 p.m., but we all know that these times are always subject to change.  In our case, the concert began around 10:00 p.m., though we did get to see Martin and the band tune their instruments at 9:30 p.m..  A sign in front of the Mercury Lounge, our venue said that a band was scheduled to play at 10:45 p.m., which meant The Night Game would perform for an hour max.  Realistically, it made no sense to get upset that they wouldn’t perform for hours because they don’t have millions of songs under their name yet, but who doesn’t want to listen to them forever?

Apparently, the Mercury Lounge’s policy allows patrons 21+ to go in at 8:00 p.m., while everyone else has to wait until 9:15 p.m.
21+ write band vs. under 21 Sharpie x-marks.
Horrible lighting, but look who’s getting ready!!  The stage oddly reminded me of SNL musical guest performances.
I never understood why guitarists need that pedal thing – it isn’t a piano.
“Look, each and everyone one of you is love.” Just kidding – he was singing.A picture with Martin outside that didn’t make the Instagram cut.  We waited an hour to get a picture with him.
Another one that didn’t make the cut – thank you to the people who kind of photobombed in the back.
Last one that didn’t make the cut, but wow, how did I manage to keep the same face in all of them without getting a locked jaw or something?

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The concert was a lot of fun, albeit short, though the highlight of the night was when I got to talk to Martin in person.  Well, if we’re being honest, I didn’t say more than “hi” to him, waving and smiling at him, but he knows that this was basically a conversation, right?  How many can say that they have exchanged sounds with a celeb before?  I guess after Jasmine and all, I’m on my way to becoming famous.  HOPEFULLY.

Random fact but the jacket Martin had on was a purchase just hours before the shoe from a thrift shop.  Even if he is from Boston, that is so New York.  We can talk about how great the luxury brands on Fifth Ave. are, but we all know that the coolest things are found in a vintage thrift shop.  Before I start ranting about how great thrift shops are, I’ll just end here.

xoxo,

the girl who had a “conversation” with Martin Johnson

p.s. My friend is amazing and she recorded one of the songs from that night and posted it on YouTube.  Check it out here!  Thanks Justine!!

IMAGE CREDIT: YouTube

+wonderland+

“Being happy / Oh, it’s boring, I’m more into crazy” –  Jasmine Thompson, Drama (2017)

Just a little apology note: Hello world!  I know I said that I would follow my posting schedule, but sadly, life got in the way.  Since I will be graduating college next year (#Classof2018), I have been busy focusing on cementing my long term life plans, which took a lot of time away from doing the things I love.  Now that I’m back, I am itching to share a ton of blog posts ranging from music to fashion to life things, so keep your eyes peeled out for them!  Thanks everyone for your continued support and love you all!! 😘😘

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Two weeks ago, I went back to Webster Hall, this time to The Studio, to see a rising singer, Jasmine Thompson.  Before we talk about how great she is, can we all take a moment of silence?  I literally cannot get over the fact that people my age and younger are going places in life, while I’m just lying in bed, thinking about why I am still single.

Back to Jasmine, her voice is incredible – it is almost as if she has some sort of magical power that makes every single song sound chill.  I first learned about her in Robin Schulz’s Sun Goes Down (2014), which makes me a late (?) fan, though I do have a good reason why I didn’t listen to her stuff earlier.  If you are like me, you either grew up listening to what your parents listened to, in my case, anything from the 70s-90s, as well as MTV.  Raise your hand, well leave a comment, if you were a 90s kid who watched all the cool music videos on MTV 🙋🏼.

Following her collab with Robin Schulz, my friends learned of Jasmine a year later, when Felix Jaehn remixed Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better), a remix of Chaka Khan’s song (1983).  Fast forward to 2017, Jasmine released her Wonderland EP, which was how I got to see her live, in her first headlining tour.

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A couple days before the concert, I posted on Twitter that I was super stoked to see Jasmine live in my home city, and surprisingly, she responded.  Because I am super extra, I had to take a screenshot of this awesome moment:

fullsizeoutput_122d.jpeg
I know this is unnecessary, but please let me have my five seconds of fame.

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IMG_3232First order of business: taking a snap of my wristband to mark the beginning of my summer concert series.

While waiting for Jasmine to come out, I noticed that there was a photo wall, so I forced my friend to take pictures of me because who can pass up a photo wall?

I tried to pose in front of the photo wall, but I didn’t like how I looked.

Look how happy and excited I am to see Jasmine.

♓️

The opening act was Sarah Barrios, a singer from Connecticut.  If anyone knows who she sounds like, please leave a comment because it is stressing me out that I can’t think of the name right now.  Her songs had kind of a Hey There Delilah (2005) vibe, but there was no denying that she was good.  It was also cute that her mom brought mementos with her social media handles on them.

Jasmine came on stage a little before 8 p.m., and stole the show.  Even now, I have trouble describing how amazing it was, taking the crowd beyond the basement confines of The Studio.  I was so caught up in the music that I would forget that I was at a concert, and would just be smiling serenely while swaying to her music.

True to her tour name, Jasmine sang songs from her newest EP, though she did close with everyone’s favorite, Ain’t Nobody, which everyone sang along to.  Even if you didn’t know any of the songs from the Wonderland EP, you had to know that song because then, do you even know Jasmine Thompson?

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Even though her concert ended at 9 p.m., she spent the remainder of her time greeting and taking pictures with fans.  She gave everyone a hug, and a message of thanks for coming out to see her.

A candid picture of no one staring at the right camera, obviously.

 The power of good lighting 💡.

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If I have to pick something that I was disappointed about, it would be the absence of story time, though this isn’t her fault, she is, after all, only 16!  I feel like story time contributes a lot to a set, though performers who tell the best stories are obviously the ones who have gone on multiple tours all over, and are definitely old enough to drink legally in the U.S.!

In the near future, I would love the chance to see her live again, though with a longer set because her performance ended too quickly.  Though, the fact that her concert was short meant that I was able to get pics with her, so no complaining there.

xoxo,

the girl who remembers MTV’s glory days

p.s. Support Jasmine by purchasing her EP on iTunes!

IMAGE CREDIT: The Studio at Webster Hall

+june playlist+

I know this is late, but here is this month’s Top Ten!

Erik Satie, Gymnopédie No. 1
This summer I’m trying to go back to my creative roots, and this song just tickles you in a pleasant way to get your creative juices flowing.  Also shameless bragging, but this was the song I used in my final for my creative writing class in freshman year.
Purchase here on iTunes

Fall Out Boy, Sugar, We’re Goin Down
These days everyone has been talking about the return of some of our favorite groups (#RIPMCR), and I know everyone had a crush on Pete Wentz at some point, even if it was for five minutes 😁.
Purchase here on iTunes

Future, Mask Off
To be honest, rap music is whatever Biggie or Tupac made, but Future has a nice voice, plain and simple.  I can actually understand his words, rather than bob my head to a bunch of gibberish.
Purchase here on iTunes

Jasmine Thompson, Old Friends
I recently saw Jasmine Thompson, and reconnected with literally old friends that I haven’t spoken to or seen in a few years now.  It literally captures the reason why old friends will inevitably be better than new friends.
Purchase here on iTunes

Lady Gaga, Paparazzi
I remember the first time I listened to Lady Gaga in my friend’s dark computer room, and I remember thinking that she was weird, yet ten years later, I know the lyrics to many of her popular pieces.
Purchase here on iTunes

Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee, Despacito
My friend told me to listen to it because Justin Bieber was featured, but I think it sucks.  Do yourself a favor and learn some Spanish and listen to the original, and NOT the remix, even if I do love JB’s songs.
Purchase here on iTunes

Marina and the Diamonds, Primadonna
I recently applied for a part-time job and one of the questions was, “What is your anthem?” and the only song that came to mind was this song because every girl, well most girls, would love to live the life Marina sings about.
Purchase here on iTunes

The Chainsmokers ft. ROZES, Roses
This was my gateway drug to The Chainsmokers because even after the release of Don’t Let Me Down, I was still wary of them, and who wouldn’t be?  #Selfie was a disaster.
Purchase here on iTunes

The Night Game, The Outfield
I love it when artists explore different genres because I can truly appreciate their singing ability, but also because as a fan, I feel like I am graced with the opportunity to see a beloved performer grow and develop over the years.  Also Martin’s cute.
Purchase here on iTunes

Zara Larsson, Lush Life
Besides Symphony and Never Forget You, I didn’t think that Zara Larsson had any memorable or popular songs, but was I wrong – Lush Life is so addicting and dance-able.
Purchase here on iTunes

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Like May, June is also filled with a seemingly mismatched set of songs.  Most of these are not of the recent kind, one even being 130 years old.  As it’s the summer, everyone should experience new things, like new genres.

xoxo,

the girl who projects (?) with her music

p.s. Here’s June’s Spotify playlist!

+may playlist+

Usually, I listen to the same 15 songs until I get sick of them, but since my blog is a way to reinvent myself, I decided to start publishing a monthly playlist.  The understanding is that from this experience, I can discover new genres/sub-genres and artists that I’ve never heard of before, and share the wealth for others who also may have not heard of these hidden gems.

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Rules: Each month, I will be posting my Top Ten songs.  To be a Top Ten song, it must either

  • be a hidden gem – a new genre/sub-genre that I have not yet explored OR a new artist from a genre that I enjoy listening to
  • be an indulgence – an artist that I already enjoy listening to

Obviously, I’ll try to limit the indulgence songs because what’s the point of reading this post if all you’re going to see are songs from the Billboard Hot 100?  Also, I may not always post exactly 10 songs because there are some months when music is dry and uninteresting, so I can only scrounge together less than 10.

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For May, here are my Top Ten:

Black Veil Brides, In the End
This song came out years ago and it’s probably the only BVB song that I like, though I can’t tell you why I don’t listen to more of their stuff.
Purchase here at iTunes

Chase Atlantic, Cassie
A friend recommended this song and artist because of the title (can you guess what her name is?) and it’s a pretty nice song, though I probably would have never found it, which is pretty embarrassing because I like to explore genres.
Purchase here at iTunes

Clean Bandit ft. Zara Larsson, Symphony
This song has to be on everyone’s playlist, asap.  I’m in love with Clean Bandit’s angle these days, singing about struggle and frustration, yet delivering it with beautiful melodies and strong female vocals.
Purchase here at iTunes

Harry Styles, Sign of the Times
Okay, so I was in love with One Direction because of Harry, don’t judge because everyone had their favorite One Direction member and loved 1D more than they would like to admit.  I love the angle that Harry goes in this song, with a soft classic rock that he probably wanted to sing all along instead of the cheesy pop genre.  Though I am confused why iTunes would label it as pop 🤔.
Purchase here at iTunes

Kendrick Lamar, HUMBLE.
I think rap music is perfect when you want to think about things, well not all rap songs, but the artists I do listen to always make me think about my life’s struggles in comparison to others.  Kendrick Lamar is not an exception and his music video is beautifully shot, with cool angles.
Purchase here at iTunes

Slushii x Marshmello, Twinbow
Marshmello, whoever he is under that mask-hat thing is a genius.  Slushii is like the go-to name everyone goes to, so they can show off their EDM knowledge.  While it is a shorter piece, this is no doubt a perfect song to ~groove~ to.
Purchase here at iTunes

The Story So Far, Clairvoyant
I generally don’t go crazy about guitars and stuff, but this song is beautiful.  It kind of a has a chill vibe from the 2000s (it was released in 2013), and the essence of a struggling musician, which is kind of cool.
Purchase here at iTunes

Twin Forks, Cross My Mind
This folk song is a sweet song that always makes me think of a sunny road trip by the beach.  #summer
Purchase here at iTunes

Vampire Weekend, California English
I love this song.  My friend reintroduced me to this song, but it’s trippy and really cool.  I’m kind of upset that I haven’t listened to Vampire Weekend in a while because I forgot all the fun songs, but I guess this is what happens when you have trouble remembering titles 😥.
Purchase here at iTunes

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May’s songs may seem like a hodge podge of things, but given the point of the semester, I need an eclectic variety of songs to soothe the pain of finals and get me excited for summer vacation.  I hope you enjoy these songs like I do!

xoxo,

the girl who can’t be pinned down with her song choices

p.s. I made a Spotify playlist, so you can enjoy my May finds!

+trance+

“If this night is not forever, at least we are together, I know I’m not alone, I know I’m not alone.” – Alan Walker, Alone

Last Friday, I had the privilege of seeing Alan Walker perform live for the first time in Webster Hall.  He is a fantastic performer from Norway that not only makes amazing tracks, but also has great remixes as well, i.e. Sia’s “Move Your Body.”  His most recognizable piece is his hit single “Faded,” which I first heard on my brother’s laptop.  This led to constant Alan Walker streaming, to the ire of my friends who had to listen to me blast his songs 24/7.

Up until the release of “Alone” last December, featuring vocals by Noonie Bao, also a Norewegian singer, my favorite song was “Sing Me to Sleep,” which featured vocals by Iselin Solheim, the Norwegian singer who also sang “Faded.”  “Alone” became my favorite song because I just love songs that talk about solidarity and the celebration that you are not alone.

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Timing at concerts are the worst; while doors were supposed to open at 10 p.m., it was not until 10:20 p.m. when we started moving in.  Mind you, with the wind chill, it felt like 5 degrees out!  We were allowed up to the Grand Ballroom at 11 p.m., but Alan Walker didn’t come on stage for a few hours.  During that time, we heard in-house DJs perform their music, which was decent, until I noticed that a lot of their stuff sounded like tracks from Proximity, which was disappointing.

After them, Martin Jensen came out and played his set, a variety of popular hits and his own stuff.  I honestly didn’t even know that I knew his stuff until I was like, “Wait, I know this song!”  Despite this pleasant surprise, two hours of non-Alan Walker music does take a toll on an old person like myself, and I couldn’t wait any longer.

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At 1:30 a.m., Alan Walker came out on stage.  It was amazing to scream out the lyrics to the songs he made and the songs he remixed with a couple hundred people with me.  Also, sorry to all my Snapchat and Instagram followers who had to watch 50 too many things that night!  Below are pictures of that night, courtesy of selfies and Webster Hall.

IMG_2701It was cold out, but once we saw that sign, nothing else mattered.
IMG_270210:13 p.m. — They told us that this was our line, but we’re still waiting outside.
IMG_2513The classic bathroom selfie — featuring stalls that look like something from a horror movie.
IMG_2704Inside Webster Hall — still frozen, but too happy to care.  Also coat check is $7??
17191664_10155684877785606_8743818462820057678_oMe asking who that guy on stage was.
17192052_10155684874060606_2807525164274016369_oMoment of vanity — My friend said that I looked like a model here because of my side profile, so I just had to post this.
17039403_10155684885395606_5558867673745376487_oI look gross, but I liked how the lights illuminated the ballroom.
17097267_10155684885815606_7041842549548759728_oAlan Walker speaking on stage, while the front row (Me!) is bathed in red.
17157465_10155684885375606_3624606293418365444_oI don’t think my right arm ever rested during Alan Walker’s two hour set; it’s probably has more muscle after that up and down movement.
17157513_10155684885445606_5382331757847682023_oWe are the millennial generation, “Pics or it didn’t happen.”
17016762_10155684887885606_6063687846485409086_oCONFUSED — Okay, I didn’t quiet understand why people started recording him during his thank you bit, but I smiled because there were so many photographers on stage #fivesecondsoffame
17157728_10155684887230606_6873727347343180198_o
Alan Walker and his New York fans.
♓️

As shown in the pictures, I managed to snag a front row spot – it was delightful to be literally six feet away from Alan Walker.  It was also surprising that people didn’t push me to get closer to the front; I had a sufficient amount of space to dance, which made me extremely happy.  The only downside about my spot was that I was standing right in front of the streamer shooters, so you can guess what happened to me way too many times that night.

xoxo,

the girl who got hit in the face with streamers way too many times

Image Credit: Webster Hall

+rockabye+

“They heard a lullaby every time a part of her died in Silence.” – Akshay Vasu (via goodreads)

Whenever you ask someone why they like a song, they usually respond with one of two responses: a) the beat was catchy, or b) the lyrics spoke to them.  It’s fascinating when people say the latter because despite being able to memorize lyrics easily, I generally don’t think about what the song is saying.  Also, when someone mentions their favorite song, their friends immediately hop onboard the popular song bandwagon, regardless of lyrics.  Though, when lyrics are mentioned, it’s usually by the hipster in every group who sticks his/her nose up at the lyrics because do you even know what this song’s actually saying?

♓️

Recently, I’ve been listening to Clean Bandit after a hiatus, specifically post-“Rather Be.”  This is a problem for many bands: after their hit song, the subsequent songs just try to recreate their hit song’s success.  At that point, it’s a sign that I should listen to other songs because like Francis Davison wrote, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

I returned to Clean Bandit with the release of “Tears,” featuring Louisa Johnson in 2016.  This set the stage for the super addictive song, “Rockabye,” featuring Anne-Marie and Sean Paul.  Clean Bandit aside, besides Sia’s “Cheap Thrills,” I don’t think I’ve listened to Sean Paul for the longest time, (i.e. since the early 2000s, when we had dance choreographies to his songs), so it was a pleasant surprise to hear his voice again.

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In the music video interpretation, the song celebrates a mother simply trying to do her best in a world that doesn’t think highly of her, while protecting her child from the harsh realities.  Even if you weren’t raised by a single mother, or even a single father, this is relatable to many parents who want to preserve their children’s innocent smiles from all the pain in the world.

Parents generally want to keep their children ignorant of all the behind-the-scenes work that’s required to make that possible.  This backstage work may be at the cost of the parent’s pride – you can be the most prideful person in the world, but once you have a child, you are humbled or become humble.  They simply want their children to not live the lives they had.  No parent wants to see their children suffer; they would rather suffer instead.  The pre-chorus supports this interpretation:

She tells him, “Your life ain’t gonna be nothing like my life (stay)
You’re gonna grow and have a good life
I’m gonna do what I’ve got to do”
(Stay out there, stay out there)
(Credit: azlyrics).

It’s important to remember that it isn’t that the parent wants to do something per say, but they must do what they have to do for your sake.  It is a bitter bill for children to swallow as they enter adolescence, where their eyes are opened to the negative things in the world.

Seeing your parents suffer for your sake, while you get to live a life, only worrying about getting good grades, contributes to its own kind of stress to the child.  As children, we know that education is the only way to escape this situation and save your parents from an uncomfortable life.  However, it can be hard for many to focus solely on their future when they see their parents breaking their backs to keep a roof over your head.

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My biggest takeaway was that what I thought I understood about my parents’ choices was only the tip of the iceberg.  It makes me guilty of the times I berated my parents for being slow and making foolish decisions because looking back, I’m not quite sure if I can easily disregard their decisions like I did, years ago.

While it’s true that service workers, i.e. teachers and nurses, are grossly under-appreciated and devalued to a ridiculous degree, I think that parents have it worse.  Teachers and nurses have a retirement plan and pension when they get old, but what’s the reward for a parent, whose child hasn’t realized their parent’s impact on their life?  Parents are also extremely valuable service workers with an intrinsic value, but this leads to a subpar appreciation by many children.

xoxo,

the girl who is hopefully becoming more mature

p.s. Below is the music video for “Rockabye” if you couldn’t be bothered to click the link or you wanted to listen to this song while reading this post.

Image Credit: Daikhlo

+angst+

“I don’t want to repeat my innocence.  I want the pleasure of losing it again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald (via goodreads)

So about a couple of months ago, I went to the Boys Like Girls: 10 Year Anniversary Tour concert, or simply #BLG10, at the Playstation Theatre, here in New York City.  That night can be summed up in one word, 2006.  I felt like I went back in time, to the good old days, with other BLG fans.  Ten years meant that we were all older in appearance, but our souls were not – BLG brought back our angst-filled teen days.

BLG fans today no longer wore their Hot Topic outfits, rather they traded these scene looks for more trendier pieces from American Apparel or Free People.  Of course, there were those who still had their streaky highlights and lip piercings, making sure to bring back the unforgettable studded belt, something that Avril Lavigne, our queen of punk, taught us to wear loud and proud.

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BLG is a pop rock band from Boston, Massachusetts; mainstream media knows them for their debut eponymous album, which was released back in 2006.  Their most recognizable song, “The Great Escape,” played constantly on the z100 Top 40.  Originally, BLG was comprised of frontman Martin Johnson, bassist Bryan Donahue, drummer John Keefe, and lead guitarist Paul DiGiovanni.  However, Bryan left in 2011 and Morgan Dorr replaced him.  While it sucks that the original four were unable to perform their debut album together on their tenth anniversary, Morgan did not let us down.

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Going into the venue, I was worried that Martin’s voice would no longer be as vibrant as it was a decade ago, but he was good, if not better, than what I remembered.  As always, there was an opening act no one looked forward to because who wants to hear random people sing, when Martin was backstage?  However, Old Fashioned was a decent opening act, contributing to the mounting excitement and anticipation that we felt towards the main event.

When BLG finally came out a little after 9 p.m., I honestly thought I died because of the intensity of the throwback, and because of how much hotter Martin got.  When I first listened to BLG, boys were annoying and BLG songs were only good for their addictiveness, but now that I am older, these songs are so much more relevant and fun to listen to.  While 2016 was hotter, his tinted glasses were not, as they covered his good looks, and made him look like an ’80s serial killer, albeit a hot one.

BLG opened with everyone’s favorite, “The Great Escape,” and I think I lost my voice from screaming out the lyrics.  My voice was fueled by the nostalgia, the love I felt towards this beautiful band, and the memories it left behind; even when I physically felt like I could no longer sing, the chords always brought me back in.  Their set list was their album in order, plus three other popular songs from their Love Drunk (2009) album.  Below was their New York concert setlist

  1. “The Great Escape” – 3:28 min
  2. “Five Minutes to Midnight” – 3:47 min
  3. “Hero/Heroine” – 3:52 min
  4. “On Top of the World” – 3:36 min
  5. “Thunder” – 3:56 min
  6. “Me, You and My Medication” – 4:28 min
  7. “Up Against the Wall” – 3:39 min
  8. “Dance Hall Drug” – 3:29 min
  9. “Learning to Fall” – 3:04 min
  10. “Heels Over Head” – 3:08 min
  11. “Broken Man” – 3:31 min
  12. “Holiday” – 5:08 min
  13. “Love Drunk” – 3:46 min (Encore)
  14. “She’s Got a Boyfriend Now” – 4:05 min (Encore)
  15. “Two is Better Than One” – 4:02 min (Encore)
  16. “The Great Escape” – 3:28 min (Encore, Finale)

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I loved the breaks between songs, where Martin shared the backstories to some of their songs, even the not-so innocent meanings behind a few that we were led to believe.  He also recalled the days when we had to ask our parents to take us to concerts, making them stay out late on a workweek, just to make sure that we got home safely.  Maybe it was the venue, but Martin made us a close-knit family again, enjoying a jam session with ten year old tunes.  Thank you BLG and your record company for bringing back Boys Like Girls and making us enjoy what happiness felt like again.

xoxo,

the girl who can’t stop learning to fall gain

p.s. Below are links to the videos from that night, courtesy of my friend who kept his phone held high even when the crowd jostled him to the sound of the beat.  Thanks Steve!