My Lollapalooza Experience

If you’re unfamiliar, Lollapalooza is an annual music festival held in Grant Park, Chicago, IL. It’s usually held the first weekend of August and is known for huge crowds, delicious food (Chow Town), and above all, incredible headliners. This year’s included big names like Bruno Mars, Travis Scott, Post Malone, Vampire Weekend, Logic, and The Weeknd.

Although it’s a four-day music festival, my friends and I opted for the cheaper route of attending only one day: Friday – and we saw and experienced plenty.

Let’s get into it.

First of all, the weather forecast for Friday, August 3rd in Chicago, Illinois was 95 degrees. Pair the temperature with a million people, add alcohol, and you’re in store for a whole lot of porta-potty lines. Probably TMI, but I spent a lot of time in lines with sweaty people with full bladders.

Anyway, we took the red line from Molly’s apartment to Grant Park, our bodies varnished in glitter and iridescent fanny packs in tow, arrived around 1:30 and greeted by a deep pit of people: the line to enter. After 25-30 minutes of waiting and sneaking past unsuspecting Lolla-goers (well, sort of. One person yelled at Brittany. Whatever.), we finally reached bag checks and entry.

Once finally in the park, it was overwhelming. Buckingham Fountain greeted us, as did our friend Jesson (who went to ALL FOUR DAYS. God bless him.) There were thousands upon thousands of people going in every direction. You really had to be careful to not get lost or lose your people. And if you weren’t familiar with the park, finding the artist you wanted to see was a bit of a challenge. Lollapalooza is broken up into eight different stages in Grant Park – and they do supply you with plenty of information on when specific artists are playing and where, plus you can download the app. But I mean, who even remembers the app when the time comes? I don’t.

The hilarious tweet that is this post’s featured photo is absolutely true as well – I truly felt as though at least half of the Lolla-goers were under 18. I almost evaporated.

To be completely honest, the first few hours of Lolla were a blur. I was in complete sensory overload… and I’d had a few drinks. We saw a few songs from each of Bebe Rexha and Lizzo’s sets, then we headed for CHOW TOWN. Chow Town is offered by local food vendors and is actually fairly reasonable in price, but the real attraction for us was the lobster corn dog. Molly brought up that she’d heard about this delicacy and decided it was an essential addition to our Lollapalooza experience. And it was bomb.

After hydrating at one of the many hydration stations (we brought in our own empty water bottles. You’re only allowed an empty water bottle up to 36oz. upon entry), we headed to Post Malone’s hour set. He’s one of the grungiest artists in modern day hip-hop/pop/whatever, but he’s undeniably talented and despite the ‘Always Tired’ tattoos that cover his under-eye area, he brought his all during this performance. After one of his many hits, I Fall Apart, the crowd started chanting ‘F— That B—-“. You go, Austin Post. F That B.

Soon after Post’s set, we headed for Brockhampton and I was truly pumped. We caught all of BLEACH, but ended up leaving shortly after to secure a good spot at Bruno Mars. And we really did. Bruno was phenomenal and at certain points in his performance fireworks went off which made the whole experience really cool. Bruno sang his hits – and one of my favorite songs ever, Just The Way You Are, and when I say it’s one of my favorite songs ever, I mean it. When it came out in 2010, I was thirteen. The song came out during the genesis of my adolescence. I  will always know every word.

Walking the streets after Lollapalooza was officially over (for the day, at least) I felt my whole body collapsing limb by limb from exhaustion. Once I didn’t have the distraction of enormous crowds of tweens, teens, and others, I felt true fatigue. My head, shoulders, knees, and toes were dragging and all I wanted was a shower. But funneling into the streets of Chicago with thousands of other people was almost comforting – everyone was tired, but everyone seemed content and fulfilled. It was nice.

Sweaty, tired, and dirty, we took the train back to Molly’s. In each of our consecutive showers, we each blew our noses and dirt came out. It’s fine. We’re clean now.

The next day we woke up and were sore, but happy. I’m not sure if I’d ever go to another music festival again, but who knows. It was an incredible experience – and I’m doubly glad I got to experience it with the people that I did. See you later, Lolla.

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Playlist 3: Oldies

 

  1. Summer Breeze – Seals and Crofts
  2. Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac
  3. Jolene – Dolly Parton
  4. Blue Bayou – Linda Ronstadt
  5. Happy Together – The Turtles
  6. Photographs and Memories – Jim Croce
  7. Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles
  8. Helplessly Hoping – Crosby, Stills, & Nash
  9. Dedicated To The One I Love – The Mamas & The Papas
  10. Everything I Own – Bread
  11. Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin
  12. Hummingbird – Seals and Crofts
  13. Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
  14. Ventura Highway – America
  15. White Room – Cream
  16. Tom Sawyer – Rush
  17. Under Pressure – David Bowie
  18. Black Dog – Led Zeppelin
  19. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
  20. Hotel California – Eagles
  21. Call On Me – Big Brother & The Holding Company
  22. Green-Eyed Lady – Sugarloaf
  23. Time In A Bottle – Jim Croce
  24. Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In – The 5th Dimension
  25. That’s What Friends Are For – Dionne Warwick
  26. Easy – Commodores
  27. Ben – Michael Jackson
  28. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John, Kiki Dee
  29. You Make My Dreams – Daryl Hall & John Oates
  30. A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke
  31. September – Earth, Wind & Fire
  32. The House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
  33. Rescue Me – Fontella Bass
  34. For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder
  35. (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
  36. Raindrops Keep Fallin On My Head – BJ Thomas
  37. Manic Monday – The Bangles
  38. Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
  39. Enter Sandman – Metallica
  40. Dancing Queen – ABBA
  41. Kiss – Prince
  42. Day Tripper – The Beatles
  43. The Spirit of Radio – Rush
  44. Superstition – Stevie Wonder
  45. Call Me – Blondie
  46. Crazy On You – Heart
  47. What About Love – Heart
  48. People Are Strange – The Doors
  49. Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream
  50. In The City – Eagles

Listen on Spotify.

Playlist 2: L-O-V-E

This playlist is one I’ve had on my Spotify forever. I often delete old playlists or shuffle music around every month or so, but this playlist remains untouched. I LOVE every one of these love songs.

  1. L-O-V-E Nat King Cole
  2. You’re Still The One – Shania Twain
  3. Love On Top – Beyonce
  4. A Sunday Kind of Love – Etta James
  5. Stand By Me – Ben E. King
  6. Love On The Brain – Rihanna
  7. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  8. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
  9. All of Me – John Legend
  10. Your Song – Elton John
  11. At Last – Etta James
  12. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
  13. My Girl – The Temptations
  14. Killing Me Softly With His Song – Roberta Flack
  15. Eternal Flame – The Bangles
  16. Dream A Little Dream of Me – The Mamas & the Papas
  17. Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
  18. Be My Baby – The Ronettes
  19. Michelle – The Beatles
  20. I’ll Be There – The Jackson 5
  21. Put Your Head on my Shoulder – Paul Anka
  22. Love For Sale – Eartha Kitt
  23. Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart) – Diana Ross / Marvin Gaye
  24. The End of the World – Skeeter Davis
  25. Sh-Boom – The Chords
  26. That’s Amore – Dean Martin
  27. My Funny Valentine – Nina Simone
  28. Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley
  29. I’ll Have to Say I Love You In A Song – Jim Croce
  30. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross
  31. Who’s Lovin’ You – The Jackson 5
  32. Crazy – Patsy Cline
  33. When A Man Loves A Woman – Percy Sledge
  34. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole

Listen on Spotify.

As Uncomfortable As It Is

I’ve been struggling with sharing my blog. The feeling is akin to revealing my diary containing my deepest, darkest secrets to the world. Scary, right?

I’ve been thinking a lot about improving my online presence but I’m a pretty private person. Not only that, but at times I feel I’m not interesting enough or as though I’d never suffered through or experienced any extreme, life-altering circumstances that would be captivating enough to write about. I grew up in a rural area, in a middle-class family, the daughter of a high-school English teacher. I live a pretty normal life and I’m just trying to live and learn as I go. This thought led to me asking myself in self-depreciating doubt – why would anyone even want to read my blog or take any advice from me?

Then, I thought of all the stupid blogs I see every single day. That people actually read.

I have plenty to share. And just because I haven’t gone through something extreme doesn’t mean that I don’t offer a unique perspective.

I’ve been reading different takes from first-time bloggers and at some point they had similar fears, too. From everything I’ve read, the light at the end of the tunnel seemed to be the connection they made with their followers. And, that sometimes the scariest pieces to write are the pieces that people genuinely connect with.

What I need to remember, though, is that the internet has a long-term memory. The internet’s memory is comparable to a bottlenose dolphin (they can remember their dolphin friends after 20 years apart. Beat that elephants.) That’s the scary part for me. Right now, I’m no one. But in 20 years, who will I be?

Playlist 1: SOUL SONGS

Here’s a peek into one of my personal playlists: Soul Songs. Every song on this playlist speaks to my soul; they’re soothing, passionate, and centered around love. If I’m taking a contemplative car ride, this is what I play.

  1. Butterfly – UMI
  2. Haiku – Nai Palm
  3. February 3rd – Jorja Smith
  4. Best Part (feat. H.E.R.) – Daniel Caesar
  5. Quite Like You – Andy Shauf
  6. Slipping – Eryn Allen Kane
  7. We Find Love – Daniel Caesar
  8. Mystery of Love – Sufjan Stevens
  9. Sweet Creature – Harry Styles
  10. Emotion – Destiny’s Child
  11. Sunrise – Norah Jones
  12. Song Cries and Amens – Grace
  13. Library Magic – The Head and the Heart
  14. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
  15. Streetcar – Daniel Caesar
  16. Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand – Leon Bridges
  17. Village – Cam

Listen on Spotify.

Moodboard: Eartha Kitt

eartha

I don’t have to be wealthy and rich. My spirit is a valuable commodity.”

Eartha Kitt poses in character as Catwoman for the television show "Batman" in 1967.PHOTO: The one and only Eartha Kitt ~ She and that recognizable voice and what a character ~ lived a LONG LONG LIFE!!! Women In Shorts (Maybe) Cause Car CrashEartha Kitt as Catwoman — Batman, Season 3 (1967-68, ABC)

I’m not black and I’m not white and I’m not I’m not pink and I’m not green. Eartha Kitt has no color and that is how barriers are broken.

Eartha Kitt - 1959 Photographic Print by Isaac Sutton at Art.comEartha and daughter Kitt playingEartha Kitt - 1959 Photographic Print by William Lanier at AllPosters.com

Concertos on the G String by Baroque Malone

This past semester, I was in a class called Music Marketing. My professor, Dr. Barretta, taught us the ins-and-outs of the music industry and arranged for us to meet with ‘Rev. Moose‘, the Managing Partner/Co-Founder of Maurader Group, a music marketing firm based in NYC, over Skype. He explained his role within the company and how needs are constantly evolving with the rise of technology. We ended up doing some work for him and some of the bands he represented which ended up being really cool.

What I really liked about this class, though, was our major assignment/project – to re-brand an already existing artist. My group chose the grungy, ever-endearing Post Malone. The first half of our project was to better understand the typical Post Malone fan. First, we had to do a little research on his background and how he ended up a mega-star.

A Syracuse, NY native until he moved to Dallas, TX when he was 10 years old, Post Malone is a musical artist specializing in Hip-Hop, Contemporary R&B, and Rap Rock. He rose to fame on Soundcloud and was soon sought after following the release of White Iverson (2015). He released his first album Stoney in 2016. Now, he’s the 8th most-played artist on Spotify, on Soundcloud he has 63.7 million plays, and utilizes cross-promotion by being active on social media platforms like Facebook (1.7M likes), Twitter (3.09M followers), Instagram (7.4M followers), and Snapchat.

His most important platform, by far, is Twitter. While Twitter is his most used form of social media, it’s also his realest. His unapologetic and uncensored tweets are millennial and Gen-Z crack. People in these categories eat up transparency in the media. More than ever before, fans know more about and are more invested in artists’ lives. He also engages quite a bit with his audience.

Here’s our full analysis of the typical Post Malone fan:

Post Malone: Fan Profile

The second half of our project was a bit trickier. When the time came, Dr. Barretta announced what musical genre we would re-brand our artists as. Post Malone would be a classical Baroque artist. Perfect.

Luckily, my group and I are creative geniuses and made it work. Thus, Baroque Malone was born.

Take a look at our presentation and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Post Malone: Rebrand

My favorite part and my own personal touch that completes the project:

Concertos on the G String by Baroque Malone

baroque

Now that’s a work of art.

How To Land an Internship

Full disclosure: What worked for me may not work for you. These are just some general tips.

  1. First of all, make a LinkedIn. Have a friend take a professional photo of you. Use correct grammar and punctuation because that really does matter, and don’t just one-click apply. If you want, use bullets under your work experience and be specific, but don’t write a novel. Then, make connections. Personally, I don’t really like to connect with recruiters unless they’re working for a specific company that I’m familiar with. They clog up my timeline. Don’t be afraid to connect with people you’ve worked with or for in the past. If you did a good job, they’ll gladly connect and might even write you a recommendation! Professors are great LinkedIn connections, too.
  2. Utilize LinkedIn when looking for a job. BUT – don’t just look for job openings. Look to network instead. For instance, in the search bar I can type in ‘St. Bonaventure University’. My connections obviously pop up, but so do other tabs. These tabs are categorized into locations, connections, and current companies. If you see that an alum from your school works at a company you can see yourself at – send them InMail. My school has the reputation for being extremely prideful and helpful when reached out to, so I’m lucky! Utilize alums. They want to see you succeed!
  3. Put your heart and soul into every cover letter you send out. Ultimately, the organization you send them to wants to see that there’s a good chance you’re going to stick around a while, so add why you’re applying. Do some research. Your personal and professional beliefs should mesh well with theirs, so finding something that you like about the job other than the salary should be easy. They need to know you’re putting stock in them as much as they’re putting stock in you.
  4. Go to networking events. This is one I’m terrible at. I end up going for the free food and talking to one person. It’s definitely a scary thing, but these people wouldn’t be there if they didn’t want to talk. They’ve come to help with securing internships, general advice, or to speak on something in a specific field. Use them. Find common ground. Get their business card or LinkedIn. Bounce. Repeat.
  5. Prepare for your interview. Whether on the phone, through Skype, or in person, preparation is key. Write down common questions, do mock interviews, practice in the mirror or an empty room if you have to, but just be prepared. Research, research, research – know about the company! They want to know you’re invested, so they will ask. Have a prepared answer for, “Why do you want to work at … ?” Have questions for them prepared, too. Be professional and confident, yet relaxed and not boastful. Be yourself. Interviews are the hardest part of the process but you’ll get through them. Normally by the third or fourth interview, you’ve got your answers down for the basic stuff.
  6. Write a thank-you. If you want to go the extra mile, write an actual thank-you card with an actual pen. If you can’t in time, it’s acceptable to write an email. Keep it short, sweet, and memorable. Try to write something about the tips your interviewer gave you or a commonality you shared. Then, of course, thank them for their time.

Trust me when I say I know how nerve-wracking the interview process can be. I break out in hives on my chest and neck every time I’m nervous – so special attire (TURTLENECKS) is required. I also have the sweatiest hands on the face of the earth, so I try to stay as cool as possible and keep special deodorant on-hand for that first impression handshake. Most of the time it does not go well – but I keep a smile on my face and try to charm my way into my interviewer’s heart. Sometimes that works. But most of the time, being prepared works better. Applying for jobs is a job in itself. Just be smart about it and you’ll have one in no time. Just don’t give up. The more you apply, the better you’ll get at it!