I’ve just finished compiling and arranging a playlist of 390 songs that represent people and events from my freshman year at Truman. Clocking in at 26 hours and 41 minutes, this playlist serves as a sort of audio timeline for the year. The songs are ordered chronologically (sort of), but the playlist also gives a disjointed, unique representation of the year when shuffled.
A friend was curious about the reasons why each song made it onto the list, so I’m going to do my best to provide an explanation here. I’d like to start using this blog for more personal stuff, and I think a recap of the year would be a good place to begin.
Note to my C4 fam: a lot of these songs are personal add-ins from whatever I was listening to at the time, so don’t be surprised if you come upon a lot of music you had nothing to do with or haven’t heard before. Also, please don’t feel bad if you think you don’t see any songs that pertain to you! These tracks are just a representation of what I heard the most throughout the semester, and the memories they recount still remind me of each one of you. Thank you all for being my friends; I’m so grateful for the time we got to spend together, and I’m looking forward to seeing you all again soon!
So, without further ado, I’m just gonna start writing and see where this goes:
Clocks, Everything In Its Right Place – I’ve actually just added this song and the next one to the beginning of the playlist (a week after I’ve started writing this post) because I remembered making the Truman Chapsnat while I was playing Clocks on the SUB piano during my visit weekend, way before Truman week. During that week, though, a few people recognized me from the Chatsnap and I got my 15 minutes of fame. Also I played EIIRP and some guy in the SUB thought it was cool that I knew Radiohead, so points for me.
Itchin’ On A Photograph – Grouplove was one of the bands I really got into during the summer of 2016. Coming off of summer break, I listened to it a lot at the beginning of the school year. This is the first song off their first album, and I thought it would make a fitting opening track (until I remembered to add the previous two songs)
No Drama Queen – written for the movie Paper Towns, which I haven’t seen and only know as one of those “high school coming-of-age” films. I once heard it described as “the most 90s song to not come from the 90s”. Anyways, a lot of the “high school” nostalgia is lost on me as a homeschooler, but the lyrics in the chorus really fit the tension I felt between leaving my family and starting a new chapter of my life four-and-a-half hours away:
“And I’m leaving for tomorrow
I don’t wanna come back home and feel the same
My heart, it’s all crazy
I think it’s time to run away”
I put this song on while thinking about my parents walking away across the parking lot after saying their good-byes, as I fell asleep on the first night I moved in. I may or may not have cried a little bit (love you Mom and Dad).
Charlie Brown – Kat’s favorite Coldplay song. I can honestly say that many of the friendships I made this year were built on Coldplay. In high school, I was with my family all the time, and it was hard to find time to just hang out with friends because we were busy with school, tennis, Church, etc. This song reminds me of making friends during Truman week, and realizing that although I was going to get to see these people on a daily basis for at least the next year, I wanted to make every minute count. Anyways, Kat was one of the first fellow CS majors I met, and she and her crazy boyfriend Wyatt are both super into (and super good at) theatre and acting. She likes classic rock, musicals, foreign music, cute animals (dead, stuffed and otherwise) and dank memes.
Bacon – I thought Kayley was really nice when I first got to meet her at our 4 South Shade Tree discussions, but I had a feeling that because she was so cool and involved with so many things that she would quickly move on from our little group and we’d just end up as close acquaintances. I’m really glad I was wrong, and I know that all of us are happy to have her as a friend (despite her weird taste in music). I had a lot of 4-in-the-morning real talk conversations this year; I’m thankful to her for being a listening ear and always willing to give good advice, and I’m sure the rest of us are, too.
Señorita – Justin Timberlake (especially the old stuff) is common ground between Kayley and I.
Someday, Seasons (Waiting On You) – more summer jams that carried over to the first semester. Life in the AC-deprived Chall was stuffy at times, but we managed to survive. I would go on to wish for those hot days back during the wonderful Kirksville winter I got to experience.
Go!, Tiny Cities – nighttime summer jams, and that is an important distinction. Every song has it’s place, and I liked to listen to these while driving around Springfield at night. I would throw these on during our 3am Walmart runs and the like. This idea of context-based song nostalgia is something that made its way into a coding project later on…
I’m With You, Do You Love Someone, Chloe, Spun – high-octane summer songs that I liked to take with me to the skatepark and the Train Bridge, along with my friends. That is, until the cops kicked us out (still salty about that) and I got tired of wiping out all the time (don’t forget to wear pads to prevent broken wrists). I still remember doing stuff with 4 or 5 new friends and thinking “these are probably the few people I’m going to get close to this year” (lol)
King and Lionheart, Alexander Hamilton, Careless Whisper – Kat was the first person I met who knew all the OTHER good Of Monsters and Men Songs (Little Talks is NOT the only one, people). She introduced me to the joys of Hamilton (along with Cody) and Sexy Sax Man Sergio Florés, and this has had a profound impact on my life. We were walking to Walmart one night (about 40 mins on foot), with Kat in her super-sketch black leather jacket and Cody carrying my amp (playing the Hamilton soundtrack), when a cop raced past us. We assumed he was just responding to something, but he pulled us over as we were approaching the Walmart parking lot. Apparently someone had called in to report a bunch of suspicious-looking kids stealing an appliance. I think this was my second run-in with the law within the first two weeks of arriving in Kirksville. I can’t remember if this was the night that I bought a box of Gushers/Fruit-By-The-Foot/Fruit-Roll-Ups to enjoy for the first time in years, but I had impulse buys like that pretty much every time we went anywhere so it’s hard to say for sure.
Yellow through Amsterdam (Imagine Dragons, the Coldplay one is later on) – sort of skipping over a few here. These are all songs that I liked to play during those starry nights at the Train Bridge. Cha-Ching is my favorite Imagine Dragons song. Listen to it. Amsterdam is also amazing. Listen to that too.
Side note – within the first few days, I started collecting 5 songs from each of my new friends for a Fall 2016 playlist:
Separate Ways – one of Kayla’s songs, which I’d heard before but never knew the name or artist (fake fan that I am)
September – another one of Kayla’s songs. For the record, I feel like every time I would go to put on the playlist, Kayla’s were always towards the beginning. Whether this was the result of coincidence or careful planning, we may never know. She’s very crafty (Kayla I’m sorry). This was one of the songs performed by the Statesmen Marching Band that semester, who I got to listen to during tennis practice on Wednesdays as they practiced in the field beside the courts. I remember going with Kat and Melissa to watch their Halloween-constume-themed show at one of the football games, and Kayla was on point in both costume and performance. Then we all left as soon as the performance was over because none of us really care for football, and that was the only game I went to that year…
Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked, My Type, Flaws – in terms of music, the common ground between Sam(antha) and I consists of all the songs I’ve added to my library from listening to Alt Nation (Sirius XM Radio), which is awesome. Rather than having one friend that closely matches my taste in music, it seems that I can relate to a lot of people’s tastes because of the sheer amount of music I listen to (4,853 songs in my main playlist at the time of this post, a number that I didn’t think anyone could top until Sammie [different Sam, we have lots of them] broke my record). Also, My Type has become one of our band’s main covers.
Jailbreak, Kids With Guns, Clint Eastwood – Reminds me of the phrase “hi, I’m Cody”. Cody became one of my closest friends this year, and is known for being really loud all the time (unless he’s reading or writing novels) and offering really good advice. Cody’s car holds all my keyboard gear and has awesome bass response, so I have lots of memories of rocking out to AWOLNATION and Gorillaz as I made him chauffeur me around to band practice, Train Bridge, concerts, etc. (thanks again Cody).
Make It To Me – another summer jam, awesome song. I remember taking my synth with me to class the first few weeks of the semester and working on songs and sounds on my phone all the time. I was able to re-create the keyboard sound at the beginning of the song using the powerful Korg Gadget app on my phone (which I would later use to create some finished tracks as well as some atrocities).
All These Things That I’ve Done, On Top – THANK YOU NICK for choosing All These Things as one of your songs for the playlist! I don’t know how I hadn’t heard this song before, but it quickly became one of my all-time favorites. On Top is another great Killers song that I discovered after listening to Hot Fuss from start to finish to see if I’d missed out on any other awesome songs. Fun fact: Robbie Williams, Coldplay, and U2 have incorporated the “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier” lyric into past concerts, and the Killers once played All These Things with Coldplay and Bono at a War Child benefit concert. Our band covers this one too, but we have yet to give it a live debut…
Virtual Insanity, Sweetest Goodbye – all I can remember is that I realized around this time that these songs have the progression in the chorus and are in the same key, so I listened to them and practiced them a lot.
Turbo Penguin, Dream – Chris was in my intro Jazz class with Dr. Rice (which I would definitely recommend to any Truman student). Unfortunately, he is blind to the genius and beauty that is Radiohead, but we both share a love for Jazz and EDM, and he’s got a lot of other good music too. Chris told me he listened to a lot off stuff off the Monstercat label, which was interesting because one of my brothers was obsessed with that label at the time. These songs make me think of both of them.
Upside Down & Inside Out, I Won’t Let You Down, The Writing’s on the Wall – I can remember at least one night that was spent watching OK GO videos with my friends. Check out their YouTube channel if you ever want to be amazed. Together, these guys make up one of the most creative bands out there today. OK GO’s lead guitarist Andy Ross is also the chief programmer at Space Inch, a mobile games studio famous for creating Make It Rain, a game that I may have sunk far too many hours into ($1.1KBBB and counting, guys! *swipe swipe swipe*)
Teardrop through Tomorrow Comes Today – moodier music that I was listening to as the season changed from summer to fall. Every time I put on Teardrop in the lounge, people would point out that it was the House theme. Nobody knew what is was called or who it was by, though. This dialogue came up a lot those first few weeks:
Person: “This is a great song! I forget what it’s called…”
Me: “You mean [fairly obvious and popular song title]? I love [great, well-known artist], and they have a lot of good songs on [classic album]!”
Person: “Oh, I don’t know the band, I just like hearing the song when it comes on”
Drive, Dig – once upon a time, there was a magical land known as Hasting’s, where you (a Truman student) could have everything you ever wanted at a fraction of the normal price. This was because the land of Hasting’s was going out of business and needed to get rid of all their nerd swag (and oh, did they have nerd swag). They also had a record section, and all the vinyls were half off. There were two limited-edition Incubus records on sale, but I couldn’t afford them, so I listened to the songs on Spotify (the next best thing) as I skated back to the dorm to make up for it. I didn’t have any money to buy those records because I’d spent it all on…
Some Chords through Moar Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff – …my sick new Deadmau5 seatbelt belt:
After I bought that (for super cheap), I started listening to a bunch of Deadmau5, specifically the nostalgic stuff that got me into EDM for the first time, back in middle school (remember back when Skrillex made dubstep?). Makes for awesome study/homework music.
By Some Miracle through The Witching Hour – this is not the only full album I’ve put on this playlist, and I apologize for adding so many tracks from artists that you probably haven’t even heard of. However, I think it’s all really good music, and the songs are on here because there were several times throughout the year where I would listen to these albums from start to finish. Anyways, this is one of the records I was able to pick up from Hasting’s. I remember always bugging Milyn to borrow her record player, and (kind and patient person that she is) how she’d always be happy to run to her room and grab it for me. This record came with a CD (currently in a case in Cody’s car) and a poster, and there’s a scratch on one side towards the end of Don’t Look Down that I always had to jump the needle over. Familial (written by Radiohead drummer Philip Selway) is one of my all-time favorite albums, and I always listened to it the whole way through whenever I was studying; it’s super relaxing and I like to listen to it in the fall. I also listened to the full thing on my phone while I was out skating during the last night of the second semester. I’d actually just gotten back to the dorm from skating and was about to go in when I noticed one of these songs in the shuffle of a larger playlist. On an impulse, I queued up the whole album and went back out, and watched the stars and almost-full moon from the A.T. Still campus before doing one last lap around the square and arriving back at Chall just as the last song ended. A nice way to wind down after all the packing earlier (all my friend know the borderline-hoarder amount of stuff I had in my room), and it brought back lots of first-semester fall memories.
Heatwave through Living Like I Do (SBTRKT is pronounced “subtract” btw) – another Hasting’s record. This was the first time I’d really gotten the vinyl experience – holding someone’s album in your hands, watching it spin and hearing the soft crackling in between songs. I was amazed at how well an electronic album like this one translated over to an analog medium. To my surprise, the sound quality was BETTER then it was in Spotify or any other digital medium. As long as you have decent headphones, you can hear layers that you didn’t notice before, and the panning is more prominent too. You’re also pretty much forced to listen to each track in the artist’s intended order, and you hear transitions between songs that are usually cut from the digital versions. I would definitely like to invest in a record player if I ever acquire money and free space in my room (neither of which is likely to happen anytime soon). Something Goes Right is an awesome song and was definitely one of my most listened-to songs of the semester; if you listen to the lyrics, you may figure out why.
Side note and fun facts: I also bought AMOK by Atoms For Peace, an experimental side project by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, and producer Nigel Godrich, who has also produced albums for Beck and Paul McCartney (and was a Stormtrooper in The Force Awakens). I later read that this record was one of Christian Zucconi’s favorite recent purchases (lead singer for Grouplove). Anyways, it’s not on the playlist because the songs aren’t on Spotify (Radiohead haters rejoice, I’ve spared you an hour of glitchy whiny music). This record also came with a CD (which is also in Cody’s car).
Lamb of God, Adoration (Live) – these are regular songs that I played with the Praise Band at various Newman services throughout the year. Praise & Worship Adoration is on Thursday nights; I would play piano sounds from my phone using my synthesizer, and we’d always close with Matt Maher’s arrangement of Down In Adoration. The Lamb of God is a song used at every Mass, and the version we played was also arranged by Matt (one of my all-time favorite artists, who I have also had the privilege of meeting). This arrangement featured a progression that lined up with some other songs (OneRepublic’s Someone To Save You and Coldplay’s Everything’s Not Lost), and I would occasionally sneak in their melodies during the Mass. This wasn’t new for me, though; I’ve written Alleluias set to Radioactive, We Are Young and Seven Nation Army for Masses at a Church camp in the past. We have an awesome community at Newman, and I do wish I’d spent more time there. Hopefully I’ll be able to get closer to the people there next semester…
Sedona through Oil and Water – I listened to these songs a lot before (and during) Thanksgiving break, especially while rollerblading to classes and around town. Amsterdam was a song I hadn’t heard until that first semester; I’d added that whole album to my main playlist without listening to each track, and I think the song just came up in the shuffle while I was watching my tennis teammates at our one home match of the semester. I listened to that song on repeat for a while, and I remember spending hours in practice rooms in OP trying to learn it note-for-note. I think I discovered Yes in a similar way…this song contains the hidden track Chinese Sleep Chant, which is actually one of my favorite Coldplay songs (reminds me of the older, rockier stuff), that reminds me of Cuttooth (which I listened to a lot while working at a tennis club a few summers back). Oil and Water was a skating jam; this song demonstrates Incubus vocalist Brandon Boyd’s outstanding vocal range with an octave jump in the last verse (definitely made a fool of myself trying to hit those notes in private). Life In A Glasshouse is a jazzy Radiohead track that reminds me of when a senior came into our practice room. We thought we were getting kicked out, but he was just curious about what we were up to. He introduced himself as Dane, a sax performance major, and ended up showing me how to play jazz piano and showing off his crazy sax skills for us. I heard that Dane got a fractured wrist in a bike crash that November, and I’m hoping he’s made a full recovery. I really wanted to attend his senior recital, but we had Swing Dancing auditions on the same day, and I was too nervous to do anything but freak out. I wish him the best of luck…
Banana Pancakes through Up&Up – at this point, my group of friends had expanded to most of the freshmen in 4 South, and the North and South sides were somewhat segregated for a time (with the exception of Milyn and some others, for me at least). And then one day, someone told me about the North-side CS major from Hawaii who was playing ukulele in the lounge the other day (and who I’d also seen playing Coldplay on the Chall piano). Jeremie is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met in my life, and became one of my closest friends (possibly a little too close at times, see Chicago trip). These are songs we used to play together when we were first getting to know each other.
Say Something – every time we attempt to play this song, Jeremie bursts into a crying breakdown.
Budapest – ever since Kat told me she was hearing “ah dee day doe” instead of “I give it all”, I’ve never been able to listen to this song the same way again (and you never will either)
Stitches, Take Me Out, Hotel California – there was an Open Mic Night in the SUB towards the end of October. Enzo sung and played a super smooth set with acoustic guitar, and backed me up while I sang Stitches (voice cracks aplenty). I also performed my piano arrangement of Take Me Out. Zen showcased a few of his many talents, including slam poetry (and reading pop lyrics in slam fashion), his insane recorder skills and an interactive bit where he used audience members to re-create movie scenes. I remember watching Joey and friends play Hotel California, and watching the electric guitarist’s crazy expression as he nailed the solo. I made a note to get in contact with him however I possibly could…
21 Guns, I’ll Make a Man Out of You, Burn The Witch – I somehow managed to convince Kat and Jeremie (who has a coding job and a startup, and only really came to Truman 4 teh lulz) to come with me to Ames for the Iowa State University Hackathon (HackISU), a coding competition in which small teams have 36 hours to create a project demo. At the last second, we managed to get Preston to drive us (so that he could get comped for gas for carpooling). I heard 21 Guns for the first time on the ride up. I’ll Make a Man Out of You seemed to play in every car I hitched a ride in that semester, and I hadn’t seen Mulan at the time so it was weird watching everyone else sing. Burn The Witch is also on the playlist because we watched it’s music video during a coding break, and because I listened to a ton of Radiohead while coding our app.
We got to the event site (essentially a cleared-out warehouse) and were bombarded by free swag from all the sponsors. We staked our claim at a table by the back wall, and after a power outage (at at CS event) we started brainstorming. IT WAS SO COLD. They had the AC and the giant overhead warehouse fans on full blast (at the end of October in the midwest), and we only had light jackets and a blanket between us. All of our meals were provided though, and the food was really good IMO. I think I consumed at least 10 energy drinks during those 36 hours (I bought two before we got there and realized that they had unlimited free Monsters, Rockstars and Red Bulls). If you really want to get anything done at a Hackathon, you’re gonna have to sacrifice a lot of sleep and comfort. I remember crashing on two lounge chairs because they’d ran out of air mattresses, and then waking up and walking into the main competition space where Jeremie was out cold lying across a row of folding chairs. And the night after that was even worse; EVERYTHING was taken, so we had to crash on the floor of some cubicle. I think it was the worst night of sleep I’ve ever gotten, beating out the night I’d broken my wrist rollerblading and went into shock because they kept stabbing the IV into the wrong place. At least the hospital bed had a mattress…
Anyways, we finished our project, a playlist creator for Spotify that I’m pretty proud of (even though the Google rep was defo not impressed, so RIP future internships) that’s live at Jambr.net (short for jamboree) at the time of this writing. We said that we would work to make it better after the competition, and then never returned to it again lol. I screwed up the submission form and we ended up getting thrown onto a table in the back for our demo, far away from everyone else’s amazing creations. We walked away with a ton of free T-shirts, jitters (Jeremie and I had about the same amount of NRG drinks, but Kat refused to touch any of it), a healthy dose of trauma and a sort of Honorable Mention’s Honorable Mention (we didn’t get nothing!). The lesson learned from all this is that Hackathons are exhausting but fun and you should come to one with me sometime (thank you Kat and Jeremie for sticking it out with me, I had a lot of fun working with you guys)
Ocean Avenue, 1985, Crips, Capital H, The Set Up (You Need This) – sometime around the Hackathon adventure, I’d been discussing the possibility of starting a band with Jeremie and some other musical friends of mine, who was down for it. I ended up tracking down the guitarist from the Open Mic Night by digging up the registration document for the event; I’d forgotten the guitarist’s name, but I knew who Joey was and I found his name and number on the sheet. So I called Joey and asked if I could talk to his guitarist friend to ask him to be in my band. It worked, and he was interested; shortly after, I met him at Lauren’s apartment for our first jam session. Kevin is one of the best, if not THE best, guitarist(s) I’ve ever met. I can name off any chord and he can play it, and he can play by ear really well too (he can listen to a song he’s never heard and start jamming along within a few seconds). He’s a soft-spoken, humble guy, but he’s got an awesome sense of humor and he loves to goof around. And his solos are an infinite string of fire emojis. Kevin listens to a lot of alt, garage, and cheesy/whiny punk rock, and is one of the few people I’ve met here that shares my love for 90s ska (you can never not be happy when you’re listening to ska) and Ratatat. I’m really glad I’ve gotten to play with him, and am looking forward to making music with him and the others again soon.
Tongue Tied, Rather Be, Mountain Sound – highlights from our band’s first practice. At this point, we decided on the name K-Vegas as a placeholder until we could find something better, and played our first show under this name in the West Campus Suites courtyard at a barbecue, going through all of our rehearsed material and then attempting a few requests. I’ve known our vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Lauren since high school; we’re both Catholic and homeschooled in the same area, so we spent a lot of time together between church services, playing piano and swing dancing in the homeschool co-op. She’s an incredible pianist; she’s classically trained and has a lot of awesome song ideas that we’re hoping to get recorded at some point. Beyond that, she’s got an amazing, passionate voice (she kills it on Rather Be), and I hope to show it off more at our shows next semester (sorry for hogging the mic all the time Lauren, you’re awesome and I do want everyone to know it!)
Sweet Nothing – another song we rehearsed a couple times. Lauren sings and I get to play my synth! We’ll see if it makes it into a show, hooking up the synth can be a bit of a pain sometimes…
No Such Thing – probably my favorite John Mayer song; I learned it on piano and we played it a few times at rehearsals.
Stolen Dance – during tennis practice, we were listening to one song that reminded Nick (Thiele) of some other song, but he only knew a few lyrics to it. I identified it as this song and he thought that was pretty neat. For some reason I have a really good memory of this particular event, so I decided to add it. Fun fact: it’s also in the same key as Rather Be.
Working In a Cocktail Bar – the single greatest song to come from the glorious 1980’s.
Mom’s Spaghetti – you better never let it go (gooo).
Never Gonna Hit Those Notes – self-explanatory. RIP headphone users
Now’s The Time – one of my favorite songs from Dr. Rice’s jazz class.
Handclap – I saw Fitz and The Tantrums on tour supporting Foster The People in Arkansas (another story for another time), and they’re one of the best bands I’ve seen live. They just have this crazy energy when they play, and they get the whole crowd going. And of course, their studio recordings are amazing too. The story of how they got together is really unique, makes for a nice Wikipedia read when you have some free time. Anyways, I remember hearing this song a lot when I first got to Truman, and once at the roller rink.
The Cave, Zombie – I was home on a break and got to see my friend Elisa play a show in Springfield. She and her dad formed Keltic Knot, a band that plays traditional (and original!) Irish music along with some modern covers (like the two I’ve put on here). I met Elisa and her sister Emily while volunteering at a Catholic church camp, one that I’ve attended since I was a 5th grader and have made a lot of friends at. Emily is one of the few freshmen friends I had that also came to Truman, and is an all-around awesome person; super kind, funny, great actor/actress (the talents she displayed in the films from Newman’s annual Film Fest don’t even compare to her performances as Arthur in various camp shenanigans), and very strong in her faith. I can usually expect to find her hanging out at Newman. I didn’t expect, however, to randomly run into her boyfriend Alex (another longtime friend from camp who goes to Mizzou) outside BNB one night; he was visiting and it was a total coincidence that we ran into each other. Another interesting memory…
Battle Cry – a very unique Imagine Dragons song, give it a listen if you haven’t already. It’s a shame it was written for a Transformers movie though…
Guilty Filthy Soul – this song marks the beginning of another adventure. I think I remember listening to this with Cody on our way to the Blue Note in Columbia to see Baio and St. Lucia.
I’m A Believer, Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby – more songs from the car ride, taken from Cody’s various Smash Mouth CDs. I’m A Believer is a cover of a Monkees song for those that didn’t know. Also, there are some entertaining bits on the band’s Wikipedia page (most notably the 24 eggs and the bread incident)
Something Stupid – I think this was playing while we ate at Olive Garden before the show. Because if you’re in Columbia with Cody, you will end up at Olive Garden, Waffle House, or IHOP (or at least McDonald’s). Also Cody really likes Michael Bublé. Also also (fun fact) Michael Bublé really likes hockey; he requires the event staff to have a hockey puck from a local team in his dressing room at each city he plays in.
Sister Of Pearl, I Was Born In A Marathon – two songs that Baio played back to back. Christopher Baio is Vampire Weekend’s bassist, and was touring his solo album in support of St. Lucia. Cody found out the hard way that I’m the type of person who likes to get to concerts an hour before the doors open, so we were standing at the very front of the mosh pit. To my surprise, Cody fell in love with Baio’s music, more so than the headliner. He’s got a neat energy about him with the way he dresses and dances on stage. I remember the guys next to us shouting “Taco Baio!” throughout his performance…
The Night Comes Again through Always – St. Lucia was one of the best live acts I’ve ever had the privilege of experiencing. They use as little pre-recorded material as possible, and use all sorts of awesome hardware and software to perform each song live. The music is actually written by one guy, Jean-Philip Grobler, but performed with a full band. I would definitely recommend this music if you like 80s synthpop, or are interested in electronic music but don’t want to jump into all the dubstep/rave stuff (more on that later). Both of their albums are on here in full, partly to mark the concert experience, but also for another reason. I went on this trip to the St. Louis area for the TRU-Leaders business leadership program (along with my friends Madeleine, Michelle, and Joey) to visit the Boeing plant and some other entrepreneurial centers. We stayed the night in a hotel in Creve Coeur. The city’s name is supposedly taken from its lake, which (according to the city’s website) “formed itself into a broken heart” after an Indian princess’s unrequited love for a French fur trapper led her to jump from a ledge overlooking the lake. Anyways, I got bored and started wandering around the city. I remember walking around in my suit (I hadn’t changed from the leadership events earlier) and listening to both of these albums from start to finish (which should give you an idea of how much ground I was able to cover). It’s a pretty cool city, especially at night. From what I can remember, there’re a lot of strip malls and restaurants and then there’s this one nice fountain and then these huge cool buildings are just kind of there (but everything else is kinda smallish so they almost seem out of place).
Drops of Jupiter, Cigarette Daydreams, Slow, Hippy Hill – songs I listened to on various winter rides (skating, car rides to Train Bridge, etc.). I remember going to Train Bridge with Kat, Jeremie, Jeremie’s ukulele (which I think got named Bob by someone watching one of my Periscope broadcasts), Melissa and Thomas. IT WAS SO COLD (again). But for some reason we decided to stay until around 7am to watch the sunrise (which, to be fair, was an awesome experience). Trains were spotted, stars (and how they shine for you) were looked at, and then we all went back and watched House until we all passed out in the lounge (I still don’t know why we didn’t just go to bed)
Strobe, The Veldt – two Deadmau5 hits that I learned/played a lot that winter. In terms of composition, the main melody in Strobe is really well-written for a guy that can’t even play piano…
T’Aint What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It), Solid As A Rock – towards the beginning of the first semester, a bunch of us went to the first couple of University Swingers dance lessons (since the first two were free). Many of us paid the fee and kept on coming to practices. For me, the process of learning new moves/styles was pretty terrifying, but my friends and I liked going to the social dances, and over time we all got pretty good. The first song, colloquially referred to as the Shim Sham, is a line dance that we all learned and spent many night practicing out in the lounge, and the second song was played at a lot (if not all) of the dances.
Koko, Giant Steps – two songs from the Bebop unit in jazz class. I love the speed on Koko, and challenged myself to learn Giant Steps, (which took me a week to get the basic progression down). It’s super fast and repeatedly changes between three keys 11 times over a 13-second timespan. Will, my suitemate and a member of one of the jazz ensembles, was always amused as he listened to me trying to figure it out. Kind of unrelated but well worth mentioning: my birthday was around the time we covered these songs in class, and most of my C4 fam came with me to Ruby Tuesday’s to celebrate. Thank you all for doing so, it meant a lot to me and it’s one of my favorite college memories! (except for the creepy birthday greeting I got from Kat and Kayla, which makes me shiver every time I watch it…)
Pushing On A Pull Door – this is tied for my all-time favorite song (the other will come later). This song is about how only God knows the true desires of our hearts. There have been several major events in my life where my plans have failed completely, where I’ve suffered loss or made terrible decisions, or where I’ve tried so hard to achieve something but was deprived of what I thought I needed the most. But whenever I’ve reached the bottom, after a certain amount of time I always come to experience a moment of clarity, where I gain insight into how the consequences of the event play into God’s plan for my life, and into how I need to surrender control of my life to Him if I wish to be truly happy. This semester, I remember listening to this song after missing an opportunity that had been on my mind for weeks. As I was listening, the opportunity literally presented itself in front of me and I ran after it to seize it. However, the outcome of what happened afterward is what really flipped things upside down for me, and I feel that I’ve definitely learned a lot from the experience.
The One Moment – incredible OK GO video that came out during the first semester. Somehow, I hadn’t really given any attention to this song when the album came out, and it quickly became one of my favorites, as well as a psyche-up song for the aforementioned opportunity…
Build Me Up Buttercup – Melina and I went bowling at Leisure World in November; I scored a tainted victory (the score counter switched our names, so technically she beat me, but TECHNICALLY she didn’t) and I remember this song playing while we were there and her telling me it was one of her favorites. This was my first experience at Leisure World, and it wouldn’t be my last; I went to countless Adult Skate Nights afterwards, dragging whoever I could with me (thanks Aaron for driving me all the time!)
Fix You, Darlin’, Everglow – Single Version, True Love Waits – close friends of mine may be able to identify the aforementioned opportunity by listening to the lyrics from these songs and considering the context/time period in which I would’ve been listening to them. Fix You is pretty much an anthem for us C4 Coldplay fans. Darlin’ was a waltz played at a dance, and I was so excited to find another awesome Houndmouth song (see Sedona from earlier). I started listening to Everglow when I heard Jeremie playing it on the first floor piano. True Love Waits is the closing track off Radiohead’s latest album A Moon Shaped Pool (also in Cody’s car). The song was in the works for over 20 years, and is the band’s 100th LP-released track (which is even more amazing when you consider that the album’s track listing is in alphabetical order).
Harry Patch (In Memory Of) – Radiohead reorganized their back catalogue, and finally made all their B-sides available and easily accessible on Spotify (along with my all-time favorite album In Rainbows, which they’d been withholding from Spotify for years as a sort of creative protest against the service’s low payout rates). The song was written in honor of the longest surviving combat soldier of World War I, and the lyrics were based off of some of the stories he shared in interviews. I can’t find it anywhere, but there was a video for this song set to footage from the war, and the contrast of the pretty melody with the violent content of the lyrics and visuals definitely had an effect on me.
Warning Sign, Green Eyes – two more obscure Coldplay songs that I remember Jeremie playing around this time.
In My Place – this was around the time Brandon moved in with Cody, and this is Brandon’s favorite Coldplay song. More on him later…this is also around when Abbie and some others started hanging out in the lounge more often
Viva La Vida, First Step – I remember jamming on this with Thomas (3rd floor) quite a bit. He was a CS major but is switching to accounting (best of luck Thomas). He’s on another level when it comes to piano, and plays with a jazzy improv style that’s a wonder to behold. He’s got a great voice and can also read sheet music really well, and can play some really difficult pieces with ease (ask him to play First Step if you ever see him on the piano in the lounge or in the SUB). Thomas’s taste in music lines up with mine more than anyone else I met this year. I’m honored to have gotten to play with him, and hopefully we’ll get to do some dueling pianos stuff next semester…
Super Smash Bros. Brawl Main Theme – I remember brushing up on this and playing it whenever the Truman Gaming League was playing Smash in the first floor lounge. Knowing how to play this will rack up massive nerd cred wherever you go (like when I played it in a pizzeria for some Pokémon Go players the night the game took over downtown Springfield), and especially at a school like Truman. Also, this song makes me think of Smash Champion, DDR Master and Nerd King Zen, another extremely interesting and passionate individual from the 2nd floor who studied Japanese with Jeremie and I.
Mii Channel – I play this song pretty much every time I walk by the first floor piano. It’s one of my favorite earworms and also good for nerd cred, although most of the human population (MLG pros and casuals alike) seems to be familiar with this song…
Portugal, Ride, Little Drummer Boy, First – my family was going to see For King & Country and Lauren Daigle at a Christmas concert (I forget the exact date/location), and I got Milyn to come with (and drive) me. I remember Portugal being stuck in my head on the way up, and Milyn introducing me to some Twenty One Pilots songs for the first time. The concert was amazing; Lauren Daigle had a really jazzy performance, and FK&C opened up with their explosive rendition of Little Drummer Boy. It was quite the night; after the show, we were super psyched to listen to a bunch of music on the ride back, and then ended up having a bunch of awesome, deep conversations the whole time (thanks again for coming with me Milyn!). These are the last songs I have for the first semester, which ended with a nice pre-Christmas party with most of the floor, during which we all said our good-byes to Tengo, an international student from Columbia (the other one). He was a super nice guy and always fun to be around, although he was NOT having it the night that we walked to and from Pancake City in the middle of the night through the freezing rain…it’s a nice, stupid memory to look back on, though. Anyways, about the party…my uncle Jason (or Yayson, more on that later) had sent me a Prynt camera around my birthday, which is basically like a Polaroid case for your iPhone. I used it to print out a group photo from the party, and I carry it (along with some others) around with me in my phone’s wallet case.
Step, Neighborhood #3 (Power Out), Sweater Weather, This Is The Life, All This Time – I listened to these songs a lot over Winter Break. All This Time was a song my brother Evan found over the break and showed me, and for once I actually liked his recommendation. My family took a trip to Colorado to visit family over the break, and listening to This Is The Life while thinking of a clear, sunny sky over the snowy Colorado mountains just gives me such an adrenaline rush…
Graph – this classic Coldplay song about using visual representations of data to say goodbye was the perfect way to commemorate my reunion with my friends at the beginning of the second semester.
I convinced my Mom to let me bring her karaoke machine (form the 90’s) with me back to school, and I was able to snag one CD (“2000s Male Rock”) that had this song on it. We only ended up using it once, but we were the envy of all the people who passed by the conference room and stopped to stare at us.
AND THE YEARS START COMING – and they don’t stop coming and they don’t stop coming and they don’t stop coming
(another meme song, this is just one of many fabulous examples. We Are Number One should also be on here but it’s not on Spotify)
THE BEST – THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST
(this song is THE BEST you guys)
Sugar, We’re Goin Down – another karaoke song, and also one that I listened to with Lauren while she shuttled me back to campus from home (thanks again for all the rides Lauren)
Adderall – one of Cody’s songs from the Spring 2017 playlist:
I like the double meaning in the line “but there’s only so much I can take”…
Molecules – I head Samantha listening to this one day, and it got stuck in my head, so I spent a winter morning trying to re-produce the song in Ableton Live (which took hours due to OCD sound design and whatnot)
My Boy Builds Coffins – one of Sam’s (another one) songs from the Spring playlist. I’m glad everyone has such good taste in music, I’ve picked up a lot of new songs!
Flashed Junk Mind – good winter work/study song that I was listening to around this time.
Kryptonite, Here Without You, Comatose, Bleeding Out – some of Kayla’s songs from the playlist. Talking to Kayla at night is dangerous, because you’re likely to get wrapped up in conversation until the early hours of the morning…good convos nonetheless. She would tell me horror stories of being a music major (thank God I went into CS), and I really admire and am inspired by her perseverance in the midst of a lot of stressful crap. No matter how tough it gets, she’s still dedicated to sticking with it, and is always looking to improve on her many incredible skills (music and art alike).
Through The Fire And Flames – I can’t remember where we were going, but we were heading somewhere from Casey’s on a winter night and I played this song to pump us up. I meant it kind of jokingly (Dragonforce is basically a fusion between insanely-fast metal guitars and video game soundtracks, and this song is over-the-top energetic), but Kayla really liked it. I remember Matt and Kayla hanging out in the lounge during the first semester until like 4am every morning, and I think it was then that he first got her into metal…
AhHa – the lead singer from fun. made a solo album. Kayla recommended it to me and we listened to the whole thing one night. The album has a lot of variety between songs, and of course Nate Ruess’s voice is something else altogether.
Fifths – I bought a copy of Mainstage 3 around winter break; it’s only like $30 and you get over a hundred gigs of sounds for live performing, along with a bunch of other sweet features. A must-have for Mac musicians (if you have a MIDI keyboard). I came across this song when listening to some old EDM and it was stuck in my head for weeks. I remember going through the thousands of Mainstage presets and trying them all with this three-note riff…
Shelter – one of Melissa’s songs from the playlist, and one of Thomas’s favorite piano jams. Melissa is a hard worker, very creative, and always down to join in on whatever crazy “adventures” we were embarking on (be it Walmart walks, Train Bridge sunrises, or watching TV in the lounge until we all pass out). She’s very friendly and easy to hang around, and she was one of the first friends I made here. Side note: another coincidence, my brother Evan was huge into Porter Robinson when Melissa introduced me to this song…
Island Style – one of Jeremie’s songs from the playlist (of course). This reminds me, Jeremie and I have this stupid habit of just spontaneously speaking out song lyrics from obscure Coldplay songs and other songs (like this one). It’s pretty much on par with Kevin’s tendency to turn anything into a ska song (which became more prominent after a revolutionary discovery, more on that later)
How Far We’ve Come, I’m Still Here (Jim’s Theme), The Reason – two of Aaron’s songs from the playlist, and one I remember listening to in his car. I’d never heard How Far We’ve Come but I think it’s my favorite Matchbox Twenty song now, and I’m Still Here is one of those awesome 2000s pop/rock jams (performed by the lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls). Aaron has a servant’s heart, and is always looking for ways to volunteer or help people out. He has a super cool white car with a red interior and one of those super-cool-90s-but-futuristic-hey-here’s-your-seatbelt robot-arm-slidy-tracks.
One of those.
(Note: I had Elevate by St. Lucia here because I remember requesting it a lot at skate nights, but then I realized I had it on earlier with the rest of the album)
Friday Night, Saturday Morning – this dreamy, way-too-catchy song was one of Nick’s. I remember the cool Specials shirt he had…
It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere – I can’t remember if this was Kayley’s or Milyn’s…could go either way.
The Ballad of Sweeney Todd – Kat found the full play online and a bunch of us watched it in the lounge. This was a mistake; getting haircuts just isn’t the same anymore. Speaking of, Kat and I made a bet that whoever cuts their hair first (except for style trims) has to get it shaved bald or dyes some obnoxious color. It’s been months and my hair is completely out of control, but I’m getting used to it. This is pretty much the only period of my life where I’ll have the freedom to grow it out as long as I can anyways. I’m not losing, Kat!
O Canada – so Brandon moved in with Cody towards the end of the last semester. I remember going into Cody’s room to borrow some dish soap and seeing a bespectacled guy at his computer in the room. We made eye contact for a split second, and then both went back to completing our respective tasks. After that exchange, I’d have pegged him for a quiet introvert. But once he started hanging out in the lounge with us, I realized I was completely off the mark; he’s actually very friendly and outspoken when you get to know him. Brandon just nonchalantly says random things all the time, and he and Jeremie seem to have developed a language consisting of hand gestures and shrieks. Beyond that, he is an extremely patriotic Canadian, and has an obsession with hockey and a Canadian flag in his room. He and Asher are good friends and a dangerous pair (ask them about the vanilla extract incident)
City of Orphans – a passionate punk-pop ballad. One of Kat’s songs that I heard a lot this semester.
Let It Go – one of MY songs from the Spring playlist. Gungor is super experimental; their catalogue spans a variety of genres, and between the powerful vocals from the husband/wife duo Michael and Lisa Gungor, an abundance of synthesizers, and Michael’s jazz guitar skills, their sound is deep, captivating and evolving.
Dead Air, Never Ending Circles, Trustful Hands – modern synthpop is one of my favorite genres, and is the kind of music I want to produce. I listened to these songs a lot for inspiration during those winter mornings. I didn’t have class until 11:30 on any day, so I spent a lot of mornings screwing around in Ableton, Gadget or Mainstage. I was able to develop one really solid synthpoppy idea, but we’ll see if it every gets finished; I’m the type that has a ton of ideas, but has trouble picking/sticking with one to finish producing. And to make things even more difficult, I want every software instrument to be well-produced, but also be capable of authentic live performance (versus just hitting buttons on a controller to play samples of melodies)
What About Us – one of those “I listen to chill, artsy EDM” songs. I spent hours trying to reproduce the bass and pads in Mainstage.
Closer – Greek life anthem of the year, that was impossible to escape from (it even followed me to the piano bar the other day, and was one of the bigger songs of the night). Jeremie, Kevin and I would be playing a song, and then one of us would start playing that stupid three-note hook on top of it…
Do You Remember, Better Together – two songs that I remember Jeremie playing more during the second semester. It really was nice to just be working in the lounge and listening to him strumming in the background. Instruments technically weren’t allowed in the lounge, but no one ever complained (but anytime I tried to play anything people would always tell me to turn it down…)
Gravity, The Golden Age, Daughters – a different Sam (ginger soccer New Zealand Sam) and Namgyal both play acoustic guitar. I remember one night where Jeremie and I played and sang these songs with them in a super chill acoustic sesh. Namgyal has an incredible singing voice (sounds just like John Mayer) and is self-taught. I taught him a little piano and I hope he’s remembered to do his practice. Sam’s still learning but is a solid and very expressive guitarist. He listens to a lot of folksy music. Side note: I first heard Gravity (a waltz) at a Swingers social dance, and remember listening to it on a lot of night rides.
Yesternite, Spirit Becomes Us – two Gungor songs I came across during a quiet Sunday morning van ride with the tennis team (I think it was the Bellarmine match). I love the guitar work on both of these songs, and I really like the string bit in Yesternite.
You Found Me, Sparks, Good People – more songs that Jeremie and I played and sang a lot during the second semester. Sparks is one of those songs where, out of the blue, Jeremie will ask if he drove me away. And I know what he’ll say; he’ll say, “Ohhh, someone you know.” (Jeremie’s probably the only one who will get this joke)
Cardiac Arrest, The Middle – some more songs that worked their way into band practice. I heard Kevin play the little 4-note riff at the beginning of Cardiac Arrest, and we freaked out when we realized we both knew the song because we were the only other people we knew who did…also, I think it was around this time that we changed our name from K-Vegas (super original) to The Haoles (or maybe it was just Haoles, we used them interchangeably)
I Hate It Too – Hum is from Champaign, Illinois. My parents went to college there and my dad got to see them in concert (so lucky). This is one of those 90s songs where I’d be listening to it and realize that I was doing exactly what my dad was doing when he was in college (except that I was listening to the song with way better technology)
The Less I Know The Better – this song was by far my most-listened to song of the second semester. I remember Griffin playing it at tennis practice during the first semester, and Nick adding it to the Spring playlist. It’s an incredible song that’s really fun to listen to, but some things happened during the second semester that made the lyrics seem super relevant. Also, the tennis team had a match at Emporia State University, and we stayed the night in Emporia. I got bored and went walking down the main road, which was a lot like Kirksville until I reached the downtown area and the super-nice college campus. I had this song on repeat most of the time.
Side note: also around this time, I remember half-listening to a lot of Cody’s CDs as I fell asleep in his back seat. So Jeremie and I are just working and hanging out in the lounge one Wednesday night, when Cody (who didn’t have any classes on Thursdays) comes over and says “Let’s do something fun.” This translated to “frickin’ drop everything and drive to Columbia at midnight, Facebook message one of Cody’s high school friends that he hasn’t talked to in forever (who’s at Stephens College) at 1am to see if she wants to meet up, miraculously receive a reply, and then go park downtown and walk 45 minutes to the IHOP in the middle of winter for a 3am breakfast meetup before walking back to the car and trying not to pass out on the drive home.” The three of us were all dead the next morning, but we didn’t learn our lesson; Wednesday night Columbia drives became something of a weekly tradition for the rest of the semester.
Bohemian Rhapsody, Pinball Wizard, River Flows In You, Piano Man – all songs that I learned during the semester, in response to requests from Periscope viewers and in hopes of landing a job at the local piano bar (which didn’t work out, I would’ve had to learn a bunch of dirty songs and I wouldn’t have been old enough anyways)
Trouble(s) – to my surprise, there were a lot of Periscope requests for Coldplay’s Trouble. The other is a Cage The Elephant song that was released in 2015, but I hadn’t heard it until the first semester and listened to it a lot around this time.
Summer Love – get the aux, plug in and play this at any party. DJ rights will forever be yours. I remember playing the main brass riff with some Mainstage patch in the lounge and Kayley immediately lighting up (“That’s my jam, homeboy!” or words to that effect)
3005 – this song is representative of a lot of the music that I listened to with the tennis team on van rides (although it’s not as recent as lot of their other music). Also, I was screwing around in a practice room with Lauren and Thomas and I played the chord progression, and Lauren freaked out because she knew it too and we started rapping along. This, of course, is the clean version…
Run, Flutter, Sensei – these songs represent another adventure with Cody and Jeremie. Run was our pump-up jam on our way to the Ninja Rave at the Blue Note (after the mandatory Olive Garden stop). Flutter and Sensei are tracks from Virtual Riot and Datsik, who played along with Crizzly in what must’ve been at least 3-hour show. We made it to the front of the mosh pit again, but the experience was much more intense than the St. Lucia concert. All you could hear was bass, with nonstop drops every 30 seconds. Lots of headbanging, jumping, shouting and, erm, “interesting” smells. Some of the highlights included a moment in Crizzly’s set where he yelled “WHO WANTS SOME PIZZA” and a security guard came onstage with a Domino’s box and handed out slices to people in the front row, as well as a point in Datsik’s set where Virtual Riot and Crizzly joined him onstage with Super Soakers and opened fire on the crowd. After making the also-mandatory McDonald’s stop for Shamrock Shakes, we got home, passed out, and woke up in the morning, ears ringing and with sore necks and legs. We’re looking forward to going to another one next year…
Speaking of Shamrock Shakes, the manager at the McDonald’s on Baltimore once let me skate through the drive-thru and order some shakes on rollerblades. Life goal achieved.
Jump – I caught the flu and was miserable for a week, but started feeling better and decided to attend the Spring Hackathon at ISU with Kat and Jeremie. I’m not sure how I haven’t mentioned this yet, but for the longest time Jeremie’s diet was 99% french fries and 1% other junk foods. This only changed when he tried McDonald’s chicken nuggets and realized that he liked those, too (although no other chicken was up to his standards). We wanted to make a game (Jeremie the Menehune and the Quest for Fries), but I started feeling sick again and things weren’t really working out with the project. So on the second day, we ditched the competition and spent most of the day wandering around Ames, making stops at Target, Noodles & Company, and Orange Leaf. Kat showed me Mulan on her laptop when we finally got back, and then I slept a lot (much better than the previous time, I’d made sure to secure an air mattress). I’d brought plenty of warm clothing, but it was useless because I was burning up anyways. Jeremie brought his uke, and I had my synth, so we wasted some time jamming together too. I remember playing the synth hook from Jump and getting some cheers from the people on the floor below us, before someone came up and asked us to stop…
We didn’t end up submitting anything, but I did create an extremely accurate sprite portrait of Jeremie:
A Head Full of Dreams – a non-sellout Coldplay jam from the latest album that Jeremie introduced me too, and I’m thankful for it! Awesome song.
Never Say Never – Jeremie played this a lot on the various campus pianos for a while. It’s always fun to sing that last “GOOOOOOOOO”
Rhythm & Blues – I heard this a lot while out and about (at gas stations, restaurants, etc.). I love The Head and The Heart (as you’ll see later on) and am very happy that they’re still putting out good, unique music but retaining some of that original folk-rock charm.
Under Pressure – I wasn’t super familiar with this song until I heard it on some car rides with Kat. Also, she showed me this, which I felt obligated to share (best viewed while listening to the song)
God and Country – oh boy. For me, this song marks the beginning of one of the most memorable adventures from my Freshman year. Ever since the first semester, my friends and I had been discussing the possibility of a Spring Break trip. My uncle Jason graciously allowed us to use his super-nice Chicago apartment (in the middle of the city) for a week. I got Jeremie, Kat, Kayla, Kevin, Sam(antha), and Melissa to come along with me. I remember most of us going to McDonald’s the night before we left; we somehow didn’t have enough car space to get everyone where they needed to be afterwards, so I rollerbladed over to the Super 8. God and Country (a wild-westy Gungor jam) is one of the songs I was listening to while I waited for the others in the (very cold) parking lot. Kevin, Jeremie, Melissa and I all forgot to sign up to stay in the dorms for the first night of break, and had to pay a $50 fee if we still wanted to sleep in our rooms. While Melissa and I were trying to discuss what public spaces in Kirksville we could possibly get away with sleeping in, Jeremie went ahead and booked us a room for $50, and we ended up splitting the cost (which was much cheaper and safer for all of us). So that’s how we ended up staying in a Super 8 (in our own town, where we were paying for room and board at our school) the night before our big trip. Brandon came over and hung out with us for a bit, and I remember that we ended up watching the premiere of the new Tangled animated series (and I haven’t even seen the original film) on the hotel TV because there was nothing else on…
Side note – I broadcasted a lot on my Periscope channel throughout the course of the trip. If you start with this broadcast (from the hotel room), you can follow along with some of the events I mention here.
Take On Me, Learn To Fly – songs that Kevin, Jeremie and I played in the hotel room that night. We didn’t get any noise complaints because no one ever stays in the local hotels except for visit weekends (which alone are enough to keep them in business, my family hasn’t even been able to visit because the hotels are booked up several months in advance)
Meet Virginia, If It’s Love, Calling All Angels, I Don’t Want To Be, The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) – I remember listening to a lot of 2000s pop around this time, and I played a lot of it (among other things) on the car ride up (in Kat’s family’s twitchy squirrel-car, where you barely put your foot on the gas and the thing just jumps ahead). We left pretty early in the morning and arrived at the train station in Naperville (Sam’s hometown), but we missed the train by a few minutes, so we didn’t ended up getting into Chicago until after 10pm. My poor grandparents had been waiting for us since 7pm at my uncle’s apartment, but they were still happy to see us, and I was overjoyed to see them again too. They had prepared a huge spread of freshly-cooked fried rice, meat, and spaghetti (among many other delicious things). We were all super hungry (we’d had McDonalds again for breakfast or lunch and some snacks on the way, but had missed dinner because of the whole train issue) and ate a ton of food, but even then, the leftovers lasted us throughout the entirety of our stay! Thank you again Grandma and Grandpa for being so welcoming as usual!
Also, Jeremie and I ended up sharing a bed for most of the trip. There’s nothing quite as scarring as walking into the bedroom, and your friend yelling “YOU WANT TO MAEK BABBY”…
Scale It Back – I really got into 90s trip hop (Massive Attack, DJ Shadow) during the winter of my senior year in high school. I love this song, but listened to it sparingly so I wouldn’t get sick if it before I got a chance to listen to it while walking around a big city (it really gives me that kind of vibe) at night. I finally got a chance to do this on our trip; there are times when you hear the perfect song at just the right time in just the right place, and it makes you shiver or gives you goosebumps (actually a scientific phenomenon called frisson), and this was definitely one of those moments.
If you were paying attention, you might notice that Little Dragon (featured on this track) also contributed to SBTRKT’s Wildfire from earlier. Gorillaz fans will note a collaboration with them on Empire Ants as well.
Another Day of Sun – I remember just about everything we did on this trip, but it’s hard to recall it all in chronological order…I know that our first full day (Sunday) ended with us watching La La Land on my uncle’s TV. Any series I watched this year always ended with the main character not getting with the right person at the end, and this infernal film (spoilers I guess) was no exception (and as a single freelance musician trying to avoid selling out, this one hit TOO CLOSE TO HOME DANGIT). Moral of the story: if you sell out, you might be successful in the end maybe but you’ll be sad and lonely (all things considered I lowkey like this movie tho)
Anyways, backing up and looking at the rest of that day: I slept through the 7am Mass and rushed over to the 8am one at Holy Name Cathedral on my skates. I thought it would be harder to skate around such a busy city, but it’s not too bad as long as you’re careful. This would become my only opportunity to skate around before the weather took a turn for the worse…I got back and Melissa’s dad, who lives in the area, picked us up and dropped us off at the Museum of Science and Industry (see this Scope for a perspective from the trippy mirror maze and other antics). We took a break and walked around to find a good lunch place; Kevin and Jeremie got bagels from Einstein Bros. and the rest of us went to Native Foods, which has a huge selection of house-made plant-based dishes. We went back to the museum for a bit and then Melissa’s dad took us to Chinatown for dinner, where most of us got to try hot pot for the first time. We messed around in some stores and then went back to the apartment, where we watched La La Land. Also, my uncle has this mini segway thing that he said we could try out, which was a lot of fun for all (although I may have added a few dents to his baseboards, and to the back of my head when the thing slipped out from under me)
We all slept in for most of the next morning, and Sam and Kayla (who were staying at Sam’s house in Naperville and had been taking trains back and forth from Chicago) met us in the afternoon. I think we just walked around the city, covering a little bit of Michigan Avenue (got some awesome hot chocolate from Fannie May’s chocolates) and stopping at the Chicago Transit Authority’s main office to get busking/performer passes for Jeremie, Kevin and I (more on that later). We stopped at Dylan’s Candy Bar and I wasted a lot of money there, and then we went to an artisan place where some of the girls later bought gifts/jewelry. We had arrived in Chicago a few days after the St. Partick’s Day parade, so we got to see the river in all of its green beauty. Today, however, the weather took a bad turn; the temperature dropped, the wind picked up, and snow started falling. This winter madness would persist through the rest of our spring break. We were all pretty prepared for the most part, but I only had my Vans, which did nothing to repel all the water and slush on the ground, so my socks would get soaked and my toes would freeze, and my shoes took a beating. But none of that stopped us…we wanted to make the most of of the time we had. We went to a free SNL-style sketch comedy show at the iO Improv Theatre (a very short walk from the apartment). Dinner was pizza from Piece (love their mashed potato pie), courtesy of Uncle Jay (along with all the Uber rides we were using to get around the city). This was the night that Jeremie and Kevin composed the revolutionary ballad “Green Llama”, look for it in upcoming releases/performances. I think that was also the night that we walked to Tempo Café for cake, and then came back and watched Arrival (except I passed out on the couch within the first half hour and didn’t wake up till 7am)
The next day, we walked the rest of the Magnificent Mile, mostly just window shopping, though we did stop at Ghirardelli’s for rich-but-lukewarm chocolate. To my complete surprise, they didn’t have any white chocolate bars anywhere! We screwed around about the shops for a while (during on-and-off blizzards), and then Melissa’s dad came and took us out for Lou Malnati’s (must-have pizza if you’re in the city, thanks again Mr. Jiang!). I heard Dream On playing on the restaurant radio, and added it to my library. Also, it was around this time that Jeremie had started coping with the cold weather by repeatedly shouting “Arrivederci!” with the most beautiful R’s ever rolled (to the point where we were considering the phrase as a band name). That night, Kat REALLY wanted ice cream, and was so adamant about it that I walked over to Target and bought way more than we could’ve eaten; the rest of it is probably still in Uncle Jay’s freezer. The others have different versions of this story, but mine is definitely the correct one.
The leftover Lou’s came with us to Millennium Park for breakfast the next morning. After getting some hot drinks from Panera/Starbuck’s, we walked around the park for a bit, and got to see a little bit of the Art Institute as well. We walked through Maggie Daley park, where I was mugged (by Sam, who held me up and took my hat as revenge for all the snowballs I was throwing at everyone) and where we got yelled at by a passing jogger for throwing snow at birds in the lake (I blame Jeremie). Then, Kevin, Jeremie and I split off from the girls and went busking in the train station, but figured out that all the spots were taken. The locals pretty much had the busking system down to a science, so we were only able to play like one song (Under The Bridge). We made $2, and I gave one of them as a tip to one of the other musicians. After lugging our gear throughout the train stations, we took an Uber over to Nerd Audio, a synthesizer store, and messed around there for a while. Then we headed back to the apartment to get ready; my dad had gotten us tickets to a Bulls game (represented in the playlist by the song Sirius, their coming-on music), so we all went over to the United Center to watch (except for Jeremie, who had some work stuff to deal with). They lost, but it was still fun to see a lot of the other entertainment (Irish dancing, a green Benny the Bull and his popcorn pot-o-gold, etc). We then headed back to the iO to see TJ (one of the two guys from the Sonic commercials) and Dave’s improv show, which was a blast and unlike any other comedy I’d ever experienced. We got back and started packing up, cleaning and eating all of our many leftovers in preparation for our departure the next morning. The rest of the trip is a bit of a blur, with us scrambling to get to our train in the morning and then getting lost on the start of the drive back (again, I blame Jeremie. I tried to put on some relaxing music to help people chill out but they were not having it). We stopped at Steak and Shake for lunch, and our adventure came to a close as we got back into Kirksville. Thanks again to Kat, Kayla, Samantha, Melissa, Kevin and Jeremie for coming with me, I had a ton of fun and I hope you guys did too. Thanks also to Uncle Jay, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa and Mr. Jiang for everything you did to make this amazing trip possible!
Princess of China – sellout Coldplay song that Jeremie got stuck in my head one day…
Something Just Like This – imagine my excitement in opening Spotify to discover a new Coldplay release, and the immediate letdown that was “every other Chainsmokers song (ft. Chris Martin of Coldplay)”. And yeah, everybody likes it, it’s catchy, but I don’t think I could’ve imagined a more cliché way for Coldplay to sell out this time around. I wonder what was going on in the room when this idea was born…
(enter Chris Martin with an announcement for the other band members)
“A bit of trouble mates, Nickelback’s too busy to play with us on the new record. We’re gonna have to find something else…”
*turns on radio as he sits down to think*
WE AIN’T EVER GETTIN OLDER doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot DOOT DOOT doot doot doot doot
*sellout opportunity detected*
“…something just like this”
They got what they want, but it’s not what we need.
Hypnotized – a trippy single from the upcoming Coldplay EP, that Jeremie played a lot. This song was a little bit of bittersweet comfort after what happened with their previous release…
Kisses – I remember having a ton of studying and homework to do one night, and powering through every Kisses album in chronological to get me through it all. This is another “soundtrack of my summer” band from the summer before Truman; I remember driving back home late from playing nighttime, windows down, taking in the cool air and listening to this music, wondering what my upcoming college journey would be like…I had to stop working a few times to just lie down, let the music take me back and soak up the nostalgia. Anyways, this husband-and-wife synthpop duo (life goals) has this awesome tropical, New Wave-y sound that’s stayed with them throughout all three albums. For a chill change of pace from whatever you’ve been listening to, I would really recommend listening to their first album, The Heart of the Nightlife, from start to finish while relaxing on a summer evening.
Every Stone (both of them), Stars – I rollerbladed out to the farm one night so I could watch the stars from the observatory; it wasn’t open, but I needed to get away from all the streetlights so I could see better. I love stargazing but never get to see anything from my house, so I tried to do so in Kirksville as much as possible.
Side note: Manchester Orchestra recorded and released their indie-rock album COPE, and then five months later released HOPE, an “acoustic re-imagining” (thanks Wikipedia) of each track. I think Every Stone is a really well-written song, that transfers really well to both intense and meditative styles.
Everything’s Not Lost – Jeremie and I spent a loooong time trying to figure this one out by ear in a practice room in OP. The chords are really weird and it’s hard to pick out which notes are being played simultaneously…
Not Over You – I remember re-learning this after I heard from a friend that the guy that performed in the SUB, who was billing himself as “the Human iPod”, got a request for this and didn’t know it (lol)
Shooting Stars – insert dank memes here
ah, that’ll do
The Game of Love – a song I played a lot in people’s cars as summer grew closer and closer.
Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Cody has Jet’s album Get Born in his car and we listen to it on drives when we need to get psyched or stay awake. My dad got two tickets to see Radiohead (one of my all-time favorite bands)perform at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, but he couldn’t make it up, so I got Cody to come along and drive me. At the last second, Jeremie was able to get some cheap seats in the nosebleeds at the last minute, and he tagged along too. We listened to this album on the way up.
Daydreaming, Ful Stop, Weird Fishes/Arpeggi, Fake Plastic Trees, Where I End And You Begin – highlights from the show, unlike any other concert I’ve ever attended. The light effects on Daydreaming were incredible, and I realized that they’d created a brand-new stage setup for this tour (the last tour was only a few months beforehand). Some of the most powerful live moments were the final beat on Ful Stop and the moment when Johnny came in with the electric guitar on Fake Plastic Trees. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi is tied with Pushing On a Pull Door for my favorite song (it was one of mine on the Fall 2016 playlist), and I’m so happy to have finally gotten to experience it live. Where I End And You Begin was performed for the first time in 9 years, and they played it perfectly. This was arguably one of the band’s greatest and most varied setlists ever, and I’m so grateful that we got to be a part of it (AND JEREMIE HAD BETTER BE TOO)
Reptilia – a song by The Strokes that Kayla introduced to me in a conversation about marching band arrangements. I thought I’d already caught on to every Strokes hit, but I was dead wrong! Garage-rock-flavored post-punk revival, and I love every second of it.
Sugar – discovering Reptilia turned me back to some older post-punk revival stuff for a while, and I started listening to a lot of Editors again. To me, this song is an adrenaline rush, and I listen to it whenever I need to physically work hard or focus on something (like attempting to study for finals)
Watermelon – I looked to see what Spotify was recommending based off all the Editors I was listening to, and this introduced me to The Boxer Rebellion. I don’t know how I hadn’t caught on to them before, but from what I’ve listened to they’ve got a great aggressive sound that varies across albums, with the most recent one being a little more chill.
Dreams – this was another summer song, and it’s on here at this point in the playlist because I picked up Jeremie’s ukulele one evening around finals week and tried to figure out how to play it. I would continue attempting it every time I passed the uke in the lounge until it went back to Hawaii with Jeremie (I steal my sisters’ ukes now). Bar chords suck, but I refuse to play in a different key, so RIP my fingers.
When I Get Low, I Get High, Quiet Whiskey, Jump Session, He Mele No Lilo, Choko Mo Feel No Hey, See You Later, Alligator, It Don’t Mean A Thing, Don’t Stop Me Now, 15 Step, Chelsea Dagger, Come On Eileen – Around this time, several of my fellow Swingers and I decided to audition for the University Swingers performance team. Team members teach general group lessons and learn routines to perform at events and competitions. Also, you have to audition a second time if you do make the team to confirm your spot permanently. The audition consisted of several call-out sections, where we would have to perform moves from a certain style as the judges requested them. We also had to perform several aerials (flashy moves where you throw people around). We had to memorize a choreography that was created and taught to us by Adam and Mikayla, two of the graduating seniors. Many of the team members told us that it was one of the hardest audition choreos they’d ever seen, but as challenging as it was, it is a lot of fun and has definitely caused us to improve. The last part of the audition was a one-minute choreography created by the auditionees to a song of their choosing.
In part because we dance well together, and in part because I have no upper body strength and needed someone light to toss around during aerials, I asked Kat to be my partner, and the two of us spent all of our free time practicing during the two weeks before the audition. I have never danced so much much in my life (and I’m sure all the other auditionees can relate). One night after practice, we had a mini impromptu support group outside Kirk with the other auditionees, and we formed our own little group together so we could all help each other survive the process. We called ourselves General Groupers (based off of our non-team status in the club). Each of the first six songs corresponds to the audition choreos arranged by Audrey B. and Emilee, Cole and Victoria, Ashley and Dan, Sam and Cody, Audrey L. and Laurie, and Harrison and Melina. A section of It Don’t Mean a Thing was used for the audition choreo (and none of us will ever think of Chicago the same way again). Don’t Stop Me Now, one of Kat’s songs from the Fall 2016 playlist, was the song we chose to arrange a choreo to. Personally, I wanted to create a fast-paced routine to a non-swing song, and I’m really happy with what we came up with. The hardest part for me was processing each move as it was happening and doing our best to make it flow.
After hours of audition workshops and practice in the Kirk gym between classes, the fateful Saturday arrived. Auditions weren’t until the afternoon, so we all had plenty of time to freak out from anxiety. Ours went pretty well until we botched the very last move of our choreo, which was also the final portion of the audition. I walked out relieved, knowing that we had given our best and that I could finally get back to living life without having to practice dancing every waking minute. Personally, knowing that we were up against so many amazing dancers, including several really talented team members who had to re-audition, I felt 100% certain that I didn’t have a chance of making the team, and I felt equally content about it. The experience had helped me to develop my skills, and there were only so many spots that could be given. I would keep dancing regardless and maybe give it a shot next year. Performing complicated routines is scary anyways…I just hoped that I’d done well enough that my partner would make it.
In celebration of being done with the audition, all of us General Groupers (I think of fish every time I hear the phrase) went to TruYo for a yogurt party/support group. On the walk back, we decided that we were a fraternity, and were trying to come up with our letters. The phrase was “General Group University Swingers”. Laurie goes “Gamma Gamma…”, and I think Emilee was looking for “Upsilon”, but instead gave us “Eugene.” And thus, Gamma Gamma Eugene Sigma was born.
Later on, I made Jeremie buy me milk from Casey’s (since the C-Store was closed) so I could make a box of macaroni from the package Mom had sent me home with. On our way back to Chall, Kevin (who was walking with us, along with either Kayla or Melissa, I forgot sorry) heard music coming from the SUB. He and I went to go check it out, and apparently there was some big event going on, but the university hadn’t done the best job of promoting it and there were only like 10 people there. They’d brought in a country band from some distant (bigger) town and they had an ice cream bar, so we got some eats and grabbed some seats to hear some beats.
Then some stuff happened (ask me sometime and I may be able to give you more details), and all I can say at this point is that Kat and I both made the performance team. I’m a non-competition member (which I am 100% happy with, competitions are scary), and Kat made the competition team! I ended up getting to bed around 4am that night and, finally relieved of all the audition stress and dance practice, slept better than I had all semester.
So that was the end of the audition adventure. To everyone who auditioned, regardless of whether or not you made the team: know that I look up to you and really enjoyed practicing with you and watching your routine! Special thanks to my GGEugeneS brothers and sisters, I wouldn’t have been able to give my all if it wasn’t for your guys’ support!
Electric Feel, Human, Take On Me – unlike any other club I’ve ever been a part of, we were full-fledged team members from the moment we accepted our positions. We started attending practices, performing, and going to Swingers events and parties within a day or two. I got to steal the aux at a few parties and I remember playing these songs, among many others.
We’re Going To Be Friends, Chasing Cars, Snow Day – rainy day music that I listened to a lot towards the end of the semester (after the cold left, we had a few sunny days followed by weeks of rain). Snow Day is representative of the music my mom listened to while she was in college (and afterward), and I think of her singing along to it on car rides when I was little whenever I hear it…
Side note: after realizing that (The) Haoles was already taken, it was around this time that we finally settled on the permanent name Khan Queso (Con Queso was taken)
Rockin’ Robin, One O’clock Jump, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Emilee and I were both elected for the Media Manager position on the Swingers exec board, and these are a few of the songs we picked for the last social dance of the year.
Come A Little Closer, Cecilia And The Satellite – songs that I got stuck in my head towards the end of the year…
Sell Out – Kevin came over to my room to practice, and while we were jamming we realized that the main horn bit in this song can be played on top of virtually anything. We spent hours trying to break the rule with every song we could think of, but to no avail.
Over My Head – Fray song that I’d heard before but didn’t actually know until Jeremie and Kat played it.
Desperado – sad song that I played a lot as the year came to a close.
Take Five – Jazzy jam with Kevin whenever we got bored of 4/4.
Smash 4 Theme – Uncle Jay let me take his Wii U back to school after the Chicago trip and I logged way too many hours into this game training to beat Jeremie. He’s all “oh I’m not that good” and then just destroys everyone. I got him once, but not with his main…meanwhile, Wyatt, the puh-RIH-tee-est princess (likes to play as Peach) cowers on a corner of the stage and commands everyone to go after me. Once, we all played as my Mii fighter, and I got ganged up on and lost to all the other Tylers, losing my status as Tyler Prime and becoming Tyler The Lesser (The Interloper).
One Summer’s Day – I watched Spirited Away for the first time in the lounge with Kat and Kayla. It was super weird the first time around, but so alluring that I wanted to watch it again as soon as it was over. People passing by would always think we were so cool whenever they saw us watching this in the lounge…
Cats and Dogs through Gone – I listened to the first two Head and the Heart albums lying on a hill, watching my teammates at the Truman courts on a sunny day. Great soundtrack for the changing weather…
Changing Of The Seasons, Sun – songs that I didn’t think anyone else would know, until I heard Thomas playing his improvised arrangements on the SUB piano.
Waiting For The End – Thomas and Luke played a Fireside Friday show in the SUB and absolutely killed it. This was one of their songs. Luke is an awesome singer and I still remember him nailing all the high notes…
This Is Gospel – another song that Thomas and Luke played, but this is on here because it’s Wren’s favorite song. Wren is really fun to be around, and is one of those popular guys that seems to know everyone and is a part of everything. And if that weren’t enough, you can start playing a song and he’ll throw down the perfect drum beat, with firey fills and solos exactly when you need them. I’m honored to be able to perform with him, and I’m so grateful for the energy he brings to every session!
Middle Of Your Heart – an old FK&C song that I remember jamming out to a lot around this time…
Breakaway – I remember catching Lauren at the piano on a few late nights towards the end of the semester, and her singing this as we walked out of the SUB.
Breaking Free – I can’t remember the context, but I remember hearing this song A LOT towards the end of the year (heard it again today…)
Shiver, Midnight – one day, Jeremie and I played a lot of Coldplay in a practice room and spent some time jamming on Shiver. I remember watching the music video for Midnight, and then spending an hour in my room trying to mimic to vocoder patch for those crazy sweeping vocal effects.
Videotape – Radiohead song that I began obsessing over once I learned about its hidden syncopation, and after I heard the early live version for the first time (a very different song than the one on the album)
Worrywort – obscure Radiohead B-side I discovered and listened to a lot for finals stress relief.
Ring of Fire – I acted in, cut, and soundtracked the men’s fellowship group’s entry for Newman’s annual Film Fest. I was napping and almost forgot about the viewing party, and raced over to Newman in pajama pants and rollerblades, forgetting that it was a formal event. I’m really happy that I made it, because everyone’s films were unique, well thought-out, and downright hilarious. And, to my surprise, our film won the award for Best Soundtrack! This song is from a scene in which The Revengers (superhero parody) beat Confusion Man into submission and burn him alive (except it’s super censored so you can only see his flaming T-shirt)
Saturnz Barz – Cody and I had been waiting for years for the next Gorillaz release, and after it finally came out, we agreed that it’s very different (which is a characteristic of every one of their records in relation to the previous one) but still very good. This is the opening track and also the album’s first single.
Opening Titles, The Game Is On – We starting watching Shlock in the lounge towards the end of the year, constantly having to ask Alex (reptile enthusiast, mad scientist and resident alien) for TV control (sorry Alex and thanks again), usually after he had been watching the same DVD for the seventh time in a row; apparently I was one of the only ones who hadn’t seen/been following it, and was very lucky to have been spared the arduous wait between seasons (or series, as they call them across the pond). We managed to get through the whole thing (to date). It’s a great show in terms of writing, but the soundtrack is one of my favorite components. The music was mostly written on synthesizers, and then brought to life in the studio with an orchestra.
Side note – Kat showed me this, and I think fans of the show will enjoy it:
A-Punk – Wren is into Vampire Weekend and introduced this song into our setlist. Kevin was able to pick up the guitar bit almost instantly, and Lauren commands a bass sound and the flute part on the keyboard too. We soundchecked this song at Khan Queso’s live debut at the Newman Coffeehouse event. We tagged most of the whiteboards in Violette and some other classroom buildings (guerilla marketing at its finest) to try to get more people to the show. I’m not sure if our strategy worked, but I heard that the messages made a few peoples’ snapchat stories, so I’m sold. Despite me freaking out all day up until the minute we went on, I think the show went really well, and we’re looking forward to putting on longer ones at Newman next year.
Wrong Turn, Schoolboy, Marchin On, Let It Go – these are all songs that I listened to a lot during finals week. Just as stressful as the tests was the reality that I would be leaving my friends for a while, and also that I would have to find a way to get all my crap (and some of Jeremie’s, poor guy can’t take much on his flights) to fit in the car…
Control – most people haven’t even heard of Mutemath, or only know their song Typical. FK&C has cited them as one of their biggest influences and I’ve had them recommended to me before, so I listened to their first album while studying for finals and this song really stood out to me. Great lyrics and very unique instrumentation (Rhodes piano, synths, and an epic bassline)
Barbie Girl – on the last few Wednesday nights of the semester, we drove down to Columbia for the sole purpose of getting Waffle House at 3am. Cody would always run over to the jukebox and waste credit after credit on playing this song over and over…
Riptide, I Of The Storm – songs from our last (and Sam and Namgyal’s first) night at Train Bridge.
Goodbye Stranger – I don’t know where I first heard this song (Shazamed it somewhere), but it was stuck in my head a lot during the last few days…
Karma Police – listened to this as I was packing up on the last morning, reflecting on how my time at college, as long as it was and as short as it felt, was really only a break from “real” life, and that I’d already used up a quarter of it. As sad as I was to be leaving, I was happy to take a break from classes and return home to my family for a while. I feel like I definitely made the most of the year, and I’m thankful to all my friends for making these memories with me!
Closing Time – the last song played at every skate night, and an appropriate closer for this playlist.
And with that, I end my retrospective. Thanks for reading, and thanks again to everyone I met this year! Between my C4 fam and SAs, bandmates and fellow musicians, tennis teammates, friends at Newman, Swingers teammates, GGEugeneS brothers and sisters, RHA members, fellow CS majors, TruLeaders, rollerbladers, parkour enthusiasts, and everyone else, I never would’ve imagined that I would meet so many amazing people, and I’m looking forward to another amazing year with you all!