Best of 2020…So Far

swaggie maggie quarantine edition

this week has been a long year

It’s hard to remember that we’re actually at the beginning of 2020. The absolute craziness of this year has caused the first few months to feel like multiple years instead of weeks. We started the year with terrible wildfires, #worldwar3 trending on twitter, and now COVID-19. It’s not the best start to 2020. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of the world, but I want to remind everyone that good things are still happening.

Even while it feels like the world is falling apart, there are many things to be happy about. The sun is shining where I live, I’m home with my family, and I have a wonderful job with wonderful coworkers that will be waiting for me when the dust settles. There is also a lot of new music that has already been released in 2020! Here are a few of my favorite songs of 2020 so far.

the 1975: me & you together song

This wouldn’t be an article on Swaggie Maggie if I didn’t mention my love for The 1975. Their newest album Notes On A Conditional Form is set to release on April 24th, and this single has gotten me so excited for it to finally be here! “Me & You Together Song” is a song I’d want to listen to in my car at night during the summer. It’s breezy and youthful with punk undertones and a poppy melody. This is the kind of song that makes me think of summer love and sunsets. If this is what I have to look forward to on the rest of the new album, I’ll be one happy girl!

The Killers: Caution

I’ve been waiting for new music from The Killers since I saw them live back in 2018. Their stage presence and pure talent made me fall deeper in love with their music and become a super-fan. Their upcoming album “Imploding The Mirage” is sure to be a musical masterpiece, much like their other albums have been. The band throws “Caution” to the wind as this upbeat cry of restlessness and storytelling.

all time low: getaway green

In this time of uncertainty, it’s always nice to find something that is familiar yet new and exciting at the same time. Enter All Time Low’s new song “Getaway Green.” The band has blessed 2020 with something we all need: a classic pop-punk song. It’s upbeat, gritty, and tons of fun to sing along with. It reminds me of long summer days and working hard.

the weeknd: in your eyes

I’ve always been a casual fan of The Weeknd. His music has been a staple in the soundtrack of my life pretty much since he hopped onto the scene. It always seems like one of his songs ends up being important in my life, even though I’ve never actively sought out music by him to listen to. His latest album After Hours caught my eyes because of all of the hype I’d been seeing about it through work. The first song I decided to listen to was “In Your Eyes” and I was HOOKED. It’s sexy, groovy, and both so typically The Weeknd as well as so new.

haim: the steps

While the HAIM sisters have unfortunately had to postpone the release of their new album Women in Music Part III until summer, they’ve still given us an EP to tide us over! The Steps is a perfectly balanced EP with only 4 songs. It includes “Summer Girl” and “Now I’m In It,” two of my favorite songs to blast in my car. They’re typical HAIM, but truly so good. Plain and simple.

2020 vision but for music

There have been so many new songs and albums released in 2020 so far, and it makes me excited to see what the rest of the year has in store for us! No matter how crazy things get or how stressful life is, there’s always new and old music to turn to.

-Swaggie Maggie

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Let’s Stream Live Music

swaggie maggie: quarantine edition

The age of live stream. It’s a way of life at this point. Especially when we’re all quarantined within our own homes. There’s no secret, we’re dealing with a global pandemic, unlike anything we’ve ever lived through. It’s scary and stressful. Fake news and scare tactics are abundant. We’re all stuck inside to stop the spread of COVID-19. For many of us, this is uncharted territory. In times of uncertainty or anxiety, I always turn to music for an escape.

Personally, my favorite way to consume music is live. That’s why I found a career in the live music industry. But going to a concert isn’t something I can do right now. Everyone is looking for ways to consume live music from the comfort of their couch. It’s also obvious to me that musicians and artists are looking for ways to provide music, art, and comedy with their fans who need it. That’s where streamable concerts come in.

Instagram live Stream

Many artists are turning to Instagram Live as a way to connect with their fans. Some are using the platform to stream concerts or acoustic sets. Others are using it in more of a Q and A or talk show setting. I’m a big fan of John Mayer’s “Current Mood” series and I’ve been enjoying watching Miley Cyrus’ “Bright Minded” as well.

As far as live concerts on Instagram go, there have been many that I’ve loved watching. John Legend’s piano set with Chrissy Teigen was both funny and sweet. The perfect balance of entertainment in a stressful time. Legend partnered with WHO and Global Citizen to contribute to their #TogetherAtHome campaign which promotes a sense of community even though we are all staying home and practicing social distancing.

npr Music’s Tiny desk concert

One of my favorite things to stream (even before this craziness) is NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert. These concerts are short and sweet, but they definitely pack a punch. They’re heartfelt and intimate. It’s like watching the biggest artist perform just for you. I really enjoy seeing which songs artists choose to include in their concerts because there are so many to choose from. You really get a sense of which songs they love performing. Here are a few of my favorite Tiny Desk Concerts.

Technically this isn’t a Tiny Desk Concert, but Hobo Johnson’s entry for the Tiny Desk Contest is one of my favorite live performances to watch period.

Stream

wgbh music

This Boston radio station is an incredible resource for live music lovers. I have watched multiple concerts on their YouTube channel and have felt like I was actually there at the show! Their channel features a series called “Front Row Boston” which provides fans with high quality, full concert videos to stream. If you’re looking to watch something longer than an Instagram hangout or a Tiny Desk Concert, head to WGBH Music on YouTube to stream countless concerts!

concert memories

My last suggestion depends on how many concert videos you have saved from your favorite shows you’ve been to. Sure, they take up a ton of space on your phone, and nobody really cares about watching them on your story, but this is the PERFECT time to re-watch them yourself. You can re-live your happy memories of seeing your favorite band live. You might be surprised by what you decided to take video of during a show. I love looking through videos I’ve taken at concerts and remembering how happy I was to be in the room with my favorite musicians.

I hope these suggestions inspire you to find more ways to consume live music, even while we are all stressed out at home.

-Swaggie Maggie

 

How To Make the Perfect Playlist

Swaggie Maggie: quarantine edition

It’s official. We’re all stuck in our homes until further notice and there’s nothing to do. We all are experiencing the same thing. You wake up, drink a cup of coffee with breakfast, waste your day on the internet, eat dinner, drink some wine, and go to sleep. The next day is the same. And so is the next day. I’m going to challenge myself to change my routine and I hope you will too. On the blog, I’m planning on writing something every day. These could be opinion pieces, how-tos, a playlist, or throwback memories. Honestly, the options are endless.

This first post is dedicated to helping you create the perfect playlist. I make playlists constantly. They become the soundtrack of my seasons and they help me process my emotions when things in my life get crazy. Consider this your all-inclusive, step-by-step guide in creating a playlist. By using this formula, you’ll be able to create the perfect mix of songs for any occasion.

Quarantine and chill

First things first; name your playlist. For this playlist, I’m going to name it “Quarantine and Chill”. I like to create a name that makes me smile when I look at it and that is related to what the playlist is actually about. For example, a spring playlist would be called “Spring has Sprung” or simply “Spring.” A playlist about falling in love could be named “Falling” or “My Heart Went Oops.” You get the idea. My friend Olivia made a quarantine playlist called “Quarantunes” and its genius. So pick a name and move on to step two.

The Playlist

Now comes the fun part! It’s time to choose which songs should go into your playlist. Here’s how I do it. I start with a song that I have been listening to on repeat for the past few days or weeks. I know that it’s what I want to hear so it’s the first thing song on the playlist.

For the second song, pick something that makes you feel nostalgic. This could be a song that you loved in the past or a song that makes you think of simpler times. This one should be personal for you. When I’m feeling nostalgic, my brain floods with memories and I feel a little wistful and romantic. For my nostalgic song, I’m picking “America” by Simon and Garfunkel because it reminds me of travel and freedom.

The next song should be something that literally pertains to what you’re making the playlist about. So for my third song, I’ll choose something that is about staying inside, being alone, and taking one for the team.

Now, pick a song that always makes you smile when you hear it. This can be any song, it just has to make you smile. And not a little grin, a big, stupid, full-face smile that’s plastered there the whole time the song is on. You know what I’m talking about. If you have to think about this one for a little while that’s okay because the point is to have something in the playlist that makes you truly joyful while you’re listening to it. For this playlist, my happy song is “I Think He Knows” by Taylor Swift. I’ve been obsessed with Lover since it came out and this song just gets me to smile every single time I hear it. And, if you know me, you know I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan so I have to have one of her songs on this playlist!

Throwback vs. nostalgic

Okay, so for the fifth song you should pick a throwback song. This could get a little confusing because it is not the same as your nostalgic song. While most throwback songs are nostalgic, not all nostalgic songs have to be throwbacks. A throwback song should take your mind to an exact moment of your life when you hear it. This song should be something you used to listen to constantly or something that reminds you of a specific time or experience.

Now it’s time to slow the playlist down a little bit. This song should be calming and mellow. It should make you feel at ease. The benefit of choosing to put a smooth song in the  middle of your playlist is that it will give you a chance to just lie down and listen to the music for a few minutes. A lot of times, when I’m listening to music I can’t help but start dancing if it has an upbeat tempo, so including a calm song creates a nice contrast.

For the seventh song, you should choose a song that you genuinely just want to listen to. Like if you were going to play a song right now, you’d probably choose this song. This will make you more likely to press play on this playlist when you have the opportunity to.

Now, pick another situational song. You want the playlist to be a bit thematic. You should think of another song that is relatable and adds to the entire mix by being relevant.

For the ninth song, pick something that makes you feel invincible. You know the songs that make the hairs on your arms and on the back of your neck stand up? And you get butterflies? And sometimes you tear up a little bit?

Time for a dance break! Pick a song that makes you want to get up and dance every single time you hear it. Because this song makes your toes start tapping and you can’t help but move.

Bonus Songs

After about ten songs, you can start either repeating the process above or doing some freestyle within the playlist. I usually like to add a song that makes me cry, a song I know all the lyrics to, and a song that I haven’t listened to in a long time. You can make your playlists as long or as short as you prefer, but I like to keep them at about 10-20 songs.

Enjoy the playlist

Finally, it’s time to enjoy the playlist you’ve created! Crank the volume all the way up and let the sounds and lyrics and rhythm touch your body and soul. Dance like nobody’s watching, sing at the top of your lungs and cry if you feel like it (I promise, it’s healthy). I hope you like this Quarantine and Chill playlist, I certainly do. Now you can create the perfect playlist for any situation or experience without any hesitation. Have fun!

-Swaggie Maggie

Welcome Back

Nice to See ya

Welcome back! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? To be honest, it feels strange to be writing for fun again. Over the past couple of months, my life has flipped around about 100 times. Way back in May, I graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Professional Writing and a minor in Creative Writing. The end of my time in college was bittersweet. I had an unconventional start to my senior year (a story that will be saved for another time that includes the deepest lies, incredible drama, and some of the hardest lessons learned) that had me wishing the year would end so I could begin to move on and welcome the next stage of my life with open arms. I spent a lot of my senior year feeling miserable, and not knowing how to change anything.

Then, things started looking up for me. I was deeply invested in my classes and I started a new job at the radio station that I loved. There was also a “study away program” through my major’s college that I was accepted to participate in during my spring break. The program would take place in Los Angeles where our group of students would tour creative offices, meet with industry professionals, and learn how to network in a city that is so far from home. While I was there I fell in love with California. I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had, who I know will be in my life forever. And my friendships with old friends grew stronger. And everything felt good and right.

All of a sudden it hit me. Of course, I didn’t want the year to end. I didn’t want to graduate. With graduation just weeks away I began to panic. 4 years simply aren’t enough time to truly savor every moment of an undergraduate program. Isn’t it crazy that we spend 13 years in regular school preparing us for college and then it’s over in an instant? The majority of my friends are younger than me. They all had another year left of fun and friendship in the greatest city in Michigan ahead of them. I seriously considered failing my required science class so I could have a senior year redo. I had spent so much time wishing the year would end, and with only one month left of school, I couldn’t imagine it actually being over.

Aside from the crazy amounts of drama that I endured over my four years at MSU (and trust me, there was so much drama) I loved everything about being a college student. When I went home for Thanksgiving during my freshman year my answer to the countless “hows college” questions was always “it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.” And I meant it wholeheartedly. In college, I grew up in ways I had never imagined I would. I learned about who I can become as an adult and about the people I need to surround myself with. I had so much fun. In all truth, it’s almost hard to remember a time before college. It was so perfect, even with all of its flaws.

A Photo of me as I smile holding my diploma in my cap and gown afterI graduated from college!

Five days after I graduated I got on a plane and flew to London to begin my grand tour of Europe. I had saved up to go on a trip to Nine countries in 24 days with 40 other recent MSU grads that I had never met. As you can imagine I was beyond excited. While I have about a million stories from my trip I’ll keep this section short and sweet. I met even more friends who I can picture at my wedding someday. We all became so close in our tiny hotel rooms and cozy charter bus. It confirmed my unwavering belief in stepping outside your comfort zone and saying yes to new experiences and new friends. To say this was the trip of a lifetime is cliche but true.

A photo of me and three friends in front of the coliseum in Rome. We are all smiling and having fun together.

cruel summer

When I came home from Europe the high wore off. It was a harsh welcome back to reality. I didn’t have a job lined up as many of my friends did. My boss from my internship was keeping me in his thoughts for any opportunities that arose, but for the time the opportunities were limited to freelance gigs. I had applied to hundreds of jobs with unsuccessful outcomes. So, I edited and re-edited my resume until I could no longer stand to look at it. I wrote and then re-wrote my cover letters and writing samples. Still, no luck. I felt kind of hopeless and unwanted. I knew that my family and friends loved me and I knew that this unemployed state was temporary. That didn’t make it hurt my self-esteem any less.

Up until that point in my life, my hard work had almost always paid off. Nothing has ever been handed to me. I can always count on my determination, work ethics, and go-getter personality to help me make any dream I have a reality. I was having no such luck this time. To be honest, I have always loved every aspect of myself and I have always been proud of my accomplishments – some could even say that at times I love myself a little too much. It’s hard not to think though, that if I was this incredible and I couldn’t even get one interview maybe everyone else is just way more qualified and hard-working and overall just better than I was.

During this time I lost a lot of my love for writing. I think this happened for a few reasons. The first is that I was feeling pretty burnt out. I had just spent 4 full years doing nothing but writing and receiving helpful but also sometimes hurtful criticism. That definitely takes a toll on your passion. I also felt like I must not have been very good at it. If my writing wasn’t “good” enough to help me get a job, it probably wasn’t good period. I know that this is untrue, but when you’re stuck in a slump it’s hard to stop picking yourself apart.

Something they don’t teach you in college writing courses is what to do when you have no creative energy left. In college, every assignment was planned out for me. I decided what the content was, but I was never left with nothing to do or write about. When you’re out in “The Real World” there isn’t anyone telling you that you should have written 10 pages of your story today and there’s nobody to read those pages and give you feedback. It’s definitely something to get used to.

I also didn’t stop being stubborn during this difficult point in my life. I have always known what I want and I won’t budge on my goals. Basically, I don’t change my goals for anyone but myself. My friends and family kept trying to help me see that I could always find a job elsewhere. That just because I hadn’t gotten any closer to a job in the specific industries I was interested in didn’t mean I couldn’t find a job at all. What my mind turned those comments into was “time to give up and take a job you’ll probably hate.” I’m dramatic, sue me. But I knew that I would be just as unhappy in a job that I didn’t love as I was without a job at all.

Welcome new beginnings

August 20, 2019. I got an email from the Live Nation Detroit office asking when I was free to speak on the phone regarding a job. I cried in my bedroom, but this time they were happy tears. Eight days later I started my first day in the office as the marketing assistant. I cried more happy tears in the car on my way home. Since then I have been working and loving every moment of it.

I feel so lucky and grateful for the opportunity I have to grow and learn at my job every day. This job has been a welcome change in my life and I can’t wait to keep exploring the position and growing professionally. I’m still building myself back up after those three months of sadness, but I’m genuinely happy now. I’m proud of myself for not giving up on my dream job and I’m even getting myself back in the headspace to write for fun.

So in the spirit of writing for fun, I’ve decided to start a blog series about ways you can keep music in your life during a time of crisis. I know that a lot is going on in the world right now and that it is important for people to keep their minds active and engaged while we all work from home. It feels like bad news is constantly streaming through my house at the moment, so I am going to add a bit of fun back into my daily routine by  updating this blog more regularly. So welcome back. It feels great to be here again. Swaggie is back and better than ever!

-Swaggie Maggie

Students at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles

My Trip to L.A.

A few weeks ago for Spring Break, I embarked on a “Study Away” trip with Michigan State University’s College of Arts and Letters. The description of the trip was to explore creative industries and cultures in Los Angeles. We would tour creative offices and take in local culture. I had never been to California, but I was applying to jobs in L.A. so I knew I needed to visit. I was so nervous when the trip finally came around.

Study Away

This past year has been the craziest, most difficult, most fulfilling year of my life. To say my emotions are like a rollercoaster is an understatement. Part of me was worried that L.A. wouldn’t live up to my expectations and I’d have to start my career search from page one again. Part of me was nervous that I wouldn’t make friends with my classmates. I was nervous that we wouldn’t have time to explore Los Angeles from a personal perspective as well as a professional one.  I also lost a dear friend the weekend before the program began and had attended his funeral hours before my flight took off. Like I said, rollercoaster.

Study Away

I keep trying to think of the words to describe how amazing the program was. As soon as I landed all of my doubts and hesitations faded. I knew that I was doing something special. Everything about the trip and the program were amazing. There is nothing I would change. We toured Warner Brothers Studio, Disney Studio, Prop Heaven, Mocean, and Pandemonium. Some other highlights were speaking with Jack Epps, Bill Mechanic, and Peter Stougaard. I also became friends with some of the most compassionate, funny, inspiring people I’ve ever met.

 

If you were to see my Instagram story while I was in L.A. it would have looked like I got 3 credits to go on vacation. I won’t lie. I had a blast. But I also learned so much about myself and what I want for my life after I graduate. It is so important to remember that work can actually be fun. There is absolutely no reason that you shouldn’t feel totally fulfilled every day of your life. I’m lucky that I figured out that I could combine my passions to create a career. I know that every day I will wake up excited to go to work.

 

While we were driving to a comedy show at the Upright Citizens Brigade our car was singing a variety of songs from Cheetah Girls to Shallow. In the middle of it, one of my classmates laughed and said “I love my life.”. I think we all could agree. My trip to L.A. was so special to me and I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned with me after I graduate. For my final project for the program, I decided to write a song and make a video-slideshow. It portrays my emotions about the trip and displays my love for music. Enjoy!

Final Project

Unique Venues in Detroit

As a music lover, Detroit Rock City was a great place to grow up. The city is filled with music history, local bands, and venues fit for any artist. Each musical venue that the city has to offer is unique. The artists that play there, the vibes, and the historical significance combine to create thrilling concert experiences that are exclusive to the motor city. Here are some of the most unique concert venues you should check out when you are in Detroit.

 Saint Andrew’s Hall

Built in 1907, Saint Andrew’s Hall was used as the meeting place for the Saint Andrew’s Scottish Society of Detroit. During World War II the membership dwindled and other groups began renting the building for concerts and events. In the 80s, Saint Andrew’s became highly regarded as a trendsetting music club. Breakthrough artists such as Iggy Pop, NirvanaPearl Jam, and Bob Dylan have graced the stage at Saint Andrew’s. More recently, the hall has become a launching pad for up and coming artists. Pierce the Veil, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and more have played here before moving to larger venues. With a 1,000-person capacity, Saint Andrew’s is a mid-size venue that allows for personal interaction between artists and fans. With a full-service bar, ADA seating, and Greektown right down the street, Saint Andrew’s Hall is a great venue for every concert goer.

The Shelter

Located beneath Saint Andrew’s Hall, The Shelter is one of the more intimate venues in Detroit. While it is connected to Saint Andrew’s, a show at The Shelter is unlike any other. It’s an intimate venue with capacity at 400 people. Visitors can get as close to the stage as humanly possible without being up there with the performers. Something interesting about The Shelter is its role in Eminem’s musical career. While the venue was featured in “8 Mile” Eminem actually rapped there in the early years of his career. More recently the rapper hosted a “Mom’s Spaghetti” pop-up event at The Shelter to promote his latest album “Revival” and he went back to his roots to film some freestyle rap in 2018. Eminem’s unique relationship with The Shelter makes it one of the most fascinating venues in Detroit. While you may not find Slim Shady at The Shelter on a random night, there’s no denying the energy that the venue holds in its bones.

The Masonic Temple

The Detroit Masonic Temple is one of the most beautiful and historic music venues in Southeastern Michigan. Architectural firm, George Mason and Company completed construction in 1926. The first performers at The Masonic were Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The building itself is full of interesting rooms. There are three theaters in the venue, but one is currently used by film production. Other rooms include a chapel, two ballrooms, office spaces, a cafeteria, a dining room, a barber shop, and sixteen bowling lanes. Today, the venue hosts countless concerts, building tours, private events, and weddings. Artists that frequent The Masonic are Lana Del Rey, Tyler, The Creator, and The Killers. With a diverse range of music that rolls through, the venue offers something for every concertgoer. The venue sits on the corner of Temple and Cass which is now a part of “The District Detroit” which offers countless trendy restaurants, breweries, and small businesses to check out before a show.

Little Caesars Arena

The opening of Little Caesars Arena is one of the most exciting things to happen in Detroit recently. During its inaugural year (2017/18) LCA easily became a staple of Detroit by hosting a myriad of exciting events. The arena is home to Red Wings hockey, and Pistons basketball, but it also hosts the hottest artists that come to town. Superstars from every genre and generation including Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, Lorde, and Janet Jackson have brought their shows to town. The eight-story, bowl-shaped arena’s floor is 40 feet below street level. There are no bad seats in the house! Around 20,000 fans can fit into the stands and there is innovative “gondola” seating that is suspended above the stands. LCA also offers ADA accessible seating and parking as well as first aid stations. There are countless restaurants, bars, and VIP sections throughout the arena, making it a full-blown destination.

Historically, Detroit has been overlooked by the rest of America. People seem to think that its heyday was in the past and that the city is crime-ridden and somber. In recent years, Detroit has been anything but! Its interesting history combines with the influx of new residents and businesses to create an exciting downtown area.

One of the most special things about Detroit is its music scene. Growing up just fifteen miles from downtown, I got to experience all that the city has to offer. The music history, the bands, and the venues. My exposure to the rich music history of the city and love for live music inspired me to pursue a career in the music industry. I have been frequenting The Shelter since I was in High School and I was fortunate enough to work at Little Caesars Arena over the summer. While the venues I have detailed above are certainly not the only concert spaces the city has to offer, they are unique places to begin falling in love with the sounds of Detroit.

 

 

Movies for Music Lovers | Netflix

Calling all music lovers and movie buffs! Countless streaming sites available are at our fingertips and it is easier than ever to catch up on movies that bring the musical charm. If you are looking for films that seamlessly incorporate music into the cinematic world, look no farther. To start, let’s take a look at what Netflix has to offer in terms of movies for music lovers.

Netflix's Music & Movies Page

“Across the Universe”

I’ll admit, “Across The Universe” is my favorite movie of all time. There is no way it wouldn’t make it onto this list. The 2007 film uses music by The Beatles and the Vietnam War as a backdrop for the love story of Lucy and Jude. The film uses experimental visuals and combines action, romance, and music seamlessly. The cast’s performances are beautifully accompanied by the genius songwriting of the fab four.

“Michael Jackson’s This is it”

This 2009 documental concert film documents Michael Jackson’s rehearsals for his concert tour that was originally scheduled to start on July 13, 2009. The tour was canceled eighteen days prior to its start due to his passing on June 25. The film portrays Jackson as he rehearses his musical numbers, directs his team, and holds dancer auditions. Director, Kenny Ortega, revealed that the footage was never intended for release, but after Jackson’s death, it seemed right to create the film.

“Jersey boys”

Clint Eastwood’s 2014 musical drama, based on the Tony Award Winning musical of the same name, tells the story of Franky Valli and The Four Seasons. The film follows the band as they discover themselves as a musical group, and as they discover life as well. The film portrays the massive trials and tribulations that came with the the success of their music career. The incredible true story comes to life on the screen.

Netflix Originals:

“taylor swift’s Reputation Stadium tour”

A front row ticket to one of the most anticipated tours of 2018, without the insane cost? Count me in! Before watching the Netflix Original I thought it would be a concert documentary, much like the “1989 World Tour Live” on Apple Music, but this was just concert footage from the last night of the Reputation Tour at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Swift’s setlist includes every song from “Reputation”, as well as old favorites. The energy that She brings to each and every song in this 2-hour long extravaganza is fascinating and well worth the watch.

“Springsteen on Broadway”

After reading Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography “Born to Run” over the summer, I knew I needed to see his Broadway show. As luck would have it, the weekend I visited New York City in July it was an off week at the Walter Kerr Theater. I was devastated. Flash forward to December and news spread that Netflix would be releasing a special recording of the show. Springsteen performs to a small crowd of less than a thousand people. The show follows the arc of Springsteen’s life and work. He speaks, sings, and plays guitar and piano in a tender and nostalgic fashion. The American Icon is captivating in all of his pursuits, and this Netflix special is no exception.

In the age of streaming,  music and movie lovers can unite to watch musical films in countless genres. From concert films to documentaries, to good old movie musicals. There is something for everybody, especially movies for music lovers. Netflix has a huge selection of films including Netflix Originals that music lovers will be happy to watch. The next time you’re scrolling through, wondering what to watch check out one of these films. They won’t let you down.

 

 

New Music, New Year

The new year has finally arrived after the craziness that was 2018. While there are many things to look forward to in the new year, I’m most excited about new music. Only a few days into the year and we already have releases like  Longshot from Catfish and the Bottlemen and Land Of The Free by The Killers. Since it is so early in the year, I’m sure that this must be a prediction for what’s to come.

Based on some theories, facts, and new singles there are quite a few artists who are releasing new music in 2019 that I am excited about. Maggie Rogers, Bring Me The Horizon, FIDLAR, and Lana Del Rey are just a few artists releasing albums this year. While some of these are just predictions, it will still be interesting to see what’s in store for listeners.

Maggie Rogers

Maggie Rogers is releasing Heard It In A Past Life on January 18th. She has been promoting the album by posting hand-written lyrics on her Instagram feed. The single Light On is an upbeat love song that resembles more a modern girl’s anthem. Roger’s pop instrumentals and folky vocal style work well together to create a playful yet nostalgic sound.

The 1975

One of the most acclaimed albums from 2018 was The 1975’s brilliant A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relations. In an interview with Annie Mac for BBC Radio 1 lead singer Matt Healy, revealed that the band would be releasing a two-part update to their catalog of music. Fans were delighted by this news. Healy had previously stated that The 1975 would release only 3 records. Look out for Notes On A Conditional Form in May 2019!

The 1975 Concert

One of my new year’s resolutions is to incorporate more media into my posts by starting a YouTube channel. There I’ll be doing new music reviews, covers, concert vlogs, and more. I also hope to write blog posts more frequently. Which artists are you most excited to hear new music from this year?

Seasaw, Canceled Plans, Young Ritual Local Show at Mac’s Bar

If you’re having summer concert withdrawals and are looking for the perfect fall show, look no further! As soon as I heard the news that Seasaw, Canceled Plans (solo set), and Young Ritual would hit the stage at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on October 3rd I’ve been buzzing with excitement! I spoke with Michaela Stock of Canceled Plans and Dylan Grantham of Young Ritual to get the scoop on the upcoming show.

Both Stock and Grantham are excited about the gig and are eager to share the stage with some new faces. “I’ve never shared the stage with seasaw or Young Ritual, but I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve been gigging since April of 2017, and I’ve never gotten to share the stage with another girl who runs the show. I’m a big fan of seasaw and their work, so it’s an honor to have this first and this show alongside two talented and beautiful women.” Stock writes. It’s remarkable to see such genuine support for other female artists in a male-driven industry. One of the things I love most about supporting my local music scene is seeing the interactions and friendships forming between artists that share the stage whether it’s for a single gig or for a tour.

IMG_3108Not only are Stock and Grantham ready to play with some new faces, but they are also thrilled to get back to Mac’s Bar. For Grantham, this is his first time in performing in Michigan’s capital. “This will actually be my first show in Lansing, so I can’t wait for that part. I definitely have some tricks up my sleeve to make a good first impression.” I’m eager to see what kind of tricks he has to make this show a memorable one. Grantham has been working on finishing up his first EP, and released the first single “Prime” last month! He’ll definitely be playing some new music at the upcoming show along with old favorites.

Stock, on the other hand, is a Lansing native and she’s pumped to get back to her hometown and play at one of her favorite venues. “The last time I played at Mac’s was in September of 2017. It was my first full-band show, and I was opening for Michigander, a band I had followed as a fan since high school. That was for sure a night I’ll never forget. Every time I walk through the doors at Mac’s I’m hit with gratitude and nostalgia for the space. I have so much more to say, but I’m going to leave some stories for the show!” I’ve never seen

IMG_7791While remembering Mac’s Bar and what the venue means to her, Michaela lights up and goes into every detail of the venue and how much she loves it. “I spent the latter half of my teenage years studying the scribbled walls in Mac’s Bar at shows. It was my first “dream venue” to play a show in because I had some of my first experiences with live music in that space. I even met my best friend at Mac’s at a concert. We screamed all the words to the headlining band’s set, and it’s been history ever since. Mac’s Bar did, in fact, end up being the first place I’d ever played a billed gig with tickets, a sound-check, and other artists back in April of 2017. I remember wearing a black dress, carrying my guitar case and pushing open the big wooden door thinking, “What the HECK has my life come to?” (For the record, I’m still figuring that question out.) It was so special.”

Do not sleep on this concert! Each of the acts has a different energy to bring to the stage and it’s sure to be a good night. Get tickets to the show here!

-Swaggie Maggie

The Story of My Summer (part 1)

 

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Hey! Welcome back to Swaggie Maggie’s View from the Pit. After a quick hiatus, I am back with more stories to tell than ever. For those who know, I spent the last four months interning with Live Nation in their Detroit office as a production assistant. It was the best, craziest, most life-changing experience I’ve ever had, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

If you don’t know, Live Nation Entertainment is the global leader for live entertainment. More often than not, if you’re going to buy tickets to a show it will be on Live Nation’s website. Back in 2010, when Live Nation only did event promotion, they merged with Ticketmaster to become this all-in-one company that resulted in a massive industry powerhouse that covers everything from ticketing to promotion, to production, to management. When I say that Live Nation (and the people who work for Live Nation) does it all, I mean it!

When I applied for my job with Live Nation’s Detroit office, I didn’t know what I would be getting myself into. I had heard about the opportunity from a few previous interns who were certain that I’d be a great candidate for the job. I applied, sent in my resume, and I was hired on the spot in my interview. I had to patiently wait from December until May to begin my adventure. This was my first shot at making it in the music industry. Everything I had was riding on this experience.

Over the past few years, I had changed my mind about going to graduate school immediately after undergrad. I had changed my major from arts and humanities to professional writing. For the past two years, I have been telling people that my dream was to write for Rolling Stone Magazine, and I was always met with excited responses and congratulations for something I hadn’t even achieved yet.

Of course, my excitement was also plagued with uncertainty. What if I wasn’t good at it? I’d be crushed. What if I didn’t like it? I’d have to start over from square one, again. I’d have to change my hopes and dreams, and figure out new ones. I don’t know if everyone else has this kind of anxiety at the start of something new, but I was just as terrified as I was excited.

Everything I thought I knew changed last summer. Isn’t that dramatic? I always thought people who said crap like that were full of it and trying too hard, but I get it now. Sometimes you just experience something so magnificent it changes you completely. Over the course of 3 months I grew in ways I didn’t know possible. I watched myself change from a girl with a dream to a young woman with drive and the tools to make those dreams happen. I grew professionally and realized that I didn’t have to have just one career goal. I grew personally and learned that I am still so much stronger than I think.

I can’t wait to share more of my experiences and stories with you so come back next week for Part 2 in my new series!

-Swaggie Maggie