A Romantic Playlist to Keep You Going

Everyone’s got that one romantic song that reminds them of an individual, memory, or deep sentiment buried within their heart.

Instead of offering my opinion for this topic, I decided to ask my various followers on Instagram to include their romantic song of choice, as well as their reason for enjoying it so much.

I’ve combined the song choices into a playlist for romantics out there who are search of more music options. For the purposes of this playlist, I decided to only share the first names of those who participated in this survey.

Route Around” by Rebelution

  • “It encompasses the longing and need of being with your partner, even if it’s at long distance,” – Kathy

I Will” by The Beatles

  • “My mom used to sing it to me when I was little. It always made me feel loved and safe,” – Isabel

Love is Alive (feat. Elohim)” by Louis the Child

  • “This is the song I made out with my boyfriend to at LED USA,” – Megan

See You Again (feat. Kali Uchis)” by Tyler, the Creator

  • “The vibes in this song make me remember sitting in my car and hearing it with the right person. Plus the lyrics, ‘I can only see your face when I close my eyes’ are enough,” – Anonymous

Eden Echo” by Kamelot

  • “A good song that really makes you feel,” – Andrea

Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede

  • “Besides the fact that it’s in the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, my wife loves the song as much as I do,” – Mario

Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Lauryn Hill/Frankie Valli

  • “This is the kind of song you publicly embarrass your significant other with,” – Christian

Valentine” by Atlas

  • “It reminds me of something I’d write or do for someone I love,” – Jovince

Eight Days a Week” by The Beatles

  • “Because it brings me absolute joy and comfort knowing I’ve been through a lot,” – Johnny

Sunrise” from In The Heights Broadway

  • “Both the score and Broadway musical are great. Lin Manuel Miranda is an amazing composer who created such a great song,” – Kevin

Birthday Sex” by Jeremih

  • “I think you know why,” – Anonymous

I Do (Cherish You)” by 98 Degrees

  • “It really gives me that romantic vibe,” – Jem

Trouble I’m In” by Twinbed

  • “Honestly, just listen to it and you’ll see,” – Marla

Junk of the Heart” by The Kooks

  • While Vicente didn’t respond much about it, this entails that this song choice doesn’t need an explanation as to why this fits so perfectly as a love song.

Little Bit” by Lykke Li

  • “You should definitely listen to it, it’s my favorite song right now,” – Claire

If I Could Tell Her” from the Dear Evan Hansen Broadway Cast

  • “I can relate to it personally. When I have a crush on someone, I always notice the little things. But I have trouble being the one to confess. Plus, the way he translates that into this song is how I feel,” – Kevin

Baby (feat. Marina & Luis Fonsi)” by Clean Bandit

  • “The story in the lyrics is really a twist, but it does make you think of someone no matter who is listening to it,” Anonymous

Thank you to those who have shared their favorite songs with me so that I could share this with others. I’m certain that there is a hopeless romantic out there who can agree that these song choices are excellent.

If these songs don’t make you remember a specific memory or individual, then I’m certain there is a song out there for you that you haven’t discovered yet.

Written by: Sofia Gomez

Memorable Hits from the 80’s

The 80’s: an era filled with luminescent colors, crazy hairstyles, and fashion-oriented influences. This decade was especially well-known for its variety of music that people still listen to today.

As a product of two parents who were teenagers in the 80’s, I feel that this decade of music left a mark on my life. It feels as if I grew up with this decade of music, as well.

Not many of us today understand how much of an influence this decade has brought towards fashion, music, television, and political stances in the 21st century. With that being said, those who  are interested in listening to music from the 80’s feel unsure where to begin. Lucky for you, I have created a playlist to start you off with some of the most memorable songs of the 80’s to pique your interest.

To begin our list of 15 songs, let’s begin with the meme-worthy track:

1. “Take on Me” by A-Ha

This beloved track was released in 1985 off of their album, Hunting High and Low. From what I know, this track was placed in a famous vine and later grew in popularity for its trendy sound. In my opinion, this is one of those songs that you’ll want to sing a-long at a karaoke cafe.

2. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!

If you haven’t heard this song before, I assure you that this is one of the most uplifting songs that I’ve ever heard. George Michael’s vocals in this song impress me so much during the higher notes of this song. Though George Michael passed away in 2016, fans of his vocals can continue to dance to these famous hits written by Wham!

3. “Our Lips are Sealed” by The Go-Go’s

This song is a bit more well known to those who have heard the Hilary & Haylie Duff cover from 2004. However, hearing the original version really helps you envision the 80’s feel that this song exudes. This 1981 hit started off the series of songs that would always be remembered from the 80’s.

4. “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M

By far. this song struck a political accord onto everyone who heard this 1987 track. R.E.M has lyrics that were considered to focus on a seemingly stream of consciousness with a number of diverse references throughout the song. In all honesty, this is your go to song when you are also struggling to handle all the social and political issues that occur today.

5. “Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol

This new wave/post-punk artist brings his own flair onto this well-known Rock-band featured track. My mother told me how Billy Idol was the first artist she had ever seen live back when she was a teenager, and to this day she has no regrets. The type of music he created was very central to a punk/rock style that influenced fans to show up in bright colored hairstyles and mohawks.

6. “Beat It” by Michael Jackson

While there is some controversy going around about Michael Jackson’s past, most of us can say that the 80’s was nothing with this hit song. This Grammy Award winning track was written in 1982, which came off of his Thriller album. If you never were given the opportunity to listen to Michael Jackson’s music, I honestly feel bad for you.

7. “The Metro” by Berlin

You cannot have an 80’s playlist without this amazing track by Berlin. Every time I hear this song, I feel like I have been zapped into another dimension as it has a synthesizer in the background of the track. I feel that this should be one of the songs that people remember the most as it is very unique and has a very vintage feel.

8. “Come On Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners

I’m certain that this 1982 track played at almost everyone’s high school dances. This track is also featured in the Perks of Being a Wallflower soundtrack. If I could say one thing about this song to sway you into hearing it, it would be this: listen after 2:55 and tell me that this does not make you want to dance.

9. “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins

As a fan of both Top Gun and the television series, Archer, this song is one of those feel good tunes you want to blast in your car after a long week. This is the first song I ever heard by Kenny Loggins and it was all thanks to an animated adult-series that referenced “danger zone” so often.

10. “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds

Thanks to the film, The Breakfast Club, we all should know this very memorable 80’s song. Every time someone played this song, you can tell they are expressing a very sincere emotion for this tune. Plus, you really can’t forget about this song…

11. “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley

Okay, I know what you are thinking…this is not a rick roll. This is the one song that I know every single person on the planet knows about thanks to meme culture and Wreck It Ralph 2. Whether you enjoy the song or not, we would not have the meme culture of today without this man. Cheers to Mr. Astley!

12. “Rock Lobster” by the B-52’S

Based on my survey with people I talked to, most have never heard of the group the B-52’S. Though, I know this song was very popular because of Family Guy‘s reference to the song & Dance Dance Revolution featuring it. While I know this song came out in 1979, this could still pass for a famous 80’s track.

13. “I Love Rock N’ Roll” by Joan Jett

For all my rock fans out there, Joan Jett is the very reason I was able to get into rock music. I feel that her influence on the rock genre in the 80’s is the reason we have such amazing rock music today. If you don’t believe me, please listen to her.

14. “La Bamba” by Los Lobos

As a Mexican-American student, this was one of the songs that my family would love to play. Even though this song was originally written by Ritchie Valens, their cover for this song is just as amazing if not memorable in my eyes. This was a way to bring back the memory of Ritchie Valens.

15. “Livin’ On a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

You are lying if you say you haven’t done karaoke to this song at all! I faintly remember the day my friend and I sang this on Guitar Hero. This song will empower you and get you through the rest of your week. Honestly though, I mean it…”Woah, we’re halfway there.”

I understand that there are other songs that should be recognized on this list; however, everyone has their own unique tastes within this genre. With the emergence of rock, punk, or new wave being introduced to the mainstream during this era of music, it is safe to say that almost everyone will love something from the 80’s.

Written by: Sofia Gomez

Concert Review: Cuco at North Park Observatory

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and all we have left is our feelings. Thankfully Cuco was there to fill the void in our hearts.

The up and coming artist, Cuco, brought out those emotions live at the North Park Observatory on Wednesday February 13. With Cuco’s “Shows de San Valentín“, he was able to play at a few select cities in Southern California to bring the fans what they really want: a night to ‘simp out’.

Cuco, or Omar Banos, is a 20 year-old Chicano singer from Hawthorne, California who has created several sad boy tunes such as, “Lo Que Siento“, “We Had to End It“, & “Dontmakemefallinlove“. With songs like these, you can expect to cry or have your own personal simp hour.

With that said, I was looking forward to see what Cuco would bring during his San Diego stop.

Concert sign outside the North Park Observatory

After a long line of fans and rain pouring onto attendees, it was safe to say that this concert would bring strong emotions. Having been a longtime fan, I was excited to finally see an artist who represents my culture and my taste in music.

While this night was much more focused on Cuco, he did not shy away from playing songs like, “Summertime Hightime” and “Lucy” with KWEST which brought out a more rap-emphasized part of the night. One of the best aspects of this concert was that one of the openers, KWEST, played the piano for Cuco during his set. Everyone on the stage seemed like great friends with each other and they are partook in creating an amazing experience for concert goers.

At one point during the show, Cuco had announced that he was feeling ill & still in pain from a past car accident, but reassured his fans that he still wanted to jam out that night.

One of his more well-known songs, “Amor de Siempre,” is a song entirely in Spanish which set the tone for the night. The lyrics for this song really emphasize the feeling of falling in love with someone and having them on your mind wherever you go. During this moment, I watched as everyone in the crowd sang their heart out because of how sentimental the song made them feel, especially the couples who were celebrating an early Valentine’s Day. Honestly, having the opportunity to hear my favorite song in my native language was a dream come true.

If you’ve heard at least one song by Cuco, you should know anout his famous trumpet solos; to my excitement, he played beautifully for all his fans.

Cuco serenading his audience with his song, “Sunnyside” at North Park Observatory

With the night slowly coming to an end, Cuco played his hit “Sunnyside” to bring the love back into the venue for all lovers to enjoy. Luckily, we were able to hear one of his most unique & hilarious song called, “CR-V“, which was dedicated to his own car. Just imagine how amazing it is that an artist can create a song about their car and make it relatable enough for everyone to end the night with a big smile on their face.

Once the night ended, I couldn’t help but feel so relaxed from a night of “summer love” and “summer heartbreak” jams. The artist, Cuco, showed his fans how talented he is with his smooth vocals, especially while feeling ill. If there’s one thing I can say after seeing Cuco last week, I would say that his performance really set a high expectation for other artists that fit this type of genre.

If you’re interested in listening to Cuco’s music, I must prepare you ahead of time by saying, break out a box of tissues before you hear “Lo Que Siento,” because you’re going to either miss your ex, cry, or both.

Written by: Sofia Gomez

How To Survive Escape Psycho Circus

Attending a music festival is a rite of passage; after an amazing weekend at a Halloween themed festival, it makes sense why everyone should attend at least one music festival in their life.

On the weekend of October 26 & 27th, the National Orange Show Event Center in San Bernardino hosted another year of Insomniac’s Escape Psycho Circus! DJs from the EDM music scene such as Seven Lions, Kaskade, Martin Garrix, Galantis, KSHMR, Diplo, and more, performed over the weekend for attendees.

Escape Psycho Circus is a 2-day music festival that occurs the weekend before Halloween, which is considered to be North America’s largest Halloween Electronic Dance Music Festival & Freak-show. At this music festival, there were 4 stages that you could go to watch your favorite artist, including the Slaughterhouse, Ghoul’s Graveyard, The Chopping Block, and Cannibal’s Tea Party. There were performers spread throughout the festival grounds in order to bring a stronger ambiance of Halloween to all attendees, as well as an interactive section known as the Asylum, for those who are brave enough to enter.

Crowd picture during KSHMR’s set

Being a first timer for Escape Psycho Circus & music festivals in general, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve only had very few experiences from past concerts I’ve attended throughout the year, but never an event this huge. I’ll start off with a few tips that helped me enjoy the 2-day experience

1. Bring a Camelbak

This may seem like common sense, especially since everyone gets thirsty at any concert, but Camelbaks were a lifesaver. I love drinking water throughout any event so I feel like this was worth purchasing for myself, especially if it can hold more than 2L of water. Depending on the amount your Camelbak can hold, it means less time to refill your backpack and more time to watch your favorite sets for the night.

2. Bring as little as possible

As someone who tends to over-pack for a 2-day trip away from home, this was a tip I took advantage of when heading out to the festival. Only bring the necessities you need for that night. In my case, I only needed a portable charger, hand fan, ID, debit card (for purchases), and a small towel to soak up any sweat from my face. The reason I say this is because your small Camelbak, fanny pack, or small backpack cannot fit more so try to take as little as possible.

3. Always bring a portable charger

There is nothing like going to an event to take squad pictures or videos of your favorite set in the background, and your phone dies. It’s always best to charge your phone to 100% before you leave and always have a portable ready for when you run low on trying to meet up with your lost friends.

4. Bring a totem pole

This tip is vital. I always have experience losing my friends within the crowd of a typical concert. However, if you lose your friends at a music festival as huge as Escape Psycho Circus, you are honestly doing it wrong. It will be very difficult to find them, especially considering the NOS events center has no service once inside the venue. By creating a totem with a symbol, sign, or meme on a 5-8 ft pole, you are able to find your friends with your distinct totem. Plus, this allows for groups to be very creative in how they decorate it.

5. Go with a friend who has gone before

It is best to attend your first music festival with someone who has experienced at the same venue or Insomniac themed events. I was lucky I invited my close friend to show me around & determine a meet up spot in the case that something happens. With that said, it allows for you to explore the festival grounds with someone who can help you find the next stage to go to.

Ferris Wheel featured within festival grounds

Besides these steps, I also have some small lessons for those who are either inexperienced or concerned about any fears.

If you are HIGHLY claustrophobic or develop anxiety attacks from being in crowds, please sit/stand within a safe distance. I discovered over that weekend that I have claustrophobia from being unable to breathe in crowds with little to no room, so I had to step out for one set. Honestly, I believe the main factor could also be the anxiety one develops from their first music festival. But remain cautious.

Remain respectful to everyone attending. We’re all here for the same reason: to watch our favorite DJs and spend time with our friends. Unfortunately, I came across several attendees who were disrespectful by inciting violence & preventing others from enjoying their experience. Don’t be that person in your group who ruins everything for others because you decided to push impolitely through the crowd; most attendees would be glad to help you through. Also, if you are trying to stay with your group by holding onto each other, please do not be the reason you separate their group because you couldn’t remain patient for 1 minute.

Set a budget for purchases inside the festival. I personally love to purchase one item from the merchandise tent at every concert I attend, so I set a budget aside for food, drinks, and merchandise before entering the festival. It’s best to avoid purchasing too many alcoholic drinks (for those who are 21+) due to ridiculous pricing. Also, try not to purchase snacks that you can get back home for a much lower price, especially if you are traveling from another country, city, or state.

Honestly, live in the moment. This lesson goes out to those who are considering attending their first music festival or will be attending one soon. As much as it’s great to take videos & pictures throughout a DJs set, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. I decided to opt out from recording too often & took my group photos beforehand to avoid wasting time. Living the whole experience without having your phone attached to your hands the entire time makes it all worthwhile. Listening to my favorite DJs with my closest friends helped me enjoy my weekend away from home; it’s almost as if attending was my ESCAPE from reality (haha, sorry!).

Overall, I don’t regret attending Escape Psycho Circus because it has prepared me for future music festivals. I understand a majority of festivals can become pricey overtime or have specific artists you may be interested in, but if you are ever given the opportunity to attend one, do it! Though, if you are experiencing FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) & impulsively purchase a ticket, just be cautious of your schedule. Watch out with becoming addicted to music festivals, it’s a hard addiction to beat; I should know!

Written by: Sofia Gomez