The Fourth Of July Party Time Playlist
Playlists |  Source: N. Leeper, @criene

The Fourth Of July Party Time Playlist

Let's celebrate.

It's the Fourth of July, and that means that it's time for some sweet barbecue, spending time with family and friends, fireworks, and... parties! With the hot summer sun beating down on you, there's no excuse to not go outside and enjoy some great weather and music today.

This playlist has all of your "Fourth of July Party" essentials.

It has classic line dances, such as the "Cupid Shuffle" and the "Cha Cha Slide," which are guaranteed to get people off their feet and dancing.

It also features popular danceable hits such as "Hotline Bling" and "Party In the USA". The songs are super fun and organized to maximize the success of your party.

It ends on a somber note with "God Bless the U.S.A." to seal off the night as your guests prepare to leave. Of course, you can always put the playlist on shuffle for a random mix of fun, as well.

Go on out and party! Invite over your friends, blast this playlist through your yard and celebrate America's 241st year of independence.

Image Alt
Playlists |  Source: Vinogradov Illya

Five Quintessential Classic Rock Albums for Summer

Ya gotta have em.

Summer is about three things: shore trips, cold beer, and good music. There are plenty of great artists who put out summer-y music, but to me, classic rock will always be the best summer soundtrack.

If you're looking for a Fourth of July playlist, the perfect songs for those long drives down the shore, or just something to chill to while you sit by the pool, you can't go wrong with these albums. They're quintessential summer listening, and they'll keep the party going no matter what.

Back in Black, AC/DC (1980)
For: long drives and stormy days.
The second-best selling album of all time. The greatness of AC/DC cannot be denied, and while one may not think of Back in Black as an album for sunny weather and lazy days, it's actually perfect. When half of an album's songs become hits (five out of ten ain't bad), it seems fair to say that the album is incredible.

Back in Black includes You Shook Me All Night Long, Hell's Bells, Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution, and Shoot to Thrill, along with the famous title track. It's a darker summer album, but it's perfect for the hottest days when you're ready to say "fuck it" to everything and just drive off.

Born in the U.S.A., Bruce Springsteen (1984)
For: when you're feeling patriotic but also a little rebellious.
Springsteen's classic Born in the U.S.A. was an instant hit in the mid-80's and remains so to this day. It is one of the highest-selling albums ever, and is generally considered to be one of the greatest albums ever. In addition to commercial and critical success, it's also one of the best-known Springsteen albums, and with classic songs like Born in the U.S.A., Glory Days, and Dancing in the Dark, it's easy to see why. It's perfect for when you're really just feeling the summer vibes and need some jams.

Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi (1986)
For: when you feel like really jamming out.
A lot of people dismiss Bon Jovi as a hair metal band... and they're probably right. But that doesn't mean you can brush aside classic hits like Livin' on a Prayer, Wanted Dead or Alive, or You Give Love a Bad Name, all of which come from the band's classic 1986 album. These songs are perfect to jam to while you're crawling down the New Jersey Turnpike in shore traffic. Who knows, you might even befriend a few of your fellow frustrated drivers! Or not... it is Jersey, after all.

A Night at the Opera, Queen (1975)
For: when you want a cold beer and some deep conversation.
This album is one of Queen's biggest hits, and it contains what may be the greatest rock song of all time: Bohemian Rhapsody. While the album also has famous songs like You're My Best Friend, it also has Brian May's sci-fi love song, '39 and Roger Taylor's bizarre ode, I'm in Love With My Car.

Regardless of the fact that Bohemian Rhapsody is one of two hit songs on the album, the entire thing gives off summer vibes and is the perfect album to listen to on warm summer nights with a cold beer and when you're down to chat about life/cars/time travel/etc.


source: flickr.com


Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin (1969)
For: when you need something loud.
No list of top classic rock albums is complete without at least one Zeppelin album. This was the band's first number one album in the U.S. and the U.K., and is considered to be one of the best rock albums of all time. Choosing one favorite Zep album is sure to be controversial, but with hits like Whole Lotta Love, Ramble On, and Heartbreaker, this album is quintessential summer listening. The great men of Zeppelin sympathize with your restlessness, and there's not a bad song on the album. Best listened to at night, cranked up with your windows open.

Image Alt
Playlists |  Source: N. Leeper, @riarouse.photography

The Karoondinha Pre-Festival Playlist

Some popular songs from the K-Ha lineup.

With the Karoondinha Music and Arts Festival approaching, here's your essential pump up playlist featuring some of the great artists from the lineup. The festival will be held July 21-23 at Penn's Cave, Wildlife Park in Pennsylvania.

Some of the popular artists that will be performing are Chance The Rapper, John Legend, ODESZA, and Paramore. You can purchase tickets here. You won't want to miss this one!

Image Alt
Playlists |  Source: N. Leeper, @kimasch3

The Zodiac Playlist: Leo Edition

If your birthday is between July 23 and August 22, this playlist is for you!

If your birthday falls between July 23 and August 22, then your zodiac sun sign is Leo! This sign is proud, bold, ambitious, and downright awesome. It's fittingly represented by a lion, and its element is fire.

via GIPHY

This playlist is full of songs that perfectly represent this fiery zodiac sign. The songs in it represent everything from the sign's element, traits, and its symbol, the iconic lion. Many of songs were handpicked by several different Leos who know exactly what their sign is about, so expect this to be #relatable!

Check this playlist out, Leos!

Image Alt
Playlists |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

Things Not To Do On July 4th

Common damn sense, kids.

Independence Day is what I like to call an "excuse holiday". As in, the origins are very noble, but the day has become an excuse to drink a lot and eat greasy food.

There is nothing at all wrong with that. In fact, as someone with close ties to our military, I may get slaughtered for my perceived lack of patriotism, but I stand by what I said.

And it's true. All anyone does on the fourth is drink beer, eat ribs and shoot fireworks. As college students, we tend to take this template and proceed to take it way too far.

In the interest of safety and your remaining dignity, I submit to you a list of guidelines for a safe and non-basic Independence Day:

Fireworks first, beer after.
I know, I know. This makes me sound like a buzzkill. However, this buzzkill will still be alive to laugh at you morons on the fifth. I've seen enough injuries and general bullshit resulting from sober people shooting bottle rockets, never mind the drunk ones. Let's not spend the rest of the holiday in the ER.

While we're at it, no drunk grilling.
Fire + alcohol + a lack of coordination is a literal recipe for disaster. That's too many flammable components and not enough control. It's good YouTube material and not much else. Take it in shifts. The least drunk one gets to grill, and the rest can backseat drive.

And no guns.
As a Southern woman, I've seen way too many unnecessarily stupid things occur as a direct result of drunk men comparing guns (there's no entendre there, it's literal). Rule of thumb: we don't mix alcohol with things that are flammable or go boom.

Amateur wrestling matches are hereby... oh, what the hell.
I was going to put a section here about how drunk wrestling matches and football games can only lead to bad things, but you know what, they're not nearly as dangerous as the other activities I've addressed here, so go wild. Knock yourselves out, literally.

All things considered, the Fourth of July is a day when we gather to commemorate the deeds of irresponsible white guys. It stands to reason, then, that the people most excited for this holiday are generally the same demographic. That said, we all know what happens to people who don't learn from history and end up repeating it.

Image Alt
Playlists |  Source: N. Leeper, Shutterstock

Why I Won't Be Celebrating Fourth of July This Year

I have my reasons.

The Fourth of July has always been a strange holiday to me.

Especially now, as I have grown older and become more in tune with politics and global events, celebrating America is cringe-worthy. Some of the reasons are superficial, and some have to do with the state (no pun intended) we are in today and how we interact with the rest of the world - and how this goes against my values.

Let's begin with the personal dislikes.

Just like how some people hate specific Christmas songs, have Easter Bunny nightmares from their childhood or relive the moment they peed their pants after being scared so badly during Halloween, I have some things I just don't like about the Fourth of July.

Watching fireworks is one of them.

Not the fireworks themselves; I can get over the noise and I think fireworks displays are pretty. It's just that July is prime time for mosquitoes and other bug friends to come and terrorize you during the night if you're outside. I hate DEET, I hate the smell of citronella candles and I hate, hate, hate mosquitoes.

So being outside at night in a grassy field is definitely not a top choice for me. And unless I have access to a tall building with some great views, I won't be able to see the fireworks from inside.

But these are trivial issues; I can probably live-stream a bigger, better fireworks display or set up a tent or just get over it and douse myself in 30 percent DEET. Let's move on to what's really making me uncomfortable.

How do I celebrate America when it seems like every other day there are reports of people who live in this seemingly wonderful country who are getting hurt?

Violence against people of color hardly comes as a surprise anymore. Do I want to celebrate a place where people are discriminated against, beaten, or killed - and it's practically a norm? How do I celebrate a place where women are losing access to reproductive healthcare?

How do I celebrate a place where people suffer from hate crimes just because they practice a different religion? How do I celebrate a place where people are struggling to pay for and receive medication and treatment that they need?

I'm living in privilege as it is, I don't need to be flaunting it about by lighting sparklers and dyeing all my food red, white and blue.

Could you look the family members of a police brutality victim in the face and say, "Hey! Here's some apple pie, cheer up! Let's celebrate America!" when it's that same America that turned a blind eye when their child was shot? Could you invite your Muslim neighbors to your backyard barbecue and hand them a mini cupcake sprinkled with stars and say, "Isn't America the best?" when it's that same America that chose the posterchild who blatantly canceled the Eid dinner?

America is not something I can put under the label "hate" and then discard it.

I live here. I am a citizen. I am a direct recipient of the benefits of being privileged. I can choose not to celebrate because I will be working towards the goal of making America a place I want to celebrate.

Vote, educate, listen - heck, run for office yourself - but let's just start making a difference.