Tuesday, February 17, 2015


9:30 Club
October 5, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Foxygen is gaining a lot of traction lately for their appearances on late-night talk shows. Even David Letterman is currently obsessed, possibly more than he was with Future Islands. And he has every right to be — both bands know how to bring energized, excellent performances. The only difference is Foxygen is batshit crazy live.

I don’t think I’ll forget their 9:30 Club performance for the rest of my life. Never have I been to a concert that made me feel like I’d traveled back in time. Foxygen had ’60s gogo dancers and guitarists in ’70s style polka dot shirts, and lead singer Sam France was rocking pink-streaked hair, an oversized blazer, and Iggy Pop skinny jeans certainly inspired by 1985.

The concert aesthetic was something out of this world. I suppose the band knows this, too — their latest album was titled ...And Star Power. However, I credit Sam France with most of Foxygen’s star power. There’s no doubt about it, his stage antics separate Foxygen from every other band out there at the moment. Kicking, punching, jumping, humping speakers, moshing with audience members, crowd surfing — no wonder France had a cast on his arm for the performance. The kid literally bled for his art onstage that night, opening up old scrape scabs as he kneeled on the stage serenading the brave souls in the front row. Even crazier, this was not a one-time thing for France. As per reputation, France puts 110 percent into Foxygen’s concerts to transform them into borderline bacchanals.

Kicking off the concert with Letterman fave “How Can You Really,” Foxygen had everyone at the first chorus. Stumbling across the stage, France must have been a spectacle to watch for most fans, whose ages ranged from 16 year olds with Led Zeppelin tees to their 60 year old fathers who probably felt their sons’ age again. That’s Foxygen for you — flirting with psychedelic sounds, but not sticking to any genre beyond indie rock, and at that, vaguely.

They continued with another genreless track, “On Blue Mountain” from their last album We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic. By this point, France was strangling himself with his microphone, an action he would continue on and off for the rest of the night until the cables tangled into a knot so intricate boy scouts would be proud. Song after song, Foxygen played with no lulls, not even during mellow tracks like “Coulda Been My Love” and the ’70s-esque “Shuggie” (stylized “$huggie” on the setlist for kicks).

Even though Foxygen played about 10 songs, their set kept escalating in excitement. If I had to pick a peak, it would definitely be their opener Dub Thompson crashing the set. Between drummer Evan Laffer running onstage with an open bottle of champagne and guitarist Matt Pulos making out with France front and center, the audience freaked out. The best part? Everyone just rolled with it. I guess that, too, is Foxygen for you — doing one insane thing after another until it becomes normalcy.


Monday, February 16, 2015

My "Vagina Monologues" Experience

{Mel, me, and Laura after our last show}       
      Last year, I saw my first production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and loved it. So I decided right then and there to audition for the show for the following year. I always get overly nervous before any type of audition and halfway convince myself not to try out. Luckily, I’m pretty good at tuning myself out when necessary, and thank God for that.
      Performing this past weekend was incredible. I loved being onstage, of course, but what was just as cool was being backstage and listening to all these girls perform. I was in awe of how brave these women were, how open and willing they were to read and perform pieces that were sometimes heavy or embarrassing. It was amazing to hear them perform and it was even cooler that I was one of them.
{obligatory opening night snapchats}
      Along with two amazing girls Laura and Mel (check out her blog!), I performed “Say It.” The show was fantastic, thanks to our incredible directors. And I was so grateful for all my friends and family who came out to see me on that stage for about two short minutes just to show their support. I am reminded so often that I have incredible, kind-hearted, and thoughtful people in my life and I am just so thankful for them and to the show for reminding me of that. If you’ve never seen a production of The Vagina Monologues, I definitely encourage you to do so. If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! :)
~ V

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Daily Show: the End of an Era


    Last night, Jon Stewart announced that he will be leaving The Daily Show and I absolutely panicked. This definitely affects me personally in more ways than one; I’ve been planning my life around a dream Jon Stewart-involved internship and whether I’m behind the scenes or in front of the screen, The Daily Show just won’t be the same without him. But I know I'm not the only one freaking out here. Jon’s (and yeah, we are on a first name basis) presence on The Daily Show will be something much of America will miss. 
      I'm not being remotely original in saying so, but he is so incredibly intelligent, well-spoken, kind (when appropriate), and hilarious that I feel bad for whoever's going to try to fill those shoes (even if it is Queen Poehler). One of my favorite clips is from the first episode of the Daily Show following 9/11, and it perfectly encapsulates all these amazing qualities. I can't imagine what it was like to be in his position, but I think he dealt with it with diplomacy, honesty, and grace. He's brilliant in so many ways and I can't imagine how Comedy Central is going to fill that big gaping hole in my heart. And, at the risk of sounding just the slightest bit melodramatic, I DON’T KNOW HOW I WILL EVER MOVE ON FROM THIS. DON’T LEAVE ME JON DON’T DO IT HOW CAN I GO ON WITHOUT YOU.
      Ahem. I’m fine. No, really, it’s all good. Because you know what? I bet if he’s leaving, he has a great reason. Rosewater was a huge success and he managed to stay on the Show while he was making that bad boy. If he’s leaving, it HAS to be for something good. Even though he says he has no specific plans, I'll bet he's moving on to move forward. So I’m gonna have some faith in good ol’ Jonny-boy. In a few months we can all hopefully watch him do even more amazing things, and in the mean time we can enjoy these last few episodes, however many we have.
And here it is, my favorite moment of zen.
~ V
P.S. Check out the Times’ post on Jon's most notable moments.

photo courtesy of Comedy Central

Mutual Benefit

Mutual Benefit
Rock & Roll Hotel
September 11, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mutual Benefit’s Jordan Lee has a way of making any concert venue feel like an intimate acoustic session. This has something to do with the sincerity that exudes from him in every aspect of his performance; whether Lee is discussing suspenseful bird documentaries as an attempt to banter with his audience or digressing into songs as whimsical-sounding as they are titled like “Advanced Falconry” and “Auburn Epitaphs,” there’s definitely something genuinely Lee-esque that permeates his stage presence.

His quiet mannerisms also contributed to this feel, as Lee both speaks and sings softly. That’s not to say he hasn’t changed since I saw him last year at The Black Cat. For example, Lee has a newfound stage confidence now, albeit a little off-color. In addition, he looked more like a mad scientist on his sampler than some kid futzing around with dials and knobs  a creator and owner of some beautifully organized chaos.

Starting their set at Rock & Roll Hotel off with “Strong River,” Mutual Benefit silenced their audience. In a live setting, the song sounded like the overture to an indie opera. After the song finished, Lee gave Soft Cat, the band’s opener, a shoutout for being “fucking great,” displaying another instance of that Lee-trademarked sincerity. Next, he launched into one of my favorite songs, “Auburn Epitaphs.” In spite of its dark name, the track has this twangy guitar bassline that always makes me want to get down.

By the end of the first few songs, Lee was shyly thanking his audience for sticking around. Becoming aware of his natural introversion creeping back into his demeanor, he decided to tell a story about the time a three-way kiss took place during one of his songs. Starting another synth-filled song, an audience member felt compelled to tell Lee “I love you!,” prompting Lee to whisper “Shut the fuck up” into his microphone and coyly smile. This is the Lee 2.0; a version that’s as humorous as he is modest — in his own screwy way, of course.

“This could be a total failure, but we’ll see,” Lee said to mark the playing Love’s Crushing Diamond cut “‘Let’s Play’/Statue Of A Man”. I realized then that this is what I love about Lee’s music — though it can all be misconstrued as muddled ambient shit, it’s lovely and meditative when listened to with an open mind. It requires a little more active listening to fully understand what makes the self-described “laser-folk pioneer” tick. Mutual Benefit may not be suited for everybody on vinyls, CDs, mp3s, what have you, but their music is definitely worth hearing live at least once in your life for a chill musical experience unlike any other.

Transitioning smoothly into Lee’s personal favorite “Strong Swimmer,” a seven-minute magnum opus, Lee flashed his audience with a satisfied smile. The lyrics are simple and descriptive and the musicality intricate and unique, earning requests from the audience for an encore. “No amount of exuberance can bring us back,” Lee said, referring to the upcoming weeklong break from touring he was looking forward to after the D.C. stop. Wrapping up with “Moonville Tunnel,” Mutual Benefit left their audience feeling mellow and feeling good — another signature trademark of Lee’s.

Friday, February 6, 2015


      It's pretty difficult for me to motivate myself to write. You wouldn't think so, me being a journalism major. But most days, writing articles, posts, etc. feels like squeezing blood from a stone. I can do it, but I don't always want to. Actually, I never want to. 
      This inherent laziness has caused me to be absent from a lot of writing outlets in my life for the past six months, including this blog. I viewed it more as a writing vacation, but it was more about giving myself a chance to breathe. Writing a lot easily burns me out, and I pushed myself so hard to write over the summer that I burned myself out in the fall. 
      But not this semester, or at least, I hope not. I have already locked myself in my room to bang out four articles highlighting my concert ventures this fall. And not only will I be writing for my gradesI'm taking News Writing and Reporting II at my schoolbut I will be writing because it's hardwired into my brain. I need to produce, whether that's a journalism article or a poem, or else I fall into a state of flubber
      That being said, I'm looking forward to publishing more on OMS. I can't be mad at myself for being incredibly inconsistent, because as much as I'd like to believe that I will publish as often as Virali does, I probably won't [Editor's Note: Aww, shucks. Let's be real though, I don't post nearly enough either, haha]. But publishing something is better than nothing. 

~ A

6 Months Down

{my favorite spot on campus}
     Today officially marks six months since we created One More Saturday, which is something I’m so excited about. Before Alana and I began the blog, we were so full of ideas and inspiration for what this project was going to be like, but school, internships, and social lives have definitely gotten in the way of us meeting our goals. Regardless, I’m still pretty happy with what this blog has helped me do and even more so, I’m hopeful for the future and for what our blog can become. I definitely have a lot of goals, both for this blog and in general and I think that OMS can help Alana and me achieve them. 
      I also push myself to remember that at the end of the day, this blog isn’t simply a vessel for us to get from Point A to Point B; it's an outlet that allows us to be expressive and appreciative of both the big and small aspects of our daily lives and it’s a way for us to honestly have fun with photography and the written word.
      That being said, here are some things that I’ve loved and learned as a result of these past six months:
 {summer sunset from my bedroom window}
  • Photography: A huge highlight of this blog is that it has coincided with my first trip to Europe and my first photography course. Both of these have been huge opportunities to take better photos and I love having an outlet on which I can post some of these highlights.
{London streets}
  • Writing: I initially started this blog because I wanted to write more and I need a space that would allow (and sometimes even force) me to do so. However, what I didn’t expect to find was a return to the feeling I had while being a part of the the newspaper in high school. I didn’t realize how much I missed it, and it’s nice to have a similar outlet, especially since it’s one that is so flexible and more of a reflection of myself and my interests.
{sunbathing in Fort Lauderdale}
{graffiti in Miami}
  • Friends and family: So many people in my life have been incredibly supportive in the creation of this blog. This little website is a labor of love and I think about it daily in terms of what my goals are and how I want to achieve them. To the friends, family, and other readers who check out our posts and share them with others, I am so, so grateful for you. You guys keep me going and make me feel like Alana and I aren’t the only people who care about OMS. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
 {work in progress}
  • Self-reliance: Full disclosure, this blog stresses me out sometimes. I’m perpetually guilty of not posting often enough and there are so many areas in which I want to make progress that I simply haven’t made yet. Alana and I want to build readership, both in general and beyond a network of friends and family, and although it’s scary knowing that it’s just the two of us trying to make that happen, it’s kind of exciting at the same time. Instead of making me anxious and afraid to fail, the responsibility pushes me to keep trying and to continuously try harder. It’s kind of empowering and exciting and makes me value the small successes that much more.
 {highlights from an impromptu monument run}
  • The little things: I’m huge on appreciating the smaller things in life and showing gratitude for what you've got. Looking back on my posts, they all reflect things that have made me happy, whether it be a concert or a vacation or just a simple break from my routine. I am happy to look back on this blog as a journal of highlights from the past six months, and instead of the complaints and anxieties that are often the focus of my actual journal entries, these blog posts serve as a reminder that I am fortunate and have amazing people in my life. Six months ago, Alana and I explained the origin of this blog’s name and looking back, each post has indeed been a reminder that I really do have one more Saturday. And I’ll be damned if I don’t make the most of them.
~ V

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Inspiration: Use As Needed

     Something I’ve really been trying to work on is being creative on a daily basis. I’ve always had an appreciation for the artistic and the aesthetic, but I often find myself relying on classes or clubs to be my creative outlet. Last semester, I took a photography class and a course in creative writing, and in high school I took art classes that forced me to sketch, paint, or play with pottery nearly every day. Unfortunately, without these structured classes to give me clear assignments, I sometimes get too lazy or busy with other priorities to make myself work in any creative way. I’ve made some efforts to amend this, including creating this blog and purchasing a daily sketch journal (previously seen here and available here). But they don't always feel like enough, especially on days when I feel like I have no inspiration.
There are times when I have so much I want to express, be it through prose, poetry, photography, paint, or some other artistic form. When inspiration like this strikes, I might be on the metro and see or hear something that makes me think or I might be unfocused in the middle of class and find myself frantically scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram, and my favorite blogs. By the end, I wind up with about ten different tabs and a page’s worth of ideas. I can nearly feel all the ideas swimming around and it’s all I can do to frantically put pen to paper —literally or figuratively — while they’re still there, fresh and honest. These days are the best, because they grant me the satisfaction of feeling motivated and then actually following through to be proactive or constructive in some way.
But for the days when I lack inspiration for a daily sketch, the latest creative writing assignment, or a blog post, I usually turn to the same sources. These often serve as the catalyst for when I lack motivation and need something to inspire me, and they are even sometimes the impetus for those good days when the ball’s already rolling.
      I thought it would be helpful for me to share with all of you what my favorite sources of inspiration are, to either share the food for thought or to even push you to find your own. Here are some Instagram accounts, blogs, books, and websites that usually help me get the creative juices flowing:

  • Cupcakes & CashmereEmily Schuman is my absolute favorite blogger and I find myself visiting her website often five times a day. Her posts are grounded and honest, and I am so inspired by her self-motivated and self-created success. She has a great eye and she is ambitious and talented in really everything she does. Her blog makes me think of OMS in a more professional way and, though with my full course load and internship I certainly don’t have the time to put in the hours she does, I am pushed by her to post more often.
  • Kate Arends of Wit & DelightHer photography and taste in interior design are impeccable, but the reason I am absolutely addicted to her Instagram (beyond her great eye) is her new puppy Winnie Bear. I even follow her husband for the same reason! (Protip: he puts up more dog pics!)
  • Tyler Knott Gregson: His work isn’t exactly my style, but it has a quality to it that is sometimes so beautiful and moving and it compels me to write in a way that I, too, can affect and inspire my readers. I follow his Instagram for a daily haiku, which adds some literary beauty to my Insta feed and serves as a reminder that I should be writing as well. Always.
  • Amy Poehler’s Yes, PleaseFirst and foremost, Amy Poehler is Queen. Not of America, not of SNL history, but of the world. She’s the best and the chapter titled “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend” emphasizes the need to prioritize creativity over career, which is something that I so needed to hear. I’m not going to say any more about this for those of you who haven’t read it yet (and really need to hurry up already and do yourselves the favor of doing so).
  • Daily sketch journal: Having an outlet that absolutely forces me to create has been great because it holds me accountable for days that I miss. The notebook has exactly 365 spaces to sketch, along with blank spots in which you write the date. So, when I miss a day (or two, or three) I have to do that many extra sketches all within the same date and write down how many days late I was in putting that extra sketch on paper.
  • Charles Bukowski: I only began appreciating poetry in the way that I do this past fall, thanks to a pretty great Creative Writing professor. I started reading What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through The Fire and it makes me think in a different way, if that makes any sense. It’s hard to explain through words (ironically enough), but poetry, especially Bukowski’s poetry, gets my mind thinking in lines rather than sentences, which in turn affects the way I write. I love the effect it has on me and I am grateful to have found this new appreciation for poetry.

I'd love to know, what inspires you? Let me know if you have any recommendations in the comments below! 

~ V