The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Bandwagoners

By Carlisle SargentOur guest blogger this week is Carlisle Sargent, currently living undercover as a jaded graduate student in South Carolina. She is a cofounder of the esteemed audio startup, Goat Rodeo, as well as a lover of good design and giving bad advice. Play with her here. If you are interested in guest blogging, email us at

I remember this moment clearly. At the grungy claptrap my best friends and I rented in college, we hosted many parties. I was often in charge of the playlist because I am exceptionally selective about the music that I dance to. On this particular night, at this particular party, my brother was hanging out in the living room with some of his wide-eyed freshman friends. I walked in and fiddled with the music until I found something I liked. After a few minutes, I heard my brother yell.

“Carlie, woah, this beat. This is GAGA?!”

The song I chose was "Scheiße," the 7th track from Lady Gaga’s album Born This Way. And yes, at about thirty seconds in, a laser-blasted-super-synthy-strut-your-sh*t-club-going-up-on-a-Tuesday dance beat is dropped, and it is dirty. Although I was happy that my brother, a musical genius in his own right, could appreciate one of the lesser-known Gaga hits, I was bummed. How are people continually surprised that this woman makes incredible music?

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What's an education if you become famous?

By Cazey Williams So, not to name names, but my alma mater – an institution of higher learning, or so I thought – has recently taken up promoting a “recent student” of theirs for a reality show contest.

What does “recent student” mean? You would think alumni, right? No, earnest readers; it means a freshman who failed out. Are you even a freshman if you fail out? And it’s not like he failed this past May, so he could do a redo/have a second life/this isn't Mario Kart. No, no, he failed out two years ago (2013). But you know, we should give him a break; freshman year was hard, especially those keg stands.

To elaborate: There is a male of conventional standards - aka Caucasian, brown hair, attractive, dumb (is that a stretch of an assumption? But had to throw this in, or else I'd be describing myself *recoils*) – who attended my undergrad and is now on a competitive reality show (hint: singing, Gwen Stefani, etc.). I haven’t done much research because TV isn’t my thing, nor is fanboying, but I know he’s been on the show a couple of weeks. However, this child happens to have attended my old university for a year before he failed out. Or maybe he withdrew, but from what I know, his grades weren’t getting him car insurance deals.

How do I know? Well, I have my sources. And the facts are, he went to my university and never came back, and there’s a gap year between then and now. ~Suspicious~ Ain’t like he was in New York pursuing ~the dream~.

You would expect circumstances like that to be, I don’t know, embarrassing. However, either he or – I really hope not – my alma mater decided to acknowledge their past relations, and he is now hailed as “a recent student.”

Da fuxx is that.

If he wants to say he went to my alma mater, fine. But what pricks me the wrong way is my INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING (did you get that last part?) wants to uphold him as some student and representative of our university by Facebooking and Tweeting "Tune in tonight to watch our pillar of success fail-out perform" or "We're cheering for our recent student (who everyone should try to emulate), and here's how to vote." YO, DEANS AND PRESIDENT, he failed out (?!?!). What sort of message are you sending?

The Regina George within me is brimming with “You didn’t even go there!” (Okay, you did. For eight months. Hardly a degree. Hardly a student. That’s like another university endorsing a student by saying, “This dude hooked up with one of our coeds - vote for him!”)

Anyway, these are my thoughts, and here is a meme:

Failed Out School's Hero