Page 1


An interview with Run River North


Hippocampus Live Review


Playlist: Indie Feels


Cruelty free Drugstore Makeup


Minimal Fashion


A photoshoot by Adam Ward


Travel Piece: New Bern, NC / SEED BOMB DIY


Applying to College


Best Feelings

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR It felt like my world stopped on November 9th. Early in the morning, I got the call from Christina. I asked her to call me and wake me up if anything new happened. Over the phone her voice cracked, “It’s over” she said. At school that day, I watched my classmates sob. I watched my professor cry in front of the room. I knew at that point, the only way we would get through this is as a community. Thank you to the Pop To It community for being so strong in this dark time. We will move forward but I’ll be damned if we don’t voice our opinions and make our voices heard in the process.

-Ashley Hoffman



ASHLEY HOFFMAN is an Atlanta peach in Boston. She is currently studying journalism and public relations at Emerson College. You can most likely find Ashley with her French bulldog, Petunia, browsing record shops and sipping on overpriced lattes.

PORTIA MELITA is a public relations major and art minor. In her free time she likes to wrtie music, sing, draw and interact with bees in any way she can.

Co-Creator, Edi social t o r - i n media -Cheif Twitter: @ahoffz Instagram: @ahoffz

Resident Artist contributor Instagram: @ portiaapple

layout director

NIC ZUHSE is a double major in studio art and art history and a minor in digital media at Elon University. You can usually find her covered in paint in the design studio or spending way too much money on jeans at goodwill. She also really loves dogs.


JANE SEIDEL is a college student CHRISTINA CASILLO is a senior communication design major at Elon University who loves social justice and Harry Styles Social Media Coordinator

captivated by the world of media, when she’s not in the newsroom or pouring lattes, she is probably sleeping. Twitter: @jane_seidel

photographer Instagram: @jane_seidel

contributor Twitter: @chrisrosecas Instagram: @chrisrose-

LILLY DURAN is a Gemini born and raised in southern California. She lives for live music and cute dogs. Twitter: @


lillyduranphoto Instagram: @spookylilly

ADAM WARD is a fashion photographer and marketing student attending Emerson College in Boston, MA. He is also the photo director of em Magazine, Emerson’s longest running fashion and culture magazine. When he’s not shooting you can find him in his bedroom making mixed media while listening to Grimes.

ERIN CHRISTIE is an aspiring journalist from Connecticut who has a deep passion for music, social justice and film. Twitter: @eerinchristine

Instagram: @eerinchriscontributor tine

REBECCA GIBBONS is a music junkie and coffeeholic, and is currentlys an advertising & marketing communications major at FIT. Instagram: @rebeccaa17




CAROLINE MACARI is probably crying at a party, gushing over Harry Styles, thinking about missed connections, or loving science without the math. #space Twitter: @n_zuhse Instagram: @nicthepainter

KATE KLASSA is an International Studies major at NCSU who is obessed with cats and compulsivly buys more than she can ever hope to read.Twitter: @n_zuhse Instagram: @nicthepainter

Patrick moran is a senior baking and pastry major at JWU and also doubles as a live music pohotographer. He enjoys long walks in his crocs.@n_zuhse Instagram: @nicthepainter

find all of our staff on social media Ashley Hoffman Twitter: @ahoffz Instagram: @ahoffz

nic zuhse Twitter: @n_zuhse Instagram: @nicthepainter

Christina Casillo Twitter: @chrisrosecas Instagram: @chrisrosescas

Erin Christine Twitter: @eerinchristine Instagram: @eerinchristine

Lilly Duran Twitter: @lillyduranphoto Instagram: @spookylilly

Rebecca Gibbons Instagram: @rebeccaa17

portia melita Instagram: @portiaapple Jane Seidel Twitter: @jane_seidel Instagram: @jane_seidel Adam ward Instagram: @adamwxrd

Caroline Macari Twitter: @carolinemacari Instagram: @caromacari Kate Klassa Instagram: @bluejacketgirl Patrick Moran Instagram: @iampatrickmoran


An interview with

Run River North By Christina Casillo

Pop To It: Hey Alex so nice to speak with you! I actually just saw you guys in Charlotte and you guys were fantastic!

Alex Hwang: Wow that’s awesome! Thanks so much.

P2I: So how is tour going so far? Irontom and Finish ticket are both dope bands, and I noticed that you all have really great stage presence and power. I thought it was a really good match. AH: Yeah it’s been great. I think the line up is really solid and it’s different enough that youget three separate acts. It’s a lot of good energy, and everyone’s roughly around the same age so we all have similar interests. I think that if the tour had maybe been in the winter or the spring, we could’ve had a lot more sell outs, just because Finish Ticket and ourselves have both exhausted the market doing headlining tours early this year. P2I: It sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of driving then. Is there anything in particular you have in heavy rotation in the van? AH: Me and the tour manager have been listening to Bon Iver’s album that was just released, and I’m digging Local Natives’ new album Sunlit Youth. It’s pretty good on the road. I’ve been into podcasts too. Marc Maron’s WTF is always a good listen. I’m always in the market for new ones though! P2I: I’d check out Grace Helbig’s podcast, Not Too Deep. It’s a comedy show, and the guests rotate.



MUSIC AH: I’ll be sure to give it a listen! P2I: So I saw that a few years back you changed your name, Monsters Calling Home, to Run River North. I thought the backstory of that first name was really interesting, how with a hyphenated identity, you, your bandmates, and your parents struggled to find a place. So why did you make that change and why Run River North? AH: One of the reasons we changed it was because of Of Monsters and Men. They were getting a lot of noise and we were kind of doing a similar thing, male and female vocalist, kind of a folk sound. So we just wanted to distance ourselves. But I think overarching it’s just that Monsters Calling Home kept harkening back to our parents and that would continue to be the story. I think there’s a point where you just have to stop talking about your parents and live your own life. So it was a step for our band to grow up and figure out our identity, after figuring out our immigrant family story. It’s always still there. It’s still evolving. Even in Charlotte, we played it differently. It’s still a song we identify with, it’s just grown up differently. We just kind of let go of it to see if there was something heavier or more interesting to call ourselves. P2I: So at P2I we notice that the indie and alt rock scenes are dominated to heavily by white men, and your band is Asian-American and mixed gender. How do you think that plays into not only your sound but how you look at your place within the genre? AH: It’s interesting, hopefully we get to talk about this on bigger platforms. But it is pretty dominated by white guys with beards. In one sense you could just rage against the machine and flip the finger, or you could just keep doing what you do and hope people like it and acknowledge it and see that it is just that. You can’t say ‘this is wrong,’ without giving any other options. So we’re just trying to do what we do, and hope people like it, not just because of how we look but because it’s good. And I hope the fact that we’re not white dudes will just be a secondary conversation and add to it and not be a focal point. We just gotta do what we gotta do.I think it’s a waste of breath to complain. We’re just trying to figure out what the dialogue looks like, whether it comes out in music or in interviews and conversations, it’s still an ongoing thing. P2I: What would you say are a few influences on the band? Not exclusive to music, just any external, cultural sources.


AH: Ironically, white male bands come to mind. Modest Mouse, Cold War Kids, Arcade Fire. Otherwise, a lot of books we read. Authors that we’re into influence us. As small a book as it is and how popular, The Little Prince. I was able to write a song just based on one character. I really like children’s books that are actually for adults...or maybe the other way around. Like Where the Wild Things are or Roald Dahl books. P2I: Looking forward, what’s your next step in terms of a sound evolution, dream tour..? AH: I think it’s the same as any other band. We’re on tour now, another song of the record that our label wants us to push. I want to tour a little more on our record and get some cool support slots, festival line ups. It’s a little weird when people are like, when’s the next album but we just put it out. People know one or two songs from it. It’s like when we finish a show in a city and people ask when we’re going to come back. Really? I can’t enjoy the fact that it just happened? (laughs) I don’t know! P2I: Is it almost like tour fatigue? AH: Not really, I think this needs to happen. Because people forget really quickly and don’t really do anything but listen to a song on Youtube or Spotify. The live show is really important because there’s always going to be that one person in the audience, you’re playing for those one or two people that haven’t heard you and accidentally stop by. If you’re a touring band and you get tired from two tours in a year, you should maybe consider another job (laughs). It’s great for us to be out and working and have something to do and have people who want to pay money to see us. P2I: It’s actually funny you say that because that was kind of what happened to me! I won tickets through Finish Ticket, and was blown away by you, bought your album. I actually told my editor that we should interview you because I was so impressed. AH: Wow that’s awesome! So yeah this happened because of tour. Thank you for liking the band and reaching out.



Hippocampus: MUSIC

live review By: Nic Zuhse Photos: Christina Casillo

Vibe-y indie rock seems to flow naturally in the bloodstreams of the boys that make up Hippo Campus. After frontman Jake Luppen lurked at the back of the small stage of The Underground at The Fillmore in Charlotte, NC, he exploded out and captivated the entire room with the scratchy, rhythmic, and infectious vocals of the band’s new single “Boyish”. Even though the song was dropped just a few days before, most of the crowd already seemed to know every word and key change. From there the band played through favorites such as “Little Grace” and “Souls” before diving into a new song called, “Simple Season”. After the band teased new music for the last few months on social media, the crowd immediately drowned out the band with excited screams. All eyes were then on bassist Zack Sutton as he dropped in some killer baselines that were balanced out by rhythmic patterns from drummer, Whistler Allen. The nine song set list was finally completed with hits “Suicide Saturday” and “South.” Even though these songs are well known, you could see the excitement and love on all of the band members faces when the entire crowd was pulsing with energy while singing every single word. The boys will be back on tour in 2017, and you’re not going to want to miss it. Catch Hippo Campus’ debut album “Landmark” out on February 24, 2017. US AND CANADA TOUR

FEBRUARY 15 fargo, ND 16 omaha, NE 17 kansas city, MO 18 denver, CO 20 salt lake city, UT 21 missoula, MT 23 vancouver, BC 24 seattle , WA 25 portland, OR 28 san francisco, CA MARCH 2 san diego, CA 3 los angeles , CA 4 phoenix , AZ

11 minneapolis , MN 12 minneapolis, MN 22 nashville, TN 23 atlanta , GA 24 charlotte, NC 25 carrboro, NC 28 philadelphia, PA 29 washington, DC 31 new york, NY APRIL 1 boston , MA 3 toronto, ON 4 ferndale, MI 6 columbus, OH 7 chicago, IL 8 madison, WI

INDIE FEELS PLAYLIST by rebecca gibbons You're What I'm Looking For - Rooney Somebody - Jukebox The Ghost I Want You - Marian Hill I Belong in Your Arms - Chairlift I Always Knew - The Vaccines Happy Accidents - Saint Motel Good Together - HONNE Everlasting Light - The Black Keys Devotion - Savoir Adore Caugh t Me By Surprise - Colony House Can You Tell - Ra Ra Riot At Once - Beirut The Anchor - Bastille Already Love - Great Good Fine Ok All Eyes on You - St. Lucia




by Rebecca Gibbons

When it comes to shopping for beauty products on a budget, looking for brands that are cruelty-free can be a real challenge. Brands like Tarte, NARS, Urban Decay, Too Faced and more are well known for being cruelty free, but lie on the pricier side. You’re in need of a good deal, but with some quality, I hear ya! So, here are some everyday beauty products that I recommend from a variety of cruelty-free drugstore brands.


Wet n Wild MegaGlo Contouring Palette $4.99 - CVS This palette comes in two different contouring shades, “Dulce De Leche” for a rosier look and “Caramel Toffee” for a golden look. If you’re a contouring beginner, I would definitely recommend starting with this. It is very light, easy to apply, and isn’t patchy. It provides a great matte finish and lasts all day! It definitely has a more natural look versus dramatic.


e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit $3.00 - CVS I’m going to be honest, I am no eyebrow expert. I have only been filling in my eyebrows over the course of the past year and have yet to try a range of eyebrow products. I haven’t tried anything else because I love this eyebrow kit so much! The kit comes in a light and dark version, depending on the color of your eyebrows. It contains a pigmented wax to shape and color your brows and a setting powder to make them last all day. The brush it comes with also does a great job with arching.


NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick $6.99 - CVS I have extremely dry lips, which makes wearing lipstick quite a challenge. When liquid lipstick became all the rage, I was so excited!! Finally I could maybe find a lipstick that wouldn’t be so cakey. I tried a few drugstore ones, but wasn’t thrilled with the result. Some of them were very hard to apply, smelled funny, and dried out my lips. When I was introduced to NYX’s Liquid Suede, MY LIFE CHANGED! Some lipsticks are heavy, but this one is like you aren’t even wearing any. It doesn’t change the texture of your lips, is super easy to apply, and it lasts pretty much all day. The line of colors are also very nice! I use the shade Soft Spoken almost daily.


Physician’s Formula Eye Booster Instant Doll Lash Mascara Extension Kit $14.99 - CVS I’ve been in search of a mascara that actually gives me some volume since I first started wearing it in 8th grade, ranging from drugstore and upscale brands. It is a bit pricier than most drugstore mascaras, but I HIGHLY recommend purchasing it. The mascara alone gives my eyelashes great volume, but adding the extensions really gives them a boost. The mascara wand is designed to prevent clumps and separates the lashes so well! So, if you’re in search of a great volumizing mascara, look no further. It is such a good price for the quality AND it’s cruelty free.

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Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eye Liner $8.99 - CVS If you’re in need of an eyeliner that is long-lasting and comes in a really rich shade of black, this is surely the one! The brush makes it super easy to apply thin to thick strokes and is great for winged eyeliner. Added bonus... it’s waterproof!


Trendy minimalism for the lazy girl by jane seidel

T h o u g h I h a v e a c l o s e t f u l l o f c l o t h e s , I i n e v i t a b l y e n d u p w e a r i n g n e a r l y t h e s a m e t h i n g e v e r y d a y. I t ’s b e c o m e my uniform as I march through my senior year of college, and I’ve found that having a simple go-to outfit frees up my mind to work on other things, like a 20 page paper or accidentally deticating your life to student media. I’ve embraced the simple look by deeming it intentional minimalism.

Black jeans Putting on a pair of black jeans always makes me feel like I have my life together a b i t m o r e t h a n I a c t u a l l y d o. Yo u c a n p a i r them with anything and it’ll look nice and polished.


Denim jacket A denim jacket is a simple way to make any outfit look a bit urban and t r e n d y. A t t a c h b u t t o n s a n d p a t c h e s to it for a DIY look, or keep it simple if the sound of buttons clanging while you walk makes you want to scream. I found mine on clearance at a Lucky Brand outlet over the summer and I’ve worn it practically ever y day the temperature has been below 60 degrees.

White sneakers D o e s t h e “d o n’ t w e a r w h i t e a f t e r Labor Day” rule apply to shoes t o o ? D o n’ t c a r e . H a l f o f t h e s h o e s in my closet are white sneakers, w h i c h i s k i n d o f e m b a r r a s s i n g, b u t also a testament to how wonder ful they are. White sneaks go with ever ything!I love wearing any of them with my black jeans cuffed a b i t , e s p e c i a l l y i f I ’m w e a r i n g w e i r d socks.





VISIT: NEW BERN, NORTH CAROLINA BY KATE KLASSA New Bern, once the North Carolina state capitol and now a small, charming riverfront town, is a two hour drive from Raleigh and makes for a perfect day trip. Originally settled in 1710, it's one of NC's oldest cities and many of the original buildings still stand, making it an ideal destination for coastal town lovers and history fans alike. SEE Tryon Palace - Visit the site of NC's first capitol, which was recently restored to its former glory. Birthplace of Pepsi - Visit the building where Pepsi first originated. Fireman's Museum - As one of the first cities in the nation to get a fire company, New Bern's collection of old firefighting gear is a unique look into the past. The Athens Theatre - Previously the host of Vaudeville performances and theatre troupes, this theatre now hosts local theater groups. EAT The Baker's Kitchen - This kitchen is full of unfussy, inexpensive Southern cooking. Bear City Fudge - You can try and eclectic mix of classic and new fudge flavors. Captian Ratty's Seafood and Piano Bar - Eat traditional seafood with a southern flare. Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant - For a fancier affair with locally sourced ingredients, visit this restaurant with the perfect view. DO Union Point Park - Walk along a small, waterside park that provides unparalleled river views. Croatan National Forest - Stretching from New Bern to the Outer Banks, this park features plenty of outdoor activities like hiking trails, campsites, and swimming. Bike rentals - New Bern is a bike friendly city, so ditch the car for the day and pedal your way to New Bern's many old houses and parks. Boat rentals - Visit New Bern's marina and take a boat out on the river for a few hours.

Seed bombs are (usually) a ball of soil and clay with seeds inside and are used as guerilla gardening technique. You should throw your seed ball somewhere that you walk by every day that looks like it could use a little cheering up. There are several kinds of seed bombs. You can fill pill capsules, hollowed out egg shells, and glass christmas ornaments with seeds to throw them. Some are more dangerous than others, these are the kindest on the environment!


SEED BOMB DIY Ingredients: -Seeds (any kind you like!) -You can usually buy envelopes of wildflower seeds at the dollar store, or at a garden center for less than two dollars. -Soil -Clay -You can either buy potters clay at the store and mix it with soil, or you can dig up some clay if you can find it (look near streams and rivers). -Water


Mix your soil and seeds together - spread them all out! (1 handful seeds to every 2 handfuls soil) Add a little water so the soil is malleable Add in the clay, just enough to make the seed bombs stay together (three handfuls for every 2 handfuls soil) Let them dry Throw them! Check back in a few weeks for your flowers.

A High School Senior's Thoughts Concerning the Final First Semester and Applying for College: By Erin Christie

Falling leaves gleam in the eyes of near thousand puddles speckling the street beneath my feet, the crunching blades paving the highway on which I make my journey. The brass buckles on my boots sing like wind chimes as I take each step, the cool autumn breeze picking up my messy brown locks and twirling them around in a dance meant for two and two alone. I hike my hat an inch lower toward my eyebrows, feeling the chill of the breeze’s light embrace within my ver y bones. Skeletons of the trees that had once been green with foliage wave with the roll of the clouds gliding charmingly through the drear y, gray sky, each greeting me and wishing me for th as I continue to walk. It is the final fall that I will have the pleasure to experience prior to embarking upon the treacherous journey that is college next year. The final fall that I will endure at home with my parents and siblings, picking out bulbous, dir t- stained pumpkins and lining them up on the stoop before our front door, catching falling leaves and making massively ambitious wishes on them, and greeting the oncoming holiday season with their warm embrace. It is the last first semester of high school and the last time that I will return to these hallowed halls of my home for the past four years, greeted with open arms by the friends and classmates with whom I have grown so close. The final year of high school and the beginning of the rest of my life is finally here… am I ready? Well, that’s a difficult question! It’s a bit surreal that all of this is happening so quickly, the finish line marking the end of my high school experience and the beginning of my four years spent at college approaching ever nearer with each passing day. As an senior in high school, eager to be finished, anxiety- ridden, occupied by a never- ending amount of assignments, and nearly drowning in college applications, it’s definitely tough! The pile of responsibilities and obligations that I have to fulfill have been stacking to an intimidating height, threatening to fall any minute, the monstrous beast rearing to consume me whole. Cer tainly, the looming weight of college is clearly present and extremely daunting. In approaching such a seemingly terrifying process of filling out college applications, going on campus tours spanning vastly across the map, and preparing to make another step toward adulthood, it is incredibly impor tant to breathe. It’s often difficult to find time to simply relax, put down the pencil, and to quit stressing for a moment for within such a dastardly time, it seems impossible to come to a close and to even make it into college period. But believe me, though it’s difficult to persist and to remain motivated, in remembering that soon, I will have the oppor tunity to explore university life, meet so many lovely souls in a completely new atmosphere and city, and pursue my true passions and career goals, which is truly an amazing thing. Upon leaving high school within the oncoming months and entering the world, ready to tackle college head- on, in simply knowing that so many are in the same boat as myself (and may be just as truly terrified) I am confident that eventually, I will conquer, I will sur vive, and without a doubt, I will make my years at college as wonder ful as they can be, no matter where I end up! Though slightly far too optimistic, I’m prepared to make such a dream my reality.


The Best Feelings from This Weekend: A List (I Montreal Edition I) by Caroline Macari

W hen your acquaintance from your cultural studies class makes the effor t to attend your par ty, and even brings 11 jello shots.

You’re hosting a par ty, and you are high with your friends, and they want rice. You have 40 other guests, but you make them rice because you’re high and happy to be a good host and you might think they both have nice smiles and you know you look good. So you boil water, make rice, and feed it to each of them with a spoon, telling them to ac t like it’s the best damn rice they ’ve ever had.

Seeing the same boy ever y weekend whose in your major, and who you kissed once, but talking on a Monday morning isn’t as easy as 1am on Saturday morning after some gin and wine. You ebb and flow through phases of he loves me, he loves me not, loves me, loves me not…and this time, he finally loves you.

Catching butter flies when he tells you he wants to talk in class, and that he wants to spend time alone with you. This ner vous, tense, carefree, full rush of adrenaline allows your body to involuntarily spring through the city from a friend’s apar tment to the club. To stay grounded is not an option, and would be an injustice to infatuation.

Getting into the club for free because the host/bouncer is the Parisian guy from your film class who you smoke with outside of the librar y sometimes and once offered you sushi for dinner

Dancing with your best friend who you might spend too much time with, but when New Order comes on under the purple lights and disco balls, all tensions dissipate and she’s smiling in velvet and you’re prac tically flying.

Hugging your friend goodbye and feeling the sweet but sudden elec tricity of their touch that tingles and lingers. The moment you know you have feelings.

Sitting on your kitchen floor at 4am, where you killed a mouse 3 days earlier, and drinking tea with your neighbor. He’s an engineer, and a few years older, but you’re from the same town. You have the same postcards from a Providence restaurant hanging on your bedroom walls. Some people make you feel safe and at home.




Pop To It Issue Four  

An interview with Run River North, photo series, personal essays, and more comprise Issue Four of Pop To It.

Pop To It Issue Four  

An interview with Run River North, photo series, personal essays, and more comprise Issue Four of Pop To It.