July 4th American-Themed Founding Fathers Costume Party!

Happy Independence Day! Ever since I was a kid, I’ve spent the first weeks of summer looking forward to July 4th, when I would have a classic American cookout, eat some kind of a dessert that uses strawberries and blueberries to replicate the American flag, enjoy the fireworks and play some good old-fashioned picnic games watch Revolutionary War documentaries on the History Channel. Although complaining about America is a tradition as old as the Declaration of Independence – and of course the U.S. of A. does have its problems – take a moment today to compare our country to some places across the globe: we have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free, compulsory public education, and public parks and libraries open to anybody who wants to explore and learn. If that doesn’t make you want to chant U-S-A, U-S-A, nothing will.

But you don’t have to be from the United States to celebrate on the 4th of July – face it, no matter where you live, you’ve been exposed to American culture. So if you’re celebrating from overseas, here are some tips to throw a great American-Themed party (psst – Americans can do it, too!). My favorite parts: the name tags with names of American icons like Betsy Ross and Alexander Hamilton, the map where you try to fill in the names of the 50 states (no peeking!), and the mad libs approach to classic American speeches and songs like the Gettysburg Address and Oh, Susannah.

There’s always the issue of what to wear, though, and on July 4th I think the rule of the day is to be as cheesy and red, white and blue as possible. Think: whatever the summery, patriotic version of a Christmas sweater, you should wear that. We do have a few guidelines – the dos and don’ts of patriotic wear – if you don’t want to cross the line all the way into star-spangled Speedos.

However, if you’ve been inspired by Hamilton or by your once-a-year viewing of The Patriot, maybe you’ll want to get your all-American fashion inspiration from the founding fathers. Don’t worry, we’ve written a guide to founding father fashion too! Get out the tricorn caps, Yankee Doodle boys and girls. They probably won’t be the weirdest thing you’ll see somebody wear today.

One of our favorite pictures from the American-themed party post was a party in Poland where the hosts played the movie Pocahontas on the TV. We have some film recommendations in the party guide – American genres like baseball movies, war stuff, and Tom Cruise – but if you need a few more, here are some movies that make me love America.

Another age-old American tradition is losing to European and Latin American teams in soccer(/football). With the Olympics coming up, I should mention that our U.S. national teams are very good and I have high hopes! But during the last World Cup, we wrote a list of American things to do to get over the World Cup loss. The activities work just as well as a way to celebrate America!

Whether you’re an American celebrating the land of your birth, residence or citizenship, or a non-American trying your best to put up with us, we hope you have a spectacular July 4th! May all your hats be three-cornered, your parties American-themed, and your Solo Cups red.

 

 

Things We Need to Revisit From Super Bowl 50

Last night, millions of Americans tuned in to watch Beyonce take over the field the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers. The Super Bowl is the U.S.’s most unofficial national holiday, but to me, it’s a free concert surrounded by some football riff raff. But, since I’m not a quitter, and have a bit of FOMO, I still “watched” the game from the comfort of my work office. There were definitely some highlights and lowlights of the Super Bowl, so it’s only fitting that we do a post-mortem on it and revisit a few things that need to have our attention again. And it’s worth noting that surprisingly, a majority of these things have absolutely nothing to do with football.

Tom Brady Lit’rally Missing the Mark

Because it’s the 50th Super Bowl, the NFL had to be all nostalgic and whatnot, so before the game, they had a ceremony honoring the 43 game MVPs of the past. Among them was New England Patriots QB and polarizing athlete Tom Brady. Deflategate and all. First of all, each MVP had to come out, stand on the yellow dot on the field, wave to the crowd then join the others on the side. Tom lit’rally missed the mark and just walked out and waved then joined the MVPs. To make things worse, he got booed by the crowd of Broncos and Panthers fans. I have a lot of friends from New England, so I’m not going to comment (I also have no opinion, really) but I mean, yikes.

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose

Hey, remember when Scott Porter (Jason Street) posted this FNL reunion pic from one of his football parties and everyone freaked out? I feel like we also need to freak out about this picture of Street and Lance/Landry from yesterday’s game. Dear people who run next year’s Super Bowl (NFL, I guess? lol), stage a FNL reunion at the game and you’ll get a lot of publicity. I mean, not like the Super Bowl needs it, but still.

SLAYDAY GAGA

Believe it or not, there are still people who aren’t aware that Stefani Germanotta is actually a really great, trained singer and not just a woman who wears a meat dress to the VMAs. So for those expecting her to look ridiculous and make a spectacle of the National Anthem were shit out of luck because Gaga showed off her impressive vocal talents and didn’t go over the top with her runs. It was pretty much perfect, so just watch the entire performance again.

Is This Not Grease 2: Live

This fellow’s name is Jonathan Stewart and when he scored a touchdown for the Panthers, his dance involved the hand jive. For those of us who were tweeting #GreaseLive all of a week ago, we had hope Aaron Tveit and Vanessa Hudgens would suddenly appear at the Super Bowl.

That Independence Day Trailer

The trailer for the Independence Day sequel aired during the Super Bowl, and props to the marketing team for this one – the first shot is an aerial shot of a crowded football stadium and someone is singing the National Anthem (a female pop star?) in the background. Then havoc ensues. Too real. I got chills.

Stealth The Wire Reunion

No, Idris Elba wasn’t involved, unfortunately. This Wire mini-reunion is from S2, the dockworkers played by Pablo Schreiber and Chris Bauer, who use a Prius as a getaway car after robbing a bank. So, like, the same thing as The Wire.

Salty Brother

I’m not a football aficionado or anything, but here’s the situation as I know it. Peyton Manning, QB for the Broncos played in the Super Bowl for what could be his last game before retiring. His younger brother, Giants QB Eli Manning was not playing in the Super Bowl, but watching from a box with his family. They cut to the Manning family after Peyton made some kind of successful play, and Eli didn’t look thrilled. Personally, I think he just looks stressed on behalf of his brother, but others are thinking he’s hating his life and jealous of his bro. Whatever you want to believe.

Super Bowl Babies

Just, no. I don’t like this. Is it even a thing? Or did the NFL just make it up? But they got people to talk about it, so mission accomplished.

Live Your Best Life

This guy doesn’t know who Coldplay is, doesn’t know who Mark Ronson is, doesn’t know who Bruno Mars is. Vaguely familiar with Beyonce because she’s been on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Beyonce and Friends

Here’s one thing I know about the Chris Martin and Coldplay – they must be REALLY REALLY nice, kind-hearted people to invite Beyonce on stage to make an appearance at their headlining half-time show at the Super Bowl, because the moment she walks on stage, it’s the Beyonce and Friends show.

Bow Down Bitches

Beyonce. Shuttin’ it down. Getting the fuck back up again. All day. Every day. Watching on loop.

Confused Cookie

Oh Taraji. She was just living her life, enjoying the Super Bowl as one does, and accidentally thought Coldplay was Maroon 5. It’s fine. She realized her mistake and deleted the tweet. We all make mistakes. all white people look alike anyways.

Gotta Get That Free Pizza Tho

I don’t know enough about this friendship, but why is Papa John of Papa John’s one of the only people Peyton reaches out to hug right after winning the Super Bowl? I’m as confused as Taraji.

 

#FlashbackFriday: Modern Day Fourth of July Songs

You’re almost there, folks! Fourth of July is tomorrow, and that means not only freedom for America, but freedom from work and nearly all our responsibilities! I hope you guys have a great weekend, but to make it even better, how about a soundtrack worthy of the amount of hot dogs and hamburgs and fireworks you’ll be taking in this weekend.

In 2013, we compiled a list of our fave America-inspired and summertime-centric songs, so we’re bringing it back again for your enjoyment in 2015. Have a safe and fun July 4th, y’all!

Enjoy the entire playlist on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks:

Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

You’re probably expecting Born in the USA. But I thought I’d throw a curveball, and also I like this song better.

Jack and Diane – John Mellencamp

This may be a little ditty about Jack and Diane (two American kids growing up in the Heartland), but apparently it’s also about the loss of innocence amongst teens. So yeah, kids in the USA go through life changing experiences, and that’s a part of American culture.

All-American Girl – Carrie Underwood

A touching tale of a boy who grows up, falls in love, gets married, and hopes for a son to carry on his football legacy, his dreams changed when he has a baby girl. An ‘All-American’ baby girl. But hey, it’s 2013, girls can play football too. Theoretically.

Summer Nights – Rascal Flatts

Fourth of July obviously means summertime, and this is a great song to play if you’re chillin in the back of your friend’s pickup truck drinking an ice cold Budwiser in the middle of a corn field. Note: I’ve never done this, I just imagine that’s what kids in the country too.

Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

I think my thing with Fourth of July songs is that I picked songs that everyone knows. Independence day is celebrating America- One Nation, Under God, etc. etc. What better way to come together as a whole than by singing a song together that everyone knows? In saying that, Sweet Caroline personally reminds me of the Red Sox and Fenway Park – baseball, Americana, etc. And the ‘Ba Ba Ba’? Who doesn’t love a good ‘Ba Ba Ba’?

Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus

Because, America.

Molly’s picks:

America, Fuck Yeah – Team America: World Police

On the 4th of July, you will be hearing a lot of soaring, majestic numbers about amber waves of grain and there being ain’t no doubt you love this land. Fine. But I like an America that can laugh at itself. LOL jingoism.

Under The Boardwalk – The Drifters

Independence day barbecues are all about the cheerful oldies. You need to play a selection of the summery ones – whether it’s this song, Summer In The City, Surfin’ USA, Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini … whatever it takes to make you feel like Megan Draper without all the, you know, troubles.

Electric Feel – MGMT

    If I picture outdoor summer parties from the past 6 years or so, this song is always playing. I don’t know who made the rule that every 20-something’s summer party in the 2010s has to play MGMT, but the rule exists and you may as well follow it.

Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

    Right?! Right.

At The Beach – The Avett Brothers

    If it’s 4th of July, I need some kind of country or folksy music. It’s no wonder that the best 4th of July celebration I’ve been to was in Nashville. Something about the modern version of country/bluegrass/folk just makes me really happy to be from the good ol’ U.S. of A. So put on Devil Makes Three, or the Avett Brothers, or Father John Misty, or Old Crow Medicine Show, or whatever, and thank God that you live in America.

American Pie – Don MacLean

    Everybody knows this song, everybody loves this song, and it’s one of the best singalong tunes I know. Plus the word “American” is in it so… you know.

This 4th Of July, Why Not Dress Like A Founding Father?

Ah, the Founding Fathers. They gave our nation its principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They also gave it style. So much style.

My first foray into Founding Fathers fashion was when I tried to use dry shampoo. Rather than combing out easily and leaving me with bouncy, shiny but not greasy-shiny locks, it clung to my hair like a white powder. I looked like Thomas Jefferson. Which is to say: amazing.

I leapt headfirst into Colonial Cool when I tried to wear slim-fitting Bermuda shorts even though I am 5’2 and should know better than to have dreams. They looked like old-timey breeches. Paul Revere wished he looked so good in knee-pants.

I haven’t accidentally worn a tricorne cap yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.

This weekend we celebrate Independence Day, and many will deck themselves out in tacky American Flag gear – because you don’t really love your country unless you turn Old Glory into a pair of hotpants or a bandana. It’s also the one time a year when we – well, some of us – look forward to History Channel and PBS documentaries about our nation’s earliest days.

And I say, why not combine those two passions: caring about history for a little while every year, and dressing like an all-American reject? Why not take our fashion advice from the golden age of elaborate men’s fashions? This July Fourth, ask yourself: what would John Hancock wear?

Powdered Wig

Anyone who’s anyone in the 18th century wore a powdered wig. They knew the secret that George Clooney and Roger Sterling brought to modern times: the most beautiful creature in the animal kingdom is a silver fox. Look at Thomas Jefferson’s snow-white locks – so natural and free! Or John Hancock, whose wig isn’t even pretending it’s not a wig:

So how will you recreate it? If you’re like me, you could try having the absolute wrong hair type for dry shampoo. Or you could just go for a white-gray dye and bleach job, which is all the rage on the hallowed halls of tumblr:

Breeches

Centuries before capris burst onto the scene, declaring to all and sundry “I’m on vacation! But I still don’t feel awesome about my legs, really!”, the founders of our great nation knew that the best pants were actually half a pair of pants. Check out Ralph Earl. Nay, check out Ralph Earl’s stocking-clad calves. It’s enough to make you fan yourself with your mob cap.

If you were holed up in a hot Philadelphia meeting hall with your buds in the Continental Congress, you didn’t want 100% of a pair of pants bringing you down. Not to mention, long pants weren’t really a thing yet. No, you wanted to show off your flair and keep cool with these slim, flattering cropped pants, decorated with a little embellishment above the knee.

Samuel Adams models the looser version, appropriate for even the most mutton-fed body types:

So how do you replicate the look today? Capris, bermudas, or for the traditionalist, a slick pair of riding pants:

Waistcoat

Go to your nearest hipster bar, used book shop, or bicycle store. Wait 5 minutes. You will see at least one young man in an undercut, facial hair, and a waistcoat.

I’m going to need you to steal his waistcoat.

You can tell him you’re doing it ironically.

Frock Coat

Is it a frock? Is it a coat? It’s a mother-lovin’ FROCK COAT, is what it is. What, too warm to wear on July 4th? Well they didn’t have air conditioning at Independence Hall. And freedom isn’t free.

Anyway, just because you’re drafting articles of Confederation doesn’t mean you need to neglect your articles of clothing:

See that? Frock coats. Frock coats as far as the eye can see. And lucky you, you can still buy them:

Buckles

So, what holds America together? A common goal, a dream of a better life, a love for liberty? No. Buckles. Buckles do. Buckles on your pants, buckles on your shoes, buckles on your hats, buckles on your buckles. It’s as though the founding fathers KNEW they had to buckle up, because this nation was in for a bumpy ride. One of the top items excavated from colonial sites: buckles. Because then, as now, we are just trying to keep it together.

With buckles.

American Things To Do To Make You Get Over The World Cup Loss

So, we lost. I’m no soccer connoisseur, but I’m pretty sure it’s still a shock that we made it so far into the World Cup. It was exhilarating for the like, two weeks we were in the thick of it, as people who usually don’t care about professional soccer were suddenly into it for the spirit of AMURRICA.

And now that we’re out, we have to deal with the depression that comes once the reality of losing settles in (and what exactly we’re going to do with that Tim Howard Shrine). And to pour salt in the wounds, the loss came just days before the most patriotic day of the year. So to help you deal with one of the most bittersweet Independence Days you’ll ever celebrate, here are a few things to do today to help you get over the World Cup loss.

Watch and recite the speech from Independence Day

It doesn’t matter if you’re Democrat or Republican, one thing we can all agree on is that Bill Pullman as fake President of the USA is one leader we can stand behind, especially after this rousing speech before they fight all the aliens. You know, it sounds ridiculous once I type it out like that. But if you don’t stand up and clap in the name of America after this, you should probably check your citizenship at the door.

Drink beer from a red solo cup

In one of those Buzzfeed articles, it showed people from around the world holding ‘American parties’ and in almost all of them, they are drinking out of red solo cups. I didn’t realize it until reading the listicle, but why DO we use these cups at every college/drinking party, both portrayed on screen and IRL too? Either way, the rest of the world is right, we use these brightly colored cups to excess and drink your soccer cares away today/this weekend – preferably with a cheap American beer.

Register to vote!

Democracy – we got it! Also we have these awesome ‘I Voted’ stickers that you get after said voting, and these are the exact ones I got in LA that have different languages around the perimeter, including one in Filipino!! What up diversity!

Wear all the American flag things

As I found out last year, apparently any article of clothing with the flag printed on it is actually a flag. Like it should be treated the same as a real flag, according to the U.S. flag code. Basically, we’ve all broken the code. Oops. Maybe you shouldn’t go all out like Katy Perry (but I mean, good on ya if you do), but prove to the enemy that we stand strong in the face of adversity and don’t let those colors run (lawdd).

Eat your weight in hot dogs

Every 4th of July, iconic hot dog company Nathan’s Famous holds the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, in which contestants shove the meat into their mouths at rapid pace and whoever eats the most gets fame and fortune (a bejeweled mustard belt), because, America. 30-year-old Joey Chestnut (pictured in the center) has won every year since 2007, and last year he even beat his own personal record of 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Needless to say, you don’t want to hang around the 10:01 mark unless you want to lose your appetite.

Just eat all the foods

Our friend Renee relocated to the Netherlands a couple years ago, and she held her own American Thanksgiving at her house for her Dutch friends, and made all the fixins, from mashed potatoes to sweet potatoes to vegetables to the obvious large turkey – and he Dutch pals kept questioning why she made so much food for such a small group of people. Because, you do. But WHY they asked. Just make less of it. NO. That’s not Thanksgiving, that’s not America. We’re known for our entirely too large portions and nothing helps you beat stress better than with just piles of food. And alcohol. But mainly food.

Spend too much money at Wal-Mart

Ah, Wal-Mart. Where the items are dirt cheap and so is the employees’ salary (allegedly). If you want to see America at its finest (and also a good reminder that your lives could be worse), all you need to do is go to the People of WalMart site and feel better about yourself, while at the same time disgusted for our society as a whole.

Play baseball

Ever since the 18th century, baseball has been “America’s Game”. There’s nothing more patriotic than going to a ball game, eating some peanuts and cracker jacks (and possibly a hot dog – too soon?), and hearing the National Anthem sung by a local singer who never made it big. Plus, you’re probably already into baseball anyways, so just focus your attention from soccer back to baseball.

Play (American) football

In addition to baseball, Americans love a good game of football. I mean the Super Bowl is like the biggest non-official U.S. holiday. It’s the second largest day for food consumption in the country and also the most watched television event every year. While the last game of the U.S. match in the World Cup did get huge ratings for ESPN – it’s nothing compared to the over 111 million viewers of the Super Bowl.

Basically play any other sport except soccer

I’m not saying you should NEVER play soccer – but maybe in the interim of your depression, just try a new sport that hasn’t taken off the ground in America yet. Like table tennis, perhaps. This sport is huge in Asia! It even is an official sport at the summer Olympics, so that’s gotta count for something!

Happy (Fictional) Presidents’ Day!*

*Today is not Presidents’ Day. Monday is Presidents’ Day. Today is Lincoln’s Birthday. But we all know all these holidays blend together because we really never know which day is which, we just used to get them off when we were still in school.

But in honor of ALL the presidents of these United States of America, I think it’s also appropriate to celebrate the fictional presidents who have also put in hard work to pretend to be the leader of the free world. I’m sure I’ve missed some on my list, so chime in with some of your favorites!

And Happy Presidents’/Lincoln/Washington’s Birthday Day!

President Thomas J. Whitmore {Bill Pullman}

Independence Day

Independence Day is so American that I bet anyone who’s not American will feel American while they watch this movie. Especially during this epic speech. While it’s unlikely we’ll need a President to get us through an unexpected alien attack in the near future, I want Bill Pullman in charge of an air strike if that day does come. Or he can just give motivational speeches to me every morning instead. That works too. “We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our MONDAY!!”

President Andrew Shepard {Michael Douglas}

The American President

For some reason, The American President was one of the first movies I remember being my favorite ‘grown up’ movie. I was nine when this film came out. Maybe it was the allure of Michael Douglas. Maybe it was the romance between him and Annette Benning. Maybe TBS just kept playing it over and over again and I had no chance but to like it. Either way, Michael Douglas is one of the few actors who is actually really believable as the president, and if he’s romancing a woman while in office, count me in.

President James Marshall {Harrison Ford}

Air Force One

Presidential Badassery at its finest.

The President {Billy Bob Thornton}

Love Actually

Okay, maybe he wasn’t a good guy, but Billy Bob played a smarmy, womanizing, douchey prez and I can’t help but think a lot of our former leaders had a little bit of this guy in them.

President George Richmond {Dabney Coleman}

My Date with the President’s Daughter

Basically this movie is a classic DCom and I unapologetically love it. I mean, Eric Matthews! (sidenote: if anyone is interested in watching other DComs like Model Behavior & Life Size it’s all on YouTube, per my research for this clip. I know what I’ll be doing on Valentine’s Day)

President Fitzgerald Grant {Tony Goldwyn}

Scandal

It’s no secret we’re #Gladiators here. So what’s a list of faux presidents without our favorite adulterous Commander-in-Chief? He may have a lot of faults, and may not be the best pres the U.S. has seen, but Shonda Rhimes & co. are brilliant and make you root for a man who’s not only married and having an affair, but his wife knows about it and he STILL pretty much ignores her and their kids. And lest us forget he has also **SPOILER** killed a Supreme Court Justice, who was already on her death bed dying of cancer. But ugh, crisis, because Olitz scenes are 2 hot 4 TV.

Yet the scene above doesn’t involve any handsy moves by the pres. It’s a flashback scene which reminds us why these two fell in love in the first place. They’re no dumb dumbs. They’re independently smart and bring out the best in each other. Without Olivia’s faith in Fitz – the faith he never had in himself – he would have never won the presidency (election rigging aside). And without the dedication and devotion he constantly gives to her, she would have never been able to open up and love a man like Fitz (thanks to her Daddy Pope problems). So I guess all cheating aside, this apparent ‘love’ is what makes us (sometimes begrudgingly) root for them after all.

President Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet {Martin Sheen}

The West Wing

You didn’t think I’d make a list without the best TV president, did you? He had too many great moments on the show, from the Butterball hotline to the time he *another spoiler alert* got shot to the time he was high on drugs to the time he walked to the Hill, to the entire Two Cathedrals episode etc. etc. But this particular clip is from an episode called The Midterms which originally aired in 2000. He basically tells off this conservative radio talk show host in a tactful, humorous, ‘don’t disrespect me bc i’m the GD president’ way and it’s this attitude that won him two terms in fake office.

The Dos and Don’ts of Patriotic Wear

It may be hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again where Fourth of July slaps you in the face and makes you wonder where the first half of the year has gone. For us Americans, Independence Dy is a day off – an excuse to eat as many hot dogs and hamburgers and potato salad and corn and anything else we can stuff in our faces all in the name of ‘Merica. It’s also a time where people show their patriotism by wearing the US flag in any way possible.

But here’s a fact I didn’t know until this year: technically any article of clothing with the flag printed on it is actually a flag. Like it should be treated the same as a real flag.

According to the Flag Code, a flag is anything “by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag.”

So, that Old Navy shirt that you get every year (I really hope you still don’t do that as an adult) is against the Flag Code. Here are some other items that break the code – and all rules of fashion – plus some handy alternatives to reppin the country with pride.

Do:

http://www.labeshops.com/sexy-swimwear-bikini-monokini/bikini-2-piece-bathing-suits/sailor-girl-pinup-swimdress-z297

For you retro-y beach types

Don’t:

Sport a onesie in public. That goes for every day of the year. Apparently this costs $200. Freedom isn’t free, y’all.

Do

Wear this adorbs dress that I now want from ShopBop

Don’t

Don’t look like you’re one of the American Gladiator women that’s out for a night on the town but still wants people to recognize her as ‘Zap’

Do

remember: the sun never sets on an (american) badass

Don’t

i mean can you even properly see or operate a vehicle with these on?

Do

Lobstah Americana! {via Classy Girls Wear Pearls)

Don’t

Perpetuate the idea that Americans dress slutty

Do

Because you’re a grown ass woman, you have to be classy {via Wear It, Work It}

Don’t

Because you’re a grown ass woman and not a trashy sailor

Do

Don’t worry, didn’t forget about men. Be a GQ mofo.

Don’t

Don’t look like a douche

Playlist of the Month: Modern Day Fourth of July Songs

Happy 4th of July! This is one of my favorite holidays. Not because I’m so into America (though I mean land of the free and all of that), but because it’s such a laid-back, no-expectations day that it can almost never disappoint you. As long as you have friends, fireworks, and food, you’re all set. The only thing missing is a good playlist — just call it our love letter to America.

Enjoy the entire playlist on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks:

Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

You’re probably expecting Born in the USA. But I thought I’d throw a curveball, and also I like this song better.

Jack and Diane – John Mellencamp

This may be a little ditty about Jack and Diane (two American kids growing up in the Heartland), but apparently it’s also about the loss of innocence amongst teens. So yeah, kids in the USA go through life changing experiences, and that’s a part of American culture.

All-American Girl – Carrie Underwood

A touching tale of a boy who grows up, falls in love, gets married, and hopes for a son to carry on his football legacy, his dreams changed when he has a baby girl. An ‘All-American’ baby girl. But hey, it’s 2013, girls can play football too. Theoretically.

Summer Nights – Rascal Flatts

Fourth of July obviously means summertime, and this is a great song to play if you’re chillin in the back of your friend’s pickup truck drinking an ice cold Budwiser in the middle of a corn field. Note: I’ve never done this, I just imagine that’s what kids in the country too.

Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

I think my thing with Fourth of July songs is that I picked songs that everyone knows. Independence day is celebrating America- One Nation, Under God, etc. etc. What better way to come together as a whole than by singing a song together that everyone knows? In saying that, Sweet Caroline personally reminds me of the Red Sox and Fenway Park – baseball, Americana, etc. And the ‘Ba Ba Ba’? Who doesn’t love a good ‘Ba Ba Ba’?

Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus

Because, America.

Molly’s picks:

America, Fuck Yeah – Team America: World Police

On the 4th of July, you will be hearing a lot of soaring, majestic numbers about amber waves of grain and there being ain’t no doubt you love this land. Fine. But I like an America that can laugh at itself. LOL jingoism.

Under The Boardwalk – The Drifters

Independence day barbecues are all about the cheerful oldies. You need to play a selection of the summery ones – whether it’s this song, Summer In The City, Surfin’ USA, Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini … whatever it takes to make you feel like Megan Draper without all the, you know, troubles.

Electric Feel – MGMT

    If I picture outdoor summer parties from the past 6 years or so, this song is always playing. I don’t know who made the rule that every 20-something’s summer party in the 2010s has to play MGMT, but the rule exists and you may as well follow it.

Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

    Right?! Right.

At The Beach – The Avett Brothers

    If it’s 4th of July, I need some kind of country or folksy music. It’s no wonder that the best 4th of July celebration I’ve been to was in Nashville. Something about the modern version of country/bluegrass/folk just makes me really happy to be from the good ol’ U.S. of A. So put on Devil Makes Three, or the Avett Brothers, or Father John Misty, or Old Crow Medicine Show, or whatever, and thank God that you live in America.

American Pie – Don MacLean

    Everybody knows this song, everybody loves this song, and it’s one of the best singalong tunes I know. Plus the word “American” is in it so… you know.