State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Brandon Heurich

Countdown to Gov Ball: Part 2

 

 

Welcome back guys to our coverage of Governor’s Ball in NYC! Day 1 of the festival is tomorrow and it’s time to really get excited. But with such a plethora of incredible acts, which artists should you go see? Well, here’s our guide to schedule conflicts and can’t miss acts to help you decide.

 

CONFLICT CITY

In previous years, GovBall has boasted a “no overlapping sets” policy because nobody likes it when two artists they are dying to see are playing at the same time. However, as the festival expands, naturally there just isn’t enough time to give everybody their own slot. And this leads to some heartbreaking schedule conflicts pitting two great acts right up against each other. Here are a few major conflicts, and our pics on who to choose.

 

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley vs. Phoenix

Friday @ 6:45

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Epic reggae jams from the son of a legend, or upbeat French disco-influenced indie pop? Both shows will inevitably be a good ass time. But on this one, I’m going to have to take Phoenix. They’ve got too many good songs to skip and since they’re not really touring in the U.S., save for a few dates here and there, you never know what kind of special bonus you might get with these guys. (Might I remind you that they once had a surprise guest appearance by Daft Punk at a previous show in New York City).

Best Choice: Phoenix

 

 

Childish Gambino vs. The Strokes

Saturday @ 6:45

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the cleverest rhymes in hip-hop, or indie rock pioneers? Again, both shows will be nothing short of epic, but you have to go with the legends on this one. The Strokes are on their home turf and are not currently on tour. Always go with the hometown show. The Strokes’ set has been super hyped up and I find it hard to believe that these guys would bring anything less than their A-game. Plus, Firefly people will get a chance to see Gambino there, so if you’re heading to both festivals, you’ll have another chance.

Best Choice: The Strokes

 

 

 

Jack White vs. Skrillex

Saturday @ 9:30

Modern alt-rock legend or talented dubstep demigod? While JW did just release a new album and always brings his best to shows, I think Skrillex is the best option here. And not just because Jack White has been a little wiener all over the internet lately (I’m callin’ you out, White), but also because Skrillex might have an all star lineup to back him. Two of my favorite songs by Skrillex are “In for the Kill (Remix)”, which features La Roux (also performing at GovBall), and “Make it Bun Dem,” which features Damian Marley (another GovBall performer). Skrillex has the capabilities to make this show legendary and for that, I think he’s the way to go.

Best Choice: Skrillex

Interpol vs. Empire of the Sun

Sunday @ 8:00

Dark alt rock kings, or an electronic disco spectacle. I’m really torn over this one. On one hand, I’ve been dying to see Empire of the Sun for some time now. On the other, friggin’ Interpol. Empire of the Sun usually has a bombastic performance complete with lights and costumes and dancers, while Interpol, I assume, will be much more low key. But musically, I’m going with Interpol, how could you not? These guys are also playing a hometown show and as I said earlier, always go with the hometown show. Interpol has enough amazing music to play a killer show without needing all the extras that Empire brings, gotta follow the music on this one.

Best Choice: Interpol

 

 

 

You don’t wanna miss this

Little Comets Friday @ 12:15 – Honda Stage

Perhaps one of the least known bands at the festival, these UK indie rockers are absolutely a can’t miss act. They bring all the elements of good indie rock and pop to make some truly incredible and original music. Get to the festival early on Friday and make sure to catch these guys play their hearts out.

OutKast – Friday @ 9:15 – GovBall Stage

Do I even need to explain myself here? It’s Outkast. Reunited after almost a decade to bring their unique style of southern hip-hop to NYC. Perhaps the most innovative and talented hip-hop duo of all time, these dudes are an absolute can’t miss. With so much good music, their entire set could be populated with all of their biggest hits and lesser known gems. And who doesn’t want to be yelling “I am fo real” during the hook to “Ms. Jackson?”

Foster the People – Sunday @6:45 – GovBall Stage

Everytime I have seen FtP, they have had an entirely new show, blasting their special brand of the catchiest damn indie pop I’ve ever heard, and incorporating incredible set pieces and effects that are nothing short of mind-blowing. From a giant LCD Olmec head with acrobats spewing from it’s mouth to giant inflatable monsters, Foster the People have taken performing music to an whole new level, and for that, you can not miss these guys.

Vampire Weekend -Sunday @ 9:15 – GovBall Stage

NEVER SKIP THE HOMETOWN SHOW! I keep repeating it because it’s so important. And Vampire Weekend is headlining the festival in their hometown. I expect they’ll be playing one of the best performances that they’ve ever given. Their origianal style of “upper west side soweto” mixed with classic indie pop elements make them not only one of my favorite bands of all time, but an extremely critically acclaimed act, with their most recent album Modern Vampires of the City making it to the top of plenty of “Album of the Year” lists. Do not miss Vampire Weekend

Earl Sweatshirt/Tyler the Creator – 3:00 Honda Stage/ 3:45 Big Apple Stage

Surely the plan to have these OddFuture rap geniuses play back to back sets was intended. With Tyler’s jazz influences and brash and offensive yet highly intelligent rhymes and Earl’s well earned position as, in my opinion, the best rapper out there right now, the EarlWolf duo will almost surely be playing their best solo songs. What’s even better, is that the back to back sets means that there will be opportunities for the duo to play the songs that they have together, which might be the best work either of them has produced. Plus, it will be real fun to run to the other stage after Earl’s set with the rest of the OddFuture fans, creating a general ruckus all over the festival. Definitely see these guys.

Check back after the festival for GovBall recaps and more!

Countdown to Gov Ball: Part 1

 

I’m havin fun don’t put me down…

 

Well kids, for everyone not living on the west coast, festival season is officially here. And we are kicking off our coverage of a few major festivals with New York City’s own Governor’s Ball! 3 days and plenty of amazing acts are going to make this year legendary. The festival will be held on Randall’s Island, and will feature some of the biggest acts GovBall has ever seen such as Outkast, Skrillex, the Strokes, and Vampire Weekend.

 

 

(here’s the full lineup)

To help get you guys geeked up for all of the incredible artists you will see at this year’s GovBall, we’ve made a day by day playlist full of some of the artists’ best jams. These playlists will not only help pump you up for your favorite artists performing, but you’ll also get a taste of some new music from some amazing up and comers that will be playing the earlier slots.

 

So get GEEKED UP for this year’s Governor’s Ball and the tons of incredible bands that you’ll be seeing this weekend.

 

 

 

Check back tomorrow for our guide to GovBall schedule conflicts and can’t miss acts!

 

 

Countdown to Movin' On 2014 Artist Spotlight: Fitz and the Tantrums

 

 

I feel it in my soul…

 

We’re getting so close guys, Movin’ On is tomorrow! And to help you get pumped up and ready for the show, here is our artist profile for Fitz and the Tantrums.

 

 

Fitz and the Tantrums is a six piece neo-soul/indie pop outfit from Los Angeles, California. You may have heard their jam “More Than Just a Dream” bumping through your radio last summer (as well as hitting No. 1 on the U.S. Alt-Rock Billboard charts), or you may have seen ’em electrifying your favorite festival like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, or Firefly. Maybe you’ve even heard “Spark” while playing FIFA 2013, or “The Walker” on the TV show Suits. Either way, Fitz and the Tantrums’ tunes have everywhere, and now, they’re coming to rock out at Penn State.

 

 

Combining elements of 60’s soul music and modern day indie pop Fitz and the Tantrums fall somewhere in the musical spectrum between Imagine Dragons and James Brown, creating their own fresh and unique brand of music that is incredibly catchy and energetic. Known for their electrifying live performances and snappy attire, the band includes an incredibly talented brass section and vocals from the very soulful Noelle Scaggs. Scaggs, who also has a solo career has formerly collaborated with artists such as The Black Eyed Peas and Damien Marley. The all star band led by the charismatic Michael Fitzpatrick aka “Fitz,” have received acclaim from major music publications and artists such as Adam Levine and Darryl Hall (and Hall’s mom for that matter).

 

 

 

 

 

Their debut album Pickin’ Up The Pieces was released in 2010 and featured the singles “Moneygrabber” and “Don’t Gotta Work it  Out” and “Breakin’ the Chains of Love.” Their follow up album: More Than Just A Dream was released in May of 2013 and made it to the No. 26 spot on the Billboard U.S. charts! Fitz and the Tantrums are a brilliant band that are both well-known and established while still being up-and-comers with a big future ahead of them. So get your dancin’ shoes on and get ready for their sure to be epic set on Saturday.

 

 

See you at the show…

 

Good Times with Badfish at Levels

 

…when you grab a hold of me, tell me that I’ll never be set free

Just in time for Sunday’s holiday (and I’m not talking about Easter,) New England based cover band Badfish brought the good vibes and energy of reggae legends Sublime to Levels this Tuesday night. The guys delivered an emphatic and powerful performance that was both incredibly unique and endearingly familiar. Longtime fans of the music of Sublime were not at all disappointed as Badfish breathed new energy into the songs we all love so much. And Badfish played a full set packed with just about every classic Sublime hit and deep cut, with extended and inventive versions that added an exciting twist to the classics.

As the lights dimmed and the sounds of bong rips and Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre’s “Gin and Juice” bumped through the club, the crowd lit up in anticipation, setting the tone for the entire evening. Earlier cuts in the set list included fan favorites such as “Jailhouse,” the ska dance-a-long “Wrong Way,” and the eponymous “Badfish.” These songs were enhanced by an extremely talented brass section, especially the sax player, whose energy motivated the crowd and inspired some epic circle pits.

 

 

As Badfish laid down hit after boisterous hit, they peppered their set with fun little interludes including a musical duel between the guitar and the sax, a recording of Sublime’s infamous pet dalmatian: Lou Dog, a brief snippet of “Tequila,” and what can only be described as a shouting match between a man and a trombone. These interesting and entertaining additions to the set list helped bolster their reputation of consistently providing the best live cover experiences in the country. And as Badfish filled out their set with Sublime fan favorites as “40 oz. to Freedom,” “Garden Grove,” and “April 29, 1992,” everyone in the crowd found themselves singing along and screaming “187 on a mother fuckin’ cop!”

Much love goes to the guys in Badfish for creating the type of performance and atmosphere that Sublime should be experienced in. Big energy in a smaller venue where the entire crowd can participate is the vision that I believe that Brad Nowell and the gang had for the best enjoyment of their music. The band really captured the energy that I imagine filled the air at a real Sublime show. The singer, Pat Downes, even nailed Brad Nowell’s signature graveled, Louis Armstrong-esque vocals. I must say that I have seen Sublime with Rome a couple times now and I do not think they are as good as these guys, no offense to Rome, Eric, and Bud. Those guys are legends. But as far as capturing the essence of the original Sublime, Badfish has ’em beat.

The gang finished out their set with classics like “Caress Me Down,” “Santeria,” and an incredibly entertaining and diverse rendition of my personal favorite Sublime jam: “Doin’ Time,” complete with upbeat ska variations, sexy sax solos, and heavy dub bounce-a-longs. As the band wrapped an uncannily perfect version of “Santeria,” they exited the stage for the first time.

The encore of Badfish’s set was nothing short of extraordinary. The sax player emerged from backstage jamming to a cover of “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore, that ended right into the infamous recorded intro from “Smoke Two Joints,” followed by an explosive performance of the song. Badfish continued their encore with an extended jam through Sublime deep cut “Pawn Shop,” which again featured epic sax solos and prolonged trippy jams that had the entire crowd moving. The final song of the night was an energetic and interactive performance of perhaps Sublime’s most popular hit “What I Got,” during which, pretty much every sexy girl in the house joined the band on stage in an epic sing-a-long to close out an amazing show.

(photo courtesy of Badfish’s Facebook page)

If you missed them this time around, Badfish is on tour all Spring, hitting cities all over the East coast. If you’re fan of Sublime’s music, definitely go check them out as soon as you can!

Throwback Thursday: That Smell Edition

ooh I need it…

It’s that time of year again. Our favorite semi-secret high holiday is almost here and everybody is stocking up on supplies. For this week’s Throwback Thursday we thought it would be nice to bring you a chill holiday playlist that is sure to help you enjoy the hazy festivities.

The jams on this playlist are the perfect thing to cut through the growing clouds of smoke that you may find yourself in. Bob Marley, Slightly Stoopid, Wiz Khalifa and more provide the chill sounds and elevated vibes that you’ll need to have a fat (jam)sesh this Sunday. So roll up, grab some Taco Bell, spark that shit and enjoy this week’s Throwback Thursday…cough cough

 

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday Sunshine and Good Vibes Edition

 

sunshine sunshine is fine, I feel it in my skin warmin’ up my mind…

 

 

It’s finally time to enjoy some warm sunny weather. Blue skies and sunshine makes just make life more enjoyable. Cook outs, flip flops, pick up football, Coronas, pretty girls in sundresses, the beautiful weather breathes life into the world. So lets breathe the life back into ourselves with this week’s Throwback Thursday!

 

 

 

 

This week’s playlist is all about good vibes and sunny weather. These 40 warm and sunshiny tracks, some as old as the 60s, are exactly what you need to compliment the sunny vibes of this amazing spring weather. From Led Zeppelin, to Atmosphere, to Vampire Weekend, this playlist is full of sunny tunes to bring good vibes all around. So play em loud and open all the windows while you enjoy this week’s Throwback Thursday.