State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Collin

The Tommy Roberts Release New Single

In anticipation of the release of their self-titled debut album, The Tommy Roberts have shared their first single, “Walking Back (To Tennessee)”. The two members Brian Cleary and Nate Cutshall met last December in State College and immediately hit the ground running, playing several shows a week at downtown music venues. Their debut album was produced by Mark Ross and it was recorded at Attic Light Studios by Noah Figlin. This Saturday, September 10th, The Tommy Roberts will host an album release party at the Gamble Mill in Bellefonte. The show will start at 6:30 PM and it will feature Jordan Keith Robb as the opening act.

In his new single, Cleary belts his heart out, singing about a lost lover in Memphis and his sweet country wine. A sharp harmonica and electric and slide guitars join the quiet opening accompaniment for a final build during the climax of this foot-stomping acoustic track. Check out The Tommy Roberts’ Facebook page at the link below.


Album Review: Interpol, El Pintor


With El Pintor, Interpol returns to their previous antics after a two year hiatus.

Get it? Antics?

The album is the band’s first studio effort after bassist Carlos Dengler’s departure in 2010. Dengler’s part is taken over by lead singer Paul Banks and the difference between their two roles as bassists is evident. Though allusions to the funky and sporadic riffs of Dengler are apparent, many of the bass lines on the album are consistent eighth note progression. The juxtaposition of a more rhythmic bass against the classic Interpol sound makes for a more accessible sound.

But enough about the bass. (No treble).

This ten track record pulls in at just ten seconds short of a 40 minute piece. Interpol makes sure it’s all killer no filler. El Pintor has a cohesive sound, though it is by no stretch a concept album. The traditional Interpol sound is still here, with Banks’ droning, baritone voice and the band’s ominous instrumentation all still intact. Thematically, the songs explore lust, overwhelming forces, and self-destructive tendencies. Needless to say, El Pintor is not for the weak hearted.

The album is more structured than Interpol’s previous efforts. There are no lengthy instrumental breaks and most of the songs have a repetitive verse/chorus arrangement. Production on El Pintor was handled by Interpol and the band’s production talent is best showcased through their subtle use of synthesizers and 808s. Guitar riffs are the driving force in the front half of the LP while Sam Fogarino’s drum grooves provide a constant backbone. Touring member Brandon Curtis fills out almost every track with atmospheric keys.

El Pintor is at its best during the opener, “All The Rage Back Home”. The song features an addictive, dark hook and a unique blend of Interpol’s gloomy sound and surf punk.  There are a million things that make this track fantastic but what stands out to me is the intoxicating, organ fueled and guitar led introduction. It’s sick.

“My Blue Supreme” stands out as the only song that gives a glimpse of light-heartedness. Granted, the moment is fleeting and only takes place during the chorus, but it provides an interesting contrast. The album’s peak is reached with track 7, “Breaker 1”, an intense, building work about an unquenchable thirst. I’d say “Tidal Wave” is worth checking out simply because the key changes are cool. The quiet, ride tapping closer, “Twice As Hard”, feels like an ode to Dengler, with its jumping bass riff and conclusive lyrics.

What can I say. El Pintor is great. Interpol is back and they sound better than ever, even if they’re down a bassist.


Fourth of July Playlist: United States in the Real

Tomorrow is Independence Day. It’s a time for America to celebrate its freedom and it’s also a time for cookouts and fireworks. During this patriotic weekend, don’t get caught playing bad music.

We here at State in the Real have organized a top of the line, All-American, burger flipping, pool diving, Fourth of July playlist that will have you dancing till the fireworks are through. From Petty, to Wiz, to Toby Keith, this patriotic mix has got it all.

1. “Born In The USA”, Bruce Springsteen

2. “American Girl”, Tom Petty

3. “Back In The USA”, Chuck Berry

4. “American Boy”, Estelle and Kanye West

5. “Fortunate Son”, Creedence Clearwater Revival

6. “American Pie”, Don McLean

7. “Pledge of Allegiance”, Wiz Khalifa, Planet VI and B.o.B

8. “American Baby”, Dave Matthews Band

9. “America”, Imagine Dragons

10. “Surfin’ USA”, The Beach Boys

11. “Kids in America”, The Muffs

12. “Rockin’ In The Free World”, Neil Young

13. “Made In America”, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Frank Ocean

14. “Party In The USA”, Miley Cyrus

15. “Made In America”, Toby Keith

16. “American”, Macklemore

17. “It’s America”, Rodney Atkins

18. “Fireworks”, Katy Perry

19. “America the Beautiful”, Ray Charles

20. “Free Bird”, Lynyrd Skynyrd


Production by Collin

The Ultimate Summer Playlist: 2014 Mix

I hope that you’ve been enjoying your summer as much as I have. If you’re like me, you’ve spent a lot of time from Monday to Friday at your summer job and you’ve had your fair share of weekend adventures to exotic places (e.g. State College). And what would those countless hours spent in front of a computer or traveling on the road be without good music?

Because I have a gracious heart, I have mixed and organized all of the best summer music into one place. I proudly present, for your listening pleasure, the perfect summer playlist. With artists ranging from Drake to Arctic Monkeys to the legendary “Lil B” BasedGod, this perfect mix is an all killer no filler jam that will keep you rockin’ all summer long. Check out my “Summer Playlist” at my SoundCloud page. The tunes are provided by the one and only Collin.

1. “The Worst Guys”, Childish Gambino and Chance the Rapper

2. “Awkward”, Tyler the Creator

3. “Can’t Fool Me”, Bad Rabbits

4. “2 On”, Tinashe and Drake

5. “Goodbye Weekend”, Mac DeMarco

6. “Mind Mischief”, Tame Impala

7. “Money On My Mind”, Sam Smith

8. “Tom Ford”, Jay-Z

9. “Am I Wrong”, Nico and Vinz

10. “Cabaret”, Justin Timberlake and Drake

11. “No Waves”, FIDLAR

12. “Holiday”, Vampire Weekend

13. “Snap Out of It”, Arctic Monkeys

14. “Favorite Song”, Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino

15. “Latch”, Disclosure and Sam Smith

16. “Fever”, Black Keys

17. (Hidden Track) (BASEDGOD)

Saturday at THON 2014

Today I had the privilege of visiting the floor at THON. As I wandered through the Bryce Jordan Center, surrounded by a sea of vibrant colors and kids wielding water pistols, I chatted with some of the dancers.

Meet dancers Nate Spilman and Kyle Jack representing Phi Mu Delta!

How has your experience been so far?

Kyle: “It’s been amazing getting to see all the families and the children and spending time playing with the kids.”

How have you enjoyed the bands?

Nate: “Lenina Crowne was amazing! They started the weekend on a high note and they’re probably the best band we’ve seen so far.”


Meet moraler Matt Tessitore representing Alpha Sigma Alpha!

What is most interesting costume you have seen so far?

“I’m going to have to go with C3P0. I couldn’t tell if it was a robot or if there was an actual person inside of it.”


Meet dancer Nathan DeTurk representing the Off Campus Student Union!

What songs have you enjoyed dancing to?

“I like the line dance because it gets everyone involved. Everyone is doing the same dance and it brings all of Penn State together.”


Meet dancer William Theodore Olson IV representing the Smeal Student Council!

What songs have you enjoyed dancing to?

“My friend is keeping a “Timber” count. So far, it has been played seven separate times so of course that’s my favorite song.”

What keeps you dancing?

“Everything! From getting sprayed with a water gun to the smiles on the kid’s faces.”


I also got the chance to talk to some of the people working behind the scenes at THON. When I entered the BJC, I was greeted by Captain Tyler Marchewski who had these words to say about THON:

“THON means a lot to me because it brings everyone at Penn State together for a great cause.”


If you’re looking to make a THON playlist, here are some of the best songs I heard at the BJC:

“Wake Me Up”, Avicii; “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, The Beatles; “What Is Love”, Haddaway; “Get The Party Started”, P!nk;  “It’s Tricky”, RUN DMC; “It’s Raining Men”, The Weather Girls; “Under The Bridge”, Red Hot Chili Peppers.

And a big thanks to Victoria Scialfa for guiding me around the BJC!


New Justin Bieber and Chance The Rapper Collaboration

Justin Bieber and rapper Chance The Rapper have collaborated together on the singer’s new single, “Confident”. The track is Bieber’s last installment in his Music Mondays campaign, during which he released a new single every Monday to garner attention for the release of his new movie Believe 3D. “Confident” is the second song in the series to include a feature, alongside “PYD” which features R. Kelly. The single is a funky R&B jam about foreign women with confidence and Chance The Rapper provides a killer verse with his usual stellar wordplay. Check out “Confident” below.