State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Eric Dowling

Breaking NEWS: 2014 Homecoming Act

SPA and Penn State Homecoming and  presents the band Matt and Kim. The annual Homecoming concert will take place on Sept. 21 at 7:00 p.m. It will be an outside concert on Pollock Road in front of the HUB. This will be a ticketless event that is open to everyone. The Homecoming Dance Competition will take place at 6:00 p.m. directly before the concert beings.

Originating in 2004 in Brooklyn, NY, Matt and Kim met when they studied film and illustration at Pratt Institute. They got their start primarily through live shows and had the opportunity to play at well-known music festivals such as Lollapalooza and The Siren Music Festival. They have become well known for their live shows where fans have the ability to connect with the indie duo. After they signed with Fader Label they got high recognition from their music video for “Lessons Learned,” which was highly viewed on YouTube.  The song earned them an MTV Video Music Awards in 2009 for Breakthrough Video.

Since then, they have had songs featured on many hit television and late night shows such like Community, Entourage, Gossip Girl, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

Sunday Spin: Supermodel

Torches, Foster the People’s first album was one of those albums that seemed to be where every song became a hit. Having an album like that is incredibly hard to do, especially in an age where the album is forgotten just as fast as it is released. When Supermodel was announced, I almost immediately pre-ordered it waiting to hear another gem like “Pumped Up Kicks” but as a true music fan, you cannot expect a band to rest on what made them successful and you want them to evolve and grow as a band.


The first time I heard Supermodel I was not impressed with it, the songs were too slow for what I wanted and the band did not seem to be having as much fun on the album as they did on their first one. Then I saw them live, and I decided to give their album another listen. Finding myself in possession of their record on vinyl I put the needle to record and sat down to get into this record. When the first song filled my room, I realized that this album is truly personal for Mark Foster and the band. Every song you feel had a deeper meaning to it; “Best Friend” is a great example, much like “Pumped Up Kicks” it is a fun sounding song but when you hear the lyrics it is kind of sad “When your Best Friends all strung out” is about a kid who has friends who are druggies and don’t ever want to do anything.


Why did I chose this record for the Sunday Spin? Seeing Foster the People live this past weekend spurred me to go back and listen to an album that I had since dismissed as a good album. Besides its quality as an album, the packaging of the vinyl is very nice. It is very bright and vibrant, and it features many cool drawings to accompany some songs. So as always keep on spinning.

Foster the People Rock the BJC

Photo Credit: Aizya McGee


I remember where I was the first time that I heard “Pumped Up Kicks” I was driving to dinner with my parents, and the song came on Alt. Nation. It caught my attention from the distinct vocals to the fun and poppy sound of the instruments. I was hooked, and about five months later, Torches was released. The moment that I saw Foster the People were coming to the Bryce Jordan Center before the first home football game, before thinking I was so happy and pumped (yes, I can make puns too) to see this band live. When the day finally came, I anxiously walked into the BJC and took my seats. Little did I know, but Foster the People had an opener, a band called the Velvet Teens. First off let me say that the name of this band is incredibly clever and I was at the very least intrigued. After a 45 minute set from the Velvet Teens, who played a very tight and cool show. Finally, it was time for Foster the People to come out and take the stage.When I first arrived, what I thought was orchestra instruments under white sheets, turned out to be glacier like lights. When Mark Foster took the stage, and the band opened with the single from their new album Supermodel, “Best Friends” the show had started on a really strong note. After playing through some of their lesser known songs, but still amazing to see live, they hit a stride and brought the energy back into the BJC with a rocking performance of “Call It What You Want” a song that seemed to get the crowd back into the performance and seemed to get ready for a huge high energy last half of the show. Immediately the energy in the stadium changed and Foster the People fed off it. The next song that the band unleashed for the crowd was their other super hit, “Houdini” performing it live was just as good live as it was in a studio recording. A live performance that was so high energy and pitch perfect, it is everything that a fan can expect of a band. Closing out with more amazing performances of their biggest and most recognizable songs “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Don’t Stop (Color On the Walls).”


Photo Credit: Aizya McGee


Mark Foster and his band brought the energy in the BJC and played a live show that had the same perfected feel as a studio recording. For a concert that was supposed to get students ready for the big game the following day, Foster the People brought the energy and played some fan favorites as well as introduced some other great songs to casual fans of the band. If Foster the People are playing in your area, don’t pass up on seeing them. They are fun, their set is flashy and really cool and Mark Foster keeps the fans engaged with solid dance moves and amazing live vocals.

Photo Credit: Aizya McGee

Hoodie Allen Coming to Penn State

The Student Programming Association will be bringing Hoodie Allen on Saturday, September

13th, 2014. The event will take place at 10 pm, with doors opening at 9:30 pm, in Alumni Hall of the

HUB-Robeson Center. This is a ticketless event; it will run on a first come, first serve basis. The

concert is open to Penn State University Park students only, and students must have a current PSU

Student Photo ID at the time of the show. Press passes will be allocated to organizations that request

them in advance; there is a limit of 2 press passes (1 for a photographer and 1 for a writer).

Hoodie Allen is an American pop-rapper best known for his billboard charting album All

American and mixtape singles: “Fame is for Assholes” and “You Are Not a Robot.” He began his

career as a part of the hip-hop duo Steve Witz and Obey City, a group that received nominations for

MTVU’s Best Music on Campus award in 2009.

Hoodie was raised in Long Island, and upon graduating in 2010 from University of Penn, took

a job with Google – but continued making music and performing in his spare time. In 2011, Hoodie

released his third mix tape Leap Year that he described as his “leap of faith” as he left Google to

pursue music fulltime. He has since released two more albums; All American and Americoustic as well

as the Crew Cuts mixtape. He has collaborated with various artists such as Chiddy, Shwayze, and

Chance the Rapper, and he plans to drop his newest album People Keep Talking October 14, 2014.

New Calvin Harris Song to Premiere Sunday

Calvin Harris, the DJ that won over our hearts this past summer with his infectious hit, “Summer”, will be releasing his next single on Sunday. Harris previewed a sample of the song on his Instagram earlier, but you will have to wait until Sunday to hear it in full. and no the song will not be called “Fall.”


The song, seemingly, called Blame will feature John Newman. The British singer will provide lyrics to the song. So set your clocks for Sunday and be ready to have your ears blown, in a good way, of course.


Artist To Watch: A Day Without Love

Former member of State In the Real, Brian Walker, is the singer of a band called A Day Without Love. Hailing from Philly and have recorded a split record with Uncle/Father Oscar (Represented by Sorry Girl Records). A Day Without Love  plan on digitally releasing their record soon. If you want to know more about their album and the members of A Day Without Love, here is a little more information: Partnering up with emo rock band, Uncle/Father Oscar (Sorry Girls Records), A Day Without Love will be releasing a split entitled, A Day Without Oscar on August 19, 2014. A Day Without Love met the band in the winter of 2013 at the former South Philly house venue, Freedom 35. The alternative rock outfit was impressed by Uncle/Father Oscar’s twinkly guitar leads and impressive harmonies. While forming a bond throughout 2014, both bands knew it was time to help each other with the recording and release of a split.


Using traditional DIY methods the record was recorded and mastered by members in both bands. Lead guitarist Jake Detwiler (American Dinosaur, When Ships Collide, and Little War Twins) tracked and mixed all four songs at Fresh Produce Studios and the record was mastered by Tenor Guitarist Tom Conran (Pelican Audio) in Philadelphia.


With complimentary and differing songwriting styles, any listener of alternative, punk, or emo would be bound to enjoy this split. With hopes to play in mini tour circuits and college shows in the tri state area, you can look forward to seeing Uncle/Father Oscar and A Day Without Love working their way to become known in the tri state independent music scene.


You can check out there Bandcamp Page, and also have a listen to their album on their Soundcloud Page.