State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Joey Kadish

New Strawman Release: Lost My Head

Philadelphia-based band Strawman have released a new four-track EP, Lost My Head. This alternative foursome (whose interests include growing their hair) is made up of brothers Matt and Michael Schickling, Josh Carfagno, and Shawn Jacobsen.

“Cry For Help” is an upbeat rock track, with a guitar riff along the lines of “Floating Vibes” by Surfer Blood.  Another highlight is the closing track “Tiny Planet,” which clocks in at 6:12 minutes.  The slow progression is polished but the song still maintains a raw edge.

Strawman is definitely an act to look out for in the new year.  The album can be streamed in its entirety and purchased here.

PSMA to hold "Clash of the DJs" concert event

The Penn State chapter of the American Marketing Association will be holding a “Clash of the DJs” concert next semester, in conjunction with the Penn State Electronic Dance Music Club and State in the Real.

The concert is free for all students with a valid ID, and will be held at 9 p.m., January 18 in Heritage Hall (HUB/Robeson Center).

“Clash of the DJs” will spotlight student talent, including members of EDMC itself.  Nvrsoft, DJ Desu, Partial and Cheez Grater will be showing off their skills for four straight BPM-packed hours.

“It’s been a pleasure working to bring an electronic music concert to the HUB for free,” said Mark Brewster, a PSMA member and co-project manager of the event.  “We look forward to celebrating a great night of dance music with our friends and fellow Penn State students.”

Phil Kominski to play this Friday at the HUB

Phil Kominski of Lloyd Dobler Effect will play this Friday from noon-1 p.m., in the Noontime Lounge at the HUB as a part of SPA’s Noontime Concert Series.

The Lloyd Dobler Effect, for which Kominski plays guitar and provides lead vocals, has performed at over 170 college campuses over the past two years, but this event will showcase Kominski’s solo skills. Be sure to stop by the lounge (located on the first floor of the HUB) in between classes and catch what is sure to be an awesome show!

For more information on upcoming concerts and events, visit and be sure to follow SPA on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

XOXO: Is Gossip Girl TV's No.1 Music Source?

Gossip Girl may be a pretentious, unrealistic chronicle of rich and spoiled New York socialites, but if there’s one thing to make up for its lack of a riveting story line, it’s the kick-ass music featured on each episode. Amidst the scheming, lies, and galas/balls/parties/charity events/etc., is a soundtrack that would catch the ear of even the biggest indie snob.

Though there is the occasional obligatory chart hit, (think Rihanna and David Guetta), the majority of the tunes come from lesser-known, alternative and indie artists, spotlighting honest and true talent throughout the show’s six-season run.  Now we don’t expect you to subject yourself to all that Upper-Eastside drivel just to hear some songs, so you’re in luck: we’ve provided you with a 20-track playlist that encompasses some of the best music featured on the show, including Crystal Castles, Ladyhawke, and The Kills.

Serena van der Playlist

You can also click here to find a comprehensive list of all the songs featured on each episode of Gossip Girl, as well as a ton of other shows on TV.

You Should Hear: Blondfire

As far as indie-pop duos go, it doesn’t get much cooler than Blondfire.  Comprised of brother and sister Bruce and Erica Driscoll, the pair has recently released their first major label EP through Warner Bros. Records, Where the Kids Are.  What makes Blondfire so refreshing is their ability to make unconventional music listenable and accessible to even the most mainstream of listeners.

The EP is available for download now, which we highly suggest you check out.

For listeners of: Lissie, Metric, Ellie Goulding

Staff Pick – Music I'm Thankful For: Robyn

It’s hard to find an artist as genuine and talented as Robyn. Her catchy and infectious tunes seamlessly blend emotional and thoughtful lyrics with pulsating beats, to create music that stands out in a mainstream world that has become increasingly devoid of substance.  She’s the popstar it’s okay to like.  Here’s one of her best tunes:

Robyn bursted onto the scene back in 1996 when she garnered two consecutive top 10 hits with her songs “Do You Know (What It Takes)” and “Show Me Love”, off of her album Robyn Is Here. She soon disappeared from international spotlight, having success only in her native Sweden for the next decade. It wasn’t until 2008, with the U.S. release of her eponymous album Robyn (her first release through her record label Konichiwa Records and 3 years after the original release), that Robyn really made a comeback.

The album was met with universal acclaim and established Robyn as an innovative pop songstress in her own right. She spent the next 5 years perfecting what would become a three-part series entitled Body Talk, that would be released consistently over a year and eventually combined into one compilation album.

With each part, Robyn seemed to outdo herself, crafting collections of electro-infused masterpieces that easily overshadowed any of her pop competition. Not only did the music cement itself into your brain, but the time and effort put into it was almost tangible and gave Robyn serious credit not only as a singer, but as an artist. She has a remarkable talent for combining futuristic sounds with true soul and emotion.

The album, though only achieving moderate success, was also critically acclaimed, and was soon named one of the top albums of 2010 by publications such as Slant Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Billboard, Spin, The A.V. Club and Rolling Stone.

To this writer, Robyn’s music never grows tiresome and is worlds better than anything you hear on the radio. It is memorable, danceable and embodies all that pop stands for, while still maintaining a unique style all her own. She deserves more recognition than that which has been bestowed upon her, though that’s doubtfully keeping her awake at night. To Robyn, the music is discernibly the most important thing.