State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Kristen Costa

What's Next for Pop Music?

After the year that pop music had in 2013, everyone is thinking the same thing: what next? What could possibly follow the insane roller coaster that was pop music jam packed into 365 days?

We’re no psychics, but we did our research and found some albums, performances, and awards shows coming up this year that have the potential to stir up some drama. So get some popcorn, take some notes, and place your bets on who’s going to turn heads this year with some crazy publicity stunt.

To kick of this year’s concert season in style, Bruno Mars will performing the halftime show at the Super Bowl on February 2nd at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Its all anyone has been talking about for the past few months. After being crowned Billboard’s “Artist of the Year” and following up Beyonce’s show stopping performance at last year’s Super Bowl, Bruno has some big shoes to fill, but he’s sure to bring the house down in Jersey for Super Bowl XLVIII!

Miley Cyrus will be playing the Izod Center in East Rutherford on April 3rd of this year. This is one look out for, my friends. If her jaw dropping performance at the VMA’s wasn’t enough for you, get to the Izod Center on April 3rd, Miley is not one to disappoint.

Ed Sheeran will be dropping a second album on February 17th. He’s said to have recorded over 70 demos in these past 18 months since + was released. Of course we won’t be hearing all 70 tracks, but he did preview some of the new material during his show at Madison Square Garden in October, and it seems this album is going to make us fall in love with that awkward ginger all over again.

A few highly anticipated albums coming our way within the next few months. Artists like Lily Allen, Lea Michelle, Ariana Grande and Foxes will all be putting out some buzzworthy material in the month of March, but we don’t have specific dates on those just yet.

Although 2013 seemed to be the end-all-be-all of crazy, amazing, powerful, noteworthy moments in pop music, this year, it’ll just be a warmup for the hurricane of awesome that will be 2014. Between all these killer comebacks this year and the brand new artists that blew up the charts, there are tons of artists that hit the ground running going into this year. With the People’s Choice Awards over and done with the Grammy’s coming just around the corner, we still have lots of trending twitter hashtags and viral videos to look forward to this coming year!

A Look Back: Pop Music 2013


Pop music had its share of unexpected twists in 2013. From explosive comebacks to new stars on the rise, there’s a lot to be said about pop music this past year, here are some of the highlights from 2013 pop.

Everyone remembers the first time they saw that crazy video of people jumping around in the woods wearing fox suits, chanting the most ridiculous sounds ever formed, and you thought to yourself, “what were these people thinking?!”. Well, I bet they weren’t thinking they’d be rich. The song that belonged to said video that everyone passed around as a must-see ended up on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, peaking at #6, pretty impressive for what started out as a silly viral video.

A few early 2000’s pop all-stars had some killer comebacks this year as well, including the recently acclaimed “President of Pop”, Justin Timberlake. Timberlake put out 2 albums, both part of The 20/20 Experience, including his most popular single, “Suit & Tie”. The full experience landed him a few awards throughout the year, including The VMA’s Video Vanguard Award, and 7 Grammy nominations.

Eminem put out The Marshall Mathers LP2 this year, and had the accomplishment of having all 3 singles from the album out on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the same time, including “The Monster” ft. Rihanna, which is currently at #1.

Not much can be said about 2013 without mentioning the twerking sensation that is Miley Cyrus. Her single “We Can’t Stop” kicked off our summer break, shocking the world with her teddy bear backpacks and freshly bleached and buzzed ‘do. Her next single, “Wrecking Ball” ended up being on of the most popular songs and videos in 2013.

Another female superstar of 2013 was Lorde, the 17 year-old genius behind the 2013 anthem, “Royals”. The quirky, big-haired teen busted onto the scene with her debut single and dominated the charts this year, holding onto that #1 spot with “Royals” for an shocking 9 straight weeks. Her most recent single, “Team”, is currently making that same climb up the charts. With such success in 2013, we can only expect greatness for Lorde in this coming year.

Speaking of newcomers to the mainstream world of pop music, those proud Seattle natives who brought thrift shops an influx of business are some to mention. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have been making music together for a while, but “Thrift Shop” was the hit that threw them into fame at record breaking speed. On top of that catchy tune, they sent a strong message of care and support with “Same Love”. The duo really made a statement in 2013, not to mention the rocked Penn State when they performed here in November.

But let’s all be real here, none of this compares to the day Christmas came early for Beyonce fans everywhere. Queen Bey dropped a full album, 17 songs and 14 videos, on Friday the 13th at midnight, taking everyone completely by surprise, T.K.O. The album is amazing, no doubt, but the real shock there was the unprecedented success it had without any promotion of the album whatsoever, selling over 600,000 copies in its first week. If there’s anything that the world of pop music can learn from this feat, it is that Queen Bey will always reign supreme.

Review: Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013

This year, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show seemed like more of a party than anything else. When the show began, the Rutgers University drumline took the stage, giving the opening set’s “British Invasion” theme a regal start. The show started out with a bang as Fall Out Boy came out to “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)” which they turned into a duet with Taylor Swift. At first, it seemed that Swift was lip syncing, but it turned out to be that the audio was off for almost the entire show. The duet was unexpected, but even though Taylor was out of her element, she sounded great and gave the song a sexy edge with the addition of a female voice. It was a great song to kick the show off with, the performance was full of energy, giving the models high energy as well, so everyone on stage looked like they were having the time of their lives.

For the next set, A Great Big World set a much more intimate mood with “Say Something”. Even though the vocals and piano were perfect for the romantic set, “Ship Wrecked”, he lacked stage presence, so the performance felt stiff and awkward.

After a set backed with a Miley Cyrus song, Fall Out Boy hit the stage again with “Pheonix”, paired appropriately with the “Birds of Paradise” set. Having a rock band there is out of the ordinary for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, but Fall Out Boy gave the show just the right amount of edge to pull the it out of its stereotypical bubblegum pop acts, giving it a more mature sound. A far cry from the previous year’s act Justin Bieber, for sure.

Neon Jungle exploded the PINK segment with energy and color with their song, “Trouble”, pulling in that mid-teen crowd and grabbing their attention. The band is from the U.K, but this performance could definitely help their breakout to the US.

The finale chilled us all with a “Winter Wonderland” theme. Taylor Swift performed her current hit, “I Knew You Were Trouble”, to a dubstep mix. This is one of her best performances, she pushed herself vocally and the risk paid off. She incorporated the models into her performance and the whole song flowed well with the models walking down the catwalk. As the show came to a close, “Applause”, by Lady Gaga and “We Own The Night” by The Wanted were played as the models walked out with all of the musical acts, then took celebratory photographs. This year was more focused on the music than any other Victoria’s Secret fashion show in years past. The names were big, small, rock, pop, a little something for everyone, and that’s where Victoria’s Secret really went right this year.

First End-Of-Year Mashup Has Arrived


We’re getting close to the end of 2013, and we all know what that means: end of the year mashups! This one begins the first of many mixes including Miley, Katy, Avicii and of course, Lorde.

The mix was created by Daniel Kim, who has been doing these “Pop Danthology” mixes each year since 2010. It’s pretty awesome, and it’s always cool to reminisce about those songs that came out earlier this year, even though you could have sworn that Pitbull/Christina Aguilera song came out in, like,  2011.

Here’s a list of all the tracks that made the cut this year:

Anna Kendrick – “Cups (When I’m Gone)”
Armin van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie – “This Is What It Feels Like”
A$AP Rocky feat. Skrillex, Birdy Nam Nam – “Wild For The Night”
Avicii – “Wake Me Up”
Avril Lavigne – “Here’s To Never Growing Up”
Bastille – “Pompeii”
Bauuer – “Harlem Shake”
Bingo Players feat. Far East Movement – “Get Up (Rattle)”
Britney Spears – “Ooh La La”
Britney Spears – “Work B**tch”
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out Of Heaven”
Bruno Mars – “Treasure”
Bruno Mars – “When I Was Your Man”
Calvin Harris feat. Ayah Marar – “Thinking About You”
Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding – “I Need Your Love”
Capital Cities – “Safe And Sound”
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky”
Demi Lovato – “Heart Attack”
Drake feat. Majid Jordan – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
Drake – “Started From The Bottom”
Ellie Goulding – “Burn”
Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX – “I Love It (I Don’t Care)”
Imagine Dragons – Demons
Jason Derulo – “The Other Side”
Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake – “Holy Grail”
Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”
Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z – “Suit & Tie”
Katy Perry – “Roar”
Kelly Clarkson – “Catch My Breath”
Ke$ha – “C’mon”
Ke$ha feat. – “Crazy Kids”
Krewella – “Alive”
Lady Gaga – “Applause”
Lana Del Rey – “Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix)”
Lorde – “Royals”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert – “Same Love”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton – “Can’t Hold Us”
Maroon 5 – “Daylight”
Maroon 5 – “Love Somebody”
Martin Garrix – “Animals”
Martin Solveig & The Cataracs feat. Kyle – “Hey Now”
Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”
Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”
Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith – “La La La”
One Direction – “Best Song Ever”
One Direction – “Story Of My Life”
OneRepublic – “Counting Stars”
OneRepublic – “If I Lose Myself”
Passenger – “Let Her Go”
P!nk feat. Nate Ruess – “Just Give Me A Reason”
Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera – “Feel This Moment”
Pitbull feat. Ke$ha – “Timber”
Pitbull feat. TJR – “Don’t Stop The Party”
PSY – “Gentleman”
Rihanna – “Pour It Up”
Rihanna feat. David Guetta – “Right Now”
Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko – “Stay”
Robin Thicke feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Give It 2 U”
Robin Thicke feat. T.I., Pharrell Williams – “Blurred Lines”
Selena Gomez – “Come & Get It”
Selena Gomez – “Slow Down”
Taylor Swift – “22”
Taylor Swift – “I Knew You Were Trouble” feat. Britney Spears – “Scream & Shout” feat. Justin Bieber – “#thatPOWER”
Ylvis – “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)”
Zedd feat. Foxes – “Clarity”
Zedd feat. Hayley Williams – “Stay The Night”

Now kick back, relax and relive 2013


What We're Listening To!


We here at State in The Real are always here to provide you with all the Penn State music news you need. So have you ever wondered what we listen to when we’re not keeping you updated and informed? Well look no further! Here’s some tunes we can’t stop listening to, hope you enjoy!

MONICA: “Someone” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This is a B-side from the By The Way album that I recently started listening to a lot more. It’s such a beautiful song and it will always be one of my favorites.

“Hard Out Here” by Lily Allen. This is song is just so. damn. good. I was so sad when Lily announced she’d be retiring and the fact that her comeback is such a massive success makes me confident that she’ll feel comfortable sticking around for a while, which is lucky for us.

JENNA: “You Make Me” by Avicii. This is the song I now automatically turn on when I’m getting ready to go out, working out, or walking to my early class –aka my pump up song. Good work Avicii

“Cryin’ Wolf” by ZZ Ward Featuring Kendrick Lamar: ZZ Ward could be my favorite artist right now. All of her songs, especially this one, make me wish I was a female rockstar.

MIKAL: “In Too Deep (Apollo Remix)” by Sum 41. This song is blowing up on EDM blogs everywhere, which is crazy because it’s a remix by PSU students. Representing the Penn State music scene real big right now.

“Adam’s Song (PRFFTT & Svyable Remix)” by Blink-182. This song instantly takes me back, while keeping me in the now with the EDM remix element. Adventure Club dropped this track in the middle of their set a couple weeks ago and the crowd went NUTS.

LEYA: “Holidays” by Lydia. Since this song dropped on the Devil album in April, the entire album, but especially this song, has spent more time playing through my speakers than mostly any other. This is one of those bands you think about being a music whore with and not sharing the awesomeness of their music but then decided that you could never hide a talent like that. I like this band because they are still in the small time and I especially love this song because it has such a chill vibe and it accentuates Leighton’s lyrical talent. Firstly this song reminds me of a better time, secondly it makes me want to jump in the car, go pick up the love of my life and move to Chicago on a whim.

“Bloodshot” by Aunt Martha. This is yet another band that I love because they are still in the small time. This song is one of their best. I love the chorus and lyrics because they paint a picture in my head. I could and do listen to this song on repeat for hours.

MISUN: “Beware” by Big Sean ft. Lil Wayne and Jhene Aiko – I love listening to this song because it’s very upbeat and it instantly wakes me up. The message behind the song isn’t really happy but I really like the melody and the beat behind it. I also really like it because it has different kinds of music in it as in I love songs where it has rap then it also has singing.

“Make It Home” by Hoodie Allen ft. Kina Grannis – Like I said with the other song I like the combination of singing and rapping together so that it’s not only one type of music style. I like the lyrics too because it’s pretty inspirational and a good song to look up to. This song and the other are pretty different but I think I could listen to these for days.

CHRIS: “Aura” by Lady Gaga. I’ll admit, against my better judgement I’m a HUGE fan of Artpop, especially this song. With Zedd at the helm, Gaga whizzes through the guttural, grimy breakdowns and spine-tingling guitars, and “Aura” serves as one-part love song, one-part ode to the chaotic, wild, dangerous ride to fame. It’s dizzying and danceable all at once.

“Trees” by Twenty One Pilots. I didn’t discover Twenty One Pilots’ January release Vessel until late September, but I haven’t stopped listening since. If My Chemical Romance and Passion Pit had a musical love child that developed an affinity for rap, it might sound something like their unique brand of tunes. “Trees” doesn’t feature vocalist Tyler Joseph’s signature flow, but what it does offer is that mix of sugary electro-pop and bleak, haunting melodies that have made Twenty One Pilots such a sensation.

ERIC: “Frown” by Title Fight. I love Title Fight. Their music, especially Floral Green, is very fitting of Fall weather. This song specifically has one of my favorite guitar riffs of all time. The band paid a lot of attention to guitar tone on this song/album, and it really shines through. If you’re not a fan of the full band version, they do a killer acoustic version of this song on YouTube.

“Drone” by Sainthood Reps. Sainthood Reps is a band which features Derrick Sherman from Brand New. The band’s last album, Monoculture, sounded very similar to Brand New’s last release Daisy. But with SR’s new album Headswell, the band has shown that they’re their own entity, and that they’re a force to be reckoned with. Another Fall-esque song/album, “Drone” is a mellow jam that ironically packs a punch at the same time. Again, the guitar tone is crucial here. In addition to the distant vocals, the distorted, high-pitched guitar leads are a nice touch.

COURTNEY: “WTH” by Jhene Aiko feat. Ab Soul. I just love her melodic voice. It’s so calm but at the same time has passion behind it. She brings me into a peaceful place. I might’ve got way to high—It’s no secret that Jhenê is best friends with Mary Jane. The beat of this song embodies that feeling that you get when the world seems as if it’s spinning, it’s very trippy. I love It!

“I B On That” by Meek Millz feat. Nicki Minaj and Fabolous. This is song is off of his most recent “Dreamchasers 3” Mixtape. Now, I’m not a big Meek fan… That’s because I feel like a lot of his songs sound alike. But when this song comes on I get so hype! It’s me hoe! It’s me hoe! / Walk in this bitch, I fuck shit up then I leave hoe.  That’s exactly how I feel when my friends and I walk into a party.

“In The Morning” by Bridget Kelly. I hadn’t heard this song before attending the concert at levels last week but it had been stuck in my head the whole night after. When I woke up the next morning, I was still humming the song (Because I didn’t know the words). Finally, I had had enough and downloaded it. I’ve been listening to I ever since. Yup, I’m one of those girls who professes their true emotions only through drunk text messages.

ATISHA: “Chocolate” & “The City” by The 1975 have become the two songs I have on repeat lately! I’m not sure where The 1975 have been hiding, but ever since I discovered them, I can’t help but love their brit rock/indie vibe.

 “It’s About Time” by Young the Giant! I have loved Young the Giant ever since I’ve heard their song “Cough Syrup,” but I like this song even more. The beat gets me tapping my foot every time. It is something different from what they have done in the past! I love it!

AIZYA: “Diane Young” by Vampire Weekend. I hadn’t thought much about this song until I saw them in concert last week, and ever since it’s been stuck in my head. In true Vampire Weekend form, the song is catchy and upbeat and I can’t help but sing along to it.

“Team” by Lorde. I love the intro and the way the sound changes up during the song. It seems like just a powerful, simple song.

BRANDON: “Origins” by Tennis (or any other song by Tennis). These guys have been playing nonstop on my ipod since I first found out about them. Two young lovers from Colorado making trippy yet familiar sunny pop music? Yes please. I recommend the entire Young and Old album if you dig this song.

“Good As New” – by Vacationer. I find myself singing the chorus of this song everytime I’ve been in a good mood lately. This song is an awesome blend of swirling hip hop samples and indie vibes. When this song is playing, I feel like I’m cruising down some sun soaked highway with the top down and not a worry in the world. Listen to it when you feel like sunshine.

COLlIN: “Connect” by Drake from Nothing Was the Same. Nothing Was the Same blows my mind every time I listen to it. I love every track on the album but for some reason “Connect” stands out. I appreciate the contrast between this song and it’s predecessor “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, which is much more upbeat. The way the beat crescendos into a driving force by the end of the track gets me every time.

SAM: “Elevated” by State Champs. State Champs released their second full length this fall titled The Finer Things and it is by far my favorite release of the fall 2013 season and maybe even the entire year. “Elevated” is one of my absolute favorite songs off the new album and I can’t stop listening to it. If you’re a fan of solid pop punk, I’d definitely recommend State Champs, mostly because Derek DiScanio’s voice is just incredible but also because they’re really good.

KRISTEN: “The Monster” by Eminem ft. Rihanna. I’m not going to lie, I’m not the biggest fan of Eminem, but when him and Rihanna come together it is absolute kryptonite for me. That being said, I think this collab is a million times better than “Love the Way You Lie”. I love the bit of acoustic guitar in the beginning and the bridge, gets me every time.

“Stay The Night” by Zedd ft Hayley Williams. This is one I’ve had on repeat for days on end, no breaks. This style is so far from what we’re used to hearing Hayley sing, but it really works for her. And Zedd is unreal. I wish I would have been at the show when he was here.

Miley Covers Lana Del Ray's "Summertime Sadness"

Miley Cyrus, who was featured at BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge this week, sang a stripped down cover of Lana Del Ray’s “Summertime Sadness”, accompanied by two back up singers, strings, and a keyboard. This performance is all anyone’s been talking about for the past few days, and mostly it’s been positive. Watch the video below and see for yourself.

This is a yet another example of how talented she really is. Without all the twerking and giant teddy bear backpacks, she’s actually got a set of pipes on her, go figure!