State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Kristen Costa

Judith Hill and Jason Olcese Rock The State Theatre

Judith Hill performed at the State Theatre this past Friday night. Hill is a young budding talent from the hit Television show The Voice. She was also set to tour as a back up singer on Michael Jackson’s final tour before he passed. She is currently touring as the opener for Josh Groban’s tour, but headlined the show at the State Theatre. If you missed out, here’s a recap.

Opening for Judith was local celebrity Jason Olcese, also known as the lead singer of My Hero Zero. He performed for about an hour, where he showcased his diverse talent with multiple instruments. Ranging from guitar to trumpet, where he really shines is his expertise with a loop pedal. A loop pedal allows the musician to record a few seconds of a drum beat, guitar riff, or vocal run, and loop it over and over and sing and play along with it, creating layers in the sound. Olcese used this over and over in his set, including the cleverly-named jam, “Sir Loops A Lot”. Along with some soulful originals, he played a few unique covers, including a slowed down, blues-y version of “Brown Eyed Girl”.

After Jason left the stage, the audience was curious to see how Judith Hill would measure up to the intimate performance. She surely did not disappoint. She started out her set with hauntingly beautiful a cappella version of “Feeling Good”. She then brought out her backup band, along with two male singers. The great thing about her set was she didn’t fit into one single genre slot, every song had a different feel and sound. Her original song, “Beautiful Life” a heart wrenching ballad, was performed without her band, where as “My People”, a bass bumping hybrid of blues and hip-hop, had the whole crowd dancing in their seats.


One of the favored parts of the night was when she talked about her time spent with the legendary Michael Jackson. Hill told the audience how he inspired her and she always likes to sing a song of his to remind herself of that time she had with him. As a result, she performed a powerful and fun cover of “The Way You Make Me Feel”, and the crowd went crazy.

Friday night was a great night for any music fan present. Both Jason and Judith had original sets and their stage presence was so different from the other’s, yet warm and inviting. The talent emanating from the State Theatre that night was ridiculous and a night that the audience will remember. For more upcoming shows make sure to check State In The Real for all your local music needs!

New Penn State Anthem??

A local rapper by the name of Oxygen Pernell released his new music video for his debut song “PSUing” yesterday. If you haven’t seen this music video yet, watch it below! It was shot at various locations around downtown, and features some Penn State students and alumni, including the Lion and the Boombox Guy.

Oxygen is a local rapper who came onto the scene about a year ago. He’s been performing at Open Mics on and off campus and he is an amazing creative talent. This song talks about every great thing about Penn State and shouts out to our other Big Ten schools as well. Make sure you learn the words and know when to come in for the “We Are” chant, you might be hearing this at the next big school event!

Oxygen Pernell is claiming that this is a new Penn State anthem. That’s a bold statement, so listen below and decide for yourself.


The Fray Releases New Single "Love Don't Die"

The Fray released their new single “Love Don’t Die” this past Tuesday that comes off their new album, Helios, set to be out January 14th, 2014. The Fray, best known for their 2005 hit “How To Save A Life”, released the single this week and have already performed it on Good Morning America and The Today Show to help promote it. If you were there from the beginning or a new fan of the band, you will love “Love Don’t Die”. It’s a new sound for them, but it’s definitely working for them!

One Mile An Hour release Debut Self-Titled Album


One Mile an Hour are a new band based out of the U.K. Their debut self-titled  album is available now on Itunes.

It’s difficult to classify them in into just one genre, every song on the album has a different sound and different approach. The first song, “Freight Train” has an upbeat, acoustic heavy folk riff that gets your head bobbing. Even though there are no lyrics to a few of the songs, including “Freight Train” and the 10-minute closer to the album, “Nine Eight”, it highlights the ingenious musicianship and versatility of this band.

Their lyrical songs as well do not disappoint by any means. The intro to “You Are On Beach” has the essence of a rock ballad with heavy drums and electric guitar. Then, as the lyrics come in, there’s a more boiled down vibe that frames the beautiful lyrics very well. As the bridge approaches, the song completely strips down to just an acoustic guitar and the singer, which gives the song in itself a beautiful contrast.

The influences to this band are many and it shows throughout the album. While listening to the album, you can hear essences of classic rock, folk, acoustic, and even some blues. What makes this album so innovative and unique is the grandeur and larger than life sound that you could hear at a music festival attended by thousands. And yet there’s an intimacy that makes you feel like you could see them playing in a local bar or coffee house. What an amazing debut album from One Mile and Hour, check it out on iTunes, or their website,, and see for yourself.

Lenina Crowne at Darkhorse Tavern Tonight!

Lenina Crowne, a local indie-rock band, is playing at Darkhorse Tavern tonight at 10pm! They’ll be playing a mixture of fantastic covers and unique originals throughout the night and you must be 21+ to enter. It’s going to be a really awesome show so come down to The Darkhorse and check them out!

Here’s a preview of what you’ll be hearing all night! This is one of their original songs, ‘Queen Jane’.

Justin Timberlake Streams Part 2 of New Album on Itunes


The wait is finally over! Justin Timberlake’s new album, The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2, is available for live stream on iTunes for free. The album is available for pre-order now and will be released on Monday, September 30. The full album runs about 1 hour, 14 minutes.

The song list is as follows:

1.) Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want)
2.) True Blood
3.) Cabaret (Feat. Drake)
4.) T.K.O.
5.) Take Back The Night
6.) Murder (Feat. Jay Z)
7.) Drink You Away
8.) You Got It On
9.) Amnesia
10.) Only When I Walk Away
11.) Not A Bad Thing

Timberlake has already released two singles from this album, “Take Back The Night” and “T.K.O”, and I feel we can expect at least one more single after the release Monday. As per typical JT style, there’s a perfect mixture of fantastic beat boxing, collaborations with other amazing artists, and, of course, a comatose amount of swag.