State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Leya Ramer


Here at State In The Real, we would like to take a moment, during this busy thanksgiving holiday, to appreciate all of the songs that each of us is thankful for. Take a moment to read about which songs we chose and why we are thankful for them. Then, have a listen to the playlist.

Eric Dowling – For this year, I am thankful for “Wonderful Everyday” by chance the rapper. I am thankful for it because it brings a sense of nostalgia to a genre that is conceived of being about drugs and women, and this song celebrates the greatness of life.


Ben Rappaport – For this year (and every year), I’m thankful for “Runaway” by Kanye West. I am thankful for it because everyone needs a time to reflect on themselves and listening to “Runaway” allows you to look deep within yourself and be consumed by a ballad that connects your emotions to your actions. Also pianos in rap songs are dope.

Olivia Price – I’m thankful for “Fake Empire” by the National because it challenges listeners to view our generation from a third party perspective. It sheds light on how we distract ourselves with artificial, superfluous things to avoid thinking about the bigger issues. It was really eye-opening for me the first time I heard it, and it still reminds me to value the finer things in life.

Cris Gutierrez – For this year, I am thankful for “Take Me To Church” by Hozier. With music becoming more and more superficial, Hozier is one of the few remaining bright spots. He embodies what music is all about and he’s an artist full of passion. To put it simply, “Take Me To Church” is a work of art, the song is all about a perfect moment with someone you love, but not being able to truly express yourself with the influence of society’s judgment. This break, just be yourself and stand up for what’s right.

Stephanie Davis – I’m thankful for “Out Getting Ribs” by King Krule. Though it seems simple at first listen, the song has a hauntingly beautiful guitar tune and bittersweet lyrics about desire and longing. King Krule (aka Archy Marshall)’s creative genius at the young age of 20 & his unique combination of punk rock, jazz, and even some elements of hip-hop makes him, in my opinion, one of the most exciting artists in music right now.

Henry Ulysses Englert – I am thankful for “Clique” by Kanye West, ft. Big Sean and Jay-Z. This song is about true friendship, a thing Ye, Jay, b.i.g, and I value more than anything. But when I am not with them doing donuts in Ye’s orange Lambo Mercièlago, I also enjoy spending time with my poorer, more homely friends in the city. They are the real MVPs, as genuine, non-hating, dope azz, 03′ Honda Accord-owning people are hard to find in this crazy post-industrial world. My crew deeper than Wu Tang.

Jonathan Lui – Seahaven’s “On The Floor” is a song that I will always be thankful for. The whole composition of the song lends itself to a hauntingly sad atmosphere. While the subject matter may not be ground breaking, the band manages to uniquely describe the process of dealing with an unhealthy relationship/past through their lyrics. If you love yourself go listen to more Seahaven.

Tariq Rashid – I’m thankful for “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake feat. Majid Jordan. This heartfelt Drizzy ballad has become a standard when I want to get in my feels. Everyone’s dealt with tender tale of seeing the potential in someone who people disregard as bad for you. You look past the criticism and through to love. I’m sniffling as a write this. Thank you Drake. I want this played at my wedding.

Emily Foster – LCD Soundsystem’s “All of my Friends” is a song I am always thankful for. The song accuratey represents what it’s like to be at this weird transitional stage in life. I can listen to it no matter if I’m happy, sad, confused and it still somehow explains what I’m feeling.

Aizya McGee – I’m thankful for “Clouds” by One Direction, and their whole album really. It never fails to put me in a good mood, and sometimes I like upbeat pop music to be playing in the background of everything I do (homework, driving, procrastinating). Plus, their first album came out my freshman year, so it’s like they’ve grown with me these past three/four years. Or something.

Collin Edgar-Smith – I’m thankful for “They Want My Soul” by Spoon. The title track from their latest album, this song takes a jab at shallow people living hollow lives. Britt Daniel provides a much needed check for a music scene overpopulated by soulless, educated folk singers.

Leya Ramer – As I look forward to the next month and my impending graduation in December, I am thankful for the song “Drinking Class” by Lee Brice. This song reminds me of my roots and how hard my family has worked to allow me to get where I am today. Not to mention the drum piece in this song is killer.

I have a confession to make…

I have a confession to make… I used to be a music hoarder.. or maybe an artist or band hoarder is a more correct term to use. This wretched disease caused me to seek out awesome new bands and learn all about them (mostly through their wiki page). Then, I would hide them from the world. I would do everything in my power to make sure no one else found out about them. This attempt was mostly in vein, since you can’t really hide a band, that is signed to a label, from the world, forever. They would stay neatly stashed in my stockpile until inevitably, at some point, someone would find one of my secret bands and out them to the whole world, or at least my whole tenth grade, high school world. This made me so uneasy. That was MY band, that I worked so hard to find and conceal, that you just told everyone and their mother to listen to because they are ‘sooooo good’. How in gods earth am I supposed to continue to listen to a band that everyone else is now obsessing over. I’m not.

Then, one day, I found out that everyone was secretly listening to my absolute favorite band. I tried to deny to myself that everyone knew about MY favorite “secret” band but when one of my friends posted their lyrics on social media, I could deny it no longer. That was the last straw. I could no longer obsess over having my secret bands. I wouldn’t freely go round suggesting them to everyone but I would also strive to not have negative feelings toward the fact that others enjoyed these bands too.

It took me another 3 years or so to come to the point where I would openly discuss new bands with my friends. Discussions with strangers and newcomers, however, were out of the question. These artists were scared to me. They made me feel things that no other human could.  The words they spoke and the melody’s they play were for my ears only, like a private concert with an album of songs that were written just for my soul. How could I know that these strangers were worthy of being graced with the angelic tunes of my precious bands. I couldn’t. So I didn’t.

Over the next couple years and a few big life changes later (moving to college, meeting the song writers club kids, and spending a summer at an organic camp with a bunch of hippie kids) I became comfortable discussing music with anyone and everyone. I would freely share bands, songs and albums like it was my job…. Then it became my job. I joined State in The Real and was required to inform the world about all the new music that was released every Tuesday, including some albums by my old favorite ‘stockpile’ bands. Soon I was promoted to the position of local music chair and now it’s my responsibility to connect local, up and coming bands, with the writers that can promote them and spread their name far and wide.

It took some time and a lot of personal growth until I became “musically mature”. I was a long hard road but I overcame it. Now I share music freely and even yearn to share new music with anyone and everyone. I think that it is important for us to support artists by spreading their content, especially if it is good. Stop being afraid that they are going to sell out because you told one person about them. (#protip If a band is going to sell out they are going to do it with or without your help). So knock it of. Stop being a music hoarder and get your sweet self some help. Reevaluate your life. Have a moment of silence. Meditate or something. Whatever you need to do to snap yourself out of this weird, egotistical habit and share freely.

If you or someone you know has a music hoarding problem, help is available. Please contact your local State in The Real writer and ask them to post an article about your favorite ‘stockpiled’ band or artist in a “music you should be listening to” post. I’m Not kidding. Go do it.

The Homecoming Showdown

The Wondershop Showdown will be back at The Darkhorse Tavern on Friday, Sept. 26 at 10:30pm!

Come out to hear all your favorite covers and a good chunk of their original album. Rumor has it there will most likely be a #90spowerhour. They are gonna have special guests, it’s gonna get crazy, don’t miss it.

Also, go check out the Facebook event for the most up to date Wondershop event info.

Hope to see you there!!

Kelly Lynn Barber Releases music video for her new song My Own Contradiction

Local artist Kelly Barber has spent all summer hard at work, honing her musical talents, and now she’s ready to show the world what she’s made of.

Kelly has played at venues across the great State of New Jersey, as well as here in State College. She has brought us tons of original talent and executes cover songs with grace. Now she is stepping into the big leagues with an official music video!

Showing us her true punk rock attitude, she hits us with her latest song titled “My Own Contradiction” and to accompany it is a sassy yet heartfelt music video.

So without adieu, we proudly present:

Kelly Lynn Barber – “My Own Contradiction”


Dallas Green and P!ink collaborate to bring us a new album titled You + Me

Pop – princess P!nk, (Alecia Moore) and City and Color brain child, Dallas Green, have come together under the eponym You+Me to gift us their new album titled rose ave.

The record is scheduled for release on October 14 through RCA Records. Pre-orders are on sale now. Check out the track listing below!

Track Listing
01 Capsized
02 From a Closet in Norway (Oslo Blues)
03 Gently
04 Love Gone Wrong
05 You And Me
06 Unbeliever
07 Second Guess
08 Break The Cycle
09 Open Door
10 No Ordinary Love

This  song is a beautifully constructed duet that no one could have ever predicted would work.  The unique attributes of each artist are brought to the table and showcased in a way that makes the listener take pause. P!nk’s voice, which I find uniquely pretty, with some grunge around the edges, pairs so well with the smooth soothing tone of Dallas’, as well as his intricate and melodic guitar picking.

I cannot wait to hear the rest of the album from this unlikely duo  and see how well they mesh, or not, but judging by the chills running all over I am predicting that this one will soon be a hit.


The You Plus Me Official Facebook released the following statement along with the lyric video earlier today “After months of collaborating and making music together, we are finally ready to share, “You And Me” off our upcoming debut album, #roseave. We hope you enjoy it. Listen to the song on Vevo

Countdown To Movin' On 2014 Artist Spotlight: Lenina Crowne

At the beginning of this year the band Lenina Crowne, made up of mostly Penn State seniors, set a few goals for themselves. The first goal was to play the stage at THON 2014, which they accomplished with ease. Second on the list was to play and win the Movin’ On Battle of the Bands and ultimately open at Movin’ On 2014.

They have succeeded. They will be taking the stage at Movin’ On on April 26th, to open up for Sky Ferreira, Aloe Blacc, Fitz and the Tantrums, and headliner A$AP Rocky!

Until then find them on Facebook and check out their videos below.

The band members include Eric Faust on vocals, guitar and you can sometimes find him commandeering the drum set, Mike D. Mulligan on keys, Emma Ripp on cello, Blake Gifford on vocals, guitar, ukulele and other stringed instruments, Nick Rudenko slappin’ the sax, Eric Seidle rocking the bass and Greg Ford on drums and sometimes playing the guitar when Eric steals the drums.

We would like to extend a huge congratulations to Lenina Crowne on accomplishing so much this semester. We wish you all the luck on that stage, on graduation and beyond. Thank you for many semesters filled with music and catchy tunes. The local State College music scene will miss you greatly but we hope to see you around.