State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Taylor

Anxiety Attack: Bonnaroo!X&%$

I don’t know about anyone else, but ever since this year’s Bonnaroo set line came out I have been having an anxiety massacre! Hopefully it’s just a momentary feeling but only time will tell. I’ve attended Bonnaroo for the past two years and this year’s line-up makes those look like a backyard birthday party. Not that the past two years weren’t the “times” of my life, it’s just that this year has gracefully hit the nail on the head.

Every year I tell myself to start listening through the line-up earlier so that I will know more of the artists and their songs once I’m there, obviously just makes for an overall better experience.

The spread this year seems so much cleaner. There are strong hints of every genre and a more vibrant emphasis on powerful bands that aren’t big-time-mainstream like in the past. I’m just glad to see that it is continuing at an upward pace, especially with sticking to its roots and having a nice supply of monster jam bands.

With that in mind, and the epicness of this year’s line-up, I haven’t had much trouble following my own previous advice. The only problem so fair is that I can’t tell if starting extra early is making me more anxious, or if that anxiety is actually worth the benefit of increasing my musical archive.

Anyway, my main objective in this post is to share some of what I’ve been discovering and rediscovering. Please proceed with caution – This could do the same to you.


Little Dragron


Shia LaBeouf directs Kid Cudi’s short horror film ‘Maniac’

Shown this short film by a friend and it blew my mind. Always thought Kid Cudi was a deep and personal rapper, as well as, an equally captivating actor from his role in “How to Make It in America”, but this performance is just so deliciously cynical that it gave me a whole new impression of this guy. At the same time, Shia LaBeouf kills it as a director, showing that this dude can pretty much do it all. Hopefully, this powerful team will continue to provide us with tasty work like this. Here’s the info on it:

‘Transformers’ star, Shia LaBeouf, has released a short horror film based upon Kid Cudi’s track ‘Maniac’ from his album, ‘Man on the Moon II’.

The 10-minute long short film was inspired by the song ‘Maniac’, but is in no means a music video. In fact, the song isn’t even featured in the movie. Kid Cudi created an original score for the short, but explains that his song might influence ‘Maniac’, but other than that, the two are unrelated.

“Maniac is a short film inspired by the song. It is not a music video and it has no reference to the song content,” Cudi says.

The film features Kid Cudi and New York rapper, Cage’ as two French-speaking serial killers as they are tracked by a film crew.

Shia LaBeouf and Cage are good friends. The actor has been waiting for the opportunity to direct a movie that showcases the rapper for quite some time.

In a recent interview with MTV News, LaBeouf says, “Cage is one of my good friends. Cage, Chris Palko, and I had been trying to make a movie about him for a while.”

“Cudi hit [Cage] up and did a song with him. Cage sent me the song, called ‘Maniac’, so initially, we started prepping this video, which is really like a short horror movie,” LaBeouf continued.

And horror it is. In the opening frame, the audience is warned that the video may not be suitable for children under the age of eighteen. Although well shot and edited, the short is very graphic in nature. Be warned before choosing to watch the film below.

Gorillaz to release new song this month, with a little help

As part of Converse’s Three Artists, One Song campaign, James Murphy and Andre 3000 will join The Gorillaz.

Converse continues their Three Artists, One Song project this month with The Gorillaz, Andre 3000, and James Murphy, formerly of LCD Soundsystem. “DoYaThing” will be released on Feb. 23, along with a new Gorillaz footwear collection designed by Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett for Converse.

Murphy tells Billboard about the process of piecing “DoYaThing” together with Gorillaz leader Damon Albarn and Andre 3000. “Writing the lyrics was the funniest part…  one person would be mumble-singing something and another would overhear him and ask, ‘Oh… did you just sing…’ I don’t know… some crazy words that weren’t at ALL what the guy was singing, and those new, misunderstood words could become the hook for a verse. I loved that about it.”

More than interested in hearing this tasty jam and strongly considering a fresh pair of converse at the same time. We’re due to hear some slang-heavy southern dialect from Andre 3000 and some remnants of classic synth effects and hip beats from everyone’s favorite virtual gang. Got me run back to Demon Days in anticipation, maybe a little ATLiens for good luck. On top of that, James Murphy is should take this piece into a dream world. Bart Scott- Can’t Wait!.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo at The State Theatre in March

For over forty years, the voices of Ladysmith Black Mambazo have married the intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native South African musical traditions to the sounds and sentiments of Christian gospel music. The result is a musical and spiritual alchemy that has touched a worldwide audience representing every corner of the religious, cultural and ethnic landscape. Their musical efforts over the past four decades have garnered praise and accolades within the recording industry, but also solidified their identity as a cultural force to be reckoned with. They rose to worldwide prominence as a result of singing with Paul Simon on his album, Graceland Tour of 1987. 

“Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes” is already an amazing song but with Ladysmith in the mix it gives it a whole new exotic flow. On the DVD, and in a number of videos, Paul just kinda chills and does his normal Paul thing while these guys really spice things up with their high-powered choreography and kinetic voices. Although Paul Simon will not be performing with the group they are definitely something worth seeing.

By the way, Paul Simon has announced plans to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his landmark album Graceland with a tour reuniting him with the musicians who played on the record, including Ladysmith. No specific details of the tour have been revealed as of yet but I just thought it was pretty cool, something to keep a heads up for.

In my opinion, anyone who Paul Simon specifically chooses to have on his album is something to be excited for. If you would like more information on this energetic bunch you can go to their official website

Its a little early but if your really into these guys tickets are on sale now at The State Theatre.

Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes!


Had to throw this in. right quick.

Guster at The State Theatre, brought to you by UPAC and the Penn State Music Network!


Guster is widely known as an alternative rock band that originated in Boston, Massachusetts. Guster started out as a local band, growing out of Tufts University,before gaining national recognition. They have been said to describe their music as “melody-minded, breezy, free-spirited, literate pop.” This will be their first acoustic tour featuring stripped down acoustic sets with a small string section.  For more info peek their website:

Tickets are on sale now on The State Theatre website. People have been asking us to get this band here for years so I’m expecting tickets to sell fast. Just a heads up.

Facebook Event Page

This event is brought to you by UPAC and the Penn State Music Network

Not exactly sure what that thing is…possibly a termite…but its a cool sound.

Umphrey’s McGee @ The State Theatre


Fans who have followed Umphrey’s McGee for any period of time know that there are only two guarantees: you never know what you’re going to get, and Umphrey’s always delivers. Since forming in the late ’90s, the musically muscular and relentlessly inventive Umphrey’s McGee has cultivated an impressive presence both live and in the studio. Check out their sites at or there Myspace

To purchase tickets for their show go to The State Theatre.