State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Tina Letter

The Latest British Invasion: The 1975

Straight out of Manchester, this alternative rock band has been invading the airwaves all across the states.

The 1975 is a four-piece band that offers a combination of british electro-pop with mellow vocals. The thick british accent of lead singer, Matthew Healy is catchy and attention grabbing, mostly because you are trying to figure out what the heck he is saying.

The band has released an EP so far in the states, but will be releasing their highly anticipated self-titled full album in September. With lyrics that explore everything from sex, to drugs, to everything else rock and roll and a style that takes inspiration from all places such as The Talking Heads, Michael Jackson and even Sigur Rós, the young group has a lot to offer with their full and unique sound.

After seeing them open up for The Neighborhood at the Union Transfer in Philadelphia, I was blown away by their strong performance. I could see these guys becoming huge, their are great performers and extremely talented musicians. I even got a chance to chat with Matthew the lead singer after the show:

“I loved playing Philadelphia, you guys have a great energy, we can’t wait to come back in October.”

Be sure to check out their upcoming tour dates on their site, as well as keep an eye out for their album when it drops on September 2nd 2013!
Take a listen to a few tracks off their EP such as “Sex”, “Chocolate” and “You”.

Blink-182 is Back In the Studio!

Photograph Tweeted by Tom DeLonge from inside Blink-182's Studio

Tom DeLonge, the guitarist from the contagiously famous band Blink-182, tweeted a picture from inside the studio with the following text:

If this recording session turns into a full length album, this album will be the bands second album after reforming in 2009. The band, which formed in 1994, took a hiatus from 2001-2009. When they reunited, longtime fans had mix reviews about their reunion album Neighborhood.

Will this upcoming recording live up to the expectations of fans everywhere? I guess we will have to wait and see.

State In The Real's Movin' On Survival Guide: Expert Advice From Our Staff

As the #1 source for all things Movin’ On this year, State In The Real could never leave concert attendees unprepared to rock out! Our staff is a collection of hardcore and crazy music fans who have been to their fair share of concerts. We also have advice coming from inside the Movin’ On set up process to help you guys get the most out of the biggest music festival of the year! Also, If you aren’t from the State College area and are traveling in to see one of these bands, there are some special tips in this article for you!!

So take some notes and prepare yourselves for one of the most epic nights of music that Penn State has to offer…

What To Bring:

  • Cameras! – Take pictures of your favorite bands (and your new favorite bands) rocking out on stage. Upload them to Facebook and share them with us! If you steal a great shot, we’ll post it to our page! But DO NOT bring any video recording devices, leave that part to the pros.
  • Cash!!- All of the musical acts will have merch tables this year! T-shirts, stickers, albums and more will be available to purchase right at Movin’ On! The Wondershop Showdown will be selling their debut album as well so it will be a great chance to get your hands on that!
  • A Jacket or a Poncho! (Weather Permitting) – The concert starts promptly at 3:00 so the sun will still be shining. However, as the sun sets and the acts get bigger, you won’t want to leave to get your jacket when you get chilly. Also, even though there is no rain in the forecast YET, past experience suggests that you air on the side of caution and come prepared for a passing shower. That being said, NO UMBRELLAS are allowed at this event. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t enjoy getting poked by an umbrella while I’m trying to vibe to MGMT. 
  • Also: Wear sneakers/waterproof shoes. From past experience the ground can get muddy and flip flops just don’t work out well when you are in a giant crowd and the ground isn’t exactly solid. 

What to Leave At Home/What Not To Do:

  • Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking: Movin’ On is a substance free event. Save the drinks for the after party! This event is open to the public so try and remember that there may be families present to see some of the acts. Also, if you choose to smoke cigarettes, please leave the concert area, nobody likes getting burnt on the end of your cigg while waving their hands in the air (like they just don’t care).
  • Tailgating Materials: This isn’t a football game or a concert in your hometown. So save the coolers, lawn chairs, tents and other tailgating materials for your summer music festivals like Bonnaroo or Firefly!
  • Your pets: Even if your cat or dog or lizard or snake is a HUGE Big Boi fan, you’re going to have to leave him/her home for this one.
  • Annoying Things: Don’t be that guy with the laser pointer or the noise maker. Nobody thinks the fact that you are pointing at the lead singer of Gloriana’s nipples is funny. Also, don’t crowd surf at this event. A lot of the concert attendees have never been to a huge festival like this before, and won’t appreciate or know how to handle your foot in their face randomly during Kids These Days’ set. Once again, save that for your summer music festival, it just doesn’t work at Movin’ On.

Where To Go:

  • First things first: If you plan on getting a good spot for your favorite band, GET THERE EARLY! Our inside connection to the Movin’ On world reported to us saying that there are people coming into town from as far as Canada so see our show. This is especially important if you are a big Brand New fan. They don’t play concerts often, and rarely are they free, so big fans are going to do whatever it takes to seize this opportunity.
  • Location: You know that really big Stadium that we have that hosts football games? Start walking towards that thing. In the IM Field right next door, Movin’ On volunteers have worked really hard to make a giant stage appear just like magic!! Honestly, it’s going to be very very hard to miss. But if you are from outside of State College and need more help, here’s a map:
  •  In Between Acts: Check out the information and merch booths on the side of the stage between acts! There will be free hand outs from local organizations and chances to purchase awesome apparel! Come say hi to us, State In The Real will be there!
  • Parking: If you are coming from outside of the State College area for this concert there will be parking available to you next to the stage, just keep following the auxiliary officers guidance, they will help you arrive safely! There are also parking garages open to the public downtown that will give you prime parking if you plan on hitting downtown after the concert!
  • What to eat???: There be many food stands available at this show and the closest eatery is East Halls. So if you are a graduating senior take a nostalgic visit to The Big Onion and grab a slice of Buffalo Chicken Pizza if you get hungry during the show! If you are from outside the State College Area, the dining halls to accept cash/credit however the prices are steep, take your visit to State College as a chance to experience what a dollar slice of pizza at Canyon really tastes like!

Get to Know The Artists:

Our staff has done an AMAZING job writing up articles about all of the artists performing at this show. Listed below is the line up where you will find the times that the bands are performing as well as hyperlinks to the articles that we have written about these amazingly talented bands.

The two opening acts are STUDENT bands that won the BATTLE OF THE BANDS.They fought for their chance to play for you guys, so be sure to show up early and check them out. Trust me you won’t regret it. The opening acts this year are A LOT of fun and will set the mood for the rest of the night.

Final Advice:

Stay Tuned in to State In the Real for all things Movin’ On this year. After all, we are the most comprehensive source for Movin’ On 2013, just ask these guys:

City and Colour Announces New Album & Offers a Sneak Peek For Fans

For fans of Dallas Green’s heartfelt lyrics and thoughtful songwriting, mark your calendars for June 4th! Dallas Green has announced that he will be releasing a new album under his most popular project “City and Colour” on June 4th entitled The Hurry And The Harm.

The track listing can be found at the bottom of this post as well as links to the two sneak peeks from the album that the band has offered up to their fan base.

As a dedicated City and Colour fan, I have followed the project from its debut and very much acoustic album Sometimes, which he followed up with his equally acoustic and successful sophomore album Bring Me Your Love. The band took a different approach when producing their third album Little Hell incorporating a mroe produced and full band sound. Fans were torn between the love they had for the elegant acoustic style that Dallas Green had established for himself and the newer more “plugged in” songs that were on Little Hell. After listening to the two tracks that the band has premiered from the album it’s obvious they are sticking with the same sound they had when producing Little Hell. But Dallas Green has definitely still got it. The songs are absolutely beautiful with the same lyrical genius that Dallas has exhibited on his past three albums.

As a gift to eager fans, a track off this album entitled “Of Space and Time” is available for free when signing up for the band’s email newsletter. You can listen below and if you like what you hear, follow this link for more instructions on how to get the track on your iTunes:

Also, for a short period of time a different track entitled “Thirst” is streaming on the bands SoundCloud featured below.


The Hurry and The Harm Tracklisting:

01. The Hurry and The Harm
02. Harder Than Stone
03. Of Space and Time
04. The Lonely Life
05. Paradise
06. Commentators
07. Thirst
08. Two Coins
09. Take Care
10. Ladies and Gentlemen
11. The Golden State
12. Death’s Song

PS-U Oughta Know Artist: Ryan Fox

When you imagine a college aged male who plays guitar, the typical stereotype is a guy sitting in a quad strumming the same four chord song over and over again to get the attention of any passing lady. But this isn’t the case for Ryan Fox, a junior advertising major who is more than just an amazing guitarist, he is an extremely talented and serious songwriter. Ryan Fox is currently the president of the student organization “Penn State Songwriters’ Club“, and does an excellent job inspiring young student musicians through giving examples of his songwriting.

Ryan started playing guitar in 8th grade and received lessons until quitting due to the frustration of having a guitar teacher who wouldn’t teach him jazz chords. He then decided to teach himself. Ryan’s original endeavor was teaching himself blues guitar, which he did wonderfully. As Ryan’s songwriting and singing evolved he started a full band at his high school, Wissahickon High School, that was titled “The Daily Special”.

When he arrived at Penn State he started focusing more on his acoustic work and as a freshmen he performed as a solo artist opening up for acts such as KOJI and also performed at Songwriters’ Club’s 2011 Concert Benefitting THON. In his sophomore year he formed an alternative band with fellow members of Songwriters’ Club called “Runaway Heroes”. The band performed at the organization’s 2012 benefit concert for THON and at SOMA’s annual arts crawl.

This past summer Ryan worked with his younger and equally as talented brother on an EP titled “Wild Strangers” by the Fox Brothers. This EP is the perfect example of how musical talent runs in the Fox family genes.

Ryan took a step back to focus more on his solo work during his Junior year and performed as a solo artist during the 2013 Songwriters’ Club Concert Benefitting THON. The newest project for Ryan is the new indie band that he has formed with fellow Songwriters’ Club member and past “PS-U Oughta Know Artist”, Olivia Price. Their band that goes by the name “The Fairweather Pilots” is currently working on their first album entitled “They Called It Night” that will be coming out this upcoming summer. But if you can’t wait to hear their songs, the band was selected to perform at the 2013 Battle of the Bands on Saturday March 23rd. Information for that event can be found in the linked article.

Ryan Fox as a songwriter draws a lot of his inspiration from the night time and the woods, as is evident in his lyrical content. He also finds inspiration for the melodic content of his music by experimenting with different tunings and chords. His songwriting mirrors the style of some newer indie acoustic artists and are the perfect addition to any playlist that also features Young the Giant, Coldplay, or The Killers.

Ryan’s advice for songwriters is simple and powerful at the same time:

“Write for yourself and be authentic because if you are true to yourself, you can’t fail. Just write”

You can sneak peak some of Ryan’s original work on the Bandcamp previously mentioned in the article. Ryan also posts covers and originals from time to time on facebook. Make sure to stop by the Battle of the Bands on March 23rd to get the freshest look at his latest project, “The Fairweather Pilots”.

PS-U Oughta Know Artist: Carrie Brandon

When music and performance are part of your major, it’s hard to imagine finding a way to still pursue music in your free time. But this doesn’t seem to be a problem for talented singer-songwriter Carrie Brandon. Carrie is a sophomore at Penn State, majoring in musical theater, who calls Mill Valley, California her home. Carrie has been singing since the age of three and has always had a passion for music and performance. Carrie made the decision to take that passion for music and make it her career, but as much as she loves musical theater, she needed a way to get away from it sometimes. Carrie’s inspiring songwriting is her outlet.

Carrie started writing music in her freshman year of high school. Carrie’s songwriting styles have been heavily influenced by a blend of the old (Joni Mitchell and Carol King) and the new (Ingrid Michaelson and Regina Spektor). Her relationship with her guitar is something that has also come to inspire her songwriting. When asked if there was a thing in her life that inspired her, she didn’t hesitate in telling the story of how she found her “soulmate”:

“I have this theory that finding the right guitar, is like finding the right man. When you see it you just know. I walked into a store one day, and it was there on the wall and I said ‘That’s the one.’” said Carrie.

Carrie named her guitar “Levana” after the name of one of her original songs, which is about the girl every girl wants to be and every guy wants to be with. This song can be found on Carrie’s first album In the Water (available on iTunes, Amazon and Facebook). While watching Carrie perform this song, it’s clear that her vocal training has paid off. But what was also evident was how her songwriting ability touched the audience. Listening to her songs, you will find yourself captivated by gorgeous melodies and brilliantly crafted story telling. As an active member of Penn State Songwriters’ Club, Carrie can be found performing at open mics and student show cases around town. Carrie doesn’t show any signs of slowing, with a plethora of original music in her head, she’s going to be someone for Penn State to keep their eye on. If you wish to learn more about Carrie, please check out her website by clicking here!