State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Brandon Heurich

Countdown to Gov Ball: Part 1


I’m havin fun don’t put me down…


Well kids, for everyone not living on the west coast, festival season is officially here. And we are kicking off our coverage of a few major festivals with New York City’s own Governor’s Ball! 3 days and plenty of amazing acts are going to make this year legendary. The festival will be held on Randall’s Island, and will feature some of the biggest acts GovBall has ever seen such as Outkast, Skrillex, the Strokes, and Vampire Weekend.



(here’s the full lineup)

To help get you guys geeked up for all of the incredible artists you will see at this year’s GovBall, we’ve made a day by day playlist full of some of the artists’ best jams. These playlists will not only help pump you up for your favorite artists performing, but you’ll also get a taste of some new music from some amazing up and comers that will be playing the earlier slots.


So get GEEKED UP for this year’s Governor’s Ball and the tons of incredible bands that you’ll be seeing this weekend.




Check back tomorrow for our guide to GovBall schedule conflicts and can’t miss acts!



Countdown to Movin' On 2014 Artist Spotlight: Fitz and the Tantrums



I feel it in my soul…


We’re getting so close guys, Movin’ On is tomorrow! And to help you get pumped up and ready for the show, here is our artist profile for Fitz and the Tantrums.



Fitz and the Tantrums is a six piece neo-soul/indie pop outfit from Los Angeles, California. You may have heard their jam “More Than Just a Dream” bumping through your radio last summer (as well as hitting No. 1 on the U.S. Alt-Rock Billboard charts), or you may have seen ’em electrifying your favorite festival like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, or Firefly. Maybe you’ve even heard “Spark” while playing FIFA 2013, or “The Walker” on the TV show Suits. Either way, Fitz and the Tantrums’ tunes have everywhere, and now, they’re coming to rock out at Penn State.



Combining elements of 60’s soul music and modern day indie pop Fitz and the Tantrums fall somewhere in the musical spectrum between Imagine Dragons and James Brown, creating their own fresh and unique brand of music that is incredibly catchy and energetic. Known for their electrifying live performances and snappy attire, the band includes an incredibly talented brass section and vocals from the very soulful Noelle Scaggs. Scaggs, who also has a solo career has formerly collaborated with artists such as The Black Eyed Peas and Damien Marley. The all star band led by the charismatic Michael Fitzpatrick aka “Fitz,” have received acclaim from major music publications and artists such as Adam Levine and Darryl Hall (and Hall’s mom for that matter).






Their debut album Pickin’ Up The Pieces was released in 2010 and featured the singles “Moneygrabber” and “Don’t Gotta Work it  Out” and “Breakin’ the Chains of Love.” Their follow up album: More Than Just A Dream was released in May of 2013 and made it to the No. 26 spot on the Billboard U.S. charts! Fitz and the Tantrums are a brilliant band that are both well-known and established while still being up-and-comers with a big future ahead of them. So get your dancin’ shoes on and get ready for their sure to be epic set on Saturday.



See you at the show…


Good Times with Badfish at Levels


…when you grab a hold of me, tell me that I’ll never be set free

Just in time for Sunday’s holiday (and I’m not talking about Easter,) New England based cover band Badfish brought the good vibes and energy of reggae legends Sublime to Levels this Tuesday night. The guys delivered an emphatic and powerful performance that was both incredibly unique and endearingly familiar. Longtime fans of the music of Sublime were not at all disappointed as Badfish breathed new energy into the songs we all love so much. And Badfish played a full set packed with just about every classic Sublime hit and deep cut, with extended and inventive versions that added an exciting twist to the classics.

As the lights dimmed and the sounds of bong rips and Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre’s “Gin and Juice” bumped through the club, the crowd lit up in anticipation, setting the tone for the entire evening. Earlier cuts in the set list included fan favorites such as “Jailhouse,” the ska dance-a-long “Wrong Way,” and the eponymous “Badfish.” These songs were enhanced by an extremely talented brass section, especially the sax player, whose energy motivated the crowd and inspired some epic circle pits.



As Badfish laid down hit after boisterous hit, they peppered their set with fun little interludes including a musical duel between the guitar and the sax, a recording of Sublime’s infamous pet dalmatian: Lou Dog, a brief snippet of “Tequila,” and what can only be described as a shouting match between a man and a trombone. These interesting and entertaining additions to the set list helped bolster their reputation of consistently providing the best live cover experiences in the country. And as Badfish filled out their set with Sublime fan favorites as “40 oz. to Freedom,” “Garden Grove,” and “April 29, 1992,” everyone in the crowd found themselves singing along and screaming “187 on a mother fuckin’ cop!”

Much love goes to the guys in Badfish for creating the type of performance and atmosphere that Sublime should be experienced in. Big energy in a smaller venue where the entire crowd can participate is the vision that I believe that Brad Nowell and the gang had for the best enjoyment of their music. The band really captured the energy that I imagine filled the air at a real Sublime show. The singer, Pat Downes, even nailed Brad Nowell’s signature graveled, Louis Armstrong-esque vocals. I must say that I have seen Sublime with Rome a couple times now and I do not think they are as good as these guys, no offense to Rome, Eric, and Bud. Those guys are legends. But as far as capturing the essence of the original Sublime, Badfish has ’em beat.

The gang finished out their set with classics like “Caress Me Down,” “Santeria,” and an incredibly entertaining and diverse rendition of my personal favorite Sublime jam: “Doin’ Time,” complete with upbeat ska variations, sexy sax solos, and heavy dub bounce-a-longs. As the band wrapped an uncannily perfect version of “Santeria,” they exited the stage for the first time.

The encore of Badfish’s set was nothing short of extraordinary. The sax player emerged from backstage jamming to a cover of “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore, that ended right into the infamous recorded intro from “Smoke Two Joints,” followed by an explosive performance of the song. Badfish continued their encore with an extended jam through Sublime deep cut “Pawn Shop,” which again featured epic sax solos and prolonged trippy jams that had the entire crowd moving. The final song of the night was an energetic and interactive performance of perhaps Sublime’s most popular hit “What I Got,” during which, pretty much every sexy girl in the house joined the band on stage in an epic sing-a-long to close out an amazing show.

(photo courtesy of Badfish’s Facebook page)

If you missed them this time around, Badfish is on tour all Spring, hitting cities all over the East coast. If you’re fan of Sublime’s music, definitely go check them out as soon as you can!

Throwback Thursday: That Smell Edition

ooh I need it…

It’s that time of year again. Our favorite semi-secret high holiday is almost here and everybody is stocking up on supplies. For this week’s Throwback Thursday we thought it would be nice to bring you a chill holiday playlist that is sure to help you enjoy the hazy festivities.

The jams on this playlist are the perfect thing to cut through the growing clouds of smoke that you may find yourself in. Bob Marley, Slightly Stoopid, Wiz Khalifa and more provide the chill sounds and elevated vibes that you’ll need to have a fat (jam)sesh this Sunday. So roll up, grab some Taco Bell, spark that shit and enjoy this week’s Throwback Thursday…cough cough





Throwback Thursday Sunshine and Good Vibes Edition


sunshine sunshine is fine, I feel it in my skin warmin’ up my mind…



It’s finally time to enjoy some warm sunny weather. Blue skies and sunshine makes just make life more enjoyable. Cook outs, flip flops, pick up football, Coronas, pretty girls in sundresses, the beautiful weather breathes life into the world. So lets breathe the life back into ourselves with this week’s Throwback Thursday!





This week’s playlist is all about good vibes and sunny weather. These 40 warm and sunshiny tracks, some as old as the 60s, are exactly what you need to compliment the sunny vibes of this amazing spring weather. From Led Zeppelin, to Atmosphere, to Vampire Weekend, this playlist is full of sunny tunes to bring good vibes all around. So play em loud and open all the windows while you enjoy this week’s Throwback Thursday.


Throwback Thursday: 90's Beach Party Edition



This place is warm, without a care…


Ahh I’ve been waiting too long for the weather to get nice to bring you guys some sunny songs to jam outside to. And what better way to kick off the springtime Throwback Thursdays but by celebrating the best era for sunshiney songs: the late(ish) 90s.




The 90s did it right. The music was happy, the vibes were good, and  Mark McGrath was everywhere. Dudes with sideways visors with blonde frosted tips poking through the top roamed free without. Even the President was having a good time partying with his interns. Life was good.



(this guy…)

Go outside, but bring this playlist with you. These 42 tracks are the perfect thing for some outdoor shenanigans. Bust out the grill and dust off your sunglasses and jam to songs from when we were kids. Enjoy some serious nostalgia in the sunshine with these legendary 90s pop songs. And even if you don’t have a beach to party at, this playlist will suit you just fine at any cookout, daylong, or any other type of backyard party. So enjoy being outside again with this weeks Throwback Thursday.








Check back next week for some more Throwbacks!