State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Leya Ramer

Highlands house show with Faitweather pilots and plainview: a review

Highlands house hosted another fantastic show featuring Fairweather Pilots and Plainview on Saturday March 29th.

Despite the rainy weather the turnout was fantastic and the venue was packed with eager fans waiting for the musicians to deliver an awesome show and they did not disappoint.

The first band up was Plainview. A more pop punk rock sounding band that included the musical elements of harmonica, mandolin, keys and the more traditional drums and guitar. They visited us all the way from Philly and they put on a great show for us here in State College.
They played a few sappy originals about love and heartbreak, which we all loved, and rounded out the set with some awesome tunes by the Front Bottoms. They had stickers, which are now plastered all over my laptop and free CDs full of music but ran out of tee shirts from their long tour, as we were the last stop. I guess we can forgive them for their lack of tee shirts because what they lack in clothing they made up for in musical talent. We loved hearing you guys play and we  hope to have you back in the near future. You killed it.
Check them out on bandcamp!!


We really weren’t expecting the second band to make it due to the unfair and rainy weather but they came out strong as ever.

Its always amazing to see this local hometown favorite, Fairweather Pilots, kill a set like they did on Saturday. They have restructured and added a few new members to replace some who have graduated. Mr. Tyler Ringland replaced front man Ryan Fox but kept the button up show attire alive and well and Bassist Marc Shively filled in the low notes and kept the bass line rocking. Other members who remained unchanged include the talented Olivia Price, on vocals, Matt Fell, energetic as ever, on keys and vocals and as always Mr. Steve Vannelli, bringing up the rear and holding it all together, strong and steady as always, on the drums.

While a few of the members had changed the overall sound, musicianship and dynamic was just as solif. They played a few old original favorites as well as a few covers. They had us singing and dancing along, doing the hand jive with a 50’s throwback and falling in love with the unique sound that only they can provide.

Check out their music on reverberation!

A huge thanks to the guys of Highlands house for being such gracious hosts and to the bands for putting on an awesome show. We are looking forward to the next show and can’t wait to see who they get to play next time.

the highlands house show 3/29

Do you have plans for tonight?! I bet they are not as good as the house show planned for tonight at the Highlands house! For those of you who’ve attended before, you know what to expect. Don’t worry about bringing anything, they have all necessary supplies covered.

Music should start around 10 pm.

Line up:

Fairweather Pilots

Plainview, the band (on tour from Philly!)

It will be $5 at the door for the wonderful  entertainment!

Movin' On Battle of the Bands Blunder



At last night’s Movin’ On Battle of the Bands, many local bands came out to battle it out for a spot supporting on the Movin’ On stage, but were unprepared for what was about to come. The show was a success, with the exception, however, of one major failure on the part of Movin’ On. At the end of the show, Movin’ On announced that Lenina Crowne was the lone winner, which we have already reported on. However, what most attendees, including the judges and the Movin’ On committee members themselves, were confused about was that, just like in years past, the bands were competing for two (2) spots to perform on the stage at Movin’ On later this spring.

It was even announced at the beginning of the competition that there would be two winners. So, needless to say, everyone was quite surprised and confused at the last minute when only one winner was announced. Many people, including bands members, friends of the band and fans, were waiting around awkwardly after Lenina Crowne’s win was announced to hear who would be announced as the second place winner, but once the announcer left the stage and the lights came on, that’s when everyone realized that there would be no second winner.

This is when things took a turn. People were outraged. There was hushed chatter and anger spreading throughout Alumni Hall. The judges were verbally attacked until they explained that they were just as confused as the crowd was. The confusion then continued as the committee members were questioned. When they failed to present any kind of explanation, the Movin’ On Overall Director stepped forward.

While standing behind his velvet rope, he finally confirmed that there would be only one winner of the battle this year. With more questioning, we discovered that he had known about this fact for more than a week and that he thought that he had communicated it to his committee members. However, this is where he tragically failed; they knew nothing of the sort and neither did any of the band member or fans. He made no effort to remedy the situation nor did he immediately apologize to the bands and fans waiting for a formal statement.

Whomever second place was will now not be able to reap the well-deserved benefits that come along with performing and ultimately winning the Battle. The bands don’t do this competition simply for the glory of winning; they do it so they can get their name out there and gain a fan base. To ignore second place’s talents altogether this year, without so much as an honorable mention, is both ridiculous and wrong.

This whole situation is a result of an absolutely horrible lack of communication on Movin’ On’s part. To not even inform your judges, let alone the bands of the change is downright unacceptable. So we write this article to represent the people. This is a call to action. What should be done to remedy the offence that has taken place? Maybe they should announce a second winner? Maybe they should give them all access passes to Movin’ On? Maybe they should have them on stage and announce them as an honorable mention? We don’t have all the answers but  this is wrong and something needs to be done to fix the situation on the part of Movin’ On.

Defend Local Music!

Once again, we would like to congratulate our dear friends in Lenina Crown for their great win last night at the Movin’ On Battle of the Bands. You guys deserve it and we can’t wait to see you on the Movin’ On stage!

Count down to Movin' on's battle of the bands: an interview with Keegan Tawa

Crowd favorite Keegan Tawa will be performing at this years Movin’ on Battle of the Bands on March 22nd.

I got the chance to ask Keegan some questions, in honor of his upcoming performance.

So we hear that you will be competing in Movin’ On’s Battle of the Bands! Have you ever played the battle of the bands before or a show similar to it?

Yes, I have performed at the past two battles at Penn State. Tow years ago, at my first battle, I won!


How will this be different from your usual shows?

As an electronic performer, many – if not most – of my shows consist of primarily DJing and hardly any live elements. At battle of the bands, I do my best to incorporate as much live instrumentation and digital controllerism as I can, as well as bringing vocalists to perform on stage.


I see that you recently got a new vocalist since Kathleen is abroad. How is the new dynamic with Kelly Letter working out? We know she is excited to be working with you.

Kelly has been extremely hardworking, very driven and has been and awesome addition to the team we’ve been building. She has a radically different voice than Kathleen and it took me awhile to adapt to her sound and learn to treat her voice, but it has been an excellent learning experience for both of us.


Will Kelly be performing with you?



Do you know what songs you will be performing? Can you fill us in?

A few songs you will recognize, a few you won’t  and certainly Beauty Screams with Kelly, which is actually being released the day before the Battle of the Bands.

We wish you all of the luck and hope to see you on the Movin’ on stage!


We cant wait for Beauty Screams to come out on March 21st and to see Keegan and Kelly to perform it at the battle!

Until then be sure to checkout Keegan’s Facebook page and SoundCloud for a small tates of what you’ll be getting at the battle!

Organic Eargasms: Foster The People- Houdini

Organic Eargasm (n.) – An appealing or pleasing musical piece normally performed in full production presented without any additives.

For this edition of Organic Eargasms we take a look at Foster The People’s “Houdini”.

Foster The People stopped in 91X in San Diego and performed this stripped down acoustic cover for some listeners.

The original version of this song is fantastic, but this stripped down acoustic version creates a brand new song. The two versions are completely different songs, and that is what makes this such a great acoustic cover.

An interview with My Final Heaven – New single "Schizophrenia"

My Final Heaven, a local band from western Pennsylvania, has released their first single and title track off of their upcoming EP titled Schizophrenia.

The members include Austin Miller on lead vocals , Billy Monarko on guitar and vocals, Cam Lawecki on bass, Seth Valentine on guitar, Shane Evans on keyboards and clean vocals, and Kyle Plummer on drums.

The new single, “Schizophrenia”, starts out with an awesome guitar riff intro and slowly builds to include drums and an eerie, almost haunted house feeling, keyboard. It breaks into a classic metal core drum breakdown and then the screams begin. The screams are sheer perfection, the guitar parts sail, the drums carry the song to a new level and the clean vocals top it all off.

Lucky for me I got to sit down with the band and ask a few questions!

How long have you been playing music together?

My Final Heaven has been together for almost 5 years, but Austin joined the band in September of 2013 replacing Tyler Cramer.

Do you have any shows in the near future?

We are opening up for New Vegas [Tyler’s new band] for their release show March 15. Then we have our own EP release show April 5th. Both shows are at Scumbags Skatepark in Natrona Heights, PA.

Would the band consider playing a show in the State College area?

I don’t see why not!


Also, stay tuned because the EP Schizophrenia is set to drop on April 5th, 2014.


Until then you can checkout the new single below and be sure to go like the band on Facebook!