State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Nate Grenko

A cappella festival Raise The Song announced, proceeds benefitting Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania

In college, there is all too often the good ol’ dilemma of “Pick Two.” With music festivals, this is usually how it goes: 1. great performances; 2. reasonable price; 3. for charity. You can’t have all three. Sometimes, you can’t even have two.


But not this time.

In response to that terrible ordeal which surfaced nearly a year ago, this November 4th, Penn State’s finest a capella groups are banding together to throw a charitable festival–Raise the Song. All in all, 10 excellent groups are promised to be taking the stage. They are as follows:

  • The Pennharmonics
  • None of The Above
  • Blue in the FACE
  • Savoir Faire
  • The Coda Conduct
  • Leading Tones
  • Grace Notes
  • Rhythm of Faith
  • The Statesmen
  • Shades of Blue

Each will be contributing lovely harmonious vocal performances throughout the night.

Great music? Check.

The festival will be $4 for students and $4.99 for community members, and all proceeds will go to the charity Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania.

Affordability and a great cause? Check and check.

To top it all off, baskets will be raffled off, with t-shifts (1 for $12 and 2 for $20) and pinwheels for sale. Whether you’re a fan of music or charity or hopefully both, November 4th is a date to look forward to!
Here is the event on Facebook.

It’s okay to be stoked. We are too.

5 Free Albums We Dig

Free music is good. Quality free music is fantastic. The following five albums are by up-and-coming artists we simply must hear more from, and applaud for their generosity.

5. Dieter Schaaf – I Am A Child

Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, Schaaf is falls somewhere on the spectrum between a folk singer/songwriter and a hip-hop producer. Present are the elements of deep bass and lofty acoustics. We dig it. He qualifies his inspirations as coming from many genres, plus nature sounds childhood nostalgia. It all came together beautifully, and we’re glad we can grab it for free.

4. The Dean’s List – The Drive-In

These guys are blowing up. And it’s no wonder; their single “Dear Professor” is dope. The sample is ingenious and the flow is tight. Well, the whole record is, really.

3. Ian Axel – This Is The New Year.

Here we change things up a bit. Ian Axel hails from the Big Apple as a student at NYU. True, as far as the alma mater goes, he hasn’t blown up quite as much as that one Stephanie girl we keep hearing on the radio (we’re talking about Lady GaGa), or even Interpol for that matter, but we’re enamored by this guy nonetheless. He simply has a knack for creating a catchy, thoughtful piano tune. He even reminds us a good bit of Ben Folds, and who doesn’t have a soft spot in their callous heart for Ben Folds?

2. Childish Gambino – EP


Donald Glover needs no introduction. But perhaps his music does; this is Freeks and Geeks. And holy crap. It’s tighter than a skydiver’s rope. The rhymes here are simply some of the best in the business, which is saying a lot, really, since he’s practically a newcomer to the mainstream hip-hop scene.

1. Hoodie Allen – Leap Year

It’s Hoodie! It’s Hoodie! This dude is a recent Penn graduate, and it shows. He’s bright–brilliant, even. Despite being a newcomer to the underground hip-hop scene, his production values are impeccable. Not only are his beats deep and his lyrics hysterically dope, but just look at this music video; it’s so novel it could be straight out of Hollywood. We don’t know how he does it, but he needs to keep it up!

To download any of these singles along with their respective albums (all of which are SITR quality assured), click on the video and follow the YouTube descriptions’ instructions.

Spread the love (especially if it’s without the price)!

Muse's 2nd Law Leaks Early

It’s finally here! Muse–unarguably one of the biggest rock bands in the world, both in terms of stage presence and fanbase–had their newest, highly-anticipated album hit the torrents. What are the initial reactions thus far? Controversial. But we all knew that was coming.

The 2nd Law represents a major departure for the rock band from Teignmouth. The band itself has exploded over the last 10 years, and fans need no introduction to Matthew Bellamy’s glass-shattering falsettos and devastatingly great guitar riffs. Those elements are present here too, albeit scattered, not unlike the Newton’s…well, see the album title.

We’re not going to link to the torrents out of profound respect for Muse, but they’re abundant and out there and easy to find. Furthermore, according to the official Muse source, the album will be available for streaming in iTunes this evening.

Below, check out what is guaranteed to soon be a fan favorite song, Supremacy. It’s Muse; it’s marvelous.


Matt, Chris, and/or Dom: if you’re reading this, feel free to stop by the Bryce Jordan Center any time.

New Killers Music: "The Way It Was"

Las Vegas’s biggest band just came out with a new album, Battle Born, in case you haven’t heard. And it’s great.

The Killers’ previous album, Day & Age, introduced some new elements to the band’s sound. Namely, listening to it, one could just tell that this band hailed straight from the City of Sin, in the middle of the desert. Call it a southwestern alternative rock twang, but it was fantastic nonetheless. Check out the track “Neon Tiger” and listen to the instrumentation to get a sense of what we’re talking about.

Well, this new album incorporates that same, distinguished Las Vegas sound, and mixes it with the pure energy from Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town. Battle Born, on the whole, is a thorough romp that only The Killers could bring us. One track off of it is “The Way It Was”; check it out below.

Spotlight: Matt Toka & "Get Money"

Rocker Matt Toka is the 99%, and here he brings the heat.

Born into a dysfunctional family from Ohio, Toka one day loaded up his Civic and did what we’ve all dreamed of; he moved to Hollywood. The burgeoning artist is now working with producer Rob Cavallo, who has collaborated in the past with My Chemical Romance, and it shows because this jam, “Get Money,” feels not far away from the hit MCR had with “Teenagers.”

Getting into the nitty-gritty of the track, it’s obvious that Matt’s the real deal; he’s struggled with finances and that good stuff which all of us college-aged guys face, and then some.

That said, the inner-machinations of “Get Money” are a surprisingly lighthearted yet hardcore romp. Toka bellows “We got beer waterfalls/Lesbian pillow fights/Wallpaper made out of ice cream/Pyramids made out of gold.”

He’s already been featured in the Warped Tour, but we think things are just getting started for this guy. Check out the track “Get Money” now for the tongue-in-cheek post-hardcore punk rock equivalent of Spose’s “I’m Awesome.”

For more, check out his new EP on iTunes. And for the background of this artist, head on over to his about page. It’s a good story.

Get this week going with some free Hoodie Allen

Rapper Hoodie Allen holds a degree in marketing from the University of Pennsylvania, and it shows in the artist’s sheer shrewdness.

A few months ago he dropped his killer EP entitled All American, which peaked in the Billboard albums chart at #10 and peaked at #1 on the iTunes top albums chart. Quite the achievement, especially for someone who is considered a newcomer to the hip-hop scene, and who has given away away all of his previous mixtapes for free. (On a side note: definitely check those out too. Leap Year is the best-produced free album you’ll ever hear. Download it here.)

Hoodie further continued his generosity by releasing the fresh new single, “Hey Now” a short while ago. If you haven’t heard it yet, you need to; it’s infectious. Whether you’re digging a tune with frustrated lyrics, mad party themes, or simply with a ton of bass, this jam has it all.


 So go ahead and download it! What are you waiting for?