State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Tina Letter

PSU Songwriters' Club East Halls Open Mic Night!

Tonight on The Big Onion’s stage in East Halls, Penn State’s Songwriters’ Club is hosting their first open mic of the year! The open mic is being held to showcase Penn State musicians who want to get their voices and music heard. The club’s officers are extremely excited to host the open mic in east halls. They hope that it will catch the attention of some freshmen who are eager to start playing outside of their dorm room walls.

Important information:

Sign-ups start at 7:30pm with the first act starting at 8. Each slot is 15 minutes (enough for 3 songs).

A PA system is being provided along with two microphones and a keyboard. If you are looking for a way to get your music heard and meet some other local musicians to collaborate with, this is the perfect event for you.


For more information or if you’d like to ask one of the officers a question, follow this link to the facebook event page:


Also, if you are interested joining Songwriters’ Club, general meetings are held every other Wednesday at 7:30 in 205 Ferguson.

New Music Tuesday – September 11th 2012

Happy Tuesday everyone! I know that you guys were just getting settled into your favorite tracks from the releases last week, but this month has a lot in store for us music junkies!


The Avett Brothers –The Carpenter

This band’s performance as the headliners for Movin’ On last year helped them gain a large following at Penn State, and they fed this following by releasing their 6th studio album today. This album is a big step for brothers Seth and Scott with their single “Live and Die” catching the attention of folk music lovers everywhere. The album is available on iTunes and their music video for “Live and Die” can be found linked into this article.

Dave Matthews Band – Away From the World

After another successful summer tour that teased fans everywhere with samples of his new music, Dave Matthews Band has treated their fans with the release of their 8th studio album today. Away from the World features the return of the band’s producer, Steve Lillywhite, who has not been involved with the band since 2000. Dave Matthews Band also got their fans involved in the release of the music video for “Mercy” by having them submit personal videos and pictures to go along with the lyrics of the song. The album has been streaming on iTunes for the past week, and fans were able to preorder it a few weeks ago, but if you still have yet to pick it up I recommend you do so on iTunes. Also, check out the music video for “Mercy” below.

The XX- Coexist

         This indie pop group is releasing their second studio album. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this band, their first self-titled album can be described as soothing alternative indie rock with electronic melodies and chilling vocals. The band gained a large following in Britain where they were nominated for “Best British Album” and “Best British Breakthrough” in 2011. Their sophomore album, Coexist, streamed live on September 3rd where anxious fans were able to hear the album in full along with the two singles “Angels” and “Chained”. The music video for Angels can be found below, and the album is available on iTunes.

Bob Dylan –Temptest

         Yes, Bob Dylan is still going strong with his release today of his thirty-fifth studio album, Temptest. This album includes interesting tracks such as the fourteen minute long title track “Temptest” that is a tribute to the James Cameron movie The Titanic. Some of the other noteworthy tracks include “Roll on John” which is a tribute to John Lennon as it references several Beatles tracks in the lyrics. See if you can figure out which ones when you check out his album, available on iTunes today.

Zane Matsko's Debut Album "Lifeboats & Anchors" Review

Some of you may know Zane Matsko from the signature acoustic hip-hop covers that he frequently performs at Penn State open-mic nights, or as an active member in Penn State’s Songwriters’ Club.  You may also know Zane as one of the wittiest characters in the twitter-verse, giving us a 140-character look into his hilarious inner-monologue (@manezatsko).  But regardless of how much you know Zane, its indispuatable that Zane is one of the most genuine people in State College.  He released his debut album Lifeboats & Anchors under the moniker Mane Zatsko, and the release is a true testament to his talent.

If you are looking for the type of album that you can listen to from start to finish while sitting at a coffee shop doing work, walking from class to class or in the alone in the comfort of your room, then this is the right album for you.  Zane’s lyrically dynamic acoustic melodies can offer you the type of support a music lover looks for in a favorite song.  From the first song “Intro (Wake Me Up)” it is clear that this young songwriter has some serious potential.  One of my favorite tracks from this album is “Moments Like These,” a standout track with a chorus that perfectly showcases his vocal and songwriting abilities.  Additionally, the title track “Lifeboats & Anchors” is a prime example of Zane’s editing skills.  Zane also features the vocal talents of Sara Thornton in his track “Getting Old Fast”.  Thornton’s sweet voice compliments Zane’s perfectly as their harmonies serve as a flawless addition to the track.

I would recommend downloading Zane’s album to anyone who not only enjoys good local music, but good music in general. Indulge in the acoustic alternative grandeur with lyrics that are nothing short of pure gold.  Grace yourself with a collection of tracks by a musician who is not only gifted, but is also genuine.  Also, since Zane is a local musician you will able to see him perform these songs sometime this semester, and there is nothing better than being able to see an artist that you fall in love with live.  You have nothing to lose by listening to this album because if you ever get lucky enough to be friends with Zane, you will realize that his music is an exact reflection of him: it’s absolutely wonderful.

Use this link to listen/download:

Check out one of Zane’s most recent cover videos on Youtube:

“Beach Baby” by Bon Iver

New Music Tuesday- September 4th 2012

ITS TUESDAY! And for all you music lovers out there, we know that means one thing: NEW MUSIC! This upcoming month is a big one for album releases, and the new music frenzy starts today with albums from the following artists:


Animal Collective

This psychedelic band is releasing their 9th studio album titled Centipede Hz today. They are going to have to compete with the success of their last album Merriweather Post Pavilion, which was released in 2009.  MPP reached 13th place in the US charts and 2nd place in the US indie charts. Long time fans will be excited to hear of the return of band member Deakin, who took a hiatus from the band for their last album and tour. You can check out their newest single “Today’s Supernatural” on Youtube and download the album off of Itunes.

Today’s Supernatural:

Imagine Dragons

After blowing up over the summer on every alternative radio station in America, Imagine Dragons is treating their fans with their first studio album titled Night Visions. Their two singles from this album, “It’s Time” and “Radioactive” were originally released on the band’s EP  Continued Silence and their videos can be found linked in this article. An additional factiod about the bands recent success: their music video for “It’s Time” is currently nominated for MTV’s Video Music Awards for Best Rock Video. Night Visions is available today on Itunes.

It’s Time:


Matchbox Twenty

If you were anywhere near a radio in the 90’s, then you are familiar with the musical styling of Rob Thomas and his band Matchbox Twenty. Matchbox Twenty is back for the first time in 10 years and they are just as catchy as ever. Their fourth studio album North was released today, but you’ve probably already had their single “She’s so Mean” stuck in your head for the past month anyway. The video for “She’s So Mean” can be found linked in the article, and their album is also available today on Itunes.

Shes So Mean:

Two Door Cinema Club

This indie rock band from Northern Ireland won their fans over with contagious tracks from their first studio album Tourist History back in 2010. After living off of the huge success of their singles such as “I Can Talk” and “Something Good Can Work”, the band is back in full force. They’ve kept fans all over the world addicted to their upbeat electronic sound with their second studio album titled Beacon. Fans can check out their single “Sleep Alone” on youtube before deciding if you want the album, but if you are anything like me…you are just going to head straight to Itunes and snatch up this album right away.

Sleep Alone:

Keep an eye out for more detailed reviews for these albums later on this week!

But in the mean time, take a listen yourselves and let us know what you think!

Engorge yourselves in the new music feast and we’ll get excited for next Tuesday!