State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Topher

Keegan Tawa Releases Funkified Track, Full Circle

Keegan Tawa is making waves in some foreign waters with Full Circle, a new sax-filled, new funk/disco track that he released this past Friday. The piece is a pretty big step away from what we’ve heard from Keegan in the past, but its definitely no step in the wrong direction. Right from the onset of the jazzy wah-pedal infused guitar lick you know you’re in for something different, but Keegan incorporates some signature structural components that remind you what producer you’re listening to.

The futuristic masked duo, Daft Punk, recently took a (somewhat ill-received) turn down a similar road with their new album, Random Access Memories. When asked if moving into this new genre was inspired by the repositioning of Daft Punk, Keegan mentioned that he actually drew more inspiration from Yuksek.

“Sure, I was inspired in part by it, but I’ve actually been getting really into disco /disco house for about a year now. It was primarily by listening to artists like Yuksek that I realized I wanted to begin working in a new direction. Once I began, all of my old jazz chops started coming back to life and the piece kind of wound up writing itself, really. I think the piece is really very different from Get Lucky, for example, if you really listen deeply to it. For one, its much more similar to house, with an emphasis on 4 on the floor, kick and snare. Second, the piece is really rooted in jazz, rock and funk, especially when the solos kick in. So yes, it was marginally inspired by daft punk, but it was nowhere near an attempt at emulation. If I had to tell you one artist that provided primary inspiration it’d probably be Yuksek.” – Keegan

When I inquired as to whether or not he would continue producing in this genre, Keegan said that working on the track made him  “realize how much of my musical person I’ve been neglecting in my previous compositions. And don’t get me wrong, I still love electro/progressive house and will probably still write it, but this is certainly not a vector I am going to abandon.”

Everyone knows that I’m no Chris Will when it comes to reviewing music, so I’m going to go ahead and settle for telling you it makes me feel like doing this.

(Gif Obvi from BuzzFeed)

Take a listen and let us know if you agree!

Penn State Indie Band, Naked Mondays, Releases an EP Recorded Abroad

When Naked Mondays went on official hiatus after 3 of the 4 members left for their respective study abroad trips last semester, America wasn’t done with them. While Collin Edgar-Smith was breaking down jazz chords in London, Nate Spilman was learning flamenco guitar in Spain, and Zane Matsko was devouring every dnb song he could find, Penn State was busy voting Naked Mondays as the best band at Penn State. The drummer, Mike Hickman, might have accepted the award if he were not off the Facebook grid and completely unaware of the band’s winning. “The Hiatus EP” is the result of Collin, Zane, and Nate’s inability to stop making music together despite miles of distance between members. After meeting up in several locations around the world, the boys have brought us a few covers and new tunes from their travels. As the study abroad season winds to a close and the members slowly return to reunite in America, this is a sure sign of Naked Mondays inevitable return to the stage.

Collin on the EP – “The song really came together naturally after not writing with each other for a while.”

Zane on the EP – “Each cover of Custom Concern was recorded on our own so it came out totally different for each of us.”

The amateur recording and cavalier attitudes displayed throughout the tracks really give the EP a Front Bottoms quality. And the singalong to Frank Ocean’s  ‘Thinkin Bout You’ makes me want to sit and reminisce about countless nights spent jamming with friends on porches.

Grab the download and hear for yourself!

State In The Real Weighs in on Daft Punk's New Album Random Access Memories

Whether you were ready for it or not, the new Daft Punk release has flooded the interwebs. There seemed to be a huge wave of support from music lovers everywhere after “Get Lucky”, the single featuring Pharell, made its way into headphones across the country. However, now that the album is available in its entirety, there’s been an eruption of extremely polarized reactions from every corner of the globe. Most people seem to either praise or detest the release. Some of the SITR team decided to share their opinions.

Nate Spilman: “I really enjoyed the album. Incredibly different from anything Daft Punk’s ever put out, while still keeping a signature sort of sound that’s impossible to define. Autotuned Julian Casablancas is a pleasure I never expected to hear. The album is an interesting blend of techno and heavy funk that had me listening to certain songs on repeat.

Mikal Diskavich: “Boring.”

Joey Kadish: “After ‘Get Lucky,’ I definitely expected something more. I just couldn’t see anyone rocking out at a concert to some of the tracks. The track with Julian Casablancas is definitely money though.”

Monica: “I definitely had higher hopes for the album, especially after ‘Get Lucky’ but i don’t think the album is as much as a disappointment as people are making it out to be. Its got a lot of chill songs with cool electronic vibes. There are one or two songs that I just can’t listen to at all, but the majority of the album is good! Not blown away, but still happy about it.”

Topher Stephenson: “I can’t really pinpoint where all the negativity is coming from. I wasn’t expecting much at all (maybe I’m the only one who wasn’t blown away by ‘Get Lucky’,) but this release surpassed my expectations by far. It might not be something I’d want to hear blasting at a daylong but that doesn’t mean its not good music. I can’t wait to throw this on next time I’m cruising on the highway with the sun in my rearview. 1.2 hours of groovy guitars, 80’s synth and well thought out song structure is a thumbs up from me.”

Chris Will: “Honestly, if you look at past Daft Punk albums they’ve never really been hell-bent on creating massive amounts of club dance-jams like ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘One More Time.’ Each album they’ve released has had a few bangers, but the rest of the tunes are pretty artistic, more disco-themed tracks. They’re dance artists, but more importantly they’re musicians, and I think the latter shows through especially with Random Access Memories. They said they were going to create all their sounds organically through this album, I think there’s only one sample in the entirety of R.A.M. Organic disco music doesn’t exactly scream party-playlist, does it? So if you ask me, the album is exactly what I had hoped for, I think it rocks (even if it does have its weird moments), and if you look at it as a cohesive work of art it’s a pretty damn beautiful listen. Oh and I’m jumping on the ‘Instant Crush’ bandwagon. Autotuned Julian Casablancas and Daft Punk combined is sex for the ears.”

 And then there’s our boy Diplo, who apparently can’t get enough of it.

Atlas Soundtrack, The 'U', and Mike Wallz to perform at Levels Night Club

This Wednesday, three of the most esteemed hip-hop acts in State College will perform at Levels Night Club. Atlas Soundtrack will headline the night with performances from PSU alumni rappers, The ‘U’ and Mike Wallz.

The party kicks off at 10:00PM with the usual rules, 18 to party and 21 to drink. Make sure you come out and see these awesome acts before they break away from State College!

If you check out our website on a regular basis, you probably already know all about these guys, but here are some awesome tunes to get you started if you don’t.

Weldon – The ‘U’


Chosen Generation – Mike Wallz


Tyrant – Atlas Soundtrack

Jimmy Kimmel Pulls One Over on Coachella Attendees

(Image from

I don’t watch much late-night programming, but if Jimmy Kimmel’s show is half as funny as this on a regular basis then he just gained a fan.

I find myself wondering whether these people really pride themselves in being “in the know” enough to lie about it on camera, or if they’re just saying yes to keep the conversation going so that they can stay on camera. Either way, this is hilarious.