State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Mane Zatsko

Keegan Tawa's "Beauty Screams" After Spring Break

Keegan Tawa seems determined to keep his trend of putting out hit after hit going in 2014 with his newest single “Beauty Screams” (coming out March 21st) featuring freshman vocalist new to the EDM scene, Kelly Letter.  Tawa teamed up with his friend Zach Kramer for the recording process and asked local lyricist Myles Billard to craft the clever poetry flitting over the verses like his previous 3 hits (see Tawa’s SoundCloud here).

Photography by Jonathan Fuller and Jacob Skoglund; Artwork by Chris Cubellis

I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the earlier stages of the new song “Beauty Screams,” and I must say, even in its early stages of production, it’s some of Tawa’s most powerful work since Return To Matter featuring Kathleen Warner.  “I’m still working with Kathleen,” Tawa told me, “She’s just away in London, so our next piece is on stall, but it has given me the awesome opportunity to meet Kelly!”  The vocals from Kelly Letter are absolutely stunning, especially for someone new to the electronic music scene and to working with Keegan which was “a delight” according to her.  “We worked efficiently together and accomplished a lot in such a short amount of time,” says Kelly Letter, which is great to hear for fans of his past collaborations. Working closely with both producer and singer, Myles Billard provided fantastic lyrical content to really carry the song.  With a ghostwriter offering words to his last few hits, Keegan seems bent on giving his music a lyrical edge over the competition’s usual less-than-meaningful pop-choruses and candy-coated verses.  Given the music Keegan Tawa’s been producing lately, the finished product of “Beauty Screams” will be a piece to look for come March 21st.

Movin’ On to Announce Festival’s Lineup

Everyone’s favorite end-of-the-year concert is announcing their lineup soon!  Stay tuned to State In The Real on March 18th to hear who’s going to be rocking us out to a great summer!


The 2014 Movin’ On organization, in collaboration with ARHS, GSA, SPA, UPUA and The Lion 90.7, has booked the artists that will be performing at the 40th annual Movin’ On Spring Music Festival and will be announcing the acts on March 18th during a DJ hosted event from 12-2 p.m. in the HUB-Robeson Center. The announcement will take place at 12:45 p.m.

The artist selection was based on feedback from two student interest surveys, band availability, and budget range. The complete lineup for Movin’ On 2014 will be determined after the conclusion of the Battle of the Bands competition for student acts, which will be held on March 22nd, 2014 at 9 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

Movin’ On is an annual, ticketless music festival held on campus for University Park students near the end of the spring semester.  Penn State’s Movin’ On Spring Music Festival is one of the largest and well-known college music festivals in the United States and has become one of Penn State’s great traditions. This year’s music festival will be held at the Park Avenue Intramural Fields on Saturday, April 26th, 2014.

For up-to-date information, follow Movin’ On on Twitter @psumovinon and online at

Dinner & A Show Presented by PSUSWC

With the Grammys and the less-than-Super Bowl behind us, THON is just around the corner, but Penn State University Songwriters’ Club reminds us that there’s still plenty of time to contribute to this year’s total.  PSUSWC teamed up with the in State College to host their Dinner & A Show event, giving everyone another chance to donate to THON.  For $5, students get food, drink, and 6 performances by talented members of SWC in the living room.  Every dollar the event generates goes to THON, so stop by to be entertained, fed, and of course to make a difference in the lives of countless children.

6:30 – Jake Baker
6:55 – Mike Kolvek (of Jacked Rabbit) & Kelly Lynn Barber
7:20 – Andrew Radick
7:45 – Anthony D’Amico
8:10 – Matt Fell (of Heyyo Music)
8:35 – Tyler Ringland (of Amsterdam – band) & Olivia Price (of Fairweather Pilots)

“Getting anxious about the glory that is THON?! Tired of doing the same boring things for dinner every night?! Look no further than Penn State Songwriters’ Club’s DINNER AND A SHOW! Held at the’s own living room, you’ll enjoy a show by some of the club’s extremely talented members while eating a delicious dinner of pasta, salad, chips and dip, and cookies and brownies. $5 will be charged at the door and ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE GOING TO THON. Come out and hang! FTK!!”


SPA LateNight Announces We Came As Romans and Icon For Hire Show

SPA LateNight just announced their next big show for all the Penn State metalheads out there. We Came As Romans will headline on Friday, February 7th in Alumni Hall with upcoming band Icon For Hire opening.

Check out the Facebook event page HERE.

Icon For Hire

We Came As Romans have been around for a while now, but these two metalcore groups have similar influences.  Icon For Hire breaks away from the typical genre stereotypes to bring a more pop-influenced sound, but both bands make use of electronic elements to make their music stand out. I’d never heard of  Icon For Hire, but the first song “Make A Move” I checked out was pretty cool actually, just a really fun, high energy song to get people going. It definitely gets the guitarist going anyway. Mohawk dance party anyone?

We Came As Romans


“SPA LateNight is bringing back the metal bands as Icon For Hire opens for We Came As Romans. This event will be Friday, February 7th in Alumni Hall. The event will begin at 10pm and is free to Penn State students with valid PSU IDs.

We Came As Romans formed in 2005 and is comprised of Dave Stephens [vocals], Kyle Pavone [vocals], Joshua Moore [lyrics/guitar], Eric Choi [drums], Lou Cotton [guitar] and Andrew Glass [bass]. We Came As Romans “…push the boundaries of what modern alternative music should be, while staying authentic to their roots.” With hit singles titled “To Move On is to Grow” and “Never Let Go” this band will be bringing its metal sound to rock out Penn State. The band has appeared on the covers of Alternative Press (twice) and Substream Music Press magazines, in exclusive features in Journeys stores and in Hot Topic’s back-to-school campaign, and appeared on,, MTV Buzzworthy Blog, Axe Body Spray Sites, and Sirius XM Liquid Metal.

Icon for Hire, a female led nu metal band, choosing their name as a satirical comment on the state of the music industry, combines pop punk and alternative metal elements with strings and electronics. They recently released their new album, Icon for Hire, in October 2013. Influences cited by the band have included hard rock bands like Linkin Park and Rage Against the Machine, as well as pop- and hip hop-oriented artists such as Skrillex, The Black Eyed Peas, and Lady Gaga. This band will be opening for We Came As Romans.”


We Came As Romans – Fade Away

We Came As Romans – Hope


Icon For Hire – Make A Move

Icon For Hire – Get Well

First SWC Open Mic of Spring Semester


Penn State University Songwriters Club just announced their first open mic of the 2014 semester! It will be in East Halls at the Big Onion with sign-ups starting at 7 o’clock and performances going from 7:30-10:30. Time to show off those songs you’ve been writing this break about being bored at home and missing Penn State (that’s a pretty good line right there actually…), or maybe that new cover you learned while hiding from the subzero temperatures outside!  Even if all you’ve got to offer is an open ear, stop by the Big O for some jams.

Facebook event page here.