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State College Music Spotlight: Ted McCloskey

onenightblandState College Music Spotlight is a new feature at Onward State where we find local artists in the State College area and share them with the community. If you are a musician in the State College area or a recent Penn State grad and would like to be considered for being featured in the next State College Music Spotlight, send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “State College Music Spotlight”, some information about yourself/your group, and a link to a sample of your music.

Ted McCloskey rocks. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, a Penn State grad, and a regular in the State College music scene. His music is loud, aggressive, well-written, gritty, and – most of all – rocking. Last June, he released his fifth album, One Night Bland. It’s a 23-track, 73-minute monster of an album, and we at Onward State were lucky enough to get a copy.

One Night Bland is actually two albums in one. The first 13 tracks are all brand new songs, but the last 10 are reworked versions of songs from McCloskey’s first album, 2003’s One Man Misery Parade. Most of the songs are fast and dirty, like album-opener “Hopelessly Helpless”. In fact, only two songs on One Night Bland are over 4 minutes, and neither are over 4 and a half minutes. Some tracks, such as “Tilt A Whirl”, slow things down a bit, but McCloskey has enough energy to avoid the “fast-paced rockers that create terrible, meandering ballads” curse.

This fast pace was evident in the writing and recording of the album as well. Ted McCloskey explained, in a Facebook message to me,

It took about 6 months [to record the album] give or take a few. once i initially got going, everything came together quickly. it wasn’t divided into writing/recording/producing. i was recording them as they were being written. there was an energy to that.

McCloskey might not have a passion for capital letters, but he sure does have a passion for his music. As for the future, there seems to be a lot of opportunities to see McCloskey and his band, The Hi-Fi’s.

Right now, i am having a blast playing the songs from this record. i am not good with future plans. i am not very adept at looking forward or back..hah…i do play regular shows in state college 5-6 nights a week with various projects (with my band, the hi-fi’s, playing every friday night at the phyrst). i am always working on new material and have a lot of things down, but there is no release date (probably sometime next year but don’t hold me to that).

So if you’re into passionate music with energy pouring out of the sides and don’t mind a little bit of dirt and grit in your rock and roll, then you owe it to yourself to check out One Night Bland. Check out Ted McCloskey’s MySpace for some preview tracks from the album. It can be purchased through CDBaby,, or iTunes ($9.99 for 23 tracks is a steal!).

[Picture courtesy of Ted McCloskey’s Myspace]

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About the Author

Evan Kalikow

Evan Kalikow co-founded Onward State in November 2008 with Davis Shaver and Eli Glazier. Having previously served as a Writer, Editor, Standards Editor, and Community Manager, Evan is now a proud alumnus of both Onward State and Penn State. He was also named "Person of the Year" by Time Magazine in 2006.

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