PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Mixed Bag at Bad Publicity Fall Showcase

Last night, the Bad Publicity blog put on a five-act show of local music at Abba Java coffee house. It lasted for about three hours and included acoustic, hip-hop, and electronic dance music (EDM for the comme il faut among you, but that’s another story).

First to take the stage was the band The Had Knots, a four-piece group who had two guitars, a drummer, and a singer. The first couple of songs sounded like decent acoustic rock tunes that Jack Johnson might put out, despite the singer sounding an awful lot like Luke Pritchard from The Kooks.

Then they kicked it up and launched into “She’s Enough”, and you could see the band’s energy getting more intense from here on through. “Up to My Neck” showed the other side of their catalogue, set in a minor key and with more explosive vocals. Overall, the first half was solid, but the second half’s songs showed more variety with their tone and volume.

Chris-Topher was supposed to perform next, but Topher (@TopherNOW) ended up going Chris-less since his bandmate couldn’t make it. An acoustic performer as well, Topher is the guy you think of with his guitar, sitting under a tree on the quad, serenading the coeds with his suave licks. But you can’t really fault him for the stereotype because he’s really pretty good at what he does. His voice is something bluesy like Dave Matthews but also somewhat higher and more nasal, which gives it a distinguishing quality. Topher was more mellow than The Had Knots, as each song seemed to roll right into the next.

Then came the hip-hop emcee part of the evening. I’ll just come right out with it: this was a swing and a miss. But it wasn’t any of the musicians’ fault; it was just completely the wrong venue for them. Abba Java is a coffee house in the basement of a church, and with the setup of chairs and couches, it wasn’t at all conducive to music that called for everyone to “get hype.”

The U (@U_goBoy), the first act, probably spent more time enforcing his “no-sitting rule” and telling the crowd to put their hands up and teaching them their call-and-response roles (he snuck a “We are…Penn State” cadence into every song) than actually performing his songs. It was almost more of a demonstration than a performance. That said, his fundamentals were solid and his actual music was good, but the speakers weren’t loud enough to bring out its power, and the crowd was just not getting into it no matter the effort, especially just coming off of two acoustic acts. It was pretty awkward.

Malik LRB (@MalikLRB), who followed, had many of the same problems, but his stage presence was less assuming and that seemed to have the crowd in better form, as they were less conscious of how stark the difference was between the environment and the performer.

He opened with “Penn State Rap,” which featured gratuitous Penn State references in an ode to our alma mater, with the best by far being “Who should I pick: Bolden or McGloin?” Clearly the song was written last year. His main problem was that with remixes and samplings of other pop songs, he couldn’t match the lyrics; it was like listening to drunk kids sing at a party. But he looked like he was having a lot of fun up there, which actually made up for a lot of the awkwardness of his set.

So with that in the books, I wasn’t expecting Tawa & Atomisk to really be much better, as an EDM act in — as I said before — the basement of a church. But surprisingly, it actually worked really well. You had people sitting or standing up and dancing (members of the EDM club showed up for this segment). You could be listening to this music at a huge rave or just sitting with your droogs in the Korova Milk Bar. Keegan Tawa even busted out his saxophone for a piece in the middle of the set. Maybe it wouldn’t have worked following the acoustic part, but there was just something that fused the hype and the chill, and kept everyone around until the end.

In the end, it was a good night and I’m glad I went out to the show. There was nothing that was unforgivably bad about any of the music, but it definitely could have been unlocked better under certain other conditions. Regardless, it was the fall showcase and @BadPublicityBLG did showcase some of State College’s local musical acts. So next time this rolls around, fill up the house and maybe it’ll be a better party.

About the Author

Dan McCool

Dan is a senior and has been writing for Onward State since January 2010. Did you miss him? Nah, neither did we. He's returning after a semester abroad in England and will be serving as Arts Editor. Favorite things in life include references to The Big Lebowski.

Comments

More by Dan

Erase Your Expectations: Dan McCool’s Senior Column

Don’t worry about what you should be doing, or how what you’re doing is going to fit into the cadre of college—or Penn State, for that matter—predetermined by our culture. Go make your own Penn State, without any expectations; you’ll be much happier.

After Condom Spat, UPUA Approves Funding for Sexual Violence Prevention & Awareness Month

UPUA Is Walking to Harrisburg, Not Much Else

Athletics

Tony Carr Experienced ‘Greatest Feeling Of His Life’ At NBA Draft

“Just to be able to hear my name called at the NBA Draft, it’s just a dream come true.” Penn State men’s basketball guard has reached the pinnacle of the sport — entering the NBA pro ranks after getting drafted Thursday night in Brooklyn by the New Orleans Pelicans. Carr, who had to wait around […]

Pelicans GM Excited To Bring In ‘Crafty’ Tony Carr

[VIDEO] New Orleans Pelicans Select Tony Carr In 2018 NBA Draft

Tony Carr First Nittany Lion Selected In NBA Draft Since 1999

Bundling Student Tickets And Offering Options: What Penn State Can Learn

Student Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Penn State’s Student Farm will celebrate the longest day of the year with tours and live music Thursday evening.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting At Beaver Stadium

Virtual Reality: Changing The Game At Penn State

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Pittsburgh-Based Burger Joint BRGR Opening State College Location

BRGR was able to strike a deal for the building in the past six months or so, as the new goal is to open Happy Valley location — the restaurant’s first outside of Pittsburgh — in early January 2019.

Bream Won’t Be Charged With Perjury

Tim Bream, the former live-in adviser for Beta Theta Pi fraternity, will not face a perjury charge for his testimony at a preliminary hearing in the case.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Don’t Like Penn State Student Ticket Policies? Change Them.

That potential lies as much in the hands of active, informed, and opinionated students as it does in those of the profit-driven athletic departments.

Send this to a friend