Blue Robot

The State of Music in State College

Posted by Marcus Correll on 09/22 at 11:59 AM

During an Elf Power show at Chronic Town in downtown State College, I began to consider the current state of affairs for local indie-rock music.

In a post for Onwardstate.com, I made a call to arms of sorts, saying:

“What indie music seems to need is support from other groups; anyone interested in bringing real shows back to the State College area needs to collaborate. This is a call to arms for all indie rockers, hipsters, or just plain music lovers.

This isn’t a protest of opposition to Glenn Beck like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are doing by any means.

Let’s put together a scene of more than a few sweater-vested scenesters. Let’s build an actual gathering of people who appreciate music. This request is to any music group on campus, any venue willing to host off campus shows, and anyone willing to contribute to the cause.”

Jesse Ruegg, co-owner of Chronic Town, shed some light on the music scene. He said, “This is the kind of place that it’s only big enough to bring a certain level of bands; there’s not a lot of support in the indie music scene in State College.”

“Penn State is a drinking and football school, this isn’t the kind of place that this kind of music thrives.”

There has been some organized effort, though. Groups like The Asylum are in the process of putting together their first show of the semester. They had been working on an alternative/emo show with The Dear Hunter and As Tall as Lions. However, it fell through due to contract issues. Even Onwardstate.com is looking for a way to market to students. Why not collaborate and put together a show that can be funded through various organizations?

I’m sure there are other groups that may be interested: Song Writers Club? SOMA? You? Who knows. But what we need is action.

This is a developing hypothesis that the state of local music needs to be changed for the better. I am, by no means, saying that I want to lead it, but I do think that with the right connections between the right people, we can turn State College into a thriving music town, as it deserves.

What suggestions do students, faculty, or community members have when it comes to how the music scene is presented? Yes, the BJC has great large shows, and there’s always the basement show (a handful of people that charge too much for too little of talent). What we need is a middle-ground for upcoming indie acts. Arcade Fire is be a good middle-ground or how about Vampire Weekend, a band that’s not quite mainstream but still has potential.

Those of you reading this: talk to your friends and spread the word. Let’s bring underground to to State College.

{name} Author: Marcus Correll
Bio: I am a junior at the Pennsylvania State University majoring in journalism with hopes of achieving a writing position for a prominent music magazine. I am an avid concert goer and enjoy rock climbing, golfing and hanging with my friends. My top bands right now are Blink-182 (always a top choice), Man Overboard, Manchester Orchestra and Vampire Weekend.

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