Blue Robot

Lady Gaga poised to outdo herself with new album, ‘Artpop’

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 08/21 at 05:18 PM

The media hype and fan anticipation surrounding the release of Lady Gaga’s third studio album, Artpop, is unprecedented.  For the past few weeks, Mother Monster has been teasing fans with promo videos, a variety publicity stunts, and snippets of information about the album’s first single, ‘Applause.’

Read more »

Comments (0)

Sam Smith releases ‘Safe With Me,’ the first track of his forthcoming EP

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 08/07 at 05:05 PM

In late July, English R&B singer Sam Smith released a new track, “Safe With Me” with the songwriting and production help of fellow dance/pop artist Two Inch Punch.

Read more »

Comments (0)

Artist to Watch: Oberhofer

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 08/02 at 05:06 PM

Oberhofer is a five-piece group that rose from the depths of the NYU music scene in 2008.  The band’s alias comes from the last name of lead singer Brad Oberhofer, who writes and records the majority of the group’s music, employing the help of other group members only as needed.

Oberhofer sit comfortably beneath the widely-encompassing umbrella term, “alternative rock,” albeit with experimentation with a variety of genres, including noise pop, indie, and dance punk.  Brad Oberhofer ventures in a variety of musical directions with his songwriting and often conveys personal emotions through his lyrics and their accompanying soundscapes.  That said, nearly every Oberhofer track is unique and memorable.

Read more »

Comments (0)

Anthony Green to contribute to Balance and Composure’s forthcoming album

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 07/30 at 01:34 PM

Anthony Green announced that he will contribute vocals to a track on Balance and Composure’s upcoming album, The Things We Think We’re Missing, on Monday via Instagram.

Here’s what Green had to say about the recording:

Read more »

Comments (0)

Album Review:  Defeater’s Letters Home

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 07/26 at 05:43 PM

Grade: A

Defeater, a hardcore group from Boston Massachusetts, released their newest full-length album, Letters Home, on July 16 via Bridge Nine Records.

Defeater began playing as a group in 2004 but did not release any recorded material until 2008.  With the release of their latest work, the hardcore outfit has produced three studio albums and two EPs.

Their music is conceptual and outlines the trials and trepidation of the working American family in the years after World War II, particularly focusing on themes of hollowness, monotony, and loss.  Group members have described the post-WWII era as a sort of “gilded age” in American history, where America as a whole seemed to be on an upswing, but the prospects and living conditions of the working and middle class majority were not so promising.

Read more »

Comments (0)

Artist Profile: Jay-Z

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 07/23 at 06:23 PM

Rap legend Jay-Z released the digital version of his newest studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, on July 4th and the record became available on store shelves July 8th. Magna Carta Holy Grail is Jay-Z’s twelfth studio album release making him one the most prolific rappers in modern history.

His role as an architect in the development of the modern rap/hip-hop genre is undeniable. The influential artist has sold well over 50 million albums across the globe and has received nearly 20 Grammy Awards.

Despite his phenomenal success and wealth, Jay-Z has not forgotten his humble roots. He regularly takes part in philanthropic efforts, helps up-and-coming artists establish themselves in the industry, and continues to emphasize the value of hard work and community unity.

In honor of the latest addition to Jay-Z’s extensive catalog, let’s take a look back at his roots, road to fame, and the plethora of contributions to the hip-hop genre:

Read more »

Comments (0)

MTV releases artist nominations for its annual Video Music Awards

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 07/17 at 01:32 PM

MTV has released the official nominations for this year’s Video Music Awards, which will be held Sunday, August 25 at 9pm at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Stand-out nominees for the annual award show include emerging artists Kendrick Lamar and Iggy Azalea, and returning stars like Rihanna, Bruno Mars, and Taylor Swift. Macklemore and Justin Timberlake lead the pack with six nominations each.

Here’s a run-down of the nominations:

Read more »

Comments (0)

Album Review: Pretty Lights changes it up with A Color Map of the Sun

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 07/15 at 04:24 PM

Grade: B

Pretty Lights, an established force in the electronic muic industry, released his newest full length album, A Color Map of the Sun, on Tuesday, July 2.

The man behind the music is Derek Vincent Smith, who produces innovative, experimental music that mixes elements of electronic, hip-hop, and other genres, and frequently employs samples of well-known songs from a variety of genres and previously recorded tracks.

A Color Map of the Sun is Smith’s first full-length release in about three years, and is available for free on his website.  Smith has frequently expressed his belief that music should be accessible to everyone and has the power to unify and empower communities.  Fittingly, his website offers free downloads of Pretty Lights releases as well as albums and demos from other artists on his self-created Pretty Lights Music Label.  Notable artists who work with Pretty Lights Music include Michal Menert, Paper Diamond, and Elliot Lipp.

Read more »

Comments (0)

Music artists you don’t want to miss at this year’s Arts Fest

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 07/11 at 09:00 AM

Arts Fest, an annual event held in downtown State College and on the Penn State campus that showcases the work of both regional and national artists, is a great place to check out some of your favorite local artists or to discover new music.

This year’s event will be held Thursday July 11 through Sunday July 14 and features roughly 40 musical performances. Here’s some artists you don’t want to miss:

Read more »

Comments (0)

Ciara and Nicki Minaj collaborate to produce “I’m Out”

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 07/09 at 02:38 PM

R&B singer Ciara joins forces with hip-hop icon Nicki Minaj in the video for her newest single, “I’m Out.”  Ciara, a native of Austin, Texas, unveiled the video as a preview of her upcoming self-titled album, which will be available on iTunes on July, 9.

Read more »

Comments (0)

Influential alt-rockers, Pixies, released a new single last Wednesday

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 07/03 at 04:33 PM

Pixies released a new track, “Bagboy,” on Wednesday June 28. The group’s first song release in nine years continues their legacy of important contributions to the alternative genre.

Pixies influence on a variety of important alternative artists and the direction of the genre as a whole is undeniable, despite their lack of commercial success. Formed in Boston in 1986, the band’s musical endeavors encompass a variety of subgenres including indie, surf-punk, and noise rock.

Pixies’ founding members, lead guitarist Joey Santiago and vocalist Black Francis, met at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The duo began to play together on a recreational basis, but started taking their musical pursuits more seriously after Francis dropped out of UMass in 1984. As the pair grew increasingly vested in their music, they moved to Boston and recruited the remainder of the group’s four original members, bassist Kim Deal and drummer David Lovering.

Read more »

Comments (0)

Album Review: ‘13’ brings Black Sabbath Back from the Dead

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 06/26 at 05:54 PM

Grade: A

English metal pioneers Black Sabbath have reemerged from the abyss with the release of a new album, 13, and the announcement of a North American Tour.

Over the years, the famous, (and sometimes controversial), group has undergone a series of lineup changes.  They’ve enlisted the talents of a multitude of accomplished vocalists and musicians including co-founder Ozzy Osbourne and Ronny James Dio.

The influential group’s latest release features their most famous lineup, original members Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, Tony Iommi on guitars, and Terrence “Geezer” Butler on bass. Original drummer is absent from the line-up with Rage Against the Machine Brad Wilk filling in.

Read more »

Comments (0)

Atlas Soundtrack performed at Summer’s Best Music Fest Last Saturday

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 06/25 at 04:22 PM

Local hip-hop group Atlas Soundtrack closed out State College’s seventh annual Summer’s Best Music Fest on Saturday with a high energy performance that featured their most popular songs.

A pre-Artsfest of sorts, The Downtown State College Improvement District organizes the yearly festival, which hosts local and regional artists from a variety of genres. Fifteen artists, including the Percolators and the Tussey Mountain Moonshiners, performed at this year’s event, which also incorporated a sidewalk sale and a paint contest among other attractions.

Read more »

Comments (0)

Kayne West pushes the limits with his newest album Yeezus

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 06/21 at 06:52 PM

Rap heavyweight Kayne West released his sixth studio album, Yeezus, on Tuesday, June 18.

Kanye continues his legacy of originality and innovation with the release of this vocally-driven album that shows his lyrical and rhythmic talent.  Overly dubbed hip-hop tracks defined by electronic and special effects dominate the contemporary hip-hop, industry, and this album’s uniquely simplistic sound serves as a breath of fresh air for hip-hop fans who favor edgy, in-your-face lyrics and modulated rhythms driven by the rapper’s words themselves.

Read more »

Comments (0)

Artist Profile: Former Destiny’s Child Member Kelly Rowland

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 06/19 at 03:42 PM

Kelly Rowland, an original member of the enormously successful R&B trio Destiny’s Child, is working her way back to the forefront of the pop industry with the release of her fourth studio album, Talk a Good Game.

Through her contributions to Destiny’s Child and collaborations with big-name stars like Lil Wayne and Nelly, Rowland has built herself a name as an accomplished R&B singer.  However, her solo work has only garnered moderate commercial success, especially in comparison to former Destiny’s Child group mate, Beyoncé Knowles – at least until now , that is.

Read more »

Comments (0)