For attorney and Apache Records President Philip Masorti , the State College music scene represents more than “shallow lyrics and simple melodies.”
“The bands that make [the music] have something to say,” Masorti said. “Every year, we have talented people leaving and another group coming in. This is the ideal incubator for the [college] demographic.”
So when the record label’s operations director and Penn State student Daniel Collins came to him with the idea of producing an album compiling almost 45 years’ worth of local music as an uplifter of sorts following the events of last November, he couldn’t say no.
The end result of Collins’ work came in July with “Now and Then: The State College Music Scene 1968-2012,” a two-disc collection of original music from the area.
“My thinking was to make a new record and have everybody throw in a track and get studio time,” Masorti said, explaining that this plan turned out to be too expensive and time consuming. “[Dan’s] idea was a much better one.”
Though Masorti adored Collins’ pitch from the start, it was initially not universally accepted by everyone involved.
“Our entertainment lawyer told him it couldn’t be done,” Masorti said. “[This] seemed to fire him up even more. He was very assiduous in collecting all the material.”
Masorti has nothing less than superlatives to offer when it comes to Collins, praising his musical talent — he plays fiddle on the song “Lie to Me” with Lowjack bandmate Jason Davoli — and motivation.
According to Collins, the CD takes a “rough chronological approach” with the album’s opener, “Come Closer” by The Wooley Thumpers being the earliest State College-based track he was able to find. The first disc, titled “Then,” stops around the year 2000 and gives way to the “Now” portion, a series of more recent recordings.
Masorti, who founded Apache in 2007 to facilitate his own songwriting, also contributed a track with his band, the Herd, called “Crimson.”
“It kind of tells a story with the music by itself,” Collins (senior-information sciences and technology and Russian) said of the album, adding that none of the stores selling it will be taking a financial cut. “People who have graduated should be able to recognize a band or two on there.”
The album’s artwork was designed by former Penn State student Emily Burns , who gathered various photos, tickets and album covers to create a unique collage.
“I think it’s cool to see how much talent is in such a small town,” Burns said.
Masorti expressed his hope that the CD will have larger implications throughout the State College scene.
“I’m really excited about the label taking off and the impact that we make on the local community,” he said. “There’s a flow of excellent artists, and I want to try to capture them and help them.”
The album is available for purchase at www.apachemusic.net, as well as a variety of downtown State College locations, including Webster’s Café and The Phyrst . All proceeds go to the Happy Valley Cares’ charity for child abuse victims.
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