Filed under: Issue 21 | Tags: Best Coast, Diplo, Elkland, Fleet Foxes, Goat Explosion, HEALTH, Horse Shoes, Joy Division, Kanye West, Local Natives, Mark Ronson, Morrissey, My Morning, No Age, PJ Harvey, Sam Sparro, The Drums, The Fader, The Ruby Suns, The Wake, Theophilus London, Toro Y Moi, Whitney Houston, Wilco
Part of 20 Watts’ Issue 21 Coverage!
PREVIEWS: CLICK on the links to check the bands’ MySpaces!
Best Coast [photo above]
Bethany Cosentino, a.k.a. Best Coast, began recording demos in her bedroom after spending time in Brooklyn, N.Y, and pining for the laid-back southern California life she once knew. Soon after leaving Brooklyn, Cosentino recruited fellow Californian Bobb Bruno, who had opened for indie veterans Wilco and PJ Harvey, to help with the project.
While Best Coast were gaining attention and praise from indie music blogs and topping the list of Hype Machine’s “Most Blogged Artists,” many were skeptical as to how long Best Coast could stick around. With hipster beach pop on the rise, most assumed Best Coast was just another (more…)
Filed under: Issue 21, Issue 21 Q&A | Tags: alex scally, baltimore, Beach House, Beyonce, Coachella, Fleet Foxes, Jimmy Ruffin, pavement, teen dream, Victoria legrand
Part of Issue 21 coverage!
Alex Scally is one-half of dream pop duo Beach House. He and bandmate Victoria Legrand released their acclaimed third record Teen Dream in late January. The Baltimore natives are currently on tour in Europe and will be coming back to the United States in time to play Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival the day before Pavement.
Already one of the dreamiest acts of 2010, we expect awesome things from Beach House in the future.
20 Watts: You two have just released your latest album Teen Dream. How is it constructed compared to your earlier stuff?
Alex Scally: We usually start off with one very simple and exciting idea and then try to let it grow into something more substantial. We’ve been touring for years now with hundreds and hundreds of shows, so we have a lot of experience to rest on. We had seven or eight months away from touring to just work and let things really grow. Then we had, for the first time, the ability to go into the studio and record. We recorded for three weeks, which, for us, is an insane luxury. It’s just like the other albums. The songs grew the same way, but we had a (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: andrew bird, Aphex Twin, Arcade Fire, Beirut, Belle & Sebastian, Choir of young believers, Daft Punk, deer tick, Deerhunter, Devendra Banhart, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Explosions in the Sky, Fleet Foxes, Girls, Kanye West, Kings of Convenience, Mika, Neon Indian, pavement, Peter Sarstedt, Ra Ra Riot, Siouxsie & The Banshees, St. Vincent, The Antlers, The Cool Kids, The Hold Steady, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Rural Alberta Advantage, the static jacks, the white stripes, Vampire Weekend
Preview: Make sure you check out Audiocandyradio.com
It is Thursday night and 20 Watts Radio is on Audiocandy. Make sure you tune in and don’t miss out on our great selection of awesome tunes. We have some cool news happening at 20 Watts you simply cant miss. We are gonna give you a run down on some local shows that will be happening this weekend. If you are in Cuse you are most likely snowed in anyway, so join us for a quick getaway as we give you a run down of the awesome stuff you can do in Syracuse once this snow melts. Not to mention if you wanna request a song, all you need to do it tweet at you host here. So make sure to join 20 Watts on Auodiocandy 10 pm sharp. To tune in Click Here.
Filed under: 20 Watts Radio, Uncategorized | Tags: 20 Watts Radio, Amon Tobin, As Tall As Lions, Bibio, Choir of young believers, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Devendra Banhart, Dirty Projectors, Dragonette, Fleet Foxes, Fruit Bats, Junior Kimbrough, Neutral Milk Hotel, Nite Jewel, Phoenix, Polly Scattergood, Spoon, St. Vincent, stars, sufjan stevens, Super Mash Bros., The Cool Kids, The Dodos, the felice brothers, The Flaming Lips, The Last Shadow Puppets, The Magnetic Fields, The Rural Alberta Advantage, The Tough Alliance, Tiny Viper, Tokyo Police Club, Vampire Weekend, Zero 7
Preview: Make sure you check out Audiocandyradio.com
So it’s Thursday night once again and 20 Watts Radio is on Audiocandy. So we are finally back on campus and we bringing you all the best of local music scene. So before you dig into those books, sit back and salvage the last few seconds you winter break. Today is our last light mode show before we swing back into gear and start fresh with the new semester. Make sure you tune in and don’t miss out on two solid hours of awesome music. Show starts at 10pm sharp: OUR BRAND NEW AND AWESOME TIME SLOT ON AUDIOCANDY. To tune in Click Here.
Show Playlist Below: (more…)
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: album reviews, Animal Collective, Behave Yourself, Beirut, Billy Joel, Cat Stevens, Cold War Kids, Deerhunter, fall be kind, Fleet Foxes, friend, Grizzly Bear, Jonnie Russell, lon gisland, Loyalty to Loyalty, nathan willett, rainwater cassette exchange, Releases of the Week, Robbers and Cowards, Sun Giant, The Beatles
PREVIEW: VISIT Cold War Kids MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 8/20 Watts
It starts with a simple drum beat and Nathan Willett’s wailing voice coupled with a repeated piano line. Cold War Kids latest “soul/punk” offering Behave Yourself, released digitally towards the end of 2009 and largely overlooked, presents little in the way of soul and naught in the way of punk. Nonetheless, Cold War Kids have managed to slap together a stunning fifteen minutes of drivel in preparation for their third album, out later this year supposedly.
Much of it leads back to Nathan Willett’s voice, always trying to infuse soul and pizazz into lyrics like, “You came out from the country / Wearing momma’s clothes / You were born in the city / Daddy’s dominoes,” and typically coming up short (or, as the case may be, flat). A source of critical contention since their full-length debut, his wannabe-Jack-White drawl still provides as little satisfaction today as it did four years ago.
Not all of Cold War Kids’ problems can be blamed on their frontman though. Among the many issues Behave Yourself tackles, conservative song structure is the most prominent. Lead track “Audience of One” is piano rock at its most gratingly repetitive, less Cat Stevens and more Billy Joel. “Sermons,” an R&B disaster, soaked to the bone with religious pleading and slow instrumentation that might evoke an ominous atmosphere were it not for Willett’s overbearing words and Jonnie Russell’s heavy-handed crooning. They even ape The Beatles’ “Her Majesty” with the abruptly-ending bonus track “Baby Boy.”
If there exists one bearable song on this short record it would likely be “Santa Ana Winds.” While not strong enough to salvage the EP, it relegates Willett’s voice to the background more than the others on the record, instead allowing for crescendoing swells of percussion and crisp guitar and bass lines. Moreover Cold War Kids know not to outstay their welcome on it, dropping out at a lean 2:32.
Why are EPs released? Are they outlets for musicians to grow artistically? Can they represent more than the throwaway B-sides from an album of material? Years from now, when the tastemakers of the future visit their vintage record stores to compile some of the aughts’ great indie rock EPs – Fall Be Kind, Lon Gisland, Sun Giant, Rainwater Cassette Exchange, Friend and others — a tattered compact disc copy of Behave Yourself will undoubtedly lie at the bottom of the bin, forgotten and sold at a tenth of its original price.
– Eric Vilas-Boas
Filed under: Genre Columns, Indie Rock, Music Theory | Tags: Alex Turner, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Bob Dylan, cousins, Crown of Love, EP, Fleet Foxes, Funeral, humbug, Led Zeppelin, MySpace, Neighborhood #3 (Power Out), Neon Bible, Pete Doherty, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Rubblebucket, Sun Giant, The Beatles, The Libertines, Up The Bracket, Vampire Weekend, Wake Up, Whatever People Say I Am That Is What I Am Not, Wilco, YouTube
Vampire Weekend just came out with a new single “Cousins” — and what a disappointing pile of shit! You’d figure that after making their debut album with so many great tunes, they’d be bound to make a more brilliant follow-up album. Unfortunately, with “Cousins” it sounds like the sun just rose on a Monday morning for this skeleton crew. To be fair, Vampire Weekend are not the only band that seem to be facing this problem. Throughout the decade a whole lot of new Indie bands with brilliant debut albums have been popping up—where they have barely been able to create a worthy-enough follow up.
The list goes on and on with bands and artists that got their big break this decade on both sides of the pond. In Britain, bands like The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys each released debut albums that were universally adored by critics and new fans alike: Up The Bracket and Whatever People Say I Am, That Is What I Am Not—the latter of which is currently the UK’s fastest-selling debut album (note: Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle recently topped this accolade with her I Dreamed a Dream album). Nevertheless, these two bands–led by the apparent songwriting genius’ Pete Doherty and Alex Turner – never seem to have been able to top their debuts with their later works. (more…)
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: Fleet Foxes, Real Estate, Releases of the Week
PREVIEW: VISIT Real Estate’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 14/20 Watts
In Janurary, the indie scene was abuzz with anticipation of Real Estate’s debut release, brought on by a hint dropped in the form of demo track, “Fake Blues.” The promising foursome, who hail from New Jersey, invoked thoughts of the Jersey Shore with tuned-down surfer rock ripe for consuming today’s lazy-loving indie scene. Their self-titled debut album accomplished just that, but unfortunately with a bit less enthusiasm than may have been originally thought.
Real Estate opens the album with a lonely guitar riff that brings the group into “Beach Comber,” which starts setting sights fairly high. The simplicity seems promising, but a bit too similar to the same tuned down approach of groups like Fleet Foxes. The sound is hardly refreshing, but comforting nonetheless. The group settles into a security reminiscent of albums past (read: indie released in 2008), but rarely departs from that security, much to our disappointment. (more…)