20 Watts


Photos from Desolation Wilderness’ Performance at Spark Art Space by Irina Dvalidze
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Washington dream-poppers Desolation Wilderness played Spark on Wednesday

If you’ve found yourself complaining that Syracuse has no music scene, one little venue is out to prove you wrong.  Just a few blocks down from University Hill — past a few of the sketchiest alleys you’ll ever have the pleasure of avoiding — sits Spark Contemporary Art Space, an art gallery and performance space for both VPA students and touring acts.

Last Wednesday, Sept. 9, Spark welcomed three amazing indie up-and-comers to its dimly lit back room.  Two locals repped the Syracuse scene: The Human, a funky, hippy quartet that know how to rock a pair of tree hugger sandals, and Mandate of Heaven, a foursome that sound like Sonic Youth jamming with Cheap Trick.  20 Watts’ personal favorite, however, was Desolation Wilderness, a barely legal trio from Olympia, Washington.  With their chiming, eerie, introspective vocals and quirky stage presence, these guys looked like they just walked off a Sophia Coppola movie set.  And despite the small “stage” space and minor acoustic glitches, it was a musical evening to remember.

Desolation Wilderness are playing a string of East Coast shows with the likes of Real Estate and The Intelligence; they’ll also be embarking on a European tour in late October.  We reccomend following their highly entertaining and endearingly earnest blog.  Their fourth full-length, New Universe, dropped on K Records early last month.

For more favorites from the Syracuse scene, download Mandate of Heaven’s full discography FREE on Jamendo and check out 20 Watts’ phenomenal photos from the show under the jump!

– Photos by Max Nepstad, copy by Irina Dvalidze and Caitlin Dewey

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