20 Watts

Emerging Aritist: Yucuna

"Yuk, yuk, Yucuna"... Taking self-loathing in music to a higher level....

VISIT Yucuna’s Myspace

DOWNLOAD Yucuna’s “Bogota” MP3

I know what you’re probably asking: “What the hell is a Yucuna?” Now, without having to Google or Wikipedia it, I’m going to say it’s an Australian animal that dudes kill with boomerangs. Happy?

Anyways, with no gig listings out there, and a Myspace profile view count (as of this post) of 80, Yucuna is a prime example of why living in this new Internet age so freaking exciting and amazing! Continue reading

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Groovin’ to a New Decade

It's like Jaws, only less frightening... and less skinny-dipping

VISIT: Grooveshark

On those loveless New York City nights in the winter, when you’re favorite music on iTunes isn’t giving you what you need. You can get in your car (or train) and go down to Greenwich Village to explore the plethora of unknown bands performing that are trying to make it someday. Or, you can be lazy and indulge yourself in Grooveshark.com, a music streaming Web site that makes Pandora look like a Soviet dictatorship in finding new music you may like–all of which: for free! Continue reading

Spending this January in a Beach House

Beach House - awkwardly posing like any Indie duo would

DOWNLOAD Beach House’s “Walk in the Park” MP3

Genres are usually vague terms which music writers and record store owners use to make their lives easier by categorizing and generalizing music—something which I can’t help but feel lowers the value of music at times. However, if I were to use one term to help clarify what I would describe Beach House, it would have to be the “dream pop” term all the other critics use!

In their recently leaked track “Walk in the Park”, this guy and girl duo from Baltimore evoke their song’s title with just a little guitar, a little organ, some percussion and bass and to top it off, a sexually ambiguous voice that makes this truly spectacular and sublime music. Perhaps it’s the general cloudy feel of the song, but this tune is heavenly as everything seems like slow motion while listening, and that this lovely moment will last forever.

With this and “Norway” coming off their upcoming album, Teen Dream to be released in January 26th, it looks as though Beach House is another band to seriously look out for in the new decade we’re about to enter.

Listen with a damn good stereo to get the full effect!

–Charlie Weeks

Watch out for dem Gorillaz!

Gorillaz are back to devour your brain with British pop goodness!

WATCH Gorillaz perform their classic B-side “Hong Kong

Damon Albarn is truly one of the consummate music artists of our time. Unlike a lot of these once-great, so-called “artists” that have been reforming their old bands to make an extra buck. Albarn has put the whole Blur thing aside and is back to focusing on his “post-Blur” career by revealing that a third album by Gorillaz is almost complete.

For the new album, to be titled Plastic Beach, Albarn will be going socio-political as he goes after the shallowness of British pop-culture (and definitely by extension–American pop-culture) as seen through the original American Idol type show–The X Factor. Where in a recent interview with The Guardian, Albarn goes off on fairly comparing the artists that come out of those shows to “buying a ready made meal in loads of plastic packaging” which reflects our shallow, celebrity obsessed culture we have today.

In terms of the music Plastic Beach, which is due out next year, sounds as if it will be the biggest sounding thing this band of cartoon’s has put out yet, while “still maintain(ing) a lot of that melancholy.” Ah! Just how I like my Gorillaz! Sad but still larger-than-life!

Unlike other Britpopers and American Alt. Rockers from the 90s, Damon has always been creating fresh and enjoyable music, no matter what genre or band he is in. Albarn is up there with any great artist by utilizing and reuniting certain bands that suit him best–just for the purpose of making the best music possible. It’s a tradition many other greats like Neil Young have done. Whether it has been to achieve the ragged glory sound of Crazy Horse, to the clean and lovely harmonic sounds of Crosby, Stills and Nash. Damon Albarn will no doubt be looked back as on that similar level of greatness.

–Charlie Weeks

Blur’s got ‘No Distance Left to Run’

I’ll be honest, I have a bias against band reunions. They are, for the most part, the lowest form of selling out, as well as beating a creative dead horse. Whether it’s The Cranberries or The Smashing Pumpkins, there is no doubt that these groups get back together more so to pay off their weening drug addiction (prescription and/or illegal) than having any new credible artistic territory to explore. I must admit though, I am a hypocrite. Where despite their abrupt breakup in 2003, I was definitely going to be the first one in line to see the classic Britpop foursome, Blur reunite live. Continue reading

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The Eventual Mediocrity of Brilliant Debut Artists

With bands like Vampire Weekend and Arctic Monkeys making mediocre follow-up albums, will the same happen to Fleet Foxes?

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. Continue reading

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Neil Young covers Will Smith! Well, sorta….
November 30, 2009, 5:27 pm
Filed under: Music Videos | Tags: , , , , ,

Perhaps it’s the hat and jacket, or perhaps it’s the way he holds his guitar with his right elbow resting on the body, while his left leg is bent sticking out sideways; Jimmy Fallon perfects imitating Neil Young’s distinctive lankiness from the early 1970s. As he strums the basic chords a “Heart of Gold”-style harmonica solo plays. Suddenly this imposter Young starts sweetly singing “a story all about how, his life got flip-turned upside down” and tells how he became the Prince of Bel-Air. In stark contrast to the carefree and fast talking way Will Smith rapped, Fallon hits the right tone by perfectly portraying Neil Young’s typical melancholic vocals–but without it being overbearing. Continue reading