20 Watts

Editor’s Pick #302: The Fly’s Come Take Flyt EP by 20watts
April 30, 2010, 12:50 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks, Emerging Artists, Releases of the Week, Scene Around Town | Tags: ,

The Fly's first EP "Come Take Flyt" dropped today on Bandcamp. It's more than you might think

PREVIEW: VISIT The Fly’s Bandcamp and download “Come Take Flyt”

So let’s get this out of the way from the start. I really dig these guys. I’ve seen them live multiple times and I think they’re both really energetic and more creative than a lot of mainstream groups out there. That said, when Keith Smith mentioned to me that The Fly would be putting out their first EP on May 30, I thought that it would be five songs and no longer than 20 minutes. Shame on me.

Come Take Flyt clocks in at 12 tracks and 40 minutes. It’s produced by Keith Smith and showcases their best live tracks in a professional, definitive form. Above all, it could be an album in its own right, which is unbelievably refreshing. It might actually be too produced. The raw energy of their live tracks translates nicely through female vocalist Farasha Baylock’s crystal-clear Continue reading

Mix Fix: “Lair” by Peepholes (E*Rock Remix) by tjwell01
March 12, 2010, 3:21 pm
Filed under: Emerging Artists, The Mix Fix | Tags: , , , ,

Peepholes is an experimental pop sensation waiting to blow.

PREVIEW THE DJ AND THE BAND: E*Rock’s MySpace and Peepholes’ MySpace

LISTEN: “Lair” by Peepholes (E*Rock Remix)

If you like Ratatat‘s electric guitar loops and Wavves’ lo-fi blurry pop sound, then this remix might fit your needs. These Brits are a highly experimental pop duo that really loves using mechanical sound and lo-fi/garage rock mixed with synth-pop choruses, and this song keeps sticking around. The original “Lair” track isn’t as filtered as the remix by E*Rock, so I chose the remix over the original since the rhythm tends to get swamped by the muffled high-pitch vocals. If there’s an consistent theme in experimental rock groups, it’s that any sound has a chance, and these guys have enough pop to make some serious noise later on.

–Jett Wells

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20 Watts Video Presents The Fly by tjwell01

PREVIEW: The Fly’s Vimeo Page

Even ice-cold Syracuse University has a little sizzle and spice, and The Fly are just that. This misfit group of hip-hop/R&B specialists provide a much-needed blend of contrasting style for the SU music scene. It’s not folk and definitely not remixed–it’s straight soul, power and urban rhythm. Led by the sassy and highly talented Keith Smith and Farasha Baylock, The Fly are a must-hear-now kind of act. Watch this video and you’ll see what kind of attitude and savvy dance moves they bring to the stage. Also, stay tuned for this Thursday’s live sit-down with The Fly on 20 Watts Radio!

–Jett Wells + Irina Dvalidze

News of Note: Early lineup announced for Truck America Festival in Big Indian, NY by tjwell01

The Joy Formidable, White Rabbits and Silent League will perform at this year's Truck America Festival in Big Indian, NY

PREVIEW: Truck America’s Website

TRUCK is an festival organization based in the U.K., and they’ve brought their festival to the U.S. in Big Indian, NY at the Full Moon Resort. The lineup is decent too, which includes a few unknowns and some high-risers including The Joy Formidable whom we interviewed and shot while they performed in New York. The festival will take place from April 30 to May 2nd, so just before finals for all Syracuse University students. The trip there would be roughly three hours, but seems like a good time to me. I can vouch that The Joy Formidable are insanely good live, and The White Rabbits are underrated. Tickets are on sale now.

Here’s the full lineup:

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Editor’s Pick #280: Dyme Def’s “Do Something” Video by tjwell01
February 9, 2010, 2:49 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks, Emerging Artists | Tags: , , ,

PREVIEW: Dyme Def’s MySpace

Before you all point out the obvious, I’m not a huge fan of “booty” rap either. I find it boring, demeaning and tasteless, and so five years ago. However, Dyme Def’s “Do Something” beat is intoxicating and one can’t help oneself but jerk it (my whiteboy statement of the day!). Yes, the lyrics are pretty shallow, but if you can look past them, this song is a bumpin’ good indicator of their Panic EP coming out on April 26. Dyme Def just released this video today, and ehhh— it’s pretty much what the song is about.

–Jett Wells

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Words of the Week: An Interview with Semi Precious Weapons by tjwell01

Semi Precious Weapons' Justin Tranter says they are "a filthy rock band."

Each Monday, 20 Watts is poised to feature a new, exclusive artist interview! Here we present our WORDS OF THE WEEK!
PREVIEW: Semi Precious Weapons’ MySpace

Led by filthy rock n’ roll purist Justin Tranter, Semi Precious Weapons, are the gritty opener act touring with Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball Tour, but don’t be fooled–these guys are quite the showmen themselves. They keep it simple: they want to party, and they want you to have fun, and they do it in high heels. They started out like your average rock band, but the road they took to get to where they are now is anything but average. Keep a look out for their debut LP You Love You at the end of March.

20 Watts: Describe your band’s overall attitude and style.

Justin Trantor: The overall attitude is to make balls-to-the-wall rock n’ roll that kicks ass, and is really fun. We want people to have fun, to party, we want people to get laid. I think that’s what the whole point of rock n’ roll should be, and another important part is danger, excitement, and kids’ parents should be mad at them for listening to us–all of those good things. Obviously we also get the glam label thrown at us, and I think that’s just because I wear high heels, but there’s definitely a lot of worse things to be called than glam.

20W: Some people say you’re like the glam version of The Sex Pistols. Ever heard that before?

JT: I think my favorite quote was that we’re like The Sex Pistols if they came out of the Warhol scene. I think that’s our favorite description of our band ever.

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Editor’s Pick #272: Skybox’s “In a Dream” by tjwell01

Skybox's bubblegum electro flavor tastes just right

PREVIEW: Skybox’s MySpace

LISTEN: “In a Dream” by Skybox

It kind of scares me that electro-pop is transitioning to more girl-y bands like Owl City, and Skybox’s “In a Dream” isn’t exactly beer can-crunching kind of music, but it feels good just listening to it while working on school work. Skybox could be one of those bands you like at first, listen to three times on your iPod and then completely bemoan the following week. Regardless though, Skybox is best at being fluid and light-hearted. It only takes one episode of Gossip Girl or one Twilight movie to make this song a global teen girl sensation (God, spare us all). If the music sings to you (to all of you Upstate New York lcoals), go and check them out in Ithaca, NY on March 5 at The Haunt.

–Jett Wells

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