20 Watts

Mix Fix: “Sleep Tonight” by Stars (Junior Boys Remix) by tjwell01
February 1, 2010, 12:55 pm
Filed under: Indie Rock, Mix Fix | Tags: , , , ,

Few remixes are so low-tempo and minor, which makes it interesting.

PREVIEW THE DJ: Junior Boys’ MySpace

LISTEN: “Sleep Tonight” by Stars (Junior Boys Remix)

Warping this slow song into a powerhouse pop song would’ve be interesting, but Junior Boys took a more delicate approach. They didn’t do much, just minor adjustments by adding a “Paper Planes” beat to it, and a few synth notes in the verses, and that’s it. As a DJ, you need to find the core of the song, and focus on that and enhance it, not just do what you want and add bulging bass beats every time. That should be the remix manifesto, and the Junior Boys didn’t over-do it.

–Jett Wells

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Editor’s Pick# 267: The Hoof and The Heel by tjwell01

Need another reason to pay attention to Montreal, QC? Here it is.

PREVIEW: The Hoof and The Heel’s MySpace

LISTEN: “Fireworks”

It’s a goofy name, but their music is anything but. These Montreal kids hijacked my ears immediately with “Fireworks,” and yet I was pretty disappointed the rest of the tracks on their MySpace were very low-tempo and slow, unlike the jumpy “Fireworks.” No matter, because there’s no way these guys can trap the energy of this song forever. They released an EP titled and all the Tigers recently, and maybe if they’re lucky, they can be the next Freelance Whales.

–Jett Wells, Co-Multimedia Editor

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20 Watts Interviews The Joy Formidable by tjwell01

British indie artist Ritzy (center) and the boys just broke into the U.S.

PREVEW: The Joy Formidable’s MySpace

WATCH: The Joy Formidable perform at Pianos in New York City on 20 Watts Video


The Joy Formidable are straight out of North Wales and just played their first shows in the U.S. a couple weeks ago at Pianos and Terminal 5 in New York City. On the eve of releasing their debut LP, the British indie trio aren’t signed and fund all of their own operations even though they have the sound of a pop-rock powerhouse. Ritzy, the lead singer and adorable blonde, says its about staying loyal to the fan base. Things might just be only heating up for Ritzy and the boys as they ponder the future.

20W: So where are you now?

Ritzy: We’re in London finishing our debut record.

20W: You’ve got quite a bit of touring ahead too, right?

Ritzy: We do. We’re going to York with The Temper Trap, and we’re got our own U.K. tour in March as well. So, yeah, we’re pumped.

20W: I know you’re from North Wales. What’s it like being an aspiring musician out there?

Ritzy: It’s very isolated. It’s very rural. It’s good place to go and write, be creative and lose your self. On the gigging front, it’s a little bit difficult, but it’s getting better.

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20 Watts Reviews Spoon’s Transference by tjwell01

It's not the same old Spoon sound, but it's still Spoon.

PREVIEW: VISIT Spoon’s MySpace

WE GIVE IT: 12/20 Watts

It’s not hard to talk about Spoon in regards to the godfathers of indie rock, a la Neutral Milk Hotel, not only because they’re consistent and tight, but because they’re timeless knockouts. That said, Transference lacks the extra gear and playfulness that Spoon fans loved in Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007) or even in Gimme Fiction (2005).

The album still has Britt Daniels’ irresistible transfixing voice and some grilling guitar chords like in “Got Nuffin,” but the album as a whole seems committed to a slower, more neutral sound that we’re not normally accustomed to. That’s not to say it doesn’t work–it does–but it leaves the listener (at least me) wanting more heart like in previous great slow hits like “Black like Me.”

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20 Watts Video: The Joy Formidable @ Pianos (1/12/10) by tjwell01

The night started off with some boyhood charm when Locksley played fun indie rock in a classic rock kind of way, but things got turned up a notch once The Joy Formidable plugged in their amps. Led by the fierce blonde leading lady, Ritzy, The Joy Formidable stormed into a heavy vortex of power chords and unhinged aggression. On Ludlow Street at Pianos, the crowd knew the game, and the bands delivered fashionably. Catch these guys when you have the chance, but be prepared for your ears to ring and sting for a day or two afterward.

–Jett Wells

Emerging Aritist: Yucuna by cweeks88

"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 by cweeks88

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