20 Watts

ISSUE 19 | Launch Show Soundslides by Irina Dvalidze

Slideshow from 20 Watts’ spectacular launch show, Thursday Oct 29th at Jabberwocky Cafe. Including performances by Caution Children, The Northbound Traveling Minstrel Jug Band and Mouth’s Cradle. Just incase you missed the most amazing evening of the semester, we bring you a small bit of musical goodness.

— Slideshow by Irina Dvalidze
— Photos by Isabel Alcantara

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ISSUE 19 | Discography: Modest Mouse by kjfahey

Modest Mouse is a featured artist in our latest issue

Known for their loaded lyrics and lengthy album titles, Modest Mouse have been at the forefront of the indie-rock movement since their 1996 debut, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About. Since then, the band has gradually progressed from tastefully engineered lo-fi to a more expensive, involved sound without losing their uniquely chaotic vocals, symphonic instrumentation and violently beautiful stage presence. Following the August 4 release of their latest EP, No One’s First and You’re Next, 20 Watts decided to take a look back at Modest Mouse’s impressive discography. Continue reading

ISSUE 19 | SLIDESHOW: White Picket Fence by Irina Dvalidze
November 2, 2009, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Issue 19, Issue 19 Artists | Tags: , ,

20 Watts’ Isabel Alcantara spent an evening with Syracuse’s best pop-rockers, traipsing around campus and attempting to corral them as they yelled at the Shack-a-Thon-ers on the quad.  She put some of her best shots to music for this 20 Watts slideshow.

— Isabel Alcantara

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ISSUE 19 | SLIDESHOW: Caution Children by Irina Dvalidze
November 2, 2009, 4:48 pm
Filed under: Issue 19, Issue 19 Artists | Tags: ,

Check our awesome 20 Watts exclusive photos and interview with Caution Children, one of the hottest bands coming out of Ithaca today. They played our launch show and now they’re playing on your screen! Photos by Max Jackson and interview by Caitlin Dewey.

— Interview by Caitlin Dewey
— Photos by Max Jackson

ISSUE 19 | The Lo Life: Low fidelity music is sweeping the campus — and the nation by 20watts

Devon Stewart rocks the Shaefer studios while working on his self-titled solo project

Lil Wayne. Kanye West. Maroon 5. Rascal Flatts. Music purists loathe them for at least one reason — Auto-Tune, a downloadable audio processor that corrects vocal and instrumental blunders in order to attain perfect pitch. By using this program, a producer can fill in a recorded performance’s holes, smooth its edges and polish its smudges.  Everyone must use this to attain musical nirvana, right? Negatory. In fact, musicians that admire large holes, adore peculiar edges, and worship pesky smudges are alive, well and plentiful. They are lo-fi artists.

Lo-fi is a shortened form of “low-fidelity,” fidelity meaning the extent to which an electronic device such as a radio or television can accurately reproduce a sound or an image. Taken literally, lo-fi can be defined as low-quality sound. Continue reading

ISSUE 19 | Q&A: 20 Watts Interviews The Pains of Being Pure at Heart by kjfahey
20W November 2009 Final_02

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have captured ours and countless others

Alex Naidus and Kip Berman were cubicle-mates at a standard office job until Berman entered the office one day with a fully formed band plan in mind.

“I want to start this band called ‘The Pains of Being Pure at Heart,” Berman told his friend.

Several years later, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have become Generation Y’s answer to the saccharine dream pop of classics like My Bloody Valentine and The Pastels.  Their self-titled debut, released last February, rode a wave of blogosphere hype to universal acclaim and several international tours.  20 Watts spoke to bassist Alex Naidus during the band’s recent stop in Los Angeles. Continue reading

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ISSUE 19 | Making Wavves by 20watts

Nathan Williams fronts the acclaimed lo-fi act Wavves

Lo-fi isn’t just a trend on campus — it’s also scoring airtime across the country. Here are some of our favorite lo-fi bands you owe it to yourself to check out:

With ironic song titles like “Summer Goth” and fuzz bleeding from their amps, it’s hard not to love Wavves. Who cares if frontman Nathan Williams is practically a junkie? Despite public humiliation and broken wrists, Williams still played shows this summer.

No Age
With three EPs and a debut in 2007, another full-length last year and an EP just last month, No Age are one of the busiest bands currently making high-quality lo-fi. They’ve mastered the art of drowning infectious riffs and power chords in layers of distortion.

Crystal Stilts
Crystal Stilts factor fuzzy guitars and brooding post-punk into a formula all their own. Despite being together since 2003, the band only released their full-length debut Alight of Night last year.

Times New Viking
Formed in 2005, the raucous Times New Viking have dropped four acclaimed albums, including one this year. Born Again Revisited emphasizes accessible pop structures amidst fits of noise.

Girls’ frontman Christopher Owens grew up in a cult, lost his brother and watched his mom literally sell herself for the cause. His solution? Get high, start a band and sing about heartbreak with such remarkable optimism that even the critics were moved.

— 20 Watts Staff

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