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


Hunters and Runners Return to Syracuse for a night of music by 20watts
April 26, 2010, 3:32 am
Filed under: 20 Watts Video, Scene Around Town, XCLUS!VES

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20 Watts Video: Sleigh Bells @ Spark Art Place (INTERVIEW!) by tjwell01
April 9, 2010, 3:59 pm
Filed under: 20 Watts Video, Scene Around Town | Tags: , , ,

PREVIEW: Sleigh Bells’ MySpace

[EDITOR’S NOTE ON THE INTERVIEW: Derek Miller of Sleigh Bells did work on M.I.A.’s upcoming album–its not the other way around. PLEASE IGNORE THAT PART OF THE INTERVIEW!!]

It’s been less than a year since Sleigh Bells broke out at last summer’s CMJ Festival, and the hype keeps getting bigger. Spark Art Place in Syracuse, NY doesn’t get much more smaller or more obscure for such a big indie band, but it didn’t matter. The bodies in the crowd exploded as Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller pumped their shoes into ground, rattling the small art gallery till the dry paint on the walls began to crumble on Thursday. It took no longer than the second song for the guys in the crowd to start flying in the air and throwing elbows. It was sweaty, dirty and raw–just how the band likes it. Sleigh Bells live is a high-powered, emotional, full bodied experience Syracuse won’t soon forget.

Props to Mouth’s Cradle for setting the tone, as the band celebrated their first show since releasing their debut LP, The Next Big Thing. Kevin Hegedus and Brandon Linn rocked the red suit jackets and flourished under the spotlight with fun DJ jams and witty rhymes.

–Jett Wells

EXCLUS!VES: Mouth’s Cradle’s The Next Big Thing by tjwell01

Mouth's Cradle's "The Next Big Thing" hits iTunes tomorrow.

PREVIEW: Mouth’s Cradle’s MySpace

LISTEN: “Ghosts” by Mouth’s Cradle

LISTEN: “Princess of the Beatz” by Mouth’s Cradle

LISTEN: “Honey from a Stone” by Mouth’s Cradle

20 Watts gets the first crack at Mouth’s Cradle’s much-anticipated The Next Big Thing, because we’re cool like that. The LP drops on iTunes tomorrow, and just like that Mouth’s Cradle sets the stage for a big leap from relative obscurity to becoming Syracuse University’s electronic/hip-hop titans. In addition to brand new tracks, the album features all the same hits from their debut EP Baby Teeth, which dropped last semester and got the buzz whirling. They also got some special help from experienced engineer and SU alum, Andrew Maury, who worked with Ra Ra Riot and The Static Jacks.

Kevin Hegedus (right) and Brandon Linn (left) accomplished something special with this album and it comes at a perfect time for the band on the eve of their coming out party this Thursday when they open for Sleigh Bells at Spark Art Place.

Stay tuned for an in-depth review of the LP tomorrow!

–Jett Wells

Concert Coverage: Henry Rollins at The Westcott Theater by 20watts
March 31, 2010, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Concert Stories, Scene Around Town, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

An evening with the genius Henry Rollins

PREVIEW: VISIT Henry Rollins website.

Henry Rollins walks on stage at 8:03 p.m and does not move from where he is standing for the next three hours.

“I am in fact desperate for your attention and your approval,” he says at the start of the show. This is the type of line that epitomizes Rollins—open, honest, direct.

Rollins—singer-songwriter, stand-up comedian, spoken word artist, writer, publisher, actor, television host, radio DJ, and activist —stopped in Syracuse at the Westcott Theatre for the 32nd gig of his Frequent Flyer Tour on Saturday. During the three hour performance he discusses a blend of topics so high in concentration that one would exceed his comma quotient for this article if he tried to list them all, though they can be broken into these categories: writing, politics, war, gender equality, music, technology, history, English, acting, and travel.

Tonight the Westcott Theatre[1] smells like smoke and a barber shop, more specifically that disinfectant barbers use to sterilize their barber tools. The prevailing irony is that many of the fans present have long scraggly hair that looked like it hadn’t seen the inside of a barber shop, or hadn’t seen a barber shop at all. Continue reading

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Words of the Week: An Interview with The Breakfast by 20watts

Each week, 20 Watts is poised to feature a new exclusive artist interview! Here we present our WORDS OF THE WEEK!

PREVIEW: The Breakfast’s MySpace and Web site.
READ: OUR REVIEW of The Breakfast at the Westcott last week!

20 Watts: Tim, this one is for you. Who are your main jazz influences?

Tim: Miles Davis is probably up there. As far as jazz guitar players go, John McLaughlin, John Scofield. For more traditional jazz I like Wes Montgomery definitely. Has he been a huge influence? Probably not, but I respect his music.  Miles has definitely affected me musically. Jeff Beck has influenced me for fusion, but he’s more of a rock player. He’s not a jazz guitar player per se.

20W: You guys are pretty technical musicians. You have a lot of fast runs in your music. What you all do or what did you do originally to work on your technique? Any exercises that you found helpful to get on the level that you guys are on now?

Tim: Faster!  Fasterrr!

Jordan: Just gigging all the time. I mean fifteen years ago I started studying a little jazz, playing some fake book stuff.  But just playing with all the different bands made me a better player. Continue reading

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Scene Around Town: The Ataris by Isabel Alcantara

The Ataris, The Weakness, Don't Panic, Stay Six and Road to Recovery played the Westcott last night!

PREVIEW: VISIT The AtarisRoad to RecoveryDon’t PanicStay Six and The Weakness on MySpace!

The crowd at The Westcott Theater Tuesday night was one that was constantly in flux. With The Ataris headlining and four bands preceding them, there was an ebb and flow to those in attendance; the constant being the two dozen or so fans who eagerly hugged the stage for the entire night, eagerly anticipating the headliners taking the stage. Opening act Road to Recovery performed the admirable feat of making the sparse crowd a little more lively, with their Taking Back Sunday-esque emo-punk sensibilities getting heads to nod and a promise of high fives to those who moved closer to the stage.

Stay Six, a four piece pop-punk band continued in a similar vein with each member, sans the drummer, rotating on vocals providing a brief but energetic set as the crowd began to fill out more. Continue reading

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