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Editor’s Pick #278:Phoenix’s Playground Love by Irina Dvalidze

Preview: WATCH the Spin Magazine Video

All you film lovers out there probably know of “Playground Love” thanks to AIR‘s score of Sofia Coppola‘s The Virgin Suicides, but here is a little trivia you may not have heard before. Spin magazine recently did a video with this year’s favorite: Phoenix, covering the acoustic version of “Playground Love.” However, as the performance vocalist Thomas Mars stated: “We are cheating, cause it’s not really a cover, it’s half a cover, we wrote it with our friends from AIR and they put it out; it’s called ‘Playground Love.’ We wrote it and sang it with them for the movie The Virgin Suicides.”

So, while Phoenix may not have received as much recognition for this work as AIR, it looks like Mars still came out a winner–being married to Sofia Coppola and all. It gives a whole new meaning to ‘you never know what might happen,’ now doesn’t it? Anyways, make sure to check out Phoenix’s “cover” of “Playground Love” and keep your eyes peeled for Coppola’s next film Somewhere, the score of which is gonna be a collaboration with none other, but Thomas Mars.

–Irina Dvalidze, Multimedia Editor

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20 Watts Reviews Air’s Love 2 by Irina Dvalidze
20 Watts Reviews Air's Love 2

20 Watts Reviews Air's Love 2

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Air’s “Do the Joy” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 12/20 Watts

As we have reminded over the past few months, Air’s much-anticipated Love 2 drops this week. The band’s first production at Atlas Studios, their very own recording facility, has left us with mixed emotions.  By no means a failure, there is something missing from Love 2.

If you happen to be a fan of Air, you can probably recall that most of their work gives you that one hook — a melody that permanently imprints itself in your musical psyche: “Alpha Beta Gaga,” “Sexy Boy,” “Playground Love” and so forth. Unfortunately that is not the case with Love 2. Continue reading

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Editor’s Pick #187: Air Mini Mix by Irina Dvalidze
October 5, 2009, 2:28 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , , ,
Air release a mini mix for their new album Love 2

Air release a mini mix for their new album Love 2

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Air’s Love 2 Album Mash Up MP3

As all you Air junkies know we have quite an epic Air week coming up,  so naturally 20 Watts cant help but update you on every little detail. French pop duo’s much-anticipated album Love 2 drops on October 5th. For the past few months they have been releasing small teasers from Love 2 and last week Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel had a pleasant surprise for all their followers.

On top of  hosting a world premiere listening party on Monday, September 28th, when they streamed the album for 24 hours, Godin and Dunckel offered a free exclusive mini mash-up of Love 2. Running for 4 minutes and 56 seconds it is a perfect sample for adoring fans. So, along with a bucketful of love from their loyal fans, looks like these two Frenchmen have found a more or less effective way of dealing with album leaks in the music piracy era. No?

— Irina Dvalidze, Multimedia Editor

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News of Note: Muse Stream The Resistance, Jay-Z, Wild Beasts, White Lies, Kurt Cobain’s Guitar Hero Avatar, and Much More by 20watts

Muse decided to stream their new album The Resistance for 24 hours

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Muse’s “United States of Eurasia” MP3

Hype for The Resistance has practically reached the point of parody. Filter reported on how Muse streamed The Resistance in full, for a full 24 hours. The fact that they had fans piece together a song before they could hear it just goes to show that this band will stage any stunt get more exposure — redundant when you’re in one of the biggest acts in the world. What else can you do, Matt Bellamy, streak in a performance art display singing the lyrics to “Uprising”? [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #157: Muse’s United States of Eurasia]

As many probably knew, Jay-Z is going all out to promote his latest effort, The Blueprint 3, which dropped Tuesday. To kick off the world tour, he played a secret show at NYC’s Gramercy Theater last night which apparently also included a fire alarm. SPIN‘s got photos and additional details for those so inclined.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #173: Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” (Alicia Keys, Blueprint 3)20 Watts Reviews Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3]

Stereogum reported on Wild Beasts live NYC debut, held two nights ago downtown at Joe’s Pub. Considering the quality of Wild Beasts’ two albums, particularly the recent Two Dancers, one would expect them to play in a dedicated rock venue. Not the case with this sit-down establishment, but that’s all right when you take into account that many popular indie acts — including Brand New, Sufjan Stevens, and The Rural Alberta Advantage — prefer smaller venues. Rock club or not, Wild Beasts played a great show by all accounts. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Reviews Two Dancers]

NME.com reports that British alternative rock band White Lies released a rare track for download today. The song “Taxidermy” is a live favorite and was only available before on the band’s 7″ single “To Lose My Life.” White Lies will be touring the U.S. soon along with shows supporting Kings of Leon from September 25 through October 16. Close dates include New York City and Toronto on September 25 and September 26 respectively. White Lies also have their track “Death” on the Jennifer’s Body soundtrack. The film, starring Megan Fox, hits theatres September 18. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Lykke Li Covers Kings Of Leon ]

In preparation for their latest album Air have released a music video for the song “Sing Sang Sung,” and it’s featured on Pitchfork today.  “Sing Sang Sung” is the first single off the French electropopper’s forthcoming album Love 2. The album, which drops October 6, was entirely produced at the band’s own studio.[Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Air Releases a Studio Recording of “Do the Joy”]

Pitchfork also reports that Smashing Pumpkins‘ Billy Corgan has launched a website today called Everything From Here to There. According to the site, which is likely to be a blog about Corgan’s personal beliefs, “If you are drawn to the Hidden Truths, drawn to God as something beyond limitation, and drawn to Love as the greatest force in the Universe, then you have come to the right place at the right time.  This is a place of Love.” [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Industry News, Week 4]

Subpop has just added Beach House to it’s already unrivaled indie roster. Beach House are the gorgeous, sleepy, dream-pop duo that brought you Beach House and Devotion, and they announced their move to the Seattle-based label today.  They’ll release their third album in early 2010 after completing a tour with Grizzly Bear. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Jay-Z Endorses Indie Rock, Grizzly Bear’s “While You Wait for the Other”]

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AIR Releases a Studio Recording of “Do the Joy” by Irina Dvalidze
August 12, 2009, 8:14 pm
Filed under: Industry News | Tags: , , , , ,
AIR releases new live studio recording of "Do the Joy"

AIR releases new live studio recording of "Do the Joy"

PREVIEW: Download AIR “Do the Joy”MP3
WATCH: Video below the jump

So all you AIR fans have been patiently waiting for the band’s new album Love 2 set for release October 6 on Astralwerks. Thankfully, out of the generosity of their hearts, Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel have been releasing small glimpses of what to expect from it.

Do the Joy,” the first single was released as a complimentary download to existing AIR newsletter subscribers. Earlier this week the band published the live studio recording of “Do the Joy” at aircheology.comLove 2 is the first album created at their own recording facility, Atlas Studio. If you are interested in where these guys make the music, make sure to check out the video at aircheology.com. Continue reading

20 Watts Reviews Howling Bells’ Radio Wars by Irina Dvalidze
Howling Bells release their sophomore album Radio Wars

Howling Bells release their sophomore album Radio Wars

PREVIEW: Download Howling Bells  “How Long”

Hundreds of bands rise to the surface each year. Many dominate major music festivals, while a handful even get a record deal or produce highly-acclaimed albums, knocking the critics off their feet. That’s precisely what Howling Bells did when they took the indie scene by storm in 2006 with their self-titled debut released on Bella Union, produced by none other than Ken Nelson of Coldplay.

Finally Howling Bells are gracing their fans with a sophomore effort, Radio Wars. The album will hit stores in the U.S. and Canada on July 28th, 2009, though it’s been circulating on the other end of the pond since March. It seems that this is the year Howling Bells will be leaving their most memorable mark on the indie music industry. Not only have they joined London-based label, Independiente, they had Dan Grech-Marguerat (who’s worked with Radiohead, Air, Paul McCartney) produce Radio Wars.

The new album is quite an evolution for the band. Their debut was full of folk- and blues-charged melodies that flung listeners back a few decades, while Radio Wars does the contrary. It submerges you in incredibly melodic, futuristic songs which make you feel like you just went for a walk on the moon. Continue reading