20 Watts

20 Watts Video: Bears in America @ The Jabberwocky Cafe by tjwell01

PREVIEW: VISIT Bears in America’s MySpace

For a small quiet room underneath the Schine Student Center, the Jabberwocky Cafe was full of soul and life last night–thanks to Bears in America and Emmery Brakke. Few people came out, but the dimly lit room wasn’t trying to pretend it was Madison Square Garden. Last night’s Artists on the Brink showcase spotlighted the two local campus acts, and it was a quiet, calming experience. Serene humming and gentle acoustic guitar chords soaked up the still air. Although Bears in America capped the night, Brakke stood out with an amazing voice. Be sure to check her out this Friday at O,Morning Records’ Sunrise/Sunset event, which includes Sarah Aument, The Fly, The World Record Players and Northbound Traveling Minstrel Jug Band.

–Jett Wells


The winning grin and other tales from the O, Morning Records Showcase @ Funk N Waffles 11/6/09 by Eric Vilas-Boas
Sarah Aument Pic for REVIEW2

Sarah Aument and the rest of O, Morning Records rocked Funk 'n Waffles on Friday, 11/6

You never know what to expect while stumbling down the stairs of Syracuse’s Funk ‘n Waffles on the night of a show. Acts can alternate between amateurs and professionals, hip-hop and folk-rock. Lucky for the college crowd that O, Morning Records was on the job last night, serving an aesthetically and musically eclectic platter of shoegazing, dancing and hand-clapping.

Sarah Aument, O, Morning’s very first signee, headlined the show with her new band. Before her came stellar performances from Bears in AmericaMouth’s Cradle and The Northbound Traveling Minstrel Jug Band. Not many student acts in the Syracuse area can realistically follow The NTMJB, the liveliest of the night and probably the biggest crowd-pleaser. Continue reading

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

20 Watts Issue 19 | November 2009 by 20watts


Artists in the Issue


Pop Art

The Ithaca Sound


Playlist copy

Editor’s Pick #160: O, Morning Summer Tour by caitlindewey
O, Morning Records' Sarah Aument plays a house show in Syracuse

O, Morning Records' Sarah Aument plays a house show in Syracuse

PREVIEW: Download Sarah Aument’s Wake Up Singing EP free on Megaupload
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Sarah Aument EP Release, SU students start label in dorm

Remember last month, when we hinted at the tantalizing possibility of an O, Morning Records summer tour? Well, good news for the label’s fans in Syracuse, Ithaca, Brooklyn and select Maryland/Pennsylvania cities: O, Morning Records is about to hit a house, community center or coffee shop near you!

It’s pretty exciting news for the label, which formed only a few months ago in a Brewster dorm room. And it’s even cooler for O, Morning’s friends and fans, who now have the chance to see phenomenal SU acts like Sarah Aument, Mouth’s Cradle, Big Mouth and Bears in America before heading back to school.

If the tour isn’t hitting your hometown, never fear — we hear that O, Morning is planning some events on campus, too. Full dates under the cut.

Continue reading

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Sarah Aument’s Debut EP Out Free on O, Morning Records by 20watts
SU sophomore Sarah Aument

SU sophomore Sarah Aument's debut EP is free on O Morning's Twitter


Things are looking up for Syracuse University musician and former 20 Watts cover girl Sarah Aument: with the free release of her first EP and an upcoming Northeast tour with two other local bands, Aument has been hard at work making the rest of us look like slackers in comparison.

Aument, who has amassed a small following by playing coffeehouses, house parties, and the always accommodating Funk N’Waffles, is releasing her first album for free via her label O, Morning Records. It’s a local effort all around: Aument enlisted the help of the help of the record label’s founders, SU sophomores Dan Creahan and Sam Mason, recording the album on laptops in dorm rooms and friends’ apartments.

It wasn’t a high-tech or particularly demanding process, but it “turned out really well,” said Creahan, who is in the Bandier program. He decided to rerelease the EP on Twitter to expand Aument’s ever-growing fanbase.

“Right now we’re trying to… network as much as possible with bands and people from the area,” said Creahan. “So when we want to make an announcement we can easily contact as many people as possible, and right now Twitter can offer that ability.”

Their gambit has been paying off. The record label’s Twitter has been picked up and retweeted by people as far as Florida, and buzz around the EP is growing as people are responding with overwhelmingly positive feedback. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s completely free, a labor of love from Aument and O, Morning.

That love is audible in the album itself. Aument writes her songs with an understanding of heartfelt emotions: loss and heartbreak, apathy and consolation all filter though her wavering, Feist-like vocals. With its intimate acoustics and soft, driving rhythms, Wake Up Singing is just as beautiful as it is bittersweet.

“She’s a great songwriter, she’s a great lyricist, and I hope that it’s just the beginning,” said Creahan. “I hope we can leverage this into more success for her because she definitely deserves it.”

This summer she’ll be hitting the road with SU bands Mouth’s Cradle and Bears in America for a weeklong tour across New York, Pennsylvania before heading back to Syracuse. For the Westchester, PA native, it will be the perfect chance to hone her musical talents outside the brightly-colored walls of Funk N’ Waffles.

As of now, no official dates or venues have been announced for the tour. But keep an eye on 20 Watts as we announce further details in the coming weeks.

— Blake Rong