20 Watts



Preview: Make sure you check out Audiocandyradio.com

It is Thursday night and 20 Watts Radio is on Audiocandy. Make sure you tune in and don’t miss out on our great selection of awesome tunes.  We have some cool news happening at 20 Watts you simply cant miss. We are gonna give you a run down on some local shows that will be happening this weekend. If you are in Cuse you are most likely snowed in anyway, so join us for a quick getaway as we give you a run down of the awesome stuff you can do in Syracuse once this snow melts. Not to mention if you wanna request a song, all you need to do it tweet at you host here. So make sure to join 20 Watts on Auodiocandy 10 pm sharp. To tune in Click Here.

Show Playlist

1. Taxi Cab – Vampire Weekend
2. Something About Us – Daft Punk
3. Seahorse – Devendra Banhart
4. Actor Out of Work – St. Vincent
5. Laura – Girls
6. Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
7. where do you go to my lovely – Peter Sarstedt
8. Crown of Love – Arcade Fire
9. Grace Kelly – Mika
10. Hong Kong Garden – Siouxsie & The Banshees
11. Friday XIII – Deer Tick
12. Elephant Gun – Beirut
13. Nothing Ever Happened – Deerhunter
14. Silence Kid – Pavement
15. My Parents Lied – The Static Jacks
16. Gold and a Pager – The Cool Kids
17. Don’t Haunt This Place – The Rural Alberta Advantage
18. The Fox In The Snow – Belle & Sebastian
19. Snow and Lights- Explosions in the Sky
20. Snow (Hey Oh) – The Red Hot Chili Peppers
21. Wintertime Love – Choir Of Young Believers
22. White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
–Irina Dvalidze

20 Watts Reviews Cold War Kids’ Behave Yourself by 20watts

Cold War Kids should take their own advice with their latest EP Behave Yourself

PREVIEW: VISIT Cold War Kids MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 8/20 Watts

It starts with a simple drum beat and Nathan Willett’s wailing voice coupled with a repeated piano line. Cold War Kids latest “soul/punk” offering Behave Yourself, released digitally towards the end of 2009 and largely overlooked, presents little in the way of soul and naught in the way of punk. Nonetheless, Cold War Kids have managed to slap together a stunning fifteen minutes of drivel in preparation for their third album, out later this year supposedly.

Much of it leads back to Nathan Willett’s voice, always trying to infuse soul and pizazz into lyrics like, “You came out from the country / Wearing momma’s clothes / You were born in the city / Daddy’s dominoes,” and typically coming up short (or, as the case may be, flat). A source of critical contention since their full-length debut, his wannabe-Jack-White drawl still provides as little satisfaction today as it did four years ago.

Not all of Cold War Kids’ problems can be blamed on their frontman though. Among the many issues Behave Yourself tackles, conservative song structure is the most prominent. Lead track “Audience of One” is piano rock at its most gratingly repetitive, less Cat Stevens and more Billy Joel. “Sermons,” an R&B disaster, soaked to the bone with religious pleading and slow instrumentation that might evoke an ominous atmosphere were it not for Willett’s overbearing words and Jonnie Russell’s heavy-handed crooning. They even ape The Beatles’ “Her Majesty” with the abruptly-ending bonus track “Baby Boy.”

If there exists one bearable song on this short record it would likely be “Santa Ana Winds.” While not strong enough to salvage the EP, it relegates Willett’s voice to the background more than the others on the record, instead allowing for crescendoing swells of percussion and crisp guitar and bass lines. Moreover Cold War Kids know not to outstay their welcome on it, dropping out at a lean 2:32.

Why are EPs released? Are they outlets for musicians to grow artistically? Can they represent more than the throwaway B-sides from an album of material? Years from now, when the tastemakers of the future visit their vintage record stores to compile some of the aughts’ great indie rock EPs — Fall Be Kind, Lon Gisland, Sun Giant, Rainwater Cassette Exchange, Friend and others — a tattered compact disc copy of Behave Yourself will undoubtedly lie at the bottom of the bin, forgotten and sold at a tenth of its original price.

— Eric Vilas-Boas

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Editor’s Pick #201: The Joys of Losing Weight by Realpeople (Later known as Beirut) by Irina Dvalidze

Zach Condon of Beirut and The Real People

PREVIEW: STREAM The Joys of Losing Weight by Realpeople

When you were fifteen, you probably did as all teens do: snuck out past midnight, listened to angsty teen hits and complained about the gross school lunch. Well, when Zach Condon was fifteen he recorded an entire album by himself, titling it The Joys of Losing Weight. Makes you feel sub par doesn’t it?

Working under title Realpeople, Condon, who would later become the moving force behind Beirut, recorded the 21-track album in his bedroom. Since the album has never officially been released, there is no album art available and none of the tracks are  titled. The album was completely unavailable to the public, until it leaked online.

Predating Condon’s evolution to the Balkan style arrangements, The Joys of Losing Weight is the original palette from which Beirut would eventually evolve. It is full of electronic sounds layered with Condon’s vodka-drenched voice (yes it sounded like that even when he was fifteen, apparently) and the classic trumpet that this young prodigy has immaculately perfected.

What is most astonishing about this album is not only the fact that Condon could produce such an incredible piece of work at such a young age, but the fact that The Joys of Losing Weight actually rivals most contemporary releases in the maturity of the sound and overall production.

— Irina Dvalidze, Multimedia Editor

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New Breakfast at Sullimay’s features Wilco, Dirty Projectors by caitlindewey

My grandmother hasn’t acknowledged the existence of an album since Frank Sinatra’s Nice ‘n’ Easy.  Thus, the idea of her listening to the latest from Beirut, Common or Yo La Tengo isn’t just comical — it’s downright ridiculous.  It’s also the concept behind Breakfast at Sulimay’s, a video blog/online television series that you (and your grandma) are gonna want to check out, if you haven’t already.

From the corner of what appears to be a B-grade suburban diner, three lovable senior citizens don headphones, jam to the latest from the likes of Andrew Bird, Matt & Kim and Bat for Lashes, and deliver their ruling on the tracks.

My grandmother would surely grimace and pronounce that Dan Deacon’s “Snookered” was in headache-inducing poor taste.

Joe, Ann and Bill are totally down, though — they love Dan Deacon!  They love Eminem!  And of the latest from Grizzly Bear, they say:

“Is this… English?”

Priceless!  Youth is wasted on the young.

— Caitlin Dewey

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Emerging Artists: Thao with the Get Down Stay Down by tjwell01

KRS481_CDF142_outI’m always skeptical when I think I’ve found an emerging artist, because someone usually responds in capital letters, “YOU LOSER, THESE GUYS HAVE BEEN AROUND FOREVER.” Well these guys are new to me, so deal with it.

I present to you, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down. They just released their new tour dates on their MySpace. It was sent to me in a press release from Kill Rock Stars Records.

Listen to their tracks, and tell me they’re not fun to listen to. It’s all in the vocals for me. I’m trying to think of who they remind me of. Their instrumental ensemble is brass like Beirut, but the vocals sound like the guys from MGMT, roughly. Try it out.

–Jett Wells, Co-Reviews Editor

Free 4 All: Free Music Archive by tjwell01
April 10, 2009, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Free 4 All | Tags: , , , , , ,


A website that gives away free music that’s legal and portable? No way! Don’t get too excited, but this new site, Free Music Archive, gives away free live tracks from selected new artists, like Vivian Girls and Max Tundra. The whole site is funded by the the New York State Music Fund, according to the SPIN article.

The music is provided by three major independent radio stations based in Seattle, Portland and Jersey City, and the basic idea is to create a blog version of these radio stations, except no commercials, you pick the song and you get to keep it.

Don’t be scared off by the word “live,” because these tracks have quality sound, and it’s hard to tell if the recording is live at all.

There’s one catch though; you’re not going to find big mainstream acts on this site. There’s not going to be any Lady Gaga or Beirut, but you can get some quality tracks from Daniel Johnston and Dan Deacon. Not a bad consolation prize.

The number of available songs will certainly grow, and there’s plenty of artists on the site you’ve never even heard of. One mini-flaw in the format is that there’s no super-advanced sorting system. You basically just pick a song, listen and decide if you like it. I love the idea because it forces you to discover new groups while getting to keep the music in return. I’m sure this site is going to start a wave of other non-profit projects like this later. It’ll get interesting when more radio stations get involved.

–Jett Wells, Co-Reviews Editor

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DJ Joro Boro: Etnoteck @ the Redhouse by 20watts

I began paying more attention to a genre, which thanks to Zach Condon has received quite a bit of recognition over the years since he formed the band Beirut.

The genre is known as Balkan music, which derived its name from the Balkan countries located in the Southeastern region of Europe. It is labeled as a subgenre of world music or more contemporarily as “gypsy folk”; over time however, the genre has branched out from its traditional roots, infusing itself with modern day techno, indie-pop and even reggaeton, creating a new genre of its own called “Neo-Balkan music.”

Beirut incorporates many elements of brass into their music (refer to the first album Gulag Orkestar). Other artists whose works clearly emerged from Balkan music are A Hawk and A Hacksaw and DeVotchKa.

If you want to get a feel of Balkan music, visit the Redhouse Arts Center in downtown Syracuse for the “XAYC: Shotgun Block Party.” This free event is being held on May 2nd at the Redhouse consists of an exhibit and installation created by Bulgarian visiting artist Daniela Kostova as well as a dance party with DJ Joro Boro.

Boro mixes “etnoteck” a genre, which name-implied, is based on culturally diverse music: gypsy dance hall, Balkan gitano brass, Arab turbo dub, resistance ska, grind bhangra, outer latino, favela freak funk. He is most prominently known for works in collaboration with popular bands such as Gogol Bordello and Balkan Beat Box. XAYC exposes authenticity as mutation and artists Daniela Kostova and Joro De Boro are serving it to you in an art form with a smile, a drink and a dance.

– Carmen Hui

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