20 Watts

ISSUE 22 | Soundalike: Owl City by 20watts

Owl City

Part of our Issue 22 coverage!

PREVIEW: CLICK here to check out Owl City‘s website.

Adam Young likes being cute. Really cute. Consider this lyric from his chart-topping smash-hit “Fireflies”: “I get a thousand hugs / from ten thousand lightning bugs.” However, if you do the math on that saccharine gem of Owl City lyricism, it comes out to 1/10th of a hug per lightning bug. Given the size of said insect, I think most of us would prefer something a little more substantial. All math aside, the Minnesota native Young has stormed the globe with a blend of major label buzz and controversial compositions. Check out these bands and get back to us: you might get an idea of why everyone’s so fired up about Owl City. Continue reading


Editor’s Pick #292: Death Cab for Cutie’s Cover of The Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by elizabethvogt
March 17, 2010, 1:08 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , ,

Death Cab For Cutie

PREVIEW: STREAM Death Cab for Cutie’s Cover of The Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”

Two Words: HOLY MOLY. Death Cab, you done good this time. Even though my discovery of this song is embarrassingly late, it is still without doubt one of the best covers I’ve heard in awhile. Ben Gibbard flawlessly recreates Morrissey‘s classic voice while giving it his own soft, melodic touch against the acoustic strummings. Honestly, you just have to listen, words won’t do justice. Thank you, Death Cab, thank you.

— Elizabeth Vogt, Assistant Front of Book Editor

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Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar Soundtrack Kerouac’s Big Sur by Irina Dvalidze
Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar Soundtrack Documentary One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur.

Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar Soundtrack Documentary One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur.

PREVIEW: Download Death Cab for Cutie’s “Summer Skin” MP3
WATCH: Video below the jump

We all know that Ben Gibbard has incomparable musical talent. Be it his work with Death Cab for Cutie, or side projects like Postal Service that get us permanently addicted, it appears he can do no wrong. Gibbard has cited Jack Kerouac as a major influence on his work before and has now found a perfect outlet to pay his dues.

What started out as a small collaboration with Jay Farrar of Son Volt — in 2007 for upcoming Jack Kerouac documentary One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur — has escalated into a full-length soundtrack of the same title. The album will accompany the DVD release in a special edition, aside from individual release.

With this project, Farrar and Gibbard directly tap into the heart of Kerouac’s work — taking the eerie, lingering lyrics straight off the pages of Big Sur (1962) — and merging them with folky acoustic melodies. Aside from creating the music, the duo also appear in the film. The film includes quite an assortment of artists (film and music), who have been influenced by Kerouac. Tom Waits, Sam Shepard, Robert Hunter of the Grateful DeadPatti Smith and even Amber Tamblyn (yes, even the girl from the Traveling Pants movie), just to name a few. Continue reading

Editor’s Pick #131: Zooey Deschanel Sells Out by tjwell01

Zooey Deschanel, indie-pop princess, has got it all. She’s engaged to indie God, Ben Gibbard, she’s in a  band called She & Him, and now she’s writing jingles.

What? Really?

She doesn’t have to write jingles for Cotton ads, so why did she? Bored? Something to do? It’s a neat little song, and trust me, I love her voice, but this is just twisted.

And for the record, I don’t think she’s THAT hot. There, I said it. I know I pissed off a bunch hipster boys, but deal with it. She’s cute, and she’s banging the Death Cab front man. Bravo. Give her a medal. She’s made up to be the next Nico, but she’s got a long way to go. Let her make a few more albums that top the charts, and then we can talk about her sex appeal.

–Jett Wells, Co-Reviews Editor

Editors Pick #130: New Death Cab EP – The Open Door (2009) by caitlindewey

Can we talk about how epic Ben Gibbard’s been lately?  First he got engaged to Zoey Deschanel.  Then Death Cab released a really cool Claymation-esque music vid.  This summer they’re touring with Syracuse’s own Ra Ra Riot.

And NOW a five-track EP?!

All Ben has to do is revive the Postal Service, and we’ll be set.

You can buy the new EP on iTunes or Death Cab’s Web site.

– Caitlin Dewey, front of book editor