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Editor’s Pick #264: PS22 Chorus by 20watts

The PS22 Chorus is so much cooler than your elementary choir

PREVIEW: WATCH The PS22 Chorus sing Coldplay‘s “Viva La Vida

From YouTube fame to celebrity endorsement’s Staten Island’s PS22 Chorus has become the coolest elementary choir in the country. Their YouTube videos have gained more than four million views; and everyone from Beyonce to Passion Pit have professed their love for PS22. The choir has covered old school hits like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and Survivors “Eye of the Tiger,” and more recent hits like Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” and Lady GaGa’s “Just Dance. One of PS22’s popular videos is their rendition of Fleetwood Macs “Landslide.” Last June the choir had the chance to meet Stevie Nicks and after performing their cover of “Landslide” Nicks told the choir that when she first saw their YouTube video she cried. The amount of talent these kids have is incredible.  If you want to learn more about PS22 check out their blog.

-Eric Hoffman, Features Editor

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U2’s First Contact in Glastonbury by cweeks88

U2 are looking more and more like aging Irish Porn Stars

PREVIEW: LISTEN to U2’s “No Line on the Horizon”

Just when you thought aging, self-absorbed rock stars couldn’t be more agonizingly full of themselves as displayed in the upcoming TV special of the 25th Annual Rock Hall of Fame Awards/concerts — U2 strikes again in destroying everything that’s halfway decent about popular Rock music by headlining England’s Glastonbury 2010 Music Festival.

Despite the poor sales of this once-great band’s most recent album No Line on the Horizon, U2 still don’t know when to quit. Since playing on top of buildings in London and causing a carefully orchestrated and televised stir earlier this year didn’t work, perhaps Bono figures that their spanking new songs will resonate with an audience whose only relation to the band is that their parents had Joshua Tree playing in the background during their conception. Continue reading

Editor’s Pick #224: Weaver at the Loom by elizabethvogt


Weaver at the Loom

PREVIEW: STREAM Weaver at the Loom’s I Was Searching and Then I Found on their Myspace


Everyone loves Explosions in the Sky. As one of the most innovative bands in the current music scene, Explosions has inspired multiple artists to delve into the world of musical epics. One brainchild of the band is Weaver at the Loom.

Like Explosions, Weaver is comprised of four members who each contribute their musical talents. The difference between the two bands: Weaver features vocals in every song. As was described on their Myspace, Weaver masterfully combines “atmospheric elements of groups like Explosions in the Sky and The Album Leaf with the songwriting grace of compositional masters Death Cab for Cutie and Coldplay.” To add to this wonder, the lyrics of every song on the band’s only album, I Was Searching and Then I Found, flow together to make a story that could be comparable to Eliot’s The Waste Land. Much like Explosions, the album is meant to be listened to from start to finish.

With some of the most beautiful vocals I’ve ever heard and simple yet emotional instrumentation to compliment, I Was Searching and Then I Found could easily be classified into the coveted “album that I could never get tired of listening to” category. If you are listening to the album for the first time, here is what I recommend: play the album all the way through while reading the lyrics. It is honestly a spiritual experience.

–Elizabeth Vogt, Assistant Front-of-Book Editor

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News Of Note: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominations for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, LL Cool J, Kiss and more; Black Gold will tour the US With Girl In A Coma; The Boss Turns 60, Coldplay Gives To Charity; Michael Jackson’s New Single, Album, And Movie; And Much More! by laoppedi

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio

PREVIEW: WATCH the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ video for Californication.

Rolling Stone reports that the Red Hot Chili PeppersLL Cool JKiss, Genesis, the Stooges and ABBA are among the artists nominated for the 2010 class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. This is the first year in which LL Cool J and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are eligible for induction. Last year’s inductees included Jeff Beck, Metallica and Run-DMC.  (Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Industry News, Week 3)

Brooklyn’s indie duo Black Gold has decided to embark on a US tour supporting Texas-native punk sweethearts, Girl in a Coma, as reported by Filter. The multi-instrumental duo comprised of Eric Ronik (lead vocals, keyboards) and Than Luu (drums, percussion, vocals) will be performing tracks from their debut full length entitled Rush, which was released this past February. You can check out their dance beat-infused tunes on both iTunes and Myspace.

An unreleased Michael Jackson single and album has been announced for release in October, reports NME.COM. The track “This Is It” is the fist posthumous Jackson single to be released and will come out October 12, followed by a compilation album on October 26 and a movie entitled “This Is It” on October 28. In a message on Jackson’s Web site, it was revealed that the compilation album will be a two-disc set featuring past hits, previously unreleased mixes and a spoken-word piece from Jackson called “Planet Earth.” [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Syracuse Reacts to Michael Jackson’s Death]

Syracuse.com’s Listen Up Blog posted an especially sentimental birthday note to The Boss, who is celebrating his 60th Birthday today. Bruce’s last gigs in ‘Cuse include a two night stand at the Dome in 1992 and a critically acclaimed show at the Landmark Theater in November 1996. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee apparently celebrated his 60th during a concert on September 21 in Des Moines, Iowa. Seriously, Bruce? No rocking the Spectrum (actually, he’ll be there in October) or perhaps MSG (where he’ll be this November) on the big day? I guess you are getting old…

Pitchfork and NME.com report that Coldplay have donated one million pounds ($1,616,809 American dollars) to the charity, Kids Company.  Kids Company aims to provide support for inner-city children. According to NME the band also plans to give music lessons to kids at Kids Company centers.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: The 20: An Essential Guide to Britpop]

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists haven’t had much luck with record labels in the past after Lookout! Records folded and Touch and Go stopped releasing new records.  Pitchfork reports that the band has signed to Matador Records.

–20 Watts Staff

News Of Note: Smashing Pumpkins will release new free record, Beastie Boys re-release Hello Nasty, Coldplay settle lawsuit, and much more! by 20watts
Smashing Pumpkins will release a 44 track EP

Smashing Pumpkins will release 44 new track for free

SPIN announces that Smashing Pumpkins will release a new 44-track free record, entitled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. On top of the free songs, the band will also be putting out eleven limited-edition EPs of the tracks. Even though leading man Billy Corgan is the only original Pumpkin left, it’s still an intriguing project for the 90s alt-rock stalwarts. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: News of Note: Muse Stream The Resistance, Jay-Z, Wild Beasts, White Lies, Kurt Cobain’s Guitar Hero Avatar, and much more]

The Beastie Boys, while waiting for Adam “MCA” Yauch to hopefully make a speedy recovery from cancer treatment, are re-releasing 1998’s Hello Nasty. On top of the original album’s content, the deluxe edition will feature 21 additional tracks, including 10 never-before-heard segments and songs. Hopefully we don’t overdose on the guys before the eventual release of Hot Sauce Committee Part 1. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Releases of the Week: Kanye Samples & the Beastie Boys]

According to Rolling Stone the copyright infringement lawsuit between legendary guitarist Joe Satriani and British Rock gods Coldplay has been dismissed. Satriani claimed that “substantial original portions” of his song “If I Could Fly” were used in Coldplay’s smash hit “Viva La Vida.”  Both parties are refusing to say whether or not a financial settlement was reached.[Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Coldplay Releases A New Video For “Strawberry Swing”

New York Times reports that Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary died Wednesday night of cancer at the age of 72.  Mary was a member Peter, Paul and Mary, which was one of the most influential Greenwich Village folk groups of the 1960s.

NME.COM reports that rock band Muse have expressed interest in creating the theme song for a future James Bond movie. Muse drummer Dominic Howard spoke to BBC News and said that the band’s epic music would fit well with the franchise. “It’s something we’d probably say yes to, or at least give it a good go,” he said. “Certainly some of our music fits with the James Bond vibe – and I think it could work.”  The last James Bond film had a few tribulations when it came to the movies main theme. Originally, Amy Winehouse and producer Mark Ronson were set to make the song, but the pair didn’t make enough progress, which led to it being replaced by Jack White and Alicia Keys’ track “Another Way To Die”. The 23rd Bond film will have Daniel Craig returning as agent 007 and is set for release in 2011. If Muse were to record the next Bond song they would be the first British band to do so since Duran Duran, more than 20 years ago, in “A View To A Kill”.   [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Reviews Muse’s The Resistance]

Pitchfork reports that the Mountain Goats will appear on “The Colbert Report” on October 6, the same day the band releases their new LP, The Life of the World to Come.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: News of Note 9/14/2009]

Starting October 5, internet radio and music community website, Last.fm will launch actual radio stations.  These radio stations will broadcast on CBS’s New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco radio channels, Billboard reports.

Brooklyn Vegan recently posted a rumor, based on information from “multiple reliable sources,” that Pavement

Editor’s Pick #168: Chinese Chicks Choose Classical Concert Contraptions, Competently Cover Coldplay’s “Clocks” by bzr
Twelve Girls Band covers Western songs with Chinese instruments

Twelve Girls Band covers Western songs with Chinese instruments

Twelve is a significant number in Chinese culture. There are, as any restaurant placemat will tell you, 12 animals in the zodiac. There are 12 golden hairpins, or jinchai, that represent womanhood. Twelve “Earthly Branches” follow the planets’ orbits to determine months, seasons and hours. The lunar calendar is split into 12-year cycles. And Twelve Girls Band has—you know it—12 girls in it.

The classically-trained members Twelve Girls Band all hail  from China’s top music conservatories. Chosen from 4,000 auditions, they play classical instruments such as the erhu, a two-stringed fiddle; the guzheng, a zither dating back to the Qin Dynasty; and the yangqin, a hammered dulcimer originating from ancient Persia. With these they inject some drama into traditional Chinese melodies as well as modern Western pieces—like Coldplay’s Grammy-Award-winning hit “Clocks:”

While they faithfully replicate Chris Martin’s stirring, minimalist piano riff, they also give it the distinctive voice and solo of otherwise-forgotten instruments that peaked in the lavish court ensembles of ancient Chinese royalty. The result is a stunning blend of the familiar—Western ears will recognize the opening notes at a Pavlovian level, while those from the People’s Republic will spot the dizi (a Western-style flute) solo in place of the vocals from a mile away—and the unheard-of, combining into something beautiful that proves to be greater than the sum of its parts.

Twelve Girls Band has toured America in 2004 and 2005, promoting two of their six studio albums. They’ve played Live Earth as well as striking it huge in Japan—and there should be no surprise to their popularity with songs like these.

— Blake Rong, Features Editor


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Photos from APW Day#3 by tjwell01

— Jett Wells

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