20 Watts


Concert Coverage: The Chariot at The Westcott by laoppedi

Photography by Rhéma Hill

Where were you Sunday evening? About 40 students and Syracuse natives would say they attended the Tours and Rumors of Tours show at the Westcott Theater to see Georgia natives, The Chariot, backed by Greeley Estates, Inhale Exhale, Memphis May Fire, The Color Morale and local band Murder She Wrote.

The night began slowly as people trickled down the slant of the theater floor to claim their positions at the stage. Without warning, Murder She Wrote stepped up, plugged in and began wailing through their twenty minute set. Their sound was for the most part controlled and concise, but what set them apart from most local metal bands was the way they incorporated the keyboard sound. It wasn’t overpowering, but lightly mixed into the overall melody. While their performance was decent, Murder She Wrote lacked the interaction needed to get the crowd focused on what was happening before them. Continue reading

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The Silent League, The Growlers and Dr. Dog @ Westcott Theater (Photos, Review, Interview) by Isabel Alcantara

Justin Russo (foreground) and Shannon Fields of The Silent League supporting The Growlers and Dr. Dog. MORE photos below the cut!

PREVIEW: VISIT The Silent League, The Growlers and Dr. Dog on MySpace
EXCLUSIVE: READ an interview with The Silent League

A night of psychedelic indie rock drenched the Westcott last night with space-y chamber pop from The Silent League, floral blues-punk with a Southern drawl from The Growlers and straightforward, hook-heavy hard rock  from Dr. Dog. Idiosyncrasy and quirk came to mind throughout the show, whether the crowd was dancing to the groove-based rhythm from The Growlers, peering into the massive sunglasses of Dr. Dog’s guitarist or watching The Silent League members play multiple instruments at the same time.

Dr. Dog, the headlining act, played the simplest and tightest show, entertaining the crowd consistently and impressing the audience with nary a pause in between songs except to joke about their day off the next day. “What is there to do in this town? You guys got a zoo or something?” bassist Toby Leaman joked before commenting on  the weather. The band interspersed their set with newer songs — likely to appear on their upcoming album Shame, Shame (due out April 6, 2010) — and fan favorites. Continue reading



Play It by Ear Haiti Benefit Show @ Funk N’ Waffles by 20watts

Liz Lewis playing at Funk 'n' Waffles last night; larger photos below!

PREVIEW: LISTEN to Drink Up Buttercup, Liz Lewis and New Relic on MySpace
GIVE: DONATE a contribution to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

You walk into Funk N’ Waffles and the coffee shop is cramped past the legal limit. With hardly any standing room, much less an open seat, the bands that played at Funk last night did so to a packed show. Whether they were standing in the back or sitting close up front, concert-goers listened intently to the performers voices, guitar noodling, keyboard manipulation and other forms of music-making, whether it involved cellos or garbage cans. The eclectic acts and cozy atmosphere made the Haiti charity event a great success Friday night.

Erica Scarano, Sarah Detweiler, Aaron Gittleman, Liz Lewis, Keith Smith (with Stephen Babcock), One of Three, New Relic, Ryan Whitman and Drink Up Buttercup filled the elevated stage between the hours of 7 and 11:30 p.m. Each artist performed just a few songs, ranging in genres and message. Appropriate to the benefit show’s nature, the only consistent theme of the night was the universal camaraderie shared by the performers and the audience. Continue reading



20 Watts Video: Gang Gang Dance @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (1/15/10) by tjwell01

PREVIEW: Gang Gang Dance’s MySpace

It’s not everyday I totally misread a band, but then I have one of those brain fart moments, like when I saw Gang Gang Dance at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. For some reason, I thought I was walking into a techno-mashup DJ party, but it turned out to be more like a tribal rain dance festival. The crowd was swerving and jiving like it was the summer of 1969, and the whole time I felt like I was missing out on the psychedelics evidently being passed around. No matter, because even though the concert was a bit dull, it was fascinating to watch–especially their fidgety hipster mascot wearing the wool mask.

–Jett Wells

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20 Watts Video: The Joy Formidable @ Pianos (1/12/10) by tjwell01

The night started off with some boyhood charm when Locksley played fun indie rock in a classic rock kind of way, but things got turned up a notch once The Joy Formidable plugged in their amps. Led by the fierce blonde leading lady, Ritzy, The Joy Formidable stormed into a heavy vortex of power chords and unhinged aggression. On Ludlow Street at Pianos, the crowd knew the game, and the bands delivered fashionably. Catch these guys when you have the chance, but be prepared for your ears to ring and sting for a day or two afterward.

–Jett Wells



20 Watts Video: Tigersapien at Santos Party House (12/28/09) by tjwell01

PREVIEW: Tigersapien’s MySpace

It was a Monday night below Canal Street around 8:30 p.m., and I was still surprised no one was showed up to see Tigersapien perform at Andrew W.K.‘s joint in downtown Manhattan, Santos Party House. The smoke machine was blowing up a storm, but the seats were empty and the lights shined on a naked dance floor. No matter, because Tigersapien and The Services scorched the room with hot dance beats and flailing machismo. Street urchins trickled in at the right time, however, when Tigersapien took the stage and polished off a solid night of air-humping. Can’t wait to see what happens on a Tuesday night show.

–Jett Wells

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A Friday Night with The Wood Brothers at the Westcott by Isabel Alcantara

The Wood Brothers rocked Westcott Theater last Friday night

PREVIEW: VISIT The Wood Brothers’ Website
PHOTOS: VIEW below the cut!

The Friday night crowd wasted no time whooping and hollering during The Wood Brothers’ first song, a funky take on Steve Earle’s “Mystery Train Part II.”

“Feels like a Friday night,” guitarist Oliver Wood said, acknowledging the energetic crowd.

The brotherly duo treated the crowd to a night of personal, soulful, and bluesy songs.  The music was carried by Oliver Wood’s pitch-perfect trebly vocals and bassist Chris Wood’s eloquent and tasteful lines.   For this special show, they were joined by percussionist Jed Kosiner, who added rhythmic textures on his snare drum, cymbals, and pandeiro (a Latin, tambourine-like instrument).

Oliver later gave his appreciation for “The Wood Brothers dancers,” the smiling mini crowd of twirlers to his left the whole show.  You would have guessed they were a rock band by the way the crowd yelled during songs.

“The foundations of their music are spiritually inspiring.  If you look inside to the nature of yourself, you’ll see that that’s what they’re singing about.  The spirit,” said Funk ‘n’ Waffles co-owner Kyle Corea. Continue reading

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