20 Watts

20 Watts Radio: Syracuse Concert Analysis Roundup by tjwell01
March 26, 2010, 4:22 pm
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A special guest joins me to talk about upcoming Syracuse concerts.

LISTEN: “Concert Roundup”

A special guest, Adam Biswanger, a.k.a. the classic rock scholar, dishes his thoughts on upcoming indie performances at Syracuse, Miike Snow and Sleigh Bells. Biswanger also talks about the role of indie rock and the hardship of crossing over to the mainstream. He’s excited about one band, and not the another, but who’s got the leg up? Sleigh Bells and Miike Snow go head-to-head in this special 20 Watts podcast.

–Jett Wells

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Editor’s Pick #295: Sleigh Bells at SXSW Revisited by tjwell01
March 26, 2010, 10:46 am
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Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells rocking out at SXSW in Austin, TX, shot by SPIN.

PREVIEW THE BAND: Sleigh Bells’ MySpace

PREVIEW THE EVENT: Sleigh Bells @ Spark Art Place (4/8/10)

LISTEN: “Crown on the Ground” by Sleigh Bells Live at SXSW Festival (Recorded by NPR)

Just in case you missed it last week, Sleigh Bells tore it up at South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX, and the critics raved loud. NPR recorded the whole set, but I edited it down to their final song “Crown on the Ground,” which sounds so much better live than on their MySpace with the fuzzy bass. It’s fitting because Sleigh Bells’ long-awaited performance at Syracuse’s Spark Art Place is less than two weeks away! Until I heard NPR’s podcast, I had no idea what their live concert sounded like, and I’m now ecstatic more than ever. I can’t wait.

–Jett Wells

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20 Watts Video: The Northbound Traveling Minstrel Jug Band by tjwell01

PREVIEW: VISIT The Northbound Traveling Minstrel Jug Band’s MySpace

These guys are SU’s party-band warriors, and if you haven’t seen their live set in an attic somewhere, you’ve been going to the wrong parties. Made out of smooth bluegrass soul, these guys are unmatched in these parts. They play so many campus shows, they’re getting worried they’re playing too much, but the crowd keeps roaring for more.
–Videography by Irina Dvalidze and Editing by Jett Wells
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Scene Around Town: The Ataris by Isabel Alcantara

The Ataris, The Weakness, Don't Panic, Stay Six and Road to Recovery played the Westcott last night!

PREVIEW: VISIT The AtarisRoad to RecoveryDon’t PanicStay Six and The Weakness on MySpace!

The crowd at The Westcott Theater Tuesday night was one that was constantly in flux. With The Ataris headlining and four bands preceding them, there was an ebb and flow to those in attendance; the constant being the two dozen or so fans who eagerly hugged the stage for the entire night, eagerly anticipating the headliners taking the stage. Opening act Road to Recovery performed the admirable feat of making the sparse crowd a little more lively, with their Taking Back Sunday-esque emo-punk sensibilities getting heads to nod and a promise of high fives to those who moved closer to the stage.

Stay Six, a four piece pop-punk band continued in a similar vein with each member, sans the drummer, rotating on vocals providing a brief but energetic set as the crowd began to fill out more. Continue reading

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20 Watts Video Presents The Fly by tjwell01

PREVIEW: The Fly’s Vimeo Page

Even ice-cold Syracuse University has a little sizzle and spice, and The Fly are just that. This misfit group of hip-hop/R&B specialists provide a much-needed blend of contrasting style for the SU music scene. It’s not folk and definitely not remixed–it’s straight soul, power and urban rhythm. Led by the sassy and highly talented Keith Smith and Farasha Baylock, The Fly are a must-hear-now kind of act. Watch this video and you’ll see what kind of attitude and savvy dance moves they bring to the stage. Also, stay tuned for this Thursday’s live sit-down with The Fly on 20 Watts Radio!

–Jett Wells + Irina Dvalidze

News of Note: Drake Coming to Syracuse? by tjwell01
February 18, 2010, 9:22 pm
Filed under: News of Note | Tags: , , , , , ,

According to his MySpace, Drake will play in Syracuse, NY on April 30th at a "private location."

PREVIEW: Drake’s MySpace

The Spring 2010 concert season keeps getting better—maybe. According to his MySpace, personal website and Billboard, Drake will be playing at “private location” in Syracuse, NY on April 30. He’s on a college tour, “Away from Home,” so it’s not completely crazy to think he’ll be coming to Syracuse University at that date. Nick Cicero, an SU grad student and producer signed to the same company as Drake’s producer, Neenyo, said Drake is “supposed to be coming,” but it isn’t “uber-official” yet.

Of course, this all could change as we get closer to the date. Don’t give your hopes up, but the hottest indie rapper could be coming soon.

Stay tuned for updates later.

–Jett Wells and Nathan Mattise

20 Watts Video: YACHT @ Hamilton College (“Psychic City”) by tjwell01
February 14, 2010, 5:18 pm
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Talk about changing plans on a dime. I started planning to go see Big Mouth perform at 701 Ackerman off campus (which has a video coming up shortly!), but then YACHT and MNDR announced they were stopping off at Hamilton College in the same night, so I made a judgment call and decided to catch what was supposed to be an epic dance party. Boy, it was.

MNDR opened up in the pavilion-like venue, pumping loud and fun dance beats with her awkward yet hilarious dance moves. While rocking big white-rimmed glasses and a chandelier-like necklace, she won the crowd over by the final song. In between songs she tried explaining her story, but she seemed to burp and mumble a lot, and people were slightly thrown off. Nevertheless, she let her music do the talking and the Hamilton College kids got a lot more bang than they thought. However, there were a few low moments when a couple Hamilton kids walked on stage to air hump against MNDR while she wasn’t looking. See photos from MNDR’s set below.

Continue reading