20 Watts

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


Editor’s Pick #239: The Perfect Pandora Station For Studying by elizabethvogt

Pandora Radio=Musical Genius

PREVIEW: CREATE a Sufjan Stevens Station on Pandora

Finals. Finals. Finals. That is basically all anyone here at Syracuse has been hearing for the past few days. Whether it’s Chemistry or Design History, some extreme studying is going on practically everywhere you look. One study sesh necessity: a solid playlist that will get you focused. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to what type of music is being blasted through their earbuds as they voraciously finish that last Calc problem or skim through yet another chapter in their Astronomy textbook. My best friend through these stressful times, however, has been my Sufjan Stevens Station on Pandora.

Although I have at least 15 different stations on my Pandora account, the best I have ever come across is by far Sufjan Stevens. Even if you’re not into folk, this station is seriously amazing for studying. With recurring artists such as Iron & Wine, Damien Rice, Nick Drake, Elliot Smith, Sigur Ros and Andrew Bird (to name a few…), I never want to stop listening. Strangely enough, I actually can’t wait to crack open the books because I know that I will soon be pressing play and letting the angelic voice of Sufjan calm my stressed head.

So if you’re about to rip out your hair while studying for final 4 out of 6, go to www.pandora.com, type in Sufjan Stevens, and prepare for some enjoyable studying. Didn’t think it was possible? Well, with Sufjan, anything is possible.

–Elizabeth Vogt, Assistant Front of Book Editor

20 Watts Reviews The Swell Season’s Strict Joy by Eric Vilas-Boas
The Swell Season - Strict Joy

The Swell Season give us a more-than-worthy third album

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD The Swell Season’s “Fantasy Man” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts

Steven Spielberg said of the film Once that it “gave [him] enough inspiration to last the rest of the year.” Undoubtedly, the 2007 indie singer/songwriter scene belonged to Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. The Academy fell in love with them, they later guest-starred on The Simpsons, and hipsters the world over fawned over the pair’s creative instrumentation and lilting duets.

So how do you follow up an internationally acclaimed soundtrack and reignite two years of dwindling fame? Fortunately for fans everywhere, The Swell Season are continuing to do exactly what they’ve always done: make beautiful music. They need nothing else. Continue reading