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20 Watts Reviews Devendra Banhart’s What Will We Be by Irina Dvalidze

20 Watts Reviews Devendra Banhart’s What Will We Be

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD “Rome (Neighbours with Devendra Banhart Remix)” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 17/20 Watts

The only way to describe Devendra Banhart is as the pinnacle of hipster genius. Let’s be honest, anyone who can pull off a sari, elaborate guy-liner and a middle name Obi (yes, like the Jedi Master), deserves appropriate recognition.

Working mostly with lo-fi, under independent labels, Devendra will finally release an album — What Will We Be — through a major label.  Co-produced by Banhart and Paul Butler of A Band of Bees, album features Noah Georgeson, Greg Rogove, Luckey Remington, and Rodrigo Amarante, all of whom contributed to Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, arguably the best Banhart release to date. Continue reading

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News of Note: Weezer Collaborate with The All-American Rejects, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Release an iTunes Orginals Session, Devendra Banhart Streams New Album What Will Be, Animal Collective Support PETA, and MORE by jluposello
Weezer just finished a collaboration with All American Rejects for upcoming album Raditude

Weezer just finished a collaboration with Nick Wheeler and Tyson Ritter of The All-American Rejects for upcoming album Raditude

Keeping with the collaborative theme of their new album, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo has recently finished up a track for Weez’s new album, Raditude, featuring Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler of The All-American Rejects. The song, entitled “Put Me Back Together,” follows Weez’s collaboration with Lil’ Wayne, “Can’t Stop Partying.” Ritter told RS, “I was playing Weezer songs when I was 13 at parties, so now I can die happy.” Look for the track when the album drops on November 3rd.

It’s about time that we got an iTunes Originals session from New York’s garage-punk rockers, Yeah Yeah YeahsPitchfork gives us a look at the details of today’s release, which include studio tracks, interview clips, and unreleased acoustic versions of some of YYY’s most well known tracks. Check it out here.

Devendra Banhart’s seventh release, What Will Be, is set to drop from Warner Bros. Records on October 27th. Both Banhart and Band of Bees’ Paul Butler have dually produced the record, reports Stereogum. He has reportedly reenlisted the band that played behind him on 2007’s Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon: Noah Georgeson, Greg Rogove, Luckey Remington and Rodrigo Amarante. Fans that can’t wait the week for this highly anticipated freak-folk release can stream it now here (you can thank us later).

Staying true to their namesake, Animal Collective has just stepped up with PETA to protest Canada’s aptly named annual “Seal Slaughter.” The slaughter is responsible for the death of thousands of seals annually (60,000 in 2009), and celebrities such as Perez Hilton and the guys from AnCo have begun passionately speaking against the practice, reports Pitchfork. Check out the video, where Geologist eloquently states, “We all really like animals and seals, especially.” We like your enthusiasm, Geo.

Nashville’s indie rockers Kings of Leon will be releasing their most recent concert footage on DVD, reports Pitchfork. The release, entitled Live at the O2 London, England documents a June 2009 show. Look for its release on November 10th and on November 24th in Blu-Ray.

— John Luposello

News of Note: Ulrich Schnauss Sues Axl Rose, Michael McDonald and Christopher Cross Join The Roots on Jimmy Fallon, Rivers Cuomo Talks Weezer’s Raditude, and Devendra Banhart Schedules Tour Dates by 20watts
Ulrich Schnauss, German electro-gaze composer, is suing Axl Rose for plagiarism

Ulrich Schnauss, a German electro-gaze composer, is suing Axl Rose for plagiarism

PREVIEW: WATCH Ulrich Schnauss’s “Clear Day” Video

Stereogum reports on Axl Rose‘s latest shenanigans. German electronic musician Ulrich Schnauss has decided to sue him for ripping off two songs. The electro-gaze artist has been making music since the mid-’90s while Rose had been putting Chinese Democracy off for release for Schnauss’s entire career. The tracks in question are Guns n’ Roses’ “Riad N’ The Bedouins” against Ulrich Schnauss’s “Wherever You Are” and “A Strangely Isolated Place.” Axl denies any and all allegations of plagiarism. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Chinese Democracy Fizzles on Opening Day]

Stereogum also reported on Michael McDonald and Christopher Cross‘s performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon yesterday. Joining them were The Roots dressed in captain’s hats along with the studio audience. Stereogum ironically notes that none of the guys imitated on Yacht Rock ever actually owned a yacht. They sang the classic “Ride Like the Wind.” [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Grizzly Bear Collaborate with Michael McDonald]

Devendra Banhart has announced the dates for his upcoming North American tour, Pitchfork reports.  The tour begins after his album, What Will We Be drops on October 27.  If you’re in NYC around Thanksgiving time, check out his November 22 show at Town Hall.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #179: Devendra Banhart’s “Shabop Shalom” and Collaborations]

Pitchfork interviews Weezer‘s Rivers Cuomo, and sheds light on the band’s upcoming album, Raditutde. If, like us, you are wondering how Lil Wayne ended up on a Weezer track, this is your answer. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Lil Wayne: Rock Star]

— 20 Watts Staff

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Editor’s Pick #179: Devendra Banhart’s “Shabop Shalom” and Collaborations by Irina Dvalidze

Devendra to release a new collaboratin with Beck

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Devendra Banhart’s “Shabop Shalom” MP3

Like we needed yet another reason to love Devendra Banhart! This ridiculously versatile polyglot can do no wrong whether he is confessing his true love in “Lover” or engaging in infidelity in “Carmensita.” A part of the New Weird American movement with the likes of Bon Iver, Islands, The Mountain Goats and Grizzly Bear, Devendra’s sound can only de bescribed as original and intriguingly strange.

Even though it has been about two years since his last full — and so far best — album, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, Devendra has been dropping countless collaborations and side-projects with some of the coolest individuals in the business. One name appears increasingly often — Beck. Beck and Banhart collaborated on Beck’s second Record Club covers album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, specks of which have been gradually appearing on Beck’s web-page. Apparently these two hit it off pretty well since barely two weeks after the announcement of their co-artistic shenanigans, Pitchfork reported their next collaboration with Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness director, Todd Solondz. Looks like  Solondz’s next film Life During Wartime will have an acoustic accompaniment to envy. Who knows? If we are lucky this one song project may even evolve into a full soundtrack.

— Irina Dvalidze, Multimedia Editor

Editor’s Pick #175: Os Mutantes by Eric Vilas-Boas
Os Mutantes, back in action, released a new album last week

Os Mutantes, back in action, released a new album last week

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Os Mutantes’ “A Minha Menina” MP3

Most American listeners know tropicalia bands like Os Mutantes from their influence on artists like Nirvana, Beck, David Byrne, of Montreal, Devendra Banhart, and others. However, in their day, this crew of noted rockers, inlcuding the legendary Sérgio Dias and the internationally known Rita Lee, were known in their country as Brazilian equivalent to The Beatles.

With their 2006 reunion spearheaded by Dias, Os Mutantes have been playing shows on world tours alongside the likes of aforementioned Banhart and the equally psychedelic The Flaming Lips. They also released their first album in over 35 years — Haih or Amortecedor last week. Unlike The Stoogesattempt at a comeback, Os Mutantes’ actually produced great music.

— Eric Vilas-Boas, Production Editor

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Beck and the Record Club Cover the Velvet Underground by ashleycollman

Beck's Record Club Project is uninspiring thus far

Last month, Beck announced on his Web site that he would be starting a new Internet project. The collaborative project, entitled The Record Club, planned to pair artists such as MGMT and Devendra Banhart to re-record classic albums in one day without practicing beforehand. Once the Web site was ready, The Record Club would release one track a week beginning with The Velvet Underground & Nico album. Cool plan, right?

Not so much. The idea is interesting in theory, but it doesn’t really work in practice. The Record Club is already four tracks into the Underground album — you can see some cuts on Vimeo — and so far, it’s just uninspiring.

To quote Juno MacGuff: “It’s just noise.”

The point of re-recording a song is to add something, or make it better than the original. That’s not happening and on top of that, the production quality is very low. The music sounds choppy and it’s hard to understand what’s going on.

Then again Beck is known for his revolutionary approach to music. Perhaps his intent in covering these albums will become apparent with more listening — and Beck does know how to cover a song. It will be interesting to see which album he chooses next.

—Ashley Collman

20 Watts Free Beach Playlist by carlywolkoff
20 Watts free beach download is a perfect blend of warm-weather hits.

20 Watts' free beach mix is a perfect blend of warm-weather hits.


I’m going to follow Alex’s lead, but not because I’m an unoriginal poseur, but because I sincerely believe in the power of a kickass playlist.  There is absolutely nothing more precious than music perfectly coinciding with your surroundings, which is why I’m going to share my ideal beach playlist.  Trust me, I tested it this past weekend, and a playlist capable of transforming the Jersey Shore into the ultimate island getaway is worth a listen.

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