20 Watts

20 Watts Video: Meet Nick Cicero by tjwell01
April 11, 2010, 11:39 pm
Filed under: 20 Watts Video, On-Campus Artists | Tags: , , , , ,

PREVIEW: Nick Cicero’s MySpace

Nick Cicero is a musical phenom on campus, and no one knows it. He’s a hustler in the competitive world of hip-hop, and he loves every minute of it. He’s a shape-shifter too; he makes beats, sells them, and collaborates with big-time and small artists. Call him driven, call him determined–whatever it is, it speaks to him. Currently, he’s a grad student studying at Newhouse in advertising. He’s been actively working with Myles P and Delirium, who are also young risers themselves.

–Jett Wells

Mix Fix: “Two Weeks of Hip-Hop” by The Hood Internet by tjwell01
March 9, 2010, 1:26 pm
Filed under: The Mix Fix | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Hood Internet is the fastest-growing DJ sensation

PREVIEW THE DJ: The Hood Internet’s MySpace

LISTEN: “Two Weeks of Hip-Hop” (Dead Prez v. Grizzly Bear) by The Hood Internet

This isn’t so much about the song, but about the DJ–The Hood Internet. These guys are all over the place, and they back up the hype with fun and clever mash-ups like this one that mixes Grizzly Bear with Dead Prez. Who else is so stoked that someone made a gangster remix of “Two Weeks”?! [Raises his hand]. Top that with mixes like Jay-Z and M83–these guys challenge the range of great music. They’re a must-hear now act at this year’s SXSW as well. They have great taste and people are spreading the word, and maybe you should do the same.

–Jett Wells

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Mix Fix: “We Share Our Mother’s Health” by The Knife (Ratatat Mix) by tjwell01
March 4, 2010, 12:47 pm
Filed under: The Mix Fix | Tags: , , , , , ,

I really respect Ratatat's gritty touch in this Knife remix

PREVIEW THE DJ: Ratatat’s MySpace

LISTEN: “We Share Our Mother’s Health” By The Knife (Ratatat Mix)

This one is a bit stale, I must be honest, but I couldn’t ignore it any longer. It’s not a heavy club jam nor is it an over-produced mash-up, it’s just The Knife with some smooth bass rhythm and some classic Ratatat electronic guitar loops, and it’s more than enough. It’s more of a stomp-your-boot-kind-of-jam than a bump-your-hips-kind-of-jam, granted. Remixes can be subtle and not overly synthed-out crashers like what Steve Aoki is amazing at. It’s not like you can’t dance to it, because it’s still Ratatat for crying out loud. Show some respect, people. It’s just really well-produced and I tip my hat.

–Jett Wells

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Mix Fix: “The Reward is More Money to Blow” by Hi-Tag by tjwell01

Hi-Tag is a new SU student DJ to look out for.

LISTEN: “The Reward is More Money to Blow” by Hi-Tag

It’s been well-known now for months that SU’s campus is becoming a hot-spot for student DJs/mash-up artists with prominent local names such as Big Mouth, Brandon Linn (of Mouth’s Cradle) and Devon James, and now it looks like the list is expanding with the emergence of Hi-Tag, a.k.a. Drew Taggart. The Bandier program sophomore hasn’t publicized his music until now, and honestly, it’s pretty damn good. “The Reward is More Money to Blow” is a great build-up jam with smart and creative hip-hop samples featuring Lil Wayne and Drake, but I feel a little ripped off in the end. Look out for this kid once he hones his skills and becomes a valiant competitor to the veterans I mentioned above.

–Jett Wells

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Mix Fix: Santigold Vs. MGMT Vs. U2 by tjwell01
February 3, 2010, 4:18 pm
Filed under: Mix Fix | Tags: , , , , , , ,

One unlikely mix of three pop stars fuse to make one awesome mash-up.

PREVIEW THE DJ: Gaston’s Website

LISTEN: “With L.E.S. Kids” by Gaston (Santigold vs. MGMT & U2)

Another mash-up with MGMT and Santigold… Mmmm. Okay, seen it before. Wait, U2 too?? Oh yeah, this mash-up had to be good, and it is. Gaston, you sly dog! I mean the guy had the wits to mix U2’s bass line to “With or Without You” with Santigold’s vocals from “L.E.S” and then weasel in MGMT’s famous “Kids” beat into the chorus. The guy knows his pop music. He reminds of a fine fellow from Pittsburgh who likes taking off his clothes in concert.

–Jett Wells

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Mix Fix: Blur’s Song 2 Remixed by tjwell01
January 30, 2010, 12:51 pm
Filed under: Mix Fix | Tags: , , , ,

Vengeance gives Blur's classic single new life

PREVIEW THE DJ: Vengeance’s MySpace

LISTEN: “Song 2” by Blur (Vengeance Remix)

It’s got to be the most famous rock song from the early 2000s and late 1990s, and people hate it because it was the most overplayed song on Top 40 radio, but this remix by Vengeance brings back great memories. It can get a little too electro-house pop, but it’s a more than solid interpretation. I think the best part is the opening 30-40 seconds of looping the famous drum line, but I also secretly love yelling “WOO-HOO!!” This remix does that and more. Keep this one in the bank next time you need to make a 1990s playlist, and appreciate Blur’s single and only accomplishment.

–Jett Wells

Juice Jam 2009: “In Philadelphia, a couple had sex on stage, which is relatively insane.” by 20watts
September 12, 2009, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Features, Interviews, Juice Jam Preview | Tags: , , , , , , ,
Girl Talk tells 20 Watts

Girl Talk dishes on pop music, his first iPod and the craziest things that people have ever done at his infamous shows

You’ve seen the sweaty neon pictures.  You’ve heard the hyperactive pop culture collages that some naively call songs.  But chances are you’ve never sat down with Gregg Gillis, a.k.a. Girl Talk, to talk pop music, first iPods and the craziest sets in DJ history after one of his infamous party shows.

20 Watts’ Allison Polster caught up with Girl Talk after his show at the University of Rochester last year.

20 Watts: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?

Girl Talk: On a surface level, I usually tell parents and old people that I make new music out of old pop music. I’d say simply, I kind of just collage. It’s an audio collage. I collage together a bunch of sources, layer it, chop it up and just take a bunch of familiar songs and try to create new songs out of those.

20W: Is there a certain criteria you use for songs that you put in? Do you only use songs that you actually like or just songs that fit in best? How do you decide which songs to use?

GT: Everything I use I like. I try not to use anything ironically. I’m pretty sincere about all that. I try to keep it diverse. These days I mainly listen to pop music, but going back to high school and those days, I do listen to a lot more obscure music as well. And I specifically don’t include samples from that as much just cause I like the idea of taking a very familiar thing and then manipulating and kind of playing with people’s connection to that song.

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