20 Watts

Editor’s Pick #288: Road Trip? Anyone? by Isabel Alcantara
Get ready, get set, Sasquatch!

PREVIEW: VISIT Sasquatch’s Web site

I just realized that the thing I want most in the world (aside from a house with a pool filled with Jell-O [seriously]) is to go to SASQUATCH! (and no, I’m not just terribly excited, the name actually has an exclamation point).

Now, hold on, I know where this is going.

“No Isabel,” you’ll say, rolling your eyes. “Sasquatch is a terrifying forest-beast, not an event you attend.”

To which I say, you’re wrong. Sasquatch! is a music festival in Quincy, WA with tremendously impressive line-up for its three day run. A quick glance at the list of artists attending assured me that this is the festival to go to. To hell with tuition and fiscal responsibility. I want to go to the Memorial Weekend festival that’s hosting not only My Morning Jacket, Vampire Weekend, The National, Broken Social Scene, OK Go, and Minus the Bear, but also, WHY?, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Garfunkel and Oates, Massive Attack, Pavement, LCD Soundsystem, Tegan and Sara, Kid Cudi and Dirty Projectors.

[Pause to catch your breath and wipe the tears of joy from your face].

The xx, Girls, MGMT, She & Him, Passion Pit, The New Pornographers, Camera Obscura, The Temper Trap, Dr. Dog, and The Mountain Goats, among others.

Did I have to make that list so long and dramatic? Yes.

Are you packing the cooler and gassing up the car? You should be.

Check out the full list, to further your freak-out.

— Isabel Alcantara, Photo Editor

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Preview: Make sure you check out Audiocandyradio.com

It is Thursday night and 20 Watts Radio is on Audiocandy. Make sure you tune in and don’t miss out on our great selection of awesome tunes.  We have some cool news happening at 20 Watts you simply cant miss. We are gonna give you a run down on some local shows that will be happening this weekend. If you are in Cuse you are most likely snowed in anyway, so join us for a quick getaway as we give you a run down of the awesome stuff you can do in Syracuse once this snow melts. Not to mention if you wanna request a song, all you need to do it tweet at you host here. So make sure to join 20 Watts on Auodiocandy 10 pm sharp. To tune in Click Here.

Show Playlist

1. Taxi Cab – Vampire Weekend
2. Something About Us – Daft Punk
3. Seahorse – Devendra Banhart
4. Actor Out of Work – St. Vincent
5. Laura – Girls
6. Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
7. where do you go to my lovely – Peter Sarstedt
8. Crown of Love – Arcade Fire
9. Grace Kelly – Mika
10. Hong Kong Garden – Siouxsie & The Banshees
11. Friday XIII – Deer Tick
12. Elephant Gun – Beirut
13. Nothing Ever Happened – Deerhunter
14. Silence Kid – Pavement
15. My Parents Lied – The Static Jacks
16. Gold and a Pager – The Cool Kids
17. Don’t Haunt This Place – The Rural Alberta Advantage
18. The Fox In The Snow – Belle & Sebastian
19. Snow and Lights- Explosions in the Sky
20. Snow (Hey Oh) – The Red Hot Chili Peppers
21. Wintertime Love – Choir Of Young Believers
22. White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
–Irina Dvalidze

20 Watts’ Best of 2009 by 20watts

20 Watts brings you the Best Albums of 2009!

So, the champagne’s out, the fireworks have stopped, the ball has dropped. The year 2009 may be long gone … But the music is still here — vibrant and waitng for masses who have yet to consume it! Naturally we want to help y’all out. Here’s 20 Watts’ list of the 20 best albums of 2009, from us to you! Enjoy!

Love and stereo,

20 Watts

20 Watts’ Best of 2009: #17 Girls’ Album by JohnCassillo

Girls' Album is #17 on our Best of 2009 list

TOP TRACK: “Lust for Life”

From the opening surf rock riffs of “Lust for Life,” Girls’ Album had many-a-listener hooked. Lead singer Christopher Owens, a former member of the Children of God cult, and orphan, sounded like damaged goods– but confidently so. His delivery of his shortcomings, wants and needs was corny, yet refreshingly and endearingly witty. Owens never tries to reinvent the wheel, but rather, just plays what’s on his mind.

Maybe that’s what stands out about Girls’ Album, above all else. Owens kindly caters to cliches without any fear of repercussion. There are no limits to Album whatsoever. One second, he’ll be strumming along to something resembling an intoxicated Brian Wilson (“Goddamn”). The next, a ’50s love ballad (“Big Bad Mean Motherfucker”), laden with profanity in his downtrodden murmur. Each track is a distinct state of mind– its own chapter in the larger, still-obscure picture.

Taking from everything from The Beach Boys to Buddy Holly to Guns ‘N Roses, there is little ground left untouched by Girls. Because of this, the space they inhabit seems absolutely limitless– a potentially weighty concept for a band in its infancy. Yet, after such a strong debut, it seems warranted. The future may hold the answers for what’s to come, but at this moment, Girls have one of 2009’s most varied and creative works on their hands.

— John Cassillo

ISSUE 19 | Making Wavves by 20watts

Nathan Williams fronts the acclaimed lo-fi act Wavves

Lo-fi isn’t just a trend on campus — it’s also scoring airtime across the country. Here are some of our favorite lo-fi bands you owe it to yourself to check out:

With ironic song titles like “Summer Goth” and fuzz bleeding from their amps, it’s hard not to love Wavves. Who cares if frontman Nathan Williams is practically a junkie? Despite public humiliation and broken wrists, Williams still played shows this summer.

No Age
With three EPs and a debut in 2007, another full-length last year and an EP just last month, No Age are one of the busiest bands currently making high-quality lo-fi. They’ve mastered the art of drowning infectious riffs and power chords in layers of distortion.

Crystal Stilts
Crystal Stilts factor fuzzy guitars and brooding post-punk into a formula all their own. Despite being together since 2003, the band only released their full-length debut Alight of Night last year.

Times New Viking
Formed in 2005, the raucous Times New Viking have dropped four acclaimed albums, including one this year. Born Again Revisited emphasizes accessible pop structures amidst fits of noise.

Girls’ frontman Christopher Owens grew up in a cult, lost his brother and watched his mom literally sell herself for the cause. His solution? Get high, start a band and sing about heartbreak with such remarkable optimism that even the critics were moved.

— 20 Watts Staff

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News of Note: Animal Collective’s mysterious new album, Ida Maria’s new music video featuring Iggy Pop, the Mountain Goats “Colbert Report” performance and much more! by 20watts
Is Animal Collective releasing another album before the new year? Is Animal Collective releasing another album before the new year?

PREVIEW: Download Animal Collective’s “Brother Sport” MP3.

Both Stereogum and Pitchfork commented today on Animal Collective‘s latest plans, namely a random, coverless album that’s cropped up on Amazon.com. It’s called Fall Be Kind and is available for pre-order for a mere $11.83. Currently that’s all that anyone knows about the release. In other news, the experimental film that the band’s been working is nearly ready for release. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Best Albums of the Year So Far]

Stereogum also premiered a new Ida Maria video today. Ida Maria re-released her song “Oh My God” from the album Fortress Round My Heart, this time with vocals from the legendary Iggy Pop. Stereogum took issue with Iggy Pop’s baritone vocals supporting acts like Jemina PearlDanger Mouse, Sparklehorse and The BPA, not to mention on his own jazzy releases. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Iggy and The Stooges Get Nommed]

Did you miss the Mountain Goats on “The Colbert Report” last night?  Watch their performance of “Psalms 40:2” here on Colbert’s website. Colbert had a field day with the Mountain Goats’ biblically inspired latest album, The Life of the World to Come. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Reviews The Mountain Goats’ The Life of the World to Come]

For all the European Pavement fans out there disappointed by their NYC reunion, do not fret.  Pavement are scheduled to headline All Tomorrow’s Parties on May 14-16 in Minehead, England, Pitchfork reports.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #180: Pavement’s Reunion]

Brooklyn’s own Viva Radio has announced the release of a compilation including the likes of The Dandy WarholsJay Reatard,The Fiery FurnacesGrowing, Amazing Baby, and Sebastien Tellier, reports Filter. Entitled The Best of Me + You Vol. 1, the album was recorded between 2007 and 2009 in their Brooklyn studios and will include interviews and songs from some of the station’s guests. To make the offer even more enticing, the disc is available for purchase along with a limited edition Me + You t-shirt. We’re sold!

Filter also reports that Berkeley-based indie rockers the Morning Benders will play several shows with Grizzly Bear and Girls during their Fall tour. The Benders hooked up with Grizzly Bear on the production of their latest album, Big Echo, which was  co-producer by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor. The album is set to drop in March 2010 on +1 Records. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage:Editor’s Pick #172: Grizzly Bear’s “While You Wait For The Others” (Feat. Michael McDonald)]

— 20 Watts Staff

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20 Watts’ Review Roundup, Week of September 21st by JohnCassillo
Why? attempts indie rock in earnest their latest release

Why? attempts indie rock in earnest on their latest release

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Why?’s “Against Me” MP3

Every week, 20 Watts rounds up the new releases on our radar; click the link for our full review.

Have suggestions? Leave a comment or e-mail them to 20wattsblog@gmail.com.

Why?Eskimo Snow [14/20 Watts]

The genre-jumping alternative artists try their hand at indie rock on their latest release, Eskimo Snow. Fluctuating between rambling, pop bravado and  somber, desperate rock ballads, the album hits a great balance in moods that only elevates its status. It’s a welcoming effort for fans both new and old.

IslandsVapours [15/20 Watts]

Picking up the pieces from 2008’s Arm’s Way, Islands has regrouped for their third effort, and the results are much more favorable. Abandoning complicated melodies for a back-to-basics approach, the band returns to their usual, goofy pop sensibilities, this time set to a combination of indie rock and ’80s new wave. Predictably, the results are, at the least, interesting, if not a great return to form.

Monsters of FolkMonsters of Folk [16/20 Watts]

The folk super group of Jim James, Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and M. Ward comes to fruition with an effort worthy of their collective skills. Easily managing each member’s respective talents, the effort achieves a surprising balance in contribution, giving fans of each member a few feature tunes, along with enough secondary contributions to keep them listening throughout.

The Twilight SadForget the Night Ahead [15/20 Watts]

The Twilight Sad’s second studio album, Forget the Night Ahead, shows a band infinitely more mature, both musically and psychologically, than they were just two years ago. Now distortion-heavy and moody, the band has darkened their demeanor, and committed itself to an emphasis of the music behind the lyrics. The results are as positive as you’d expect, as the band avoids a sophomore slump in a big way.

Volcano ChoirUnmap [15/20 Watts]

Another collaboration of artists, Volcano Choir is a joint effort between Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon and Collections of Colonies of Bees. The result is a minimalist manifesto, one which constructs a meaningful, albeit chaotic-at-times offering of tracks sure to please fans of both artists respectively.

GirlsAlbum [13/20 Watts]

Girls turn in some snappy, shameless pop on their debut effort, Album, which easily succeeds as the most annoying record name of the year. From allusions to Love, Cheap Trick, Buddy Holly and more, to their inherent sense of humor, Girls complete a fair showing on their first trip out of the gate, hopefully with more ambitious releases to come.

Brand NewDaisy [12/20 Watts]

Gone is the band of pop hits such as “Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades.” In its place is a dark, dingy guitar band, squealing and screeching their way through downtrodden, yet explosive tracks on Daisy. The new noise aspects are sometimes too daring for their own good, but when completed successfully, it’s worth the listen.

MikaThe Boy Who Knew Too Much [16/20 Watts]

Loud, exuberant and brimming with an energy most artists would seemingly kill for, Mika returns for another fun, falsetto-filled effort. It truly is radio pop at its finest, as Mika and his background chorus soar to stunning heights, and even throw in some slower, more intimate moments too. For pop enthusiasts, this is a must.

Sean KingstonTomorrow [12/20 Watts]

Kingston turns in another reggae/hip-hop collection laced with radio hits and enough listenability for just about any iPod. Most of the tracks play like a single, which can either be to its benefit, or demise, depending on your point of view. Still, even in its mixtape-type format, those who have previously counted themselves fans will find what they’re looking for.

— John Cassillo, Reviews Editor

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