20 Watts


City Sounds 4/12: Omaha by krkuchta

Listen to WERW's sounds of Omaha this Monday from 11pm-1am

PREVIEW: VISIT WERW’s Blog

I never thought that any location in Nebraska would be considered a paradise. But in the realm of music, Omaha, Nebraska is an indie paradise. Home of Conor Oberst, Saddle Creek Records and…Conor Oberst (again), who almost hyped up the Omaha scene all by himself. But, of course, one man can’t do it all.

Besides Conor Oberst’s many projects like Bright Eyes, his solo career and the Mystic Valley Band, there have been other huge acts from Omaha. Dance-punk’s The Faint along with the alternative funkiness of 311 have thrown a bit of variety into the Omaha sound. But Omaha’s roots are fairly well planted in alternative, indie and emo. From Cursive to Broken Spindles, it’s heaven out there for any music lover.

That’s not all of course. There’s Digital Leather and the lead singer from Iron Butterfly from the capital of Nebraska! So there isn’t anything you could possibly dislike.

I figured we deserve a trip back to the States after our gig over in Stockholm last Monday. For some good old fashion American emo, listen to City Sounds Monday night from 11pm-1am on WERW.

–Kyle Kuchta

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Editor’s Pick #294: New Charles Hamilton by tjwell01
March 23, 2010, 5:59 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , , , ,

Charles Hamilton slips back into the picture with hot new track, "Deuces."

PREVIEW: Charles Hamilton’s MySpace

DOWNLOAD: Free Download of  Binge Vol. 3

LISTEN: “Deuces” by Charles Hamilton

Charles Hamilton is a workaholic hip-hop phenom that never quite breaks into a groove, but he loves making mixtapes. His latest featuring “Deuces” is a keeper. I first took notice of this MC when he first released “Brooklyn Girls” a year ago. Since then, I just waited for Hamilton to take the throne that was rightfully his. He’s a talented geek who loves rapping about video games and girls in New York, and I relate to him because he doesn’t pretend to be anyone else other than himself–and that’s pretty hard to accomplish in hip-hop when there’s pressure to come like a gangster all the time. I love the beat of “Deuces,” and it just makes me wonder when he will, if ever, release an album. When, Hamilton, WHEN???!

–Jett Wells

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An Evening with Ari Hest at Funk by laoppedi
February 21, 2010, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Concert Stories | Tags: , , , , , ,

Photo credit: Emelia Natalicchio

PREVIEW: VISIT Ari Hest’s Myspace

We all know and love the small-time, intimate environment at Funk ‘n Waffles. Coupled with the unmistakable scent of cooking oil that permeates your clothes and makes the air thick, the close stage, close quarters and full concert schedule make for a delightful evening.

Soothing indie acoustic tunes drifted amongst the small audience at Funk ‘n Waffles yesterday, as New York City’s Ari Hest visited Syracuse. Zack duPont and Sarah Aument opened. DuPont’s skilled playing was a fitting compliment to his more simple lyrics, and Aument provided her usual eclectic blend of mellow, goofy, groovy and haunting tunes to prime the audience. Continue reading

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EDITOR’S PICK #228: MUSIC TO GET YOU THROUGH THE WINTER by dana20watts

PREVIEW: LISTEN to Free People’s “Wintry Mix”

Well, we almost made it through an entire semester with no snow, but according to this week’s weather forecast, that dream will soon become a distant memory. I don’t know about you, but Syracuse’s constant gray skies and inches of snow blowing in my face sort of put a damper on my day. If you’re the same way, pop in your headphones and listen to Free People’s “Wintry Mix” playlist. The 15 winter-themed tracks will help you actually enjoy the mounds of snow, and make you feel as though you’re living in a winter wonderland– not a sub-zero ice box.

What’s best about the playlist is that it’s a truly eclectic mix of music. There’s classic rock, indie rock and even a bit of 90s and Bob Marley thrown in. And what’s even better than the array of artists? Free People made sure to put together songs that represented the winter season in general, as well as the holidays. So instead of going crazy listening to the same Christmas songs over and over again on the radio, listen to “Wintry Mix” on your way to class and enjoy the extreme weather that you’ll be experiencing until April.

–Dana Mikaelian, Communications Director

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20 Watts Reviews Annie’s Don’t Stop by Marc Sollinger

Annie brings energy and joy to her sophomore album

PREVIEW: VISIT Annie’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts

Annie is an interesting phenomenon. In almost all respects, she’s just a standard pop star, working in the mold of early Madonna. Yet, she’s still managed to attain indie credibility, the likes of which would normally be hard to come by.

Listening to her sophmore album, Don’t Stop, it’s easy to see why. Annie doesn’t do anything too differently from her dance floor contemporaries like Kylie Minogue or even Britney Spears. However, she excels by cutting out most of the filler that those similar artists are wont to include in their respective efforts. Continue reading



Hearing Damage on a New Moon by cweeks88

Picnik collageThom Yorke and pale teenage heartthrobs… Like peas in a pod

PREVIEW: STREAM Thom Yorke’s “Hearing Damage”

The corporate entertainment method of using depressing and ghoulish themes and imagery to swindle the money out of disaffected preteens and their parents strikes again with the upcoming release of the Twilight sequel “New Moon.” The “New Moon” soundtrack reflects this money grubbing model by having an all-star listing of gloomy Indie bands contributing a song each. Nevertheless, in this showing of instant classic Indie groups — ranging from Death Cab for Cutie to Bon Iver and Grizzly Bear — who first made their mark earlier this decade, their contributions are easily trumped by the godfather of the beautiful doom-and-gloom style of alternative rock: Thom Yorke. Continue reading



Movie Music: Elizabethtown by kabenn03
elizabethtown1

Elizabethtown, a mediocre movie with an amazing soundtrack

PREVIEW: STREAM “It’ll All Work Out”

Movies would be nothing without music. If chosen right, music can tell just as much of the story as the actors do. No one knows this better than former Rolling Stone editor and current director Cameron Crowe. He has created some of the most epically brilliant soundtracks known to man, or at least, to me.

Among those is the Elizabethtown soundtrack. While the movie, a solemn tale about a young man contemplating suicide, wasn’t exactly memorable, the soundtrack is a fantastically seamless mix of folk, country, rock and indie songs.

Tom Petty’s “Square One” and “It’ll All Work Out” prove to be the perfect accompaniment as Drew (Orlando Bloom) embarks on a road trip with his father’s ashes. Petty’s scratchy, mellow voice matches the half smile on Drew’s face as he looks back on a life of regret. The hopeful lyrics of “It’ll All Work Out” put the viewer at ease and foreshadow the film’s happy ending.

Elton John also appears on the album with “My Father’s Gun.” This lesser-known Elton classic fits perfectly with the mellow, sort of somber tone of the overall soundtrack. Despite being 6:21 minutes, the longest song on the album, compelling lyrics such as “I’d like to know where the riverboat sails tonight/To New Orleans well that’s just fine alright/`Cause there’s fighting there and the company needs men/So slip us a rope and sail on round the bend” make the song fly by.

The indie presence appears with “Don’t I Hold You” by Wheat. Although this faster-paced song seems a bit out of place on the album, it works because of the singer’s somewhat quite, deep voice and drawn-out notes.

Overall Crowe is an inspiring soundtrack producer and the Elizabethtown soundtrack is one of his gems.

— Kelsey Bennett