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20 Watts Reviews Star & Micey’s Star & Micey by Eric Vilas-Boas
Star & Micey

Star & Micey fulfill their ambitions, but that doesn't make them great

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Star & Micey’s “I Am the One She Needs” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 12/20 Watts

Star & Micey got their name from a story a hobo told frontman Joshua Cosby about his ex-wife on the streets of Memphis. Unlike that chance encounter, their self-titled debut to the wider world of music functions as a concise, calculated effort to fulfill the label of “soulful folk pop” they’ve given themselves.

Star & Micey kicks off with bluesy, angular, acoustic guitar lines complementing lyrics referencing a tarnished relationship. Reminiscent of Jack White’s lighter output, “Salvation Army Clothes” would work as a song if its central conceit wasn’t structured around, “[L]etting all the good people go / Like Salvation Army clothes.” While not quite as trite a line as, “I’m serious as cancer / When I say rhythm is a dancer!” from Snap’s “Rhythm Is a Dancer,” it comes close. Continue reading

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News Of Note: Smashing Pumpkins will release new free record, Beastie Boys re-release Hello Nasty, Coldplay settle lawsuit, and much more! by 20watts
Smashing Pumpkins will release a 44 track EP

Smashing Pumpkins will release 44 new track for free

SPIN announces that Smashing Pumpkins will release a new 44-track free record, entitled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. On top of the free songs, the band will also be putting out eleven limited-edition EPs of the tracks. Even though leading man Billy Corgan is the only original Pumpkin left, it’s still an intriguing project for the 90s alt-rock stalwarts. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: News of Note: Muse Stream The Resistance, Jay-Z, Wild Beasts, White Lies, Kurt Cobain’s Guitar Hero Avatar, and much more]

The Beastie Boys, while waiting for Adam “MCA” Yauch to hopefully make a speedy recovery from cancer treatment, are re-releasing 1998’s Hello Nasty. On top of the original album’s content, the deluxe edition will feature 21 additional tracks, including 10 never-before-heard segments and songs. Hopefully we don’t overdose on the guys before the eventual release of Hot Sauce Committee Part 1. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Releases of the Week: Kanye Samples & the Beastie Boys]

According to Rolling Stone the copyright infringement lawsuit between legendary guitarist Joe Satriani and British Rock gods Coldplay has been dismissed. Satriani claimed that “substantial original portions” of his song “If I Could Fly” were used in Coldplay’s smash hit “Viva La Vida.”  Both parties are refusing to say whether or not a financial settlement was reached.[Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Coldplay Releases A New Video For “Strawberry Swing”

New York Times reports that Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary died Wednesday night of cancer at the age of 72.  Mary was a member Peter, Paul and Mary, which was one of the most influential Greenwich Village folk groups of the 1960s.

NME.COM reports that rock band Muse have expressed interest in creating the theme song for a future James Bond movie. Muse drummer Dominic Howard spoke to BBC News and said that the band’s epic music would fit well with the franchise. “It’s something we’d probably say yes to, or at least give it a good go,” he said. “Certainly some of our music fits with the James Bond vibe – and I think it could work.”  The last James Bond film had a few tribulations when it came to the movies main theme. Originally, Amy Winehouse and producer Mark Ronson were set to make the song, but the pair didn’t make enough progress, which led to it being replaced by Jack White and Alicia Keys’ track “Another Way To Die”. The 23rd Bond film will have Daniel Craig returning as agent 007 and is set for release in 2011. If Muse were to record the next Bond song they would be the first British band to do so since Duran Duran, more than 20 years ago, in “A View To A Kill”.   [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Reviews Muse’s The Resistance]

Pitchfork reports that the Mountain Goats will appear on “The Colbert Report” on October 6, the same day the band releases their new LP, The Life of the World to Come.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: News of Note 9/14/2009]

Starting October 5, internet radio and music community website, Last.fm will launch actual radio stations.  These radio stations will broadcast on CBS’s New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco radio channels, Billboard reports.

Brooklyn Vegan recently posted a rumor, based on information from “multiple reliable sources,” that Pavement



News of Note: Ellen Degeneres is Fourth American Idol Judge, Minus the Bear Play the Westcott, Ghostface Killah Track List and More by 20watts
Ellen Degeneres just might entice us to watch American Idol

Ellen Degeneres just might entice us to watch American Idol

Whoa — I might ACTUALLY have to watch American Idol now.  Ellen Degeneres, the oh-so-lovable, dance-crazy comic, was named the show’s fourth permanent judge just an hour ago, according to MTV.  Degeneres has no legitimate music credentials that we can name, but hey, neither did Paula Adbul!  And Degeneres is at least pretty funny. Katy Perry, Joe Jonas, Avril Lavigne, Mary J. Blige and Shania Twain will also serve as guest judges. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: The Bird and the Bee Play Ellen Degeneres]

Minus the Bear’s fall tour is old hat around here — the Westcott Theater has, after all, been shouting their November 17th date from the mountaintops — but the acclaimed prog-rockers officially announced the four-week tour late this afternoon.  According to a press release, they’re touring in support of an upcoming fourth album, produced by Joe Chiccarelli (of White Stripes/My Morning Jacket fame), to be released in early 2010.  Tickets will go on sale this Saturday, though no price is currently listen on the Westcott Theater’s site. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Jack White, Chill Out!, 20 Watts Reviews Yim Yames’ Tribute To EP]

Ghostface Killah announced the track list for his September 29 album Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City.  “Baby,” the first single, is an auto-tuned love ballad that was recently released via Myspace.  The album, which is primarily R&B, will have guest appearances by Estelle, Kanye West, John Legend, Lloyd and Fabolous.  Ghostface will be performing at The Westcott on November 12 at 8 p.m.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Music Video Spotlight: Raekwon’s “The New Wu“]

Pitchfork posted a three-minute clip from Sufjan Stevens‘ “The BQE” multimedia set, to be released October 20.  “The BQE” features a bizarre combination of footage of NY’s notoriously congested Brooklyn- Queens Expressway, with Sufjan’s music playing in the background.  Click here to watch the clip.  Sufjan will be performing at Castaways in Ithaca on September 23. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #156: Sufjan Stevens Announces an Intimate Fall Tour]

SPIN reports that the new Micachu & the Shapes video for “Turn Me Well” premiered today, courtesy of the band’s surprisingly big fan, Bjork. The track, which juxtaposes a mechanical pop sound with more natural, organic visual layouts, is their second single off of Jewellery, which came out in March. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #79: Weird New Band … Micachu and The Shapes, Memories and Photos from Siren 2009 (Micachu and The Shapes Live)]

Daytrotter has some fabulous new sessions up this week, including a sleazy synth dance party from electro-pop all-stars Junior Boys and a gloriously rustic folk affair from the Duke and the King.  Here at 20 Watts, however, we’re most excited for the upcoming Deer Tick session, which Daytrotter announced it will tape this week.  We all fell in love with the chain-smoking, raspy-voiced John McCauley at last Sunday’s Positive Jam festival — and by we, I mean all the girls on staff.  His Daytrotter session will surely show why.  In other news, Deer Tick also announced today that they’re extending their fall tour, which includes dates with Jonny Corndawg, Cotton Jones, Holy Sons and Dolorean.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Deer Tick Plays Ithaca, 20 Watts Reviews Deer Tick’s Born on Flag Day]

Why is it that you never hear cool pop songs from Denmark?  Or Finland?  Norway, even?  Anyway, Fredrik — yet another sick electro act from Sweden, that mecca of Scandinavian pop — released a preview from their second album Trilogi on Stereogum today.  All layered synth films and moody introspection, “Locked in the Basement” takes some surprising Baroque pop and electro-glitch turns.  We can only hope that Trilogi does the same when it drops November 17 on The Kora Records.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Swedish Meatballs 1: Familijen, Swedish Meatballs 2: Kleerup]

The atmospheric electro jams of Quebec’s Michael Silver, alias CFCF, will soon have an album to call home.  Silver announced today that his debut full-length, Continent, will drop October 27 on Paper Bag Records, preceeded by an October 6 EP, The Explorers, with Swedish synth-pop darling Sally Shapiro.  You may recognize CFCF from his official remixes of dance greats like Crystal Castles, HEALTH and Hearts Revolution; the plaid-shirted party god will also be playing an October 1 show in Toronto, and DJing several sets at the CMJ Marathon in New York. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Crystal Castles Start Drama, HEALTH Play Myrtle Avenue]

Jack White and the Raconteurs have been nominated for a Country Music Award, according to Rolling Stone. The group was nominated for Best Musical Event after teaming up with country artists Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe on “Old Enough,” off the group’s second album, Consolers of the Lonely. White is currently gearing up for a tour with his other side project, The Dead Weather. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Interviews Tiny Masters of Today, Editor’s Pick #134: Jack White, Chill Out!]

RS also reports that Sonic Youth has had to postpone its performance at the Austin City Limits festival after an injury to guitarist Lee Ranaldo. The alt-rock legends had to move several dates back to January 2010 after Ranaldo fractured his wrist while playing tennis. The band released its 16th studio album, The Eternal, in June. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Review’s YACHT’s See Mystery Lights]

— 20 Watts Staff



20 Watts Interviews Tiny Masters of Today by 20watts
Tiny Masters of Today may be young, but that's not to say they aren't talented.

Tiny Masters of Today may be young, but that's not to say they aren't talented.

At first glance, Tiny Masters of Today sounds like a typically gimmicky band name.  Then you find out that, at 13 and 15, its two founding members are relatively pretty tiny.  And with their rambunctious, fun-loving brand of punk, they’re well on their way to being masterful, too.

20 Watts’ Jett Wells caught up with Ivan, Ada and Jackson in between sets at the Siren Music Festival in Coney Island on Saturday.  Tiny Masters were one of our most-anticipated sets — and after talking to this hilarious trio, it’s easy to see why.

20W: How long have you guys been playing?

Ivan: Me and (Ada) have been doing this for three or four years, and Jackson has been playing with us for the last two years.

20W: You guys are 13, 15 and 19 years old, respectively. How did you all get to this point?

Ivan: I picked up the guitar when I was 8 or 7 years old.

Ada: I started playing keyboard when I was 8 years old and we just started writing songs and playing music for fun.

20W: Like in your parents’ garage?

Ivan: No, the basement.

20W: At what point did you start playing live shows?

Ivan: The first show we did in 2007 was written up in Newsweek Magazine, and we got a lot of attention from that. And I don’t know. There was the buzz from MySpace too.

20W: How many bands do you know that are like you guys at this level?

Jackson: Not a lot. It’s awesome. I’ve been coming to Siren for the past five or six years. It’s awesome to play here, and especially on such a nice day like today.

Continue reading



Editor’s Pick #134: Jack White, Chill Out! by tjwell01

dead-weather-jack-whiteI’m writing this as a request to the grunge/pop-rock phenom Jack White, attributed to the following bands: The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and now The Dead Weather.

Jack, you either have severe dyslexia, the biggest melon ever or you’re the biggest band whore ever. I mean, how many bands do you need to form or join to satisfy your musical needs? Honestly!

Also, not gonna lie, The Dead Weather sounds a lot like The Raconteurs. I’m starting to really think you have issues sticking to something for once. It didn’t work with your ex-wife Meg, it didn’t work with Renee Zellweger, and you love spreading your seed by playing with Alicia Keys and The Rolling Stones. Daddy issues, perhaps?

We get it! You’re talented, and you can rip the guitar. However, enough is enough

–Jett Wells, Co-Reviews Editor