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Play It by Ear Haiti Benefit Show @ Funk N’ Waffles by 20watts

Liz Lewis playing at Funk 'n' Waffles last night; larger photos below!

PREVIEW: LISTEN to Drink Up Buttercup, Liz Lewis and New Relic on MySpace
GIVE: DONATE a contribution to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

You walk into Funk N’ Waffles and the coffee shop is cramped past the legal limit. With hardly any standing room, much less an open seat, the bands that played at Funk last night did so to a packed show. Whether they were standing in the back or sitting close up front, concert-goers listened intently to the performers voices, guitar noodling, keyboard manipulation and other forms of music-making, whether it involved cellos or garbage cans. The eclectic acts and cozy atmosphere made the Haiti charity event a great success Friday night.

Erica Scarano, Sarah Detweiler, Aaron Gittleman, Liz Lewis, Keith Smith (with Stephen Babcock), One of Three, New Relic, Ryan Whitman and Drink Up Buttercup filled the elevated stage between the hours of 7 and 11:30 p.m. Each artist performed just a few songs, ranging in genres and message. Appropriate to the benefit show’s nature, the only consistent theme of the night was the universal camaraderie shared by the performers and the audience. Continue reading

Concert Stories: Jason Mraz by kabenn03

A little rain wasn't going to ruin our parade

PREVIEW: VISIT Jason Mraz’s MySpace

When I heard Jason Mraz was perfoming in Maryland, the same state I happened to be in, I knew I had to go. Being a poor college student and all, my friends and I opted for lawn seats. Best and worst decision of our lives.

So, on July 25, 2009, we ventured to Colombia, Md.’s Merriweather Post Pavilion to see our man. Eric Hutchinson opened the show with his happy, sunny music that mirrored the sky above. But as the stage crew switched over the set for G. Love & Special Sauce, the clouds rolled in, and it started to pour. Within minutes, we looked like the drowned rats that can be seen above (I’m on the left). As everyone huddled under their blankets, jackets and whatever else they could find, we shivered under our soaked towels and chattered our teeth along to G. Love, wishing we had better prepared ourselves for the monsoon, or splurged for pavilion seats. Continue reading

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20 Watts Reviews Sondre Lerche’s Heartbeat Radio by JohnCassillo
September 8, 2009, 8:34 am
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: , , , ,

Sondre Lerche's Heartbeat Radio hits the right chord between jazz and rock

Sondre Lerche's Heartbeat Radio hits the chord between jazz and rock

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Sondre Lerche’s “Heartbeat Radio” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts

Save your skepticism about Sondre Lerche‘s newest release, Heartbeat Radio. As much as the Norwegian crooner is embraced by the contemporary scene, courtesy of his lengthy contributions to the Dan in Real Life soundtrack, his new album is a marked departure from those toothless tunes. No, Lerche has not abandoned his jazz influences. Rather, he’s found the perfect marriage between the jazz and pop-rock that separately have made him so appealing, fusing it all into a collection that would make Andrew Bird proud.

To add to his repertoire of pop hooks and upbeat sentimentalism, Lerche, as mentioned, employs a new tactic. Rock themes now exist within the walls of his vast array of ensemble instruments, while his more personal themes have taken a seat within the space formerly reserved for his catchiest tunes. The brands he’s established, now fully intertwined, harness a tongue-in-cheek youthfulness he rarely lets on to. Lerche even tries his hand at some Jason Mraz-esque  faux hip-hop on “If Only,” with surprisingly positive results. Continue reading

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