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Mix Fix: “Sleep Tonight” by Stars (Junior Boys Remix) by tjwell01
February 1, 2010, 12:55 pm
Filed under: Indie Rock, Mix Fix | Tags: , , , ,

Few remixes are so low-tempo and minor, which makes it interesting.

PREVIEW THE DJ: Junior Boys’ MySpace

LISTEN: “Sleep Tonight” by Stars (Junior Boys Remix)

Warping this slow song into a powerhouse pop song would’ve be interesting, but Junior Boys took a more delicate approach. They didn’t do much, just minor adjustments by adding a “Paper Planes” beat to it, and a few synth notes in the verses, and that’s it. As a DJ, you need to find the core of the song, and focus on that and enhance it, not just do what you want and add bulging bass beats every time. That should be the remix manifesto, and the Junior Boys didn’t over-do it.

–Jett Wells

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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

Editor’s Pick #75: Junior Boys – “Parallel Lines” by caitlindewey
February 26, 2009, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: ,


So I had intended to bring you a witty and relevant preview of Junior Boys’ latest effort, Begone Dull Care, which comes out April 7 on Domino (thank Tuan for the leak). 

But, now that the time has come to write said preview,I find myself incapable-  I’ve only made it through the album 2.5 times. 

Why, you ask?  Is Begone Dull Care a hot over-synthed mess?  Did Jeremy Greenspan and erstwhile engineer Matthew Didemus bust out the autotune, 808s style?  Have Junior Boys lost their musical edge in the post-iTunes-commercial era?


It’s just that the first song off the album, “Parallel Lines,” is SO GOOD that listening further is difficult.  Whether this is a good or a bad thing for our Canadian electropop friends is still to be determined, but I find myself unable to take “Parallel Lines” off repeat.  One listen is simply not enough. 

Continue reading

Editor’s Pick #64: Currently Listening… by Tuan Le

I’ve got a ton of albums I’m waiting to listen to (like The Decemberists and Peter Bjorn and John) but here’s what I like right now.

Animal CollectiveMerriweather Post Pavilion (1/6): The “album of our generation,” says Bradford Cox.  Leading the top albums of 2009 list.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (2/3): Noise-pop?  Shoegaze?  80’s?  Simply fantastic.
Lotus Plaza The Floodlight Collective (3/23):  From Deerhunter guitarist, Lockett Pundt. “These Years” is one of the best songs ever.  Yes, ever.
Dan DeaconBromst (3/24): I can’t wait to see him live with his 15 member band.
Bat For LashesTwo Suns (4/7):Top 20 of 2009-worthy, if not top 10.
Junior BoysBegone Dull Care (4/7): “Dull to Pause” is so much fun.

A lot of these albums have leaked (check out my leak of the week column on Fridays!) if they haven’t already come out.  I highly recommend them!  And I love this music video:

– Tuan Le, co-reviews editor