20 Watts

Editor’s Pick #299: PS22 Sings Beach House by JohnCassillo
April 12, 2010, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , , , ,

PS22 is impressive in covering "Zebra"

PREVIEW: VISIT PS22 Chorus’s Blog

Maybe the internet has removed some of the novelty of amateur cover songs, but nonetheless, this one’s worth a glance. Staten Island’s PS22 Chorus recently posted their rendition of Beach House‘s “Zebra” (off of 2010’s Teen Dream), and the results are stunning as the fifth graders manage to nearly equal the haunting beauty of the original. For kids who wouldn’t listen to Beach House otherwise, it’s no small feat.

Of course, this also isn’t the first time the chorus has tried its hand at indie music. In the past, their harmonies have also been used on Passion Pit‘s Manners (see “The Reeling,” “Little Secrets” and “Let Your Love Grow Tall”). Couple that with the mainstream hype they’ve received from covering the likes of Beyonce, Lady GaGa and Alicia Keys (among others), and it’s easy to understand how they’ve amassed over 15 million online views over the past couple of years.

Check out the video below the cut and see for yourself. Continue reading

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Mix Fix: Brand-X’s “Chillin on a Plane” by tjwell01
March 28, 2010, 1:00 pm
Filed under: Mix Fix | Tags: , , , , , , ,

M.I.A. mashes with Wale's "Chillin."

LISTEN: “Chillin on a Plane” by Brand -X (Wale/Lady Gaga/M.I.A.)

Brand-X is a London based DJ, who from what I’ve heard is pretty new, and for some reason I can’t find his webpage/Facebook fan page/MySpace. Aside from his relative obscurity, I really love how he uses M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” beat in mashing with Wale’s “Chillin.” It’s one of those mash-ups that’s just fun to listen to rather than admire. It’s not a legendary mix, but it’s nice for what it is. It’s like watching a fun chick flick compared to sitting down for a serious Roman Polanski film–if you follow the analogy. If nothing else, it just gets me more excited for M.I.A.’s new album coming out this year.

–Jett Wells

Editor’s Pick #291: Uuuh, Lady Gaga? You’ve got cigarettes all over your sunglasses. by Isabel Alcantara

PREVIEW: Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé in ‘Telephone’ – the newest installment in the Gaga-saga.

Telephone, the newest Lady Gaga video sensation featuring Beyoncé, has officially been banned from MTV (with claims of it being overly explicit) – with other networks soon to follow – but has received more than 14 million hits on YouTube since its release.

As Lady Gaga’s assault on the pop genre continues, more and more people seem surprised at the ridiculous outfits, the increasing explicit content of her videos and her general bat-shit-craziness. But seriously? What else could we expect from the Lady, who brought us the disturbing Bad Romance video and the spontaneous bleeding at the VMAs?

The video itself makes no sense (shocker). Alluding to Kill Bill with the infamous Pussy Wagon, and Thelma and Louise with the closing scene (not to mention the relentless Virgin Mobile product placement), this video is supposedly the sequel to the previously released Paparazzi video, but really it’s just a batch of crazy with a sprinkle of awesome.

Alright, a whole bucket of awesome.

— Isabel Alcantara, Photo Editor

Mix Fix: OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass” (Passion Pit Remix) by tjwell01
February 9, 2010, 4:14 pm
Filed under: Mix Fix | Tags: , , , ,

Passion Pit finally makes a remix that sticks.

PREVIEW THE DJ: Passion Pit’s MySpace

LISTEN: “This Too Shall Pass” by OK Go (Passion Pit Remix)

After Passion Pit remixed “Telephone” by Lady Gaga f. Beyonce, I started having my doubts about Passion Pit’s remixing ability. In their remixes, they add their usual shtick to a song, which comprises of hand claps, excessive synthesizer and high-pitched vocals, but the formula doesn’t work for a lot other bands other than Passion Pit. With that said, after catching a whiff of this OK Go remix, it works beautifully. Remixes, in general, are hit or miss, but I’m proud to say this one is a ground-rule double. Good job, Passion Pit. Now get back in the dugout.

-Jett Wells

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Words of the Week: An Interview with Semi Precious Weapons by tjwell01

Semi Precious Weapons' Justin Tranter says they are "a filthy rock band."

Each Monday, 20 Watts is poised to feature a new, exclusive artist interview! Here we present our WORDS OF THE WEEK!
PREVIEW: Semi Precious Weapons’ MySpace

Led by filthy rock n’ roll purist Justin Tranter, Semi Precious Weapons, are the gritty opener act touring with Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball Tour, but don’t be fooled–these guys are quite the showmen themselves. They keep it simple: they want to party, and they want you to have fun, and they do it in high heels. They started out like your average rock band, but the road they took to get to where they are now is anything but average. Keep a look out for their debut LP You Love You at the end of March.

20 Watts: Describe your band’s overall attitude and style.

Justin Trantor: The overall attitude is to make balls-to-the-wall rock n’ roll that kicks ass, and is really fun. We want people to have fun, to party, we want people to get laid. I think that’s what the whole point of rock n’ roll should be, and another important part is danger, excitement, and kids’ parents should be mad at them for listening to us–all of those good things. Obviously we also get the glam label thrown at us, and I think that’s just because I wear high heels, but there’s definitely a lot of worse things to be called than glam.

20W: Some people say you’re like the glam version of The Sex Pistols. Ever heard that before?

JT: I think my favorite quote was that we’re like The Sex Pistols if they came out of the Warhol scene. I think that’s our favorite description of our band ever.

Continue reading

Editor’s Pick #274: Gaga at the Grammys by 20watts
February 3, 2010, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , , ,

PREVIEW: VISIT Lady Gaga’s Web site

So, the Grammys were this past Sunday, but to be honest I didn’t watch. I don’t really care much about the awards and I choose to just watch the performances on YouTube afterward. While all of the performers were pretty good, my favorite had to be Lady Gaga. She stayed true to form with her somewhat creepy yet very entertaining show, proving once more how talented she is by performing with the one and only Elton John–and giving him a run for his money. Although the whole appearing on stage with Elton John thing has been done before, it’s a trick I never get sick of. Check it out for yourself above.

–Kelsey Bennett, Production Editor

Editor’s Pick #264: PS22 Chorus by 20watts

The PS22 Chorus is so much cooler than your elementary choir

PREVIEW: WATCH The PS22 Chorus sing Coldplay‘s “Viva La Vida

From YouTube fame to celebrity endorsement’s Staten Island’s PS22 Chorus has become the coolest elementary choir in the country. Their YouTube videos have gained more than four million views; and everyone from Beyonce to Passion Pit have professed their love for PS22. The choir has covered old school hits like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and Survivors “Eye of the Tiger,” and more recent hits like Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” and Lady GaGa’s “Just Dance. One of PS22’s popular videos is their rendition of Fleetwood Macs “Landslide.” Last June the choir had the chance to meet Stevie Nicks and after performing their cover of “Landslide” Nicks told the choir that when she first saw their YouTube video she cried. The amount of talent these kids have is incredible.  If you want to learn more about PS22 check out their blog.

-Eric Hoffman, Features Editor

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