20 Watts

LEAK OF THE WEEK 12: Crystal Castles by VPN
April 22, 2010, 5:32 pm
Filed under: Leak of the Week | Tags: ,

Preview: Crystal Castles MySpace

Listen: “Baptism”

Listen: “Year of Silence”

The revival of Leak of the Week couldn’t have been better than to start with Crystal Castlessecond self-titled album. The past few weeks have been bursting with highly anticipated leaks, including Broken Social Scene , LCD Soundsystem, and the latest from The Black Keys. Because of the massive leak of the new Crystal Castles album, the band pushed forward the digital release date to Friday, April 23. “Doe Deer” and “Celestica” are two of the tracks off the new album that topped the Hype Machine chart this past week.

While I tend to have low expectations for sophomore albums, I anticipated CC’s second time around to blow me away. After listening to the first self-titled album nonstop in 2008, I seem to look back on that time of living on the edge and behaving badly. Now, after listening to the sophomore album straight through for the past couple of days, I feel the strong urge to misbehave coming on. I warn you, listen with caution- you just might feel like a badass after the first listen.

Physical LP Release date: May 24, 2010

–Victoria Pilar Nava

Radiohead Leak Track? “These Are My Twisted Words” by cweeks88

Thom Yorke and Co. are headlining the Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK at the end of August

Thom Yorke and Co. are headlining the Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK at the end of August

PREVIEW: Radiohead’s “These Are My Twisted Words” MP3
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Radiohead Wrote a Song That Would Suit a Funeral? No Way!!

Just like how they only gave us a ten-day heads-up to let us know about In Rainbows, in typical Radiohead fashion — catching us when we weren’t looking — the band seem to have “leaked” a new song “These Are My Twisted Words,” possibly in preparation of releasing an EP entitled Wall of Ice some time soon. Unlike the last one dedicated to late WWI veteran Harry Patch, the entire band are jamming out on this more experimental track.

The new song has many classic Radiohead trademarks: Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brian’s creepy arpeggio and ringing guitar lines; Colin Greenwood’s bass going on off its own tangent, and Phil Selway keeping it tight on the drums with his perfectly steady beat. But wait, where’s Thom Yorke? He adds his cache for the group by coming in halfway through the song, creepily stating “These are my twisted words” and desperately asking “When are you coming back?” only to obviously add “I just can’t handle it.”

Despite all these factors, it certainly sounds like they are experimenting in a territory that has yet to be tried before. While the songs off In Rainbows sounded like songs originally written by Thom Yorke and are further developed by the rest of the band members, “These Are My Twisted Words” sounds much more like a product of a jam that could have been started by the drummer. It all mirrors a much darker and more sardonic “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi“. With their Krautrock influences worn higher on their sleeves this time around — they sound especially like Can and Neu!

It may bewilder and bore on the first listen, but as always Radiohead has a tendency to age like wine.

— Charlie Weeks

Editor’s Pick #111: Dirty Projectors’ Bitte Orca (2009) by 20watts

The fifth full-length effort from Brooklyn’s violently orchestrated, ever-evolving five-piece is due on June 9.  Will it live up to Dirty Projectors’ distinctive genre-fusing legacy?  Or frontman Dave Longstreth’s recent collaboration with David Byrne?  You be the judge… the Projectors’ have released their first single, “Stillness is the Move,” and several live performances of Bitte Orca material are available on Youtube.

– Caitlin Dewey, front of book editor

Leak of the Week 11: Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest by Tuan Le
March 5, 2009, 7:05 am
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , ,

veckatimestLeaking a full two months before its release date, Grizzly Bear’s full-length follow-up to 2006’s Yellow House came Monday.  While the audio quality of the leak is very poor, the album is still fantastic, and will only get better when it graces our ears in May.

After a few rounds, I’ve fallen in love with “Two Weeks” and “ Ready, Able.”  It’s a very somber album, but carries a bit of warmth.  Named after Veckatimest Island in Massachusetts, it seems like an appropriate mood.

Edward Droste of Grizzly Bear actually commented on his twitter (@EdwardDroste) regarding the leak…

  • “Going to EXTRA dazzle up album both CD/Vinyl art to make up for this early leak!!!”
  • “So yeah, it leaked. I’m happy people are loving it. Makes me smile! Just remember it’s not a top notch sonic example. So keep that in mind.”
  • “You know what, screw it here’s a quality version of the album! ENJOY!!! http://tinyurl.com/c3x5qk.”

…and you can read the band’s comments on the leak at the Grizzly Bear blog.

Veckatimest is due legally through Warp on May 26, 2009.

– Tuan Le, Co-Reviews Editor

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Leak of the Week 10: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz! by Tuan Le
February 28, 2009, 10:46 am
Filed under: Leak of the Week | Tags: , ,

149141yyysjpegThis past week there were leaks of Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone, Akron/Family’s Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free and Lady Sovereign’s Jigsaw, but the leak of the week is undoubtedly the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ It’s Blitz!

This is the third full album from the NYC band and is a welcomed departure from their dance-pop sound.  With the addition of synthesizers, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have created a darker tone while keeping their music upbeat.  The album is pretty incredible from start to finish, with songs that linger long after they’ve played through.

Highlights include “Zero,” “Soft Shock” and “Hysteric” but I’m sure everyone will find something to like.

It’s Blitz! is due legally via Interscope on April 13, 2009.  This is a must-listen album.

– Tuan Le, Co-Reviews Editor

Leak of the Week 9: Dan Deacon – Bromst by Tuan Le
February 21, 2009, 3:20 am
Filed under: Leak of the Week | Tags: ,


Leaking Monday night was Dan Deacon’s Bromst, his follow-up to Spiderman of the Rings.  With Bromst, Dan Deacon has taken his electronic solo performance to a full band.

While he composed his songs electronically, he has transcribed them to be played for his live shows with a huge band consisting of eight percussionists, five electronic musicians (including himself) and two guitarists— all from other bands like Ponytail, Videohippos, Adventure and Future Islands from his hometown of Baltimore.  It’s an epic achievement where he creates a fully human experience from an electronic medium.

Dan Deacon takes us on a thrilling ride with moments of euphoria toned down by slower, moodier pieces.  Highlights include “Red F,” “Snookered” and “Woof Woof.”  The odd track is undoubtedly “Wet Wings,” which seems out of place within the scope of the album, but interesting as a standalone track.

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Leak of the Week 8: Cat Power – Dark End of the Street EP by Tuan Le
December 5, 2008, 8:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

522964094_ba9ca21cfaThe only leak that I caught this week was Cat Power’s Dark End of the Street EP of unreleased covers and rare songs.  It’s only six tracks long, but it’s fairly decent.  I highly recommend Cat Power’s The Greatest which I’ve been rocking with Dark End of the Street.  The highlight tracks off the EP are the title track and “It Ain’t Fair,” a cover of Aretha Franklin.

In other news, Lily Allen released a track off of her upcoming album, It’s Not Me, It’s You entitled “The Fear” and it’s pretty great.  The album is due out February 10, 2009, which means it’ll be leaking in about a month!  You can see music video for “The Fear” here.

Here’s hoping for something nice next week.

– Tuan Le