20 Watts

Juice Jam 2009: Replay! A Recording from Girl Talk’s May 2009 Yale University Show by Eric Vilas-Boas
September 12, 2009, 9:33 pm
Filed under: Features, Juice Jam Preview | Tags: , , , , ,
Dispel any fears you may have had of seeing Girl Talk live

Dispel any doubts you may have held of seeing Girl Talk live

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Girl Talk’s Live Performance at Yale

Yeah, Girl Talk mashes pre-recorded music live at every show. A lot of people might be turned off by that. Fair enough; with no live instrumentation and no live singing, it’s perfectly valid to be wary. But there’s a reason for Girl Talk’s reputation, and there’s a reason that the vast majority of his concerts have been wildly successful.

True, Gregg Gillis kicks off most of his shows the same way — slowly warping electronic beats into the words “Girl Talk” may be a mainstay at almost every show that he’s done. But apart from that intro and the toilet paper blowers, the similarities end there. Gillis mixes a different set of tracks for every show, and while those may include skeletal versions of Feed the Animals, Night Ripper, or other albums he’s released in the past, the timing is consistently varied and the selections are never exactly the same.

Plus, at any given point in a Girl Talk show you’re guaranteed to be moving. You will be involved in a great communal hoedown. You will be vying for the recognition of hitting an inflatable beach ball (or whatever else might be going through the air) in your half-square-foot of maneuverability. Say what you will about the quality of the songs — nothing beats the live concert experience.

Don’t believe me?  Just listen to the recording that 20 Watts obtained from Girl Talk’s May 30 show at Yale University.  Fun is pretty much mandatory.

— Eric Vilas-Boas

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Concert Preview: videohippos by kayzimbo

vhWelcome to NYC, where the only place you can get into a show if you’re not 18 is a DIY venue in Brooklyn. Thankfully, there are more all ages shows being organized than ever in this borough that was once only a reminder of a racially and culturally divided city. The Market Hotel is a venue off the JMZ Myrtle-Broadway stop (actually a few hundred feet from my front door) and is host to many of these alternative rock/electronica/all genre shows. I have checked out the venue for myself, and while it’s pretty cool (and cheap!), it’s definitely no Music Hall of Williamsburg, which can be a good thing. The moldings on the walls and 20 ft. ceilings elude to days where maybe Bushwick was a more desirable place to live, with catering halls and events galore – but then again, maybe not.

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Concert Review: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart by kayzimbo

Photo: Kelly Sullan

Photo: Kelly Sullan

Photo: Kelly Sullan

Photo: Kelly Sullan

I found out yesterday afternoon that The Pains of Being Pure at Heart were playing at the Bug Jar in Rochester. At first, I was unsure of how I could get to the show since I don’t have a car, but once the thought of missing it crossed my mind, I realized there was no way i could stay in Syracuse while this show was happening in a neighboring city. I figured out a way to get to there and left a few a hours after I found out it was even happening. I was able to sit down and talk with them before their set (they were awesome – the interview will be be posted on 20Watts in the future!) and stay to see the entire show, which was definitely worth the trip but not as amazing as I expected.

Their self-titled debut album, released on February 2, 2009 on Slumberland Records, was the main chunk of their set, although they performed one song that will be released as a single on a 7 inch this summer. This album has been playing in my head since I downloaded it, so I was really excited to finally see them perform it live since I had already missed them once in NYC. From the very first note of the show, the POBPAH’s signature sound, straight up pop that is obviously influenced by the great indie bands of the early 90’s, blared from the speakers. I had never been to the Bug Jar before, and while the environment is creatively enjoyable and the setup of the venue itself makes it a great place to see a concert, the sound wasn’t that incredible. The band brought their own sound guy, which you would think would improve the quality of the show, but there was definitely much left to be desired. Continue reading

Concert Preview: To The Ruins by kayzimbo
April 20, 2009, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , ,


Mayfest, I mean SU Showcase, is NOT a day to party. No alcohol. No Euclid. No Fun. While the administration is trying to shut down a Syracuse University holiday, they are also trying to get students to participate in activities on campus. One of these school-sponsored (but cool) activities is a concert featuring To The Ruins and Sophistafunk outside the women’s building at 1pm. Will students leave the Euclid mecca to check out the show? Mike Murray, guitarist from To The Ruins, says, “I don’t think kids from Euclid will stick to Euclid. People will be filtering in from all over once they hear live music, which will be louder than anything else that’s going on. I think students will naturally drift towards the women’s building once they see that there is a live performance going on.  Plus, if everyone is drunk, they will want to go see a live show because it’s something fun to do.”

I will definitely be checking out this awesome show, but naturally, only after spending some quality time on Euclid. Tomorrow, April 21, 1pm at the women’s building (the corner of Comstock and Euclid). Happy Mayfest!

-Kyra Zeller

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Raphael Saadiq Performs on Daytrotter by kayzimbo
April 16, 2009, 1:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

Raphael Saadiq’s last album, The Way I See It, (Sony BMG, September 2008) was nominated for three Grammys including best R&B album. Is it just me, or do many extremely talented artists who gain respect in the music world lose a connection with the public because of rappers and pop stars like Soulja Boy and Miley Cyrus?

While Saadiq has collaborated with everyone from The Roots to Snoop Dogg to Earth, Wind & Fire, he has not gained the mass audience typically associated with success like this.  His soulful voice and combination of piano and guitar reminds me of the jazz musicians my father raised me on.

Check out his live performance at Daytrotter Studios: Raphael Saadiq, Daytrotter

-Kyra Zeller

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Concert Preview: Born Again Beefeaters by kayzimbo

born-again-beefeatersThe Born Again Beefeaters have actually changed their name, but they aren’t announcing it until the show tomorrow night, which means I don’t really know what else to refer to them as. With songs such as “Masters of the Pooniverse,” one may expect them to be just another college band filled with college guys who enjoy playing music. In fact, they are a group of talented Syracuse residents, led by ESF graduate Jeff York, who put on a great live show.

With a lead singer that sounds eerily familiar to Anthony Kiedis in “La La Torpedo La” but musicianship that reminds me of Radiohead, you’ll want to see them live because the recordings on myspace don’t do them justice. My favorite song of theirs, the name slips my mind, I have only heard once – when they performed it at their second show ever.  I was kind of brought back the first time I ever heard The Bends, when the drummer pulled out some sort of beat box and York’s voice filled the room with a coat of honey. They are playing at Funk n’ Waffles on Thursday, April 16 at 8pm. Support Syracuse music and a great local band.

–Kyra Zeller

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Concert Review: Crookers by kayzimbo

If you haven’t heard the Day n’ Night remix by Crookers you probably have been living under a rock for the past few months.  I found out about these Italian DJs in early 2008 from some European friends and their popularity has grown exponentially since then. Although they’re famous for the Kid Cudi Day n’ Night remix, all of their remixes and original songs are sick.  I’ve missed every live show over the past year since NYC is a long mid-week trip for a techno show, but finally caught them Friday night at Webster Hall. I can definitely say this: it was 100% worth it.

I got to Webster Hall about ten minutes before Crookers went on and caught the end of the opening djs, who aren’t worth mentioning.  I was never really able to tell the difference between live dj sets, but after seeing Crookers, this has changed.  There was really no comparison between anyone’s live set, including famous DJs MSTRKRFT’s, and Crooker’s.  The energy from the crowd was unparalleled and the two djs played a stellar set.  It was clear that Day n’ Night was the crowd favorite, even though the rest of the set was incredible. Every person in the room danced the entire time. As the set ended, all 1400 fans were sad to see them go.

Congorock, another DJ gaining steam in the electro world, went on after Crookers. Most people left before he even walked on stage (maybe because they only cared about Crookers, but maybe because it was already 3:30am). Webster Hall is sometimes full of trashy club-goers and sketchy electro-lovers, but it was well worth it to see this incredible duo.

-Kyra Zeller