20 Watts

City Sounds 4/5: Stockholm by krkuchta

Listen to WERW'S Sounds of Stockholm Monday from 11pm-1am


City Sounds goes abroad once again, and this time we’re going to the Venice of the North: Stockholm, Sweden.

As we discovered from when we went to Paris, the history of music in a European city is way harder to cover than music from an American city. I mean, some of these places have hundreds of years on us. Nevertheless, we will venture into Stockholm and see what we can gather. There will most definitely be some ABBA–I can guarantee that.

Besides ABBA of course, Stockholm has many artists that have caught international attention. Bands like The Knife, Those Dancing Days and Lykke Li have found success around the globe, shining some light on Stockholm and Sweden in general.

Stockholm is home to a variety of musical genres. But, like every city, there are a few that it’s known for. Metal is huge over in Sweden, and Stockholm has put out big names like In Flames and Opeth. The general alternative rock sound is found in bands such as the Concretes and Shout Out Louds. Don’t forget the indie pop explosion that includes Stockholm natives Miike Snow and Peter, Bjorn and John.

Stockholm has been blowing up the music world for the past few years with this mass distribution of amazing artists, and City Sounds is going to take a gander at them all. Listen to City Sounds on WERW, Monday nights from 11pm-1am.

–Kyle Kuchta

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Editor’s Pick#286: Breaking down Block Party’s “Surprise Act” by tjwell01

No, Passion Pit is not going to be the big "surprise" act for Block Party this year.

The Drake announcement for Block Party was expected, but what wasn’t expected was the hush-hush mystery of a “surprise middle act.” The act will be named later, but there’s enough information available to break down the mystery. The Newshouse’s Otto-Tune blogger, Nathan Mattise, does a solid job of analyzing the possible candidates that might be the surprise act. It’s more than speculation, because Mattise refers to the student survey posted online, highlighting UU’s thought process to fill out the lineup.

Drake was on the list for UU’s headlining act, along with Common, Kid Cudi, Ludacris, MGMT, Modest Mouse, Mos Def, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend and Weezer. We know how this played out.

However, the list for the possible supporting acts goes as follows: 3OH!3, Cobra Starship, Passion Pit, Keri Hilson, LMFAO, Lykke Li, Miike Snow, Pitbull and The-Dream. Now, it’s easy to eliminate candidates by process of elimination based on their tours already scheduled, and who is available for April 30th. It also makes sense for the band to be near by Syracuse, NY at a nearby date.

Let’s break it down:

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News of Note: New Moon’s OST Features Thom Yorke, Muse, Grizzly Bear, Lykke Li, Bon Iver and More; Flaming Lips Release Embryonic Video; Broadcast Announce an EP; Rihanna Will Bring Big Beats; And Much More! by 20watts
For better or worse, New Moon's soundtrack will feature some of our favorite indie artists

For better or worse, New Moon's soundtrack will feature some of our favorite indie artists

Thom Yorke, The Killers, Grizzly Bear, and Muse have all signed on to contribute to New Moon‘s soundtrack. Other artists that will be on the Twilight sequel’s soundtrack include Lykke Li, OK Go and Editors. The full track listing can be viewed at NME.COM. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Thom York and Bon Iver Soundtrack New Moon]

Stereogum reported today that The Flaming Lips released a new video for the song “I Can Be a Frog,” from their new album Embryonic (to be released 10/13). The short song might not seem to make a great video on first listen, but Coyne’s animalistic lyricism makes for a lot of quirky pencil drawings in this unconventional music video. The bikini-clad actress mouthing Karen O‘s “noises” surprisingly adds to the video, but who doesn’t want to see the real thing? Maybe next time. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: The Flaming Lips at ATP20 Watts Reviews The Flaming Lips’ “Silver Trembling Hands” (from Embryonic)]

Birmingham-based electro-pop group Broadcast have announced their second release with Warp Records. Their full-length debut was punctuated by the extensive use of loops and lead singer Trish Keegan’s 1960s psychedelic rock vocals. Filter reports that the EP, entitled Broadcast & Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age, is available for download from iTunes immediately, but won’t be hitting the shelves until October 27th.  The EP can be previewed for free, though, at your next psycho dance party with the help of their trusty Myspace.

Rolling Stone reports that Rihanna’s next LP promises to bring its audience “Big beats and big bass.” She’s recruited producers Justin Timberlake and Chase & Status to help her bring them. This album is sure to take attention away from Rihanna’s past year of drama. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Reviews Jay-Z’s “Run This Town” (Feat. Rihanna)]

Pitchfork reports that Grizzly Bear‘s bassist and producer, Chris Taylor has started a record label called Terrible Records.  Through his new label, Taylor will be releasing his solo work on October 13. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #172: Grizzly Bear’s “While You Wait For the Others” (Feat. Michael McDonald)]

It seems as though Lily Allen and Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien are close to duking it out, Pitchfork reports. Radiohead belong to the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), a British musician’s advocacy group. Apparently Lily Allen disagrees with O’Brien’s stance on file-sharing. After the guitarist released a statement endorsing the practice, the infuriated singer posted her opinion on her MySpace blog.  She believes file-sharing hinders the growth of up-and-coming artists. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #93: Lily Allen Is Alright with Me]

Psychedelic folk legends Neutral Milk Hotel have announced plans to re-release their discography through Merge Records, as reported by Filter. The reissues of On Avery Island (1996) and the critically celebrated In the Aeroplane over the Sea (1998) will be released on vinyl along with a digital download code, so that listeners can enjoy the reissues without a turntable. Considering In the Aeroplane over the Sea was the best-selling vinyl album of 2008, there’s definitely a market for it though. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Reviews Circulatory System (Elephant 6)]

— 20 Watts Staff

Photos from APW Day#3 by tjwell01

— Jett Wells

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Swedish Meatballs #2: Kleerup by crumblymuffin
July 22, 2009, 11:43 pm
Filed under: Emerging Artists | Tags: , , , ,

Andreas Kleerup is a disco-loving Swede worth listening to.

READ: Swedish Meatballs #1: Familjen

I’ll be frank, until Caitlin tipped me off about Andreas Kleerup, I had no idea who this guy was.  Fortunately, our staff has its ear close to the ground on news, so when Kleerup (solo — get this, he also plays with a band called, no joke, The Meat Boys) announced the U.S. release of his well-recieved, self-titled debut, they knew about it.

His work isn’t as quirky as some of the other dance music coming out of Sweden.  Though a big fan of disco — evidenced by retro synth, cheeseball ’80s house vocals and four-to-the-floor beats all over the place — he still maintains that breezy lacksadaisical Swedish sound that makes tracks like “On My Own Again” jump out.

However, the track he does with Lykke Li, “Until I Bleed,” shows incredible range and depth that brings him head and shoulders above many producers, and comparisons to The Knife occasionally swim into my head, led by those dark synth lines.  Definitely a Swede I’ll have to keep my eyes on. Every song I’ve heard of his is great, so dive on in!

Check out his Myspace here.

–Dan Creahan

How to Pick Music During a Family Roadtrip by tjwell01
Hate DJing for your parents?

Hate DJing for your parents?

I just got back from a two-day getaway trip to UpState New York with my parents. It sucked, but I’m not going to get into that. However, it reminded me of an annoying occurrence that happens every time I share a car with my parents for a prolonged period—choosing music.

Every time, my mom or my dad asks me to put in my iPod, which is filled with tons of music I love, cherish and worship. To them, a lot of my music is challenging, repetitive and just plain obnoxious. Music is one of the many generational divides we face with our parents, but there are ways to pick music that all sides can enjoy. Keep in mind, this method doesn’t last forever, and you’ll get tired of it, but it helps. All parents are different, but the following tips apply to even the most conservative music lovers.

1) Avoid songs/bands/genres that are repetitive

This means no house music, techno, or Top 40 music. My parents hate hearing the same notes repeated over and over again. It drives them crazy, which is understandable. It’s not like you’re parents want to pull the car over and have a full-out dance party.

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Lykke Li Covers Kings of Leon by tjwell01
June 19, 2009, 11:29 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks, XCLUS!VES | Tags:

What’s not to love about this girl?

–Jett Wells