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Editor’s Pick #259: Audiosurf by elizabethvogt
January 12, 2010, 8:44 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , , , ,

PREVIEW: WATCH Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” being played on Audiosurf & DEMO Audiosurf

Everyone has played Guitar Hero at least once in their lifetime. Sure, it’s a heaping ball of fun the first few times but once you start replaying Muse‘s “Knights of Cydonia” because it’s the only track you can stand to listen to, the flame can burn out pretty quickly. Presumably, the one wish of the most avid players is a more personalized track listing to strum along to. Continue reading

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20 Watts’ Best of 2009 by 20watts

20 Watts brings you the Best Albums of 2009!

So, the champagne’s out, the fireworks have stopped, the ball has dropped. The year 2009 may be long gone … But the music is still here — vibrant and waitng for masses who have yet to consume it! Naturally we want to help y’all out. Here’s 20 Watts’ list of the 20 best albums of 2009, from us to you! Enjoy!

Love and stereo,

20 Watts



20 Watts’ Best of 2009: #16 Muse’s The Resistance by 20watts

Muse's The Resistance is No. 16 on 20 Watts' Best of 2009 list

PREVIEW: Visit Muse’s MySpace

Top Track: “United States of Eurasia”

It seems like this is the year Muse finally broke out in the states. Even though the band always garnered critical acclaim they never made a huge impact on the American mainstream market. Before The Resistance was released in September Muse made their first appearance on the cover of Spin. Shortly after the release of The Resistance the lead single “Uprising” became the number one alternative rock song in the country. Soon after that Muse was brought on board to open up for U2 on their 360º Tour.

On Muse’s fifth studio album they shine in the moments when they experiment with simplistic but incredible guitars riffs, soaring vocals, and intricate synth work.  This is pretty much what Muse has always done, but they stepped it up especially on “Uprising” and “United States of Eurasia.”

Muse has always been compared to Queen, and this CD definitely shows why. With powerful gutair riffs that would be right down Brian May’s ally, and vocal harmonies that only Queen could replicate, Muse emulate on of the most underrated bands in rock history. While no one could ever touch Freddie Mercury’s charisma Muse frontman Matthew Bellamy certainly tries his best. As the CD goes on it does lose some of it’s steam, but the three part “Exogenesis: Symphony” trilogy that closes out The Resistance is definitely noteworthy simply because it is so experimental and epic.

Overall this might not be the best Muse album, but it’s still one of the best albums of 2009. Long time Muse fans may have been disappointed with this CDs less exciting direction, but it definitely had a strong impact on the mainstream, and isn’t it about time that all of America takes notice of these innovative Brits.

— Eric Hoffman



The 20: Progressive Rock by Dan

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PREVIEW: Download 20 Watts’ PROG ROCK MIX on Mediafire

Like epic compositions, time signature changes and songs that can last for more than 15 minutes? Progressive rock is for you. Emerging primarily in Britain in the late 1960s, the oft-critically maligned genre (commonly known as “prog”) has persevered with the simple goal of adding artistic credibility to rock music. Founding fathers like Yes, Pink Floyd and Genesis set themselves apart from their contemporaries by featuring classical and jazz influences in their songwriting. The innovation continues today, as bands like Porcupine Tree and Opeth incorporate hard rock and metal into their own experimental, progressive sounds.

So what’s the very best in progressive rock? 20 Watts’ DAN KAPLAN has the answer in our fifth 20 installment. Watch for new 20s each Thursday, only on 20 Watts, and check out our previous 20s below!

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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



News Of Note: Smashing Pumpkins will release new free record, Beastie Boys re-release Hello Nasty, Coldplay settle lawsuit, and much more! by 20watts
Smashing Pumpkins will release a 44 track EP

Smashing Pumpkins will release 44 new track for free

SPIN announces that Smashing Pumpkins will release a new 44-track free record, entitled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. On top of the free songs, the band will also be putting out eleven limited-edition EPs of the tracks. Even though leading man Billy Corgan is the only original Pumpkin left, it’s still an intriguing project for the 90s alt-rock stalwarts. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: News of Note: Muse Stream The Resistance, Jay-Z, Wild Beasts, White Lies, Kurt Cobain’s Guitar Hero Avatar, and much more]

The Beastie Boys, while waiting for Adam “MCA” Yauch to hopefully make a speedy recovery from cancer treatment, are re-releasing 1998’s Hello Nasty. On top of the original album’s content, the deluxe edition will feature 21 additional tracks, including 10 never-before-heard segments and songs. Hopefully we don’t overdose on the guys before the eventual release of Hot Sauce Committee Part 1. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Releases of the Week: Kanye Samples & the Beastie Boys]

According to Rolling Stone the copyright infringement lawsuit between legendary guitarist Joe Satriani and British Rock gods Coldplay has been dismissed. Satriani claimed that “substantial original portions” of his song “If I Could Fly” were used in Coldplay’s smash hit “Viva La Vida.”  Both parties are refusing to say whether or not a financial settlement was reached.[Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Coldplay Releases A New Video For “Strawberry Swing”

New York Times reports that Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary died Wednesday night of cancer at the age of 72.  Mary was a member Peter, Paul and Mary, which was one of the most influential Greenwich Village folk groups of the 1960s.

NME.COM reports that rock band Muse have expressed interest in creating the theme song for a future James Bond movie. Muse drummer Dominic Howard spoke to BBC News and said that the band’s epic music would fit well with the franchise. “It’s something we’d probably say yes to, or at least give it a good go,” he said. “Certainly some of our music fits with the James Bond vibe – and I think it could work.”  The last James Bond film had a few tribulations when it came to the movies main theme. Originally, Amy Winehouse and producer Mark Ronson were set to make the song, but the pair didn’t make enough progress, which led to it being replaced by Jack White and Alicia Keys’ track “Another Way To Die”. The 23rd Bond film will have Daniel Craig returning as agent 007 and is set for release in 2011. If Muse were to record the next Bond song they would be the first British band to do so since Duran Duran, more than 20 years ago, in “A View To A Kill”.   [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Reviews Muse’s The Resistance]

Pitchfork reports that the Mountain Goats will appear on “The Colbert Report” on October 6, the same day the band releases their new LP, The Life of the World to Come.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: News of Note 9/14/2009]

Starting October 5, internet radio and music community website, Last.fm will launch actual radio stations.  These radio stations will broadcast on CBS’s New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco radio channels, Billboard reports.

Brooklyn Vegan recently posted a rumor, based on information from “multiple reliable sources,” that Pavement



20 Watts Reviews Muse’s The Resistance by Dan
Muse released its fifth studio album, "The Resistance" on September 15

Muse releases its fifth studio album The Resistance on September 15

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Muse’s “United States of Eurasia” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 12/20 Watts

With three years’ worth of buildup behind the release of their new album, The Resistance, Muse undoubtedly faced a number of questions. Would they continue to tinker with their progressive/alternative rock sound, as they had on their previous album Black Holes and Revelations? What musical directions would they pursue? And would they be able to top themselves?

On The Resistance, Muse answer all of our questions. The problem is that, more often than not, they’re not the answers we’re looking for. The album is respectable in its scope and ambition, but the band’s uneven execution of its goals ultimately leaves listeners wanting more. Continue reading