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ISSUE 21 | The Five: Best Coast, Toro y Moi, Theophilus London, Drums, Local Natives by 20watts

20 Watts show you the five bands you need to know now: Best Coast, Toro y Moi, Theophilus London, The Drums and Local Natives

Part of 20 Watts’ Issue 21 Coverage!
PREVIEWS: CLICK on the links to check the bands’ MySpaces!

Best Coast [photo above]

Bethany Cosentino, a.k.a. Best Coast, began recording demos in her bedroom after spending time in Brooklyn, N.Y, and pining for the laid-back southern California life she once knew. Soon after leaving Brooklyn, Cosentino recruited fellow Californian Bobb Bruno, who had opened for indie veterans Wilco and PJ Harvey, to help with the project.

While Best Coast were gaining attention and praise from indie music blogs and topping the list of Hype Machine’s “Most Blogged Artists,” many were skeptical as to how long Best Coast could stick around. With hipster beach pop on the rise, most assumed Best Coast was just another Continue reading

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ISSUE 19 | Making Wavves by 20watts

Nathan Williams fronts the acclaimed lo-fi act Wavves

Lo-fi isn’t just a trend on campus — it’s also scoring airtime across the country. Here are some of our favorite lo-fi bands you owe it to yourself to check out:

With ironic song titles like “Summer Goth” and fuzz bleeding from their amps, it’s hard not to love Wavves. Who cares if frontman Nathan Williams is practically a junkie? Despite public humiliation and broken wrists, Williams still played shows this summer.

No Age
With three EPs and a debut in 2007, another full-length last year and an EP just last month, No Age are one of the busiest bands currently making high-quality lo-fi. They’ve mastered the art of drowning infectious riffs and power chords in layers of distortion.

Crystal Stilts
Crystal Stilts factor fuzzy guitars and brooding post-punk into a formula all their own. Despite being together since 2003, the band only released their full-length debut Alight of Night last year.

Times New Viking
Formed in 2005, the raucous Times New Viking have dropped four acclaimed albums, including one this year. Born Again Revisited emphasizes accessible pop structures amidst fits of noise.

Girls’ frontman Christopher Owens grew up in a cult, lost his brother and watched his mom literally sell herself for the cause. His solution? Get high, start a band and sing about heartbreak with such remarkable optimism that even the critics were moved.

— 20 Watts Staff

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News of Note: Oasis Are Done, Lady Gaga Releases Cover Art for The Fame Monster, Oasis Are Done, Phish Might Cover Born to Run for Halloween, Moby Donates Some Money and More! by jluposello
Liam Gallagher:

Liam Gallagher: "Oasis is no longer"

Rolling Stone reports on the official demise of Britpop icons Oasis. While reports in August were made of an apparently physical altercation between the Liam and Noel Gallagher backstage after a show, it wasn’t until Liam said in an interview with Times U.K. that, “Oasis is no longer. I think we all know that. So that’s done,” Liam said. “Without a doubt. And it’s a shame but that’s life. We had a good run at it.” [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: The 20.1: An Essential Guide to Britpop]

Lady Gaga has released cover art and more details about her upcoming album The Fame Monster.  This new release will compile her debut album and eight unreleased tracks. “Originally [my label] only wanted me to put out three songs and now it’s much more than that. It’s a new album’s worth of material,” said the singer-songwriter. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” Video]

Rolling Stone speculates on the possible outcome of Phish’s “musical costuming” for this upcoming Halloween, when they’ll be playing another artist’s album in its entirety. Many who’ve been following the campaign on the group’s Festival 8 page suspect that they might try their hand at Bruce Springsteen’s classic Born to Run. We think it’s plausible, seeing as Phish headlined this year’s Bonnaroo with the Boss, performing a few of his originals onstage. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: The Boss Turns 60]

Moby will reportedly be donating all of the proceeds from three of his October tour dates to the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. Perhaps he still feels guilty from his oh-so-public feud with the docile Eminem. Regardless, the funds will definitely be put to good use, seeing as Governor Schwarzenegger has voted to eliminate state funding of domestic abuse shelters as a stipulation of a budget cut introduced this July. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Moby’s “Shot in the Back of the Head” Video]

Stereogum shows us how to best spend $125 at New York’s recent indie festival, All Tomorrow’s Parties. While there are plenty of awesome (and thrillingly unethical) ways to blow away your hard-earned cash at the Festival (vegan food is far from cheap these days), the Gum coaxed a few bands to take their cash and have a good time with it. Watch Animal CollectiveNo Age, Bradford Cox and Boredoms‘ Boadrum 9 drummers Zach Hill, Hisham Bharoocha, Aaron Moore, and Jeremy Hymen drop some coin at ATP. Hilarity ensues.

— Lorna Oppedisano and John Luposello

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20 Watts Reviews No Age’s Losing Feeling by Marc Sollinger

No Age craft one of the best EPs of the year.

No Age craft one of the best EPs of the year.

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD No Age’s “You’re a Target” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 18/20 Watts

From Sonic Youth, to My Bloody Valentine, to Fugazi, great noise rock bands delve into the curious relationship between tumult and transcendence.  What many bands forget is that, unless you can coax the sublime out of the hazy and the dissonant, you’re putting screwdrivers in your guitars for nothing.  Few bands today understand this better than No Age, the critically beloved two-piece from Los Angeles.

On their latest EP, Losing Feeling, No Age are at their most accessible.  Calling to mind later Sonic Youth, No Age craft four sweeping, fuzzed-out songs that each feel epic and grand, despite the fact that not one plays over four minutes.  The EP starts out with the melodic title track, a chugging, swirling, summer song that seems more appropriate for a barbecue than the impending winter.   This segues into “Genie,” a gently spinning track, with a bit of bite to it. Continue reading

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The 20.4: Your Essential Guide to Noise Pop by 20watts

noisepop final

PREVIEW: Download 20 Watts’ NOISE POP MIX on Mediafire

The “noise pop” label was essentially created by music journalists who couldn’t describe what The Jesus and Mary Chain were getting at in the 1980s.  With their pristine pop song structures and messy punk rock aesthetic, the Scottish four-piece took rock in a direction it hadn’t gone before.  And as the current popularity of noisy, feedback-heavy bands like No Age, Japandroids and Vivian Girls suggests, neither fans nor musicians have looked back since.

So what’s the very best in noise pop? 20 Watts’ ERIC VILAS-BOAS has the answer in our fourth 20 installment. Watch for new 20s each Thursday, only on 20 Watts, and check out our previous 20s below!


News of Note: Kid Cudi with MGMT and Ratatat, Jay-Z, Nine Inch Nails, and The Beatles by 20watts
Kid Cudi just released new track "Pursuit of Happiness" featuring MGMT and Ratatat

Kid Cudi releases new track "Pursuit of Happiness" featuring MGMT and Ratatat

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” MP3

Pitchfork posts new Kid Cudi song “Pursuit of Happiness” featuring indie gods MGMT and Ratatat.  The single will be the third off his upcoming album Man on the Moon: The End of Day, to be released September 15, 2009.  The single alludes to his search for weed (Cudi’s drug of choice) as the pursuit of happiness — a theme highlighted nicely by MGMT and Ratatat’s synthpop beat.  Catch a live performance of “Pursuit of Happiness on tonight’s “The Late Night Show With David Letterman.”  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #71: Cudi Gets Psychedelic]

Rolling Stone reported the change of release dates for Jay-Z’s new album The Blueprint 3 from its planned Friday drop date to today, a more conventional Tuesday release. While the move means the album no longer drops on the eighth anniversary of the first Blueprint, it should assure Jay the top spot on Billboard’s albums chart. The album is his first release since 2007’s American Gangster. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Reviews Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3, Editor’s Pick #168: Jay-Z Endorses Indie Rock]

RS also reported that Nine Inch Nails has changed the date of its final show to September 10. The band was due to end its performing career on Sunday, September 6, at Los Angeles’ Echoplex, but after frontman Trent Reznor‘s short illness, the final concert will now be Thursday at L.A.’s Wiltern. Over the last few weeks, the band has also performed shows in New York and Chicago on its “Wave Goodbye” tour. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #147: Alice in Chains’ “A Looking in View”, Trent Reznor Announces Final Nine Inch Nails Tour Dates]

Paul McCartney told NME.com that he would like The Beatles’ catalogue available for download. According to McCartney, record label EMI is to blame for the band’s inaccessibility on the Internet. “We were having problems with iTunes — well not iTunes, EMI was the problem — with downloading which we’d like to do because that’s how a lot of people get their music,” McCartney said. The Beatles: Rock Band drops tomorrow, so this problem will be partially solved for players who can download songs from the Rock Band website. Rock Band developers Harmonix have plans to offer more Beatles albums and tracks for download in the future. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: McCartney and MGMTBeatles and iTunes Fail to Reach Agreement]

In other Beatles news, web radio heavyweight AccuRadio announced today that it will begin broadcasting a series of Beatles-themed channels tomorrow to celebrate the release of the Beatles’ remastered collection.  The channels will include “Beatles Plus” — more or less all Beatles’, all the time — as well as the obviously named “Just Covers” and the intriguing “Beatles and Friends,” which claims to contexualize the remastered catalog with other bands and songs from the time.  AccuRadio’s apparently endless roster of free niche radio stations also includes such appetizing options as “Sea and Sand,” “Canadian Pop” and “Hiptronica” — whatever that means, we’re into it.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Beatles Rooftop PerformanceBeatles Rock Band Trailer]

Neon Indian, whose debut LP drops October 13, has announced the dates for his upcoming world tour.  Unfortunately, he will not be stopping in Syracuse, but you can catch him in NYC at the Music Hall of Williamsburgon October 24. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Interviews Neon Indian]

Kurt Vile, after losing his job as a forklift operator, didn’t have much recourse but to pursue music full-time. Former lead guitarist of The War on Drugs, Vile released the albums Constant Hitmaker and God Is Saying This to You in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Now he’s hard at work on his Matador Records debut and has just released the album’s lead track “Hunchback.” Supposedly more of a rocker than the rest of the album, “Hunchback” follows a Youngian thread. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Yo La Tengo’s Popular Songs (Matador Records)]

British trip-hoppers, Massive Attack sat down with the magazine for a little Q&A about their career, the upcoming Splitting the Atom EP and their next full-length effort, set for February. Also included with the interview was the scenic, Thom Yorke-esque number “Bullet Proof Love,” which will be featured on Splitting the Atom, out next month. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Radiohead’s “These Are My Twisted Words”]

No AgeConverge and Torche tore up Saturday’s FYF Fest in Los Angeles. Mixing genres from metal to hardcore to punk, the festival, formerly known as Fuck Yeah Fest, aims to raise awareness for the California state parks system. SPIN has pictures of the mayhem as it unfolded this weekend. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Free NYC Dirty Projectors Show on July 19th]

— 20 Watts Staff

Free NYC Dirty Projectors Show on July 19th by tjwell01


I swear this is my last mentioning of Dirty Projectors. I apologize for the cluster of posts about them, but this is important. This will be the last one for a while.

The Dirty Projectors show at the Williamsburg Waterfront on July 19th in Brooklyn is FREE!! The opening act is a band called Magnolia Electric Co.

I was going to go to this anyway, but hey, all the more reasons to go now.

This venue is apparently new this summer and has a stacked schedule full of free concerts:

-HEALTH, July 26th

-Dan Deacon, No Age + Deerhunter, Aug. 2

-Girl Talk + Max Tundra, Aug. 23rd

-Grizzly Bear + Beach House, Aug. 30th

The venue is the East River Park between North Eighth and North Ninth Streets.

If you’re in the city for the summer, these shows have to be a must. This is blowing my mind! Read up!

The best free shows I’ve ever seen are: Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Cake.

–Jett Wells