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Editor’s Pick #275: Mayer Hawthorne’s A Strange Arrangement by timmyhan

Listen to Mayer Hawthorne's debut album A Strange Arrangement

PREVIEW: VISIT Mayer Hawthorne’s MySpace

If you already listen to Mayer Hawthorne, you obviously live a slightly better life, but if not, you owe it to yourself and your anger management coach to dip your big toe in the glorious pool that is…Mayer Hawthorne.

When i first heard Mayer Hawthorne’s single, Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out, I pictured this John Legend-esque suave mother trucker in a fly suit, but to my surprise, he resembled a younger & slimmer version of Death Cab for Cutie’s frontman, Benjamin Gibbard, in a fly suit. However, Mayer Hawthorne is nothing like Gibbard musically. Mayer Hawthorne sounds like Pharrell and The Funk Brothers got together for a more than glorious & harmonious union.

His debut album hit the streets September 8, 2009, and has already received much street cred, more notably from the “pimp of music” himself, Snoop Dogg. When Rolling Stone interviewed Snoop Dogg, they asked who he was listening to these days, and his response was Mayer Hawthorne! You can never go wrong with a recommendation from Snoop. So check out Mayer Hawthorne’s debut album, A Strange Arrangement, before he gets so cool that it becomes uncool to have him in your ipod.

— Timmy Han, Art Director

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Movie Music: Elizabethtown by kabenn03
elizabethtown1

Elizabethtown, a mediocre movie with an amazing soundtrack

PREVIEW: STREAM “It’ll All Work Out”

Movies would be nothing without music. If chosen right, music can tell just as much of the story as the actors do. No one knows this better than former Rolling Stone editor and current director Cameron Crowe. He has created some of the most epically brilliant soundtracks known to man, or at least, to me.

Among those is the Elizabethtown soundtrack. While the movie, a solemn tale about a young man contemplating suicide, wasn’t exactly memorable, the soundtrack is a fantastically seamless mix of folk, country, rock and indie songs.

Tom Petty’s “Square One” and “It’ll All Work Out” prove to be the perfect accompaniment as Drew (Orlando Bloom) embarks on a road trip with his father’s ashes. Petty’s scratchy, mellow voice matches the half smile on Drew’s face as he looks back on a life of regret. The hopeful lyrics of “It’ll All Work Out” put the viewer at ease and foreshadow the film’s happy ending.

Elton John also appears on the album with “My Father’s Gun.” This lesser-known Elton classic fits perfectly with the mellow, sort of somber tone of the overall soundtrack. Despite being 6:21 minutes, the longest song on the album, compelling lyrics such as “I’d like to know where the riverboat sails tonight/To New Orleans well that’s just fine alright/`Cause there’s fighting there and the company needs men/So slip us a rope and sail on round the bend” make the song fly by.

The indie presence appears with “Don’t I Hold You” by Wheat. Although this faster-paced song seems a bit out of place on the album, it works because of the singer’s somewhat quite, deep voice and drawn-out notes.

Overall Crowe is an inspiring soundtrack producer and the Elizabethtown soundtrack is one of his gems.

— Kelsey Bennett



News Of Note: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominations for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, LL Cool J, Kiss and more; Black Gold will tour the US With Girl In A Coma; The Boss Turns 60, Coldplay Gives To Charity; Michael Jackson’s New Single, Album, And Movie; And Much More! by laoppedi

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio

PREVIEW: WATCH the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ video for Californication.

Rolling Stone reports that the Red Hot Chili PeppersLL Cool JKiss, Genesis, the Stooges and ABBA are among the artists nominated for the 2010 class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. This is the first year in which LL Cool J and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are eligible for induction. Last year’s inductees included Jeff Beck, Metallica and Run-DMC.  (Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Industry News, Week 3)

Brooklyn’s indie duo Black Gold has decided to embark on a US tour supporting Texas-native punk sweethearts, Girl in a Coma, as reported by Filter. The multi-instrumental duo comprised of Eric Ronik (lead vocals, keyboards) and Than Luu (drums, percussion, vocals) will be performing tracks from their debut full length entitled Rush, which was released this past February. You can check out their dance beat-infused tunes on both iTunes and Myspace.

An unreleased Michael Jackson single and album has been announced for release in October, reports NME.COM. The track “This Is It” is the fist posthumous Jackson single to be released and will come out October 12, followed by a compilation album on October 26 and a movie entitled “This Is It” on October 28. In a message on Jackson’s Web site, it was revealed that the compilation album will be a two-disc set featuring past hits, previously unreleased mixes and a spoken-word piece from Jackson called “Planet Earth.” [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Syracuse Reacts to Michael Jackson’s Death]

Syracuse.com’s Listen Up Blog posted an especially sentimental birthday note to The Boss, who is celebrating his 60th Birthday today. Bruce’s last gigs in ‘Cuse include a two night stand at the Dome in 1992 and a critically acclaimed show at the Landmark Theater in November 1996. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee apparently celebrated his 60th during a concert on September 21 in Des Moines, Iowa. Seriously, Bruce? No rocking the Spectrum (actually, he’ll be there in October) or perhaps MSG (where he’ll be this November) on the big day? I guess you are getting old…

Pitchfork and NME.com report that Coldplay have donated one million pounds ($1,616,809 American dollars) to the charity, Kids Company.  Kids Company aims to provide support for inner-city children. According to NME the band also plans to give music lessons to kids at Kids Company centers.  [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: The 20: An Essential Guide to Britpop]

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists haven’t had much luck with record labels in the past after Lookout! Records folded and Touch and Go stopped releasing new records.  Pitchfork reports that the band has signed to Matador Records.

–20 Watts Staff



Editor’s Pick #180: Pavement’s Reunion by Eric Vilas-Boas
Did anyone seriously think Pavement weren't coming back at some point?

Did anyone seriously think Pavement weren't coming back at some point?

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Pavement’s “Shady Lane/J vs. S” MP3
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: News of Note: Pavement Is Officially Back

As of this writing, Pavement are scheduled to perform four reunion dates next year, playing their first shows together since a fateful concert in London on November 20, 1999. Die-hard fans will finally get to see Stephen Malkmus rattle off the lyrics to lo-fi classics like “Silence Kid,” “Shady Lane,” “Spit on a Stranger” and countless other gems with the band that helped make them great. One question: Who didn’t see this thing coming?

After the Led Zeppelin reunion in 2007, Dinosaur Jr.’s wildly successful comeback and the return of bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, Pixies and others, it was never hard to imagine Pavement reuniting for some kind of show. I expected it this year (their 20-year anniversary), but beggars can’t be choosers. Continue reading



News Of Note: Pavement Is Officially Back, Morrissey will release b-sides CD, and much more! by 20watts

PREVIEW: Watch the “Shady Lane” video from Pavement

Now it’s official, the Pavement reunion is happening. So far the band has one confirmed show at Central Park SummerStage on September 21, 2010.  In an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone Scott Kannberg confirmed the rumors and said, “It’s been a long time coming.” Kannberg also talked about the possibility of doing more Central Park shows and festivals like Coachella in 2010. Overall he was pretty vague about the future of Pavement, but one show is booked and the band seems pretty committed this time.

Pitchfork reports that Morrissey will release an eighteen-song compilation of b-sides entitled Swords.  The b-sides come from his past three albums; You are the Quarry, Ringleader of the Tormentors, and Years of Refusal.  Following the album’s October 26 release, Morrissey will embark on a European tour. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: The 20: An Essential Guide to New Wave]

Not only will Grizzly Bear, Thom Yorke, Death Cab for Cutie, The Killers, and Bon Iver be featured on the New Moon soundtrack, but a Hot Topic tour including the soundtrack’s acts is also in the works, Pitchfork reports. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: Editor’s Pick #146: Thom Yorke and Bon Iver Soundtrack New Moon]

NME.COM reports that Glastonbury Festival organizer Michael Eavis has set the date that 2010 fesitval tickets will go on sale. The tickets will be 10 pounds more expensive than last years and will be available for purchase starting at 9 a.m. (BST) on October 4. Those wishing to purchase the tickets must register on Glastonburyregistration.co.uk before applying for tickets. The legendary British music festival held annually in the south of England usually takes place in the last week of June, perfect for those studying abroad this summer.

— 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



Editor Picks 30: New Killers–Let’s See where This Goes by Melissa M. Daniels
October 9, 2008, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

After The Killer’s first album, I thought I had found a rock band that was targeted toward rock music fans against–not emo, not hardcore, not retro, just…rock music. For this century. A little New Wave, a little pop-song format, but basically something that sounded just catchy enough. Sam’s Town followed, with sweeping introductions, over-epic sounding progressions and jittery synths. I’ll take it–it’s not a bad record at all. But it didn’t do as well critically, and the band who formerly hit the scene with the spark  lost something for mass fans and critics alike. No one talked about Sam’s Town the way they did Hot Fuss.

But now, they’ve come up with Day & Age, which I’m pretty excited about. It’s good to see bands whose follow-ups don’t match their initial success keep pushing. Maybe they’ll find their niche in this a new dance-tempo style, or maybe they’ll just seem like they’re going the way of more bands–the way of the electronic artist. It’s easy to  pre-and-post production songs till they sound like something cool. My fear with this is something too doctored up. Now I’m a big fan of really well done editing, where the sounds are calculated and cleaned up to sheer perfection. Unnecessary noise and sounds are another story–and as the writer has worked on Madonna’s newest release I’m sure the record will be effects-tastic.

Please don’t sound like Madonna, Killers!

– Melissa Daniels, copy editor

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