20 Watts

Photos and Review of School of Seven Bells, The xx, and DJ Mike Wolf at South Street Seaport 8/14 by Eric Vilas-Boas
School of Seven Bells did not disappoint last night

School of Seven Bells did not disappoint on Friday night

PREVIEW: Download School of Seven Bells’ “Face to Face on High Places” MP3
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Black Moth Super Rainbow, Blank Dogs, and Dan Friel at the Seaport; Pains of Being Pure at Heart, ZAZA, and Ribbons at the Seaport

From everything we’ve come to expect from River to River, there were no surprises at their last show at the lovely South Street Seaport. It was a beautiful night for a concert and while the crowd wasn’t nearly as animated as they were the week before at Casiokids or during Black Moth Super Rainbow’s incredible set, both The xx and School of Seven Bells made up for it with dreamier live acts. Opening DJ Mike Wolf? Not so much

Apart from some amusing Cure, Psychocandy, and other ‘80s throwbacks set against the modern rock tracks, overall Mike Wolf’s mixing was pretty uninspiring, with the crowd sitting through most of it. Dan Friel a few weeks ago was a far more impressive opener, but then, we can’t all be awesome enough for crowd members to tambourine for us. Continue reading

Photos and Review of Black Moth Super Rainbow, Blank Dogs and Dan Friel at South Street Seaport 7/24 by Eric Vilas-Boas
Black Moth Super Rainbow

Black Moth Super Rainbow were gimmicky, but totally awesome

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Black Moth Super Rainbow, “Eating Us”
PREVIEW: BMSR MP3: “Born on a Day the Sun Didn’t Rise”

So far this summer, River to River’s free independent music shows have yet to disappoint. From Anthony Gonzalez of M83 to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s great set, River to River has consistently showcased great artists with great results, and yesterday was no different. Though Blank Dogs failed to impress, opening DJ Dan Friel and Black Moth Super Rainbow wowed both the crowd and 20 Watts.

The action began at 6:25 when a guy in shorts with curly, strawberry-blond hair walked out on stage, sat down on a folding chair, and got to work. The first song started with layered atmospherics and quickly went into progressively faster bass beats, accompanied by poppy synth melodies and echoing feedback and reverb effects. His other songs were all just as interesting, and watching him make such eclectic, dance-worthy music from a lap-size set-up was very impressive. Continue reading

Photos from the Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s South Street Seaport Performance by 20watts
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart played a free show at the South Street Seaport yesterday

The Pains played a free show at the South Street Seaport yesterday

Three months ago, 20 Watts told you that the Pains of Being Pure at Heart were one of the top five bands you need to know now.  Man, did we nail it.  If the Brooklynite’s self-titled debut album wasn’t evidence enough, their free show at South Street Seaport last night certainly was: the Pains are, hands-down, one of the best things happening in indie pop these days.

If you missed them last night, you might have a chance to see them at one of their upcoming dates in Chicago, LA or San Francisco.  After that, however, the band’s departing on a second round of European tours and won’t be back in the States until mid-August.

In the mean time, you might want to check out openers Zaza and Ribbons — the former droned out phenomenally haunting, ethereal shoegaze in the tradition of My Bloody Valentine and will release an EP on August 14.  They’re pretty intriguing individuals, too.

Check out more pictures from the show under the jump and on Flickr.

— Caitlin Dewey

Continue reading

Clip of Pains of Being Pure At Heart at South Street Seaport (7/10) by tjwell01

Just wanted to give you all a taste of the awesomeness that is Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Caitlin liked the two opening bands Zaza and Ribbons, but I stand by the headlining act. They were clean, fast and classy. The venue was the South Street Seaport, which isn’t exactly a Williamsburg dive, but if Pains of Being Pure at Heart is playing for free, who cares?

–Jett Wells, Editor-in-Chief