20 Watts


ISSUE 22 | Reviews: The Radio Dept.’s Clinging to a Scheme by 20watts
May 30, 2010, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Issue 22, Issue 22 Reviews | Tags: , , ,

The Radio Dept.'s Clinging to a Scheme: ""

Part of our Issue 22 coverage!
WE GIVE IT: 12/20 Watts
PREVIEW: CLICK here to visit The Radio Dept.‘s Myspace

Since their inception in 1995, The Radio Dept. have been known for having a slow release schedule. Their 15-year-old discography consists of just three full-lengths. If nothing else, the Swedish shoegazers can be described as patient. And with their latest effort, Clinging to a Scheme, that may be precisely the problem.

Clinging to a Scheme is a pristine example of over-perfection. Largely an effort that feels overwrought and overambitious, it took the band four years to make. The record unfortunately suffers from an acute sense of Continue reading

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City Sounds 4/5: Stockholm by krkuchta

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

PREVIEW: VISIT WERW’s MySpace

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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Swedish Meatballs #1: Familjen by crumblymuffin
July 15, 2009, 1:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,
Familjen

Familjen, a.k.a. John T. Karlsson, mixes crazy synth squeals and dance floor rhythms

I’ll preface my first entry onto this lovely site with an admission of my true guilty pleasure: Swedish Dance-pop.  I love the stuff.  The country shouldn’t need another excuse to be loved (it already has socialized healthcare, Volvos, IKEA, and who can forget those meatballs?), but the birthplace of ABBA seems to have an unending ability to know exactly what makes me happy.

The music has this certain artistic and ethereal beauty lacking in most other club music scenes, paralleled only by its ability to take absolutely cheesy over-production and oftentimes downright strangeness, and turn it into a total booty-shaker.  As a result, every Wednesday I’ll share with you, the reader, a bit of Goethenburg, a bit of Stockholm, a bit of Sweden, a bit of true greatness.

To start, I’d like to share one of my all-time favorite Swedes, Familjen.  Born John T. Karlsson, he possesses an unbelievable knack for taking crazy synth squeals and mixing them with great dance floor rhythms.  However, the money-maker for me has never been his music (although it could be for many), it’s his voice.  Karlsson has the voice of an angel, smooth and silky with just a trace of femininity that makes it almost laughable, until the bass hits and you can’t help but shake your head in amazement.  Listen to his single “Det Snurrar I Min Skalle,” which was my introduction to his work.  The song has some of the most silly noises in it that I’ve ever heard and his voice sounds like a 17-year-old boy’s, but when that chorus bit drops, it’s a little slice of heaven.  Thanks Sweden.

Here’s a link to his MySpace — listen to the track “Det Snurrar I Min Skalle,” it’s a total knockout.

— Dan Creahan



Must See: “Shirt Off” by Blänk by kayzimbo

Okay, so maybe I’ve been on a bit of a techno kick lately, but this is a video that I discovered months ago that I thought you all would enjoy to watch. It is from an unknown Swedish trio called Blänk, and while the lyrics may seem a bit foolish and elementary, the video is creative and impressive for an artist of this size.  It meshes the human and computer aspects of the video together pretty well, and definitely shares the artists’ sense of humor with the audience. I’m not saying that this is equivalent to a Justice or OK Go video, but it’s innovative for a small band.  So enjoy the electronic string section and dope visuals; and approach this with light heart because you’ll definitely dig what you’re about to see.

–Kyra Zeller