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20 Watts Reviews Lou Barlow’s Goodnight Unknown by gjfitton
Goodnight Unknown

Goodnight Unknown

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Lou Barlow’s “The Right” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 15/20 Watts

Lou Barlow‘s new album, Goodnight Unknown, serves as an alternative-folk fusion record with an intriguing and mellow sound. With a calming, yet captivating voice similar to that of Trent Reznor, Barlow lays the groundwork for a creative and varied album with a handful of different style tracks. His first album in four years, and second for Merge Records, it appears that he’s learned a bit in the time off between releases.

Sonically, this album varies greatly, and is very well produced and mixed. “Faith in Your Heartbeat” is a somber track that provides a steady guitar progression, accompanied by Barlow’s solemn vocals. Continue reading

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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



Trent Reznor announces final Nine Inch Nails tour dates by Dan
Trent Reznor performs live with Nine Inch Nails

Trent Reznor performs live with Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor has announced that the legendary industrial band will play a final run of North American concerts before calling it quits.

Reznor had originally planned to stop at the conclusion of a tour with Jane’s Addiction in June, saying that the band’s performance at Bonnaroo was to be their last U.S. show ever. But yesterday, in a post on the band’s website, the frontman said NIN would play a final run of small gigs in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles beginning in August.

Reznor also said in the post that the band was invited to perform at Toronto’s Virgin Fest — the dates and locations of which have yet to be confirmed — and that the invitation was the reason for the new, final trek.

The band’s New York concerts will be held at the Bowery Ballroom, Webster Hall and Terminal 5 venues. The Chicago show will be at the Aragon Ballroom, and then the band will trek to Los Angeles for gigs at four different venues – the Wiltern, the Henry Fonda, the Palladium and the Echoplex.

Reznor did not confirm any show dates in the post, but said that opening acts for the shows include The Horrors and Mew (at different gigs) thus far.

— Dan Kaplan