20 Watts


News of Note: Matt and Kim @ Hamilton College on April 10 by tjwell01

Hamilton reels in another big name indie artist in Matt and Kim.

PREVIEW THE ARTIST: Matt and Kim’s MySpace

PREVIEW THE EVENT: Matt and Kim @ Hamilton College

Hamilton College pretty much solidifies its reputation as an indie-rock college, now that they’ve booked Matt and Kim for April 10th at The Annex. Earlier this semester they booked YACHT and MNDR, and have also nabbed Passion Pit, The Dirty Projectors and Dan Deacon for May 7th. I’ve seen Matt and Kim twice, and they’re a fun show overall. The opening acts are The Death Set and Downbeat Keys.

–Jett Wells



20 Watts Video: YACHT @ Hamilton College (“Psychic City”) by tjwell01
February 14, 2010, 5:18 pm
Filed under: 20 Watts Video | Tags: , , , ,

PREVIEW: YACHT’s MySpace

Talk about changing plans on a dime. I started planning to go see Big Mouth perform at 701 Ackerman off campus (which has a video coming up shortly!), but then YACHT and MNDR announced they were stopping off at Hamilton College in the same night, so I made a judgment call and decided to catch what was supposed to be an epic dance party. Boy, it was.

MNDR opened up in the pavilion-like venue, pumping loud and fun dance beats with her awkward yet hilarious dance moves. While rocking big white-rimmed glasses and a chandelier-like necklace, she won the crowd over by the final song. In between songs she tried explaining her story, but she seemed to burp and mumble a lot, and people were slightly thrown off. Nevertheless, she let her music do the talking and the Hamilton College kids got a lot more bang than they thought. However, there were a few low moments when a couple Hamilton kids walked on stage to air hump against MNDR while she wasn’t looking. See photos from MNDR’s set below.

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News of Note: YACHT w/ MNDR Tonight at Hamilton College by tjwell01
February 13, 2010, 11:29 am
Filed under: News of Note | Tags: , , ,

YACHT and MNDR are playing Hamilton College Tonight at 8:00

PREVIEW: YACHT’s MySpace and MNDR’s MySpace

LISTEN: YACHT’s “Psychic City”

According to MNDR’s Twitter, apparently there has been a last minute switch in their tour with YACHT — they’re stopping by Hamilton College at “The Barn” in Clinton, NY tonight at 8:00. “Hey so MNDR is not playing Southpaw tonight. MNDR is playing at Hamilton College in somewhere NY. stay gold.” Time to carpool people, because Hamilton College is only 55 minutes away from Syracuse, NY. Bring your spandex and your Wayfarers, because it will be a sweet dance party. Get it!

— Jett Wells



Editor’s pick #194: My Drive Thru – Santigold, Julian Casablancas, N.E.R.D produced by Pharrell by Irina Dvalidze

In the tradition of rather cool commercials you don’t actually flick off when they pop up on your screen, it is pretty safe to say Converse has developed a good track record of bringing remotely good musicians together for fun mini projects. “My Drive Thru,” dating back about a year, is a funky mash-up between N.E.R.D, Julian Casablancas, and Santigold, marking the brand’s Century celebration.

The song, produced by Pharrell, is accompanied by a music video (above) featuring the three artists in their best “cutouts.”  While this video is a fun view, it was only a start of the campaign that included indie favorites such as Kid Sister, YACHT, Bradford Cox, members of Gallows, The Fiery Furnaces, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, and Care Bears on Fire, all endorsing the iconic brand.

— Irina Dvalidze, Multimedia Editor

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20 Watts’ Review Roundup, Week of July 27th by JohnCassillo
Howling Bells' sophomore effort, Radio Wars, drops this week in North America

Howling Bells' sophomore effort, Radio Wars, drops this week in North America

PREVIEW: Download Howling Bells’ “Into the Chaos” MP3

Every week, 20 Watts rounds up the new releases on our radar; click the link for our full review.

Have suggestions? Leave a comment or e-mail them to 20wattsblog@gmail.com.

Howling Bells — Radio Wars

After three years of waiting, fans of this indie rock outfit finally get to hear a sophomore effort. Building on, as well as departing from, their previous, rock ‘n’ roll-oriented sound, Howling Bells have seemingly come into their own with Radio Wars. The sounds are fresh, yet haunting, with each song draped in its own unique mood. Though not necessarily a look into the future, it is definitely a look out onto the band’s bright and burgeoning horizon.

Blur — Midlife: A Beginner’s Guide to Blur

When you haven’t released any new material since 2003, the best option is probably to sum up your career to-date, for those who haven’t become acquainted yet. Such is the life of once-alternative rock gods, Blur. Back from a 6-year break, the band has given fans, both old and new, a compilation of their highlights from 1990 to 2003. Still, this is not a greatest hits album in any sense. Instead, the band keenly focuses in on their career highlights, instead of just radio highlights or singles. The result, for the most part, is a great collection that’s a worthy acquisition for any fan.

FabolousLoso’s Way

Back with his fifth full-length release, Fabolous has diverted little from his tried-and-true formula for turning out hit tracks, only to deliver yet another solid effort. Chock full of guest appearances, Loso’s Way is his spin on hit crime film Carlito’s Way (sort of), yet even offers sentimental moments, including his reflections on fatherhood. Not into the soft stuff? Then tune in for the must-listen Lil’ Wayne track, as well as contributions by Jay-Z, Ne-Yo and The Dream (amongst others).

YACHT — See Mystery Lights

Released into today’s electronic-friendly environment, YACHT’s See Mystery Lights is almost destined to thrive. And yet, Jonathan Bechtolt, for the most part, restrains himself from overusing synths and auto-tune. Rather, he strikes a fair balance between the noise rock and pop influences that are glaringly obvious throughout, and delivers some really interesting and engaging music that is sure to have listeners up and dancing. Whether he’s hitting or subtly missing, what carries YACHT here is a streak of confidence any listener can appreciate.

The Dodos — Time to Die

The follow-up to 2008’s much-heralded release, Visiter, is being released much earlier than originally anticipated. Leaked onto the internet over two months before its official release, Time to Die quickly gained supporters and detractors. With new, top-of-the-line production values (courtesy of Phil Ek), all critics have been impressed with sound quality, but song quality has been a bit more contentious. Still, it’s full of worthwhile moments that show some growth from their previous effort, and a look towards future potential.

— John Cassillo, Reviews Editor

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20 Watts Reviews YACHT’s See Mystery Lights by JohnCassillo
July 27, 2009, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Free 4 All, Releases of the Week | Tags: , , , ,
YACHT's See Mystery Lights starts well enough, then falls short.

YACHT's See Mystery Lights starts well enough, then falls short.

PREVIEW: Download YACHT’s “Psychic City (VooDoo City)” MP3

Bands sometimes need to take a stab at different genres in order to succeed from a fan base standpoint. In YACHT‘s case, it seems overwhelmingly obvious that the influence there is Sonic Youth‘s noise/art punk. Relying heavily on as good an imitation of SY’s Kim Gordon as you can get, YACHT finds its niche amongst the art rock fans of the world, presenting grunge-infused pop that if I didn’t know any better, I’d say was Disc 2 of the Daydream Nation deluxe edition.

As an overall effort, See Mystery Lights has a lot of great points. Many electronic records gain popularity on one hit song and nine misses. Luckily for YACHT, that’s not the case here. Not only are most of the tracks highly listenable, but they are memorable as well. Many have pointed straight to the album’s initial release, “Psychic City (VooDoo City)” as the standout, yet I wouldn’t even put the catchy track in my top three. It’s a positive statement on the part of the record, to say the least. If you’re really looking for the best this effort has to offer, might I recommend the funky, noisy “Summer Song,” or the T-Pain-inspired “I’m in Love with a Ripper”. Continue reading