Tag: Joe Wong

Live Footage: Joe Wong Performs “Nite Creatures” in a Backyard

Last year, I spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering Milwaukee-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer and JOVM mainstay Joe Wong. As a musician, Wong has had a lengthy career as a drummer with stints in NYC-based noise rock act Parts & Labor — and he’s toured with Mary Timony and Marnie Stern. But over the past handful of years, he has made a name for himself as a prolific composer for TV and film, crafting scores for Master of NoneRussian DollUgly DeliciousAwkafina is Nora from Queens, The Midnight Gospel, To All The Boys and a lengthy list of others. Wong is also the host of the popular The Trap Set podcast.

Written in in the years between his father suffering a stroke in 2010 and his death in 2019, Wong’s Mary Timony-produced, full-length debut Nite Creatures featured 10 ruminative and baroque, psych pop songs that thematically explored the intersection of melancholy and joyful surrender. In the lead-up to the album’s release, I wrote about five of the album’s singles — including the slow-burning album title track “Nite Creatures,” a swooning and rapturous bit of psychedelia that thematically explored existential dread and sounded a bit like Scott 3 era Scott Walker.

Wong recently shared some intimate and gorgeous live footage of “Nite Creatures” filmed last year in Pasadena, CA backyard that features Wong backed by strings and keyboard. Originally premiered as part of Flood Magazine‘s Neighborhood Sessions, the live footage serves as a bit of a taste of what to expect of Wong’s forthcoming tour with his backing band Nite Creatures, which will feature Wong (vocals, guitar); Ex Hex and Helium‘s Mary Timony (guitar); Atoms for Peace‘s, Roger Waters‘ and Beck‘s Joey Waronker (drums); Faraquet’s and Medications‘ Chad Molter (bass); Lo Moon‘s Crisanta Baker (keys); Kid Congo’s and The Makeup’s Mark Cisneros (flute); John Zorn‘s, Bjork‘s and Anthony Braxton‘s Shelly Burrgon, along with a string octet and horn quartet.

Two of the newly announced dates will feature Joe Wong and Nite Creatures opening for The ZombiesColin Blunstone — and then backing Blunstone as he plays his solo debut album One Year for the first time ever, in conjunction with the release of the expanded 50th anniversary reissue through Sundazed Music. Tickets go on sale Friday at 9am Pacific/noon Eastern. You can purchase tickets here: https://www.nitecreatures.com

Tour dates, which include a November 8, 2021 stop at The Gramercy Theatre are below.

JOE WONG + NITE CREATURES LIVE SHOWS

October 2 Dana Point, CA – Ohana Encore @ Doheny State Beach **with Pearl Jam

November 2 Los Angeles, CA – The Regent Theater **with Colin Blunstone

November 8 New York, NY – The Gramercy Theatre **with Colin Blunstone

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Joe Wong Teams Up With Fred Armisen on a Lyrical and Trippy Visual for “Nite Creatures”

Throughout the course of this past year, I’ve written quite a bit about the rising Milwaukee-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Joe Wong. Wong has had a lengthy career as a drummer — but he has made a name for himself for his scores for a number of acclaimed TV series, including Master of None, Russian Doll, Ugly Delicious, Awkafina is Nora from Queens, and others — and for being the host of The Trap Set podcast.

Earlier this year Wong released his Mary Lattimore-produced full-length debut, Nite Creatures, and so far I’ve written about four of the album’s previously released singles — including: the Man Who Sold The World-era David Bowie-like “Dreams Wash Away,” the Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles-like “Nuclear Rainbow,” the Scott Walker-like “Minor,” and “Day After Day,” a sobering exploration of free will versus fate that doesn’t have easy answers. Continuing an incredible run of stunningly lush yet brooding material, the album’s latest single, album title track “Nite Creatures” is a slow-burning and deliberately crafted track focuses on existential dread with a rapturous and swooning psychedelia. If Wong wasn’t a contemporary artist, you might mistakenly think that “Nite Creatures” was released sometime between 1966-1970.

Directed by Fred Armisen, the recently released video follows a brooding Wong as he enters a vaguely Eastern-styled house. As he wanders through the house, we see some deeply kaleidoscopic and psychedelic effects happen to him and to his surroundings, suggesting that Wong was going through a deeply spiritual awakening of some sort. Much like the song itself, it’s a slow-burning and gorgeously shot fever dream — but with something dark and murky on the fringes.

Interestingly, the collaboration between the duo can trace some of its origins back to the 1990s: Armisen was the dummer for Trenchmouth and Wong was a high-school kid in a math rock band named after an extremely obscure Dune reference. Wong wound up reconnecting with Armisen in 2013: Wong was drumming for Marine Stern. A few years later, Armisen asked Wong to help produce his first comedy special Standup For Drummers.

“It was inspiring to witness how he’d evolved from the drummer I met over twenty years ago to the singular talent he is today,” Wong says. “When I decided to make a video for ‘Nite Creatures,’ I thought Fred would be the ideal person to direct. Because of his sense of narrative rhythm (we’re both drummers, after all), surrealist aesthetic, and ability to make creative decisions on the fly, he proved himself the perfect director, indeed.”

“I love Joe’s album,” Armisen adds, “so when he asked me to work on the video, I was like, ‘YES!’ The song is so sonically rich, I think it makes dreamy videos in everyone’s mind. I just wanted to try to match that feeling.”

New Audio: Joe Wong Releases a Lush Meditation on Free Will

Joe Wong is a Milwaukee-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer, who has created the scores for acclaimed TV series like Master of None, Russian Doll, Ugly Delicious, Awkafina is Nora from Queens, and others — and is the host of The Trap Set podcast.

Over the past few months Wong has released material off his Mary Lattimore-produced full-length debut, Nite Creatures, including the album’s three previously released singles: the Man Who Sold The World-era David Bowie-like “Dreams Wash Away,” the Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles-like “Nuclear Rainbow,” and the Scott Walker-like “Minor.” Continuing to build buzz for his full-length debut’s September 18, 2020 release through Decca Records, Nite Creatures’ fourth and latest single “Day After Day” further cements the Milwaukee-born, Los Angeles-based artist’s 60s psych-inspired sound — lush string and horn arrangements paired with shimmering guitars, enormous hooks and Wong’s mellifluous baritone. And while there’s a deliberate attention to craft that gives the material an anachronistic feel, the material is bolstered by earnest lyricism. In this case, “Day After Day,” is a sobering exploration of free will. 

“The lyric came to me after I read an article arguing that traumatic memories can be encoded in DNA and passed down from generation to generation,” Wong says. “Whether or not that’s true, I wanted to explore the notion that many of our personality traits and life choices that we attribute to free will may, in fact, be beyond our control. This track features an English Horn solo by Claire Brazeau (LA Chamber Orchestra), partly as homage to my ‘labelmate’ and hero Marianne Faithfull, who famously used oboe on her hit ‘As Tears Go By.’”

New Audio: Joe Wong Returns with a Lush and Orchestral New Single

Joe Wong is a Milwaukee-born, Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, who has created the scores for acclaimed TV series like Master of None, Russian Doll, Ugly Delicious, Awkafina is Nora from Queens, and others — and for being host of The Trap Set podcast.

Over the past few months Wong has released material off his Mary Lattimore-produced full-length debut, Nite Creatures, which is slated for a September 18, 2020 release, including two singles I’ve written about so far: the Man Who Sold The World-era David Bowie-like “Dreams Wash Away” and the a Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles-like “Nuclear Rainbow.” “Minor,” Nite Creatures’ third and latest single continues a run of incredibly lush material, but it’s arguably the most orchestral of the album’s singles, and as a result it reminds me a bit of the late, great Scott Walker’s work — brooding, achingly lonely and breathtakingly gorgeous. 

New Audio: Joe Wong Returns with a Psychedelic Ode to Existential Dread

Joe Wong is a Milwaukee-born, Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, who has created the scores for acclaimed TV series like Master of None, Russian Doll, Ugly Delicious, Awkafina is Nora from Queens, and others — and for being host of The Trap Set podcast.

Wong’s full-length debut Nite Creatures is slated for release later this year, and as you may recall, I wrote about the album’s lush and ambitious first single, the Man Who Sold The World-era David Bowie-like “Dreams Wash Away.” Wong’s second and latest single “Nuclear Rainbow” is a Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles-like track, centered around a lush and ambitious arrangement featuring soaring strings, regal horns, strummed guitar, hi-hat driven drumming and fluttering flutes — and while sounding as though it came out of the psychedelic late 60s, the track is centered around a deep existential dread that should feel familiar to all of us. 

New Video: The Surreal and Psychedelic Animated Visuals for Joe Wong’s “Dreams Wash Away”

Joe Wong is a Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, who has created the scores for acclaimed TV series like Master of None, Russian Doll, Ugly Delicious, Awkafina is Nora from Queens, and others — and for being host of The Trap Set podcast. Interestingly, Wong will be releasing his full-length debut Nite Creatures this year and the album’s first single is the Man Who Sold The World-era David Bowie-like “Dreams Wash Away.” Featuring an arrangement of shimmering, reverb-drenched guitars, soaring strings, thunderous drumming, a sinuous bass line, twinkling keys, Wong’s mellifluous baritone and an enormous hook, “Dreams Wash Away” is an ambitious and cinematic song centered around a hazily lysergic escapism and longing. 

The song is featured in the emotional season finale of Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward’s and comedian Duncan Trussel’s Netflix original series, The Midnight Gospel, during the episode’s most emotional and important scene: a heartbreaking and intimate conversation between Trussell and his mother Deneen Fendig, who was dying from metastatic breast cancer at the time of the recording. Trussell describes “Dreams Wash Away” as an atomic blast of mystical sonic light!” And in many ways, the song encapsulates the episodes overarching themes of ego death and coming to terms with mortality — of both yours and that of your loved ones. 

The themes of the episode managed resonate very deeply with Wong, whose father died as The Midnight Gospel began production. “This project came into my life at precisely the right time. A few days after our first meeting, Duncan called me to discuss music as I was unexpectedly driving to the airport to say goodbye to my dad. Later, I came to learn that our experiences and philosophies around death mirrored one another. Working with this extraordinary team and writing ‘Dreams Wash Away’ helped me work through the loss.” 

Directed by Titmouse, Inc. and edited by Megan Love, the recently released animated video for “Dreams Wash Away” is centered around themes of ego death, mortality, reincarnation, family and love within alien worlds that closely resemble ours. It’s surreal yet gorgeous and heartbreaking simultaneously. 

New Audio: Joe Wong’s Dreamy and Ambitious Debut Single

Joe Wong is a Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, who has created the scores for acclaimed TV series like Master of None, Russian Doll, Ugly Delicious, Awkafina is Nora from Queens, and others — and for being host of The Trap Set podcast. Interestingly, Wong will be releasing his full-length debut Nite Creatures sometime this year and the album’s first single is the David Bowie-like “Dreams Wash Away.” Featuring an arrangement of shimmering, reverb-drenched guitars, soaring strings, thunderous drumming, a sinuous bass line, twinkling keys, Wong’s mellifluous baritone and an enormous hook, “Dreams Wash Away” is an ambitious and cinematic song centered around a hazily lysergic escapism. 

“Dreams Wash Away” will appear in the final episode of Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward’s and comedian Duncan Trussel’s Netflix original series, The Midnight Gospel.