Tag: The Knocks

Last month, I wrote about the Southern Holland-born, London-based visual artist and electronic music artist and producer, Nick van Hofwegen, best known as Young & Sick. Initially van Hofwegen attempted the traditional route of being an artist by going through design school, but he found its cookie-cutting leanings discouraging and it led him to drop out after finishing his first year. He began working at a car parts factory in rural Holland and quit, eventually relocating to London. When he arrived in London, his friend Mark, the frontman of internationally recognized band Foster the People, introduced him to comedian Andy Dick, who came across some of his visual art and championed it. Additionally, Mark asked van Hofwegen to do the artwork for his band’s 2011 debut Torches.

Although the Southern Holland-born, London-based visual artist, electronic music artist and producer released a full-length album back in 2014, last year was a breakthrough year for him: He released his Ojai EP, an attention-grabbing effort that served as a reintroduction to van Hofwegen’s sound and aesthetic. Adding to a growing profile, van Hofwegen was profiled in NYLON — and EP title track “Ojai” was featured in an ad campaign for Apple Watch.  van Hofwegen followed Ojai EP with the release of the No Static EP, which received praise from The Fader and Variety. He closed out a big year with a cover of Passion Pit’s “Sleepyhead” for Neon Gold Records‘ 10 Year Anniversary compilation.

The Dutch-born, London-based visual artist, electronic music artist and electronic music producer played a run of critically applauded SXSW sets, including Neon Gold’s Neon Golden showcase. He played his first Stateside headlining shows in over 4 years with a pair of Los Angeles and NYC dates that featured an interactive multimedia experience. And as an artist, van Hofwegen had his first ever fine art gallery show last August, which featured a series of his original visual and sculptural pieces — and he designed the album art for Maroon 5‘s Overexposed, Mikky Ekko’s “Kids,” as well as for his work.

Building upon a breakthrough 2018, van Hofwegen will be releasing a new EP that’s slated for a spring release through Neon Gold Records/B3SCI Records. Now, as you may recall, the EP’s first single “Bitter End,” nodded heavily at Teddy Riley-era New Jack Swing, classic Chicago house and C+C Music Factory as it was centered by a production that featured tweeter and woofer rocking beats, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, soulful vocals, a rousingly anthemic hook and a “you got this, man” positive vibe. The EP’s latest single “Jet Black Heart” is a swooning and summery bit of synth pop centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, chopped up vocals, a sinuous bass line, stuttering beats and van Hofwegen’s plaintive vocals. Sonically, the slickly produced track is straightforward pop leaning bit of house that van Hofwegen says is “about all consuming love. The kind who’s intensity paralyses you. The sort that makes you lose it completely. It’s the LOVE I feel for making music and art.”

van Hofwegen is currently  opening for The Knocks during their 2019 North American tour during the winter. The tour will include a February 23, 2019 stop at Brooklyn Steel. Check out the tour dates below.  Also tickets are on sale here.

 

Tour Dates
Feb 9 // Austin, TX @ Historic Scoot Inn
Feb 10 // Houston, TX @ Bronze Peacock Room
Feb 12 // St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room
Feb 14 // Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
Feb 15 // Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
Feb 16 // Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
Feb 17 // Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Feb 20 // Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
Feb 21 // Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Feb 23 // Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel

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Nick van Hofwegen is a Southern Holland-born, London-based visual artist and electronic music artist and producer, best known as Young & Sick. Initially attempting the traditional route of art through design school, the Dutch-born van Hofwegen found its cookie-cutter leanings discouraging, and it led him to drop out after completing his first year. He began working at a car parts factory in rural Holland and quit his job, eventually moving to London. While in London, his friend Mark, the frontman of internationally recognized band Foster the People, introduced him to comedian Andy Dick, who came across some of his visual art and championed it. Additionally, Mark asked van Hofwegen to do the artwork for his band’s 2011 debut Torches.

Although the Southern Holland-born, London-based visual artist, electronic music artist and producer released a full-length album back in 2014, last year was a breakthrough year for him. Last January saw the release of his Ojai EP, an attention-grabbing effort that was a reintroduction to van Hofwegen’s sound and aesthetic. Adding to a growing profile, van Hofwegen was profiled in NYLON — and EP title track “Ojai” was featured in an ad campaign for Apple Watch.  van Hofwegen followed Ojai EP with the release of the No Static EP, which received praise coverage from The Fader and Variety. Oh, and before I forget, van Hofwegen was chosen to cover Passion Pit’s “Sleepyhead” for Neon Gold Records‘ 10 Year Anniversary compilation.

Live the Dutch-born, London-based visual artist, electronic music artist and electronic music producer played a run of critically applauded SXSW sets, including Neon Gold’s Neon Golden showcase. He played his first Stateside headlining shows in over 4 years with a pair of Los Angeles and NYC dates that featured an interactive multimedia experience. As an artist, van Hofwegen had his first ever fine art gallery show last August, which featured a series of his original visual and sculptural pieces — and he designed the album art for Maroon 5‘s Overexposed, Mikky Ekko’s “Kids,” as well as for his work.

Building upon a breakthrough 2018, van Hofwegen will be releasing a new EP that’s slated for a spring release through Neon Gold Records/B3SCI Records. The EP’s first single “Bitter End” manages to sound indebted to Teddy Riley-era New Jack Swing, classic Chicago house and C+C Music Factory as the track is centered by a production that features tweeter and woofer rocking beats, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, twinkling synths, soulful vocals and rousingly anthemic hooks. Simply put, it’s a club banger that manages radio friendly accessibility, complete with a “you got this, man” air. Interestingly, as van Hofwegen explains “‘Bitter End’ is a celebration of seeing things through completely.  It’s looking back at a pretty wild year of countless obstacles and turbulent skies. Through the eyes of an unstoppable manic.”

van Hofwegen will be opening for The Knocks during their 2019 North American tour during the winter. The tour will include a February 23, 2019 stop at Brooklyn Steel. Check out the tour dates below.  Also tickets are on sale here.

Jan 24 // Vancouver, CA @ Fortune Sound Club
Jan 25 // Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
Jan 29 // Chico, CA @ Senator Theatre
Jan 31 // Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
Feb 1 // San Luis Obispo, CA @ The Fremont Theatre
Feb 2 // Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
Feb 5 // Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
Feb 6 // Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
Feb 8 // Dallas, TX @ Dada Dallas
Feb 9 // Austin, TX @ Historic Scoot Inn
Feb 10 // Houston, TX @ Bronze Peacock Room
Feb 12 // St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room
Feb 14 // Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
Feb 15 // Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
Feb 16 // Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
Feb 17 // Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Feb 20 // Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
Feb 21 // Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Feb 23 // Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel

Amelia Airhorn is an unique collaboration between the New York-based blogosphere champion electronic music production and artist duo The Knocks and nu-disco producer Skyler Spence. As the story goes, the trio connected when Spence opened for The Knocks during their Feel Good Feel Great, North American headlining tour, and when the tour finished they spent time working at the The Knocks’ HeavyRoc Studio mixing snippets of classic soul and disco with YouTube apocrypha and random bits of obscure, movie dialogue — and as you’ll hear on the trio’s loving homage to New York, “NY is Red Hot,” the trio’s aesthetic is a hedonistic, lysergic and wildly anachronistic, groove-based collage that nods at Studio 54 disco and late 90s – early 00s French house music — in particular Stardust‘s “Music Feels Better With You” and Homework-era Daft Punk.

New Video: The Darkly Comic Visuals for Bridgit Mendler’s Blogosphere Dominating Single “Atlantis”

The slow-burning song pairs Mendler’s breathy coos with a slick, hyper modern production featuring stuttering drum programming, vocoder fed vocals, glitchy electronics, various bleeps, bloops and blips and twinkling synths and a flirtatious verse from Kaiydo. Sonically, the song is reminiscent of Abby Diamond’s “Love to Watch You Leave” while nodding at Timbaland’s revolutionary production — in other words, stuttering and bizarre angles while being airy and coquettish but underneath there’s an aching vulnerability.

The video was produced by Allie Avital, who has produced videos for Chairlift, The Knocks and Autre Ne Veut, and as Bridgit Mendler explains in press notes “We found a concept that has both dark satirical and heart-aching moments. I break into my ex’s house and try to recreate our lost love while he is passed out. Even in the midst of fun and light moments in life, my heart is limp as his hand hits my knee while we dance in the kitchen. I’m a huge fan of Allie’s work but in addition to that, she is a smart and warm-hearted person that went above and beyond to make this project what it is.”

New Audio: JOVM Mainstay Act Betty Black Returns with Psych Rock-Leaning Visuals for a Psych Rock-Leaning New Single

New York-based singer/songwriter, bassist and producer Sylvia Gordon, best known as Sylvia Black. Gordon is an internationally recognized artist for her work as the frontwoman of electro pop act K.U.D.U. and for her collaborations with The […]

As a Queens native, The Ramones have a very special place in my heart —  I’ve walked on the streets that young Joey, Tommy, Dee Dee and Johnny walked on as a teenagers and young men and in some way or another I’m intimately familiar with many of the places they’ve referenced in their songs. Hell, if you grew up in Queens, I’d bet that you probably spent some part of your summer on Rockaway Beach, and it gives “Rockaway Beach,” a deeply personal feel.  In any case, more than enough ink has been spilled on how influential the band had been to both punk rock, rock and other genres throughout the band’s run and their lives — and more than enough ink has been spilled on what arguably may be one of their best known songs “I Wanna Be Sedated.”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you may be familiar with New York-based singer/songwriter Sylvia Gordon, best known in the music world as Sylvia Black. (To avoid deeper confusion, I’ll refer to Gordon as her musical pseudonym, Sylvia Black from this point forward.) Black has received international attention for her time as the frontwoman of electro-pop outfit K.U.D.U., and for collaborations with The Black Eyed Peas, Moby, William Orbit, Kelis, Spank Rock, The Knocks and Telepopmusik, among others. Over the past year, Black has received attention both here and across the blogosphere performing and recording under the moniker and alter ego Betty Black. Interestingly with her alter ego, Sylvia Black’s sound is a decided departure from her previously recorded work as it generally draws from garage rock, Southern gothic blues, Spaghetti Western soundtracks and atmospheric electronics while thematically the material explores love, lust, longing and obsession — and in a fashion that’s darkly seductive.

As a special holiday treat, Black is gifting one of the most interesting and unique covers of The Ramones’ mega-hit “I Wanna Be Sedated” that I’ve ever heard. Featuring a gorgeous Burt Bacharach/pop standard-like arrangement of horns, strings, vibraphone and upright bass Black’s rendition is decadently opulent and sensual, while sounding as though it were recorded under the influence of Quaaludes and/or Xanax that makes it trippy — and evokes the dreamy sensation of being sedated. There are a couple things that make Black’s rendition so interesting to me: it manages to radically change the song’s tempo and tone without distorting or removing the song’s essence; but it also makes a long-forgotten connection between 50s and 60s pop that had been such a major influence on Joey Ramone and company.

Check out how Betty Black’s version radically differs from the original below.

Black has a series of upcoming live dates including a residency at Happy Ending every Wednesday in January as Betty Black’s Happy Blue Lounge, The project will continue what Happy Ending is best known for — putting a lounge lizard/exotica spin on rock and post-punk classics along with originals. Check out dates below.

 

Live Dates

12/21 NYC, NY @ Pinks (Betty Black & Cullers)
12/22 NYC, NY @ Leftfield ((Betty Black & Cullers)
12/28 NYC, NY @ Elvis Guesthouse (Betty Black DJ set)
1/6 NYC, NY @ Happy Ending (Betty Black’s Happy Blue Lounge)
1/13 NYC, NY @ Happy Ending (Betty Black’s Happy Blue Lounge)
1/20 NYC, NY @ Happy Ending (Betty Black’s Happy Blue Lounge)
1/27 NYC, NY @ Happy Ending (Betty Black’s Happy Blue Lounge)
2/7 Los Angeles, CA @ The Mint (Betty Black & Cullers)
2/10 Los Angeles, CA @ Resident (Betty Black & Cullers)