Tag: The Trap Set

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: 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.