The Bowery Ballroom


Gordon Voidwell, DJ Benzi

Tue, May 22, 2012

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Bowery Ballroom

New York, NY

$13 advance / $15 day of show

This event is 18 and over

Wallpaper. is, in many ways, Ricky Reed. The indulgent and ever-stylish frontman is more than just a sweet pair of shades and a gold-plated microphone. He’s a bona fide viral hustler, a disco ball-busting showman and an extremely gifted producer expertly blurring the lines between glitzy pop, raunchy rap, anthemic rock and electronic funk. And as of late last year, he's also the latest signing to Epic Records, hand-picked by CEO L.A. Reid to join his legendary ranks. But Wallpaper. is other things too: a raging four-piece in the arena, for one, but most importantly, Wallpaper. is you—you and me and everyone we know on our best night ever, positively #STUPiDFACEDD, champagnin’ with no plans in the morning.

When first we met Ricky, he was crushing Oakland house parties and selling CD-Rs out the trunk of his car. He’d called up his earliest influences—P-Funk, Afrobeat, Bay Area rap, Prince—and come away with sweaty, swaggerful beats imbued with real musicality. He'd earned out-of-town props via his bizarre video blogs and inventive remixes—that sax-blaring remake of Das Racist’s “Combination Pizza Hut & Taco Bell” didn't hurt—and the debut Wallpaper. LP, Doodoo Face, a vibrant collision of wild percussion, synth blurt, heavy bass and unchecked narcissism. Since, the live show has evolved into a visceral thing with double drummers thundering behind Ricky and his partner, the sassy and stunning Novena Carmel.

Ricky initially self-released Wallpaper.’s breakout single, “#STUPiDFACEDD,” dubbed an “awesomely doltish ode to Saturday-night oblivion” by EW, and the resulting video has racked up over two million views since being featured during MTV’s Indie Music Month. The song infiltrated several episodes of Jersey Shore too, and inspired MTV and Extreme’s HYPE Music to team up with Evan Bogart’s freshly launched Boardwalk Records for an innovative release partnership. Enter the #STUPiDFACEDD EP, a genre-bending, thump-addled set featuring a guest turn from rap legend Too $hort as well as the anthemic "FUCKING BEST SONG EVERRR," recently animated for Liquid Television by Christy Karacas.

Now, as radio stations fight over which format has dibs on him—Top 40, Alternative, Rhythmic—Ricky continues to do what he does best: put in work, create, tour, entertain. He collaborated with Rivers Cuomo on Cee-Lo Green's new single "Anyway," recently completed a song with funk godfather George Clinton, and covered Adele with a little help from raunchy rising Detroit emcee Danny Brown. He’s an in-demand remixer, working with artists as diverse as Britney Spears and Local Natives, and a beast on the road with a band whose sound is always busting at its well-tailored seams. Ladies and gentlemen, look outside—and if it’s the weekend, just check the mirror—Wallpaper. has arrived.
Gordon Voidwell
Gordon Voidwell

Gordon Voidwell is the alter ego and brainchild of Bronx native and Harlem Boys Choir alumnus, Will Johnson. A multi-instrumentalist, trained vocalist, and published fashion writer, Voidwell’s music is often compared to Prince, Talking Heads, David Bowie, Cameo, and other art-minded pop musicians.

William Gordon Johnson (1983 - ) was raised in the South Bronx. Gordon was brought up in an accomplished musical family that included his guitarist father, Bruce Johnson, who has played alongside jazz greats like Gil Evans, Chico Hamilton, and Dizzie Gillespie. and taught Rodney Jones, Kevin Eubanks, and Vernon Reid. Gordon would later collaborate with Reid on his debut album.

Gordon honed his vocal technique with the Harlem Boys Choir, with whom he toured and recorded extensively. He got his first taste for big stage shows, providing background vocals for the likes of Liza Minnelli at Madison Square Garden and the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. He was also able to develop his studio technique, singing on recordings with artists such as Brian McKnight and Monifah, among others.

Will attended the elite Ethical Culture Fieldston School, in NYC. It was here that Voidwell gravitated towards hip hop, learning to program samplers and synthesizers.

After high school, Voidwell attended NYU’s Gallatin School, where he studied post-modern philosophy and music. Upon hearing several of his compositions for a class at Clive Davis’ School for Recorded Music, Voidwell’s professor-turned-collaborator, Guillermo Brown, encouraged him to pursue a career in music.

Although Will maintains that he has always been Gordon Voidwell, 2009’s Voided Checks mixtape marked the first time he would release music under that moniker. He explains "the Void" as “a space where my individual sense of lack creates an impulse for fulfillment. Whether it's through singing, remixing, making video art, dressing a certain way - it all stems from the same impulse of filling some void. That sense of lack is what connects my individual experience to something we all can relate to, hopefully.”

The mixtape was well-received by media, peers, and fans alike. Boasting an array of analog synths, digital blips and bleeps, harmonic acrobatics, witty (at times, scathing) lyrical content, and “catchy-as-hell hooks” (says Seventeen Magazine), the mixtape was lauded by Okayplayer as “uniquely electro-fantastic, at times hip-hop-esque, at times more yacht-rockin, space-age dopeness.” It earned the emphatic approval of Grammy award winning producer Mark Ronson, who noted “I love this shit! I play it on my radio show, in my house AND in my sets!”

The success of the mixtape brought Gordon to the attention of Cantora Records (MGMT, Francis and The Lights, Bear Hands), who released GV’s debut single, “Ivy League Circus,” in 2010. The track was put into rotation at hundreds of college radio stations and the corresponding video was an instant add on several of the MTV Network channels.

Gordon Voidwell’s oft-conceptual live shows have been recognized by such publications as The New Yorker, Time Out NY, and Huffington Post as the best that NYC has to offer. Whether performing his “Who Killed Andy Warhol? Who Shot Biggie Smalls?” installation at the Apollo Theater, headlining a concert/spectacle in Union Square Park completely powered by rows of stationary bicyclists, or headlining his annual Homecoming Dance, Gordon is always the consummate performer and treats each show as an event. So impressed with Voidwell’s live performance was Detroit soul man, Mayer Hawthorne, that he asked GV to join him on a 6-week U.S. tour at the close of 2010.

When he wasn’t busy collaborating with Chiddy Bang, The Morning Benders, and Das Racist, or sharing bills with Theophilus London, Marina & The Diamonds, and Bear Hands, Gordon spent much of 2011 recording his debut album, Leap Into The Void, and the 22-song MalcolmXXXMclaren mixtape. Sporting provocative song titles like “MalcolmXXXMclaren,” “ID-EGO-SUPEREGO,” and “Black on Black Murder,” the free MalcomXXXMclaren mixtape “aims to be an eclectic blend of No Wave, Electro-Funk, Disco, Rap, and Post-Punk,” says Voidwell. GV unleashes the project on February 1st to complicate the onset of Black History Month.
Venue Information:
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St
New York, NY, 10002