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Music

Wallpaper

Pop

Oakland CA

2066
Wallpaper. is Oakland’s Eric Frederic -- gifted producer, multi-instrumentalist songwriter, viral media hustler and disco ball-busting crowd destroyer. Whether crafting his own electro-steeped future beats or cleverly skewering pop culture via his “Death of Auto-Tune” remix (a final tribute to the maligned effect before Wallpaper. retired it too), he effortlessly fuses a long personal history of music-making with bold showmanship and a love for trunk-rattling thump. When first we met Wallpaper. in 2005, the project was Frederic’s way of making minimal electronic music while satirizing the lack of feeling in mainstream pop. The songs were composed on computer and the lyrics delivered strictly in exaggerated Auto-Tune -- a trick used only by Cher at that point -- emphasizing the cold sterility of radio fodder. So when Auto-Tuned songs began to dominate the charts, the truth became stranger (and funnier) than fiction. But with his 2009 album debut, Doodoo Face (Eenie Meenie), Frederic blasted right past satire and into the terra firma of legit songwriting and masterful production. Strains of Daft Punk rattled through the seething, bass-dripping “Celebrity.” Brian Eno could be heard in the quiet electro of “Fine GF.” For “Gettin’ Drip,” he recorded his own chipmunk soul sample, while “Frk Scn” featured a distinct Ghanaian rhythm called “Ewe” that Frederic beat out by hand. The name Wallpaper. had evolved from a clever jab to, as S.F. Weekly put it, “a rebuttal against pop music as simple window dressing.” Frederic paid tribute to his earliest influences -- P-Funk, Afrobeat, Bay Area rap -- by building sweaty, swaggerful beats with a real musicality. He and a cast of local sessionists laced the songs with guitar, horns and percussion. Doodoo Face both thrives under scrutiny and bangs at face value. The risky title was a reference to that: the contorted expression inspired by something incomprehensibly funky. This fit well with the Wallpaper. live show, a visceral thing forged in the Oakland house party scene, gilded at taste-making S.F. clubs like Popscene, and grown into a boisterous multimedia spectacle. On stage, Frederic makes a Kaufman-esque switchover to his sleazy, excess-obsessed alter ego, Ricky Reed, who lords over the scene with thundering live drums to his back, all manner of instruments in his hands, and cut-up YouTube video collage beaming overhead -- a nod to Wallpaper.’s significant viral presence. Wallpaper. on the web is a world unto itself, where a cracked-up Frederic/Reed plays minister of information to 40,000 Twitter followers, and admirers of his Lynchian video blogs (a little David and a lot of Liam). Frederic’s media arsenal also includes a series of mashups -- Mariah Carey vs. Fool’s Gold, Fela Kuti vs. Wale -- and buzzed-about “live band remixes,” from a sax-blazing remake of Das Racist’s “Pizza Hut & Taco Bell” (the version praised by Pitchfork and MTV), to his elastic take on the Morning Benders’ “Cold War,” which he rebuilt by playing every part. Frederic’s threefold hustle has led to headlining spots at the Noisepop and Treasure Island fests, a breakthrough video on mtvU for the celebratory single “I Got Soul, I’m So Wasted,” direct support for everyone from Peaches to Kid Cudi to Boyz II Men to Girl Talk, and at least one retweet by Questlove. Wallpaper. is now touring, recording, and grinding on the sound of 2012.

Time

Thursday March 17

12:00AM

Venue

The Ghost Room

21+

304 W 4th St

Online

coolgenius.net/

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