Jan 31st, 2012Press Release from ArtsQuest


DATE: Jan. 31, 2012
CONTACT: Mark Demko, 610-332-1342 or gro.tseuqstranull@okmedm



New indie rock event in Bethlehem, PA features some of the hottest indie acts in the nation

BETHLEHEM, PA—Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. RJD2, Jukebox the Ghost and We Are Scientists headline the first-ever Nowadays, the new indie rock event making its debut at the ArtsQuest Center at the SteelStacks arts and cultural campus in Bethlehem, Pa. March 30-31. Two-day event passes for Nowadays go on sale starting this Friday, Feb. 3, at 10 a.m. and will be available at www.artsquest.org and 610-332-3378.  From Feb. 3-March 1, event passes are specially priced at $39 for ArtsQuest Members, $49 for the public and $10 for ages 5 and under. Starting March 2 event pass prices increase to $45 for ArtsQuest Members and $55 for the public. Information on single-day tickets, if available, will be announced at a later date.


A two-day event showcasing some of the hottest independent and underground acts in the nation, Nowadays will feature 20 different groups performing on two stages, the Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling and the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas stage. On March 30, the event is headlined by indie-pop act Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., the Detroit-based based recording and songwriting project created by Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s first recording, “The Horse Power EP,” was released in July 2010 by Quite Scientific Records. The EP drew instant praise from numerous outlets such as NPR, The Guardian, The New York Times and ever-pioneering US radio stations KCRW and KEXP. In the months that followed, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s sound came to be described as everything from ‘psych-retro pop’ to ‘an inspired mix of hip-hop and folk’ to ‘minimalist alterna-pop’ to ‘beach wave.’

Since its debut, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. has been recognized as one of the best new bands by the likes of Stereogum, SPIN, Paste, Under the Radar, Real Detroit, The Metro Times and a slew of others. The group’s first full-length album, “It’s a Corporate World,” was released in June 2011.

Prior to Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s performance, the Nowadays audience will be treated to a set by Philly-based trio Jukebox the Ghost. With its relentless touring schedule and catchy songs, this group has developed a devoted and wide-ranging fan base. The band is currently touring with Jack’s Mannequin, and its March tour through the southern U.S. is highlighted by a stop at South by Southwest.


Headlining Nowadays March 31 is the artist, DJ and music producer known as RJD2. Born Ramble John “RJ” Krohn in Eugene Ore., RJD2 grew up in Ohio, getting his start with the Columbus-based Hip-Hop and rap group MHz. After releasing his first solo album, “Dead Ringer,” in 2002, he embarked on his first world tour. Over the years, RJD2 has worked with a diverse range of artists including Mos Def, The Polyphonic Spree, Tweet, Fallout Boy and more.  He also created the theme for the television show Mad Men, earning him a coveted ASCAP Award for Best TV Theme, and his music was featured in a 2002 Saturn commercial. RJD2’s most recent recording, 2010’s “The Colossus,” was released on RJ’s Electrical Connections, the record label he founded in 2009.


Indie rockers We Are Scientists (W.A.S.), which also performs March 31, features Keith Murray on guitar and lead vocals and Chris Cain on bass guitar and backup vocals.  W.A.S. was initially established in a California college dorm in 1997 and relocated from Los Angeles to New York in the summer of 2001.  It sold more than 100,000 copies of its debut album, “With Love and Squalor,” in the United Kingdom, and it snagged the No. 11 spot on the UK charts with its album, “Brain Thrust Mastery,” which featured the top 40 singles “After Hours” and “Chick Lit.”

“Our audiences have been asking us for years to offer more indie rock,” says Patrick Brogan, vice president of performing arts for ArtsQuest, the nonprofit arts organization that presents Nowadays; Musikfest, the nation’s largest free music festival; and eight other festivals throughout the year. “Nowadays is our initial offering showcasing this amazingly diverse and popular genre. This March, we’ll be featuring some of the hottest indie rock acts in the nation, many of which have not played in the Lehigh Valley before. We’re excited to present the initial Nowadays, and we look forward to growing the event in the years to come.”


Other acts performing at Nowadays include California’s HoneyHoney, which was recently highlighted as one of NPR’s “Next Favorite Bands;” Strands of Oaks, recently featured by WXPN as the “next big band to break out of Philly;” and Bleeding Rainbow, the Philadelphia-based act formerly known as Reading Rainbow. The local Lehigh Valley region is also well represented at the festival, with performances by artists like surf rockers Great White Caps, Scott Pine & the Conifers, and Exter vs. Kimock, whose music skirts the edges of indie rock, Americana, roots rock and improvisation.


Nowadays is supported in part by media partner Radio 104.5. The festival opens at 4 p.m. March 30-31, with music starting at 5 p.m. both days. For details and updates on the event, like ArtsQuest at www.facebook.com/ArtsQuest, follow it at twitter.com/ArtsQuest or visit www.artsquest.org/nowadays.



March 30

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Jukebox the Ghost


Buried Beds


Sun Airway



Great White Caps

Scott Pine & the Conifers


March 31


We Are Scientists


Maps & Atlases

Bleeding Rainbow (formerly Reading Rainbow)

Night Beats

Toy Soldiers

Strand of Oaks

Mean Lady

Exter vs. Kimock


ArtsQuest™ is a Bethlehem, PA-based nonprofit dedicated to presenting music, arts, festivals, cultural experiences and educational and outreach programs that aid in economic development, urban revitalization and community enrichment. Through festivals such as its flagship event, Musikfest®; the Banana Factory® cultural arts and education center; and the ArtsQuest Center and SteelStacks™ arts and cultural campus, ArtsQuest’s programming reaches more than 1.5 million people annually.

For more information on ArtsQuest, visit www.artsquest.org or call 610-332-1300.


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