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Wednesday April 16th 2014

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Get a Sugar Rush with Hank and Cupcakes

By Jennie McKeon

Hank and Cupcakes is Ariel Scherbacovsky and Sagit Shir, a husband-and-wife team from Israel. Scherbacovsky, or “Hank,” is on bass and Shir, “Cupcakes,” plays the drums while dancing. For just two people they create a lot of sound.

“We pay attention to how we arrange the sound,” Shir said. “Hank has a lot of pedals. He’s always tap dancing on them during shows. We really try to make the music sound full and make sure nothing is missing.”

The name Hank and Cupcakes was inspired by Charles Bukowski. Hank was the late author’s nickname and Cupcakes was the name of one of his lovers. Bukowski—along with Larry Flynt, Howard Stern and other outspoken celebrities—are muses for the band.

“We are inspired by people who are real and go all the way with who they are,” Shir said.

Cupcakes met Hank when she was 19-years-old. Romance blossomed and they formed a cover band playing hits by Tori Amos, Suzanne Vega and The Beatles. They were making a living as musicians in Tel Aviv when they decided to move. There were three choices: London, New York City or Los Angeles.

They chose Brooklyn—Williamsburg to be exact—and have been living there for the past three years. The cultural overload the pair has experienced assures them they made the right choice.

“It was the best choice,” Shir said. “We couldn’t be happier. There is crazy electricity here that we’ve never seen anywhere else. It pushes you to push yourself.”

While they have found a home, they aren’t there very much. This is the band’s fifth tour this year, but they’re used to constant scenery change. Before moving to New York, they spent six months in Havana, Cuba studying music.

“We’re never in one place,” Shir said. “We’re in constant movement.”

As for their live show, Hank and Cupcakes brings as much energy as sound.  Kind of like Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Shir wears the bold lipstick and has the attitude to get the crowd moving whether they want to or not.

And sometimes her outfits, or lack thereof, are worth showing up for. In the video for “Hit,” Hank and Cupcakes sport elaborate designs painted on their birthday suits. Shir laughed when asked if she’ll don the body paint at Vinyl.

“We did bring body paint on the tour,” Shir said. “But it took seven hours for them to paint our bodies for the “Hit” video. We didn’t know it would take that long.”

Clothes or no clothes, Hank and Cupcakes will offer a delectable show full of energy and dancing.

“It’ll be something else, something interesting,” Shir said. “We can’t wait.”

HANK AND CUPCAKES
WHAT: Hank and Cupcakes with Mad Happy and Boom Chick
WHEN: 9 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15
WHERE: Vinyl Music Hall, 2 S. Palafox St.
COST: $8 to $10
DETAILS: vinylmusichall.com