The Key’s Year-End Mania: Brian Wilensky’s Top 5 Shows I Wish I Saw in 2013

purlinghissYear End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, contributing writer Brian Wilensky talks about great shows he didn’t see.

Those of you that work in the service industry, like me, know what it’s like to work nights and weekends; missing the shows, parties and nights out with your friends that work business hours. I raise my glass to you, as we share the same suffering because the rent isn’t free. Here are my Top 5 Shows I Wish I Saw in 2013.

1. Clinic / Grooms / The Cobbs at Johnny Brenda’s, 9/17/2013
Liverpool’s art-psych surgical mask-wearing weird guys, Clinic, don’t tour often, let alone cross the pond. Last year’s Free Reign held true to their stagnant drone formula and seeing them convert it to a live setting is something that still spikes my curiosity. Continue reading →


Jam out and sunbathe with Nude Beach (playing Kung Fu Necktie 4th of July Show)

Nude Beach

Brooklyn’s Nude Beach will be bringing their punkish, classic rock-influenced garage jams to Philly on the Fourth of July. The rock n roll three piece has been playing together since 2008, and are releasing a new 7″ through Other Music Recording Co on July 9th. It will feature the track “What can Ya Do,” which you can stream below. Catch them before then at the Kung Fu Necktie with Band Name.


Travel from the mountains to the stage with Vacationer in the video for “Farther” (playing Underground Arts on 5/10)

Screen shot 2013-04-17 at 2.34.52 PMFloaty electronic pop band Vacationer just debuted a new music video for their song “Farther,” a bobbing and bass-heavy cut from their 2012 record Gone. With footage of mountains, plains and other vistas surreally blending with performance clips from the band’s recent tour, it pretty much nails their easygoing, exploratory vibe. Check out the video below. Vacationer headlines Underground Arts on May 10th for the second installment of its Nude Beach party series; tickets and information on the show can be found here.


Vacationer announces a second installment of its Nude Beach party at Underground Arts (ft. Night Panther, Body Language)

Vacationer | Photo by John Vettese
Vacationer | Photo by John Vettese

Following up on the packed crowd and snow-slippery volleyball court of February’s inaugural Nude Beach party at Underground Arts, Philly-area electronic pop outfit Vacationer announced the second edition of its showcase this week.

Joining the band on Friday, May 10th will be discofied Brooklyn group Body Language and local buzzmakers Night Panther, who were just featured in a pretty sweet Shaking Through profile. In addition, Vacationer front-guy Kenny Vasoli will DJ between sets. Tickets and information on the party can be found here. Check out a video of Vacationer performing “Trip” and “Dreamlike” from the inaugural party below.


Vacationer’s inaugural Nude Beach party transports Underground Arts out of snowy February (photos, review)

The aftermath of a snowstorm wasn’t enough to kill the summer vibe at the first Nude Beach party Saturday night at Underground Arts. These new monthly “chill parties” were started by Philly-based band Vacationer, whose dreamy brand of electro pop made it perfectly acceptable for a few concertgoers to wear Hawaiian-style shirts and flowered leis in the middle of February.

Free Sailor Jerry rum drinks flowed and a makeshift volleyball court did not go unused before fellow warm-weather-inspired Philly band Cruiser opened the party. After their smooth set, out-of-town DJ Robert DeLong pumped up the crowd with energetic beats and a set that showcased his multi-instrumental talents, blending live drums and keys into his electronic tracks. These openers one can assume were hand-picked by Vacationer fulfilled the band’s desire for these monthly parties to showcase both Philly local and emerging EDM artists.

Vacationer has always kept their hometown audience in mind, and the Nude Beach show proved a proper homecoming for the band and frontman Kenny Vasoli after touring extensively with Niki and the Dove since the New Year. Playing through favorites off their debut album Gone, Vasoli also gave hints about the band’s new music, promising more shoegaze on their next record.

Beach balls released a near the end of Vacationer’s set quickly became coated with the mixture of dirt and water tracked into the venue from the still snowy ground outside, and served as a reminder that it was in fact February, not July. But for a band that prides itself on making music that affords listeners an instant vacation from their everyday woes, the monthly Nude Beach parties should serve as a great way for Philly music lovers to take this trip together.