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6 EDM acts not to miss at this weekend’s Made in America Festival

Porter Robinson
Porter Robinson

The Made in America Festival hits the Ben Franklin Parkway this weekend, and the lineup is stacked with a huge assortment of electronic musicians. Deadmau5, the eccentric Empire of the Sun, and many more awesome and lesser-known artists will be turning the parkway into a dance party that weekend. These artists and DJs represent many different styles within the EDM scene, both musically and performance-wise. Get educated on some of the must-see acts below. Continue reading →

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Firefly Under the Radar: Robert DeLong

Robert DeLong

First rule of music festivals: get there at the beginning. Try not to miss a lot of the early-day acts because you never know whose set can start off your party weekend in a surprisingly great way. And so, if I were heading to Firefly this weekend, I’d be sure not to miss up-and-coming unique electronic artist Robert DeLong. Originally from the Seattle area, DeLong has his musical roots in drumming, and and played with indie-rock bands before turning to more electro stylings. He also sings, and has a great smooth voice. Many of DeLong’s tunes start out relatively calm, slightly poppy and vocal-heavy, but soon crescendo into surprisingly awesome electro drops and danceable beats that come from a variety of EDM influences. His fusion of pop, EDM, and indie rock roots create a sound slightly reminiscent of Australian synthy electro-rockers Art vs Science (who happened to wonderfully start off my Governor’s Ball weekend last summer). DeLong’s music and live shows also feature him playing and experimenting with different drums and drum pads, keyboards, and even videogame controllers – a true new age one-man band. DeLong’s first full-length album, Just Movement, was released this year. Check out the music video for his infectious single, “Global Concepts.” Tickets and information for Firefly can be found here.

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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.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hilly Eye and Attia Taylor at the First Unitarian Church Side Chapel, Vacationer at Underground Arts, Shorty Boy Boy at MilkBoy, Free Energy and Bleeding Rainbow at Arden Gild Hall, Ape School and The Interest Group at Johnny Brenda’s

Titus Andronicus off-shoot Hilly Eye play the First Unitarian Church Side Chapel tonight with Attia Taylor.  Hilly Eye, the new Brooklyn-based duo project of drummer / vocalist Catherine Tung and guitarist / vocalist Amy Klein, have made fast moves in their short time as a band.  They released their first EP in 2010, followed by a 7″ on Don Giovanni last year and this year’s subsequent full-length Reasons to Live.  Pulling from the avant-noise tapestry of Lightning Bolt, Sonic Youth and the 90s “riot grrl” movement, Hilly Eye focus on transcendence both in their message and their sound with breathy vocals set against a backdrop of angular, heavy arrangements.  Tonight they play with Philly-to-Brooklyn transplant Attia Taylor, who just shared a few cuts from her upcoming album Luxurious Corners.  Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here.  Below, watch Hilly Eye perform “Amnesia” at 285 Kent in Brooklyn.

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