You know boundary-pushing sax player Colin Stetson, even if you don’t realize it. As a performer, he’s best known as a player with Bon Iver and Arcade Fire; as a studio musician, he’s sat in with Tom Waits, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and countless others. His latest solo record, New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light, came out last week, and tonight he plays World Cafe Live on tour in support of it. The all-ages show with Sarah Neufield begins at 7:00 p.m., tickets are available here. Below, watch the music video for “In Mirrors” + “And In Truth.”
Floaty 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.
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.
The SXSW PHL showcase wasn’t the only place to see musicians from the Delaware Valley last week. A wide variety of musicians from the region made the trek, with a wide variety of approaches. For instance, Wilmington’s New Sweden took the barn-burning powerhouse approach, not only playing a packed tour on the way down, but jamming in an impressive (and as yet unquantified) number of SXSW showcases into its itinerary between Monday and Saturday. Other artists took it light, by comparison.
Vacationer | Photo by John Vettese
We caught Kenny Vasoli’s Vacationer in their last show of South By Southwest on Saturday night at the infamous Hype Hotel venue, sponsored by The Hype Machine. It was the breezy electronic pop band’s second of two shows, and the relaxed pace left Vasoli in the most exuberant of exuberant moods during their set.
“This has been the best experience I’ve ever had at South by Southwest,” he reminded the crowd at uber-frequent intervals. Like, seriously, in between every song of their 30-minute set. “It’s been such a great few days, and I’ve got all of you to thank for that.” Back in his old pop-punk band The Starting Line, Vasoli probably got swept awat in the hammering gauntlet that the industry festival can be – hence the easygoing approach this time. He’s not alone. Continue reading →
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.
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.