NEPA Scene Staff

Up-and-coming rock ‘n’ rollers The Nude Party perform at Karl Hall in Wilkes-Barre on Sept. 9

Up-and-coming rock ‘n’ rollers The Nude Party perform at Karl Hall in Wilkes-Barre on Sept. 9
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From a press release:

It was announced today that North Carolina natives The Nude Party will bring their blend of British-infused rock ‘n’ roll and Americana sound to Karl Hall in downtown Wilkes-Barre on Sunday, Sept. 9. Opening acts are TBA.

Playing festivals like SXSW; touring the country and performing with the likes of The Growlers, The Oblivians, The Black Lips, Night Beats, and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard; and receiving critical praise for their new debut album, the band is currently riding high on positive buzz and has drawn comparisons to the classic ’60s sounds of The Kinks, The Animals, The Velvet Underground, and early Rolling Stones.

Doors at Karl Hall (57B N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre) open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, which are $12 in advance or $15 the day of the show, are on sale now via Eventbrite. This event is all-ages and BYOB for 21+ (with a $5 corkage fee).

Despite rock ‘n’ roll’s rapidly waning role in mainstream culture, thousands upon thousands of rock groups currently occupy our nightclubs, bandwidth, and brainspace with their performances, recordings, and Bandcamping. And while the ubiquity of these projects crowd 2018’s musical landscape, from Highland Park to Bushwick and all points in between, the authentic rock ‘n’ roll band is an endangered species. While any musician with WiFi can actualize a rock group in a matter of minutes, a band, in the words of one of our great contemporary philosophers, Ian Svenonius, is “about an ideology, a way of life, an aesthetic.”

The Nude Party is one of the last of these aggregations – an inseparable gang of blood brothers bonded by a musical mission indistinguishable from their friendship. The band’s psychic and effortless musical communication comes from learning how to play their instruments together since their teens, rooming together in house after house for six years, and developing their sound and aesthetic through literal nude partying together.

The members came together in the freshman dormitories of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina in 2012. Patton Magee (lead vocals, guitar), and later Austin Brose (percussion, vocals), linked up with childhood friends Connor Mikita (drums) and Alec Castillo (bass guitar, vocals), and stepbrothers Shaun Couture (lead guitar, vocals) and Don Merrill (organ/piano, vocals). The following summer, with the shimmer of The Kinks, The Velvet Underground, and other still-unsurpassed classic rock masterpieces as their soundtrack, the young men moved into a lake house outside of town, began acquiring and learning to play instruments, and jammed on rudimentary riffs. Friends came by the lake house to swim and canoe and party and soon ritual nudity was a part of the festivities.

When the fall semester came around, the friends moved into a house in Boone and the jamming continued in the basement on a nightly basis. During this time, the Dionysian Adamite sextet began developing a following as the house band at a notorious Boone party palace referred to as the 505 House. The bare honesty of their performances was contagious, and their audience also started partying au naturel. While these traditions may appear risqué to the casual observer, the band explains, “These weren’t orgies, they weren’t sexual even. It was just kind of a wild exhibitionism that we felt gave us freedom.”

As the informal aggregation of musicians became a defined unit and were offered gigs outside of the 505 House, they had now become a proper band and thus needed a name. Best known around the campus as “the naked party band,” they chose to call their group simply “The Nude Party.” Ironically, since playing in their birthday suits was illegal in the bars and clubs of this next step of their career, The Nude Party began playing clothed as soon as they were christened.

By 2014, living in a bigger more isolated house, known as “The Nude Ranch” by townies, the band met Black Lips’ Oakley Munson at a Night Beats show in Charlotte and, before long, the drummer became their mentor. He recorded the band’s “Hot Tub” EP, and they began honing their craft as incessant road warriors in the national market.

2018 finds the band living with Munson in the Catskill Mountains in Southeastern New York. Their prolific performance schedule has built a substantial following in Brooklyn and beyond, and they’ve just completed their first proper LP – the culmination of six years of experimentation and refinement of material. Once the band’s much-anticipated self-titled debut dropped on July 6 on New West Records, they started working towards bringing the entire planet together for one big Nude Party.