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Listen to The Districts’ spooky new single “Violet”

The Districts | Photo by Pooneh Ghana | courtesy of the artist

It’s been a long countdown to the release of The Districts‘ third studio album Popular Manipulations on August 11th, but they have made the wait sweeter with some amazing singles and a goofy music video. This week, the four-piece dropped another single via Entertainment Weekly. “Violet” sounds a little different from “If Before I Wake” and “Ordinary Day” – darker, spooky, almost ominous but in a way that is masked by the group’s standard explosiveness and fast-paced unpacking of one-line lyrics into driving anthems. Continue reading →

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Daniel Johnston is playing The Tower Theater and his backing band features The Districts and Modern Baseball

Daniel Johnston, circa 1983 | via Self Titled Mag

To call Daniel Johnston an influential songwriter is kind of selling it short. The man pioneered DIY before it was called that, dubbing self-produced cassette releases in his parents’ Texas garage, playing on the sidewalks of Austin and the sidestages of artists who would go on to be icons of modern rock. His songs are sensitive, introspective and imaginative, and his releases have been historically imbued with his singular visual art sensibilities. He’s persevered through mental health struggles, he’s had fans in Kurt Cobain and Conor Oberst. And he was the subject of a compelling documentary, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, which introduced his work to a whole new generation of fans in the aughties.

Johnston just announced a “final tour” which isn’t a tour so much as it’s five dates scattered around the United States, with city-specific backing bands. In Philly, Johnston will perform at the Tower Theater on October 4th backed by The Districts and Modern Baseball. Tickets are on sale Friday, more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Drink The Districts’ Popular Manipulations at Johnny Brenda’s to Benefit Beyond the Bars

The Districts | Photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

The Districts‘ highly-anticipated upcoming record Popular Manipulations is due August 11th, and now you can drink it too. The indie rockers have teamed up with Crime and Punishment Brewing to create the Popular Manipulations IPL, and the first keg will be tapped on Monday, July 31st at Johnny Brenda’s. The Districts themselves will be the event’s DJs, taking over the Fishtown venue to spin an all-vinyl, four-hour happy hour set – the perfect way to cap off a weekend at the XPoNential Music Festival. Continue reading →

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The Districts step into a time warp in their new music video for “If Before I Wake”

The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

The Districts are set to release their third full-length studio album on August 11th, and thus far we have been graced with two lead singles from Popular Manipulations that are incredible by normal standards and standard by The Districts standards. That is, a standard of epic, soaring, searing, hard-hitting, self-aware indie rock that The Districts have cultivated and cut through within a genre that at times can feel overwhelmingly overpopulated and underwhelmingly repetitive. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Gina Zo at World Cafe Live, The Districts at Long’s Park, Endless Boogie at Johnny Brenda’s

via facebook.com/ginamariecostanzo

West Chester-born pop singer and songwriter Gina Zo caught our ear last year with a sound that was a little bit Zella Day, a little bit Lana Del Rey. After a go on The Voice this spring, she’s back in Philly to play the Emerging Stars Showcase at World Cafe LIve downstairs. Get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar and watch her video for “Lost” below. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: The Spirit of the Beehive and Abi Reimold will open for The Districts at Union Transfer

The Spirit Of The Beehive | photo by Emily Burtner | courtesy of the artist
The Spirit Of The Beehive | photo by Emily Burtner | courtesy of the artist

We’re very excited for The Districts‘ forthcoming third LP Popular Manipulations around here at Key HQ, especially after watching them slay five new songs from the record at NonCOMM last week. To make their August 11th album release party at Union Transfer even more of an event, the band just announced the openers for the show, and it’s turned into a tremendous all-Philly bill. Continue reading →

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Listen to The Districts’ album opener “If Before I Wake”

The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

After a tremendous set at last week’s NonCOMM-vention, Philly-via-Lancaster four-piece The Districts unveiled the latest teaser from their new Popular Manipulations LP, due out August 11th on Fat Possum Records. “If Before I Wake” is the album’s opening track, and it builds and burns across three minutes of swelling guitars and hammering drums, a good gateway into a tremendous album.
Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: The Districts never let us down

The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

The end of The Districts newest single “Ordinary Day” rings out with an echoing chorus that includes the line “I’ll let you down again” – more than a little bit ironic, then, that they seem to be just absolutely incapable of letting down a live audience.

As just the third act of 2017’s NonCOMM, there’s still plenty of ground left to cover in the week, and plenty of yet-to-be seen sets and surprises along the way. But The Districts came out swinging, and set quite a high bar for the rest of the week’s performers. With a set filled with material from their upcoming summer release Popular Manipulations, it’s easy to think that the audience might have gotten restless without anything to sing along to, but the case was anything but. New bangers like “Point,” “Salt,” and the absolutely incredible “Violet” (frontman Rob Grote’s favorite track off the new record) rang true and found their mark in the packed upstairs house. Continue reading →

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Listen to Marley McNamara talk about building your own path in music, managing The Districts and more on 25 O’Clock

Marley McNamara | via 25 O’Clock

One of the hardest-working behind-the-scenes people in Philadelphia’s music community is Marley McNamara — manager of The Districts, The Dove and the Wolf and more, show-runner at Johnny Brenda’s and all around rock and roll enthusiast.

This week, she appeared on the latest episode of the 25 O’Clock Podcast with host Dan Drago, and the two talk about how McNamara forged her own path in the music world, how she found the artists she works with and why she prefers working in places that value musicians for their creative vision and not their commercial appeal.

Listen for lots of conversation on the Philly music scene, about how Car Seat Headrest helped her stay tapped into music fandom, why The Districts are distancing themselves from “Funeral Beds” and the reason she’s totally okay with that. Stream it below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Young Statues at Boot & Saddle, The Districts and Abi Reimold at Chameleon Club, Mick Jenkins at The TLA and more…

 

Young Statues
Young Statues | photo by Shervin Lainez

South Jersey emo four-piece Young Statues makes their return to the stage tonight at Boot & Saddle, playing their first gig in two years. Their last release was 2014’s The Flatlands Are Your Friend, so we imagine some new material is in the works for a third album. Whether any of that makes the setlist tonight is unclear, but hey, any chance to hear them rock out on “Athens” is fine by me. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →