By

Free At Noon Flashback: The Districts redefine “explosive” at World Cafe Live

The Districts | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

I had long resigned myself to the bittersweet fact that since I’ve always been unlucky in catching The Districts live, the first time I’d finally see them would be in some large, sold out venue given the skyrocketing trajectory of their career and fanbase around the world that will only grow once their newest release Popular Manipulations reaches the ears and hearts of the masses.

Fortunately, this was not the case. A week after the crazy sold out Union Transfer record release show (read our review here) found The Districts back in Philadelphia to perform for XPN’s Free At Noon series at the smaller, more intimate World Cafe Live. It appeared that the rareness of this opportunity was not lost on fans, as the line stretched up the stairs and out onto the sidewalk long before doors opened and filled the venue to capacity by the ten-minute mark. Continue reading →

By

Talking Popular Manipulations with The Districts’ Rob Grote

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

A couple of years back, a young band started making waves in Philadelphia. There were many different stories surrounding these young kids from central Pennsylvania, but a couple themes remained the same: the thunderous live shows, the direct songwriting, and also the fact that they were only teenagers. The Districts were a band “ahead of their years,” as everyone would always say. Now, with the release of their new record Popular Manipulations, the band has grown into their persona and the stories have grown with them. Continue reading →

By

The Districts bring Popular Manipulations home to Philly and a wild Union Transfer crowd

The Districts | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN

“We all almost went to college,” Rob Grote of The Districts told a sold-out Union Transfer on Friday night. “We talked about how this album is like a college degree. Hopefully we learned something, right?”

The band was headlining in support of their third record, Popular Manipulations, which came out on Friday. The record already sounds huge, but performed live it’s even more so, particularly the thundering “Violet” and the quiet-to-scream progression of “Ordinary Day.” The crowd was revved up and spent much of the night off the floor, stage diving and crowd surfing. Continue reading →

By

Listen to Abi Reimold and Rob Grote of The Districts Guest DJ on WXPN Local

Abi Reimold | photo by Bob Sweeney | courtesy of the artist // Rob Grote | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN

Tonight, Philly rockers The Districts celebrate their brand new, just-released-today record Popular Manipulations with a headlining show at Union Transfer that is, as of this writing, mega sold out. Opening are fellow Philly indie favorites The Spirit of the Beehive and Abi Reimold. If you don’t have tickets to the gig, fear not; you’ll be able to see The Districts next Friday at WXPN’s Free at Noon concert (RSVP here), you’ll be able to catch Abi at the PHL Music Fest in September (more info here) and Spirit is on a stacked bill with Japanese Breakfast at the Church in October (deets here).

You can also see / hear a different side of both Reimold and The Districts’ Rob Grote by listening to a joint guest DJ set both artists hosted a couple weeks back on the WXPN Local Show. Continue reading →

By

Listen to The Districts’ kickass new Popular Manipulations at NPR Music

The Districts | photo by Pooneh Ghana

Brace yourselves, Philly. One of the best rock records of 2017 is now available for you to listen to in full. The Districts release their third LP, Popular Manipulations, next Friday, August 11th via Fat Possum Records; that night, they headline a stacked album release party at Union Transfer with The Spirit of the Beehive and Abi Reimold.

Today, you can listen to the album in full over at NPR Music’s First Listen series, where XPN Program Director Bruce Warren says it is “a powerful and punchy set of songs by a group of men whose talent has finally caught up to its ambition. It demands and commands your attention.” Continue reading →

By

Listen to “Salt,” the fourth single from The Districts’ Popular Manipulations

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

Oh my goodness, can The Districts just release Popular Manipulations already? The upcoming third album from the Philly faves is due August 11th on Fat Possum, and while I’ll take any new material they deign to give it’s all just a reminder that it’s not here yet (but at least we’re in the same month now?). Continue reading →

By

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 →

By

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 →

By

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 →