The Districts celebrate their new EP with an energized set at A.K.A. Music

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

A crowd gathered in A.K.A. Music in Old City Tuesday night not to peruse records, but to watch The Districts celebrate the release of their debut EP with Fat Possum Records.

Ranging from devout listeners to random passersby, the buzzing Central Pa. band welcomed the audience (many munching on free slices from Pizza Brain) as they walked around the record store shaking hands, greeting friends and fans with beaming grins.

The Districts took the stage at about 6:30 p.m. and played for roughly an hour, playing the newly-released EP in its entirety, mixed with songs off of its self-released 2012 album, Telephone.

First up was the first song from the EP, “Rocking Chair.” Knees started to bend and heads bobbed in the crowd of more than 100 people as soon as fans recognized Rob Grote and Mark Larson’s twinkly guitar notes. As Grote thanked the audience for coming out, he moved onto “Call Box,” “Lyla,” “4 & 4” and the harmonizing-tune “Stay Open.” The band went from song-to-song flawlessly, sounding just as pristine as their recordings while giving the same energy as any live show.

“Long Distance” generated some of the most reaction, with the crowd singing along to the chorus and rocking out to the song’s 20-second breakdown, followed by the rest of the set which included “Peaches” – a preview of a new song to be released on an upcoming full-length album – and “Silver Couplets.”

Fans anticipated the performance of The Districts’ hit, “Funeral Beds,” and the band delivered.  Generating well over 300,000 hits on the song’s HotBox Session, the crowd once again sung along and grooved to the foot-stomping beat.

January 28th was a big day for The Districts. In addition to the record release, the band also announced on its Facebook page that it will play the Boston Calling Festival in late May. Its next stop before embarking on a nationwide tour with White Denim will opening for one of their Philly favorites, Dr. Dog, this Friday at the Electric Factory.


The Districts gain more recognition before embarking on tour

Photo by Eric Ashleigh
Photo by Eric Ashleigh

Philadelphia’s own The Districts are only four days away from releasing their self-titled EP after signing on with Fat Possum Records this past November. The label is famous for supporting other indie-rockers like The Black Keys, Youth Lagoon, Tennis and many more.

Yesterday, Rolling Stone gave The Districts a little recognition and allowed audiences a peak into the the full EP.

Songs “Lyla,” “Funeral Beds” and “Long Distance” are nothing new to the band’s fans since the tunes are remastered off of an earlier self-released album. However, the two newest songs, “Rocking Chair” and “Stay Open” offer two different, but welcome feels to the EP.

“Rocking Chair” is the kind of song a sea of indie-rockers could jump up and down to, with its in-your-face build ups and catchy lyrics. “Stay Open” is slower-paced for the band, but still true to The Districts’ sound.

The Districts are about to embark on its first national tour with White Denim in February, but before that, they’re playing a free release show in-store on Jan. 28 at A.K.A Music. Just a few days later, The Districts will be joining other Philly natives Dr. Dog as the band’s opening act at The Electric Factory on Jan. 31.

Listen to The Districts’ self-titled EP here, and stream “Funeral Beds” below.


Free Show: Philebrity presents Lantern at A.K.A. Music on 9/6


It’s a new month and that means A.K.A. Music has a new in-store appearance planned for First Friday this week.  Local rock ‘n’ roll trio Lantern will be shaking the walls at the 2nd St. record store, playing tracks from their recent Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach LP.  The Key dug into the bluesy goth-rock album in July’s edition of Unlocked – members Zachary Devereux Fairbrother and Emily Robb expounded on stylistic changes, horn sections and collaborations in the feature interview here and editor John Vettese reviewed the debut record here. The all-ages show at AKA Music begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free; more information can be found on the Facebook event page.  Watch Lantern’s surreal video for “King of the Jungle” below.

LANTERN – KING OF THE JUNGLE from Jacqueline Lachance on Vimeo.


Free Performance: Whirr and Nothing at AKA on 8/10


We just got word that A.K.A Music, one of our favorite Philly record stores, will co-host a free in-store performance on August 10th presented by locally-based music blog Yvynyl. The event includes sets by Whirr, a psychedelic rock sextet from Oakland lead by former Deafheaven guitarist Nick Bassett, and Nothing, the Philly heavy shoegaze group (and Key Studio Sessions alums) fronted by Dominic Palermo. The 2 p.m. performance is all-ages, which is awesome news for the under-21 fans who can’t make it to see both bands play Kung Fu Necktie‘s This is Hardcore After Party (21 and over). Below, listen to the track “Flashback” by Whirr, watch Nothing performing in our studio for the Key Sessions (care of BITBY) and find tickets and information here.


Watch two videos of AKA Music’s Record Store Day events, filmed by BITBY

aka rsd

With so many performances and surprises happening all over the city last Saturday for Record Store Day, it was impossible to see every great moment.  Luckily, the Bands in the Backyard crew staked out a spot at AKA Music in Old City for the store’s showcase of local music by Heyward Howkins, Mikele Edwards, Bridge Underwater and Restorations.  Check out two videos BITBY filmed during the day featuring Bridge Underwater and Restorations below.


Awesome Record Store Day event alert: Philebrity and AKA Music present Restorations, Bridge Underwater, Heyward Howkins and Mikele Edwards on Saturday, April 20


Record Store Day is Saturday, April 20th. Started in 2007, RSD brings together independent brick and mortar record stores and musicians to celebrate music and to offer some amazing special releases. Locally, many stores are participating, including A.K.A. Music, who are teaming up with Philebrity, for an event from 1PM-5PM featuring performances from Restorations, Heyward Howkins, Mikele Edwards, and Bridge Underwater. Below, sample some of the goods, including a free download of a “Kind Of Comfort” by Restorations, which we offered as part of our recent Unlocked series on the band. Go here for a list of participating stores in your area.


Steve Gunn announces details for Time Off release (playing AKA Music tonight, Union Transfer on 5/18)

Steve-in-studioSteve Gunn, the Lansdowne, PA native who has since become a mainstay of the Brooklyn experimental / singer-songwriter scene, will release his Paradise of Bachelors debut on June 18th.  Titled Time Off the album follows-up Gunn’s 2009 solo full-length Boerum Palace (Three Lobed Recordings) and joins the musician with longtime collaborators and friends John Truscinski (drums) and Justin Tripp (bass, formerly of local indie rock band Aspera).  From PoB:

Time Off deploys Gunn’s signature virtuosic guitar style, framed by the most commanding vocal performances he has yet committed to tape. These six songs showcase his oblique character sketches and story-songs about friends, acquaintances, and denizens of his Brooklyn neighborhood.

In addition to the impending release, PoB has announced Gunn’s new role as a Violator for the upcoming Kurt Vile & The Violators tour, for which Gunn will also be an opener.  Tickets and information for that May 18th show at Union Transfer with Angel Olsen can be found here.  Tonight, Steve Gunn will play a set at AKA Music in Old City for the record store’s First Friday event, presented by Philebrity.  More information for the free show can be found on the Facebook event page here.  Below, watch Steve Gunn perform “Old Strange” at the Kensington Picnic and then check out Time Off‘s track list.

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Why Nothing will make the First Friday crowd wish they packed earplugs (AKA Instore on 2/1)

Photo via

Let’s not mince words here – Philly’s Nothing is loud. Boldy, righteously, circuit-overloadingly load. This is why we love them, this is why A389 Records released their recent Downward Years to Come EP; the Philly band’s blend of punk guitar overdrive and shoegaze-inspired sound-sculpting is equally suited for zoning out or thrashing about. This is also why the crowd that comes to 2nd Street every month looking to see art openings and sip wine might be taken aback by the concert raging this Friday evening inside A.K.A. Music.

For the two-years-and-change anniversary of Philebrity‘s tenure operating out of upstairs office digs at long-standing Old City record shop, Nothing will play an instore set beginning promptly at 7:30. Details can be found here; below, watch a video of Nothing in quieter times, recording their Key Studio Session before Bands in the Backyard cameras and a live studio audience.