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Six Philadelphia artists who crushed it at SXSW 2015

Sheer Mag | Photo by John Vettese
Sheer Mag | Photo by John Vettese

This time last week, I was traveling home from Austin after a jam-packed three days of nonstop music at SXSW 2015. Many who make the trek to the annual industry rodeo do it with an eye on discovering new artists. That certainly fits in the mix when I’m down there – and the sets I caught by California rapper Boogie and Indiana singer-songwriter Elephant Micah were impressive – but my primary focus is catching up with Philadelphians at the festival to see how they fared. Continue reading →

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The seven best bands I saw at SXSW

Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear | Photo by John Vettese
Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear | Photo by John Vettese

Thousands of bands convened in Austin, Texas last week for SXSW. Of the 20 or so bands I set out to see during my three days at the conference, I managed to see about half of them. While many attendees go with a list of bands they most want to see; there’s an aimless serendipity that happens at SXSW, when you’re heading down the street to see one band, it’s often that you wind up at a completely different venue seeing another. One is redirected by texts from friends on their way to see a hotly buzzed band, or a quick swing into a coffee shop will lead you to running into folks who tell you about a not-to-be-missed acoustic performance at a hotel ballroom, or a potential surprise guest appearance by a superstar (like Miley Cyrus at the Fader Fort), that you’ll wait an hour in line for at a venue to see. My hit list this year was driven not by serendipity (save for the disastrous, yet awesome Miley appearance), and more by focus to see the handful of bands that I wanted to see in my limited time at SXSW. Here were my favorites: Continue reading →

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Watch The Districts annihilate in live footage of a rowdy First Unitarian basement show

The Districts | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
The Districts | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

The Districts have been catching heaps of attention as they continue to sell out performance venues across the country (and world). Recently, Philly’s Out Of Town Films released footage from the secret hometown show they played in the basement of the First Unitarian Church; the gang storms the stage and rips into its heavy, emotional tracks for a close-knit crowd, and the video captures the passion behind the group’s sound and passion to a tee. Continue reading →

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Season Two of CoverClub wraps up with Ali Wadsworth, Tutlie and Vita and the Woolf

Vita And The Woolf records at Cambridge Sound | Photo by Bob Sweeney
Vita And The Woolf records at Cambridge Sound | Photo by Bob Sweeney

Root Down in the Shadow‘s excellent CoverClub series now boasts its own fancy website, and today released a slew of videos to wrap up a productive second season.

The video blowout started around 10 this morning and continued hourly until the final video from Vita and the Woolf was released at 2. Along the way we heard Ali Wadsworth’s power-packed vocals covering The Districts’ “Stay Open,” with local rockers Satellite Hearts acting as her backing trio. Her own take is just as driven and distinct as The Districts’ singer, Rob Grote, and Sattelite Hearts accompanies with their own harmonies as well. Continue reading →

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Bold: The Districts Take Charge at Union Transfer

The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

Even though I’ve seen The Districts five or six times in the past year, Saturday night was something else entirely. Anyone who’s seen them—whether it was at the Church or XPNFest or somebody’s basement or warehouse—knows that they put on one hell of a show. But where The Districts strength has previously seemed to flow from an introspective fount, the very sold-out release show for A Flourish and A Spoil on Saturday night at Union Transfer seemed powered by a limitless well of incredible proportions. Continue reading →

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Diane Cluck, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper and more

Diane Cluck

Photo by Laura Jane Brubaker | http://laurajanebrubaker.tumblr.com/

Folkadelphia has shared a live session with Diane Cluck ahead of her show at Eris Temple Arts on Monday. The veteran musician performed “Heartloose” off of her 2014 record Boneset, along with “Monte Carlo” from her 2000 self-titled debut and “Red August” from a song-of-the-week project she did in 2012.

Continue reading →

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Watch The Districts perform “4th and Roebling” and “Peaches” on Seth Meyers

The Districts on Late Night with Seth Meyers
The Districts on Late Night with Seth Meyers

In the early hours of this morning, Philly-via-Lititz rock four-piece The Districts took to television screens around the country – and at more than a few viewing parties in Southeastern Pennsylvania, no doubt – to play music from their brand new LP A Flourish and a Spoil, which came out this past Tuesday on Fat Possum Records. Continue reading →

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Download a World Cafe session version of “Rocking Chair” by The Districts

The Districts' lead singer Rob Grote at XPoNential Music Festival, 2013
The Districts’ lead singer Rob Grote at XPoNential Music Festival, 2013

It’s been a fun rock and roll trip for the Lititz/Philly rock and roll band The Districts since they played the XPoNential Music Festival in July 2013. Barely a blip on the local Philly music scene at the time, things moved pretty quickly for the band. They recently released their debut on Fat Possum Records, A Flourish And A Spoil. This coming Saturday night, the band play a sold out show at Union Transfer. We’re incredibly proud of the band as they set off on a tour in March, and a spot on the lineup at Governors Ball in June in New York. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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NPR Music streams The Districts’ A Flourish and a Spoil

The Districts | Photo by Ryan Farber
The Districts | Photo by Ryan Farber

With the release of their second full-length, it is fair to say The Districts are comfortable. They signed to Fat Possum Records and went on a tour with Dr. Dog. The Lititz, Pa. band released their folk-y debut Telephone in summer of 2012 and their self-titled EP in January of 2014.

One year later, The Districts have another full-length to add under their belts, this time with more of an indie, experimental-rock approach. A Flourish and a Spoil is set to release on Feb. 10, but is streaming now on NPR’s First Listen. Continue reading →