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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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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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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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.
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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 →