Well, well, well. If the gosh darn boys aren’t back in town. After what felt like almost whole year, our hometown heroes The Districts returned to a Philadelphia stage for three proper headlining shows at Johnny Brenda’s. And while 2016 wasn’t necessarily a quiet year for them — touring with both Modest Mouse and Dr. Dog is nothing to sneeze at — it definitely felt like a bit of a building year for a band that otherwise seems to have unlimited amounts of energy. It makes sense, with hints of LP3 trickling out at shows, and word coming that the band spent almost a month in LA over the summer, demoing and recording new material. But as summer faded, and the memories of The Districts’ slamming XPNFest set weren’t keeping my heart as warm as they once had, this three-night stand at JB’s came just in the nick of time. Continue reading →
Philly rockers The Districts settled in for the weekend at Johnny Brenda’s to kick off a late fall tour of intimate venues. The whole run of shows sold out very quickly, and last night’s gig in particular was filled with immense amounts of awesome. Not the least of which were six songs from the new record we’re hoping to hear from The Districts in 2017.
Song titles included “Violet,” “Rattling of the Heart,” “Night Time Girls,” “Point,” “Ordinary Day” and “If Before I Wake,” and we’ll have more on them when our Jeremy Zimmerman reviews night one of the series later this week. Suffice it to say, the songs are varied, big and bold, and frontman Rob Grote’s voice soars in a way we haven’t heard from him before…very exciting stuff.
For today, we’ll focus on another bit of awesome from the weekend: collabs and covers. Continue reading →
Kicking off a fun-filled weekend for the band, Philadelphia rockers The Districts will be playing an extremely intimate show at Main Street Music on November 25th. In addition to celebrating Record Store Day / Black Friday, the gig comes in preparation for the band’s three sold out nights at Johnny Brenda’s from November 25th to 27th.Continue reading →
One of the first major Philly gigs The Districts played was the stage of Johnny Brenda’s back in fall of 2014, opening for The Lawsuits’ Cool Cool Cool album release party. Now that they’re heading into a new year, hopefully with a new record on the horizon along with some of their biggest shows to date, it seems fitting that the Philadelphia by way of central PA rockers return to the JBs stage for a string of intimate shows on Thanksgiving weekend. Continue reading →
Philly favorites The Districts are shipping out to Lancaster, PA for a one-off at Tellus 360. The show is in support of Beyond the Mountains, an organization dedicated to raising money towards educational efforts in Nepal. A minimum donation of $25 will get you to the gig, which also feature music from Ton-Taun and a presentation from Beyond the Mountains. These guys consistently bring down the house, and you get to see them do it as you simultaneously support a great cause. What more could you ask for? Find more information here. Continue reading →
If you don’t know Caitlin McCann yet, you should. The Philadelphia photographer has been making a name for herself with music videos and portraits of artists near and dear to the Philly scene, from Pine Barons to TJ Kong. Her latest project is CAKE, a large format, 60-page zine consisting of photos from The Districts / Sun Club US tour.
“It’s all sorts of sticky and sweaty and boozy,” McCann tells us. “But you won’t find any live music photos in the pages.” Continue reading →
There’s no reason to cover up the truth. Before today, for one reason or another, I had never seen The Districts perform live. And in all honesty, I wasn’t even all that well-versed in their material. But I had heard enough to know that they were a big deal, and my expectations were high.
In short, my expectations were met. The guys from Lititz, PA absolutely killed it and provided what is most likely going to be my favorite XPN Fest set of 2016. They rocked hard — a degree of hard that can’t fully be expressed in a brief recap such as this.
One thing my uninformed self did get out of Sunday’s set, besides a newfound fandom of The Districts, was the fact that a younger crowd was drawn to see The Districts. There’s no denying that this festival, overall, is geared to an older crowd, which is totally ok. All I’m saying is that the average age of a Mavis Staples fan is most likely a few decades higher than that of a Districts die-hard. Continue reading →
“It’s a long way down from the top to the bottom,” laments Rob Grote in 2014’s “Young Blood.” Perhaps he’s warding against some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. Weaving humility into the very fibres of his songwriting, he finds a great strength in weakness. But it’s not as simple as just putting pen to page. Being kind is something that comes second nature to The Districts. Even after releasing a record that garnered praise everywhere from tiny blogs to Rolling Stone, and sharing stages with legends like The (actual) Rolling Stones, they still remain the same sweaty, smiling boys I saw absolutely crushing basement shows, a couple of years back. Continue reading →
The year was 1992 and R.E.M. had just put out their eighth studio album Automatic for the People, featuring the ballad “Nightswimming.” Near and dear to many fan’s hearts at the time (although I cannot give a first hand account having not been born yet) the song goes down as one of the best of the decade and genre. Continue reading →