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The Districts and The Dove and the Wolf covered Leonard Cohen, Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra

The Districts and The Dove and the Wolf | still from video
The Districts and The Dove and the Wolf | still from video

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 →

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Just Announced: The Districts surprise fans with intimate Main Street Music gig

 

The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

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 →

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Just Announced: The Districts will play a special string of shows at Johnny Brenda’s this fall

The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

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 →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Districts at Tellus 360, Amos Lee at Academy of Music, The Skatalites at Underground Arts

The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

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 →

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Get a piece of CAKE, a photo zine by Caitlin McCann starring The Districts and Sun Club

from Cake | photo by Caitlin McCann | courtesy of the artist
from Cake | photo by Caitlin McCann | courtesy of the artist

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 →

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XPN Fest Recap: The Districts throw down at the river stage

The Districts | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
The Districts | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

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 →

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The Key Presents: The Districts

The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

“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 →

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Listen to The Districts’ frontman Rob Grote cover R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming”

The Districts
The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

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 →

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Beyond the Bars: The Districts, Queen of Jeans and more rip it up for a good cause

The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/
The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

I could sit here and regale you with stories and stats about the Prison-Industrial Complex all day, but is that going to do anything? Even for the most #woke among us, it’s hard to know where to start to deal with something as massively unassailable as a for-profit prison system that funnels young lives straight into jails. But—much like music—it’s best to start with stories. Sunday night at World Cafe Live, Philly organization Beyond the Bars hit home with a massive benefit show incorporating both to strike back.

By going into prisons and teaching music to incarcerated youth, Beyond the Bars staff and volunteers are able to bring hope and respite to members of society that most people have already written off as a loss. “Even though they’re in prison, they’re still people, man. Just people,” said Bars staff member Christopher Thornton. Continue reading →