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They Do Not Exist, We Faithfully Insist: mewithoutYou & The Districts go incognito at the Church

mewithoutYou | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
mewithoutYou | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

So that’s the end of my 2014 year in shows. Slammed into a bank of monitors, screaming at the top of my lungs, sweat-soaked, sobbing and experiencing more than a little bit of real pain from the crushing. But some band called mewithoutYou once told me that “the cure for pain is the pain itself,” and even a few bruises couldn’t keep me from having an absolute blast at the Church on Tuesday night. I didn’t even really know who was playing, just saw a couple of random bands called “Eight Legged Prawn,” with “Thy Foes Profanely Rage” on a cheap Church bill promised a decent night of entertainment. Continue reading →

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The Districts cover The Kinks’ “Father Christmas” to benefit breast cancer charity CoppaFeel

Photo via instagram.com/thedistrictsband
Photo via instagram.com/thedistrictsband

Lititz rockers The Districts recently tracked a tender cover of the classic “Father Christmas” by The Kinks for It’s Coming On Christmas, a 28-track compilation released by London label Daisy Digital to benefit the breast cancer awareness charity CoppaFeel. Today the band released a music video to go with the cover, which you can check out below; it was filmed and edited by drummer Braden Lawrence and features shots of singer Rob Grote recording at home intercut with footage of trees and suburban Christmas lights. Continue reading →

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The Districts are headlining Union Transfer on Valentine’s Day, Chameleon Club on 2/13

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

Philly rock faves The Districts just announced their winter tour in support of their their latest full-length, A Flourish And A Spoil, and it has them playing a headlining show at Union Transfer on February 14th. It’s something of an adopted hometown show for them; their O.G. hometown show takes place two days earlier, at Lancaster’s Chameleon Club on February 13th. Tickets for both shows go on sale this Friday, November 21st. Continue reading →

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Listen to a new song by The Districts, “4th and Roebling”

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

The Districts have announced the release of their debut full length album on Fat Possum Records on Febraury 10thm 2015, A Flourish And A Spoil, produced by John Congleton. The Districts have been a touring machine over the last years, including a recent show with Temples at Union Transfer, a set at this year’s XPoNential Music Festival, a secret basement show in North Philly, and a performance at WXPN’s Non-COMMvention last May. Continue reading →

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Temples and The Districts excite the Union Transfer crowd

Temples | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Temples | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

English psychedelic rock band Temples hit the stage at Union Transfer on Saturday night playing to a packed crowd. Touring in support of their debut album Sun Structures, which was released in February, the UK four-piece already has a close following. For such a young group, they have received positive album reviews and praise from respected musicians such as Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher. Continue reading →

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The Districts’ van was broken into…again.

You’ve got to be kidding me. The Districts‘ van was broken into…again…in the same city as last time. The above Instagram (which, yeah, kinda looks like the cover of LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver) is what they found earlier today – a lock cut off from their door. Strand of Oaks also had their van broke in to in St. Louis this year, as did Mineral. Read what The Districts had to say about it after the jump. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Beck, Band of Horses and The Districts bring the weekend to a tremendous close

Beck | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Beck | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Wow. I really don’t know that there are any other words for it – wow wow wow. What a tremendous way to close this year’s XPoNential Music Festival: an outrageous, high-energy performance from the one and only Beck, with the stage being nicely set by the rousing rock anthems of Band of Horses and an intense performance from Central PA noisemakers The Districts. A triple-header that contained as much bottled-up energy as the rest of the weekend alone.

After the festival attendees were ushered from Wiggins Park to the Susquehanna Bank Center by Philly’s New Sound Brass Ensemble, The Districts took the stage shortly after 7 with an atmospheric and expressive performance of “Long Distance.” It was a bittersweet set for the guys, since it was the band’s last gig performing with founding guitarist Mark Larson. Continue reading →

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XPoNential Artist Spotlight: The Districts get a little help from their friends

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

There are few things that can be as debilitating for a young band as finding out that your tour van – including all of your gear inside and all of your tour earnings – was stolen right out from under your nose. That was The Districts’ now widely-known story in early June. But the Lititz-bred, Philly-based band was able to get by with a little help from their friends, even when they were nearly 900 miles away from home. Continue reading →

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College Calling: The Districts’ guitarist Mark Larson to bow out after XPoNential

via facebook.com/thedistrictsband
via facebook.com/thedistrictsband

One of the first things that newcomers to Lititz / Philly rockers The Districts mention is their age. They’re young. They’re “just out of high school.” And it’s true: just about a year ago, the bandmates were at a serious life crossroads – start the higher education thing in the fall, or defer enrollment to do a full-on push for their music, which had serious momentum behind it.

We all know where that story went. The band decided to be a band, tour hard nationally and make a splash overseas – check out their spotlight from The Guardian in the UK – get signed to Fat Possum Records, tour some more, do a sweet Shaking Through session, play a revved-up NonCOMM set, and hit the summer festival circuit while prepping their debut full-length in the background. (Oh, and get their van stolen too, ugh.)

Twelve months later, the band is at another crossroads, and announced via Facebook early this morning that guitarist Mark Larson will be leaving the band after their set next week at the XPoNential Music Festival.

It is with heavy hearts but high hopes that we announce our good friend Mark will be leaving us to pursue his college education in the fall. While we’re bummed to not be playing with him any longer, we’re excited to see what the future holds for both him and us. … We wish ya the best Mark, and thank you mucho, mucho for helping us get this far. We couldn’t have done the past five years without you. Good luck to you on the next chapter dawgy.

Larson’s shoes will be filled in by Pat Cassidy of the jangle-pop four-piece Keepers, and while Larson’s guitarmonies and sweet solos will be missed (seriously, for such a relaxed and jovial-looking guy, Larson could freaking demonically shred) Cassidy is a more than solid player in his own right. We join the band in welcoming him to the fold, and wishing Larson best of luck as he hits the books in September.

Certainly the plight of school versus creative output versus career isn’t rare. When they played an opening slot at The Electric Factory this spring, Philly pop punks Modern Baseball were lauded by Dan “Soupy” Campbell of headliners The Wonder Years for not throwing themselves full-on into the music industry grind just yet. The MoBo guys are finishing various degrees at Drexel University and Chestnut Hill College as their album You’re Gonna Miss It All builds in popularity and critical acclaim.

“Even with all that upward trajectory,” Campbell told the sold-out E Factory crowd, “They’ve got the smarts, and they’re heading back to Philly when tour is over to finish up school.”

More recently, Matthew Kerr – guitarist of local indie faves Family Vacation – announced his departure from the band to pursue his education career.

And while these life crossroads might be difficult and bittersweet, they are not fraught with finality in the least. The pendulum always swings the other way, and artists can just as easily go from bagging groceries part-time and / or teaching full-time to making one of the most talked-about records of a given year (see, for example, Elliott Sharp’s Clocked-In interview with Strand of Oaks).

So, as the band alluded to on Facebook, we’re excited for what Larson’s next chapter brings.