Archive for the ‘The Districts’ Category

[NOT POSTPONED: March 12, 2020] The Districts / And the Kids / Sixteen Jackies

phrasesnotattendMarch was going to be a very busy concert month for me.

I thought that I would be starting a bunch of shows in a row with this one. Then it turned out that an event for my son that I thought was scheduled for March 19 was actually on March 12.  So that meant I would not be going to this show.

I had seen The Districts back in 2017 and enjoyed the show, but I clearly didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else in the room who knew every word to every song.  I was much more prepared for this show, even if there was a new album about to come out for this show as well.

I was also really excited to see And the Kids, a band I have really enjoyed twice and who I can’t wait to see again.  But they had a personal tragedy affect them and they had to cancel their opening slot of the tour.  That was a major bummer.

I didn’t know Sixteen Jackies, but I had read good things about them.

Once the coronavirus started shutting down shows, I wasn’t sure if this show would get shut down.  It didn’t and it turns out it would have been my last show for quite a while if I had gone.

Sounds like it was great, but I had more important things to do.

However, I hope that when they reschedule the tour that they tack on an extra Philly day so that we can enjoy them again without the fear of contagion hanging over our heads.

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[ATTENDED: September 29, 2019] Philly Music Fest

For those counting, this makes four concerts in four nights, which is frankly insane (and thanks to my poor wife who tolerates such excesses).

But the whole reason I wanted to go this evening was to see Man Man (more in their own post).

But, in fact, the entire Philly Music Fest was pretty fantastic.  I would have certainly gone to three of the four nights if I could have.  This little festival is a testament to the amazing music that Philadelphia is producing, and they didn’t even include two of my favorite Philly bands, Mannequin Pussy and Control Top.

The first night I actually didn’t know any of the bands.

  • Wednesday 9/25 at Milkboy (a venue I haven’t been to yet)
  • Secret American
  • Sixteen Jackies
  • Ceramic Animal

The second night was an amazing line up! (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 11, 2017] The Districts

We had seen The Districts at XPN Fest in 2016.  Well, seen isn’t quite the right word.  We were very hot, the kids were wiped out, so we stood off to the side while The Districts rocked River Front Stage.  I was really impressed with what I heard (and could sorta see), so at one point I moved to the bleachers and watched a couple of songs.


About that show I had written:

It’s great finding a young band (they have two albums and a couple of EPs out)  who is really good and looks to have staying power.  I’d love to see them again in a club sometime.

One year later and the band was planning to release their third full length Popular Manipulations.  And release day also happened to be the night of their hometown show in Philly.

By the time the band came on, the crowd was ready to party.  And by the middle of the first song, the slam dancers shoved their way up front and pushed all of us spectators out of the way.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 11, 2017] The Spirit of the Beehive

I had never heard of The Spirit of the Beehive before this show.  They are a Philadelphia band with two albums and one EP on bandcamp.

I listened to them briefly before the show–their sound was noisy with a shoegaze element.  I didn’t have much time to explore them before I left for the show, so I was totally unprepared for the wild set the band played.

They were fun to watch.  And their music was wonderfully complex.

According to the latest album, Pleasure Suck, the band is composed of the hex, buzz, rat, ricky, and pail.  Some research provides me with names, although I’m not sure who to match with which nickname: guitarist/vocalist Zack Schwartz, drummer Pat Conaboy, guitarist/keyboardist Justin Fox, guitarist Tim Jordan and bassist/vocalist Rivka Ravede.

There were only four members on stage (based on the above, I’d guess that Jordan was not there as everyone else’s instruments seem to be accounted for). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 11, 2017] Abi Reimold

I was under the impression that this Record Release Party for The Districts began at 8.  I was running a little late and when I got to Callowhill Road, the street was blocked off.

For no apparent reason.

So I was detoured all over creation and wound up arriving at 8:15.  I wondered if I’d missed the opening band entirely.  But it turned out that the show actually started at 8:30, so all was okay and I got a good spot up close for Abi Reimold, a Philadelphia-based singer songwriter.

She sings straightforward, honest songs.  Her voice is interesting in that it’s quite pretty but with a bit of an edge to it–a kind of smirking snarl–that I really liked.

I had listened to some songs on bandcamp and liked them, but not enough to get really excited by her.  But she really impressed me live. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 22-24, 2016] XPN Fest

2016-07-24 15.34.58Even though I go to a lot of shows, I don’t really love Festivals.  I actually enjoy concerts too much to enjoy Festivals.  Which sounds dumb, but I’d rather see a band I like on their own play for a full set than for 30 minutes with a bunch of people who don’t really want to see them.

I’ve been to a few festivals over the years, and I have thought about going to other ones, but since I typically don’t want to spend a few days in the sun (and a few hundred dollars), I don’t go.

But the past two years we have seen some great headlining acts at XPN Fest.  And we thought it would be fun to go for the day, bring the kids and just have a fun day outside with music and vendors.  We bought tickets before the lineup was even announced.

WXPN members get half-priced tickets (which is cheaper than some of the regular shows I’ve been to) and kids’ tickets are $15 for the three days.  Perfect.

In the past, I have loved most of the headliners, but this year I didn’t really like any of them. The three day pass includes lawn seats to the headliners, but we wound up not using them at all. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 24, 2016] David Wax Museum

2016-07-24 15.58.23 David Wax Museum was supposed to play on Saturday.  Then it rained.  Really really hard.  For us, as we waited it out under a tent, the momentum was gone.  The kids were wiped out.  They kicked everyone out of the park because of thunder and lightning.  So even when the sun came back out, we decided to go home.

Well, it turned out that David Wax’s show was cancelled, but they were able to stick around until Sunday and the organizers squeezed them in and we got to see them anyhow!

I knew of David Wax Museum from a Tiny Desk and a Newport Folk performance broadcast on NPR a few years ago.  They played really fun, upbeat music (and used a donkey jaw bone as an instrument) and I was really psyched to see them.

Their set started literally just as The Districts finished up, so we had to hustle over.  And we caught them for the middle of their first song “Yes Maria,” a song I know pretty well and a wonderfully upbeat number.

2016-07-24 15.42.42And then they continued to have one of the most fun sets of the weekend.  Their songs have a Mexican flavor (co-lead singer Suz Slezak was wearing a  (very hot looking) poncho foe the set while Wax was wearing a very sharp looking pseudo-mariachi suit.

They talked to the audience a lot. They said they had driven to the show on Friday night from North Dakota (can that be right?).  Since it was the final night of their tour, they were actually kind of happy that the previous night was cancelled and rescheduled.  They only had to drive from the hotel nearby.  Suz said that it was the first show that they were really well rested for.

Their set included a bunch of sing-alongs, big clapping sections and lots of lyrics in Spanish.

Wax primarily plays the jarana, a Mexican instrument similar to a tiny guitar.  Slezak plays keyboards and fiddle as well as singing along.  And she’s the one who plays the quijada, a percussion instrument made from a donkey’s jawbone.  And yes it was great to see it in action.

Sarah told me after the show that it was her favorite set of the weekend.  I was pretty excited to get their latest album and then, to our surprise they cam over to the merch booth (instead of the meet and greet tent) and signed out disc.  I chatted with them a few minutes, and they were super nice.  Suz showed Tabby her necklace which has one of the teeth from the jawbone.  And their adorable daughter was there too.  She’s 2 and it was the first show of theirs that she got to watch (although I think mostly she was just hot).

I’m so glad that they were able to play and, as with The Districts, I’d love to see them in a smaller venue where they get a longer set.

See some colorful photos and stream their set here.


Yes, Maria, Yes

Dark Night of the Heart


Harder Before It Gets Easier

Blood Jump


Don’t Lose Heart

Born With A Broken Heart



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