Live Review: The Districts @ Ottobar — 11/7/21

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Rob Grote leads The Districts in a performance at Ottobar in Baltimore on Nov. 7, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

With so many talented, creative indie rock bands offering music to a world that’s hungry for the best of it, it’s not easy to stand out and to keep fans coming back to shows.

The Districts seams to make it look easy though, seemingly always on tour, playing one of the last shows Parklife DC covered in early 2020 before the shutdown, and then as of late playing a couple of shows in the DC/Baltimore region as part of recent tours.

That’s been the way for this group that got its start when its members were just high schoolers up in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Touring relentlessly and honing their sound, The Districts have made a name for themselves around Philly, where they’ve lived for the better part of the last decade and where they received crucial support from local media and music lovers as they strived to find their way.

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Live Review: Alex G @ Ottobar — 10/29/21

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Alex G performs on the second of two sold out nights at Ottobar in Baltimore on Oct. 29, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Do-it-yourself artists obviously have resources at their disposal that simply weren’t there for musicians of the past. But that doesn’t necessarily put success any closer within reach, nor does it grant an artist any listeners.

The fact that Alex Giannascoli recorded his first album as a senior at Haverford High School, even in today’s day and age, is an impressive achievement, and by attracting his initial fan base in organic fashion, he set the course for what would be a remarkable rise to prominence over the course of a decade while staying true to his lo-fi sound and his hands-on approach to creating unreserved songs.

Recently selling out two back-to-back shows at Ottobar in Baltimore as his musical vehicle known as Alex G, previously known as (Sandy) Alex G, showed his momentum hasn’t been slowed by the pandemic.

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Live Review: Low Cut Connie @ 9:30 Club — 10/13/21

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Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie leads a performance at 9:30 Club in DC on Oct. 13, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

If you’re looking for an emotionally advanced live music experience, you might need to roll up your sleeves to actually enjoy it once you get there. Hell, you might need to just take your shirt right off.

And if you’ve been lucky enough to see the Philadelphia-based sensation Low Cut Connie in the flesh, you know you’ll witness sweaty clothes torn to shreds, scantily clad dancers, spilled drinks, middle fingers pointed at innocent bystanders and cuss words flung in all directions. Sex, drugs, rage, grief, pain, joy, lust, love, jealousy — no topic is off limits, no subject too risqué. That’s the mentality head singer and pianist Adam Weiner brings to the keyboard, and within that kind of environment is where his crew has been groomed to thrive.

Adam and Low Cut Connie brought their best to 9:30 Club recently, delivering a dripping set of music that was uncensored, remorseless, and lasting, even in a venue that hosts as much talent as this one.

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Preview: Low Cut Connie @ 9:30 Club, 10/13/21

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Low Cut Connie (Photo by Cait Brady)

This past March, Low Cut Connie celebrated the 1-year anniversary of their acclaimed livestream show Tough Cookies, and in May released a new album to commemorate it called Tough Cookies: The Best of The Quarantine Broadcasts.

You can now see the high-energy rock ‘n’ roll act led by Adam Weiner in person at 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Oct. 13.

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Live Review: Dr. Dog @ 9:30 Club — 9/16/21

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Dr. Dog perform at 9:30 Club on Sept. 16, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

“All good things come to an end” has to be one of the most extremely overused, inflated perspectives on any favorable scenario, especially relationships, and it seems that statement is most often inappropriately used to sum up the end of relationships built around music.

But, nevertheless, the proclamation does tend to be true, as is currently demonstrated by the Philadelphia-based band Dr. Dog, a group that sold out consecutive gigs at the 9:30 Club Thursday and Friday — its last shows in the nation’s capital on what has been announced as its last tour together. [Parklife has learned Dr. Dog does indeed have one more sold-out show at 9:30 Club on Oct. 1! — Ed.]

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Live Review: The Ocean Blue @ Union Stage — 9/5/21

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The Ocean Blue perform at Union Stage on Sept. 5, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

In a very well-received show at Union Stage recently, The Ocean Blue, the dreampop quartet originating from Hershey, Pennsylvania, favored their sophomore album Cerulean, choosing to showcase five of its songs.

In introducing one of those songs — “When Life Was Easy” — frontman David Schelzel reflected on how some songs take on a new meaning for the writers as they get older.

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Preview: The Ocean Blue @ Union Stage, 9/5/21

The Ocean Blue (Photo Darin Back)
The Ocean Blue (Photo by Darin Back)

The Ocean Blue, the much admired dream pop act from Hershey, Pennsylvania, was always one of those American bands that sounded more like an English act. The band continued that streak with their newest album, Kings and Queens / Knaves and Thieves, released in 2019.

The band resumes touring their fan-favorite early material alongside their consistently terrific new songs in a show at Union Stage on Sunday, Sept. 5.

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Song of the Day: “Lonely Christmas” by Wallis

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Wallis (Photo courtesy Michael J. Media Group LLC)

15 year-old Wallis, a heretofore unknown young singer/songwriter from Philadelphia, has continued to create and perform — despite the challenges of 2020 — by writing songs with her father.

“Lonely Christmas” is Wallis’ very first single, and the perfect tune for this unprecedented holiday season.

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Live Review: The Districts @ 9:30 Club — 3/10/20

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The Districts perform at 9:30 Club on March 10, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock.)

Sometimes an album comes to life when a band needs it most, and the tour to support it is how the group actually reaps the spiritual, and financial, benefits of their work.

The Districts’ latest release — You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere — is said to have almost never happened: the band had nearly exhausted itself after an intense few years on the road and seemed to be searching for direction when founder and head singer Rob Grote isolated himself and put pen to pad to nurture the words that would comprise the newest LP.

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