1214 Williston Road
South Burlington, VT, 05403
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
It's not uncommon for musicians to grow and evolve between releases -- but even by those standards, the Districts' Popular Manipulations is stunning. The Pennsylvania-borne band's third full-length represents an exponential leap in sound and cohesion, an impressive and impassioned burn with a wide scope that threatens to swallow everything else surrounding it. Perhaps it's a cliché to say so, but while listening, you might find yourself wondering why people don't make indie rock like this anymore.
The total electric charge of Popular Manipulations is just the latest evolution for the impressively young quartet, whose founding members -- vocalist/guitarist Rob Grote, bassist Connor Jacobus, and drummer Braden Lawrence -- have known each other since attending grade school together in the Pennsylvania town of Lititz. After deciding to form a band in high school, the Districts gigged hard in the tri-state area, releasing a slew of promising material (including the rootsy 2012 debut Telephone) before catching the eye of venerable indie Fat Possum. 2015's A Flourish and a Spoil found the band refining their embryonic sound with veteran producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Kurt Vile) -- and looking back on that release, there are glimmers of Popular Manipulations in chrysalis form to be found on it, hints of the fence-swinging anthemic sound they'd soon make wholly their own.
Born among the pitch pines of southern New Jersey, Pine Barons is a project that came to fruition as friends gathered around campfires in the nature-rich environments of their hometowns. The band’s beginnings can be traced back to lead vocalist and guitarist, Keith Abrams, and drummer, Collin Smith, meeting in preschool and eventually playing in a series of bands together, getting to know their instruments in their parents’ basements as well as outdoors, adventuring around, exploring an eclectic and intimate palette of punk, jazz and psychedelic rock.
Combining forces with guitar player, Brad Pulley, bassist, Shane Hower and keyboardist, Alex Beebe, the full Pine Barons lineup formed in 2012. New material blended the raw, lo-fi energy of those early days with an infusion of folk, roots and emo. Releasing their first EP in 2013, songs such as “Smile America” and “Carnival” would prove the songwriting and lyrical abilities of these young musicians and set the stage for the next evolution of their multifaceted sound. In one particular instance, the band dripped coffee on a cassette tape to achieve a deteriorating production quality, acutely aware of how such sonic choices would affect the listener from an early stage.
Five years after the group’s formation, Pine Barons proudly unveils their debut LP, The Acchin Book. Eleven tracks of nuanced and emotional rock, the breadth of the band’s collective imagination shines through cohesively and unabashedly. Recorded in Philadelphia at Headroom Studios, songs like “Clowns” and “Hourcoat” masterfully navigate complex rhythms and impassioned vocals, combined with memorable melodies and jazzy flourishes. The nostalgic yet forward-thinking qualities of groups like Animal Collective, Modest Mouse and Velvet Underground come to mind as the record unravels.
Much of The Acchin Book’s unique quality comes from the auxiliary instruments and recording techniques used; feathered paper dragged across paintings, field recordings in the woods at night, accordion, string arrangements and bowed guitars all contributing to the various moods and textures of the record. The songs comprise a collective of philosophical vignettes, each track inhabiting a different setting while dealing with intertwined anxieties about living one’s life and trying to be a good person. While endlessly relatable, it’s a record that could only have been made by these five individuals, whose paths crossing are as much a part of the story as any other found in The Acchin Book.
$13 advance | $15 day of show