PREMIERE: Rob Grote of The Districts Covers Neil Young for Original Tracks

As well as "Ordinary Day," from Popular Manipulations.

Early one morning back in August, while he was in Chicago for Lollapalooza, Rob Grote from The Districts woke up early, shook off the cobwebs, and made his way to the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. While the city woke up and began to stir below, Grote tooled around with an acoustic guitar, working his way through a couple of tracks from Popular Manipulations, the Philly group’s third LP, for the latest installment in Original Tracks, our video series in partnership with Original Penguin.

While that record is firmly rooted in the brand of local-hero power-pop perfected by Big Star, in the gloam of the Chicago summer morning, Grote’s voice shifts into a high-lonesome wail, imbuing his songs with an added level of sweet sadness. That’s the case in “Violet,” which Original Penguin premiered last month, and it’s true of Popular Manipulations’s “Ordinary Day,” too.

Of course, anything high and lonesome automatically makes us think of After the Gold Rush, and as a nice little bonus, Grote also gave us a cover of Neil Young’s “Tell Me Why,” that album’s opener. Both it and “Ordinary Day” are below.

“Ordinary Day”

“Tell Me Why”

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