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the record FULL COMMUNISM by the punk rock band DOWNTOWN BOYS

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i saw these guys for the first time in a tiny ethiopian bar in 2012 and was like "....my god they need a bigger room"

this record will finally get them one, i think. horn-driven loud ass bilingual left wing punk. saw them play a bigger place last night, and as far as i can tell people had their heads knocked off--the kinda show that leaves you breathless and babbling to everyone the next day about why you can't stop dancing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZnTHH3pUqg

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 19 May 2015 14:57 (two years ago) Permalink

love it

Immediate Follower (NA), Tuesday, 19 May 2015 15:04 (two years ago) Permalink

related: the singer victoria ruiz also works as an organizer in NY and i met her at a conference for work last month (where she gave me some great ideas) and then fanboyed the fuck out in an elevator

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 19 May 2015 15:12 (two years ago) Permalink

last night the intro for dancing in the dark was something along the lines of

"our languages so often make blackness, darkness, into an evil thing, a dirty thing, a negative thing--well we're here to make darkness the brightest most beautiful thing you've ever seen, and we're gonna do it with dancing, so get the fuck up" and people were literally crying through the song

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 19 May 2015 15:14 (two years ago) Permalink

also this is old but it FUCKS ME UP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyvKWyxgq_Y

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 22 May 2015 01:10 (two years ago) Permalink

I opened for them once (on the EMA tour) and they were super nice kids, Victoria was awesome. Their energy & optimism made me feel old but that's not hard to do.

lil urbane (Jordan), Friday, 22 May 2015 03:50 (two years ago) Permalink

i want to be all of their friends, they're so posi

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 26 May 2015 15:01 (two years ago) Permalink

I like that explanation and take on "darkness," mentioned above. Read a story somewhere where they praise Springsteen's lyrics about that.

Singer Victoria and Joey's cumbia-punk project is kinda fun. Its on soundcloud.

http://remezcla.com/music/meet-cumbia-punkeros-malportado-kids/

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 26 May 2015 15:48 (two years ago) Permalink

yesss my malportado shirt is one of my prizest posessions

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 26 May 2015 16:11 (two years ago) Permalink

New Malportado Kids album and tour

TOUR DATES:

6/5 Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn ^
6/6 Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Museum
6/7 Philadelphia, PA @ Lava Space
6/8 Washington DC @ Union Arts
6/9 Cincinnati, OH @ TBA
6/10 Milwaukee, WI @ Cocoon Room
6/11 Chicago, IL @ 20/40
6/12 Columbus, OH @ The Mint

6/13 Providence, RI @ Aurora

6/21 Boston, MA @ Smash It Dead Fest

curmudgeon, Friday, 29 May 2015 15:53 (two years ago) Permalink

Oops, its an ep not an album. Total Cultura

curmudgeon, Friday, 29 May 2015 15:58 (two years ago) Permalink

Ironic communism is the new neofolk?

Siegbran, Friday, 29 May 2015 16:41 (two years ago) Permalink

who says it's ironic?

lil urbane (Jordan), Friday, 29 May 2015 16:59 (two years ago) Permalink

definitely not ironic

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 29 May 2015 18:35 (two years ago) Permalink

I find it very hard to believe they're not using the communism label for shock value.

Siegbran, Friday, 29 May 2015 20:09 (two years ago) Permalink

Dude, they covered Springsteen, they're pinko as fuck

an absolute feast of hardcore fanboy LOLs surrounding (imago), Friday, 29 May 2015 20:13 (two years ago) Permalink

dudes it's just an album title

brimstead, Friday, 29 May 2015 20:25 (two years ago) Permalink

it's not like they're branding themselves "communist rock" or something, come on.

brimstead, Friday, 29 May 2015 20:27 (two years ago) Permalink

I find it very hard to believe they're not using the communism label for shock value.

― Siegbran, Friday, May 29, 2015 8:09 PM (2 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i know their politics through my day job. they may be taking advantage of shock value, but they're sincere.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Sunday, 31 May 2015 06:29 (two years ago) Permalink

First: they're fantastic, and it's great to see them getting the press they deserve recently. (That Dangerous Minds writeup!)

Second: their practice space was a block from my house for a long time, and I've watched them from their very first shows... they are Crass-level serious about their politics.

Dave fischer, Sunday, 31 May 2015 09:31 (two years ago) Permalink

What are their politics, then? "Communism" obviously doesn't mean anything. To me, without really knowing the substance of their material, they read like workers's rights, civil rights, anti-racism (in the wide sense), etc.. But if they're really on to some cadre-type bullshit, that something else entirely... But they're not, right?

Mule, Sunday, 31 May 2015 11:23 (two years ago) Permalink

they read like workers's rights, civil rights, anti-racism (in the wide sense),

plus maybe they dream of their ideal fantasy world with pure Full Communism (it's just an album title) and none of the authoritarianism that happened in practice

curmudgeon, Sunday, 31 May 2015 12:54 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, "full" as in true, pure or similar. Thing is, though (and I know I am making too much out of this presumably innocent title), utopic ideals are often ultimatelty authoritarian in practice.

Mule, Sunday, 31 May 2015 13:36 (two years ago) Permalink

Pretty great band, however

Mule, Sunday, 31 May 2015 13:37 (two years ago) Permalink

Don't get me wrong, I like this record a lot, it's rousing stuff. But yeah I read them more as your regular community activists for worthy social causes, not some anti-revisionist nostalgics for the Comintern, Ceaușescu or Shining Path. It's always tricky to figure out what's actually behind it when bands start throwing around heavily loaded phrases or symbolism.

Siegbran, Sunday, 31 May 2015 15:40 (two years ago) Permalink

if i wanted to get into some punk, would this be a good place to start? sorry, don't mean to intrude. i've just been thinking about it lately.

surm, Sunday, 31 May 2015 15:45 (two years ago) Permalink

ok wait its just now occurring to me that not everyone itt (...maybe *only* me?) is familiar with 'full communism' as an internet-leftist gag

You hear it everywhere, these days, if you walk within a certain activist milieu. It’s a token demand, a given. FULL COMMUNISM- I wouldn’t get out of bed for anything less. It’s a joke, a dumb joke. It’s a communist meme. Like all good memes, it’s pretty much devoid of meaning, in terms of content. But its use denotes something else– a Zizekian uber-demand, a demand which goes beyond. FULL COMMUNISM is both a lack, in a very real sense, but also a pointed lack, its very meaninglessness a cry for meaning.

cf https://www.tumblr.com/tagged/full-communism

so no, they're not pining for the politburo--but they're sincere anti-racist anti-capitalist feminists of the modern young left.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Sunday, 31 May 2015 16:06 (two years ago) Permalink

and the fact that their organizing work keeps them focused on working class issues i think actually signals an importance class has in their politics that you don't see in a lot of the broad ~social justice~ left

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Sunday, 31 May 2015 16:09 (two years ago) Permalink

Ha, ok thanks Hoos. I had no clue about the context of the phrase.

Mule, Sunday, 31 May 2015 16:16 (two years ago) Permalink

IT'S AN ALBUM TITLE

brimstead, Sunday, 31 May 2015 19:45 (two years ago) Permalink

i apologize for my bleating, perhaps i'm being rather U.S.-centric (in terms of references to communism appear relatively abstract compared to how they could be perceived in other parts of the world)

brimstead, Sunday, 31 May 2015 20:14 (two years ago) Permalink

cool band imo

Whiney G. Weingarten, Sunday, 31 May 2015 22:04 (two years ago) Permalink

my o also

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 1 June 2015 04:52 (two years ago) Permalink

what's your fave song(s) of theirs that aren't covers?

Mistah FAAB (sarahell), Monday, 1 June 2015 05:42 (two years ago) Permalink

This is fantastic but I only really listened in the first place because it's called FULL COMMUNISM so A++ branding there Downtown Boys.

Matt DC, Monday, 1 June 2015 07:46 (two years ago) Permalink

haha same here but it turns out i still don't like punk rock

i'm sure the lyrics are very rad but i can't hear any of them

it is weird to see people getting all "but how RIGOROUS is their POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY" about the title

lex pretend, Monday, 1 June 2015 07:50 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, "full" as in true, pure or similar.

"full communism" is what they used to say was down the road, theoretically, after a few more transitional years of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of bureaucracy, of distastefully necessary privilege; even in propaganda it wasn't something that existed but a future destination (and present justification). in a way it is an eschatological phrase, like "the second coming", which is not to be taken at face value when used as a title either. anyway yeah this album's good!

difficult listening hour, Monday, 1 June 2015 08:41 (two years ago) Permalink

Finnegans Wake ‏@finnegansreader 3 minutes ago

You punk me!

xyzzzz__, Monday, 1 June 2015 09:07 (two years ago) Permalink

I think for Surm this is a pretty good place to start, the horns give even the most aggressive songs a melodic edge and the singer has a boatload of presence.

Matt DC, Monday, 1 June 2015 09:23 (two years ago) Permalink

what's your fave song(s) of theirs that aren't covers?

― Mistah FAAB (sarahell), Monday, June 1, 2015 5:42 AM (8 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

uhhh the grab bag probably includes life ain't fair, slumlord sal, maldito, big cop, wave of history, 100% inheritance tax, tall boys

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 1 June 2015 13:56 (two years ago) Permalink

I like the horns and momentum of Full Communism, but so far prefer Total Cultura en totale, mostly because it's got what I think of as cut tunes: flexible, melodic segments fit into the sharp-edged textures of synths x hard beats and vocal attack ( as on one of my faves, "Bruja Cosmica"). Also "cut" in the desirable-physique sense. And I think she usually sounds better in Spanish, though love the way "I'm On Fire" is seen x raised, by the way she sings *those* words in English. Also dig the fateful synth here; the other shoe keeps dropping. On Spotify* and still on Soundcloud for now, for those who prefer it: http://bit.ly/1H6dxwK
*Although the Spotify web player had no prob playing TC, it kept hitting speedbumps in FC, which might be one reason I def. prefer the former, initially.

dow, Friday, 5 June 2015 01:07 (two years ago) Permalink

Whether they're for real communists or not, the most interesting thing about this band is their politics. And that isn't saying much.

All kinds of heinous things, Friday, 5 June 2015 04:37 (two years ago) Permalink

cool thx

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 5 June 2015 14:31 (two years ago) Permalink

I think some folks who don't like the speedy punk of Downtown Boys, might like the offshoot group Malportado Kids cumbia-punk more. Record is on Soundcloud as mentioned above. Tour list posted upthread above too --NYC gigs tonight & tomorrow, then on to Philly & DC and...

curmudgeon, Friday, 5 June 2015 14:50 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

the boys are back downtown

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/18877-downtown-boys-somos-chulas-no-somos-pendejas/

devvvine, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 19:06 (seven months ago) Permalink


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