Shopping & Downtown Boys

Shopping & Downtown Boys

Cult Objects

Thu, September 6, 2018

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

PhilaMOCA

Philadelphia, PA

$12.00

This event is all ages

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Shopping
Shopping
Shopping formed in early 2013 by members Rachel Aggs (guitar), Billy Easter (bass) and Andrew Milk (drums).. They pull from a well of 70’s post-punk with a voraciousness seldom seen these days, bringing to mind the jagged aggression of Gang of Four, the voracious yelp of The Slits and the dance inducing thrust of Delta 5 and ESG, though as Pitchfork reminds, “they never sound dated or like a carbon-copy, a testament to the group’s songwriting abilities.”

The bands’ first few releases put out via their own MILK records in the UK consistently sold out within weeks, while Shopping juggled touring with repressing records to keep up with demand from record shops who couldn’t seem to get enough of their groove riding, tough talking, life-loving post-punk funk. Second album Why Choose was released on FatCat Records world wide in October 2015. The release coincided with the bands first US tour, and also sold out within a month of it’s release.

New album The Official Body was released 19th February via Fat Cat records, and has once again proved a sweeping success. Recorded over 10 days with the legendary Edwyn Collins of Orange Juice in the producer’s chair, the album retains Shopping’s minimal dance punk ethos while “amping up the party vibe”.

The band are tirelessly committed to taking their sound to new audiences and spreading the Shopping gospel, They have toured Europe eight times and completed three North American tours (two headline), securing impressive gigs along the way including main support for ESG and Gang Of Four.

Shopping’s gigs are incredibly fun and undeniably thrilling to watch. Their live shows are rallying calls to shake off the frustration, fear and self-doubt that can feel like an inescapable part of our culture. As the Quietus puts it “Live, the band emanates a self-assuredness and a commitment to contributing maximum joy to their audience”, encouraging dance as a shared cathartic release!
Downtown Boys
Downtown Boys
The United States’ myriad inequalities, hatreds and phobias are painfully evident in 2017, offering proof that the age-old dichotomy of “political bands” versus “apolitical bands” simply doesn’t exist. Either you are comfortable and unfazed by the current reigning power structures, or you choose (or have no choice but) to use your music as a vehicle for the dismantling of oppression and the creation of something better. No matter what your songs are about, you are choosing a side.

The position of Providence, RI’s Downtown Boys has been clear since they started storming through basements and DIY spaces with their radically-minded, indefatigable rock music: they are here to topple the white-cis-het hegemony and draft a new history. In the words of vocalist and lyricist Victoria Ruiz, they are “five unique and individual people who believe in the spectrum of people, experiences and emotions.” On their self-titled 2014 EP on Sister Polygon Records (run by their like-minded friends in Priests), they offered songs like “Slumlord Sal,” which strikes out against abusive landlords. Its accompanying video relays the idea that cops can be literally smacked out of their oppressive mindsets and into an exuberantly queer dance party. This is how Downtown Boys began, combining revolutionary ideals with boundless energy and contagious, inclusive fun, and their resolve has only strengthened as both their sound and audience have grown.

Cost of Living is their third full-length, following a self-released 2012 debut and 2015’s Full Communism on Don Giovanni Records. They recorded it with Guy Picciotto, one of indie-rock’s most mythological figures, in the producer’s chair. (Although best known for his ability to sing while dangling from a basketball hoop, he’s also produced pivotal albums by The Gossip and Blonde Redhead, among others.) “He very much enabled us to believe in what we were doing enough to get the record done, and get it done well,” says Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, Downtown Boys’ guitarist, vocalist and primary songwriter. Picciotto fostered the band’s improvisational urges while also pulling the root of their music to the forefront: unflinching choruses, fearlessly confrontational vocals, and the sense that each song will incite the room into action, sending bodies into motion that were previously thought to have atrophied.

Downtown Boys are keenly aware of the increased visibility and credibility that comes with signing to a corporate-media conglomerate such as Sub Pop. They’re using this platform as a megaphone for their protest music, amplifying and centering Chicana, queer, and Latino voices in the far-too-whitewashed world of rock. Opener “A Wall” rides the feel-good power that drove so many tunes by The Clash and Wire as it calls out the idea that a wall could ever succeed in snuffing the humanity and spirit of those it’s designed to crush. “Promissory Note” is a bold self-introduction to the exclusive clubs that either ignore Downtown Boys’ existence, or possibly worse, feign appreciation: “So what’s the matter, you don’t like what you see? I can’t believe you’re even talking to me!” Ruiz shouts that she won’t light herself on fire to keep you warm, and, like underground rock pioneer Alice Bag’s vitriolic verse, it’s a claim you wouldn’t dare question. “Tonta,” one of the three songs written and sung primarily in Spanish, is an introspective and emotional portrait of anguish, and it calls to mind the mighty scrum of Huasipungo at an ABC No Rio matinee.

Compared to previous efforts, Downtown Boys have shifted from a once-meaty brass section to the subtler melodic accompaniment of keyboards and a saxophone, coloring their anthems with warm, bright tones while Ruiz spits out her frustrations, passions, and intents. Some might say it shows a sense of maturity, as Downtown Boys have undoubtedly smoothed down some of their earlier edges, but there is no compromise to their righteous assault and captivating presence. Like the socially conscious groups of years past, from Public Enemy to Rage Against the Machine, Downtown Boys harness powerful sloganeering, repetitive grooves, and earworm hooks to create one of the most necessary musical statements of the day. We should all do well to take notice!
Cult Objects
Cult Objects
Four wine moms on vacation in Boca Raton.
Venue Information:
PhilaMOCA
531 North 12th St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123
http://www.philamoca.org/