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Cost of LivingIncludes Poster
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 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 rock music: they are here to topple the white-cis-het hegemony and draft a new history. Downtown Boys began by combining revolutionary ideals with boundless energy and contagious, inclusive fun, and their resolve has only strengthened as 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 (Fugazi; producer of Blonde Redhead, The Gossip), one of indie-rock's most mythological figures, in the producer's chair. Picciotto fostered the band's improvisational urges while 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. In just one example, album-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.
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 singer/lyricist Victoria Ruiz spits out her frustrations and passions. 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!
- Matt Korvette, Pissed Jeans1. A Wall
2. I'm Enough (I Want More)
3. Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas)
4. Promissory Note
5. Because You
6. Violent Complicity
7. It Can't Wait
9. Heroes (Interlude)
10. Lips That Bite
11. Clara Rancia
12. Bulletproof (Outro)$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Full CommunismDowntown Boys are a bilingual political sax punk party from Providence, RI. Their first length LP Full Communism on Don Giovanni Records is full of songs about smashing the prison-industrial complex, racism, queerphobia, capitalism, fascism, boredom, and all things people tell us that try to close our minds, eyes, and heart. The record comes directly pout of our current critical moment in the struggle for justice being fought in the US and throughout the world.1. Wave Of History
3. 100% Inheritance Tax
4. Tall Boys
5. Break A Few Eggs
7. Desde Arriba
8. Future Police
10. Poder Elegir$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Self-Taught LearnerLissy Trullies story thus far has been a remarkable one for the young musician. After a year of building up a fan-base by playing gigs around New York, Trullie released the debut EP Self-Taught Learner on Brooklyn based indie label American Myth to critical acclaim. SPIN declared Lissy Trullie one of New Yorks finest new bands, and Rolling Stone wrote with a tomboy growl and Television-ish guitar hooks, her first EP brings enough attitude to put art stars in their place The Girl can rock an after-after party. Not one to sit around, Lissy Trullie hit the road to play dates across the US and Europe, including two national tours with The Virgins in the states. She also completed music videos for the songs Boy Boy (directed by Cass Bird),Ready For The Floor (directed by Richard Kern), and Self-Taught Learner (directed by Gian Mazcour and John Christopher Pina).1. Boy Boy
2. She Said
3. Self- Taught Learner
5. Forget About It
6. Ready For The Floor
7. Dont To Do
8. Hold Your Head
9. Just A Friend
10. You Bleed You (Demo)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
DreamcarIn the summer of 2014, No Doubt s Tony Kanal [bass], Tom Dumont [guitar], and Adrian Young [drums] and singer Davey Havok [AFI, Blakq Audio] began writing and demoing music together. Without telling a soul outside of their significant others, the four musicians clandestinely moved into a cramped downtown Los Angeles rehearsal spot and revved up what would become DREAMCAR. The result of this collaboration is their self-titled debut album, DREAMCAR, produced by Tim Pagnotta [Neon Trees], with whom the band found a kindred spirit.
The band's name actually reflects their ambitions. DREAMCAR speaks to a nostalgia, but as much as it speaks to the past, it also speaks to the present and the future, singer Davey Havok says. It mirrors hopes, aspirations, and attaining the unattainable. I would hope the songs do the same thing. Rife with shimmering guitar tones, percussive slap bass, bombastic drums, and a neon-lit dancefloor dreaminess, DREAMCAR gleefully nods to the decade of Boy George and Back to the Future through a kaleidoscope of wisdom earned from three decades creating and connecting with fans worldwide.
The first single Kill For Candy instantly enchants with its upbeat energy and sweet, saccharine chant punctuated by a twisting and turning guitar and driving rhythms. The album swings between the Frankie Goes To Hollywood-style risquÉ spoken narrative of On The Charts to the delicate longing of the synth-washed Slip On The Moon where Havok pleads, Just look for me, I will look for you. Born To Lie builds from a breathy verse into an expansive refrain, while the opener After I Confess sees his hypnotic and haunting vocal soar over airy and open soundscapes. Ultimately, it's that combination of delectable and dangerous which will leave listeners everywhere satisfied. This is a big moment for us, Kanal leaves off. It's a new beginning. We can't wait to perform the songs live.1. After I Confess
2. Kill For Candy
3. Born to Lie
4. On The Charts
5. All Of the Dead Girls
6. Ever Lonely
7. The Assailant
8. The Preferred
9. Slip on the Moon
10. Don't Let Me Love
11. Do Nothing
12. Show Me Mercy$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Big To-DoATO Records is pleased to commence its relationship with the The Drive-By Truckers beginning with the incomparable rock band's label debut, The Big To-Do. The album is the band's 10th in their thirteen-year career and it features 13 new DBT tracks produced by their long time collaborator, David Barbe (Sugar, Bettye LaVette). Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley continue to handle chief songwriting duties here while bassist Shonna Tucker also contributes two originals. Brad Morgan (drums), John Neff (guitar/pedal steel), and Jay Gonzalez (keyboards) round out the current lineup.
The Big To-Do was recorded in three concentrated sessions during the first part of 2009: ten days in January, five days in March, ten days in May. That added up to 25 songs, a dozen of which sequenced into The Big To-Do. We had it mixed, mastered, and completely done, and Cooley wrote the best song that just needed to be on it, Patterson says with his raspy chuckle. This happens a lot with the Truckers, and it's always a good sign. So we went back in and recorded, mixed, and mastered 'Birthday Boy' pretty much in one fell swoop. Thirteen songs, then.
The balance of the remaining tracks, plus five more they've cut in the interim, will make up the Truckers' next album, which Patterson projects as a quieter affair.
This is, in large part, possible because the Truckers have such a long-standing relationship with David Barbe (ex-Sugar, etc.) and the Athens, GA, studio he calls Chase Park Transduction, which long ago Patterson helped to build so as to earn the right to record there.
It's gotten to where, that day of set-up time to get sounds and levels and all of that takes us about two hours, Patterson says. We can pretty much walk in the door, and we know exactly where to put everything to get that sound, so that's just one less thing to have to think about. I wanted to eliminate the distractions. That clarity of purpose translates into a delicious assortment of Trucker songs themed loosely around crime and (self-) punishment. The Wig He Made Her Wear, Patterson says, is both a true story (as seen on Court TV) and the closest he's come to making the movie he started out to make a decade or more back. The Fourth Night of My Drinking will speak for itself, and This Fucking Job (paired thematically with Cooley's wry Get Downtown) is arguably the most political song the Truckers have made since Living Bubba. Which leaves the deceptive, airy simplicity of Shonna Tucker's You Got Another and (It's Gonna Be) I Told You So to reckon with. We always knew she had that in her, Patterson says, delighted with the emergence of another strong songwriter in the band. It was never a secret. She was writing songs all along. But watching it come out has been a really amazing thing to behold.
Off the road, incidentally, didn't mean out of work. First off, there was the matter of cutting an instrumental album with the legendary Booker T, having previously served as the backing band to the equally legendary soul singer, Bettye Lavette. Potato Hole turned out all right, got a Grammy nod, and Neil Young added his touches separately even though it's pretty much a Truckers effort. But it's what they learned making Potato Hole that counts most. I think doing the Booker album really, really paid off a lot on the musical end of this record, even though stylistically it might not sound anything like that record, says Patterson, and then tells the story.
We made that record in four days, and that included the first day when it was, 'Booker, it's wonderful to meet you!' Maybe the third song we tracked just wasn't going the way he wanted it to go. We weren't quite understanding what he wanted. We were playing it right, but it wasn't right. All the sudden he just stopped the session. He gathered us around, and he told us a story about a Thanksgiving dinner, and the way it smelt in the house, he'd been on the road a long time, and they were all in - cousins and aunts he hadn't seen in several years. He said, 'It's just a day where nothing happens, but it's all really good.'
And we sat down and we played it, and we nailed it. It was like a revelation. We're a lyric-driven band, and our songs generally paint scenes and tell stories based on scenes. He instinctively knew that was how we operated. And I think it taught us a lot about how we operated. Going in and making this record, I could tell a real difference in the way the songs hold up musically. We put a little more care into that side of it than I think we ever did before because of what we learned from him.
...an absorbing hunk of smart, crunchy, guitar-driven music shot through with the bands vivid narratives, balanced storytelling, barroom punch, and Southern accents. Its a set that portrays desperate people trying to survive in these ever more desperate times, with the Truckers joyous pride and spirited attitude warding off any bitter aftertaste. Several songs are sad, and at times depressing, but the moods always point up. As it is for Bruce Springsteen, this blue-collar band not only believes in but preaches rock as salvation, and their iron-clad conviction suggests they wont have it any other way. --Bob Gendron, TONE Audio, Issue 271. Daddy Learned to Fly
2. The Fourth Night of My Drinking
3. Birthday Boy
4. Drag the Lake Charlie
5. The Wig He Made Her Wear
6. You Got Another
7. This Fucking Job
8. Get Downtown
9. After the Scene Dies
10. (It's Gonna Be) I Told You So
11. Santa Fe
12. The Flying Wallendas
13. Eyes Like Glue
14. Girls Who Smoke (vinyl only bonus track)$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Tom Tom Club (Out Of Stock)Blue & Yellow Starburst Colored Vinyl
Limited To 700 Copies
The Talking Heads spawned a number of worthy side projects and spinoffs-David Byrne & Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Jerry Harrison's The Red and the Black-but none were as funky, danceable, and flat-out fun as Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth's Tom Tom Club. Conceived as something of a larkish break from the grandly realized intellectual and artistic pretensions of the Heads' Remain in Light record, the duo's self-titled 1981 debut was recorded in Barbados with Weymouth's sisters and Adrian Belew and Steven Stanley from the Remain in Light band, and not only spawned a couple of hit singles in Genius of Love and Wordy Rappinghood but also became, in its own way, enormously influential. This was the sound of downtown New York talking, listening, and rapping to the burgeoning hip hop movement, a hybrid heard in a whole host of acts in the '80s and '90s, from Madonna to Mariah Carey to the Beastie Boys and beyond.
Weymouth and Frantz went on to record several more albums under the Tom Tom Club moniker, but this remains the classic; Real Gone Music is proud to offer Tom Tom Club in a blue and yellow starburst vinyl edition limited to 700 copies. Fun, natural fun!1. Wordy Rappinghood
2. Genius of Love
3. Tom Tom Theme
5. As Above, So Below
7. On, On, On, On...
8. Booming and Zooming$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock