Downtown Boys is a “bilingual political sax punk party.” Photo via the band’s Facebook page.
Providence punk band Downtown Boys puts their politics at the center of their music. Downtown Boys’ debut LP Full Communism comes out today and the band is also launching their song “Wave of History” as a powerful educational music video.
Downtown Boys has been gathering fans for years, with singer Victoria Ruiz belting out bilingual lyrics about capitalism, racism, and queerphobia. You may have been one of the millions of people to watch band member Joey De Francesco quit his terrible job at a hotel with the help of a marching band—he and Ruiz went on from that experience to work as labor organizers. As Ruiz told Rookie mag, she uses music to challenge the things in life that grind us all down:
Power can come from the connection between fear and longing. We long for justice and for art, and so badly that it helps us confront our fear around it. The ideas that come out of longing—whether it’s to make music, to tell someone something important, or to take some kind of action—those ideas are our weapons against alienation.
“Wave of History” focuses on economic inequality and racial injustice in the United States. Faye Orlove illustrated and directed the video before Freddie Gray’s death and the Baltimore protests, but the song and video both feel very timely right now. Check it out below and listen to more of Full Communism here.
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