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Downtown Boys, Drunk & Horny, The Line Cutters, The Cons - Trunk Space - 7/10/2014

If there is one thing that can never be taken away from the decade-old downtown Phoenix DIY venue The Trunk Space it is the bookers' uncanny ability to put together a lineup that will leave the audience scratching its head. Such was definitely the case last night when the Rhode Island-based Downtown Boys rolled through with their heavily political and pseudo radical left wing punk tunes, and had comedy polka punk duo Drunk & Horny open for them.

Even veteran performer Ryan Avery of D & H had to admit that after looking into the Downtown Boys when they were booked for the show he didn't quite understand why the venue had turned to him and Andrew Jemsek to do it. The only thing that could have possibly been farther away from the Downtown Boys "radical" message could have been Avery and Jemsek's other project, the habitually outrageous Father's Day.

Nevertheless, Avery and Jemsek showed up in their stripes and sunglasses, Jemsek sporting an acoustic guitar instead of his usual accordion, and played all the hits. Original tunes like "At The Zoo," "Paddlin Madeline," and "Poopin Safari" for which they invited up Phoenix stand-up comic Eli Kluger to sing along, as well as covers like "So Sick of Feminists," originally by Charles Bronson. They even unveiled a brand new one called "I Want to Fuck a Donut," which really got a rise out of the crowd.

Then immediately following their prolonged ending, which included a jaunt around the block, the touring act Downtown Boys took the stage.

First and foremost, the lead singer explained to the audience how she and her band mates are part of a collective back east. The name was in Spanish and I didn't quite catch it, but she said the name translated to something like "We are all Arizona," before she discussed some topical social woes.

She said the group was anti-borders, and pro-feminist and a lot of other key lefty phrases, but I was still stuck on "We are all Arizona." From what I could tell they were basically saying they were standing in solidarity with us, the beshitted masses that choose to live in the Grand Canyon State.

A collective formed 3,000 miles away with a name reflecting solidarity with the oppressed of Arizona. Way to go Arizona lawmakers! You got far-left collectives based across the continental U.S. organizing around the fact that you make racist, sexist, homophobic, and, above all else, ridiculous laws.

The singer waxed poetic about her ideals about race, sexism, feminism, and other lefty topics in a style somewhat reminiscent of Zach De La Rocha, without the nuance. But honestly, Downtown Boys sounded like party music.

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The band clearly had passion and the musicians clearly had talent, but the tunes just didn't seem as political as the lyrics. The dual saxophone players really gave the music a fun time vibe, and the lead guitarist's vintage ax gave him more the look of a hipster than a political radical.

Gilbert's The Line Cutters followed up, and on the verge of releasing their first album, the band of 17-year-olds is sounding fierce. The Cons closed the evening in their best attire. Critic's Notebook

Last Night: Drunk & Horny, Downtown Boys, The Line Cutters, and The Cons at Trunk Space Overheard in the crowd: "I don't really know how to process this" -- young punk girl following Drunk & Horny

Personal Bias: Funny and light > heavily political

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