DOWNTOWN BOYS are a riotous punk band from Providence that we absolutely fell in love with at NEUMF last fall. We strongly recommend you catch their psychotic horn-raddled antics live in the flesh.
When on tour we always make a point to sample whatever regional meat is produced in town. We’re talking whatever cheap kinda gross food the city is known for. Here’s a list by place of our favorites along with the bands we ate them with. In random order.
1. New Haven — We always get this perfect pizza with peppers and sausage from Frank Pepe’s Pizza. Email us if you find better pizza. Pepe’s is right down the street from what was the People’s Art Collective until it got evicted a couple months ago. We had a bunch of incredible shows there, all set up by our handsome and talented friend Kenneth Reveiz, whose new band Maricamerica is completely amazing. It’s these super sexy, explicitly political R&B jams. They’ve only played a few shows so far but look for them coming around more soon! Also young New Haven rapper Myke Greene is gonna be huge.
2. Philadelphia — Get the non-racist cheesesteaks. There’s this place called Geno’s that’s plastered in anti-immigrant, pro-cop bullshit. Really explicitly racist stuff like signs that say “Dial 1 for English, Dial 2 for ICE” and shit like that. It’s also the most famous cheesesteak place. Avoid it. Just go to literally any other corner in the city and you’ll find a better steak for half the price without the hate. Or if you’re lazy go to Pat’s across the street. We didn’t eat steaks with these folks, but check out this band SWARM from Philly. Big 12 or more person music-dance-performance explosion. Great politicized people. Totally captivating. And we have to mention our friend Zu and LAVASPACE who set up a lot of the radical happenings here.
3. Washington DC –- We can’t pick just one food or band here. First time in town we went to Ben’s Chili Bowl and got chili and half-smokes, which are these wonderful sausages. Our drummer Norlan — who literally only eats pizza on tour — loves these things ‘big slices’ which are just huge slices of pizza. Like it’s two slices of pizza but in one slice – it’s nuts! And the pizza at Comet-Ping-Pong is also choice but in bold opposition to the ‘big slice’ is in fact smaller than normal pizza. We enjoyed several of these foods with our DC best-buds Priests, who eat almost as well as they play music. Also shout out to Foul Swoops and Chain and the Gang—I don’t know think we’ve eaten with them but I’m sure it would be fantastic. One time Cigarette cooked us eggplant it was pretty good–thanks Cigarette!
4. Boston — We’re newcomers to the Boston eating and music scene. Here’s the truth: Providence casts an unfairly cynical eye on Boston. I say unfairly because in 2013 we did a total 180 kickflip and were blown away by the shows we played in Boston and the bands we’re seeing come out of the city. The Boston Hassle folks have been super kind to us. Dan and Sydney have had us on killer shows. We still don’t know what the Boston food is, but we loved the cheap wonderful burgers at Charlie’s Kitchen when we played there. We haven’t eaten with any Boston bands, but we’re blown away by Tomboy, Guerilla Toss, Funeral Cone, and Goat of Arms to name a few.
5. Worcester –- As far as we can tell Worcester’s regional meat is diners. Diners everywhere! And so we’ll say make sure you get eggs in Worcester. And if you’re getting those eggs do it with Secret Lover. They play this infectious pop rock punk that you’ll immediately fall in love with. Their singer Sally is the top frontperson on the Blackstone River. They’re on tour for a month right now go catch them somewhere!
6. New Brunswick – They got these things called Fat Sandwiches. It’s every kind of fried food put into a single sandwich. So like french fries, mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, marinara sauce, and cheese steak all together in a bundle. They sell them out of trucks. They mostly have funny names too. Our friends Neonates aren’t from New Brunswick, but we ate these sandwiches with them there! They’re from LA and Phoenix and other places and we did a week long magical tour together. Check them out! Also check out the sideproject from Neonate Anna Nasty called Olivia Neutron John. As for a real New Brunswick band, we really liked playing with Noun, the side project of Screaming Females singer Marissa Pasternoster. And our friend Miguel and his sweet basement house.
7. New York City—One time we stumbled upon this cool corner store in Manhattan called Le Basket where you can buy beers for $2 and then sit on this patio area on the sidewalk and drink them. You could even buy chips and stuff and eat them out there. So great! Why aren’t there more of these? Norlan would like to add the plentiful 99 cent pizza options. And there’s that cheap dumplings place Vanessa’s near Death by Audio. We’ve never eaten with an NYC band, but in 2014 we might eat at some point with Shady Hawkins and Unstoppable Death Machines who are two cool bands we love that we’ll be doing shows with soon.
8. Montreal — I guess we’re getting out of our region here but we’ve got some best friends in Quebec and we love playing up there! We end up spending most of our money eating poutine, and we like to do it with our good friends in Leamers and Crabe. I think most of them don’t even like poutine, but they’re nice enough to watch us eat it while they enjoy other French Canadian meats like ‘pogos.’ Their neighborhood is also home to our favorite North American diner called ‘Miami.’
9. Willimantic, CT — If you don’t know Willimantic it’s a small town near the UCONN campus in eastern Connecticut. It’s also known as “heroin town,” “thread city,” or “frog city.” More importantly, this awesome guy named Joe runs a record store there called Willimantic Records and they have shows. We played there 3 or 4 times in 2013—more than any other place I think. Go to the record shop and then check out Joe’s sweet ass band called Shrinners. Afterwards go to one of the family restaurants that serve cheap pizza cut into squares in classic 860 fashion.
10. Providence, RI — We have to do our own city. The standard Providence regional meat is hot weiners, preferably from the Olneyville New York System. The System serves pretty much everything though if you don’t like weiners—Victoria even has a special type of cheese fries that they only serve to her! Other than that we like Sicilias. They got pizza and almost frozen beer and super friendly people and cool paintings. Too many bands to name, but to start with check out Bitters, Mothertongue, Whore Paint, Math the Band, Joe DeGeorge Sax Machine, and Huge Face.
We look forward to a 2014 full of meats and friends new and old!