The Haymarket Squares Make Democracy Work for Them in "Buy My Vote" Video
Haymarket Squares, performing at Apache Lake Music Festival
Whether or not you agree with their political views there is no denying that downtown Phoenix's original protest band The Haymarket Squares is one of the most distinctly talented groups in town. The all strings quintet make some pretty amazing sounds when they get on stage, or in the studio.
Something else the Squares seem to have a knack for is mischief. Whether it's guitarist John Luther handing out business cards proclaiming himself a rabble rouser, or mandolin/accordion/keys player Mark Sunman's appearance on a list of known agitators at Phoenix-based protests, the Squares never miss a chance to stick it to the man.
For their next big middle finger to the system, the punk-grass band is releasing their video for their track "Buy My Vote" just less than a week before election day. Because the song is a stark reminder that who one votes for doesn't matter, all that matters is which candidate is balling the most.
"The beginning of the song is an imagined conversation between a corporation and a voter. If corps are people, we can just hang together, right? It seems like everyone makes money off of elections -- media, politicians, corporations -- that we figured it was time the voters get some cash out of the deal," said Squares bass player "Lead Foot" Marc Oxborrow.
The entire video was shot in downtown Phoenix, but thankfully not in the mural-covered alleys or cute storefronts of Roosevelt Row, as so many bands have done before. No, the Squares went for a decidedly more political feel with their locations. They shot in front of the campaign signs on the northwest corner of Mcdowell and Central, as well as in front of the old capitol building.
"The idea came from fiddler Jayson James' dad, Jesse James -- for real -- who thought the song was a timely reminder as we near the election," said Oxborrow. The rest of the concept came from the video's director Danny Upshaw.
The video is not high-cost, nor does it contain jaw-dropping production values like drone-produced aerial shots and motorcycles (we're looking at you, Bogan Via). But that fits with the Squares. Because as technical as their tracks can be, at the end of the day it's still five guys playing fun acoustic music.
This is their second video off of their 2013 album Righteous Ruckus. The first was for their ode to marijuana laws, "Gateway Drug." The Haymarket Squares just put on a killer set at Apache Lake Music Festival, and will be back in action in Bisbee in two weeks for Sidepony Express Music Festival.
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