Local "punkgrass" combo The Haymarket Squares isn't afraid to ruffle feathers. The band's 2010 record Dancing in the Streets features divisive songs like "Bullet Catcher" and "I Hate This City."
It also features a jingle-istic ditty called "Sheriff Joe." The band debuted a new video for the song on Tuesday, July 31.
"I wrote the song back in 2009," explains mandolin player Mark Sunman. "Lyrically, I wanted to inform people about Joe Arpaio and why he's bad for all people of all races. Musically, I was going for something kind of old TV western style, maybe even a little 'hokey', but also going along with The Haymarket Square's punkgrass style. I crammed as much information as a could in two verses and a chorus and called it done. We played the song at bars and protests and put it on our second album, Dancing in the Streets, in 2010. I made I made the video for several reasons, mostly selfish: Arpaio is in the news again lately and I want to be a part of his demise."
Filmed in part at the Cronkite School in 2009, the video captures a spirited protest, and adds footage culled from Google and Facebook, featuring Joe in all his foot-in-mouth glory.
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"Making the video made me very angry, because I had to go through all this footage and be bombarded with what this monster has heartlessly done to individuals and communities. I hope watching the video makes people's blood boil again. It's inconceivable that this guy still in office and still up to his usual unapologetic, criminal behavior. At the very least he should be rotting in jail. His most recent Freudian gaff of saying Tent City is a concentration camp and then denying it shows not only his dark interior, but his fraying ties to reality. If the feds don't get him, we'd better step it up and figure out a way to do it ourselves."
The video dovetails with the band's Indie Go Go campaign, which seeks to raise funds for the band's third album and upcoming tour. The band hopes to reach its goal of $3,500 by Thursday, August 2.
See Indie Go Go for more information.