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MIXTAPE MASTERPIECE: Brandon Abate from Public Squares

Today, Brandon Abate, drummer and singer of Public Squares (and also owner of No Problem Printing) shares some of his favorite tracks from local artists. This Friday, July 21, Public Squares will perform at the recently reopened Winchester Music Tavern for their “CBGB night” along side Cellar Door buddies So Long, Albatross and Dollar Drafts.

 Dead Guy by Founding Fathers


I saw Founding Fathers live a few times and I was always like “this is good, I gotta remember to check something out.” But then I never checked anything out and I think they were somewhat short lived, so I kinda forgot about them, even though the splendor that is Carol Schumacher playing her Rickenbacker bass is anything but forgettable. So then, I dunno if it was John K or someone else, but someone posts the song Dead Guy on Facebook and I was like “oh sweet, I always meant to check them out” and so I play Dead Guy and I’m like dang, this is so good and catchy. Then I played it again. Then I bought the 3 song EP, and it’s all really good … and not just “good for a local” cuz that doesn’t even make any sense. It’s just good cuz it’s good and I wish these guys were still at it. Buy the Dead Guy / Broken Jaw EP digitally HERE.

Whores by Cobra Verde

I really appreciate how eclectic a band they are. They have heavy stuff and slow stuff and rockin’ stuff … but I’m a sucker for a hook, and Whores is a great example of CV doing the infectious power pop that they sometimes do. Sweet-esque snare drum beat intro, squirelly little guitar noodling, high-pitched background vocals, and John’s signature lead vocal that sounds like it may have been recorded while he was holding a half empty brandy snifter and wearing something real sharp. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “this kind of thing is my bag, baby.”

B-Ware by Restless Habs

I heard that Pete and Ken from this band have been in other bands around town, but the names escape my memory, and honestly, they’re both so goddamn young and cute that I figured this was their first band. I like a lot of their songs, but I picked the one with the pro video cuz of Pete’s hairdo.

Way Back Home by Suede Brothers

While they built their whole legacy on heavy jams, this jangly masterpiece gets filed under “I wish I wrote that fucking song.” This song should be used by Quentin Tarantino for a movie. It’s got that “someone’s about to die in a really cool way” sorta vibe. The hook brings a tear to my eye. I’m not being hyperbolic. That’s how good I think this song is.

 

Tinders by So Long, Albatross

Usually when a song opens up with a bad ass riff, it will be spoiled by the next part, when the singing comes in. Because 90% of bands that write “riff music” do so because the guitar player feels he/she is very special and that as long as they can play their cool riffs, nothing else matters. So Long, Albatross is the exception to my judgemental opinion. They sound more like they write a really good song first, then throw in some riffs at the end, like a nice hot sauce on an already good plate of food. Tinders is a good example of this. Bad ass riff followed by really good melody, melancholy guitar chords, sincere vocal, and even a falsetto “ooooooooooo oooooooooooo” backup vocal for good measure!

 

I Noticed That You’re Old by Dollar Drafts

I just love love love when a song comes on and my hips start involuntarily shaking back and forth, and my lip does a Billy Idol curl. Dollar Drafts pick up where the Candy Snatchers left off … and thank the lord for that! This is the type of music that while listening to it, I picture cans of cheep beer flying through the air. There should always be room in your record collection for good, old fashioned, blazing rock and roll with a sense of humor that isn’t dumb. Give DD your 4 bucks here: https://dollardrafts.bandcamp.com

Freezer Burn by Quitter

Forgive me for a moment while I make this one all about me. From the moment I got a drum set, all I ever wanted to do was play shows and record songs. This is still true today. Within the first 2 years of playing I had saved up enough money to buy a TASCAM 4-track recorder, and in less than a year my first band The Attack Fish recorded 236 songs. I remember the number because we typed all the titles into Steve’s computer one day and numbered them. By the next year we had discovered that no real clubs would book a band so … uh … unique? prolific? odd? yea, all that. So we’d rent community centers to put on shows. Then this magical place on 185th street called The Gallery Café opened up. And that place would let anybody play! There were fights, and the door guy would steal your money, and weird hippie tapestries hung in the back … but this is ground zero for my own personal live musical journey. The first time we played there it was with a band called Blue Ball Priests. I think they did a really awful cover of Danzig’s “Mother.” The next time we played there, a couple members of the BBP’s had resurfaced under a new moniker … Quitter. They were also odd, like us, but in their own way. I must have told one of them that I had a little recording setup at my house … by this time I had traded up to an 8 track TASCAM … and they came over to record their first demo. I would eventually record just about every small local band that had a few bucks and a few songs. But Quitter was the first band aside from my own that I recorded. They had this really odd way of playing … the guitar would be on one note, and the bass would do the same pattern, but on the string right above it … and it would create this weird sort of chord when it all blended together. If they were schooled musicians you’d probably think they were using some sort of jazz technique. The song that sticks out in my head is Freezer Burn. I don’t know why … but it’s been many years since I’ve heard it and I still recall what it sounds like. I’m not one for living in the past, but if I had a way-back machine I would definitely go to the Quitter show at the Gallery Cafe that I missed (probably had some grumpy girlfriend that didn’t wanna go) where they brought the drummer to the stage in a garbage can while The Streetbeater played. I have no idea if any of the Quitter stuff exists in the digital world. If you find some, please send it to me. So instead … https://youtu.be/O20Sljxmy9M

This list could be longer. We have had and still have a killer scene. I challenge you to go out soon to wherever bands are playing and just check it out. Especially if you’ve never heard of them, but the name just sounds interesting. You’ll thank yourself for doing it.

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