Yesterday was May Day, which isn't as widely celebrated in the United States as it should be.
International Worker’s Day has roots in anarcho-socialism, but in modern times it’s a day to celebrate underappreciated laborers. It’s pro-union, pro-income equality, and anti-exploitation. It’s the perfect time for music fans to take a moment to support the work of the artists they listen to.
These are people who sacrifice full-time benefits like medical, dental, and retirement to channel their passions into a MIDI machine. And the expected income return on their labor is zero. Take a minute today, and in the spirit of May Day, drop a few dollars into your favorite local’s Bandcamp.
Beasthead -- “Sticker on Your Brain” (Ft. Fort Wilson Riot) (PREMIERE)
On May 19, sultry electronic dudes Beasthead will release their new EP I Owe You For This, and lead groove “Sticker on Your Brain” is here to herald its arrival. Featuring guest vocals from Fort Wilson Riot, “Sticker on Your Brain” comes through in layers. Spacey guitars melt into Harry Reynolds' highly modulated voice, with Amy Hager and Jacob Mullis floating in from somewhere in the ether.
To emulate the song’s intrigue and effusiveness, Beasthead brought in director Joseph Daniel McMahon, who plotted out an understated stalker story along with the band. It’s like something out of a David Fincher film, with actress Larissa Gritti moving coolly through the action. Beasthead will celebrate the release of I Owe You For This on May 25 at Icehouse.
Young Ciph -- “Mask Off”
Future’s “Mask Off” has become a downright internet sensation, and now Minneapolis upstart Young Ciph takes his turn over the popular beat. A cut off the trap rapper’s upcoming Picasskiat 2, “Mask Off” shows what a flyover-state MC can do when he’s served a pro-level track.
Over the whistly Metro Boomin production, Ciph is quiet and composed, running down punchlines without indulging the audience in more than a disaffected flow. Director Glendale White is a little green behind the lens, but his work here shows clear influences from industry hip-hop being funneled down to his artistic partner. The two frame up Benzes and Jordans, serving a flossin’ piece of popcorn hip-hop.
J. Plaza -- "knO sO"
Twin Cities hip-hop isn’t always love, but when it is, it’s a beautiful thing. Take for example J.Plaza’s new song “knO sO,” which turns a sample from Allan Kingdom’s “Blast” into a playful showcase for the young Minneapolis rhymer. Credit to producer Major G for pulling the transformation off.
Credit should also go to Cereal Films, who provide the visuals for Plaza’s clinic of a rhymefest. In Cereal’s vision, Plaza lounges on Victorian couches and on the stairs of a Gilded Age mansion, rapping with careless abandon despite his stuffy, refined surroundings.
Maple & Beech -- “Wedding Season”
Maple & Beech’s new video “Wedding Season” comes with a seizure warning. The extremely pixelated and colorized film flashes in eccentric, unpredictable patterns that could easily trigger an epileptic fit, but for those without the sensitivity, a trove of odd delights awaits.
Though the video is seemingly random, Maple & Beech’s Tyler Tholl explains there is a deeper meaning behind the madness. “Much of the video was created by collecting VHS footage from my childhood, digitally destroying it, and then looping it into something new,” explains Tholl. “We took inspiration from classic collage-y videos like Peter Gabriel’s ‘Solsbury Hill’ and the Beatles’ ‘A Day in the Life.’
Maple & Beech released their new EP Rundawdaw back on April 21, but they’ll finally coronate it on May 6 at Bryant Lake Bowl. The show should be kinder on your neurological system than the video.
In Search of Solace -- “Recognize”
St. Paul melodic hardcore band In Search of Solace mixes heavy, punishing riffs and growling vocals with moments of light, almost angelic, reprieve. Their new song “Recognize,” brought to life by director Jake Woodbridge, meshes the innocence of childhood with the anger and confusion of growing up. But through all the tortured screams, a sense of tranquility pervades, humanized by the child actors.
“Recognize” comes from In Search of Solace’s forthcoming album Regression/Progression, which seeks to reconcile the duality in the band’s music. On May 26, the band will officially release the project at the Amsterdam, kicking off an eight-show tour of the Midwest.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]