Bloody hostages, rappin’ Chuck E. Cheese, and sweeping North Shore views in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos

The video for Joey van Phillips' 'Black Excellence in Film' reimagines the pop culture of the past.

The video for Joey van Phillips' 'Black Excellence in Film' reimagines the pop culture of the past. YouTube

While the phrase “cyclone bomb” was being introduced to America’s lexicon, Minnesotans were wondering what the fuss was all about.

Of the many things Minnesotans are proud of, their ability to endure is paramount. We’ve been living on Hoth since before George Lucas dreamed the desolate iceberg planet into existence. Struggle is a point of pride for Midwesterners. It gives us purpose. As Bob Odenkirk put it in his 2017 essay in Chicago magazine, “It may be the sand that makes the pearl.”

But it also bands us together. Commiseration is first and foremost communion, and having the common antagonist of the winter has made Midwestern stock deeply interdependent. That extends to the music scene, too. Constantly cross-pollinating and collaborating, the artists here lean on each other to grow. Whatever the weather.

Joey van Phillips ft. Open Mike Eagle and Aby Wolf—“Black Excellence in Film”

Minneapolis drummer/composer Joey van Phillips set out to “embrace the true meaning of collaboration” on his latest album, Punch Bowl. For its second single, “Black Excellence in Film,” JVP brought together local singer Aby Wolf and Los Angeles rapper Open Mike Eagle over his plinky piano beat. Video director Alex Berg of Pisces Virgo Rising syncs JVP’s alchemic hookup with footage of Chuck E. Cheese, Gumby, and other pop culture artifacts, black and white, for an engrossing visual.

Angelo Bombay ft. Tha Rift, Lyric Marid, Lavish Mack, and Soda Supreme—“Run Up, Count Up”

Speaking of collaborations, south Minneapolis producer Angelo Bombay brought together some of the best local rappers as a way to flex on everyone trying to step to the Twin Cities in 2018. “Run Up, Count Up” unites FREWIFI’s Tha Rift, Mill City Collective’s Lyric Marid, Lavish Mac, and Soda Supreme for a hard-hitting crew cut. The MCs take turns menacing the camera in the Ben Hughes-directed video, but it’s Bombay’s slapping production that stands as the best evidence that this crew is not to be fucked with.

Andrew Thomas—“Fly Away”

Producer-turned-pop inspirationalist Andrew Thomas made his Local Frames debut back in November with a heart-wrenching ballad, but the second single from his My Addiction EP lands on a much more optimistic note. Thomas calls “Fly Away” “the perfect song to say goodbye to a turbulent 2017 and forward on to a new and better year,” and in the video he takes to a glorious lakefront to declare his intention for the year ahead.

Asa Goldstein—“While I’m with You”

20-year-old Minneapolis singer-songwriter Asa Goldstein recorded his second release Conscious Creation at his school’s record label in North Carolina. The record is a collection of romantic folk songs typified by the single “While I’m with You.” Goldstein tapped director Sidney Hager to create an idyllic vision of young love to accompany “While I’m with You,” with Goldstein falling into hopeless love with a woman during a jaunt in the woods.

Loya—“Risk” (Deftones cover)

EDM-leaning synthpop band Loya may not be playing live shows just yet, but they’ve already released two videos in the last two months. December’s “Glassboy” was an original, but the followup “Risk” re-interprets a Deftones song as a gentle pop ballad. This isn’t the first Deftones cover Loya singer Nathan Johnson has released a video for, and the Sacramento nu metal band’s influence is evident in the trembling instrumentation on Loya’s songs. Jake Johnston returns to direct, adding an escalating hostage situation to the already tense song.

Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected].