These cities still have a lot of healing left to do.
We've had a few weeks to mourn Philando Castile and process the incident in Falcon Heights, but the highways here are still battlegrounds. Reports are that "Purple Rain" was played over the loudspeaker at the recent I-94 shutdown, bringing a momentary calm to what was a hectic and emotional evening.
In this week's Local Frames, one local rapper does his best to eulogize Philando Castile while maintaining his spirit of revolution, while four other artists do their best to give the public the pleasant distraction they so badly need right now.
Dima Kash — "Open Your Eyes" (feat. Monaye Love)
Russian-born Twin Cities rapper Dima Kash had a powerful and visceral reaction to the police slayings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, and he decided to process his outrage and grief into "Open Your Eyes" — a three-minute screed against a system that protects killers in uniform from answering for their crimes. A warning before you watch, the video contains some graphic footage of real police attacks against civilians.
It's a challenging watch, but one that's necessary if there's any hope of empathizing with the oppressed black community in Minnesota and beyond. Through Kash's words and St. Paul singer Monaye Love's heartbroken plea, the visuals become more tragic than they could possibly be in a newscast.
"We must stand and unite as one," Kash said in an email with the video. "Stop the violence." If only it were so simple.
New Sound Underground — "Fats & Sharp" (Live)
Something about New Sound Underground seems so organic and fluid. Their music just flows out from a natural wellspring of funk that simmers below the surface of their fingers. Just watch Kevin Gastonguay tickle the keyboards like he's finger painting a Monet one note at a time in the new live video for "Fats & Sharp." It's a goddamn treat to see.
The video was filmed at Minneapolis' Creation Audio, a legendary local studio that feels like a perfect setting for the soulful collective to towk in.
New Sound will release their new album, Push, on July 22, and they'll be doing the spontaneous-explosion-of-sultry-brass thing live at the Turf Club on the same night.
JayDON and Murcc — "Blessings"
Pro tip: A great way to end up in Local Frames is to namedrop City Pages in your song. JayDON of Racc Chassir LLC was apparently pretty hyped about our coverage of their crew single in Local Frames back in February, so he name-checked your only local alt-weekly in the middle of his verse on new single "Blessings."
Apart from having great taste in Twin Cities news media, JayDON and partner Murcc have lots to be thankful for. Namely, an air-tight flow and a songmaking sensibility that can turn any club into a reckless good time.
Shot by TVick of Diamond Boys Media, the video for "Blessings" shows JayDON and Murcc numbering their gifts from God with bravado, aggression, and skill.
Adam Svec — "Famous When You Die"
If a lack of fame is gonna kill Adam Svec, consider this a little bit of life support. There isn't much we can do about the excess pie — one of two things Svec posits will cause his demise in the new video for "Famous When You Die" — but at least we can help prevent the dickish vision in the video from happening in some small way.
From Svec's new album Bad Lungs, which came out last Friday, "Famous When You Die" dreams of some Emily Dickensian posthumous fame. But the Charlie Brown-lookin' ghost in the video comes back and lets that post-corporeal fame go to his sheeted head, quickly becoming the egotistical ham fronting the band.
Directed by John Paul Burgess and shot by Nick Junkersfeld, the video is a hilarious tongue-in-cheek look at the sad romantic notions of suffering artists and how the corruption of fame can lurk from beyond the grave.
Jack & Kitty — "That’ll Never Happen No More" (Blind Blake cover)
Jack and Kitty Norton of local bygone folk duo Jack & Kitty had a big week in the audio/visual world. Not only did Jack & Kitty release a new video filmed at the grave of American ragtime legend Blind Blake in Wisconsin, but he also dropped a short horror film about the Wendigo that's a pretty righteous scare.
But on with the more family-friendly of the two. Jack & Kitty paid their respects to Blind Blake with a rendition of one of the sadly overlooked guitarist's songs. "That'll Never Happen No More" feels warm and placid in the hands of Jack & Kitty, who revive the dusty tune with only a six-string and a clay jug.
The song is extremely brief, but there's plenty of surrounding history in the video that'll hopefully bring Blind Blake out of the lost section of the history books and into his rightful place in cultural lore.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]