I love the idea of the Minneapolis Sound.
Few American cities can claim to have a definitive sound. (Atlanta and Chicago come to mind.) The fact that Prince and his contemporaries gave this flyover hub a funkified calling card is a feat that may never be replicated.
Though you can hear tinges of the rock/synth R&B influence in today’s music, the Minneapolis Sound not only defines a place but also a time: the 1980s. What will be the Minneapolis Sound of the 2010s? Or the 2020s? Artists today are working to answer that question -- P.O.S’s industrial punk/ hip-hop fusion, Hippo Campus’s laid-back campus rock -- but in the age of SoundCloud, will there ever again be a singular sound that defines a city?
Drelli -- “Chiquita”
If we’re to believe this City Pages blogger, Drelli is one of the next up in the Twin Cities. The So Cold Records signee’s undeniable, infectious swagger is already garnering national recognition, and he showcases his fun-loving rap aptitude on the new video for “Chiquita.”
Taking place on the virtual tennis courts of a child’s N64, the Gabe Hostetler-directed video provides an insight into the punchy rapper’s nostalgic flavor. Drelli volleys serves from a bevy of oncomers (including a gorilla), all the while dropping punchlines and shuffling his shoulders. His untouchable bravado reigns supreme, even as the kids' mother unplugs the console and the MC disappears into the 64-bit ether.
The Push -- “Dead Eyes”
Minneapolis rock band The Push are a bit of a throwback – not in the sense that they rely on nostalgia but in that they hearken back to a day when alt-rock ruled the airwaves and big-lunged frontmen dominated magazine covers. Their latest single, “Dead Eyes,” is like a lost Soundgarden track – a glorious, riff-driven monster that 93X should be scrambling to get on air.
In the video, directed by the band, lead singer Anthony Jones headbangs his way around the Minnesota wilderness. Every once in a while, there’s a flash of psychedelic purple or green, but other than that, it’s a totally zero-frills vehicle for The Push’s second, equally frill-less, single.
The Usual Things -- “Tumblin’”
We all know the feeling of a heart tumble. You meet someone, your emotions surrender, and before you know it, you’re rambling into love without a crash helmet. In their new video “Tumblin’,” Minneapolis power pop band The Usual Things bring this feeling to life through a glitching visual juxtaposition.
As lead singer Aaron Shekey preens uninhibitedly about love at first sight, the video pixelates, and suddenly a lovestruck woman appears in his place -- a clever editing tactic by director/editor Shekey. The video follows his glimmering tale of simultaneous infatuation exactly, showing that tumbling into love can be not only mutual but also liberating.
Monkey Warhol -- “Don’t Tickle the Pickle”
Is anyone in the Twin Cities having more fun than Monkey Warhol? The gonzo electronic project was previously falling in love with women who look like tacos. Now they’ve returned to warn listeners of the danger of pickle ticklin’.
This time, the sexualization of food stuffs is more straightforward. In a very clear double entendre, Monkey Warhol sing about the romantic attachment that ensues after you tickle the juice out of a pickle. What makes the song funny (instead of insipid) is the non-self-aware child on guest vocals and the hilarious Gigi Ranchero illustration that plays over the top.
Moodie Black -- “Tuesday”
When Moodie Black’s new album Lucas Acid! finally drops, it will be unlike any other album released by a Minneapolis artist in 2017. Album single “Tuesday,” released via Fake Four Inc. on Thursday, is a dark and disturbing tour through a day in the life of mouthpiece K.death. K drives around, encountering not the bright, genteel Minnesota many do, but falsities instead.
“Minneapolis is one of the best cities for trans people and trans-fronted bands,” K says in an email. “Yet, I may be the only trans woman/non-binary femme locally that is not white, raps, and does very different work than my peers.” That feeling of isolation comes through in the disturbing video collage K presents in the video for “Tuesday.”
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]