We live in a place where stoicism is a cardinal virtue. It was the way of Minnesota’s European forebears and it’s been passed down through the generations as a cultural heirloom.
There’s something to be said for stoicism -- weathering life with an inexpressive sense of duty is certainly an effective way to get by. But it’s just so goddamn boring. In 2017, it’s difficult to value a stiff upper lip when there’s so much to be enthusiastic (and horrified) about.
The problem with stoicism is that it’s rooted in pride, and pride can be poisonous. Let down those Nordic barriers, folks. Let these hard-working local musicians into your heart. Or, if you don’t dig what they’re bringing to the table, be open and honest about it. Whatever the case, don’t be stoic.
Gabe Barnett and Them Rounders -- “Robbinsdale”
We all have our own visions of utopia. Some see it as Rome, others as Istanbul. For Gabe Barnett and Them Rounders, the perfect, idyllic place is Robbinsdale, the Hennepin County city famous for raising NHL players and WWE wrestlers.
In the live video for “Robbinsdale,” M. Morris Barrett directs a dream sequence that stretches across history for emblems of peace and prosperity. We see Roman emperors, Greek thinkers, and Indian belly dancers all cavorting and falling in love with Barnett’s vision of paradise. “Robbinsdale” will be the centerpiece of Barnett’s forthcoming album, which he is currently recording with Them Rounders.
Young Ciph -- “Wait” (PREMIERE)
Glendale White can’t be stopped. Nearly every week, the artist/director known to local music fans as Young Ciph is in my inbox with a new piece to share. This year, he’s premiered “Phone,” “Mask Off,” and “All I Need” with us, and now he’s back with “Wait,” a hypnotically chill track from his album Picasskiat 2.
White films the video for “Wait” in slow motion, allowing you to inhabit and understand his pain as he sings about a lost love that haunts him. Sublimated into a sea of Auto-Tune, Ciph sounds distant and almost inhuman, but the lyrics are so rich and personal that he never loses his universalizing touch. As we watch his lover drift away slowly, we feel the sting of his heartbreak viscerally.
My Valkyrie -- “I Trust You”
In December, Minneapolis indie rock band My Valkyrie reunited for the first time in 10 years. Prior to their reunion at the Uptown VFW, they released “I Trust You,” the first of three brand-ass-new songs from the dyed-in-the-wool garage guys. Now, their comeback single gets the video treatment.
“I Trust You” may sound like a lovely sentiment, but the song itself is tainted with paranoia. As the band strolls around neon catacombs, the tight confines create a sense of anxiety that ultimately comes through in the song’s outro.
Lyric Marid -- “Respect”
Last month, Lyric Marid shared a touching visual poem to his son on Local Frames. This time, he’s here to talk about something else he loves deeply -- his reputation. “Respect” flips Birdman’s famous “put some respeck on my name” meme into a hustle-heavy chorus. Producer Angelo Bombay lays down a trap beat straight from the Metro Boomin and Mike WiLL playbook, making Marid sound like a true threat.
Director Quiz Harlin draws his influence from 1995 stick-’em-up flick Dead Presidents, dolling Marid and his crew up in skull paint. It’s an imposing visual that shows a new side of the Minneapolis rapper. See the menace live on stage September 2 at Prive Nightclub.
Remo Drive -- Greatest Tapes 03
The booming popularity of young Minnesota pop-punk band Remo Drive is preternatural. In a sea of talented peers, they’ve struck an incredibly resonant chord. You might not understand exactly how they’ve managed this from listening to their album Greatest Hits, but once you take a look at how these frenetic talents run a stage, everything makes sense.
Remo Drive’s recent entry in Entidal’s "Greatest Tapes" series captures the band on stage at the Triple Rock. The video opens with the band playing “Yer Killin’ Me” while throngs of teens throw themselves on and off stage. The band members take a shot at explaining their sudden popularity in vignettes between songs, but ultimately the best explanation is the footage of “I’m My Own Doctor” and “Name Brand” that follow. Catch this band live while you’ve still got the enthusiasm of youth.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]