Regardless of your personal politics, it’s goddamn inspiring to see so many of your neighbors make a stand for what they believe in. It’s a great reminder that protest is not passive. Demonstration is active, and music is central to that action.
That’s why Women’s March Minnesota included locals like K. Raydio, Maria Isa, and Tall Paul at its Saturday rally, and why speakers like Janelle Monae and Madonna were so influential in rallies around the world. Movements look to artists to articulate and disseminate their message. Music was the engine that drove Vietnam War protests, and it looks to be the face of the anti-Trump movement as well.
GP Jacob -- “Deplorable”
There’s been no shortage of artistic backlash following the election and inauguration of Donald Trump. Following a weekend rich with outrage, Minneapolis rapper GP Jacob released an anti-fascists screed entitled “Deplorable.”
Seizing on the oddly self-righteous name conservatives reclaimed to further their cause, the song is a pull-no-punches attack on those who feel like the election of Trump is an excuse to promote racial inequity as the status quo. If GP Jacob sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the brother of fellow Off 10 lyricist Scoundrel Spence, who we saw in Local Frames last week.
Like Spence’s cut from last week, GP Jacob rhymes over an Afro Keys beat -- that is, until he dispenses with the beat altogether to deliver his message a capella. The anti-propaganda visuals are provided by SPVCE’s Mixie.
Matt Hannah -- “Dreamland” (PREMIERE)
Matt Hannah’s grifter blues immediately feel nostalgic upon first listen.
Between Hannah’s forlorn, saloon-weary voice and the long, lonesome peals of lap steel, the music has all the appeal of a prairie campfire or a black-and-white John Wayne film playing reel to reel. Hannah’s forthcoming album, Dreamland, is due out February 14. Today the Michigan-born folkster is premiering the album’s title track, which drums up more warm Americana by incorporating archival footage of the Minnesota State Fair.
Cut between Hannah’s own experience with his family at the most recent Great Minnesota Get-Together, “Dreamland” draws a thread from the event’s roots to its present incarnation, showing that the spirit is alive and well. Likewise, Hannah’s music takes the archaic and romantic notions of the country western and repackages them with his modern storyteller motif.
Donut -- “Ron Slater”
Get to know 20-year-old St. Paul rapper Donut in his newest video, “Ron Slater.” As he proclaims in the chorus, Donut is a really nice guy, but his nonstop hustle and party mentality have kept people from getting to know his true self.
Beneath that guise, Donut is just a fun-loving dude who wants to get on the mic and unload some of his thoughts and feelings. The title of the song refers to the newsboy-cap-wearing stoner boy from Dazed and Confused. Like the character, Donut is afraid to open up about anything beyond his love of weed at first, and that leaves him feeling disconnected from the people around him.
However, the song begins righting that imbalance as Donut sits around a fire in the woods near Lake Harriet and opens up for the very first time.
New Rocket Union -- “Hey”
There isn’t much to New Rocket Union aside from a six-string and a four-piece drum kit. In their simply named single “Hey,” the pair of John Ensley and Bruce Gustafson play no-frills punk music to an empty Eagles Club bingo hall.
It’s a great visual metaphor for the straightforward rockers, whose aesthetic is built around stripping unnecessary ornamentation out of rock ‘n’ roll. The single follows New Rock Union’s January 1 release of “Be My Girl” and “Dynamite” as singles. Though it’s unclear whether those will play alongside the monosyllabic “Hey,” the pair note that they will have a new album out on shelves on March 3.
The release, which was recorded by Another Heaven’s Ali Jaafar at Ecstattic Studio, will be celebrated with a show at the Eagles that night.
P.O.S -- “Lanes”
Is it possible to anticipate an album more than P.O.S’ forthcoming Chill, Dummy? Ever since the Doomtree spokesman released “sleepdrone/superposition” last March, Twin Cities music lovers have been licking their chops awaiting the next-level punk-rap Stef has on key.
With the release of “Lanes” only two weeks prior to the album's January 27 release, all that anticipation is being more and more justified. Though it’s just under two minutes long, the video for the song captures the paranoia and dystopian themes that have come to typify P.O.S’s post-We Don’t Even Live Here music.
Directed by Mercies May, the video shows Stef being brainwashed into hunting down model/actress Kiana Elohn with drones. He pursues her in a hazmat suit, all the while visions of oil derricks and biological warfare fill his mind. However, all the programming is undone by a single, powerful gesture from Elohn.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]