New blood means fresh perspectives.
Though Minnesota isn’t always so welcoming to newcomers, adding outside perspectives benefits any city’s scene. As City Pages welcomes a new staffer this week -- Pennsylvania-born food editor Emily Cassel -- it’s a good time to reflect on what we gain from those who aren’t quite local. Of course, we’ll always ride for our neighbors (that’s the point of this column, after all), but let’s take a moment to tip our hats to those who’ve chosen Minnesota as an adoptive home and added their spice to our goulash.
Graveyard Club -- “Ouija”
As I mentioned last week, lyric videos rule. Stranger Things also rules, which is why this moody merger of the two from Graveyard Club is the week’s most exciting video. Filmed at a Stranger Things-themed pop-up bar in Chicago, “Ouija” capitalizes on the string-light-adorned wall that Joyce Byers uses to communicate with her son in another dimension on that Netflix show.
Spoilers for the ‘80s-themed nostalgia ride aside, the bar’s look offers a perfect aesthetic for the purveyors of synthesized gloom. As the words flash at the bottom of the screen, bulbs light up rhythmically, delivering messages that seem to come directly from the Upside Down. Graveyard Club play Icehouse on October 28 with Dem Atlas.
Toki Wright -- “Climate Change”
Weatherman Toki Wright is here to show President Trump which way the wind blows. Though the bombastically ignorant Commander-in-Chief has insisted climate change is a hoax, Wright looks around at all the natural disasters striking the planet and calls bullshit. And Mamadu samples Trump’s words, turning them into a rocking beat for Wright’s new song “Climate Change.”
In the Mamadu- and Cordova Lynch-directed video, Wright uses changing weather patterns as a metaphor for how Trump has enabled hatred. “Floods, Nazis, hurricanes, threats of nuclear war, national anthem protests, a healthcare crisis, the list goes on,” Wright says in a press release. “In the year since the rise of the current U.S. presidency, we’ve seen apocalyptic signs across the world.”
Midwestern Midnights -- “Long Ways to Go”
The road song is a classic rock staple. And it’s just as relevant as in its 1970s heyday, as Minneapolis ramblers Midwestern Midnights prove in their new road-weary single “Long Ways to Go.” Recorded via dash cam, the video shows just how monotonous it can be to be a touring musician.
Of course, all that monotony has a purpose. As the lyrics explain, the destination at the end of the lonesome highway is what makes the miles worth it. But “Long Ways to Go” is different from most road songs in that there’s no regret -- Midwestern Midnights legitimately don’t seem to mind that they have to spend hours in their sedan if it means they get to do some cathartic rockin’ once their wheels stop rollin’.
The Nunnery -- “Begin”
The Nunnery may sound like coven of vocalists gathered in an echo chamber, but it’s the work of one woman, a loop pedal, and a drum machine casting illusions of great, sweeping spaces and disembodied voices. It’s incredible to believe such massive soundscapes come from a single person, and even more incredible to see what that one person does as the director of her own video.
“Begin” was filmed by Erik Elstran, but the Nunnery directed the dreamy vision. Child actors Owen and Olivia traipse silently through the woods as the Nunnery’s wispy benedictions fill the air around them. Mystical and enchanting, it’s a powerful entry in this musician’s young career.
Streetlight Eyes -- “Hello”
There’s no worse feeling than being ostracized for being yourself. Singer-songwriter Andrew Bailey of Streetlight Eyes knows the feeling well, and he’s written his own high school woes into the new song “Hello” from the band’s impending debut album.
In the video for “Hello,” two misfit teenagers bond over their inability to fit in. Eventually, their friendship blossoms into love -- a powerful metaphor for how transformative it feels to be truly accepted. Filmed in Loring Park and Dinkytown, the video translates the bliss of actualization into graceful dance sets and, in the song’s second half, an explosive release.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]