Picked to Click 2017 is looming on the horizon. Sharpen your local music opinions accordingly.
Plenty have ranted against our annual music scene poll. Some say it bastardizes art to assign numerical value to its creators. Others say it puts unnecessary feathers in musicians’ caps. Still others think this publication isn’t a qualified vehicle for delivering the Twin Cities’ collective opinion.
Whatever your complaint, keep in mind that P2C has never been set up as the be-all and end-all evaluation of budding musical talent. It’s neither prescriptive nor objective. Just a bunch of folks tipping their hats to the people they noticed from the previous year. It can be fun, if you let it be.
Har-di-Har -- “The Wonder”
The record release show Friday at Icehouse for We Will Will You was a big night for Har-di-Har. The Minneapolis art-pop duo expanded into a seven-piece, complete with trumpets and dance accompaniment. The new video for album single “The Wonder” recreates some of that human chaos with a gaggle of bodies grasping at each other ritualistically.
Directed by Shannon Brunette and featuring the dance company Kelvin Wailey, the video offers a trippy metaphor for human relationships. “Holding on to meaningful relationships in this ever-growing chaos feels like our only chance for real sanity,” says Har-di-Har’s Andrew Thoreen. “Yet just caring for our own personal chaos seems hysterically impossible, let alone that of another.”
Another Heaven -- “Dead Star”
The DIY commitment of Ali Jaafar’s Ecstattic Studios is its most enduring and recognizable attribute. It shows that good music can shine through any restraints and the music industrial complex doesn’t need a say in your success. Jaafar's band Another Heaven just released a new video for their epic shoegaze anthem “Dead Star,” and the sludgy visuals are another reminder that this new band is doing everything on their own and prospering because of it.
Another Heaven’s next EP You Are Loved will be out October 27 on Modern Radio Record Label. They’ll welcome the record to the world on the same day at the 331 with Double Grave and Tungsten. The gig should be sufficiently gloomy and unadorned.
Jae Havoc -- “Ian Mackaye”
Speaking of DIY, Rochester rapper Jae Havoc just released a new song that heralds the king of DIY, Fugazi and Minor Threat frontman Ian Mackaye. “He was a guy who had convictions and ideas that remained at his core even as his music evolved,” Havoc says of Mackaye. “I look to do that with my art and to keep in his spirit of DIY.”
In that spirit, Havoc both rhymes and handles production on the song, though he does outsource the visuals to Chris Christensen of Wondercloud Media. Here Havoc navigates through a technological dystopia, trying to find his way before ultimately returning to the practical comfort of the analog world.
Dima Kash ft. King Wayz -- “All Night”
Twin Cities rapper Dima Kash has been glossing up his sound over the past year or so, but his songs still maintain a captivating edge underneath the radio-ready veneer. Minneapolis rapper King Wayz is less concerned with Billboard, choosing to keep his raps straight-up vicious. When the two pair for “All Night,” it’s a perfect storm of two hungry hustlers showing off what they each bring to the game.
Riding a motorcycle adorned with images of naked women and red LEDs, Wayz crashes Kash’s song in the second verse, rapping with flash and arrogance. Kash brings it back to the charts with his infectious chorus, but the underlying greasiness never dissipates. That’s what makes this cut such a fun listen.
Paperilo -- “3rd Street” (lyric video)
Paperilo are releasing a string of EPs extending into December, and so far, I’ve been greatly impressed with how the young musicians have staked their name on rousing, creative lyric videos for their early singles. “3rd Street,” more or less a sequel to September’s “Bde Maka Ska,” is another benediction of the Minneapolis band’s hometown, but this time, the connection is more abstract.
As the band’s words play over crunchy Postal Service-style beats, the audience is swept up in swirls of desaturated smoke. Artist Chelsea Arden Parker returns to direct this entry from Vol I. Parker’s ghastly imagery is the perfect companion to the atmospheric song and its anxious lyrics.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]