Once again, Minneapolis is exposed to the entire country.
The wider United States got a glimpse of our flyover hamlet two weeks ago when Ann Kim spoke about her ambitious restaurant empire with the New York Times. This immediately followed National Geographic’s lauding of State Fair cuisine. And those were in conjunction with homegrown hero Lizzo topping Billboard. That’s lot of notice for a small landlocked city, and predictably, we’ve recoiled from the attention.
Every national media article on Minneapolis or St. Paul is accompanied by a backlash of sighs—they just don’t get us. But we’ve gotta embrace the national stage if we ever wanna rise above our station. The artists featured in this week’s Local Frames are gonna need attention beyond this column if they’re ever gonna go full Lizzo.
Ian Valor and the Vendettas – “Howling the Night Away” (PREMIERE)
Ian Valor and the Vendettas are still hot on the trail after their debut record All Right All Riot, which drops on October 18. Along the way, they picked up frequent City Pages photographer Darin Kamnetz, who shoots and directs their new video for “Howling the Night Away.” In Kamnetz’s debut video, a lycanthropic Valor stalks around St. Louis Park in search of his humanity. You might not see a werewolf during your next visit to Park Tavern, Ax Man, or the Roller Garden, but you can see the man beneath the mask when he takes the stage at the 331 Club on October 19.
Partial Traces – “Electric Skies” (PREMIERE)
“Electric Skies” is a fragmented song searching for meaning. A dysphoric strut. A cry for mercy that comes from a hidden spot inside. All of this is to say that the new single from Minneapolis band Partial Traces is very good. In the song’s video, lead singer Maren Macosko is shown literally asunder, projected across nine television screens as they plead for understanding. The song comes from the band’s forthcoming record Low Definition, out on Salinas Records on September 27.
San Caballo – “Tape 1”
Sans Caballo claim to have been cryogenically frozen in 1977, and they’ve been preserved ever since, waiting for a time when music needs their ambient sounds. They were thawed in 2017 for their EP Always Greener, which is where you can find their playful instrumental single “Tape 1.” Two years after that release, “Tape 1” finally gets the video treatment, complete with era-appropriate home footage. The grainy tape is edited together to follow a mustachioed Adonis as he tries on different outfits and even gets married. Brings you back!
Diehard Two – “Bemerite”
Reed Benjamin and Doctor Ew are formidable on their own, but joined together as Diehard Two, their skills are amplified. The new pair’s debut single, “Bemerite,” is a calculating collaboration, with each rapper turning in a tight verse. The song plays out like a friendly competition, with Benjamin and Ew each trying to one-up each other with clever punchlines. “Bemerite” is the first single off the Diehard Two album, which is due out later this year.
Material – “Ride Out”
Have yourself a lengthy trip with the latest single from Minneapolis krautrock band Material. The video for “Ride Out” takes you down to the particle level, expanding into a cosmic scale before shrinking back down to the very essence of life. “We hope to explore tension in the cluster of moving pieces and then the relief (unease) upon the peel back of the layers,” says the band. “An ebb and flow, a yin and yang, to climb the ladder, you must also climb back down.” The far-out journey is created by animator Zach Zimmermann.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]