Living graffiti, cabin fever, and heartland heartache and in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos



This week has been an awakening.

With the sun and warm crosswinds of late April comes a renewed energy in the Twin Cities. A sleeping passion blossoms as the tulips work up through the dirt and the rollerblades emerge from the garage. It’s the most fantastic time of the year to live here—especially if you’re an artist.

This is also the point where my inbox starts to explode with new video submissions. You ever try shooting a video in subzero temperatures? It sucks, and everyone in the local scene knows it, which is why they bank their shoot days until April. We’ll only be able to feature five here, so make sure you start with Local Frames and don’t stop digging until the production teams go back into hibernation this November.

FREEWIFI—“Outta My Way”

Tha Rift, J. Plaza, and Daddy Dinero have gotten over huge as FREEWIFI, an energetic rap trio that puts on legendarily hype live shows. That energy also translates to the screen, as DZ Premium shows in the group’s new video “Outta My Way.” Shot in New York City, the video documents a chaotic afternoon in the life of FREEWIFI. Fueled by Yeotti’s insane beat, the three MCs run roughshod over the city’s rooftops and basketball courts. The video ends on a preview of FREEWIFI’s next single, “Go.”


Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of Nathan Johnson’s one-man bedroom synthpop project Loya. To celebrate, he announced pre-orders of Loya’s album Komaglass (available May 18) and released the video for Arrival-inspired lead single “Heptapod.” Embodying themes of isolation and disconnection, the video focuses on Johnson pursuing an uninterested lover, intercut with shots of him screaming in angst while decked out in some murderous makeup. “Heptapod” is also available as a free download.

JamesG—“Ok ok ok”

Duluth rapper/producer JamesG not only wrote and produced all of his new song “Ok ok ok,” but he also shot, directed, and edited the corresponding video. Granted, the latter wasn’t an incredibly involved production—he shot the entire thing while sitting on his couch during a blizzard. It’s a great example of how to turn a lazy afternoon of stifling cabin fever into a fun and carefree piece of art.

Thomas Nordlund—“Where Summer Had Gone” (PREMIERE)

Minneapolis guitarist Thomas Nordlund conjures a sense of impending loss through his music. His six-string’s bluesy expressions evoke images of the heartland and the desperate feeling that America’s halcyon days could very well be gone for good. On Monday, Nordlund will release his second album, Miles Left Behind, and the debut single “Where Summer Had Gone” gives a sense of the forgone beauty he’s trying to preserve in that collection of songs. In the video, Nordlund jams with bandmates Ben Abrahamson (banjo), Doan Roessler (bass), and Zach Schmidt (drums) while black-and-white scenes of rural America play nostalgically.

Lars Nelson—“Damn! (How Long 'til I Get Over Her)”

Lars Nelson grew up along the Mississippi in Winona, and the mighty river has always been a source of inspiration for his outlaw country rock. Nelson’s new song “Damn! (How Long 'til I Get Over Her)” is more delta than headwater though, capturing the pain and betrayal of a love gone wrong. Nelson acts out the unfortunate scenario in the video, which is almost hard to watch knowing how the song’s title foreshadows the couple’s ultimate fate. Nelson directed the video alongside Nate Lidstrom. You can also hear fellow Local Framer Thomas Nordlund on rhythm guitar.

Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected].