If you were to look at Minneapolis/St. Paul's music scene from outside the bubble, what would you see?
Many see an oasis. People relocate here from across the country and around the globe for a chance to participate in what is a bubbling scene. And that's certainly the way Minneapolitans would like to think they're seen — desirable, although a bit underrated.
I get a lot of emails from young or recently relocated musicians asking how they can break into the Twin Cities scene. As someone who moved here recently myself, I'm not really qualified to answer these questions, but I do my best to advise.
We've all felt the chill of Minnesota Nice. Being a newcomer can be difficult, especially when this scene establishes itself more and more every day, and the cliques get thicker and more satisfied with their ranks. Still, it may be naive of me, but I think this is a place that welcomes the upstarts. That nurtures their rise. That's what I tell the folks who do email me. I'm just hoping the folks out there on the bills prove me right.
Chance York — "Harden The Paint"
There's been a lot of chatter around the Twin Cities for a certain other Chance who happens to rap this last week, but Minneapolis rapper Chance York dropped an album the same day the Rock the Garden Lineup buried his name in the SEO. The album, Fed and Famished, is produced by gleaming local auteur Eric Mayson and features Chance's kicked-back verses laid matter-of-factly over Mayson's jazz-inspired piano work.
The video for the album's second track, "Harden the Paint," comes courtesy of director Cody Otte and BlueG Productions, who transpose the dreadlocked rapper across the city's skylines and rooftops. If you're not feeling Rock the Garden, consider throwing Minneapolis' Chance some money for his newest instead (though you can download Fed and Famished for free in either case).
Ronnie Vyce — "Energizer"
The seduction in Ronnie Vyce's new video is almost sinister. In a cloud of hookah smoke, Vyce inhales champagne while a lingeried woman teases him with increasing tension. As the faded chorus circles on, she writhes in his lap, the disaffected rapper staring on reflectively.
It doesn't feel like it's necessarily meant to be a treatise on the emptiness of sex and excess in hip-hop, but the video, directed by Vyce himself and Bill Rammer, does feel deeper than your average radio-rap visual. The self-proclaimed Sex God is certainly into the lifestyle, but something in the sleazy instrumentation provided by Baby Ray says that it rings a little empty.
Brilliant Beast — "Do You Think You Could Love Me Forever"
Shoegazers Brilliant Beast made a lineup change this week, saying farewell to bassist and City Pages photographer Mark Kartarik, but the newly minted three-piece will continue to make their slow-burning basement rock without him. Before they get to that, they're celebrating their partnership with Kartarik by releasing a video for "Do You Think You Could Love Me Forever," which is featured on their 2015 release Dissolve.
Shot by remaining members Jordan Porter, Hannah Porter, and Jeffrey Beach in extreme slow motion, the video is a very literal take on that whole "slow-burning" modifier. Superimposed over shots of the Porters singing and performing, the burning match seems to indicate that the band have not lost the spark that drove them to become one of the least-guilty pleasures in the Minneapolis music scene. Expect heaps more fuzz from Brilliant Beast going forward.
Metasota — "Lake 80s" (feat. Reefa Rei)
Common Culture strikes again! The creative collective has been featured in Local Frames more times than any production company since this humble column's revival, and their treatment of Metasota's newest, "Lake 80s," is a good indication as to why. The video takes the single from the upcoming Rum DMT and turns it into a Tarantino homage, with Meta playing Jules and partner Reefa Rei playing Vincent.
Draped in vintage exploitation charm and featuring a trademark Mexican standoff, the video is tons of fun and violence for the verse-trading pair. It even ends in a Pulp Fiction-esque discussion on Juicy Lucys. Rum DMT is out May 1, and Duluthians can see Meta on the mic May 12 at Red Herring.
Enemy Planes — "We Want Blood"
After being named Best Band in the World by the Hard Rock Cafe, things have really escalated for Enemy Planes. The Rock the Cause signees are prepping for a countrywide tour in support of Beta Lowdown, their haunting debut that dropped on March 25, and they've just released a new video for "We Want Blood" via the A.V. Club. Despite all the good news, Enemy Planes are just as wonderfully dreary as ever.
The refuse-riddled visual (directed by Tobias Stretch) is a perfect setting for the morose tune, which centers on the refrain of "Feel my life decaying." As Casey Call told the A.V. Club, the song is about "embracing the frailty of our existence and celebrating the fleeting moments that we have," a message that is embodied in poetic shoreside shots. Enemy Planes begin their tour in Omaha on April 20.
Shon Troth, the band's lap-steel guitarist, is currently battling cancer; you can see the GoFundMe page for his medical expenses here.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected].