Who doesn’t love the Minnesota State Fair? Roasted corn. Live pig births. Plush Pokemon. It’s a carnival of the senses for the whole family. Kudos for the organizers for giving Minnesota musicians a seat at that table.
This year, a host of locals (many of them Local Frames alumni) will take to the various stages at the Great Minnesota Get Together. After a quick perusal of the entertainment offerings, here are your best bets for enjoying local music between enjoying swigs of all-you-can-drink milk:
Katy Vernon (Aug. 24 and 25, Schell’s Stage), Dan Israel (Aug. 26 and 27, Schell’s Stage)
Bad Bad Hats (Sept. 1 and 2, Schell’s Stage), Now, Now (Sept. 2, Grandstand), Hippo Campus (Sept. 3 and 4, Leinie Lodge), and Heiruspecs (Sept. 3 and 4, Schell’s Stage).
Lux & Longley -- “All tha Time”
Nothing screams summer more than a ride-on lawnmower. But in the new video for “All tha Time,” rap duo Lux & Longley aren’t driving their poppa’s tractor because they’ve got chores to do. They’re joyriding around to salvage the last moments of fun from a season that’s being sucked away like grass clippings into the vortex of a John Deere.
Lux & Longley are a dynamic pair when opposed on the mic. Longley’s incredibly (almost alarmingly) low voice is calculated and disaffected, whereas Lux comes across jocular and acrobatic. The two make for a fun pair, and the video by Young Vision Films is a testament to how you can make beauty from that juxtaposition. The song comes from the pair’s 2016 EP In Loving Memory of Innocence.
BoKachi DuFrane -- “Minnesota Blues” (PREMIERE)
Local crooner BoKachi DuFrane has a complicated love affair with his home state. He may relish living where the water meets the sky, but he’s also wary of his Midwestern ways lulling him into complacency. On “Minnesota Blues,” DuFrane overcomes those reservations by looking around and realizing how motivating the Land of 10,000 can be.
DuFrane stands in front of murals to idols Bob Dylan and Prince, treating them with the same reverence as his city’s skyline. With such a deep groove and delicate vocal lines, “Minnesota Blues” doesn’t feel much like a blues song. Instead, director Paul von Stoetzel of Killing Joke Films poses DuFrane as a soulful element floating through the Twin Cities contemplating the vibe.
Mike T -- “This Is Fun”
Minneapolis rapper Mike T has something to get off his chest. OK it’s actually an intertwining of several disparate things. Thankfully producer Gabriel Gudo had a string-laden rapture of a beat for him to unburden his soul over. “This Is Fun” is a straight-from-the-hip non sequitur rap showcase for the young MC that puts wordplay well before meaning.
Directed by Hoodwill Gunting, “This Is Fun” serves as an introduction for T to the city. “This shit is me,” he raps before launching into an infernal and dejected wail. T himself calls the song a “no-regrets ventilation of frustration and aggression,” and that’s evidenced as the visually frustrated rhymer lets go of the song structure just as soon as he gets it flowing.
Chastity Brown -- “Wake Up”
Few local voices have the immediate, inescapable power of Chastity Brown’s. Simultaneously country and blues, Brown wears her Tennessee roots in the timorous ache of her whisper. On her latest singled “Wake Up,” she pleas for you to “Hear the screaming in the sadness” -- a moment of bleakness that instantly resonates in the loneliest places inside of you.
Premiered via The Current last week, “Wake Up” is a collection of solitary moments for Brown as she wrestles with her complicated soul. Wale Agbola shoots Brown pushing a cigarette glumly into an ashtray, a crude Basquiat drawn on the wall as she peers out the window for an answer that will not come.
Billy Dankert -- “The Mighty Minnesota State Fair”
Remember when I was talking about how great the State Fair was? Like eight paragraphs ago? It rules, and Billy Dankert of the Gear Daddies couldn’t agree more. His homemade video for “The Mighty Minnesota State Fair” is a leisurely love song about America’s greatest two-week corn-dog party.
Prepare yourself for a lot of thumbs up, because Dankert has a two-handed approval gesture for everything from Ye Old Mill to butter sculptures to horses. (Just regular old horses, people). His enthusiasm is infectious, and the Official State Fair Anthem Committee (if such a thing exists) should definitely consider “The Mighty Minnesota State Fair” among their nominees. The video is credited to director Jimmy Dutch Gaines.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]