Welp, that’s it. I’m calling it. Summer’s over. We’ve had our last real festival, so unpack the flannels, shut off your AC, and start watching music under a roof again.
Not that there’s anything wrong with watching a band play in a sunny park, but Beanie Season is the most natural time to really enjoy a concert. It feels right to be warm (and not swamp-assingly hot) in a club watching a band while knowing for sure that the weather sucks enough that there’s no guilt in spending the evening inside.
Embrace it. As the mosquitoes die and the leaves change, we’re entering the golden days of concert-venue season.
Moodie Black -- "Vanowen"
I’m not quite sure if the Twin Cities know what a treasure they really have in Moodie Black. Recently relocated back to Minneapolis after a stint in L.A., Moodie Black have promised new music over the past few months. We finally got a glimpse of what that might mean with the new video for “Vanowen,” which arrived via HipHopDX on Thursday.
The song and the video center on emcee kdeath’s emergent identity as transgender gender-fluid femme, something which has been referenced in Moodie Black’s music over the years, but is just now becoming an overt theme. The song rattles and drips with raw, angry humanity, channeled through overblown filters and cranky bass. Moodie’s forthcoming LP is entitled Lucas Acid, and if “Vanowen” is to be believed, it could be the noise-rap crew's most punishing, visceral statement yet.
Moodie Black’s six-week national tour kicks off Monday in Madison. They play the Reverie on October 23 with Naive Sense and Knife Island. Lucas Acid is due out in early 2017.
Kind Country -- "Studio B"
Violin. Mandolin. Banjo. Upright bass. Guitar. With all those strings, who needs vocals?
Not Minneapolis bluegrass collective Kind Country. For their latest countrified visual for “Studio B,” the seven-piece took the stage at Winona’s Ocooch Mountain Music during July’s Dog Days festival. There ain’t much to see in the four-minute video other than the performance. But director Ben Steinquist of Phaux Pas Photography does a good job focusing in on some of the action so that you can be captivated by the musicians’ performances.
Kind Country’s next performance will be, coincidentally, in Winona when the twangy group take on the Boats and Bluegrass Festival. If you can’t make the drive (or don’t own a boat), you can pick up Kind Country’s latest LP, 2013’s Kid Country, on their Bandcamp.
Karah -- “I Am”
So much of high school is figuring out how you deserve to be treated in a relationship. 16-year-old singer-songwriter Karah found this out recently, and she channeled the grief and frustration of enduring a bad relationship into her debut single “I Am,” which dropped this past weekend.
“The concept is basically about me breaking free from a controlling boyfriend and figuring out who I am after that relationship,” Karah says in an email, “reconnecting with friends, meeting new people, and walking around singing, which is something I actually do in real life.”
That empowerment really kicks in during the song’s anthemic chorus. Karah also just released her debut LP, Ready to Fall on Friday, and “I Am” represents the first entry in a trilogy of videos that, when played in order, will make a short film. You can also catch her on October 1 at J. Grundy's Rueb 'N' Stein in Northfield.
Astronautalis -- “Kurt Cobain”
“Kurt Cobain” was a standout from Astronautalis’s latest LP, May's Cut the Body Loose. The raucous opener is the introduction to Astro’s weirdo Louisiana turn -- a proven thesis for the Florida-born MC returning to his deep-south roots.
So naturally Astronautalis went back to the Dirty to film the video for “Kurt Cobain,” which features the Southern-fried rapper zooming around the Everglades in his signature Florida state flag robe. There’s still a tie back to Astro’s adopted home of Minnesota -- the video (which debuted via Mass Appeal) is directed by Marijuana Deathsquads homie Isaac Gale. The shots hearken back to two iconic videos fo Astronautalis’s youth: Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin” and Juvenile’s “Ha.”
“Both of those videos contain incredible elements of reality, and elements of theater,” Astronautalis says in a press release. “When I saw them back in high school, they had such an impact on me because it is hard to tell where the truth ends, and the illusion begins.”
The Florists -- “Pleasure Shrug”
Avocado toast is punk as fuck. If you don’t believe me, just tune into the Florists’ new single, “Pleasure Shrug.”
In the video, the band (which, full disclosure, features City Pages music writer Jared Hemming on drums) boards a pontoon boat in northern Minnesota and goes full bore on some inflatable instruments. At somewhere near the halfway point, singer Joe Kellen discloses that the energy source for such an anarchistic romp is avocado, whole wheat toast, and salt.
The song comes from the trio’s July release Can You Feel The Stasis?, which was the band’s second release of the summer, following their split with Luxury Prison, Exits. They play the Triple Rock on October 1, but just close your eyes and pretend they’re in the middle of a lake shredding on State Fair prizes.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]