Does the Twin Cities have a venue problem?
Truthfully, it’s an area of the biz I know very little about. I go to a lot of venues, but I don’t interact with owners or book shows, so I’m inclined to listen to someone who does.
So last month when Metasota took to Twitter to air out his problems with the Pourhouse, Fine Line, and Triple Rock -- three of the Cities’ biggest bookers of hip-hop -- it struck me as important. If we can't count on our venues to support the artists who fill them, who can we count on?
I'm not gonna pontificate much about the state of venues in the Twin Cities, but I just want to encourage fans to be very mindful of the places they spend their concert dollars. Ask your own questions, and listen when someone from the community voices concerns.
OG Grip -- Them Days (feat. Scarface and Jack Freeman)
A throwback anthem deserves a throwback feature. For his nostalgic single “Them Days,” Minneapolis rapper OG Grip enlists the help of legendary Geto Boys rapper Scarface and fellow Houstonian Jack Freeman to bring the song way back to his halcyon days playing basketball in the street and kicking back. Those days are long gone, of course, and now OG is focused on trying to hustle up a living, which is the focus of “Them Days.”
When last we saw OG Grip, he was entrancing us with his hook-driven single “They Don’t Know.” That video was put together by Future Fame, who do an equally impressive job making “Them Days” look like a pro-level cut that could pop up between any of Face’s classic jams on MTV.
Grip’s latest album is February’s Linchpin, which was followed by a nationwide tour. No dates are on his calendar right now, so perhaps “Them Days” is a signal that more new music is on the horizon.
SofCapone -- “Hot And Humid”
Seems like the days of back sweat and sticky couches are over for the year as the autumn chill has settled in pretty heavily. But Minnetonka’s SofCapone wanna let you know that there’s still some charm in getting bare-assed and pretending it’s still August.
In the video for “Hot and Humid,” the duo of Chris Polk and Esteban Cuadros hop on a surrey at Minnehaha Falls and air out their junk to try and get some relief from the notoriously oppressive late-summer weather. Even though the temperature has plummeted into variable flannel weather, the producers at Sparky Stories still make the fleshy party featured seem like a great idea for October. As the pair play their high-tempo nudist pop, partygoers smash pinatas and squirt each other with super soakers, beginning a year of pining for weather where such behavior is acceptable.
Also be sure to check out this behind-the-scenes video showing how the good-timing boys were able to make their vision come to life.
By the Thousands -- “Clouded Eyes”
If you want to impress this Halloween, call the makeup artist for Minneapolis metal band By the Thousands.
In the video for “Clouded Eyes,” vocalist Hondo Torres-Pena transformed into a jarringly real golfer with a serious case of dermatitis. Directed by Ryan Thompson, the video also features some reptilian creeps and a rotating camera that disorients as much as the wailing guitars. The song comes from Connect, which came out last November.
To celebrate the album’s birthday, By the Thousands are going on a tour of the Midwest/West that kicked off with two local shows early last week. The full-throated prog shredders are now in Omaha, Nebraska (October 12 at Lookout Lounge), but they’ll be back within grasp on November 2 in Des Moines, Iowa, at Vaudeville Mews.
The Weathered Heads -- “When It's Over”
Winona's the Weathered Heads seem like they know their way to a good time.
Their annual gathering, Weather Eds, is a festive weekend for the eclectic pop band -- a feeling captured in their new video for “When It’s Over.” Composed primarily of live shots and other peeks into the jovial band’s everyday life, you really get a sense for the mindset that gives the Weathered Heads their lively sound.
The song comes from the band’s new EP The Weathered Heads, which hits the airwaves tomorrow. The band is celebrating with an extensive tour that kicks off on October 14 at St. Paul's Amsterdam Bar & Hall, resumes a week later at Ed’s No Name in Winona, and then returns to Rochester, Minnesota, on October 28. Find your way to one of those gigs if you like generous amounts of saxophone in your Friday night.
Chris Bartels -- “Missoula”
Chris Bartels is becoming something of a local-level Justin Vernon lately.
We’ve seen his work at Local Frames with Hi Fi Cali and Bora York, and now he’s dropped off the new song from “Missoula” from his upcoming album entitled Myths and Mold -- his first solo album since 2011. In the pantheon of artistic vision that’s taken Bartels from folk to beach pop, “Missoula” still feels so unique. Like it’s a different artist breathing behind it.
Myths and Mold was teased in a short trailer last week, with a snippet of “Missoula” in the background, but this morning, Bartels released the full version of the song and a corresponding lyric video. Made up of dreamily edited public domain footage, the video for “Missoula” provides a glimpse into Bartels’ creative process, laying out his latest passion line by line. Myths and Mold is slated to debut in early 2017.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]