Local music’s biggest debut comes this weekend at the Minnesota State Fair.
Every year, beneath the marquee acts who headline the fair, there are a dozen local acts who take the stage. A lot of established acts will gig at the Great Minnesota Get-Together—Dessa, Nooky Jones, and Early Eyes are among the local stalwarts—but do yourself a favor and stop by for those up-and-comers.
This year, keep your eyes and ears open for iLLism (Aug. 28 and 29, International Bazaar), Sawyer’s Dream (Aug. 24 and 25, Schell’s Stage), Jaida Dreyer (Aug. 30 and 31, Leinie Lodge), and the showcase of First Avenue Goes to the Fair (Aug. 30 and 31, Schell’s Stage) while you’re roaming the grounds. These acts might be billed lower than the All-Star Stunt Dogs Splash, but don’t overlook them just because of it.
Ian Valor and the Vendettas – “If I’m Your Man” (PREMIERE)
The old school is alive and well with Ian Valor and the Vendettas. The Twin Cities blues-rock band is on the verge of releasing their debut album All Right All Riot, and they dropped off their new single, “If I’m Your Man,” to remind people that almost no one does rock revival better in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The video for “If I’m Your Man” was shot in-studio at Minneapolis vintage studio Signaturetone, a perfect setting for the band’s throwback debut. Ian Valor and the Vendettas play the Uptown VFW this Saturday, and All Right All Riot drops on October 18.
DAM – “Small Talk with the Walls”
Introducing experimental pop band DAM, who just hit the Twin Cities scene with their first-ever video for the single “Small Talk with Walls.” Composed of Cam Rylander and Dan Stanton (one of whom looks suspiciously like a young Ringo Starr), DAM are an absurdly stoic pair of psychedelic adventurers. The song is a funky little introduction for the band, who filmed and directed the lo-fi video themselves.
Rhythm Street Movement – “Timeless”
New Sound Underground’s David Feily has a new eclectic performance art group. They’re called Rhythm Street Movement, and they combine acapella, spoken word, gospel, world music, and tapdance into a multifaceted musical experience. Their new song “Timeless” offers up praise to the benefits of a positive attitude (“A fearless heart beats with limitless shine,” they sing in the song’s strongest moment). Director Travis Anderson captures the shiny attitude in the video, giving all nine band members the chance to show off their skills.
Christopher Michael Jensen – “Give Me Somethin’”
Minneapolis rapper Christopher Michael Jensen drives a Kia, but you can still bust a move to his raps, as he shows on the new dance single “Give Me Somethin’”. In the song, CMJ takes a driving beat from Infinity ~ Suite and tops it with his signature cerebral rhymes. But the point of the song isn’t to think. “Give Me Somethin’” is a dancefloor distraction. Unmoor you mind from the heavy shit and break ‘em off a lil’ something’. The song comes from CMJ’s new EP Joy, Void, Destroy.
Maksha – “What Am I Seeing”
Sometimes it takes more than words to articulate a feeling. Producer Maksha uses his beats to convey emotions, but for the new video for “What Am I Seeing” he teamed up with animator .nat to tell a story of someone struggling to understand their journey into creation. It’s a strange, enigmatic journey down the rabbit hole, told through .nat’s whimsical artistry and Maksha’s exploratory production. “What Am I Seeing” comes from Maksha’s 2018 EP Amerliorate.
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