Fall is the busy season for music. Once the temperature drops below 80, albums start to drop like oak leaves.
Maybe it has to do with artists clamoring for Grammy attention. Maybe it’s because albums take 9-10 months to gestate. Maybe it's the outdated stocking-stuff model. Maybe it’s because people don’t do shit during the summer and then work overtime in September to make up for it.
Whatever the reason, this week was the most Local Frames submissions I’ve gotten since I took over the column earlier this year. Kudos to the artists participating in the creative boom of autumn, but apologies to those who didn’t make it into the roundup this week. Keep submitting, though. Make this hard for me. This job is the best when it’s hard.
The Person & The People -- “Aimless”
What if Caturday was every day?
Twin Cities vets the Person & the People have chosen to live that fantasy in the video for their aptly titled “Aimless.” The video for the song is composed of a single shot of a man angry napping while his cats look on, envious of his extreme sloth. The song comes from the Person & the People's upcoming album, Unemployment Blues, which looks to carry on the theme of sedentary malaise, judging by the recently posted title track.
The LP will shrug its way into the world on October 28, and the band will be celebrating with two shows that weekend at charming south Minneapolis venue the Warming House.
Jae Havoc -- "Viva La Fam”
Coming out of Rochester, Minnesota, rapper Jae Havoc would be easy to miss if he didn’t have such a progressive and beastly sound leading the way.
Single “Viva La Fam” -- the newest from Havoc and Wondercloud Media -- is an unignorable anti-nostalgia banger that will make the rearview mirrors on your car rattle out of alignment. “The song is about looking back but also about how my generation and I got to where many of us are since we were kids,” Havoc says.
For millennials who grew up in the clutch of the W. Bush administration and housing-market crash, there’s an understandable level of skepticism and distrust, which Havoc captures perfectly in his generational teardown.
TekniTian -- “Shawshank Redemption”
Too many Straw-Ber-Ritas will make you act strange.
Between the 8 percent ABV and the stomach ache-inducing sweetness, it’s the fuel for some weird times. Shit, drink too many of them and you might just end up wearing a Halloween mask while you rap to a teddy bear on the train tracks.
That’s what happened to Rogers, Minnesota, emcee TekniTian, whose new video for “Shawshank Redemption” finds the bullet-fast rapper in dire mental straits with a fruity Budweiser by his side. Tek runs through his two-minute, 32-second song without a chorus or a breath -- channelling his madness through a blistering, idiosyncratic verse and some Morgan Freeman overdubs from the titular Stephen King adaptation.
Annie Enneking -- “Last Letter”
Annie Enneking of Annie and the Bang Bang dropped her solo EP, Lyndale and 24th, as a time capsule of her chaotic 20s in the Twin Cities back in the 1990s. “Last Letter,” the EP’s second track, reaches out to a past lover without any nostalgia to pad the reality.
“We fucked so hard we wound up with our heads at the foot of the bed,” Enneking overshares. “How come you never answered the last letter I sent?”
Filmed and edited by Maxwell Collyard, the video shows equally unpolished portraits of Enneking as she tours Hidden Beach, digging up old memories in the sand. It’s achingly honest and some of the Minneapolis songwriter’s most compelling work because of that. Catch Enneking's rock band -- Annie and the Bang Bang -- live on October 7 at the 331 Club.
Bionik -- “Ball Like Beijing” (feat. Lizzo)
Lizzo is certainly treated like a superhero in these parts, and Powerhouse Animation has finally taken ink to paper to make the bombastic emcee the crimefighter she’s destined to be.
In the video for local producer Bionik’s single “Ball Like Beijing,” the GRRRL PRTY rapper punches out suckas who dare cross her path in Samurai Jack-inspired action. Bionik plays sidekick, even though his teetering, robotic beat is the radioactive spider that gives Lizzo the power to blast her enemies. The video comes from Bionik’s June release The Way I Be, which also features stunts performed by Sarah White, Sophia Eris, and Manchita. It debuted via Red Bull last Thursday.
Bionik is currently on a national tour as we await his next transformative blockbuster. Lizzo -- who is goddamn everywhere lately -- is about to drop her Coconut Oil EP, which is due on Friday.