It’s all love, baby.
Valentine’s Day is traditionally a celebration of romantic love, but here in Minneapolis/St. Paul, it’s always about scene love. That magical, unwavering homerism that Dessa sang about on A Badly Broken Code. It’s a vibe that largely defines the Twin Cities, and all backhanded implications aside, this week, we celebrate that love.
To be defined by love is a powerful thing. Especially in this time of state-sponsored hatred, these towns feel like an oasis. It’s warm. It’s fuzzy. It’s outright corny. But it’s our birthright. Happy Valentine’s Day, lovebirds. Here’s some seasonal PDA to go with your perpetual local-music boner.
Rich Garvey -- “Then They Gotchu”
This column has covered nearly a dozen anti-police anthems from the black community since the slaying of Philando Castile. Now, Minneapolis-by-way-of-Liberia lyricist Rich Garvey adds his voice to the fray with “Then They Gotchu,” the second video off his new EP Man of the People.
Garvey begins his Nathan Ejuwa video with pop culture references illustrating the judicial disadvantage black and brown people face. Clips from cultural touchstones like To Kill a Mockingbird and Looney Tunes show how cultural disadvantage is woven into media, and Garvey's lyrics run down the racial targeting he’s seen in his life – anecdotes translated into too-real visions in the video.
The Everett Interpretation -- “Laniakea”
St. Paul band The Everett Interpretation’s latest instrumental single “Laniakea” embeds something mesmerizing in its swirl of guero, island guitar, and no-snare drumming. Hearkening back to the indie-rock sounds of Minus the Bear and Wolf Parade, the quintet of Peter Campanelli, Teagan Devoe, Luca Cherubini, Joshua Wentland, and Austin Lombardo groove in hypnotic circles.
To recreate this feeling visually, the Everett Interpretation enlisted Zeke Erickson to turn in a kaleidoscope that swirls and pulsates like the maw of some extra-dimensional Dr. Strange villain. In reality, it’s just a static shot that heavily features the ass of an Australian cattle dog, but that only goes to show you that trippy shit exists all around us, hiding in the mundane.
“Laniakea” comes from the band’s debut LP Tangerine Screams, released last Friday.
Good Luck Finding Iris -- “Morning Crawls Towards You and I”
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, our next video is a perfect companion to the last. It comes from Everett Interpretation’s Subaquatic Records labelmate Good Luck Finding Iris.
Unlike the previous video, Good Luck Finding Iris’s “Morning Crawls Towards You and I” is a live session. And it’s got vocals, don’t worry. By capturing the song in vivo, returning director Zeke Erickson shows the band’s warmth and cohesion. With Michaela Stein’s somber, Imogen Heap-y vocals leading over the tight collection of strings, you feel merely inches from her as she sings the hurt away.
Good Luck Finding Iris released their debut seven-inch in January. The tape includes “Morning Crawls Towards You and I” as well as the b-side “Color Me.”
SickDaPunchliner -- “Red Light” (Ft. Choppa Ruuso)
SickDaPunchliner demands to be taken seriously. The Minneapolis rhymer has been all over Local Frames in the last 10 months, extolling his take-no-prisoners philosophy on the rap game. But Sick’s latest single “Red Light,” which features fellow hard-as-fuck Minneapolitan rapper Choppa Ruuso, may be the most impressive expression of his realness to date.
With a sleek visual provided by Hi-Def, Sick runs down the pretenders in his industry, exposing the rappers who pose and posture in other videos. Bar after bar, he fires lyrical shots across the bow of anyone who dares doubt his supremacy on the mic. Hardly a fresh topic in the hip-hop world, and Sick knows it, but he’s never backed up his claims so convincingly as here.
4th Curtis -- “Anjali”
This video benefits from some context. Read this uplifting profile of 4th Curtis by Grace Thomas first. Then, like the disclaimer at the beginning of the video tells you, make sure you’re not with your grandpa. Get ready for radical garage rock. Then press play.
“Anjali” is a love song for the post-gender-binary world. Telling the story of the singer’s longing for a seemingly straight girl named Anjali, the song jangles along the line between poor taste and sweet sentiment, making it a perfect storm for any anxious, socially repressed, or otherwise awkward folks in the audience. 4th Curtis will release their debut album I Won the Pageant on February 26, playing alongside an all-star group of locals consisting of Tony Peachka, Lydia Liza, and Ahem.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]