If Minnesota is such a strong music scene, why don’t more local bands break out on the national level?
This is a question I’ve discussed with a lot of local artists. Everyone knows the Twin Cities are a hotbed for bands and musicians, and it’s fairly easy for startups to catch on. But it’s much more rare to see a band get big here and then crossover to national success.
You can count on two hands the local artists who’ve done this in the past five years. Lizzo, Alan Kingdom, Hippo Campus, and Night Moves (see below), among a few others, have done so. Others, like Howler and the Stand4rd, appeared to rise up more from the internet than the clubs.
Minnesota is an incubator, but it seems like it can be a insulator as well. It’s a phenomenon I’ll be tracking for a longer piece down the road.
S. Madison -- “Humble”
There are probably better ways to keep your flossin’ from your paternity lawyer than making a music video featuring a mustang on 100-inch rims, but Chicago transplant S. Madison couldn’t help himself from having some fun.
In the video for his ironically titled “Humble,” he shows off how he’s been spending the money his baby momma doesn’t know exists, all the while encouraging viewers to keep it between the two of them. There’s obviously a moral objection to Madison spending his child support on ballin’, but “Humble” is about more than skirting parental responsibilities. It’s about taking ownership of what’s rightfully yours and not letting life slow down your fun.
The song comes from Madison’s upcoming EP Cry Wolf, which doesn’t have a release date yet.
Night Moves -- “Carl Sagan”
Night Moves’ sophomore LP Pennied Days came out way back in April, but the Minneapolis duo just finally got around to releasing a video for lead single “Carl Sagan,” which premiered via Stereogum last Thursday.
In the video, the pair of John Pelant and Micky Alfano cruise the bleak California desert, eventually coming to a sort of Thelma and Louise moment with a dust storm. Pelant’s funky and delicate falsetto leads the way, reminding you just how damn good Pennied Days was. If there was ever a reason to go back and pull it out, this video is it. Under the direction of Brook Linder, Night Moves create a perfect visual interpretation of their spacy, groove-filled record.
The video is also a reminder that Night Moves are currently tour on the West Coast with fellow Minnesotan Haley Bonar, and they’ll be heading to Europe together in early 2017.
Bash & Pop -- “On The Rocks”
I don’t love a lyric video. They’re kind of corny and almost always annoying to watch. But this is Tommy fucking Stinson, so I had to feature the new video for his band Bash & Pop’s “On the Rocks.”
The video pulls together footage from the past two years since the post-Replacements Stinson vehicle (sorta, kinda) reunited, playing them back on a haggard iPhone that’s blowing up with texts that display the lyrics. You should go ahead and call that number, by the way. It’s 605-475-6962. Just call it.
Bash & Pop will release their long-awaited sophomore album, Anything Could Happen, on January 24. The band will soon announce tour dates, which will include a stop at the 7th Street Entry. That show will sell out fast, so keep your eyes peeled, ‘Mats superfans.
The New Granadas -- “Address Unknown”
Told through a roving fisheye lens, the New Granadas’ “Address Unknown” music vido captures the disorienting journey of a band trying to make a career work.
With internal shots of a jukebox intercut with trains and highways, frontman/video director Mark Har aptly symbolizes the mechanics of being a working band. The song itself is about dealing with the unknown and, to borrow from the closing refrain, “moving along.” “Address Unknown” comes from The New Granadas EP, a collection of similarly folksy and forlorn tunes, which was released back in May.
The New Granadas play Gluek’s on Friday if you’re digging what you see here (and what we saw from the “Ghost” video back in April).
Karah -- “Ready To Fall” (feat. Jake Bugella)
While “I Am” was a song about determination in the face of a failing relationship, “Ready to Fall” finds Karah at a place of acceptance. Having successfully moved on from the boy in the previous video, Karah falls head over heels for New-York-by-way-of-the-Twin-Cities rapper Jake Bugella. Bugella also appeared in the “I Am” video, offering hope, but here he plans a romantic getaway and throws in a verse for the screen couple’s pro-closure collaboration.
I can’t help but feel there’s gonna be some sort of falling out in the third and final edition to this series -- presumably where her relationship with Bugella disintegrates and the cycle restarts -- but “Ready to Fall” is so hopeful it’s almost crushing to think that. We’ll have to hang on until the talented youngster reappears here to show us the conclusion, which we’ll definitely be featuring here in Local Frames.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]