On Thursday, the annual Picked to Click ballots went out, prompting the now-traditional blowback from folks who think the idea of ranking art is absurd. I’ll admit that it is totally inane to try to objectively evaluate any kind of music. But that’s not what P2C is about.
As you’re filling out your Picked to Click ballots (or, if you’re not in the voting community, reading through other people’s ballots), remember that the process is totally subjective. It’s a measurement of taste and not talent. It’s not about saying Fraea is objectively better than ZULUZULUU, it’s about saying you enjoyed Fraea’s music more over the past year. It’s about rewarding those you think deserve recognition. There’s no right or wrong. There’s only a collective opinion.
If that doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in contributing to, I’d encourage you to leave your ballot blank. You’re not helping any artists by bellyaching in the comments.
Sake Red -- “Philando”
We’re a long way from peace in the wake of the cop-committed killing of Philando Castile. It’s been two and a half months since the St. Paul father was gunned down, and there’s still no resolution in sight.
Pine City, Minnesota, emcee Sake Red has had some time to meditate on the situation, and he’s here to share his vision of mutual understanding. In his new song “Philando,” Sake Red takes to a Joyner Lucas beat and imagines himself first as Philando, starting his day joyfully, until he gets pulled over for a tail light he knows he forgot to fix. The tragedy carries out from his perspective. But, in the next verse, Red flips the narrative, taking it from the cop’s perspective and trying to rationalize his history and distrust with his action. In the last verse, Red returns to himself, discovering the news via Facebook and reliving the outrage -- and eventual journey to understanding.
The song isn’t justice, but it’s a convincing plea for compassion in the face of injustice.
Dusty Heart -- "Timbre and Trail"
Some harmonies can render you dusty-eyed and somber regardless of the context or content. Barbara Jean and Molly Dean of Dusty Heart have that rural campfire chemistry that can make you lose all tension in your jaw, and they showcase that power in the video for their new single “Timbre and Trail.”
It seems effortless. As Jean and Dean sing in the wooded fields of Minnesota, they unlock an innate comfort dwelling inside. “Free the echo,” they sing as the song closes, “deep down below.” They know exactly what they’re capable of evoking, and director Sarah Jean Shervin knew the perfect way to bring that arresting feeling to film.
The pair celebrate the “Timbre and Trail” video release at the Turf Club on Thursday. Erik Koskinen, J. T. Bates, and Jef Sundquist will be sitting in on their band, and Joe George and BBGUN will handle opening duties.
Sims -- "OneHundred"
Sims is great.
Every time Doomtree takes the stage, Sims explodes out of the crowd, bringing nearly unprecedented hype. For reference, see any live performance of “Spill Me Up.” That’s why it’s so great to see Sims coming back with another record. “OneHundred” is the lead single from Sims’ forthcoming More Than Ever, which is out November 4.
The video (which was directed by Otis N. Stanley and debuted via The A.V. Club) is like a A$AP Ferg album cover come to life. Sims sits in a leather throne overseeing a bunch of really bizarre activity in retro pastels. The video represents an aesthetic progression for Sims, who’s moving from being the uber-talented underdog to the bombastic power pack he was always meant to be. Hopefully More Than Ever’s follow-up goes just as hard.
Enemy Planes -- “Stranger Danger”
The A.V. Club had a big pro-Minneapolis week. In addition to the visual from Sims, they also debuted the newest from Enemy Planes entitled “Stranger Danger.”
The chilling Beta Lowdown cut is brought to life by frontman Casey Call, who knows how to engender creepiness by focusing on the human body. His muse is the mouth -- the second creepiest human orifice -- which is captured in thick paint and shaky zooms as the song crunches on.
Enemy Planes are currently on a national tour somewhere in the Great Lakes region, but they’ll be back for a TBA show in Minneapolis on October 12. Once those details are announced, grab a bag of gummy worms and hand them over to Call and his bandmates and see if you can’t get them to creep out the entire crowd.
Communist Daughter -- “Roll a Stone”
You’re probably not gonna win a lot of respect as a motorcycle gang if your band is named after a Neutral Milk Hotel song.
Well, Twin Cities indie-pop band Communist Daughter aren’t really out for bar brawls and meth deals. In “Roll a Stone” their band of vintage motorcycle enthusiasts hit the road for Dairy Queen, waffle fries, and big-ass bonfires -- an idyllic summer ride that mirrors the song’s carefree and resplendent feel.
The band is still raising money to press and release their sophomore album, and parties interested in seeing more of their two-wheeled hijinks can contribute here. Com Dot are doing a quick jaunt across the Midwest, but they’ll be back home on October 21 to play an in-store at Electric Fetus.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]