They say how you start the year is how you’ll end it. Well, that’s what The OC said, anyway.
Regardless, that little bit of twee wisdom holds true, which is why so much garbage about intention setting emerges in early January. The symbolism of beginning anew is everywhere, and it’s worth heeding the implications of starting the year off right.
Here at Local Frames, I’m dedicating this year to more of the same. I’ll continue to put on rising talent, support establishing talent, and give this state’s filmmakers a place to let their work shine. I’m committed to doing the most I can with these few weekly column inches and contouring this spotlight to those who truly deserve it.
To those ends, we have 2017’s first featured vids below. This week, I’m focusing on new names. In one case, that’s extremely literal, and in another, the most figurative. In either case, get to know these artists. If this column works the way it’s supposed to, you’ll be hearing a lot more from them this year.
The Pour Organs -- “Lucifer Rising”
Any video that begins with one of the band members burning a nativity scene is sure to catch attention, and the blasphemy from the Pour Organs doesn’t stop there.
Even though the visual piece for their debut single, “Lucifer Rising,” is technically a lyric video, the psychedelic stomp rockers superimpose a Darth Vader mask on a crucifix while urging listeners to “haunt these holy house / And crush precious belief.” St. Paul filmmaker Christian Spraungle brings the sacrilege to life from the Signaturetone Recording studio in Richfield, showing the no-genres-barred rockers breaking down the barriers between punk, country rock, and even death metal.
“Lucifer Rising” will be featured on the Pour Organs’s debut EP this summer. Protest their show with holy indignation on January 21 at 331 Club, where they'll play with Die Ghost and Dude Corea.
Another Heaven -- “Sugar”
Hollow Boys are no more. We’ve dealt with the rebrand before (listen to the dang podcast). The takeaway from the transition is this -- even as Another Heaven, the band is gonna be making some some of the gloomiest, shoe-gazieist pop music on the local circuit.
“Sugar” is here to assuage any worries you might have about the aesthetic turning over with the name. With visuals provided by Twin Cities superguitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker, Another Heaven introduce themselves and their new single in a kaleidoscopic blur shot through the bottom of a beer bottle. Though the band never comes into full focus, you can feel the dreary, emotive aesthetic they're maintaining very clearly.
“Sugar,” and perhaps its B-side “Operator,” will be on Another Heaven’s debut EP, which is due out this spring.
The Awful Truth -- “Glisten”
On Friday, the Awful Truth dropped their new album, Glisten. And if you missed their record-release show on Saturday, they’re following the festivities with a glitter-rich video that takes the album’s title track to very literal ends.
Swimming in layers of gold and silver foil, the group of Brent Colbert, Laurie Geving, Stephen Sokolouski, and Chris Madden languish in gold light, playfully blowing glitter toward the camera. Suitably filmed by Glitter Hog Studios, the “Glisten” video is obtuse and hilarious, pairing nicely with the eerie psych-folk of the song itself. But inside all the strangeness is a gentle warmth that’s capitulated in the song’s chorus. It’s an unsettling assurance -- one that haunts as much as it comforts.
Read more about the Awful Truth’s new album in Youa Vang’s recent feature with the band.
Bona Phide -- “This Is How We Roll”
Rap can be a fuckin’ homogenous genre, especially on the local level. But every once in awhile, an artist like Bona Phide comes along to remind you how different things can be.
Phide looks like an assistant brewer at an ale factory in Northeast, but he raps like a disciple of Scarface’s Houston old school. “This Is How We Roll” is the first the Twin Cities have heard from the esoteric Phide, and it’s not a song that’ll be erased from memory soon. Much of “This Is How We Roll” finds Phide running down average rappers, all while he sits with his boys around a winter campfire, emphasizing his status as a hip-hop outsider. However, the song itself is catchy and hook-driven enough to live alongside most of the contemporary radio rap in the scene right now.
The song comes from Bona Phide’s upcoming debut project The Head Nod Theory Vol 1. If the title is any indication, “This Is How We Roll” won’t be the only earworm in the tracklist.
KPW -- “Please” and “Serpent’s Talents”
At the end of the Mike Dreams video for “Change Up,” the gun-running priest gets away while Dreams is sent to jail, leaving the question of what happens next up in the air.
Now, Jake Handegard of Morningside Films has returned with Minneapolis rapper KPW to tell the end of the story he began in “Change Up.” The video he follows up with features a pair of KPW songs from his recent release Please Don't Test God -- “Please” and “Serpent’s Talents.” It opens with the priest leaving the church unscathed, revealing his own venomous message for the sinners.
It’s a fitting counter to the Pour Organs’s opening salvo, as KPW’s voice seethes with the wrath of God through both songs.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]