Good on ol’ Bobby.
After winning himself a pretty damn fine mattress from the internet last year, Duluth native Bob Dylan became the first songwriter to ever win the Nobel Prize in Literature last week, thereby opening up the entire field of music to be considered alongside fiction, poetry, and drama. Like it should be.
Of course, this is a victory for Minnesota, too, as the inescapably local Dylan brought the Swedish prize back to the Gopher State for the first time since Sinclair Lewis did so in 1930. But that’s a pretty reductive way to look at it. I know the instinct here is to process everything through the cheesecloth of Minnesota pride, but this is much bigger than any of us. It’s a total revolution. One that can’t be localized.
This Is Daybreak -- “Wall of America”
This Donald Trump guy is trouble. I’m tellin’ ya.
But don’t believe me, the Liberal Media (which is definitely real and not a paranoid myth). Instead, take a listen to hyper-odd Minneapolis rock quintet This Is Daybreak. In their new single “Wall of America,” the surrealist political rockers (who were rhapsodizing Vladimir Putin last we saw them) animate the dire hellworld that a Trump presidency would usher in.
Though the illustrations (provided in brilliant mockery by David Karrow Caper) are apocalyptic, the song itself explores more of The Donald’s reprehensible psyche. Perhaps the wall that Trump built is around his heart. Perhaps his cold, morally bankrupt demeanor is a product of an inability to love. That’s what This Is Daybreak posit in their madcap anti-love letter. As Trump rides his eagle into outer space, AK-47 strapped on, he cannot hide from the band and their incisive eye.
Moshin Pictures -- “TOTWOTOO”
Moshin Pictures may have arrived to Minneapolis via asteroid.
The cosmic and bizarre emcee actually came from Rochester, Minnesota, and not the Ceres belt, but the 22-year-old feels otherworldly on his new track “TOTWOTOO.” Directed by Checho Freire, the video for “TOTWOTOO” shows Moshin getting lit in the rushing waters of the Minnesota wilderness as he remembers his latest brush with love.
The production on the track is the true spectacle. Nonlinear samples wind back and forth alongside the saturated shots of waterfalls, creating a hypnotic sensation. The vid leaves you feeling as faded as the song’s protagonist. A deep enough listen will have you mentally digging through your romantic past right along with Moshin.
Heatwave & Landman -- “Sugar Tree Shake”
Throwbacks feel great. Recently, we’ve seen a lot of bands hearkening back to the 1980s and even early 1990s, but fewer have dug back to the British Invasion era to bring that groovy pop-rock our parents fell in love to.
That’s exactly the mission of Heatwave & Landman, whose debut single “Sugar Tree Shake” zoomed in from yesteryear last week. Composed of former 4onthefloor bassist and drummer Chris Holm and Mark Larson, Heatwave & Landman have infused daisy-chained retro rock with hard-edged blues.
The duo’s debut, Introducing… Heatwave & Landman, won’t be out until January 20, but patient listeners can look forward to the release gig that same day at new Minneapolis venue Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge.
Emmaline Muchmore -- “Solid”
Emmaline Muchmore’s growth as an artist has reached a point of rebirth.
The electro-soul singer from Minneapolis has dedicated her new single “Solid” to Hillary Clinton, and that’s a perfect fit, as the chorus-driven statement revolves around several archetypes of female empowerment. Ultimately, the song positions Muchmore as the proud, strong, and, er, solid artist she’s been developing into over her career.
Muchmore even imitates Clinton in one section of the “Solid” video, standing firmly atop a podium. In other shots, she’s a gender-swapped James Bond or a sneering boxer. Any incarnation is an aesthetic match for the song’s determined and gritty backbeat. Muchmore’s new EP will be out this winter.
Ahem -- “Bottle Rocket” (PREMIERE)
Last week’s print edition featured an interview with Minneapolis fuzz-punks Ahem. If you didn’t read it, do. If you aren’t going to read it no matter what I say, indulge in the virile fun of their new single “Bottle Rocket.”
The song is as bright as fireworks, but only in the way that a basement band can be. “Bottle Rocket” is about the reluctant process of aging. At once, it copes with the inevitability of growing into the boredom of middle age, but it’s also a poppy screed that guards the flame an inch from the wick of those teenage dreams of rebellion.
“Bottle Rocket” is off Ahem’s debut Just Wanna Be, which was released this month via Forged Artifacts. They celebrated that drop last Friday at 331, and more local dates should follow.