It’s so easy to ignore things.
We're assaulted by an ever-expanding glut of information daily. It’s to the point where filtering has become a survival instinct -- without it, you’d be strapped to a monitor all day, absorbing stimuli till your brain liquefied. Eventually, you learn how to get by, and disregarding everything you see becomes an instinct.
In times like these, attention is more valuable than ever. More people are fighting for the few seconds your eyeballs linger on any given page, and more content is being formulated to keep them there. Think about how much power your attention holds. In a world of unworthy things to be ignored, direct your attention to something worthy -- in this specific case, the hard work of your local musicians and videographers.
V.I.C.E. Boys -- “In the Air” (PREMIERE)
Minneapolis rap crew V.I.C.E. Boys turn everything they touch into a glorious hip-hop cliché. In their newest video for “In the Air,” the team of RoDizzyy, Chvnsv, Connor Marques, and Yahiko find their way into a historic Minnesota mansion and turn it into a rollicking club within moments.
Brought to life by the group’s de facto director, Nate P., “In the Air” is almost a short-form documentary about what would happen if the young, volatile rap group were to catch the fame and fortune they’re chasing. It doesn’t look good for the old-money aristocrats of the world. But for anyone who’s into black lights and drinking until you slip into another dimension, this video is a good omen.
(See if you can spot Finding Novyon enjoying the fantasy at one point in the video.)
Nick Jordan -- “Petty”
One of last year's best surprises was the emergence of singer Nick Jordan, who rose from relative obscurity to capture the Strib’s 2017 Are You Local? prize. Jordan’s music is eclectic and thrumming, seeming to flow from the divine spirit in his voice. But there's an unmistakable humanity to Jordan’s lyrics, an element that undercuts his near-godly allure.
That’s the story of “Petty,” his latest single. In the video, Jordan sits for a “avant-garde, ritualistic tea party” (with dancers Desaré Cox, Christlo Gittens, Albert Conteh, Russell Vernell Smith Jr., Cait Obrien-Baker, Saharla Vetsch, and Christopher Patino) that eventually erupts into a blithe dance party as he confesses his vices. Jordan’s new EP Dividends is out on August 4, but before that, you can see him play Basilica Block Party on July 7.
The Usual Things -- “Plans”
Ever come across a Facebook friend whose name you don’t recognize, only to click on the profile and discover it's an ex-lover under their new married name? That’s exactly the scenario that spurred the Usual Things’ new song “Plans” into glistening, power-poppy existence.
After an ill-fated browsing session, frontman Aaron Shekey does whatever it takes to shake the memory of his lost love. He takes a dip in a public pool, plays a gig, has a drink at Lakes & Legends, but ultimately, nothing works. Shekey (who also directed and edited the video) is doomed to his memories, a lesson he accepts with quiet defeat.
The Usual Things release their latest album Backup Plans on June 29 with a show at the 7th St. Entry. The Modern Era opens.
Telamones -- “Three to Tango”
The duo of Zach Gonet and Chris Wald, collectively known as Telamones, has a striking hard-edged pop sound not commonly heard in the Twin Cities scene. Think Arctic Monkey and Queens of the Stone Age forming a supergroup and targeting their efforts at the UK charts.
For their new video for “Three to Tango,” Telamones only needed some proto-internet graphics and a few gel filters to make the quick-pulse ripper into a fun, otherworldly, riff-filled visual. Wald was the man behind this vision.
EL.i.BE (Ft. O-Lay) -- “Balance”
Like all Twin Citians, local rapper EL.i.BE witnessed to the shocking tape of Philando Castile’s shooting last week. That footage, coupled with the court’s failure to convict Castile’s killer, Jeronimo Yanez, left EL.i.BE feeling hopeless, so he called up his friend and confidant O-Lay to process some of his emotions.
The result is “Balance,” a dumbfounded, desperate plea for peace and understanding. Video director Benji Cooper keeps the visuals uncomplicated and humanistic, showing only the two rappers as they throw their hands up in surrender and tell their side of the story.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]