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Vintage cities, bathrobe resplendence, and small-town poetry in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos

A clip from the video for Ben Greenwald's 'Dirt.'

A clip from the video for Ben Greenwald's 'Dirt.' YouTube

You probably don’t have shit going on, do ya?

Now that everyone is self-quarantining and coronavirus is the only item in the news, the city feels deserted. The roads are empty. The businesses are closed. The stores are bare. It’s a horrifying time.

Nothing is untouched by COVID-19, and the local music scene is suffering. The good news is you can support it from your bunker by watching this week’s slew of new videos.

Ben Greenwald – “Dirt” (PREMIERE)

St. Paul musician Ben Greenwald is releasing his new record A Quite Peculiar Beast one song at a time every Tuesday until the end of April. Oh, would you look at that, his schedule aligns perfectly with Local Frames. His latest in this long-range vision is “Dirt,” a funky synth monster that comes accompanied by oversaturated stock footage of ’50s housewives. You’ve gotta imagine this was what it was like taking Black Beauties and inhaling cleaning fumes for eight hours a day.

Marc Conklin ft. Brian Larson – “Someday”

Marc Conklin can’t fuckin’ sing. That’s not a criticism, it’s the explicit message of the songwriter’s 2018 record Just Can’t Sing: The Midlife Crisis Vanity Album from Some Random Guy. But he can indeed write a tune, and he enlisted singer Brian Larson to deliver that message on “Someday.” The song is a lighthearted vindication. Conklin’s lyrics shine with the determination that, soon, someone will see his genius through all the layers of ambiguity. Comedian Jeff Pfoser acts out his frustration, playing 10 roles in the video, each more absurd than the last.

Aitas – “Small Town Tomato”

Central Minnesota’s Aitas came up in small towns, and they’re familiar with the limitations of staying in the same place your whole life. “Small Town Tomato” reckons with the stagnation of the American dream, the disillusionment that seeps in after working an all-day shift. While there is a certain magic to the video, every moment of carefree rural recreation is countered with the yearning to pack the van, venture out, and never look back.

LNJAY – “Black Girls Fly 2 (Intro)”

We’ve been featuring videos from north Minneapolis hip-hop group LNJAY in Local Frames for the past six years, and in that time, the soulful cousins have evolved greatly. After much ado, they released their debut record, Black Girls Fly 2, on Friday. The release came with a brand new video for the opening track, an R&B meditation directed by NewSchoolMedia. The song builds steadily, both Latasia and Jasharee cooing with anticipation as the camera circles them on a local playground.

The Legacy Arts Group – “Northside - From the Beautiful Ugly”

We close out this week with more love from the Northside. North High teacher Samuel Wilbur is hoping to bring the Legacy Arts Group to Edinburgh this summer to spread the loving message of “Northside - From the Beautiful Ugly” at the 2020 Fringe Festival, so they put together this video to help their cause. The group needs to raise $150,000 for the trip, so if you enjoy the video and the empowerment it brings, you can donate to their cause here.

Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]