I’ve made a point of featuring these politically minded videos at Local Frames not because I always agree with the viewpoint expressed but because music can provide an important historical record of an era. Look back on the age of Nixon and Vietnam. The music of that time has endured as the voice of the public, completely coloring the way we remember history.
We find ourselves again in a time where music expresses the people's voice. Only now the historical record is muddled with more contributors than ever. It can make protest music feel like a futile gesture. It can make an audience apathetic. But if a featured video on a local list can help keep that rebellion burning, the history books will be better for it.
Yare -- “L.O.L.”
M&A Productions has had a busy summer, setting up Derrick Branch, Lewiee Blaze, and Scoundrel Spence, among many others. But never has the Minnesota go-to company’s sense of humor been so proudly displayed as on Yare’s “L.O.L. (Land of the Lakes).”
In “L.O.L.,” Yare does his best Euron Greyjoy impression, sailing down the Mississippi, wearing a pirate's eye patch. The Minneapolis skateboard rapper never resorts to pillaging though, instead settling for a party on the deck, proclaiming his greatness from the gunwale.
Maksha -- “Can’t Ban This”
“Nature trap” artist Maksha has a blithe affinity for the natural world, blending its simple nobility with his own life experience. Last time the St. Paul producer was featured in Local Frames, he was transposing his meditative beats over educational films on plant germination. For his new single, “Can’t Ban This,” he’s brought more of his personality to the visual, running a Ray Barbee skate video over footage of bees pollinating.
Maksha calls the video an “homage to what has got me here to where and who I am,” alluding to the many pollinations that created his style. There’s no saying what other influences rest inside Maksha’s opaque, transfixing music, but future videos from the young multi-talent should reveal even more layers of complexity.
DellGotBeatz (ft. Zeus James, Knucky, and Jessie Hollie) -- “Do 4 Love”
DellGotBeatz must’ve just seen All Eyez on Me, because the Minnesota producer/engineer took it upon himself to serve up a reworking of the Tupac classic “I Do for Love” to a coalition of locals who do the late rapper justice. DellGotBeatz removes most the percussion and threads the track with Jessie Hollie’s earnest vocals for a remix that barely resembles the original Ken Karlin/ Soulshock track.
Rappers Zeus James and Knucky tell dueling stories of love here. Zeus runs down his troubles with an untrusting lover, whereas Knucky uses his verse to bless his partner for her commitment. Together, the two verses showcase the duality and difficulty of love, a message that resonates deeply with the original Tupac track.
Softporecorn -- "Plentea”
Hands are weird. Grippy little tentacle hubs sprouting from the stump of your arm. Ew. But leave it to trippy locals Softporecorn to take the weirdness of hands to the next level. In the Common Culture-directed video for their new single “Plentea,” the band focus in on their palms and begin to see the world with carpal tunnel vision.
The strange journey only gets more perplexing as the talking-hand-led rappers stumble around town in a Hunter S. Thompson stupor. “Plentea” comes from Softporecorn’s April EP Half Awake; Half Alive.
26 Bats! -- “Teriyaki Sundress”
26 Bats! operates under the manifesto that their music will have “no intentions of the boundaries of a genre.” Though that makes for an inconsistent listen, the Kriyative Emblems of a Blue Soul Renaissance members have already released a slew of songs that prove consistency is overrated
The latest result of their winding musical experiment is the instrumental track “Teriyaki Sundress,” which is stop-motion-illustrated by 26 Bats! leader Bailey Corgan. The brisk 1:29 tune shows influences of calypso, ‘80s pop rock, jam band psychedelia, and freak jazz – all words that mean nothing to these creative sojourners.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]