And we’re back!
After a rare week off wherein I bathed in the sulfuric post-apocalyptia of the Salton Sea, Local Frames has returned with a debt owed to the hardworking musicians, directors, visual artists, and camera techs who kept the tape rolling over the Thanksgiving break.
Though this week’s roundup will focus on the videos sent to me in the last week -- and not the ones filling my inbox from two weeks ago -- I did want to take a quick moment in the intro to recognize the Blind Shake, DomOnEarth, Crunchy Kids, Rich Mattson & the Northstars, and Battlerat, who would’ve comprised the pre-Turkey Day roundup had there been one. Click all of them links to get caught up before reading on below.
ZULUZULUU -- “What’s the Price?”
Afro-futurists ZULUZULUU are by far the most exciting Minnesota band to come up in 2016.
That’s why they swept our Picked to Click best-new-band poll last month. And all that hype stems from their ephemeral, unknowable mystique. That’s why it’s almost a trip to see the gang driving around the Twin Cities and drinking Indeed like any other citizens. How can such high-minded musical prophets exist on the same plane as human beings?
In the video for EP title track “What’s the Price?,” the five-piece kick back and party at a Sound Verite party, nonchalantly weaving in the verses to their anti-cop-violence anthem (in a moment of non-levity, Greg Grease is slammed to the hood of a police car). With Adam J. Dunn behind the lens, the everyday appeal of ZULUZULUU comes into view. It’s not all metaphysical, meta-racial ponderings. Sometimes, you just gotta unwind.
Cold Sweat -- “On You” (feat. the Frantic Ballerinas and Funky Josh)
We make few exceptions here at Local Frames, but every once in awhile, a talent from beyond state lines comes along that deserves a shout. Meet Minot, N.D., rapper Cold Sweat, who comes to us with a video for his new kooky song “On You.”
You may have seen Cold Sweat on bills with Minnesota locals like Manny Phesto, Kill the Vultures, Sean Anonymous, Toki Wright, Finding Novyon, and Baby Shel, so he’s practically a local. Plus, “On You” features Sweat’s brother Funky Josh, who has called Minnesota home in the past. Also featured are Panamanian/Canadian trio the Frantic Ballerinas.
Coincidentally, Panama is also the setting for the “On You” video. As Sweat and his brother scamper around Panama City, they’re watched over by the bewitching Ballerinas, who imbue the track with a mystical touch that keeps Sweat running in verse after verse. Cold Sweat has no shows planned in the Land of 10,000 so far, but look out for him if you’re west of the border and looking for a guaranteed good time.
Keegan White -- “Almost Kissed You” (feat. Johanna Mathews)
Tenderhearted singer-songwriter Keegan White is also not native to our state, but the Seattle-born Americana artist now calls St. Paul home. For the latest video off his March EP Return, White enlists the wispy, homey vocals of Minneapolis’ Johanna Mathews to tell the story on “Almost Kissed You.”
The video, which is directed by White and produced by Aurora Borealis Pictures, shows the journey of two lovers in the heartland -- a conceit that’d feel cliche with less earnest backing. With White and Mathews emoting warmly across the campfire guitars, “Almost Kissed You” is a genuine tear-jerker for the long winter nights ahead.
White plays 7th St. Entry on December 12 with Hailey Ward and the Scouting Report.
Pharaomones -- “The Dayz” (Remix)
The feel-good Minneapolis rapper Excel is no stranger to Local Frames, but when Ex joins with fellow Prosaic Minds representative King Kamaal, they become the spiritual supergroup Pharaomones. Over a cooing, sample-rich beat, the two look back at their rambunctious childhoods, reminiscing lightheartedly about run-ins with the cops, drunk driving, and general teenage fuckery on the remix to “The Dayz.”
Given 2016’s track record of police brutality, there is still an enduring call for social change. Excel and Kamaal deliver that message in a summery package that humanizes the depth of the problem. By rapping with blacktop candor, the two wrap their progressive social roots in a fun, repeatedly listenable package.
No plans for a more formal, album-length collaboration have been announced, but judging by the chemistry on “The Dayz,” Excel and Kamaal have a lot left to feature.
Dima Kash -- “See What I See” (feat. Baby Shel and Dom Milli)
Despite being a non-album release and really not fitting the Rhymesayers milieu of the early 2000s, “Sunshine” has become one of Atmosphere’s most enduring hits.
It may be Slug’s lighthearted, dadly tale of overcoming a hangover, but it also might be Ant’s sample-driven, bright-as-summer beat infecting all who listen. Minneapolis-based Russian expat Dima Kash was drawn to the latter. So he tabbed Baby Shel and Dom Milli to join him in a remix of the Sad Clown Bad Summer classic, dubbing the collaboration “See What I See.”
Instead of celebrating the glory of an unexpectedly nice day, Kash takes the beat into the night, rapping from the tattoo chair as he bumps and boasts. Shel and Milli do the same, popping up in underpasses and parking lots. They keep the verses slow and relaxed, but in terms of content, it’s a lot darker than Slug may have intended for the blithe keys Ant delivered. At any rate, the Rhymesayers honcho must’ve been pleased because he tweeted out the remix when it dropped on Thanksgiving Eve.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]