Prince's death was hardly the end.
Though it’s been a full year since Prince breathed his last, the creative explosion that followed has lost no momentum. Prince’s life was a gift; his death was a trial. But it has led to an infinity of inspiration.
This past weekend, musicians and fans gathered outside First Ave -- the House the Prince Built -- to celebrate what he left us. This will likely become an annual event, an occasionremember the man in purple who changed -- and continues to change -- Minnesota forever.
Jillian Rae -- “When Doves Cry” (Prince cover)
Dig if you will this reconstruction of “When Doves Cry” by heartfelt singer-songwriter Jillian Rae. Rae chose the Prince classic because it’s always been her favorite, but she doesn't settle for a mere faithful interpretation. Instead, she borrowed a bit of the Purple One’s inventiveness and strummed out a simmering, slow-burn cover that adds rootsiness and ache to an already sultry composition.
Filmed by Harry Reynolds at The Library, the video is a live tracking of Rae and her band as they experiment their way to a new rendition. Rae finger-picks her violin and processes it through a funkified panel of pedals, turning it into an axe of her own. In one last tribute to Prince, Rae is donating all proceeds from downloads of the song to Little Kids Rock, a music education charity Prince himself supported.
Kendrick Evans -- “I Talked It Over” (Ft. BeBe Winans)
OK, let’s start with the obvious here: Kendrick Evans is from Florida. BeBe Winans is a Detroit gospel legend. Why are they here together in Local Frames? Well, the 25-year-old Evans is a signee to Minnesota’s own Rock the Cause records, and the label should be proud to bring such a talent to its hometown audience.
The song is featured as part of the CW’s My Last Days -- basically the network’s version of the Make a Wish Foundation. When Evans was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening form of sleep apnea and given three years to live, he dedicated that time to making music with meaning. The CW hooked him up with Winans to duet on a soaring gospel standard, and together the two create a message of hope despite the tragic circumstances leading to their collaboration.
Pert Near Sandstone -- “Getaway”
Pert Near Sandstone are a greasy good time. With vocals that sound like they’re coming over a trucker’s two-way and a steel guitar that pulses like a redlining speedometer, there’s a renegade sense of indulgence in their music, as featured on new single “Getaway.”
For the video, director Nicole Brending adds a sense of playfulness to Pert Near Sandstone’s desperado zinger, placing guitarist J Lenz in a cardboard car as he flees imaginary police. The juxtaposition works: For a band that’s formulated for good times, committing full-stop to the badass-on-the-lam motif would ring untrue. But with a cellophane windshield and a paper-plate steering wheel, Kniebel seems more like a kid playing Wild West in his bedroom while channeling the lawlessness of Pert Near Sandstone’s song.
Jessica Manning -- “What If I Run”
Minimalist mood-maker Jessica Manning knows a lot about fear. The Swedish-born lo-fi R&B singer just released her new video for “What If I Run” via MySpace, which reveals the meaning behind her lyrics.
In the interview with MySpace, she said the song is inspired by the fears of inadequacy she had in a recent relationship. The song then turns to discuss the everyday anxieties we all live with and the temptation to flee instead of confronting them. Director Andrew Hatling and cinematographer Cherith Simmons gave “What If I Run” lots of room to inhabit this feeling, with Manning alone in a stark gray world, only the odd house plant joining her in frame.
Coldhearted Ent. -- "Rewind"
Speakeasy the Rhymesmith, G.Scott, and Skaze make up Minneapolis hip-hop trio Coldhearted Ent. On their new song “Rewind,” they take a minute to reflect on a harshening world full of misunderstanding. With Speakeasy’s tightly wound verses leading the way, the group take to a rail yard in South Minneapolis to try and shake the Twin Cities awake.
Shine (of the similarly named Hypothermic Ent.) frames Coldhearted Ent. in black and white, humanizing their plea. The nostalgic feel ties right in with the song’s title and chorus, both of which cry out for a return to simpler, more empathetic times. The Frozen Cold Tapes EP will be out next month.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]