How do you maintain hope in times like these?
A porn star is suing the president, Facebook is meme-ing its way to a domestic coup, and we’re on our fourth January. 2018 has been a banner year for hopelessness—and we’re only three and a half months in. It’s tempting to throw up your hands and dismiss the very concept of humanity.
In times like these we have to thank the Creator for music. For all its philosophical value, music is at its best when it’s an escape. A distraction from the perils of the would. A serum of hope when you though all beauty in the world was compromised. Here are five beacons to get you through another week of hell on this planet.
Prof ft. Cashinova—“No”
Prof is always misbehaving, so it’s no wonder director Tomas Aksamit reached back to high school for the sophomoric rapper’s latest video. “No” is the latest single off Prof’s latest LP, Pookie Baby, which dropped on Rhymesayers last Friday. In the video, Prof and cohort Cashinova run roughshod over the student body, turning a school bus into a throwdown.
Ice Palace—“Silence Is Clean”
“Maybe [this] video will add some warmth to people's lives during the never-ending winter that Minnesota is having.” Those are the words of Ice Palace’s Adam Sorensen, who despite his band’s boreal name, brings a vision of summer with the band’s new video for “Silence Is Clean.” Students of the Minnesota music scene will note that it’s been nine years since we last heard from Ice Palace, but this sweetly strummed summer missive comes with the announcement of a new album, How I Came to Win the War, which is slated for an August release on Korda Records.
God bless the absurdist escape that is MURF. The off-the-wall noise-punk band has captured the heart of the underground with their irreverent humor. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look no further than the zonked-out death-cult infomercial that is their video for “Nukem.” Director Evan Clark captures the chaos of an exercise cult as they pay sacrifice to their disembodied leader, who commands violence. “Nukem” is from MURF’s self-titled first record, which will be celebrated with a release show May 6 at Mortimer’s.
Becky Kapell—“That Certain Ache”
On May 18, St. Paul songwriter Becky Kapell will release That Certain Ache, and she’s just debuted the video for that album’s title track. Director Sarah Jean Shervin frames the video for “That Certain Ache” as a meditation on loneliness, using extreme closeups of a baroque Constance Hanson mural and Kapell herself to show how grief can seep into every detail of a piece of art. Get another taste of what’s to come on the record at Barely Brothers Records on Record Store Day, when Kapell releases the 7-inch single for “That Certain Ache.”
The Plott Hounds—“$7.29 and a Pair of Boots”
If you need to have a good time, put on Lost Summer Day, the latest from outlaw country band the Plott Hounds. The Iowa-Minnesota contingent play the kind of music that any schlub with a soul and a foot to tap can get into. Their new video for “$7.29 and a Pair of Boots” captures the Plott Hounds in vivo as they trade licks and growls in front of a galvanized audience. If the Steve Diamond Elements-directed video gives you the giddyup, you can catch the Plott Hounds April 21 at U4ic Brewing in Belle Plaine and April 27 at the Doghouse in St. Paul.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected].