In this week’s local music column, we listen locally but think globally. Or something like that. Just read on, it’ll make sense.
Psymun’s Tracks Highlight FKA Twigs’ Caprisongs
Has FKA Twigs ever set foot in Minnesota except to perform? I don’t know and I don’t care. What I am aware of is that Twin Cities producer Psymun has two production credits on her new “mixtape” Caprisongs (named apparently for everyone’s favorite pouched childhood beverage), thereby making that album (and indeed Twigs’ full oeuvre) local music by proxy. The dominant sound on “Careless,” besides Twigs’ own layered vocals, is what sounds like a synthesizer learning to speak; “Darjeeling” cuts a gentle harp-like backing with drum skitters out of a late ’90s Timbaland track. Locally, Psymun may be best known as a founding member of thestand4rd and for his collaborations with Dua Saleh, but this is hardly Psymun’s first brush with high-profile artists—in the past he’s worked with The Weeknd, Juice Wrld, Young Thug, Gunna, and more. You can listen to his full writing/production playlist here—I guess everyone here is now, by my twisted logic, also a local musician? This is a dangerous game I’m playing here.
Is Pitbull Also Local Music?
This is a tricky question, because, as Mr. Worldwide, Pitbull is local music wherever he goes. His skull is literally a globe. But his saxophonist/guitarist, Lucia Sarmiento, is a (Peruvian-born) Minneapolis jazz musician, which sure tips the scales in our favor. This week she spoke about her Pitbull experiences and much more with percussionist Paul Jennings. (Thanks to Racket contributor/pal Jay Gabler over at the Current for the rip-offable Sarmiento write-up.)
Bundle Up, Dummies, It’s Festival Season
OK, not quite yet. But it’s festival announcement season, which is more fun in some ways. (Don’t ask me which.) Big Turn will take place in Red Wing once again on February 18-19, though in a slightly curtailed fashion—rather than sprawling across the city, there will be two nights of music in one venue. Night one is Heiruspecs (who’ve released a new song), Annie Mack, and Brothers Burn Mountain. Night two is Cloud Cult (who’ve also released a new song), Low, and Bad Bad Hats. Pert Near Sandstone’s Blue Ox Festival is also getting into promotional gear. This year’s version, June 23-25, again in Eau Claire, features Bela Fleck’s My Bluegrass Heart and Old Crow Medicine Show, as well as numerous other practitioners of the rootsy musical arts. But maybe the wildest announcement this week is for the Mid West Music Fest in Winona on April 29-30. It’s headlined by Poliça and Haley, but just about every Minnesota musician you’ve ever heard of is listed here as well. I’d double check to make sure your own band isn’t on the bill. Hell, I’m double checking to make sure I’m not listed here.
Time for Sounds of Blackness
The NAACP Image Awards nominations were announced this week, and local gospel institution Sounds of Blackness received a nod for “Time for Reparations.” The fiery demand for racial equity is up for Outstanding Gospel/Christian Song, and it’s great to hear a troupe that’s been at it half a century and has gotten no less militant. In the past, the outfit has received five NAACP Image Award nominations and won in 2012.
This Week’s Music Listings
Remember to check and make sure the show hasn’t canceled. I try to prune fully but last-minute changes do occur.
Friday, Jan 21
Saturday, Jan. 22
Sunday, Jan. 23
Monday, Jan. 24
Tuesday, Jan. 25
Wednesday, Jan. 26
Thursday, Jan. 27