Best Twin Cities music videos of 2012
From L'Assassins' "Backseat Bomp" clip.
Whether or not Minnesota music is in a new golden age or not is a debate for another day further down the road, but there should be little question that local bands recorded and released some truly amazing records in 2012. There was one triumphant record release party after another, and with each successive album, the musicians consistently dropped equally impressive videos that only accentuated the original music itself.
There were so many great new music videos coming out each week that we had to create a new feature to keep up, Local Frames, which helped provide the proper focus and respect to the creative efforts of the talented directors and the bands themselves. And, as 2012 draws to a close, we turn our attention to local videos one last time, and present you with 10 of the best Twin Cities music videos of the year.
Y.N.RichKids - "Hot Cheetos & Takis"
From the moment we first turned our focus on these young North Minneapolis rappers back in early August, we knew the Y.N.RichKids had hit upon something special with "Hot Cheetos & Takis." But when my five-year-old nephew started singing the catchy chorus just minutes after hearing the song for the first time, it was clear that this track was going to be a sensation.
With all of the other big songs and videos coming out of the Twin Cities throughout 2012, "Hot Cheetos & Takis" was the undisputed smash hit, breaking out as both a viral triumph (nearly 5 million views on YouTube) as well as a club banger. Hopefully the good work being done at the North Community YMCA and the Nellie Stone Johnson Community School benefited from the extra attention this indelible song brought to their program as well as their truly talented students.
Paper Tiger - "The Fortunate Wayfarer"
While Doomtree's DJ/Producer Paper Tiger's Summer EP perhaps won't go over as well in winter as it did during the warmer months, this charming video for "The Fortunate Wayfarer" will capture your heart no matter what time of the year it is. The clip was directed by James Gunderson, and perfectly captures the unlimited fun involved in a journey to an oceanside amusement park, especially if you happen to be an old-school boombox.
The Blind Shake - "I'm Not An Animal"
The blistering local trio the Blind Shake came up with a video for "I'm Not An Animal" that is every bit as menacing as the potent song is. The Elephant Man-echoing clip was directed by Ryan Schaddelee, and shot by Tiffany Lindquist and Colette Ricci (who stars in the video as well), and is taken from the Blind Shake's fantastic recent record, Seriousness. The band hit the road for a successful U.S./Canadian tour this fall in support of the album, and hopefully will start once again rocking local clubs soon enough.
L'Assassins - "Backseat Bomp"
L'Assassins pay tribute to both Grease and Cry Baby in this retro romp, as the girls decide to ditch detention and raid the liquor racks at Zips instead. The effortlessly cool clip was directed by the talented Tyler Jensen, and highlights one of the standout tracks on the garage-rockabilly quartet's raucous self-titled EP. If only high school was always this much fun.
Greg Grease - "Basement Soul"
This soulful, laid-back jam from the Minneapolis' MC Greg Grease proved to be just a stirring precursor to his stellar new full-length, Cornbread, Pearl & G. For most rappers, this track would have been the centerpiece of their record, but Grease is not only talented, he's incredibly prolific as well, and this smooth number just served to keep everyone satiated until the album eventually dropped. The video, which Grease directed himself along with Kale Eickhof Grease, perfectly captures the elegance of listening to music on vinyl, as well as the pure, unbridled joy of dancing as if no one is looking.
Now, Now - "Thread"
2012 was a breakout year for Now, Now, as they headed to Vancouver to record their captivating new album, Threads, which was subsequently released on Chris Walla's (Death Cab For Cutie) Trans Records. The trio released a stark, fluorescent-lit video for the album's near-title track, "Thread," which finds the burgeoning band playing amongst a barren backdrop that only adds to the song's potency. Now, Now have captured the full attention of music fans on both a local and national level during the year, and this striking number is one of the many reasons why.
P.O.S. - "Fuck Your Stuff"
When you come out with a track as inflammatory as "Fuck Your Stuff," you better have a video that backs up the song's fiery, anti-commercial stance. And P.O.S., along with directors Isaac Gale and David Jensen, manages to perfectly capture the doomsday, back-to-the-wall attitude of Stef's banger from his recent masterpiece, We Don't Even Live Here. P.O.S. and his crew have a sinister, end-of-the-world party that turns explosive and riotous, as they lay waste to everything they touch while creating an acerbic, anti-authoritarian work of art in the process.
Solid Gold - "The Pendulum"
The guys in Solid Gold get a lot more than they bargained for when they sit down to a culinary feast in their video for "The Pendulum." The clip grows more psychedelic as the dinner draws on, with the trio growing more gluttonous and depraved with each glass of wine consumed. The video was inspired by the surrealist classic, The Exterminating Angel, by Luis Buñuel, and was directed by the talented local director, Dan Huiting. The intoxicating track comes from Solid Gold's impressive new album, Eat Your Young, the group's first new record in over four years. It's great to finally have them back, though I'd think twice about inviting them to any of your holiday dinner parties.
Dark Dark Dark - "Tell Me"
Dark Dark Dark's poignant gem, "Tell Me," is given an equally moving video, as frontwoman Nona Marie Invie dons a beekeeper/astronaut helmet while she wanders alone throughout this subtle but striking clip. The song is one of the clear standouts on Dark Dark Dark's glorious record, Who Needs Who, and this gorgeous, highly evocative video, directed by Isaac Gale, perfectly compliments the song's wistful, redolent nature.
STNNNG - "Brain-Dumb"
Just after melting the faces of the UK audiences at the Shellac-curated ATP Festival, the raucous local quintet STNNNG dropped this dynamic new video for "Brain-Dumb," which is featured on the band's forthcoming record, Empire Inward. Everyone who has ever played with little army men can identify with the charm and terror of what transpires in this clip, which was artfully directed by Jake Rapp. This year was quite a good one for STNNNG, but if this incendiary song is any indication, 2013 will be even better for these hard rocking local boys, and deservedly so.
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