Juice Lord spins struggle into visual poetry in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos

Juice Lord!

Juice Lord! YouTube

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about the media (one of which I, in Buzzfeed parlance, utterly eviscerated in Local Frames last week), but perhaps the most enduring and baffling is the idea that we have unlimited resources.

I’m not here to make any excuses for lapses in our coverage, but it’s useful to know that City Pages employs exactly one full-time music writer. That’d be my editor, Jay Boller. I am not a full-time writer, and neither is anyone else you see with a byline on the music beat. 

That’s why Local Frames is important to me. There’s no way we could give all the artists featured here the in-depth coverage we deserve. Local Frames is a very economic way to make up some of the lost ground. If readers walk away from this weekly column with a resonating introduction to anyone featured, then we’ve done the best we can with the resources we have.

Juice Lord -- “Growth”

At 20 years old, St. Paul emcee/poet Juice Lord has a presence that captivates.

In his debut video “Growth,” Juice Lord never breaks his gaze from the camera, owning the screen like an artist with five times the experience. Kudos to video producers M&A Production, who frame Juice like the hip-hop tour de force he truly is. One watch and you know you’re listening to someone special.

The beat for “Growth” is borrowed from J.Cole signee Cozz, but it feels so natural under the hard cuts of Juice Lord as he tells his origin story. Throughout “Growth,” he lays out his goals as an artist, all the while looking back on the world that made him. Shot in humanizing black and white, it’s a visual poem that powerfully introduces an artist who is sure to make an impact on Twin Cities hip-hop.

Jeanne Taylor -- “LA Night” (PREMIERE)

Los Angeles is a long way from the Twin Cities. For anyone who’s ever watched Vanderpump Rules, this much is obvious.

But for St. Paul up-and-comer Jeanne Taylor, this was learned firsthand, an education that the pop singer chronicles in her new video for “LA Night.” Though the song deals with some bewilderment over the raucous California nightlife, Taylor has made L.A. her second home, and the madness of clubs, convertibles, and celebs is surely normal by now.

Taylor, whose father is Paul Peterson of the Prince-cosigned Family, was born into the limelight, and the slick single finds her finally rising to the level of pop stardom she was destined to achieve. On November 12, Jeanne Taylor will celebrate the release of her debut EP Jeanne at Bunkers in Minneapolis.

Katy Vernon -- “23”

Katy Vernon doesn’t know about you, but she’s not feeling 22. The dyed-in-the-wool Minneapolis singer-songwriter uses her latest single “23” to reject the person she was, instead basking in the glory of overcoming the insecurities and apprehensions of her twenties.

“It's a song about embracing creativity no matter what your age and not caring if you don't fit in with society's expectations,” Vernon says in a statement. That carefree spirit is captured by City Pages photo contributor Tony Nelson, who films Vernon as her and her two children turn an Art-A-Whirl gallery into a middle-age-positive flash mob.

Music fans of all ages and dispositions can catch Vernon on November 4 at Aster Cafe in Minneapolis. “23” is only one of several feel-good songs on her latest album, Present.

Wilson Miles -- “Handle Your Business”

Minneapolis rapper Tony Wilson and London producer Hector Miles shook hands and became a superduo. Dubbed Wilson Miles and given the task of representing their respective cities on an international scale, the pair dropped the 18-minute collaboration The Golden Handshake, which is led by single “Handle Your Business.”

“Handle Your Business” is a smooth and energetic, with a throwback boom-bap beat provided by Miles and a determined flow from Wilson. Directed and edited by Miles and Nathan Greenwood, the video is a fashionable and sleek companion to the song.

The transatlantic hip-hop duo don’t have plans to play any gigs locally, but keep your eyes peeled in case the Twin Cities are blessed with an appearance.

Axtell -- “Take Me Away”

Axtell technically hail from Buenos Aires, but namesake singer Katrina Axtell actually grew up near Grand Marais, Minnesota. So, it was a bit of a homecoming this summer when Axtell came through the Midwest on tour. As a thank you and a farewell to the region, the duo, which also includes Julian Hernandez, enlisted Shane Lattie to film a private show atop a St. Paul roof.

Lattie took the opportunity to take the ukulele travel song “Take Me Away” to the next level by making it a 360-degree video you can navigate with your cursor. It’s so intimately filmed that you can actually give yourself vertigo if you click on the wrong side of the video.

But luckily Axtell and Hernandez’s soothing voices are just the balm for such a thing. Feel free to join in on the gang vocals at the end. You might just forget you’re not actually there.

Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]