Local Frames: New videos from MaLLy, Now, Now, José James, and more
As the Twin Cities music scene grows, more and more artists are creating music that demands our attention. Combine the music with talented filmmakers locally and beyond, and you have a fruitful mix of distinct skills that generates more locally connected music videos than ever before.
While it's impossible to shine a spotlight on all of the great music video work going on around the area, Gimme Noise has created a regular segment, Local Frames, which will help bring some much deserved attention to a few of the standout videos of the moment from local bands or those filmed by local directors.
Here's our twentieth installment of Local Frames, featuring ten recent video selections for your viewing pleasure.
MaLLy & the Sundance Kid - "Winner"
This all-inclusive clip for "Winner," is the third single taken from MaLLy & the Sundance Kid's fantastic record, The Last Great. The concept for the video, directed by Victor Rukavina, is a simple one, as MaLLy and a bunch of other luminaries in the Twin Cities hip-hop/music scene (including Brother Ali, Toki Wright, and many others) deliver his spirited verses against a blank wall. The familial feel of the clip fits perfectly with the message of the song, as the young MC is able to express just how much those around him mean to him, while elevating us all in the process.
Now, Now - "Wolf (Nervous Energies Session)"
This intimate, acoustic clip features the burgeoning Minneapolis trio Now, Now performing a captivating version of "Wolf," one of the clear standouts of their recent record, Threads. It's from a Nervous Energies session, which is a record label/web based video series run by Ryan Russell in Birmingham, Alabama. This stirring performance from Now, Now is part of a recent session that also includes a lovely acoustic rendition of "But I Do" that fans of the band should definitely seek out as well.
José James - "Trouble (Live on the Current)"
The soulful, Minneapolis-born singer José James has been blowing up as of late, having just released his enthralling Blue Note Records debut, No Beginning No End. His previous three albums hinted at James' boundless talent, but the new record delivers on that promise in a major way. He brought in some truly talented collaborators to help him realize his vision (including Pino Palladino and Robert Glaspar, to name just a few), and the smooth results certainly speak for themselves. This stripped-down version of "Trouble," was recorded live in the lobby of the Current studios during a recent visit to the Twin Cities, and finds James and a lone keyboardist making the song come to life, proving that you don't need a fancy setting or equipment if the track itself has some spirit and soul.
STNNNG - "Long Middle"
This striking black-and-white clip for "Long Middle" is the second single taken from STNNNG's forthcoming beast of an album, Empire Inward. The Minneapolis post-punk quintet have a special evening planned at both the Turf Club and Big V's on February 23 to celebrate the release of their new record as well as their 10th Anniversary as a band. With the strong lineup that the band has personally assembled, it's a night not to be missed. The video, directed by Shane Vader, captures the band live in their natural element, and highlights the raucous energy of one of the band's best new tracks.
Gay Witch Abortion - "Cult Chimera (Live on Radio K)"
The untamed rock duo Gay Witch Abortion recently dropped by the Radio K studios to rattle their walls and their airwaves with their combustible sound. This exploratory, inventive rendition of "Cult Chimera" spotlights the group's unbridled explosiveness, while also reminding all of us just how great their recent record, Opporntunistic Smokescreen Behavior, truly is. GWA are also set to perform a fiery set at STNNNG's release party blow-out, and if you needed yet another rocking reminder to get tickets and go to that show, watch this breathless live clip and get your ass to St. Paul next Saturday night.
Off With Their Heads - "Seek Advice Elsewhere"
The Minneapolis punk-pop band Off With Their Heads are back with a new video for "Seek Advice Elsewhere," the first clip from their forthcoming album, Home, out March 12th on Epitaph Records. The humorous video was directed by Andrew Seward of Against Me!, and finds security guards caught in a twisted winter wonderland park late one night. Of course, hilarity ensues, as well as an obviously messed up snowman who meets a sad end.
Tom Hazelmyer on MN Original
The founder of Amphetamine Reptile Records and Grumpy's, Tom Hazelmyer (or HAZE XXL as he is better known in local music cirles), receives a distinctive and well-deserved profile on a recent episode of MN Original. The feature focuses on the early days of AmRep, as well as Hazelmyer's continued involvement with everything the label produces. It shines a fitting spotlight on Tom's artistic side as well, showing how he creates his vivid album covers from original artwork and hand carved linocuts, something that Hazelmyer continues to do to this day (for bands like the Melvins and others). Hazelmyer's unending passion for music and art is on full display throughout this clip, and should rightfully be celebrated by everyone in the artistic community.
Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lappelles - "Catacombs"
From that same episode of MN Original comes this lovely performance of "Catacombs," from the Minneapolis baroque-pop act, Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lappelles. The group transforms tpt's Studio A into an intimate French cafe with this buoyant performance. The track is taken from the band's stirring 2012 album, Heat, which has only served to expand the group's profile in the Twin Cities and beyond. The band is set to take part in tonight's 'All-Time Greatest Valentine's Day Mix' performance at the Cedar, which also will feature a set by Big Trouble, as well as many other love-themed musical surprises.
Mayda Monday Episode #2 - Happy Valentine's Day!
The innovative, engaging Minneapolis musician Mayda has recently taken to creating weekly YouTube video segments, which she calls 'Mayda Monday's,' in order to further connect with her fans as well as keep them up to date about what her current plans and performances are. This clip features Mayda getting her hair done at Evolution Hair Studio, as well as an exclusive audio clip of her new song, "Moments," produced by Big Jess, which you can also get for a free download here. The clip is also quite fitting for today, since Mayda takes a moment to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day, telling us, "I got love for all of you." Right back 'atcha, Mayda!
Whit - "Mind Thing"
Minneapolis MC Whit has just released his new album, Survival Techniques, and the first video taken from that record is "Mind Thing." It finds the rapper and his crew braving the cold Minneapolis winter to dance around a bit to the track's hypnotic beats as well as Justin's fresh flow. The album features production work from Colorado's AG Flux and Switzerland's Grand Papa Tra, but it's the socially-aware and enlightened rhymes of Whit himself which gives the album a distinct spirit.
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