Local Frames: New videos from Retribution Gospel Choir, Usonia, Farewell Milwaukee, 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 nineteenth installment of Local Frames, featuring ten recent video selections for your viewing pleasure.
Retribution Gospel Choir - "Seven"
Duluth's Retribution Gospel Choir have a bit of a laugh for their official video for "Seven," one of only two expansive, 20+ minute songs on their just-released new record, 3. The guys all don humorous winter masks while doing interpretive dances along to the song's slow-burning, hypnotic churn (helped along by Nels Cline's guest guitar solos). The video was shot in slow-motion, so Alan, Steve, and Eric weren't dancing for the full 21 minutes, but it's still a whole lot of fun to see how they all get down to the song's lingering grooves in that small, barren room.
Usonia - "Please (Live at The Pearl)"
Usonia are set to release their excellent new record, What's Fresh, at the Entry on February 15. "Please" is part of a set of three new songs that the band recorded live at The Pearl Recording Studio in Minneapolis, giving fans a concrete idea of what the new songs will sound like live with their expanded five-piece arrangement. "Please" has a summery swing to it, which we all certainly could use more of in the dead of winter, while also containing pleasing echoes of the UK electropop outfit, Metronomy. With the release of this polished new batch of songs, hopefully 2013 will be a breakthrough year for Usonia.
Farewell Milwaukee - "The Night Is Falling For You"
The Americana-drenched, Twin Cities-based quintet Farewell Milwaukee have taken a unique approach for a series of videos taken from their most recent record, When It Sinks In. The group has chosen to focus on artisans with unique talents who have become a natural, and perhaps under-appreciated, part of modern society. In this lovely clip for "The Night Is Falling For You," directed by Chad Echols and Serena Kuo, the wedding cake designer Lauren Bohl is shown making someone's special cake from start to finish, which only adds to the sentimental appeal of the song itself.
Heaven On Howitzers - "Great Hills Pt. 2 (Live on Radio K)"
Explosive new local trio Heaven On Howitzers recently laid waste to the Radio K studios with a raucous live session, highlighted by this urgent, thunderous version of "Great Hills Pt. 2." The group is made up of Tim Leick, Jr., Cole Benson, and Ali Jaafar, talented guys who local music fans can easily recognize from the many other bands they also play in (Prissy Clerks, S M M N R, Hollow Boys, to name just a few). This new combo sounds great together--with their highly inventive musical styles meshing forcefully to form a highly combustible sound.
The Best Love Is Free Video Series Ep. 8 feat. Rapper Hooks & Sean Anonymous
The big Best Love Is Free party and CD release show is set to go off this Saturday at the Fine Line, featuring live performances by Cecil Otter, Later Babes, I Colossus, and Sophia Eris of the Chalice. And all month long they have been releasing captivating, free-style videos from some of the talented artists around the Twin Cities to get everyone psyched for the show, and this brief clip of Rapper Hooks and Sean Anonymous is one of the best of the bunch. While it was sad to hear the recent announcement that the Tribe & Big Cats! are calling it quits (with a farewell show at the Triple Rock on March 1), you know that Rapper Hooks is still going to be making music as fresh as this, no matter what he decides to do next.
Absent ft. Greg Nice - "Turn It Out"
Local MC Absent delivers a live-clip video for the spirited "Turn It Out," which features some lyrical help from Greg Nice. Absent and DJ D.Mil are set to release their new CD, DNA, at the Entry tomorrow night (Friday, February 8), with the SP Style crew planning on bringing plenty of special guests along with them to help turn the party out.
Guante & Big Cats - "Fireworks (Live)"
This impassioned live performance of "Fireworks" by local MC/spoken word artist Guante and the beat-master Big Cats features a flurry of informed, sexually-charged lyrics. The clip, filmed and edited by Patrick Pegg, is drawn from Guante and Big Cats excellent new collaborative album, You Better Weaponize. And Guante himself had this to say about "Fireworks," which certainly suits are highly politicized times: "While this song is about how the politicization of sex and sexuality affects other issues in U.S. politics, it could really be about anything--the criminal justice system, the environment, gun control, whatever. Every conversation we have or law we pass has a ripple effect."
Scott Wooldridge - "Hard To Go Quietly"
This catchy little number from Minneapolis singer/songwriter Scott Wooldridge also has quite a political bent to it, while also incorporating the communication conveniences of Facebook and laptops. It touches on the importance of speaking our minds in the modern day, and we can't just sit by and let others make decisions for us, politically or otherwise. In addition to its subtle (and not so subtle) political statements, the video also features a guitar solo from Mike Senkovich, and a brief clip of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots--and who doesn't love that old-school game?
Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders - The Making of "What You Gonna Do?"
This mini-documentary clip gives a glimpse into what it was like for Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders to record their new album in a barn built in 1914 in St. Francis, Minnesota. That aged, time-honored vibe certainly colors much of the recordings, with the barn's spacious acoustics adding a charm to the songs. This clip documents just how challenging, but ultimately rewarding, it was to record in such a truly unique environment.
Mod Sun - "My Hippy"
The relentless upbeat local MC Mod Sun is back with a cheerful new song, "My Hippy," which is taken from a forthcoming musical project from the burgeoning rapper. Mod Sun is about to embark on a lengthy U.S. tour with Cisco Adler, which will bring him all across the country throughout the months of February and March. He also will be opening up for PROF at First Avenue on April 13, bringing his distinct brand of 'hippy-hop' to his local fans.
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