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Local Frames: This week's 5 must-see Minnesota music videos

Dwynell Roland raps in front of your favorite city.

Dwynell Roland raps in front of your favorite city.

Holiday glut has had its time. One more night of excess, and then it's on to 2016 — a lean year by all early estimations. 

But a handful of Minnesota's musical hustlers are getting a jump on their resolutions, and before we clink the champagne flutes on Thursday night, Local Frames would like to take a second and recognize that not all business ceases in the gap between Christmas and New Year's Eve. 

We begin our roundup with an unsigned (and undersold) hard-rock band outta Minneapolis and close with a throwback to a recent performance by one of the city's most treasured bygone acts. In between, we get tardy X-mas gifts from rapper Dwynell Roland and prohibition-style collective the Gentlemen's Anti-Temperance League. There's even one non-local artist checking in. Sorry about that (but not really).  

Cold Kingdom — "Crash Poet"

The Moon and the Fool was a surprising record from Minneapolis hard-rockers Cold Kingdom, as it posited the debutante band as one of the most polished, big-label-ready acts in the North Star State. The production quality on the video for their new single. "Crash Poet," follows suit with that clean, coursing sound. The visual features a fed-up dancer who pushes beyond the shallow parameters of her art to come into her own. You can spend the first moments of your 2016 with Cold Kingdom, as they'll be on the bill at Palmer's on NYE.


Michelle Blades — "Chapter XIII"

OK, let's make this clear right out the gate. Panamanian-by-way-of-Florida-by-way-of-Arizona artist Michelle Blades has no outright connection to the Twin Cities. She lives in Paris now, and there's no indication the experimental pop star will be re-rooting in Minnesota any time soon. But she still teamed with St. Paul director Kevin Horn for the video to "Chapter XIII," so she makes the roundup — no questions! The pan-Atlantic collaboration pays homage to 1986 teen skater film Thrashin', featuring a pair of gangs shredding towards a very cheesy turf battle.The much-hyped vid comes from Blades' 2015 record ATARAXIA, which she is no longer touring behind.

Dwynell Roland — "Word"

Fresh off another successful Toys for Tots benefit, Finding Novyon associate Dwynell Roland delivers a video to herald his next album. "Word" is the first we've heard from Roland since his 2014 EP Factors, and it looks as though the 23-year-old rhymer hasn't lost his lyrical predilection as he moves through the video's quick cuts. As a representative of the Rotation — which also features Novyon, Devon Reason, and Travis Gorman — Roland has a pedigree to uphold, which is something he proves he's capable of by the time the first chorus hits. Though Roland notes that the forthcoming album has no title yet, it's tentatively slated to come out this spring. You can download the MP3 for "Word" from Roland's Soundcloud.

The Gentlemen's Anti-Temperance League — "(The Cabinet of) The Count of Cagliostro"

The Gentlemen's Anti-Temperance League sound more like the Tennessee Williams type than the Hayao Miyazaki type, but that doesn't mean the fledgling local swingsters don't draw influence from classic Japanese animation. For their first video from November's Millennial Blues, GATL enlist a vampire puppet to lend some atmosphere to their haunting revival jam. GATL are also on deck for New Year's Eve; they'll be lending their talents to the roster at Acadia Pub. Worth noting: That particular party is offering free beer.

Lifter Puller — "Touch My Stuff"

Ever wonder what Hold Steady predecessor Lifter Puller would look like on grainy Super 8 footage? Lifter Puller's guitarist Steve Barone did, so he decided to lay his band's sudden reunion set at D4'th of July this year to the famously difficult celluloid. The song Barone chose to back the footage is "Touch My Stuff" from 2000's farewell LP Fiestas + Fiascos. The song wasn't played by Lifter Puller during the sun-soaked set, but Barone chose it because it's short and, as he puts it, "it was a short song to accommodate the small amount of footage captured." Hopefully this isn't the last we see from the bygone Minneapolis rockers, because their reunion set was tantalizing.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]