The heart and soul of Local Frames has always been the music. But I got an email from a reader named Torey today that's made me reconsider the way I talk about local vids.
In the email, Torey insisted that the filmmakers behind music videos deserve a larger share of the attention than they're getting. I agree. It's easy to overlook the unsexy duties of behind-the-lens work — fielding emails, securing locations, setting up lighting — all so an artist can have a more digestible vehicle for their song.
As Torey noted, music videos bridge artistic communities. They bring together musicians, directors, cinematographers, animators, and storytellers to make a singular, but shared, piece of art. It's unfair when the people at the center of the art are glossed over in favor of the person in the frame. This week (and henceforth), we honor the folks who break their backs to bring these visions to life.
Jonathan Rundman — "The Ballad of Nikolaus Rungius"
Minneapolis' Jonathan Rundman is down at SXSW right now while coordinating the release of his new album Look Up in his ancestral home of Finland. As Rundman wrote in Paste, his roots to Finland go back to 1540, and the new song "The Ballad of Nikolaus Rungius" celebrates Nikolaus Rungius, Rundman's 13th-great-uncle.
The song was inspired by Rundman's own sojourn to Finland, where he saw Rungius' famously mummified corpse, a tale Rundman tells through phone footage and archival stills. You can stream Rundman's SXSW performance at 2 p.m. Tuesday on his Facebook page.
Enemy Planes — "Bare Your Teeth"
Sometimes, filmmaker and musician aren't mutually exclusive terms. That's the case with Enemy Plane's latest murderous visual single for "Bare Your Teeth." The stop-motion creepfest (which premiered via Line of Best Fit) was directed, animated, and edited by frontman Casey Call, who took over 6,000 still photos to create the animation.
The song comes from the band's forthcoming debut LP Beta Lowdown, which is out on March 25 on Rock the Cause Records. No release show has been announced for the album, but keep your ears to the ground, as Enemy Planes should be celebrating somewhere in the Twin Cities.
Warehouse Eyes — "The Same Dream"
Cereal. Films are a production team we feature often on Local Frames, and their work with dream pop newbies Warehouse Eyes has once again landed them in our weekly roundup for its blissful celluloid feel.
Coming via Paste, the video for "The Same Dream" from their 2015 Prism EP intercuts archival footage with shots of the band dancing in ornamental costumes designed by Rya DeMulder. Warehouse Eyes are also at SXSW representing Minneapolis, and they'll continue to an East Coast tour from there.
Night of Joy — "The Better Life"
Filmed by Melissa Kraemer Olson, Night of Joy's new single, "The Better Life," comes through in nearly epileptic sequence of shots. Framed by a creeping black vignette, "The Better Life" single pulses in a din of guitar and crash cymbal as band members disappear and reappear, clashing with still images.
From the Knol Tate-produced September EP Better Life, the song finds the band coming to grips with the monotony of everyday life. See the discontent live at the Triple Rock on March 24.
Ecid — "Watch It Burn"
Ecid previously teamed up with Mercies May of Strange and Distant Pictures on his video for "Counterfeit Dreams," and now the Minneapolis rapper has teamed with May again for another cut from Pheromone Heavy, "Watch It Burn." A letter to Ecid's absentee father, "Watch It Burn" is chronicled in stark, lonely black and white, giving the video a sympathetic and defiant feel.
It almost has a Sin City/Frank Miller feel, but the rhymer's revenge against his drug dealer dad isn't written in blood — it's written in embers. Ecid is currently on the road with Bleubird and just played the T-Rock on Saturday.