I don't typically prioritize live videos in Local Frames.
It's not because I don't value the live video's new place in the publicity cycle or because I think they're boring, but they just don't involve the same level of work as a music video. There's no acting, no director, and way less editing, but it dawned on me this week that the value of a live recording is simply different than that of a music video.
Music is at its most pure in the live setting. It used to be that music was the most ephemeral thing in the world — it exists for a moment, and then it's gone forever. That was the magic. Audio and video recording didn't diminish that magic but enhanced it, allowing people far and wide the chance to engage in a moment they couldn't physically experience.
The live video does well to emulate that. Often done in a single take, its focus is on creating art from the spontaneous and ephemeral. This week, we feature three live videos that give a glimpse into the most intimate performances of three Minnesota musicians.
Anne Deming — "I'm Sinking In"
Director Dave Dennison captures Twin Cities singer-songwriter Anne Deming in dire moments in her new video for "I'm Sinking In." Whether against a bleak winter landscape or wrapped in the bedsheets of an unsure lover, Deming is unable to find what she's looking for, and the search maddens her more and more as the tale in the video plays on.
The folk rocker's voice is still the most captivating part of the video, though, as Deming shows shades of Fiona Apple and Meredith Brooks all while adding her own smokiness to the mix. Deming is currently taking May off from shows, but Wisconsinites (and those close to the border) can venture to Urban Olive & Vine in Hudson to see her perform June 11.
Fraea — "Criminal"
Fraea celebrated the release of their debut EP, Bend Your Bones, at Icehouse on Saturday night, and the upstart "shadow pop" (their genre designation) duo are already turning heads locally and nationally. Stereogum premiered their video for lead single "Criminal" last week, and if you missed the headline or the gig, here's a much-needed introduction to what could be the next breakout artist in the Twin Cities.
Director Maria Juranic — who very famously did videos for P.O.S's "Optimist (We Are Not for Them)" and Eyedea & Abilities' "Smile" — employs her usual stark color palette to lend a forlorn mood to the danceable but morose tune. As singer Jessie Daley's refrain of "it's not criminal" permeates her rubberish gimp suit, shadowy hands reach out to her desperately, playing into the song's almost existential yearning.
Jack Klatt — "Behind the 8 Ball" (Live at Real-Phonic Studio) (PREMIERE)
The first of our live-music trio comes from wandering folk poet Jack Klatt, who has been making Minneapolis his home since 2012. Director of photography Wil Crombie leads Klatt's bluesy performance of "Behind the 8 Ball" at Real-Phonic Studio, laying a sepia feel to the vintage song of dumb luck and good booze.
Klatt will be releasing his second album of solo work on May 7 at Icehouse. The album, titled Shadows in the Sunset, is out on Different Folk Records with help from Hymie's Vintage Records. While "Behind the 8 Ball" isn't the only peek we've had into that record's tracklist, the downhome setting of the performance helps you feel Klatt's worrisome struggle better than anything laid to tape. With local folkster and friend of Local Frames Erik Koskinen doing the sound engineering, Klatt sounds as woefully brilliant as ever.
Communist Daughter — "The Killing Time" (Sofar Sounds)
Communist Daughter has long been a favorite in the Twin Cities media, and it takes a live performance like this one at New York City's Sofar Sounds to articulate just why this St. Paul folk group is lauded over others. With John Solomon and Molly Moore performing new single "The Killing Time" as a duo at a secret show of what looks like 30 people, you can feel the rawness of emotion they put into their craft.
The video was recorded in January but only released last week, but still no details about Communist Daughter's upcoming second LP — the followup to their 2010 breakthrough album Soundtrack to the End — have been released. Perhaps they'll get chatty on stage May 20 when they play the 331 during Art-A-Whirl.
Ana Tuirán — "Girl in the Picture" (Live at The Hideaway Studio)
Resettled in northeast Minneapolis from Mexico City, Ana Tuirán shows love for her adopted stateside home with an absolute stunner of a performance at the Hideaway Studio. Replete with horns, saxophone, violins, and timpanic drums, Tuirán gives a chamber orchestra to her new single "Girl in the Picture," a song that the artist uses to remove the rosy lens of nostalgia to look at her past.
Even in the Hideaway's humble post-industrial environs, the song seems as full and sweeping as ever. With the cadre of musicians all synching and ebbing together, it's an easy video to get caught up in. Tears are as likely as defiant heart swells, all thanks to the production work from editor/videographer Trent Waterman and audio engineer Jason McGlone — and of course the stirring stylings of Tuirán herself.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected].