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

Badlands, but good song!

Badlands, but good song!

How do you get your video in Local Frames? Truth be told, there are a lot of factors that go into my decision to feature or pass on a video, all of which I will disseminate to you ... now.

First of all, we prefer to feature new videos. As in, videos premiered within the last week. It provides the most utility to the reader, though this rule is bendable because not every week yields five videos. But, we're a news outlet, so we want, you know, new stuff.

Production value is another qualification. While I don't want to prioritize big-budget videos over those made by startup bands on a shoestring, it's worth considering higher-production-value entries because of the sheer number of people who deserve recognition for making it happen. More people deserving thanks, more of a chance I'll give those thanks here.

Other than that, there aren't many stipulations. Big names have equal footing with small names. Offers to premiere don't win you any favor. Just send me as much info as you can, don't be an asshole about it, and you have a standing chance.

The Ultrasounds — "Highway 76"

There's been a lot of attention on Winona, Minnesota, with Midwest Music Fest going on last week, and now we have the first official video from hometowners the Ultrasounds. The video for their new song, "Highway 76," was captured on the garage-pop quartet's 2015 Daze Inn tour, taking viewers into the dive bars and diners the band inhabited as they crawled across the country in their haze of feedback.

The song, with its signature line of "I cried on Highway 76 as we left the ones we love in the distance," struggles to capture the rapture and exhaustion of life as a van-shackled touring band, and the video adds to that demystification. But you don't have to be a road warrior to catch the Ultrasounds' next show. They're playing May 21 at Palmer's in Minneapolis.

Katy Vernon — "Lost My Head"

You probably can't just go around Badlands National Park filming and singing, but British-born Minneapolis singer-songwriter Katy Vernon doesn't have time or patience for permits. Trying to give her new song "Lost My Head" an old Western feel, she went guerilla in the South Dakota park, enlisting Randy Vanderwood to shoot and Lauren Josephine to edit. 

And Vernon's efforts paid off, making her song — from her album Present — feel like a dusty grifter's yarn for redemption. With the celluloid colors and the muted, desperate environs of the Badlands framing her song, Vernon captures the essence of what it means to be searching. Seek Vernon out in Pine City, Minnesota, for PRIDE on June 5.

By the Thousands — "Revenant"

Revolver called By the Thousands "prog-metal" in their writeup of their new video, "Revenant." And while the bellowing Minneapolis metal band does have some elements reminiscent of the prog genre, their new song can easily be identified by traditional metal fans, as well within on the margins of what qualifies for good, heavy-as-shit rock music.

The 12-string guitar solo is perhaps a bit above-concept for your customary chug-rock metal, sure, but the sequence of breakdowns and build-up is just good fun. You can almost picture the mosh pits separating and joining as the Randy Edwards-directed visuals spin on. By the Thousands are currently touring the Midwest alongside Terraform and Narrow hearts, but they'll be back in state on May 21 at Beaners in Duluth and on May 22 at the Amsterdam Bar & Hall in St. Paul.

Mike Dreams — "Change Up " (Live at Fifth Element)

Did you catch that Fifth Element won Best Open Mic this year? Well, if you didn't, Minneapolis rhymer Mike Dreams has dropped off a live video to try to show you why.  Dreams recently rocked his single "Change Up" at the Rhymesayer-owned Uptown record store, and he immediately had the crowd singing along to the money-lovin' chorus.

The song comes from Dreams' unscheduled LP Pardon My Vices, which is due out sometime this year. If the energy and enthusiasm captured in the video by Angel Lens Media below is any indication, the LP could be the statement the 27-year-old rapper has been looking to make since his debut six years ago.

Lowland Lakers — "Time to Move Along" (PREMIERE)

Minneapolis islands have become destination music venues of late, with Rock the Garden taking over Boom Island and First Ave hosting gigs on Hall's Island. In that spirit of connecting music and nature, Lowland Lakers took to Nicollet Island — home of the soon-to-be-restored Grain Belt sign that's become synonymous with Minneapolis music thanks to the Hold Steady — to film a gorgeous, stripped-down version of their song "Time to Move Along."

Bathed in both city views and lush greenery, the country-folk trio payed homage to the river that sets the scene for their new album, The Mississippi Is Between Us Now, which came out last Friday. They'll be in town (unfortunately indoors) at the Dakota Jazz Club on May 13 to welcome all comers into their warm Americana.

Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]