Local Frames: Videos from the Tallest Man On Earth, Wiping Out Thousands, Toki Wright, 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 new 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 seventh installment of Local Frames, featuring ten recent video selections for your viewing pleasure.
The Tallest Man On Earth - "Revelation Blues"
Local videographer/producer/photographer extraordinaire Dan Huiting once again delivers a stirring entry in MPLS.TV/Pitchfork's City Of Music series, this time catching an unguarded acoustic performance of "Revelation Blues" from the Tallest Man On Earth's Kristian Matsson. The video was shot on what appears to be a perfect summer day in Chicago's West Town (with a prominent shot of Rainbow Art at the beginning of the clip) while Kristian was in the city to play a high-profile set at Lollapalooza back in August. Matsson is on the go throughout the entire performance and the video, briskly strolling the barren streets while he serenades us all with his rich, revealing vocals and deft guitar work. Huiting shot, edited, and directed the intimate clip, which perfectly captures the charm of the Tallest Man On Earth.
Wiping Out Thousands - "Creation (Live On Radio K)"
Wiping Out Thousands are truly set to take over the Twin Cities when their debut full-length, This Came First, drops on October 23. This live clip of "Creation" from the Radio K studios earlier this year perfectly encapsulates the edgy appeal of the band and their enthralling live sound. And while this performance was shot back in March, "Creation" is set to feature prominently on WoT's forthcoming new album, and Radio K is currently celebrating their 100th Birthday, so this is as good a time as any to celebrate that fantastic milestone as well as the emergence of one of the best bands in the local music scene.
Toki Wright - "High Definition"
This creepy, post-apocalyptic video for Toki Wright's laid-back "High Definition" features the local MC delivering his confident verses over a moody, old-school beat. The clip was shot by the talented Minneapolis director Adam J. Dunn, who brings a decided portentous edge to Wright's banger from his recent FADERS mixtape, a collection which showcases Toki's free-verse lyrical talents alongside some other local (Greg Grease, I Self Divine, Mally) and national (Talib Kweli) hip-hop luminaries who perfectly compliment his unique style.
Big Cats! - "One"
Big Cats! is set to release his debut solo record, For My Mother, on October 2nd, an impassioned eulogy for his mom who passed away from ovarian cancer in 2010. Spencer Wirth-Davis became the first hip-hop artist (as well as the youngest recipient) to receive the composers fellowship from the distinguished McKnight Foundation, and he used that generous grant to compose this elegant, inspiring instrumental tribute to his mother. "One" is the first video from the impassioned album, and is directed by Isaac Gale and David Jensen. More information on the project can be found on bigcatsbeats.net, and Big Cats! is celebrating the release of the album with a sure-to-be-special show (he's performing the entire album, front to back, with a 15-piece band) at the Cedar along with the Chalice and K. Raydio. And, 75% of the proceeds from the sales of For My Mother are being donated to the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance, in honor of Christi Wirth-Davis. You can pre-order the album and buy tickets to the release show here.
Phantom Tails - "Only Your Eyes"
As summer slowly turns into fall here in the Twin Cities, the Minneapolis quartet Phantom Tails give us a brand new single, "Only Your Eyes," which the band claims is "our way of marrying the autumnal equinox with the summer solstice." The track (which can be downloaded for free on their bandcamp page) will have to tide their fans over while the group heads back into the studio to record their next album. The ominous clip features the band lounging a bit by the water as well as ghostly clips of them playing live in the dark, while the track itself has a pleasing Liars-like sound to it. Here's to hoping the guys emerge from the studio with something new one day soon.
Minneapolis garage-rockabilly quartet L'Assassins are back with a brand-new video for "Backseat Bomp," a sneering, confidently cool track which comes from their hard-charging self-titled EP. The sultry, playful clip, which was written and directed by Tyler Jensen, features the girls blowing off detention and brazenly raiding the liquor supply at Zipps, before bursting into a loving homage to both Grease and the Johnny Depp/John Waters cult-classic Cry-Baby.
Claps - "Glory, Glory"
The moody, electronic pulse of the title track to Minneapolis synth-pop trio Claps recent cassette-only release is given a colorful if a bit inscrutable video accompaniment by Suzanne Pfutzenreuter. The clip comes across as baffling, hallucinogenic science video, but somehow perfectly compliments the foreboding atmosphere of the minimalistic number, which closes with an ominous ode to Julia Ward Howe's "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic," which gives the sinister track its name.
Kevin Bowe - "In Too Deep"
While the recorded version of "In Too Deep" that appeared on Natchez Trace featured Kevin Bowe backed by his trusty Okemah Prophets, the official video for the track strips away everything other than Bowe's acoustic guitar, vocals, and harmonica, giving the song a newfound plaintive poignancy. The spartan, barren surroundings of the video shoot only add to the wistful nature of this stark version, with director Brooks Geenen perfectly capturing the mournful, moving quality of the song itself.
Wild Cathedral - "We've Taken Control"
Wild Cathedral are a new synth-pop quintet out of Minneapolis who are set to drop their debut 7" at the Nomad World Pub this Friday night. "We've Taken Control" is featured on that 7-inch, and has definite hints of the Faint threaded within its ebullient electronic melody. It's music to have a good time to while forgetting the ills of the world for a bit, a lot of which is surely going to go down at the Nomad tomorrow night.
Guante - "The Family Business"
Local spoken word/hip-hop artist Guante has done his part to shine a positive spotlight on the emerging spoken word scene here in the Twin Cities, whether it's through his own riveting work, or leading the local slam team to awards and acclaim throughout the country. This clip of Guante reciting his stirring poem, "The Family Business," was put together by Patrick Pegg for Unique Techniques, and is the direct result of a grant from the MN State Arts Board. The heady poem speaks of the nobility of the pawn's sacrifice, the strong materials that we believe we are made of, and the poetry involved in a hard day's work, and exquisitely showcases the bountiful artistic talents of Guante himself.
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