Skeleton dances, media madness, and late-night confessions in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos

J.W. Schuller's 'No Mud in Joyville' features a dancing skeleton.

J.W. Schuller's 'No Mud in Joyville' features a dancing skeleton. YouTube

Twin Cities, welcome to Premiere Week.

At Local Frames, we average about one video premiere per week. It’s an element of the column I really enjoy, because other media outlets are premiering videos much less frequently. It’s rarely worth the effort to blog about one video, especially if it’s not tied to an album announcement. But with our Top 5 format, we can celebrate a new music video regardless of the greater context.

It’s a simple idea—new is good. Here it’s great. We have three never-before-seen videos from Braver, J.W. Schuller, and David LeDuc leading our countdown. It was a total accident all three fell on this day, but how could you complain? Today, we’re casting a nice, wide spotlight on the musicians and directors whose emerging work might otherwise be lost to YouTube.

Braver – “Dogs Don't Know What Weather Is” (PREMIERE)

The news these days is enough to turn you into a maniac. In the new video for Braver’s song “Dogs Don’t Know What Weather Is,” Braver singer Lupe Muraszewski plays a man who tries to escape the horror of the news cycle by relaxing by a beach. Unfortunately, the scenes of police brutality, school shootings, and Donald fuckin’ Trump haunt him to no end. Paul von Stoetzel of Killing Joke Films directs this descent into madness.

J.W. Schuller – “No Mud in Joyville” (PREMIERE)

You don’t need a bunch of flashy equipment to make a music video these days. The latest from J.W. Schuller was shot on an iPhone 6, and it still zings with charm. “No Mud in Joyville” is a playfully absurdist look into an ideal world where dogs talk baseball and armies fight over the right to bring you lemonade. Director Jaci Lee Reno lets Schuller and drummer Jens Larsen play out this fantasy in a family member’s cabin, and all the two need is a cell phone to translate the bliss. Schuller’s forthcoming No Mud in Joyville releases on June 9, and Schuller will play at Mortimer’s that night to celebrate.

David LeDuc feat. Karin Haase – “Sand” (PREMIERE)

In April, Enemy Planes frontman David LeDuc dropped his solo EP Lucid, and today, he followed up with the sister EP 55416. Director Paul von Stoetzel returns to Local Frames to direct LeDuc and collaborator Karin Haase in the video for lead single “Sand.” The moody scenes of the video partner well with the song’s lucid, undulating atmosphere. Join LeDuc tomorrow night at Modist Brewing for a screening of the video or stop by Mortimers on June 10 after Lyndale Open Streets for the 55416 release show.

Lyga – “Cloud 9”

You might know Minneapolis pop artist Lyga better as Alex Jordan. But in his new song “Cloud 9,” Lyga laments a fading passion with bundles of gospel soul to bear. Director Justin Staggs takes the piano-driven ballad to church (specifically the Church of Saint Louis King of France in St. Paul) to capture Lyga’s anguish. As Lyga pleads for forgiveness or clarity, none comes. The candles burn to puddles of wax, and Lyga sets his lost love’s picture to flame.

Purple Queen – “Giants”

“Somewhere between MC Lyte and Flava Flav,” music video director Mercies May, “you'll find the voice of Purple Queen.” The North Minneapolis rapper definitely has an old school feel, but “Giants” is a sparklingly produced song that showcases both her boom bap rap stylings as well as her gorgeous vocals. “Giants” is meant to uplift and inspire, and in the video, Purple Queen takes this mission to literal ends, distributing flowers to warring locals as a reminder to step back from the drama and enjoy the life you’re given while you can. The beat is produced by Ameen Taahir.

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