The 10 best Minnesota music videos of 2013
In addition to all of the great songs and albums released by Minnesota musicians throughout 2013, it has also been a wonderful year for local music videos. Each week, there are no shortage of original, striking clips that I've spotlighted in my Local Frames column, as area bands and filmmakers continue to craft indelible images to compliment the stirring sounds of the Twin Cities and beyond. And now, as the year draws to a festive and fruitful close, we take an affectionate look back at ten of the best Minnesota-based music videos that have captured and held our attention throughout '13.
Pony Bwoy - "Ævum (time crawls)"
Pony Bwoy's first video lifted from their self-titled debut on Totally Gross National Product certainly plays on the "time crawls" aspect of the song title, as black ooze slowly drips over the heads of band members Jeremy Nutzman and Hunter Morley, who both directed the video as well. The album itself is a fresh artistic statement from the emerging young band, who bring a moody, R&B edginess to the Minneapolis music scene.
Low - "Clarence White"
This gorgeous video for our current cover stars, Low, is for one of the many standouts on The Invisible Way, "Clarence White." It's another terrific offering from Dan Huiting's City Of Music series, and the haunting clip perfectly captures the emotional depth of the song itself. The video shifts elegantly from live performance shots interspersed with evocative images of taxidermy, which only adds to the hushed, doleful nature of the track itself, before the track and the video both bare some teeth as the number goes on.
Trampled By Turtles - "Midnight on the Interstate"
If you thought this Trampled By Turtles' track couldn't get more moving and poignant, wait until you watch this meticulously crafted stop-animation video for "Midnight on the Interstate." The story that the clip tells is just as tender and heartbreaking as the song itself, with director/producer Stephanie Erlandson and her talented team of animators perfectly capturing the wistful nature of the track. And, just like with the beginning to the movie Up, you should probably keep a box of tissues nearby, just in case.
Astronautalis - "Dimitri Mendeleev"
Astronautalis had a big, breakout year in 2013, which included Harley-Davidson creating a custom made motorcycle for the talented MC as he joined their Taste of Freedom Tour. In the midst of all of that, Andy also released a dynamic, colorful video for "Dimitri Mendeleev," one of the highlights on his fantastic recent record, This Is Our Science. This striking clip was directed by Justin Staggs and Nate Maydole, and produced by Sam Kovar, with drummer Mo Bluntz awesomely sporting an Atomic Records T-shirt, a sweet Milwaukee record store which sadly is no longer around but its musical spirit lives on in this video.
Caroline Smith - "Magazine"
As the buzz was building surrounding Caroline Smith's new record, Half About Being A Woman, she released this provocative and playful video for the album's lead single, "Magazine." And, if all you see are half-dressed women cavorting around in their underwear, you're missing the major point of the clip itself. The vibrant, alluring video was directed and edited by Dan Huiting, who, in addition to drenching the band in milk, captures Smith and her lovely friends unguardedly frolicking in their skivvies, celebrating the beauty within themselves as well as the self assured spirit of the song.
Tickle Torture - "Forgotten"
Of course Tickle Torture is going to come at us with a sexy, striking (and occasionally NSFW) video for "Forgotten," a dynamic, soulful jam that is one of the freshest sounds going in the Twin Cities. Elliott Kozel started up this new musical project as a funky side project alongside his longtime psych-rock band Sleeping in the Aviary, who just called it quits last year. And while Tickle Torture certainly represents a dramatic change in direction for Kozel, the stylish sounds he's generating are just as intriguing and arresting as those of his former band. The video was directed by high-profile music video director Josh Hegard, and provides plenty of indelible images that are just as original as the music itself.
MaLLy & the Sundance Kid - "Winner"
The concept behind this video for MaLLy's "Winner" is a straightforward one, with the emerging rapper delivering his spirited rhymes against a plain backdrop. But what makes this clip, directed by Victor Rukavina, such a cool one is the litany of cameos from other artists and musicians from throughout the Twin Cities music scene (see how many notable scenesters you can spot). They all drop in to lend their support to MaLLy and the Sundance Kid, while also reinforcing the unifying message of the track itself, all of which makes the video all the more memorable in the process.
The Color Pharmacy - "Aperture"
This gorgeous clip for the Color Pharmacy's "Aperture" was directed and edited by Jake Dilley and Jimmy Morrison, who elegantly capture fall in the Twin Cities from distinctive angles while using slight camera tricks to provide you with a new perspective on familiar sights. The track is lifted from the band's lovely self-titled album which they released back in March, and this striking video only enhances the genuine warmth of the song itself.
Hastings 3000 - "Speed of Light"
This tense, theatrical clip for Hastings 3000's "Speed of Light" was expertly directed by Patrick Pierson. The track is one of the standouts on Hastings' recent record, A New Monster. As you'd expect from a Hastings 3000 video, the distinctive gas mask makes a prominent appearance, as do explosions, mysterious beams of light, and plenty of kick ass rock 'n' roll. The video, and the song itself, just get better as they go on, building to a dramatic finish that is satisfying and entirely awesome.
The Cloak Ox - "Pigeon Lung"
Our 2011 Picked to Click winners the Cloak Ox recently released their blazing debut full-length, Shoot The Dog, and this compelling video for "Pigeon Lung" is the first clip drawn from that record. The video was directed and edited by Isaac Gale, produced by Andrew Broder (who also co-wrote the the treatment with Gale), and prominently features Lizzo as a compassionate waitress who shares a dance (and perhaps a joyride) with Phil Docken in the liberation-themed clip that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the song.
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