Before we sulk onward to the grim promise of 2019, let’s give it up one more time for Twin Cities music-video makers.
What a shitty hustle it is to make music in the YouTube generation. Trying to capture a slice of an audience’s attention in 2018 was like trying to sell light bulbs on the sun. And yet dozens on the local scene did it. Reliably. Week after week. Chucking their dreams at my inbox in hopes that the hours of shooting and reshooting could find some modicum of an audience.
Indeed these are apocalyptic times. But the apocalypse does come with some triumphs, and those are what we’re here to celebrate. Here are the best local music videos we featured in Local Frames this year.
Most Gore: Tony Bones and Big Wiz ft. Jelly Roll – “Monsters”
Now that Witch Watch is out of the blood game (mostly), it was up to a new class of VFX junkies to fill these margins with red-dyed corn syrup. Sass gave their paranoid, visceral best in May. Feather Thief bloodied up a basement in October . And then there was the always-grindhouse-ready Carnage the Executioner. But ultimately, it was Bones and Wiz, who were early contenders for Most Horny (see below) until shit went sideways and the arteries opened up. Mercies May is a macabre magician.
Best Choreography: Darling Lily Gave – “Off, Then On”
2018 was the year choreographers, dancers, musicians, and directors all got on the same page. We had mesmerizing body contortions from David LeDuc , Solana , Fathom Lane , Strange Relations , Reflectivore , Vie Boheme , Bijou Noir , and most recently, Sister Species . Among all these many great examples, it was Darling Lily Gave’s collaboration with Kelvin Wailey that stuck most deeply in my mind. I mean, the dancers are literally falling out of cabinets. Bravo.
Most Infectious: Rich Garvey – “Compliment”
Rich Garvey’s sprung-as-hell Onyx Gemstone birthed plenty of tracks worth a repeat listen, but none as impressive as “Compliment.” A sensual R&B love song courtesy of producer Ackryte, “Compliment” debuted almost a year ago, and it’s still making the rounds in my brain. Kudos to JamesG for the pleasingly repetitive “Ok Ok Ok” and Tufawon for “Cambia La Tema” for making this choice hard. Moodie Black almost stole the category with her darkly melodic “Black.”
Most Floof: Early Eyes – “Coffee”
Early Eyes went nearly uncontested in this critical, critical category when they romped around in snowdrifts with a floppy golden retriever puppy in the video for “Coffee.” This is probably the greatest disappointment of the year. More doggies, gat dang it. The only other video in consideration for Most Floof was Silt’s “Rats on Smog,” which features a drummer dressed as a dog . A truly shameful showing for the Twin Cities music scene.
Most Touching: Dima Kash – “Love/Hate”
Paternity was a big theme in 2018. Manny Phesto took on the subject with typical hip-hop flair , and that same month, Reed Benjamin unspooled a love letter to his son . Of all the Sad Dads on our lists for the year, it was Dima Kash’s “Love/Hate” that came with the biggest dagger. The regret, the shame, the determination: Kash makes it all palpable in this cautionary tale of a father who lets drama get between him and his future.
Most Horny: Timmy Waves – “Gotta Make It”
If you weren’t horny in 2018, were you even alive? Untrammelled sex drive was one of 2018’s only redeeming themes, and St. Paul rapper Timmy Waves lived that shit in his Dogfood Media-directed video for “Gotta Make It.” Bones & Wiz might’ve challenged Waves for the booty-shakin’ title, but they had to go and kill everyone within a boner’s distance, so this lapdance-happy cut is the true champion. Tip of the hat goes to Elle PF, who showed that horny knows no gender norms in their video for “In My Head.”
Most Minnesota: Dan Israel – “Someday You’ll Say”
As the old, too-often-repeated saying goes, in Minnesota, there are two seasons: winter and road construction. As such, is there anything more quintessentially Minnesotan than the still-atrocious buttfuck that is 35W right now? Dan Israel captured the infrastructural nightmare that is downtown Minneapolis in his video for “Someday You’ll Say,” giving life to the communal gripes we all have about the state of the highway. Nothing was more Minnesotan. Not Kiss the Tiger’s smalltown dive bar blues, not Blinds’ deep-winter escape, not J.W. Schuller’s convivial cabin weekend. It took a Minnesota legend to bring this Minnesota nightmare to the screen.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected] .