It's wedding season. Wedding season.
More than just an excuse to use tired old catchphrases from fratboy films, wedding season is an inescapable series of obligations that really cut into your ability to go see shows and festivals. Wanna go see Astronautalis' album release this Saturday? Too bad! Your cousin has nuptials. Wanna lock down a campsite for Eaux Claires 2.0? Shucks, looks like your college roommate is tying the knot.
While you're sitting around the hotel waiting for your post-reception hangover to recede into a tolerable headache, the music videos are there for you. Every week, Local Frames puts together a five-song visual setlist you can use as your own private concert. Don't feel so guilty for missing the headliner at First Ave when there's a handful of vids sitting right here for you to enjoy at your (and your lovesick friends') leisure.
Haley Bonar — "Kismet Kill"
The Twin Cities sat back and watched as local adoptee Haley Bonar bloomed into a national starlet. When NPR's All Songs Considered debuted her new video "Kismet Kill" last week, we felt the triumph along with her. Thankfully, we didn't suffer the same fate as the subjects in her video, whose victorious prom celebration goes sour immediately after the song kicks on.
As the prom queen drags herself drearily through the city, Bonar sings her own song about unglamorous maturation. Now she's the one who brings kids to parties, her kismet — fate — as a youth-sapped grandmother gradually coming into view.
Bonar's national tour stops in Rochester, Minnesota, on July 31. Her new album, Impossible Dream, is due in August. Sic transit gloria.
MAOLU — "If You Were Around"
My Thoughts Exactly is the name of 19-year-old rapper MAOLU's latest EP. The West African transplant chose the reposed "If You Were Around" to stand as the lead visual for the project, showing the depths of his rhyming style over a sparse beat provided by Vern.
Even though MAOLU rhymes at a trudging pace with bars that shift in and out of focus, his work on the mic is captivating. As he searches for his purpose in an empty warehouse, you can't help but start rooting for the understated teenager.
Reckless Society — "That 70s Cypher"
Reckless Society have been watching too much Netflix lately. The Minneapolis collective took some inspiration from That 70s Show's rotating camera gag for their most recent cypher. The beat even samples the Cheap Trick song that was used as the '90s retro sitcom's theme.
Given the playful aesthetic, emcees Kenneth QouVadis, Tony JR, and MC Matt bring energy that's almost a mismatch for the stoner jam. Each bar is more braggadocious and hilarious than the last, culminating in the Mitch Hedberg-lookin' MC Matt's slick bars about whiskey dick. They really put a foot in that beat's ass.
Brian Just — "Changing Traffic Lights"
Brian Just's latest orchestration spans decades. "Changing Traffic Lights" was begun by Just's father in 1974. The senior Just began with only the piano chords and the title. Nearly 40 years later, Just rebuilt the song with old tapes of his dad tinkering and composers Adam Conrad and Tyler Tholl helping to flesh out the instrumentation.
The result is a really touching, sentimental ode to the passage of time. One that's enhanced by the dour visuals that show Just biking through a lonely park only to end up at the piano with his own son. Just's new album of the same name is due out later this year.
The Counterfactuals — "Every Turn You Take Is Right"
You ever see that bizarre movie Frank where Michael Fassbender wears a giant papier-mâché head and plays in a band? It's unclear if the Counterfactuals have. But at the very least, they processed the psychic energy of that film into the new video for "Every Turn You Take Is Right."
Filmed by Peter Nelson, the video features a pair lovers with hugely embellished heads and hands trying to have a nice picnic in the park that's ruined by the man's nervous, drunken blabbermouth. Elsewhere, there's a grizzly bear with egregious amounts of cheese and a fizzing bottle of champagne that only keeps the annoyance percolating.
The song comes from June 10's self-titled LP, which the band will he heralding June 25 at Icehouse.
Ally Mattson — Bones of Bandits narrative video
Singer-songwriter Ally Mattson will be dropping her debut album, Bones of Bandits, on Thursday. It's a seven-song jaunt that features the young folk artist feeling her way through a world she's more or less sabotaged with her own willfulness.
We'll be speaking to Mattson and dissecting her album track by track later this week. But in a new video release by her label Polkadot Mayhem, she goes into some of the intimate details of how she came to that name and the overarching theme of the debut. It also show glimpses of Mattson, 25, in the studio — a rare glimpse into the rise of an artist who is still figuring herself out.
Mattson is releasing Bones of Bandits on June 23 and will celebrate with a show at the Turf Club on the same night.