Top 10 must-see Minnesota music videos this week
Local Frames is a weekly column spotlighting the best new music videos featuring musicians and directors with Minnesota ties.
This week we lead off with another uplifting video from inspirational signer/songwriter Zach Sobiech. "Sandcastles" is a collaborative duet with Sammy Brown that only adds to the musical legacy that young Zach continues to craft. There's also a graphic, NSFW new clip for the recent Flaming Lips creative excursion with adopted Twin Cities son Bon Iver, a glimpse of Strange Names in the studio, a highlight video of McNally Smith's recent sojourn down to SXSW, and a clip from a unique new musical direction for a Duluth mainstay, Marc Gartman's Fever Dream. We've also got plenty of great hip-hop vids on offer, featuring a full live set from Kill The Vultures, a return of Micranots, and a hilarious collaboration between Prof and the MC Type that you just have to see to believe. Enjoy!
Zach Sobiech and Sammy Brown - "Sandcastles"
Zach Sobiech's story is a sad but heartwarming one, filled with the healing, restorative power of music and how, with just a gift of a simple song, Zach can leave his enduring mark on family, friends, and plenty of people he's never going to meet -- filling them all with a sense of hope and encouragement. Sobiech has partnered with singer Sammy Brown for his new song, "Sandcastles," and she adds her warm, lilting vocals to the number, giving it some added depth and emotion. The track is taken from the duo's new collaborative album, Fix Me Up, which is currently available on iTunes.
The Flaming Lips & Bon Iver - "Ashes In The Air"
With the Flaming Lips set to release their new record, The Terror, on April 16, now seems like an odd time to drop a new video for their 2012 collaboration with Bon Iver, "Ashes In The Air," which is drawn from the Lips all-collabs album, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends. But oh what a wild video they decided to share with us. In addition to Wayne Coyne's abrasive language, the graphic clip features an untimely end for a baby, some unfortunate naked people, and exposed brains. In other words, it's just your typical Flaming Lips video. Meanwhile, Justin Vernon's ghostly falsetto rises above it all, adding another hypnotic sonic layer to the adventurous track.
Strange Names - "Once An Ocean (From White Iris Studios)"
Picked To Click duo Strange Names gives us a glimpse of what they get up to in the studio during this brief clip for "Once An Ocean." The track is the flip-side of their excellent current single, "Minor Times," which bodes well for the group's forthcoming full-length. In addition to that long-awaited LP, Strange Names have some other big things planned in 2013, including a coveted opening slot for Matt & Kim at St. Olaf on April 12, a high-profile gig at the Mercury Lounge in New York, and, of course, a set during City Pages' own Ten Thousand Sounds Festival on June 22.
McNally Smith @ SXSW 2013
Eleven music business students from McNally Smith made the long trek down to Austin for this year's SXSW, learning many valuable lessons about the music industry and promotion throughout the course of their hectic time in Texas. This video gives you a glimpse of what they got up to, and some of the things that they learned while they were there, while also providing a look at just what SXSW is like. The video features commentary from Charles Gehr, an instructor in McNally Smith's Music Business department, as well as candid insights from all the students themselves, who all seem to want to go back to SXSW every year, now that they have seen what it's like.
Kill The Vultures live at McNally Smith (January, 2013)
And speaking of McNally Smith, this video captures a full live set at the St. Paul music school from the spirited hip-hop duo Kill The Vultures. It's an intimate, in-your-face performance, lead by the high intensity vocals and rhymes of Crescent Moon and the inventive beats of producer Anatomy. For those who still haven't discovered the raw, emotional charms of KTV (seriously, what's wrong with you?!), watch this video from start to finish and you will surely see why these two have been setting the Minneapolis music scene on fire for a while now.
The MC Type & Prof - "My Backpack"
This parody video from Seattle's the MC Type and Minneapolis's own Prof for "My Backpack," quickly transcends the genre while blending Weird Al-type tongue-in-cheek humor with a catchy hook and some verses that go beyond being goofy. But the two MCs are certainly having a laugh here, poking a bit of fun at the "backpack-rap" genre, and the self-seriousness of hip-hop in general, while still managing to make a pretty good song of it all in the process. The track is taken from the MC Type's recent album, A Good Tattoo, and the hilarious, throwback video was filmed and edited by Griff J and Adam J. Dunn.
Fever Dream - "I'm Real"
Marc Gartman has been a fixture in the Duluth bluegrass and folk scene for a while now, but he's clearly broken free from those restraints with his decidedly-retro new project, Fever Dream. The hilarious (and mysterious) back story about the project is an imaginative as the music itself, which is driven by hypnotic keyboards, drum machines and a whole lot of charm. Gartman and his Fever Dream hit Minneapolis on April 17, opening for Trampled By Turtles at First Avenue, so local music fans can fall under his timeworn spell as we all travel back to the magical '80s.
Micranots - "Illegal Busyness/Decapitation III"
Micranots recently reformed for their raucous reunion show at the 7th Street Entry, and to commemorate the whole ordeal, the group has also released a dual-video for two of their classic tracks. The clip, directed by local MC/producer Greg Grease, combines both "Illegal Busyness," from Micranots renowned (and recently reissued) Obelisk Movements, and the hidden gem, "Decapitation III" from the out of print Farward EP. Both tracks find I Self Devine and DJ Kool Akiem reminding all of us of the original potency of the Micranots, while leaving us hoping that the talented crew might create something new sometime in the future.
Hot Ashes - "Eyes Are Open"
Hot Ashes are an inventive prog-rock quintet out of Minneapolis, and this clip for their new track, "Eyes Are Open" is drawn from the group's forthcoming album, Kill Your Owners. The moody video was directed by Hot Ashes' own Gus Watkins (and was also shot in his backyard), with camera work by Eric Elvendahl. Hot Ashes are set to headline Cause this Friday, for the third annual Mikey Max Heals The World charity event, alongside other local bands Enemy Planes, Fort Wilson Riot, Sean Anonymous, and Desert Vest.
Bomba de Luz - "Howl At The Moon (LIve Letters Session)"
The local Live Letters music series continues to provide intimate concert experiences for local music fans, and this clip of Bomba De Luz doing "Howl At The Moon" perfectly exemplifies both the cozy elegance of their performance series as well as the charm of Bomba de Luz themselves. The young quartet continues to deliver stirring live performances that have been garnering them more fans, and this clip should only continue the trend. Frontwoman Lydia Liza has a few solo shows planned in April, including tonight at the Kitty Kat Club and on the 17th at Honey, while the full group also has a big show scheduled during the Midwest Music Fest in Winona on April 20.
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