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.
Mark Mallman's brand new video emphatically launches this week. We've also got new clips from Spooky Black, Jay Simonson, Origami Bones, and a Minneapolis-laden video from Mike Krol. We're also featuring two new videos from Adam J. Dunn's LAAB series from Actual Wolf and Sims, along with a recap from the Lowertown Guitar Festival, a tour highlight reel from Teenage Moods, and an in-studio performance from Hippo Campus. Enjoy!
Mark Mallman - "Monster Movies"
The irrepressible Mark Mallman transforms into a self-stylized Malldusa for his grand return with "Monster Movies," the first single from his forthcoming new record. Directed by Sam Thompson and Eric Parker Andersen, with additional photography by Wilson Webb, the video is a lighthearted throwback to monster movies of the past, all filtered through Mallman's unorthodox mind. There isn't a release date yet for Mallman's new record, but "Monster Movies" is a dynamic and fun first offering.
Spooky Black - "DJ Khaled Is My Father"
Spooky Black is on quite a creative roll right now, churning out new tracks and videos on a regular basis, along with his frequent collaborators Psymun, Allan Kingdom, Bobby Raps, Tiiiiiip, and TheStandard crew. He just released a new EP called Leaving, and this is a video for the provocatively titled final track, "DJ Khaled Is My Father." The clip, which was directed by Gabe Broderick and Harry Sutherland, continues the simple, home video-style technique that Spooky Black has employed for most of his music videos so far. There's no question that Spooky Black has found a wide audience that extends far beyond his St. Paul home, but much of who he is remains a guarded mystery other than the intoxicating music he continues to put out.
Hippo Campus - "Little Grace (Live on the Current)"
The burgeoning indie rock quartet Hippo Campus have made an impression on the local music scene with their spirited, catchy live show and infectious jams. The group recently dropped by the Current studios to capture some of that energy in this live session, where the group busts out a rousing version of their debut single, "Little Grace." If this lively performance piques your interest, you can catch the band for free tomorrow night as part of the Music and Movies series at Lake Harriet Bandshell, as they play a 7:30 set right before the airing of Mystery Men.
Actual Wolf - "Queen of Carolina (LAAB Session)"
Director Adam J Dunn is back with the eighth season of his striking and successful Lights and a Backdrop video series, and one of the highlights from the first batch of vids he rolled out this past week is this wistful clip for "Queen of Carolina" by Actual Wolf. The backdrop in this case is the stately Southern Theater, which adds a regal charm to the encouraging number from Actual Wolf's forthcoming new album, Itasca. The stripped-down surroundings play well into the hardscrabble, countrified nature of the song, with Eric Pollard's acoustic guitar strains augmenting the sweeping passion of his tender vocals.
Sims - "Sims Jong Il (LAAB Session)"
Speaking of highly anticipated new albums, Sims is set to release Field Notes on September 2, and this LAAB session gives fans another idea as to what the new record sounds like. Dunn again sets the video at the Southern Theater, providing Sims with props to augment his rhymes, like a handful of Ramen Noodles and Jenga. The spirited Doomtree MC is ready to get First Avenue moving once again, as Sims and Astronautalis are teaming up for another AstroSims show at the Ave on Saturday night. After the full-crew Doomtree show at the Minnesota State Fair on August 30, Sims will then hit the road for a month long tour in support of Field Notes, dates which will bring him to some high-profile venues throughout the country. But for now, get down to the playful lyrical high jinks of "Sims Jong Il."
Lowertown Guitar Festival - 2014 Highlights
On Saturday, August 9, music lovers filled St. Paul's Mears Park for the second annual Lowertown Guitar Festival, put on by McNally Smith College of Music. This lively video captures some of the highlights from the highly enjoyable event, with slick guitar riffs carrying the day. Robben Ford, Greg Koch, Jim Campilongo, Rosie Flores, and National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Phil Heywood are just some of the talented guitar players who were tearing up the stage that day, entertaining the 4,000-plus fans who were getting down to the music throughout the day.
Teenage Moods - Tour Minnesota
Teenage Moods give us a different side of the Minnesota music scene with the tour diary for their recent run of shows throughout the state. The group hits up gigs in Bemidji and Duluth, along with a house show in Superior, and their guitarist/vocalist Gordon Byrd captures the good times they had on the road and on stage -- with live footage captured at the Pizza Luce in Duluth. The clip gives you a small glimpse into what life is like on the road as a touring musician, and how being cooped up in the van for too long can cause people to do weird things to break the monotony and tension. It also shows off a few recognizable landmarks from the northern part of the state, all set to the rowdy soundtrack of Teenage Moods.
Jay Simonson - "Empty for You"
Jay Simonson is the boisterous leader of France Camp, but on his new solo project, he tones things down a bit for the tender "Empty for You." The nature-filled clip, done by Elise Pfau, adds to the relaxed vibe of the track, which has a decided bedroom recording quality to it. The talented musician can certainly transform his music into whatever style he chooses and still get our attention, as the effortlessly catchy hooks and chorus of "Empty for You" prove. It's unclear whether this video and single mark a one-off solo excursion for Simonson, or if he plans to release something more extensive on his own, but for now let this buoyant jam become one of the songs of your summer.
Origami Bones - "Spine Diving"
Origami Bones are a new duo composed of producer Adriatic (also of Pseudoubt) and vocalist Shatter the Primate (Mackenzie Monk), and the pair make quite an ethereal, intoxicating combination on their debut single/video, "Spine Diving." The stylish clip, done by Satya Varghese Mac and Jae Shin-Cross, adds to the dreamlike feel of the track, which is drawn from Origami Bones' forthcoming album. The smooth beats echo the laid-back trip-hop sounds that emanated out of Bristol in the early '90s, with modern sonic flourishes that keep the track sounding fresh and contemporary. I look forward to hearing more from this promising duo.
Mike Krol opening for Superchunk at Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock
This video is a complete lark, and it's impossible not to get caught up in the fun that everyone in Mike Krol's band is having throughout the clip. The premise of the video is enough to get any hardworking underground musician excited -- a band you respect and admire, in this case Superchunk, wants you to open for them at one of their shows. Krol is in California (as is the gig), and he places an urgent call to his band, who are here in Minneapolis. The local parts of the clip were shot by Gordon Byrd, while the L.A. footage was done by Rich Monahan. Both parts combine seamlessly in their ramshackle ode to Laverne & Shirley, with the full band finally meeting up in time for the gig, where they rise to the occasion and rock the Superchunk crowd. Here's to Superchunk for making their dreams come true, and for everyone involved for hilariously capturing the thrilling occasion.
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