Local Frames is a weekly column spotlighting the best new music videos featuring musicians and directors with Minnesota ties.
We start things off at Local Frames this week with a new video by Mason Jennings, featuring Jennings' own animations in the clip. We've also got a wide array of live performance videos from Har Mar Superstar, Brilliant Beast, Buffalo Moon, Al Church, and two radically different takes on Tame Impala by Ginkgo and Mike 2600. We're also featuring a cool compilation of recent MN Original performances, a spirited new video from the Shakin' Babies, and a playful clip of Howler covering Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. Enjoy!
Mason Jennings - "Dreaming"
Mason Jennings animated and directed this simple but striking new video for "Dreaming," with his no-frills drawings complementing the song's straightforward tone and arrangement. The track is lifted from Jennings's new album, Always Been, a record filled with unadorned acoustic numbers that finds Mason returning to his roots. Jennings is currently on a massive tour in support of the album, which includes a couple of special local dates -- March 8 at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, and April 5 at the State Theatre in a co-headlining show with Iris DeMent.
Har Mar Superstar - "Lady, You Shot Me (Live at Wits)"
As the Twin Cities readies itself for Har Mar Superstar's headlining set tomorrow night at the Current's 9th Birthday celebration at First Avenue, we can take a look back at Sean's spirited live performance from a recent episode of Wits. He's backed by a sprawling, talented band who breathe plenty of vibrant life into the track, while Har Mar is ever the showman, looking resplendent in his sweet Rolling Stones sweater. It should be quite the party at First Ave on Friday, and Har Mar will no doubt give us all plenty of reasons to get loose.
Buffalo Moon - "Machista (Live on the Current)"
Buffalo Moon recently dropped by the Current studio for an enthralling live session, highlighted by this passionate take on "Machista," the title-track that launches their brilliant new record. After setting Icehouse off with a dynamic record release show a couple weeks back, it became quite clear that Buffalo Moon are set to have a big year in 2014.
Al Church - The Naked Songwriter Ep. 7
DEMO's terrific Naked Songwriter series continues with a brand new session from Al Church, the talented local musician from BBGun, Al Church and State, and a slew of other wonderful bands in the area. This episode features Church performing at Precision Grind Coffee Shop, with the musician insightfully taking the time to explain the stories and inspirations that led to him writing the songs. The Naked Songwriter series is a great teaching tool for aspiring musicians and artists, and veterans alike, and if you enjoy Church's performance, I highly recommend that you go back and check out the other episodes as well.
MN Original Music Compilation
MN Original consistently brings in some of the area's best and brightest musical talents, and captures them in a professionally shot and pristine sounding environment at their tpt studios. Recently, MN Original compiled an entire episode devoted to highlighting many of the standout performances that they have featured in the past, including Alpha Consumer, Solid Gold, Mayda, Astronautalis, Barbara Jean, The Shiny Lights and Cloud Cult. These stirring live clips not only capture what makes these distinctive local bands so great, but also shines a well-deserving spotlight on the good folks at MN Original, and all that they do to promote Minnesota music and artists.
Howler - "Roadrunner"
The promotion behind Howler's forthcoming new record, World Of Joy, has been filled with cheekiness so far, which is no surprise considering the humorous campaigns that launched the arrival of their debut album. And this playful new clip that has surfaced finds the band having fun with brass horns and each other, with the shambolic strains of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers' "Roadrunner" playing over their madcap adventures. Whether or not that is indeed Howler covering the '70s post-punk classic (or M.I.A.) or not is never made entirely clear, but it does sound like its rowdy enough to be their own distinctive twist on the track. Either way, the Twin Cities are excited to welcome the boys back to the big stage at First Avenue on Saturday night, where they will be part of the Current's 9th Birthday lineup.
Ginkgo - "Elephant (Live at 7th Street Entry)"
Back in December, Josh Grier's new band, Gingko, played a raucous show with a bunch of their friends in the Entry, and the guys were clearly enjoying themselves enough to tackle a cover of Tame Impala's hit single, "Elephant." This spirited version (captured in stark black and white by someone in the crowd), finds the group losing themselves in the unbridled nature of the track, while also clearly showing how much they revere the Tame Impala jam. Ginkgo will find themselves back in the Entry on February 10th, where they will be opening for Communist Daughter along with Bad Bad Hats -- a sweet gig which will only cost $1 for all of us who are seeing Neutral Milk Hotel in the Mainroom that night.
Mike 2600 - "Apocalypse Dreams"
And now for a completely different take on Tame Impala. Mike 2600 delivers this 8-bit MIDI style version of "Apocalypse Dreams," which refines and texturizes the song's structure and style, while keeping the sprawling melody and tone intact. The video also lays out exactly how Mike arranged and pieced together his unique version of the song. It's clear that the highly inventive material featured on Tame Impala's recent record, Lonerism, have struck a chord with plenty of local musicians, who have offered up two different but no less inspired takes on the Australian band's music.
Brilliant Beast - "Nepotism Shakes (Live on Radio K)"
Brilliant Beast recently dropped by the Radio K studios for an inspired live session, with one of the standouts of their set being this vibrant run through of "Nepotism Shakes." That track is drawn from the local quartet's excellent new record, Where Do You Want, a strong collection of rock songs that the band is promoting throughout their January residency at Cause, which continues on the 22nd with C. Kostra and Almitra, and concludes on the 29th with Hot Cellars and Reuben.
The Shakin' Babies - "Easy Meal"
Minneapolis garage-rock quintet the Shakin' Babies just released a fun new video for "Easy Meal," one of the standout tracks to their catchy new batch of songs, Stoked Casual. The clip, which was done by Jess Oleson, captures some glorious images of the sun and the sea, something that almost seems like a different world given the Polar Vortex we find ourselves trapped in here in the Twin Cities. The video perfectly compliments the surf rock vibes of the track itself, with the effervescent personality of the band shining through as well.