Local Frames is a weekly column spotlighting the best new music videos featuring musicians and directors with Minnesota ties.
We get things going in this week's Local Frames with a striking new video from Batteryboy, which stars the 4onthefloor's Gabe Douglas. We're also featuring new clips from Mason Jennings, Farewell Milwaukee, Brilliant Beast, Courtney Yasmineh, Ménage Quad, and Axel Foley. In addition, we've got a hot in-studio session from our two-time Picked to Click winner, Lizzo, an experimental art installation featuring music from John Keston, and a truly moving spoken word piece from Alix Dahl and Jim DeMarre. Enjoy!
Batteryboy - "Minus One Together"
This new video from Batteryboy is for a studio version of a live song we featured on Local Frames a while back, and the band certainly manages to capture the raw anguish of that stunning live take in this gorgeous version. The clip and song was commissioned by the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, who wanted audio and visual accompaniment for their artwork to play during guided tours. So, the 4onthefloor frontman Gabe Douglas is outfitted to match the subject in the painting, with the locale also picked out specifically to match the backdrop. Batteryboy will be playing a co-vinyl release show with Fathom Lane at Icehouse on November 23.
Mason Jennings - "Wilderness"
Mason Jennings has a new album, Always Been, set for release on November 12, and this picturesque, road-trip video for the record's first single, "Wilderness," was directed by Dan Huiting. Jennings has a full scale U.S. tour planned in support of Always Been, which includes a two-night stand at First Avenue on December 6 and 7. This plaintive, searching track certainly bodes well for the rest of the album, with Mason's astute lyrics guiding the track forward on top of a lilting acoustic melody which allows the sentiment of the song to shine through.
Farewell Milwaukee - "True Love Don't Leave Scars"
The Twin Cities sextet Farewell Milwaukee are on a good run as of late. Having just released their well-received new record, Can't Please You, Can't Please Me, in September, the group just had their new video for "True Love Don't Leave Scars" premiere on CMT earlier this week. They were also selected to be part of this year's Cities 97 sampler, with a version of that same song recorded live on Lake Minnetonka featured on the prestigious benefit release. The video finds the band playing their wistful new number in a tranquil forest, which adds to the natural vibe of the song itself.
Lizzo - "Faded (Live on the Current)"
It's certainly Lizzo's time here in the Twin Cities, and we better just join in the party or get the hell out of the way. The vibrant MC, and our Picked To Click winner, recently dropped by the Current studios for a spirited live session to promote her new record, Lizzobangers. This version of "Faded" finds Lizzo tearing into her rhymes on top of fresh beats laid down by Lazerbeak, with the pair setting off the studio with this rousing rendition. Lizzo is set to take over First Avenue's Mainroom with her homecoming record release show on December 28, so we can all get down with her during the holidays.
Brilliant Beast - "A Child On Fire"
Minneapolis indie quartet Brilliant Beast are set to release their third album, Where Do You Want, on November 8 at Cause, and have just released a video for one of their new tracks, "A Child On Fire." The video was shot, directed, and edited by the band's bassist (and Gimme Noise photographer) Mark Kartarik, in a living room, moving from a planned photo shoot of the band members to an unplanned video opportunity. The spontaneity (and cats and swords) certainly adds to the unbridled energy of the Sugar-sounding number, capturing the group having plenty of fun with whatever they could find laying around the room.
Courtney Yasmineh - "Apparition"
Courtney Yasmineh went all the way to the White Cliffs of Dover to shoot her striking new video for "Apparation," which the group filmed while on tour in the UK earlier this month. The clip compliments the penetrating nature of the track, while also providing a lush backdrop to the song's simmering soul. Yasmineh is returning to Minnesota for a few select shows in November, beginning with a show at Honey on November 7 and a performance at Wild Tymes on November 15.
Alix Dahl & Jim DeMarre - "My Poppa, I Swear"
This powerful and poignant spoken-word performance from Alix Dahl and Jim DeMarre (who provides banjo accompaniment) is for a moving piece called, "My Poppa, I Swear." It deals openly and honestly with transgender issues here in the United States, with Dahl beginning each of her verses with a startling statistic about the violence and injustice committed against transgenders in this country before personalizing the piece with a story that hits closer to home. It's a raw, vulnerable performance that gains strength from its sincerity while also (hopefully) moving anyone who watches it to live a more tolerant life. Thanks to Guante for bringing this deeply affecting clip to my attention -- he saw Dahl and DeMarre perform this at a recent poetry slam at Hamline University and insisted that they put a version online, and I'm so glad they did.
Pop Up Northrop and John Keston - Builders of the Universe
Local musical maestro John Keston recently teamed up with the Pop Up Northrop team and students with the U's College of Design, Institute for Advanced Study, and University Honors Program, to create this wonderful installation project on Northrop Auditorium. Keston provided the live electronic music and sound installation, while projections of the students work were beamed across the familiar facade of Northrop, creating a truly stunning, unique audio/visual experience that adds to the mystique of the venerable building itself while celebrating its recent revitalization, and pondering how the structure will continue to adapt to the architecture of the times going forward.
Axel Foley - "No Fear"
Local MC Axel Foley brought in Greg Grease to direct his new video for "No Fear," which features a textured, hypnotic beat and Foley's optimistic, eco-friendly rhymes. In case his lyrics didn't clue you in on the earthy, socially-conscious stance Foley was taking, a girl dancing around with a hula-hoop should make it quite clear that this is a style of hippie-hop popularized by Mod Sun. But in this age of uncertainty and sinister corruption, a little positivity is needed, and that is what Foley is preaching throughout this track, bringing back the summer vibes while trying to hold the winter months at bay.
Ménage Quad - "Off The Wall"
Local electro-pop collective Ménage Quad have crafted a really cool video for their new track, "Off The Wall," which was directed by Mark Mazur. While the track slowly takes off, a juggler joins in the fun, as does someone in a gorilla costume and a roving drummer, all while the rest of the group strolls into the alley to complete the picture. All of which adds to the party atmosphere of the song, which keeps growing as the song and the video jubilantly pushes forward.