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 are celebrating a bit of a milestone with our 50th installment of Local Frames, and it's packed with some terrific new videos from emerging area talent. We kick things off with a nautical-themed new clip from John Mark Nelson, and a rambunctious video from Lizzo, with both artists set to release highly anticipated new albums in the near future. We're also featuring clips from Mark Mallman, Sam Breckenridge, Wanda Davis, as well as wonderful live performance videos from Taj Raj, the Federales, in studio performances from Hollow Boys and Frankie Lee, and a Sleater Kinney cover from Minneapolis ex-pats Free Energy. Enjoy!
John Mark Nelson - "The Moon and the Stars"
John Mark Nelson is in the process of finishing up his highly anticipated new album, and to add to that excitement, MTV just premiered his LIfe Aquatic-inspired video for "The Moon and the Stars." The shimmering track has been featuring prominently in Nelson's recent live sets, and certainly represents a confident artistic step forward for the burgeoning local singer/songwriter. The clip is actually Nelson's first official music video, and it was shot by Will Keeler aboard the S.S. William A. Irvin in the Duluth harbor. Nelson returns to a local stage on November 8, headlining the Cedar for the first time with support coming from Trampled By Turtles' Dave SImonett and Ryan Young as well as the Ericksons.
Lizzo - "Batches & Cookies (feat. Sophia Eris)"
Lizzo's big year just keeps getting better and better. After taking the top spot in our Picked to Click poll with her crew from the Chalice, the exuberant MC continued her rapid rise in the local scene by forming GRRRL PRTY with Sophia Eris and Manchita, as well as partnering with Doomtree DJ Lazerbeak for her upcoming Lizzobangers album, due out on October 15 on Totally Gross National Product. This spirited video for "Batches & Cookies" is the first taste from their collaboration, with Lizzo getting some help from Sophia Eris as well. The clip, which was directed by Ryan Kron Thompson, captures Lizzo and her friends feeling the love at the State Capitol, eating some delicious doughnuts, as well as roaming around the city on motorcycles. A fun video for what is assuredly going to be a funky project. Catch Lizzo opening for Har Mar Superstar throughout his fall U.S. and European tours.
Wanda Davis - "Take Care (Live at the Cedar)"
Last year when Secret Stash held their triumphant release party for their Twin Cities Funk & Soul Compilation, one of the definite stars of the show was Wanda Davis, who delivered a few transfixing, soulful songs that captivated the crowd and reinvigorated interest in her music. Secret Stash is now in the process of putting out a brand new 45 from Wanda Davis, her first new material in over 40 years. This video, shot at the release party at the Cedar last year, has just surfaced, and captures the cool elegance of Ms. Davis as she commands the stage and sings her heart out. Read more about the recording session for Davis' new 7" here.
Mark Mallman - Road Rogue
Almost exactly one year ago today, Mark Mallman set forth on his most ambitious musical adventure yet in a career that has been full of intrepid, wild high jinks, as he set forth on a cross country journey that would take him 3,200 miles in eight days, with him playing music the entire time (even in his sleep), the results of which were then webcast to fans and interested parties throughout the world. This clip documents some of the fun of Mallman's Road Rogue trek, while interviewing the key players who helped make the adventure happen, as well as shedding some light on what went into the whole creative ordeal. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the entire clip is the suggestion at the very end that this might not be the last time something like this gets attempted, hinting that Mallman might try all of this again. In the meantime, you can catch Mark in a much more conventional setting when he opens for Volcano Choir at First Avenue on October 18.
Taj Raj - "Emily (Live from LaCrosse)"
While in LaCrosse recently, the Minneapolis quartet Taj Raj headed up to the Grandad Bluff to take advantage of a glorious early evening as well as play this tender version of "Emily." The gorgeous, serene backdrop only adds to the wistful sentiment of the song itself, and thankfully Colin Kopp was on hand to capture the magical, poignant moment. You can catch Taj Raj opening up for Jeremy Messersmith at the New Century Theatre on September 21.
Hollow Boys - "Heartbreaker (Mariah Carey Cover - Live on Radio K)"
Hollow Boys dropped into the Radio K studios recently and certainly showed their fun side with this Mariah Carey cover. The group (along with their friend Max) brought a bit of an edge to the typically bouncy and buoyant pop anthem, and it definitely works. This performance was part of Radio K's Eight Grade Dance series, and Hollow Boys definitely delivered a memorable moment with this cover, which hopefully might find its way into their setlists in the future, perhaps at upcoming gigs at the Hexagon on September 13 and the Kitty Cat Klub on September 26.
The Federales - "400 Miles Away (Live at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival)"
The catchy, earnest alt-country of the Federales is starting to catch on around the Twin Cities, with the band landing a Wednesday night residency at the Driftwood Char Bar, along with other big gigs around town (including an upcoming headlining set at Amsterdam on September 19). This spirited live clip finds the band in fine form at this summer's Stone Arch Bridge Festival, with their impassioned harmonies elevating the plaintive sentiments of "400 Miles Away."
Sam Breckenridge - "Much Obliged"
The talented Twin Cities acoustic guitarist Sam Breckenridge is in the process of recording his debut solo album, which is slated for release sometime this fall. This understated but elegant video for "Much Obliged," which will be featured on Sam's upcoming album, showcases the deft guitar work of Breckenridge, who imbues his playing with a lively spirit and style. Breckenridge is a self-taught musician who used to be in the acoustic duo Afterall, and, based on the subtle quality of this clip, his solo effort should certainly attract some well-deserved attention around the area when it is released.
Frankie Lee - "Black Dog (Live on the Current)"
Frankie Lee dropped by the Minnesota State Fair to play a wonderful live session for the Current, and this live clip of "Black Dog" captures the band at their best. With J.T. Bates keeping a rollicking time behind him, Lee delivers an impassioned run through of the stellar closing track to his Middle West EP. Frankie Lee is playing at Icehouse tomorrow night (Sept 13) as part of BB Gun's CD release party, as well as a special upcoming Live Letters show on September 19 hosted by Actual Wolf, with sets from Dave Simonett and Claire De Lune.
Free Energy covers Sleater-Kinney
Free Energy - "You're No Rock N' Roll Fun"
Former Minneapolis boys Free Energy definitely inject their party vibe into this spirited cover of Sleater Kinney's "You're No Rock N' Roll Fun." The lively group, who recently delivered a festive and fun set at our 10 Thousand Sounds Festival, are about to embark on a high-profile Monday night residency at the Echo in L.A., with support from a litany of their talented friends, who will help the group spread their infectious, party-fueled music to the masses.
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