Top 10 must-see Minnesota music videos this week

Pixelated Prissy Clerks frontwoman Clara Salyer
Pixelated Prissy Clerks frontwoman Clara Salyer

Local Frames is a weekly column spotlighting the best new music videos featuring musicians and directors with Minnesota ties.

This week we kick things off with a fresh, raucous new video from Prissy Clerks, who just celebrated their first ever live appearance in New York City, and are now starting to get the national attention that they truly deserve. We've also got a dynamic new video from Astronautalis, who just won over Winona at the Mid West Music Fest the night before he jetted off to Europe for a big tour. There's also a wild new clip from Tickle Torture, a lovely MN Original performance from Cloud Cult, who are set for two sold-out First Avenue shows this weekend, as well as an enthralling new video from Strange Names. We are also featuring new videos from With a Gun for a Face, the Chord and the Fawn, Color Pharmacy, Schoenburg, and a spirited Radio K in-studio session from Bear the Sound. Enjoy!

Prissy Clerks - "Blast Off Girls"

The buzz continues to build for local garage-rock quintet Prissy Clerks, as more people fall under the charms of the band's rousing live show and the spirited urgency of their debut album, Bruise or Be Bruised. The retro appeal layered throughout their new video for "Blast Off Girls," directed by Gordon Byrd, will certainly help win over a wider audience, as the group (who just played NYC for the first time on Tuesday) starts to get the well-deserved attention of national music fans. Prissy Clerks are one of the great acts we are proud to have playing our inaugural 10 Thousand Sounds Music Festival on June 22 (tickets here), and they also have a free performance planned at the 331 Club as part of Art-a-Whirl on May 18. You can't go wrong with letting Prissy Clerks be the soundtrack to your summer -- if it ever arrives.

Astronautalis - Dimitri Mendeleev

Astronautalis just went down to Winona for the first time as part of the Mid West Music Fest, and totally won over a crowd who were mostly unfamiliar with his music heading into the show. Then, the animated, impassioned MC immediately got on a flight to Europe for a long tour with his band, providing a dynamic example of not only how dedicated he is to his craft, but also how he never stops sharing his music with anyone and everyone who will listen. Andy also just dropped a brand new video for "Dimitri Mendeleev," one of the standout tracks on his fantastic recent record, This Is Our Science. This striking clip was directed by Justin Staggs and Nate Maydole, and produced by Sam Kovar, with drummer Mo Bluntz awesomely sporting an Atomic Records T-shirt, a sweet Milwaukee record store which sadly is no longer around, but its musical spirit lives on in this video.

Tickle Torture - "Forgotten"

Of course Tickle Torture is going to come at us with a sexy, striking (and occasionally NSFW) video for "Forgotten," a dynamic, soulful jam that is one of the freshest sounds going in the Twin Cities. Elliott Kozel started up this new musical project as a funky side project alongside his longtime psych-rock band Sleeping in the Aviary, who just called it quits last year. And while Tickle Torture certainly represents a dramatic change in direction for Kozel, the stylish sounds he's generating are just as intriguing and arresting as those of his former band. The video was directed by high-profile music video director Josh Hegard, and provides plenty of indelible images that are just as original as the music itself. This is shaping up to be quite a year for Tickle Torture -- and you can find out exactly what Kozel is all about when Ticktle Torture headline the Kitty Cat Klub tonight.

Cloud Cult - "You're the Only Thing in Your Way (MN Original Performance)"

Cloud Cult are set for two sold-out homecoming/record release shows at First Avenue this weekend, in support of their stirring new record, Love. This tender version of "You're the Only Thing in Your Way" was shot at Architectural Antiques in northeast Minneapolis, and the intricate, elegant surroundings add to the song's poignancy. MN Original did a wonderful job perfectly matching the material and the artist with a location that totally suits them, but expect the band to be much more lively on the First Avenue stage on Saturday and Sunday night as the group finally gets the chance to share their new songs with their dedicated local fan base.

Strange Names - "Once an Ocean"

Recent Picked to Click stars Strange Names are finally starting to become a bit more active as of late, releasing a new 7-inch on White Iris Records , as well as this accompanying video for "Once an Ocean." The hotly tipped duo of Liam Benzvi and Francis Jimenez are also set to play our 10 Thousand Sounds Festival, and "Once an Ocean" should be a dynamic centerpiece to their sure-to-be rousing set. The striking video was directed by Charlie Gerszewski, who gives the guys plenty of opportunity to let their distinctive personalities shine during the lively clip.


With a Gun for a Face - "Autocrat"

The Minneapolis art-metal outfit With a Gun for a Face are back with a new EP called Autocrat, and this compelling 17-minute video features the entire ominous work. The group is throwing a record-release party at Cause on May 3, with Animal Lover, Braver, and Congorats joining them for their big night. Guitarist Matthew Graves had this to say about the band's ambitious aims with this new EP: "There's a really bizarre musical concept for the EP in which the notes on the bass and guitar are all in symmetrical scales that match the number of beats per measure of the meter. And we chose numbers that would cause non-octave-repeating scales." If that type of musical experimentalism is what you're after, you should download With a Gun for a Face's new EP for free and check out their show at Cause on May 3.

The Chord and the Fawn - "Texarcana"

Minneapolis baroque-folk sextet the Chord and the Fawn deliver their sumptuous first video for their new EP, The Great Mavis Beacon. The lovely clip was directed and produced by Kevin Ryan, with the band and crew braving the -7º temperatures of the neverending Minneapolis winter in order to pull off the striking visuals featured in the clip. The Chord and the Fawn have a unique, worldly sound that should catch on here in the Twin Cities, and this wonderful new video along with their stellar new EP will most likely win them plenty of local fans.

The Color Pharmacy - "May"

The Color Pharmacy are set to release their new, self-titled album on vinyl tomorrow night at the 331 Club, and this clip for one of tracks from the record, "May," features a welcoming, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the band's recording process at the Pearl Studio in Minneapolis. The trio also recently did a really cool giveaway on their Facebook page, awarding a vinyl test-pressing of their album to a lucky winner who shared their video, furthering the connection between the band and their fans. The video was shot by Jimmy Morrison, and edited by Jake Dilley, and captures the band both working and playing hard in the studio while recording their highly-anticipated new album.

Schoenburg - "Jaron & Ellie"

Minneapolis folk-pop trio Schoenburg have just released their first video for "Jaron & Ellie," a nostalgia-drenched clip that will certainly strike some fond memories of those of us old enough to remember the charms of the Viewmaster. The lovely clip was directed by Minnesota native Christopher Jopp, and perfectly captures the catchy vibrancy and effortless appeal of the track as well as the band themselves. "Jaron & Ellie" is lifted from the band's terrific recent LP, Hydrophobia and Identity Insecurities, a blissfully poppy record that will only sound better as the days get warmer.

Bear the Sound - "The Bay (Live on Radio K)"

Emerging Minneapolis rock trio Bear the Sound dropped by the Radio K studios shortly before releasing their wonderful debut record, Anthrocene, at the start of April. And this live clip for "The Bay" captures the band delivering one of the more spirited tracks on the album, with echoes of early Modest Mouse layered in the staccato guitar riffs at the start of the track before the number unfolds in a Superchunk-like blast during the chorus. Bear the Sound is playing the 46th Annual Folk Festival at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, on May 3, but surely as their new album takes off, there will be plenty of chances to catch this rising new band here in the Twin Cities -- but until then, enjoy this terrific in-studio performance.

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