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.
The Cactus Blossoms start us off this week with a new installment in the Spaces series, this time shot on the roof of the Turf Club. We've also got new clips from LOTT, Grolar Bears, and an introductory video of the young hip-hop duo LNJAY. We're also featuring a rousing selection of live performance clips from BK One and his illustrious friends at McNally Smith, the Federales, Bob Mould at Wits, Guided By Voices at Rock the Garden, and two videos from the last show ever at Cause, featuring Gay Witch Abortion and Buildings. Enjoy!
The Cactus Blossoms - Spaces Ep. 5 (Live at the Turf Club)
The Cactus Blossoms didn't let the Turf Club's ongoing renovations keep them from filming at their favorite club in town. For their installment of the Spaces video series, Jack Torrey and Page Burkum took their lovely country music to the roof, playing their two-song set on top of the Turf Club. The different perspective gives viewers a chance to see a different side of the venerable St. Paul live staple (as well as the sweet Live Music Is Better billboard), while also giving the songs themselves -- "A Sad Day To Be You" and "Change Your Ways or Die (The Buffalo Song)" -- more of a gritty, urban vibe. Producer Nate Matson and his talented crew once again capture a local band from plenty of stylish angles, as the Spaces series continues to provide us with a unique perspective on another Minnesota group and their distinctive music. And for their part, the Cactus Blossoms have never sounded better, as their stirring country sound is augmented ever so slightly by the ever-present din of the city as its carried off gracefully into the clouds above.
LOTT - "Parking On The Grass (The Homestead Recordings #5)"
LOTT recently dropped by the the Homestead Records headquarters in South Minneapolis to record this moving rendition of her new single, "Parking On the Grass." Leah Ottman is the sole creative force behind LOTT, and she will be recognizable to the fans of We Are The Willows, Better Bones, and batteryboy, whom she has played with in the past. Now she is focusing on her solo work, and what a gorgeous sounding project it is. There are elements of Andrew Bird layered within her delicate violin-based arrangements, but there are rich classical elements that gives the song's melody a pure heart. While this is only the second track we've heard from LOTT (we also featured her debut, "With The Reply"), her sound is catching on in the Twin Cities, as evidenced by her upcoming sold-out Entry show with PHOX and J.E. Sunde on August 4. Look for more enthralling music from Ottman and LOTT in the very near future.
BK One and Friends - Live at McNally Smith College of Music
DJ/producer BK One recently dropped by McNally Smith to discuss his music as well as to perform in from of an enthusiastic (and lucky) audience as part of the school's ongoing Sound Bite Series. He also brought along some of his talented friends for the occasion, and those special guests included Brother Ali, Toki Wright (McNally Smith's Hip-Hop Studies Dept. Head) and I Self Devine, who emphatically deliver their spirited rhymes over BK One's fresh beats. In addition to the performance, which also includes a dance collective lead by B-Boy J Sun, Brendan Kelly is shown working with the school's McNasty Brass Band on reworking one of his songs, as well as having a chat with the Current's Dave Campbell where he gives some insight into his background and musical technique. The lively, engaging session -- filmed and edited by the talented Justin Staggs -- culminates in a rousing collaboration between the DJ and students in McNally's Brass and Woodwinds program.
Grolar Bears - "Midnight Stew"
Grolar Bears are yet another stellar addition to the growing cadre of fresh bands on Piñata Records. The 9-piece symphonic funk band from Minneapolis are set to release their new single, "Midnight Stew" on 7-inch at Piñata Records Field Day, a free, all-ages outdoor event at Nomad on August 16 featuring sets by Mystery Date, Narco States, Southside Desire, Sex Rays and, of course, Grolar Bears. The video for "Midnight Stew" was directed, shot and edited by John Mackin, who captures the majestic beauty of Minnehaha Falls in winter, along with live footage of the bundled-up band playing at the foot of the Falls as well. The clip adds to the swelling, soulful vibe of the track as well, especially the rehearsal and live performance clips, which vibrantly brings the track to life.
Guided By Voices - "Tractor Rape Chain (Live at Rock the Garden)"
Rock the Garden expanded to a two-day event this year, which allowed the Current to bring twice as many bands to their picturesque outdoor stage at the Walker. But the one band who nearly all of my friends were most excited to see was unquestionably the mighty Guided By Voices. And the Dayton, Ohio rock veterans delivered in a major way, cramming 25 rousing songs into their hour-long set. And one of the standouts of their performance was this soaring rendition of "Tractor Rape Chain," a moment that Robert Pollard introduced by mentioning that the day prior was the 20th anniversary of their legendary album, Bee Thousand. GBV fans both new and old all got into this lively, anthemic number, as Uncle Bob serenaded us all with his hard-earned rock and roll hymns under a perfect summer sun.
Bob Mould - "Hardly Getting Over It (Live at Wits)"
Back in June, Bob Mould dropped in to St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater to take part in a memorable episode of Wits. Mould was joined by comedian Jen Kirkman for the episode, and while their skits together gave longtime Hüsker Dü fans a different side of Mould, it was his performances that truly stole the show. This version of the Candy Apple Grey classic, "Hardly Getting Over It," is augmented by the stellar house band, the Witnesses, including the lovely backing vocals of Janey Winterbauer. But it's Mould's robust vocals and lively electric guitar work that injects plenty of raw sentiments into the song, especially given the fact that Mould is playing the number in his former, familiar stomping grounds of St. Paul, which gave birth to his legendary band and his estimable music career.
The Federales - "Guitars and Grain Belt (Live at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall)"
The Federales whiskey-soaked twang has been steadily winning over audiences across the Twin Cities, and this live clip of the group performing the awesomely-titled "Guitars and Grain Belt" at Amsterdam gives you a reason why their sets are so entertaining. The retro-colored clip was shot by Patrick Pelham, who captures the band doing just what they do best -- rocking a stage with their alt-country, barstool jams. The track is lifted off of the band's excellent full-length debut, Blues, Bourbon and Burritos. You can catch the Federales live at Washington Square Bar & Grill in White Bear Lake this Saturday night, or see them at Amsterdam on August 28 with the Fattenin' Frogs and Laulu.
Gay Witch Abortion - "Prison Charm/Horney Japonica (Live at Cause)"
Buildings - "Because It Doesn't Matter (Live at Cause)"
Both of these blistering performances were shot during the last show ever at the much-loved Lyn-Lake venue, Cause Spirits and Soundbar. The club closed their venerable doors following this bittersweet but entirely rocking July 12th show, which featured both Gay Witch Abortion and Buildings, along with Ex Nuns, Enemy Planes, Mississippi North, and Strange. Thankfully, the good folks at UnderCurrentMPLS were there to document the grand occasion, with live clips from each band on the bill that night. But these two videos capture the raw, untamed energy of both Gay Witch Abortion and Buildings, while also highlighting the intimate stage set up and welcoming atmosphere that consistently made Cause such a desirable destination for music lovers and local bands. The venue will most assuredly be missed by everyone who took in a show or drinks there, but thankfully our memories of the club will live on, as will these ferocious live performances from the last batch of bands who had the pleasure to play there.
Get to Know LNJAY
We featured a LAAB Session video from the teenage hip-hop/R&B duo, LNJAY, back in October of last year, as the pair dropped a clip for their bouncy track, "Make Em Listen." And if that song wasn't enough to initially get your attention, the two Minneapolis cousins, Latasia and Jasharee, share this engaging clip that will surely introduce them and their fresh personalities to a wider local audience. The group is getting ready to release their debut EP, Listen, sometime very soon, and this clip gives you a glimpse of the artists in the studio as well as taking in a street festival in Minneapolis. LNJAY are a protege of Mike Dreams, and the young girls seem to be poised to blow up in the near future.
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