Local Frames is a weekly column spotlighting the best new music videos featuring musicians and directors with Minnesota ties.
The week begins with the 2014 Picked to Click winner, Allan Kingdom. We've also got new clips from Hot Date, Mike Mictlan, Household, Step Rockets, Falcon Arrow, Mark Stockert, ACTN, J.W. Schuller, and Dan Hylton and the Ghostrunners. Enjoy!
Allan Kindgom - "Blast"
Allan Kingdom continues to build on the momentum of his breakout year in 2014 (which included landing the top spot on our Picked to Click poll). This new video for "Blast" just premiered on Complex, which should bring the lyrical talents of the burgeoning MC to a wider national audience. The video was directed by Kingdom's frequent artistic cohort, Kron, who captures the plaintive quality of the number in stark black and white. You can catch Kingdom live on big stage at First Avenue on January 23, as he takes part in the Current's 10th Anniversary celebration, along with Cold War Kids, Dead Man Winter, and Hippo Campus.
Hot Date - "A Toast"
The swinging St. Paul dance-rock duo, Hot Date, just released a video for their catchy, upbeat new single, "A Toast," one of the standout numbers on their lively debut album, For Lovers, which the band has just made available digitally. The video is full of archival footage of celebrations from years past, which brings out the festive nature of the track itself. Hot Date are throwing a sure-to-be jovial For Lovers release party at Bedlam Lowertown on February 13, along with their talented friends in We Are The Willows, and the Person and the People.
Mike Mictlan - "so so STRAYNGE"
Mike Mictlan has been quite busy and prolific as of late. In addition to putting the finishing touches on the forthcoming Doomtree LP, Mike is still riding high from his stellar recent solo effort, Hella Frreal. This video from Adam J. Dunn gives visuals to one of the most dynamic tracks of that collection, "so so STRAYNGE." In addition to Mictlan's gritty rhymes about how he first came up in the rap game, the booming, electronic-tinged beats of the track give the number an edgy, futuristic vibe. Mictlan has a solo gig at the Aquarium in Fargo on January 23, before he hits the road with his Doomtree cohorts for the extensive All Hands tour throughout the US.
Household - "Purpose"
Minneapolis hardcore quintet Household rocked the national punk scene with their blistering debut EP, With Or Without, on RIchmond, VA's Blood & Ink Records. This riotous video for "Purpose," captures the band tearing through the track in the cramped quarters of a house party, with both the group and the revelers losing themselves in the scathing spirit of the track. The young band just finished high school not to long ago, and have their sights set on making a name for themselves in the hardcore scene on both a local and national level. Their upcoming U.S. tour features Revivalist and Hearts Like Lions.
Step Rockets - "Phantom Flower"
Twin Cities indie-pop quartet Step Rockets made quite a splash in the local and national music scene with their breakout hit, "Kisser." The group have released a succession of dynamic follow-up singles, including the pulsating jam, "Phantom Flower." They just released a stylish new video for the track, which is directed and animated by Pat Garrahy, with Ryan Brown handling the editing and cinematography. There is a definite '80s influence that permeates both the song and the video, with cartoon-like colorization giving the band a superhero-esque look as they churn through the vibrant track.
Falcon Arrow - "Landing Party"
Falcon Arrow are a post-rock duo out of Minneapolis, featuring Matt Reints and Dav Kemp. Their pulsating new album, Tower, if full of catchy beats and massive riffs. This clever video for one of the standout tracks from that new collection, "Landing Party," features the lyrics of Lisa Loeb's evocative pop hit, "Stay," projected on the screen, while images of a party girl play in the background. The combination of the lyrics, the celebratory (but lonesome looking) images, and the churning track itself coalesce to form an elegant artistic statement. Catch Falcon Arrow live at their vinyl release show for Tower on Saturday, January 17 at the Hexagon Bar.
Mark Stockert - "Leavin"
This cinematic clip for the veteran Minneapolis singer/songwriter/producer Mark Stockert's new song, "Leavin'" is bound to stop you in your tracks. From the frigid, snow-covered surroundings featured in the video (put together by Barron John Whittet, Jennifer Stockert, and Jenny Vee), to the fragile, unguarded emotions generated by the track itself, "Leavin'" is bound to make an impression on you if you give the song/clip the time it deserves.Stockert is a venerable record producer within the Twin Cities music scene, currently working at Underwood Recording Studios. He's been sitting on a batch of songs of his own for quite some time, and hopefully this poignant new number represents the first of a series of new numbers that Stockert shares with a local music scene that is anxious to hear more from him.
ACTN - "Drinking Your Words"
Minneapolis deathpop quartet ACTN return with their first new release of 2015, the mercurial, beat-laden number, "Drinking Your Words." The track is part of a new two-track collection also featuring B-side "Made Of Light." The group has a Single Release Party planned at Icehouse on January 20, a gig that will also serve as a tour kickoff before the band hits the road throughout the rest of January. They will be joined at that show by Puff Puff and Wooden Antler. The stylish clip was directed by ACTN's own Gus Watkins, who adds to the celestial nature of the song with plenty of vivid, colorful imagery.
J.W. Schuller - "No Mud In Joyville"
Local singer/songwriter J.W. Schuller started a new video series he is calling, appropriately enough, Live from the Living Room. The first clip featured is for the reflective, acoustic-driven number, "No Mud In Joyville," which plays around with the themes/terminology of Ernest Thayer's famous 1888 baseball poem, "Casey at the Bat." Schuller is indeed playing the song live from his living room (complete with a cameo from his curious dog), and that relaxed, unguarded setting adds to the track's vulnerable tones. Schuller is taking part in a musical salute to famous musical Capricorns (Bowie, Elvis, Westerberg, Jimmy Page, etc) at the Driftwood Char Bar this Friday, along with some other talented local musicians, including Rank Strangers' Mike Wisti and Davin Odegard, AJ Scheiber, and more.
Dan Hylton and the Ghostrunners - "It's Christmas, Carol"
While the Christmas season is behind us and the glow of the holidays has started to fade, Dan Hylton and the Ghostrunners offer up one final somber salute to the season with this tenderhearted video for "It's Christmas, Carol." Hylton (who wrote/directed/edited the video himself) has this to say about the meaning of the moving number: "The song is basically a message from a recently departed man to his wife, Carol, before her first Christmas alone, imploring her not to do anything crazy. If she can just hang on through Christmas Eve and wake up Christmas morning, it will be 'the gift that nobody is gonna know.'" You can catch Dan Hylton and the Ghostrunners live this Friday night at Amsterdam along with Jordan Purkat of Forever Sometimes. No word on whether or not they keep "It's Christmas, Carol" in their setlist after the holiday season is over.
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