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 kick things off with a smooth new video from rising Minneapolis MC Greg Grease, who is set to play our inaugural 10 Thousand Sounds Festival in June. We've also got a new Cloud Cult video to get fans excited for their forthcoming two-night stand at First Avenue in a few weeks, an insightful State of the Artist profile on the multi-talented Mankwe Ndosi, a fiery spoken-word takedown of the Minnesota ideal by Guante, and an imaginative sonic collaboration between John Keston and some rail cars. There are also new clips from United Teachers of Music, Regal Treats, Pittsburgh MC Jasiri X (with the help of Brother Ali), and a covers challenge video series involving Joey Ryan and Farewell Milwaukee's Ben Lubeck, with each musician delivering a new take on one another's songs. Enjoy!
Top 10 must-see Minnesota music videos this week (Zach Sobiech, Strange Names, Kill The Vultures, and more)
Top 10 must-see Minnesota music videos this week (Crimes, Brother Ali, Fathom Lane, and more)
Greg Grease - "C.R.E.A.M. Dreams"
Minneapolis MC Greg Grease caught the attention of local hip-hop fans with his distinctive flow featured on his recent full-length, Cornbread, Pearl & G. The smooth, inventive beats featured throughout the record perfectly complement Grease's fluid lyrical style, giving Twin Cities music fans a dynamic new rapper (and talented video director/producer) to start paying attention to. Grease is set to capitalize on that growing buzz with the forthcoming vinyl release of the Black King Cole EP, which will promote his inclusion in this year's star-studded Soundset festival on May 26. But Greg isn't done giving some shine to his latest LP, and this video for the Wu Tang-indebted track, "C.R.E.A.M. Dreams," impeccably captures the flavor and vibe of the record. The clip was shot in Minneapolis by Mychal Fisher for SwayHeavy, and features plenty of recognizable spots from around town. Be sure to catch Greg Grease performing at our 10 Thousand Sounds Festival on June 22.
Cloud Cult - "1x1x1"
Cloud Cult are back with one of their most imaginative, focused records yet, the all-encompassing Love, and "1x1x1" is basically a companion piece to their 2007 hit, "2x2x2." The video was shot at Driftless Books in Wisconsin, and the various ephemera of the place serves as a striking backdrop for the band. The clip was done by Newfangled Studios, and captures the charm and originality of the veteran band while also providing a further glimpse into what makes them, and "1x1x1" so unique. The group is returning home for a two-night record release celebration at First Avenue on April 27-28, with Saturday night sold out already and just a few tickets remaining for Sunday.
Mankwe Ndosi - Everyday Ways
This video is a revealing, exceptional glimpse into what makes local singer/performing artist Mankwe so appealing and original. It was filmed over the course of a month by the talented folks at Works Progress, an artist-led design studio in Minneapolis, and captures Mankwe's refreshing worldview as well as her inventive artistic side. The one-time backup vocalist for Atmosphere released her debut full-length, Science and Spirit, this past summer, and this uplifting clip (commissioned by the McKnight Foundation) proves that she isn't planning on slowing down anytime soon.
Guante - "It Is Cold Here, But It Is Also Hot"
No aspect of Minnesota life is safe in this roiling, percipient screed by local spoken-word artist Guante. In an effort to get to the heart of what he sees as the real Twin Cities, Guante admits to never going to a Twins game, a play at the Guthrie, or Rock the Garden because "the Twin Cities that I know keeps me busy." He also goes on to mention how he can't listen to the Current anymore because "it sounds too much like history being rewritten." And while I definitely think Guante should check out both a Twins game and the Guthrie, if only for the glorious architecture of the buildings themselves, he raises some great points in this piece (and accompanying essay), stating "Our community's diversity is a strength, and media has a responsibility to reflect that." Indeed.
Regal Treats - "Don't Worry, Babe"
The leisurely, relaxed charm of Regal Treats rings true in this simple but striking video for "Don't Worry, Babe." The band is composed of many different bands that have helped shape the Twin Cities indie scene as of late, with members of Teenage Moods, Kitten Forever, Is/Is, and Protector the War Pony all playing a part in Regal Treats, with Gordon Bryde from Teenage Moods shooting and directing the video as well. Regal Treats are set to release a cassette of their new album, Gimme, at the Hexagon on Friday night with support from Kitten Forever, Wild Ghosts, and Teenage Strangler. And if you like the sound of Regal Treats, you should check out the small Minneapolis record label Cat People for more like-minded artists.
John Keston - "Duet for Synthesizer and Rail Cars"
Local sound maestro John Keston has done a series of videos that he calls "subversive duets with indeterminate events," and this clip features him creating a sonic collaboration with the rattle of a passing train. This piece is part of his MFA thesis, which he will be presenting next month, and the work shows the range he is willing to go to make sounds that no one has ever heard before out of things that we actually hear every day. Keston has partnered with plenty of well known Twin Cities musicians over the years, and has continually pushed the envelope of what constitutes a song, and how those parameters can consistently be reshaped and refashioned to modern technology.
United Teachers of Music - "The Choker"
This new Minneapolis quintet, The United Teachers of Music, bring an unbridled rock sound to the Twin Cities, and this blistering clip (filmed and directed by Mark Newcome Kartarik) for "The Choker" features the band messing about as they smoke some pork and drink some beers on a typical Sunday afternoon. They have just recorded their demo, and are sure to be making their rousing mark on the local scene soon if "The Choker" is a sign of what they've got in store for us.
Jasiri X - "Pillars (Featuring Brother Ali)"
This rising Pittsburgh MC, Jasiri X, has a terrific, socially conscious flow, so it's no surprise that he caught the attention of Brother Ali, who joins him in this video and drops a verse on the track. "Pillars" is lifted from Jasiri's spirited new album, Ascension, a record that should find the young MC plenty of new fans in addition to Ali. Hopefully, he comes to Minneapolis sometime soon and the two can collaborate on a local stage in town.
Joey Ryan - "Ain't No Rules (Farewell Milwaukee Cover)"
Ben Lubeck - "Who Shot The Arrow (Joey Ryan & the Inks Cover)"
These last two videos are part of a Covers Challenge series that both Joey Ryan and Farewell Milwaukee's Ben Lubeck took on to promote their upcoming show together at the Cedar on April 20. Joey Ryan & the Inks will be celebrating the release of their new EP, [pause.], that night, with Farewell Milwaukee planning on a full set that evening as well. Here, you have Ryan delivering a plaintive, solo acoustic take on the Farewell Milwaukee track "Ain't No Rules," while Lubeck delivers his impassioned take on the JR & the Inks track "Who Shot The Arrow." Both clips do justice to the originals, while also showcasing the talents of the two singer-songwriters.
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