Local Frames is a weekly column spotlighting the best new music videos featuring musicians and directors with Minnesota ties.
We get into things this week at Local Frames with a wild new video from Marijuana Deathsquads, in advance of their big show tonight at Triple Rock. We're also featuring new clips from Guante & Big Cats!, LOTT, Mac Irv, VAYNS, Tom Franek, and Kouwai. We've also got terrific live performance videos from CLAPS, Communist Daughter, and Sean Anonymous & Lizzo, which was filmed at Hymie's Records. Enjoy!
Marijuana Deathsquads - "Ewok Sadness"
Marijuana Deathsquads take the ominous sonic themes of "Ewok Sadness" and bring it to visual life in their new video, directed by Isaac Gale. The simmering lead-off track to the experimental group's new album, Oh My Sexy Lord, builds to a dynamic, cacophonous finish, as does the dramatic video, which deals with the world's fixation on celebrity and how it can lead people to some dark places. Marijuana Deathsquads will once again be hitting the road opening for Poliça on their upcoming European tour, but tonight MDS is headlining the Triple Rock, along with Tyte Jeff (from Plastic Constellations) and DJ Plain Ole Bill.
CLAPS - "Simplicity's Key '13 (Live on Radio K)"
CLAPS recently dropped by the Radio K studios for an enthralling session, which included this captivating take on "Simplicity's Key '13." The pulsating number definitely has some dark Joy Division vibes to it, and finds the trio in perfect sync for the live radio audience. The group released one of my favorite EP's in 2013, Lies/White Lies, and from the sound of things, they are at work on more new material that they will hopefully share with us at some point this year. But for now, enjoy this dynamic live session at Radio K, and do yourself a favor and dig into their back catalog if you aren't that familiar with the band as of yet.
Guante & Big Cats - "The Invisible Backpacker of Privilege (Feat. Chantz Erolin & Rapper Hooks)"
This heady track from Guante & Big Cats is drawn from their terrific 2012 record, You Better Weaponize. The new video, directed by PCP, brings visual life to some of the big issues tackled throughout the track, including the predominance of white media in the world of music, what privilege is and how people use that to their advantage -- not just in the hip-hop/music world, but in other facets of life as well, and perhaps most importantly, what we do now to try and get people on equal footing. These are clearly some pretty big concerns to get into within the constraints of a song, but the rappers all do an eloquent and impassioned job expressing themselves and their views, while calling on their audience to try and effect some change going forward. Guante articulates his thoughts about the track in great detail here, which you should check out whether you dig the song or not.
Communist Daughter - Live at McNally Smith
Communist Daughter dropped by McNally Smith last fall to take part in their Sound Bite Concert Series, and video of the stirring performance has just surfaced. In the intimate surroundings, the group delivers a poignant, rousing performance that is perfectly captured by the McNally's talented audio/visual team. The video also catches the insightful conversation and interview between the Current's Dave Campbell and Communist Daughter's Johnny Solomon, where he openly shares stories about his past, his music, and his inspirations, a segment which proves to be as rewarding as the performance itself.
Sean Anonymous - "Cold Shoulder (Feat. Lizzo)(Live at Hymie's Records)"
Sean Anonymous recently dropped by Hymie's Records after hours to record this dynamic live session with Lizzo and DJ Name. It's part of a new series of videos that Hymie's is doing, where they partnered with Pabst Blue Ribbon to capture performances from local artists at their shop. This video for "Cold Shoulder" was directed by Dan Huiting, and recorded by Brian Herb, who both catch the energy and spirit of the song perfectly. Hymie's has three more videos from this new series currently in post-production, and be sure that we will be spotlighting them here on Local Frames sometime in the near future.[page]
LOTT - "With the Reply"
Leah Ottman plays violin and sings in the local bands We Are The Willows, Batteryboy, and Better Bones, and has just started a new solo project called LOTT. The first song and video from LOTT is for the spare elegance of "With the Reply," a deeply moving song driven forward by Ottman's dulcet vocals and mournful violin arrangement. The video and audio for the clip was captured by Peter Michael Miller of We Are The Willows, with images of Ottman strolling the wintry streets of Minneapolis on her way to the Homestead for the intimate performance. Hopefully, this is just the first in a string of songs that LOTT shares with us throughout 2014.
VAYNS - "VAYNSVAYNS (Feat. Sophia Eris)"
VAYNS just released their free self-titled EP this week, and they have also shared a video for the last track on that collection, which features the vocal stylings of Sophia Eris from GRRRL PRTY and the Chalice. Munqs' Corey Lawson and Botzy provide the sonic texture and booming beats for the track, while Sophia provides the tantalizing hook. It's a combination that really works well, and the psychedelic tint of the video, directed by Erotes, only adds to the captivating tone and tenor of the track itself.
Tom Franek - "Let's Part in Love"
Tom Franek is a Minnesota singer/songwriter with plenty of flair as well as talent. This playful clip for "Let's Part In Love" was also written/produced/and co-directed by Franek himself, along with director Dan Garritsen. The ragtime piano rolls that drive the song are accentuated by Tom's sprightly vocals, which are reminiscent of Ben Folds, while the video features shots of Minneapolis, Burnsville, Northfield, and Shakopee, as the lively group pushes Tom's piano through various local scenes that bring the lyrics of the song to life.
Kouwai - "Lost Souls"
Kouwai Potocnik is a singer who is originally from Minneapolis, and now lives in Los Angeles. She is performing as Kouwai, and is in the process of finishing up her EP, Flowers In Flames. The first track from that forthcoming collection is "Lost Souls," a wistful, poppy number that is carried by Kouwai's sultry, soaring vocals, which float atop a moody beat that churns the catchy track forward. The video was directed by Pancho Moore, who elegantly captures lovely images of the singer as well as the City of Angels. Hopefully this track helps launch the career of the young Minneapolis native.
Mac Irv - "Who We Are (Feat. Metasota & MaLLy)"
Golden Gopher hoops fans will certainly recognize Mac Irv as the talented Minnesota hoops star, Lawrence McKenzie. He's shifted his focus to hip-hop now, and this video for the track "Who We Are" shines a light on the disenfranchised sector of Minneapolis, and the bad choices that only lead them further off their path. Mac is joined on the track by some rising heavyweights in the local hip-hop scene, Metasota and MaLLY, who add their own distinctive, spirited verses to the track. The video was directed by Will Harris, and produced by Wade B, with the song coming from Mac Irv's new album, The Ticket Out.