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.
We get things going this week with an enthralling live performance from Weird Visions, which features Holly Hansen from Zoo Animal, Grant Cutler, and Arlen Peiffer. We've also got new clips from Mrs., Taj Raj, Very Small Animal, Andy Elwell, Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders, Jermz the Teacher, and a new collaborative project from Corey Lawson of MunQs and Botzy, called VAYNS. We're also highlighting an intimate performance from Caroline Smith, as well as a lively extended trailer for Doomtree's Team The Best Team documentary. Enjoy!
Weird Visions - Spaces Ep. 2 at Humans Win! studio
For the second episode of the Spaces video series, they head to the Humans Win! studio to capture this terrific performance from Weird Visions. The group is comprised of Grant Cutler, Zoo Animal's Holly Hansen, and drummer Arlen Peiffer (who humorously appears to want the band to be called either Wild Visions or Jazz Visions). Despite the jocular, laid back behavior of the band throughout the clip, the performances themselves are fantastic, and the textured songs just soar. Nate Matson is the producer of the Spaces video series, which films bands performing in various rooms of their choosing throughout the city (the first episode featured Carroll, which we highlighted on Local Frames a few weeks back). Spaces is already a must-watch video series, and everyone involved has hit on something quite captivating and fresh.
Taj Raj - "Begging The Devil"
Taj Raj are back with another terrific new video, this time for the evocative track, "Begging The Devil." If you haven't checked out their wonderful EP, Fine Hearts Alive, you really should give it a listen -- it's quite good. The striking black-and-white clip was produced by Colin Kopp and Ryan Truax, and the stylish nature of the video perfectly compliments the swelling, poignant nature of the track. Taj Raj have a big gig coming up a the Cedar on December 13, as the group will be playing the Bigtree Bonsai record release show along with the Color Pharmacy.
Caroline Smith - "Bloodstyle (The Current's Coffee Break on the Road)"
Caroline Smith has been bringing her soulful batch of new songs on the road with her for a while now, and the Current recently caught up with her and the band for this lovely acoustic performance of "Bloodstyle" for their Morning Coffee Break. What a treat it is to wake up to the glorious sounds of Smith and her talented group. Smith has also just landed the coveted opening slot for a string of shows with Charles Bradley, including his highly anticipated show tonight at First Avenue. So, if you're heading down to the Ave, you better show up early and see Caroline and her band -- they will get you smiling while they heat up the downtown with their smoking new material.
Doomtree - "Team The Best Team"
Speaking of highly anticipated shows at First Avenue, the Doomtree crew are once again set to blow the roof off the joint with their annual Blowout gigs, beginning with a sold out all-ages show at the Triple Rock on December 12 followed by a sold-out show in the Mainroom on December 13. To celebrate the shows and the holiday season, Doomtree have also just made their excellent tour documentary, Team The Best Team, available to stream, rent, and download digitally online. On Wednesday, December 11, various members of the Doomtree crew will be joining in Movie Night, commenting and providing insight to the film on Twitter (#BlowoutEve). Knowing the humor of the Doomtree members, this should prove to be a hilarious way to kick-off the Blowout festivities. For now, watch this video for "Team The Best Team," drawn directly from the documentary, and get a sense of just some of the awesomeness that the film captures.
Mrs. - "Supple"
Mrs. is a new band featuring Dan Chizek of Hardcore Crayons, David Joe Holliday of Book Of Right On, and Matthew Graves of With A Gun For A Face. The group will be celebrating the release of their debut album, Cave, at the Hexagon on December 14 -- with Dentist, Fort Wilson Riot, and Wizards Are Real all joining in the fun that night. And while the new album will be available for free on the group's Bandcamp page, they will be selling limited-edition Mrs. oven mitts at the show, which will not only give you a handy kitchen utensil, but their new songs as well. The band recorded the album at April Base Studio with Jaime Hansen, and this clip for "Supple" features footage from Jaime Carrera's performance of "Coqueta."
Very Small Animal - "Wolf"
Very Small Animal just released their wonderful new release, Port Of Call, at the end of November, and have just made a video for one of their new tracks, "Wolf." The video, which features all the band members bringing life to the song's searching nature, was directed by Guy Wagner, who captures the restless spirit of the song perfectly with stark close up shots of the group.
Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders - "Kingpin"
Alex "Crankshaft" Larson recently completed a trio of videos that he made as a result of winning a $25,000 contest from Artist Signal last summer. This clip for "Kingpin" is one of the three new videos that he put together, and this one features Tea Simson of L'Assassins having plenty of fun while bowling. The video also briefly features Ric Hollister of Jack Knife and the Sharps, as well as one of his songs playing over the speakers in the bowling alley itself. The band also get down while playing in the parking lot, and it all suits the playful buoyancy of the song.
VAYNS - "Say Why?"
VAYNS are a new collaborative musical project from Corey Lawson of MunQs and Botzy of Culture Cry Wolf, and the duo are set to release their self-titled debut EP on January 14. They have also brought in some other guests to help round out the project, Ashley Debose and Sophia Eris, who contribute vocals to three of the tracks on the forthcoming EP. But on "Say Why?," it's just Botzy and Lawson, shifting the styles of their respective sounds just a bit on this dynamic new track. The video was done by Erotes, who perfectly manages to capture the modern pulse of the song itself.
Andy Elwell - "Buried"
Andy Elwell just released a new EP called Grand, and this lovely but rather heartbreaking video for "Buried" is drawn from that collection. The clip is directed by Alex Bowes, who expresses the fragile nature of the track while also crafting some striking singular images as well. The video features Savannah Smith, who also sings on the track as well, with her vocals blending seamlessly with Elwell's. And for all of you Minnesota Twins fans out there, Elwell also has a tender song on his EP called "Kirby Puckett," which should tide you over until Spring Training.
Jermz The Teacher - "Black Royalty (feat. Adar Bet & Sam Carlyle)"
Jermz The Teacher recently released his new record, Live And Let Live, and this tense clip for "Black Royalty" is the first video lifted from the album. He brings in Adar Bet and Sam Carlyle to help him out with the perceptive, political lyrical flow, as the old school beats drive the track forward. The video, which was directed, shot, and edited by Elliot Malcolm, plays out like a dramatic abduction thriller film, which fits well with the intensity and urgency of the song itself.
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