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.