Micky Alfano conjures a Shakespearean dream in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos

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Micky Alfano understands that local music needs more glowing orbs. YouTube

Take a minute and read last week’s City Pages cover story on Charlie Parr. It’s a tale of creativity and resolve triumphing over everything, a portrait of a man who’s contributed so much to Minnesota music.

Stories like these are sleeping everywhere around us -- big untold truths waiting to be elaborated and shared. It always feels good to get those stories in print, but for every revelatory profile that hits our pages, dozens of hidden greats go unnoticed.

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Micky Alfano -- “Moonshine Fawn”

Micky Alfano has always been the soft-spoken soothsayer behind the scenes of Night Moves. But his January LP What’s Another Day, Anyways? shows that the mustachioed maestro has even more to say than his guitar allows.

In the new video for “Moonshine Fawn,” director Cody Lee Brown conjures a mystical sequence wherein the breathy Alfano searches for magic alongside actor Mario Esteb, creating a Shakespearean sense of enchanted wonder.

Farewell Tenney -- “Rocking Horse”

Farewell Tenney is Minnesota at its pastoral best, a Norman Rockwell painting that learned to play banjo and harmonize, and the group’s 2017 debut Through the Gray is a collection of the cultural memories so many Minnesotans share. The album single “Rocking Horse” shows just how expansive their nostalgia is, as here singer Dan Tanz sees a relic from his childhood down in the basement and is immediately thrown into a flashback.

The video for “Rocking Horse” sets Farewell Tenney in a basement like the one the lyrics describe, and it becomes a suitably baroque chamber for their dusty folk as they sit in a circle, quietly and carefully piecing together their memory. Farewell Tenney will emerge from their cellar on September 14 at Acadia Cafe.

The Violet Nines -- “Made To Be”

Contemporary pop music needs more trumpet and sax. Nothing sells the excitement of finding a blissful love quite like a lively brass section -- something pop-funk startups the Violet Nines know well. Bursting forth in loud, energetic spasms of piano and horns, their new single “Made to Be” captures the exultation of a love so true it feels like destiny.

“Made to Be” premiered last Thursday, as did a video directed by Andrew Leibman that follows singer Nick Eagon in his quest across Minneapolis to spread the good news of his heart, where he overcomes bullies and even a good-spirited kidnapping. The whole thing ends on stage at the Turf Club, where Eagon is finally able to find the audience he’s been waywardly searching for. Look out for an EP from the V9s later this fall or winter.

City Counselor -- “Desire”

If John Hughes and Robert Smith made a music video together, it’d be a lot like “Desire” from Minneapolis shoegaze pop band City Counselor. With nary a gaze turned towards the camera, “Desire” is replete with unspoken angst, overcast with ‘80s pastels. As synths tinkle in the background, no one can bear to face the lens and articulate their emotions.

Director Bethany Hart and camera operator Maria Davidson were the visionaries behind the video, which caps off City Counselor’s album cycle for January’s LP Public Record. “Desire” signals a yet-announced release in the wings for the local sad-pop maestros.

American Head Charge -- “Drowning Under Everything”

It’s been 18 years since Rick Rubin turned the industrial metal ravagers American Head Charge into an international Kerrang! sensation. But the band remembers their Minnesota roots, and they’ve recruited Local Frames all-star Paul von Stoetzel of Killing Joke Films for their latest video single, “Drowning Under Everything.”

The song comes from 2016’s crowd-funded comeback album Tango Umbrella, which, from the sound of the single, could be a return to form for the vets. Melodic guitars and guttural background screams hearken back to the enticing chaos of their breakout The War of Art, and von Stoezel’s unnerving work behind the lens shows that this band still has plenty of hell left to raise.

Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at jgfagerberg@gmail.com.


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