Hembree, Blackstarkids, Jenna Rae, and more of the best local music videos
The latest installment of Cine Local covers all the bases and features some of the hottest acts in Kansas City right now. You’d do well to just hunker down, slip in your earbuds, and let this collection of superlative visuals and excellent tunes take over the next hour of your life.
Khrystal, “Come Over”
The opening track to Khrystal’s new album, Life Be Lifing, “Come Over,” Features the musician expressing her want for an unnamed person over a quiet and insistent bass line. The video by Katheryne Johnson does much of the same. Using closeups on Khrystal’s face and bass, the video for the short track makes much use of the singer’s expressive face, by turns thoughtful and wanting.
You can stream Life Be Lifing on Spotify.
With every new Hembree track, we get more excited for their next album. Like I said in the last roundup, it seems like the band is translating the fun from their live shows into their recorded output. This is the most fun song Hembree’s done thus far, thanks to a stupidly catchy sax riff from Warren Huang and a guest verse from Bodye, aka Marty Hillard of Ebony Tusks. Put it all on top of Coco’s stylish video, and I can’t stop watching.
Hembree plays the Truman Friday, Nov. 26, with Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear and Dreamgirl. Details on that show here.
Blackstarkids, “All Cops Are Bastards*”
The title of Blackstarkids’ new album for Dirty Hit, Puppies Forever, might not lead one to expect a song called “All Cops Are Bastards*,” but the trio manages to take their sunny pop and craft the most subversive political song I’ve heard in ages. Fuzzed-out guitar and keys bounce along but the lyrics are pure 1312 energy, letting the kids know that Blackstarkids “is not a friend to no police,” because—as Deiondre puts in no uncertain terms—”They kill us in the streets” and “I know you fucking hate my kind.”
You can stream Puppies Forever on Spotify.
Back in June, Lawrence rapper Cuee performed at a fundraiser for Haus of McCoy, the new center for queer and trans youth founded by Cody Charles. As part of that set, Cuee put together a song that featured RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Silky Nutmeg Ganache. Now that song is available for everyone to hear, thanks to this video from director Matthew Cox. Not only is this one hell of a collab, but it’s also amazing to hear that Cuee can trap just as well as he can rap.
If you like the video, you can go donate some money to Haus of McCoy and support their mission “to build a community that dreams to see all queer and trans youth not only survive, but thrive.”
There are some awesome things about this video. They shot all the live footage in the newly-remodeled Bottleneck and it looks like it was pure fucking fire in the club the afternoon they were on stage. There are a lot of references to a classic Travolta/Cage piece of cinema.
We find out the answer to the question, “Who’s the better rapper: the Rock or John Cena?” and the answer is kind of surprising (spoiler: one debuted on a Murs track and the other didn’t). At least Dwayne Johnson gets in a plug for Teremana, although I’m surprised he didn’t slip in one for ZOA, too.
Jenna Rae, “I Run”
Every time Unfit Wives’ Jenna Rae goes out to play shows either solo or as a duo with her partner, Martin Farrell, she sets up a camera and gets amazing live videos in each location. Earlier this summer, for instance, she did “I’m Staying Right Here” on a pontoon boat in the middle of a lake. However, this video from Palo Duro Canyon, outside of Amarillo, captures the sense of the song and its talk of yearning to be free. Bonus points for the guest appearance by Jenna and Martin’s dog, Roy.
Lonnie Fisher and the Funeral, “Wrong Way”
Lonnie Fisher and the Funeral has been playing in Lawrence for a long time. While they’re one of those bands that don’t play out as often as the younger folks, that just means it’s worth your while to catch them when they do. The band’s blend of roots, goth rock, and indie makes for a strange mélange, but it’s a potent blend. This track, the first single off their new album Haunted—recorded by Duane Trower at Weights and Measures Soundlab—hits all of those notes in one track, to boot.
The video is a collection of oddball stock footage with some effects thrown over the top, but it works well enough. However, I would like to note how awesome it is that they use the actual MTV video font for the opening and closing titles.
You can see Lonnie Fisher and the Funeral, along with the Shebangs and Alien Hellbop at the Replay for a matinee triple album release show Friday, Nov. 19. Details on that show here.
Dead Ensign, “Jerk on the company’s dime”
“We are from your location,” read the email from Dead Ensign regarding their new album, Q: What Else Is There To Do? Their Bandcamp bio reads “Create without waste No further information is required.” The video for the lo-fi dance track, “Jerk on the company’s dime,” is stock footage of people at work interspersed with waving hands and very unsubtle inserts which definitely suggest that, if you’re being paid shit wages, you should definitely be wanking while on the clock. I have no notes.
Q: What Else Is There To Do? can be found over on Bandcamp, although Dead Ensign requests “no physical copies ever be made.”
The Brownz, “Work So Hard”
I’m gonna let the folks at Omegalistic take the reigns to describe this one:
“‘Work So Hard,’ through both the song lyrics and video, depicts 2 different perspectives of an artist’s struggle, cleverly told through a Jordan Peele thriller, Us scenario. The first verse narrates a battle with the old demon’s within one’s self, that try to pull you back into your old ways—while the 2nd verse is the frustrated rant of the underground artist who continues to work as hard or harder than other, more successful artists without the benefits and rewards.”
Superb production values from FiveOneVision, too. This looks like a million bucks.
Kannabis Club, “Everytime We Smoke”
With their latest single, Kansas City weed enthusiasts Kannabis Club go a little jazzy. This is an incredibly laid-back track that feels like a throwback to mid-’90s acts like Digable Planets. The collective opted to use all live instruments while recording, making this really feel as though it was put together while the crew packed a few bowls and just let things vibe. The video by Melo Miles at Viewpoint Visuals has a very crackly, old-timey Reefer Madness vibe that goes nicely with the cut.
Are you a local musician with a new video to share? Email email@example.com.