Mac Lethal, Stik Figa, Red Kate and more must-see local music videos

In January, the big guns came out to play. Among new videos issued over the past month, we got hip-hop from Mac Lethal and Stik Figa; punk rock from Red Kate and Mr. and the Mrs.; and indie from Emmaline Twist, Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds, and American Slim. The songs are killer, with visuals to match, so you’re in for a hell of a treat with this month’s Cine Local.

Mac Lethal, “Twisted”

January 2

Mac Lethal’s Congratulations came out last year, but he released the video for “Twisted” in 2017 so that the album, he writes, “doesn’t get boxed in by the year it was released.” Sounds logical, and damned if the video, by William Harrah, doesn’t ride along just like Mac’s flow. We’re ready for warmer weather, just for an excuse to bump this with the windows down again.

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Red Kate, “I Don’t Want to Hear About It”

January 3

The latest live video from the Batcave Files comes from Kansas City political punk group Red Kate. Its latest LP, Unamerican Activities, has been on semi-permanent repeat for me since it came out last April. However, new music from the foursome is always welcome, and this is a two-minute straight-ahead rocker.

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Mr. and the Mrs., “Graveyard Surf”

January 3

The way Benny and His Jets puts together videos for the garage-rock duo known as Mr. and the Mrs. is something to behold. Somehow, the man and his machines can reduce an hour of B-movie to its base elements, and the use of footage from a 1965 beach party horror flick called The Beach Girls and the Monster for “Graveyard Surf” is no exception. It fits the new song perfectly.

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Emmaline Twist, “Desperate Measures”

January 14

The cats at St. Joseph’s Sound 81 Productions do some amazing work for local acts, and this video for Emmaline Twist is no exception. It looks like something from an episode of Saturday Night Live. The song, “Desperate Measures,” is a previously unreleased cut from the quartet, and the way all Emmaline Twist’s distinct elements come together is amazing.

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Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds, “Destination Revolution”

January 20

The fact that the latest song from Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds’ album, It’s 4 AM Somewhere, came out on Inauguration Day, is likely no coincidence. Shots of the band performing onstage at the Record Bar is cut with stock footage of protests and marches from America’s past, making for a potent combination. When set to Meck’s lyrics — which reference the Flint water crisis and the Dakota Access Pipeple — it’s powerful stuff.

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Stik Figa, “Cold”

January 26

The notes Stik Figa wrote for the “Cold” video, directed by Morgan Cooper, explain that what the Topeka rapper wanted to do was “scrub the Hollywood cliches of yellow brick roads, and show you the actual people who love their pit bull and car, just like you.” The song, from Stik’s latest, Central Standard Time, is maybe one of the best things the MC has done yet, which says a lot, but paired with these shots of the neighborhood in which he grew up, it’s a grand slam.

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American Slim, “In My Room”

January 27

The 2015 debut EP from American Slim was a pretty good amalgamation of indie and classic rock, but this new track finds the band securing its own footing in terms of sound. It’s likely a little diminutive to refer to a band as adorable, but when your video features a stuffed Ewok dubbed “Wittle Wicket,” that’s kind of an expected side effect. The song builds from vocals and a simple guitar line to a dreamy lope, livened up with some great keyboard bits.

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Are you a local musician with a music video? Contact nicholas.spacek@gmail.com

Categories: Music