Merlin, Kawehi, Shadow Rabbits and more of February’s must-see local music videos


Winter and spring are fighting it out right now, and the music we have for you seems to represent that dichotomy. Things are dark and brooding but also kind of hopeful. Be it Merlin’s basement jams, the disorienting punk of Stiff Middle Fingers, or Kawehi’s political dance party, there’s something for everyone in this month’s Cine Local.

The Band That Fell to Earth, “Under Pressure”
February 1

Even though the David Bowie tribute, the Band That Fell to Earth, was moved at the last minute from Knuckleheads to the Uptown Theater in order to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend after the death of the Thin White Duke, a Sunday-night show is a hard thing for most workaday folks. Thankfully, Too Much Rock‘s Sid Sowder captured what seems to the evening’s highlight, a version of the classic “Under Pressure,” featuring Steve Tulipana and Not A Planet’s Nathan Corsi on vocals. There’s a great behind-the-scenes video from KCPT’s Arts Upload, as well.


Eric Griffin Jr., “Easily”
February 1

Web magazine Shuttlecock is best known for its coverage and support of local punk and hardcore acts, but the ‘zine could really be said to support all manner of underground music in Lawrence and Kansas City. Case in point: Eric Griffin Jr., whose music falls somewhere in the realm between confessional indie and the avant guitar noodling of Thundercat. This video is from Shuttlecock’s music showcase at Mills Record Company back in January.


Merlin, “Bad Trip”
February 3

Trippy, psychedelic fare from the metro’s finest purveyors of cinematic doom. “Bad Trip” was shot in Merlin’s basement practice space, but the no-budget video still causes you to flirt with madness and develop an unbearable craving for Merlin’s upcoming second album, Electric Children, due out next week.


Shadow Rabbits, “Kill What You Love”
February 11

Part short film, part music video, this extraordinarily creepy video from Shadow Rabbits manages to take everything from the White Stripes, while still managing to be something different. It was directed by the band’s Jonathan Ulasien and evokes the paranoid fear of a horror film like It Follows. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

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Stiff Middle Fingers, “On The Watchlist/Redacted”
February 11

Last October, Stiff Middle Fingers played four shows in four towns in one day. This is the beginning of show number three of four, and it’s shot via a GoPro mounted to lead singer Travis Arey’s microphone. It’s certainly not recommended to anyone who might have vertigo, but it’s likely the closest any of us will ever come to the manic frontman’s energy.


The Rackatees, “The Long Goodbye”
February 22

Props to the ‘Tees for managing to make a music video that avoids performance footage and yet still accurately encompasses the feeling of the punk trio’s music. This track comes off their recent split 7-inch with Los Angeles party punks Lysolgang.


Kawehi, “Pop Song”
February 24

In one continuous shot, this video for Kawehi’s “Pop Song” manages to be as infectious and fun as the song itself. The cut is from Kawehi’s latest EP, Interaktiv, which came out at the end of January. It’s making a political point, which is pretty apparent — the singer “doesn’t want money and fame,” she wants love. And what’s not to love about dancing people in Trump masks kind of making out?


In a local band and have a music video you want to share? E-mail it to nicholas.spacek@gmail.com.

Categories: Music