Happy Friday! It’s time to take a break, slip on your headphones, and float away on some new local tunes. In this week’s roundup, we see John Mark Nelson face a giant sparkly squid, Greg Grease take us on a walking tour of Minneapolis, Battlerat do some river calisthenics, Sam Cassidy take a long stroll, and Cloud Cult play for thousands of fans in a new mini-documentary.
John Mark Nelson
Things get kinda weird for the singer-songwriter turned Petty-channeling rocker John Mark Nelson in the new video for “Dream Last Night,” but it all seems to work out in the end, giant exploding lumpy starfish and all. Nelson is still riding high on the success of his bold new I’m Not Afraid, and he’ll come home for a victory lap at the Current’s 11th birthday on Friday, January 22.
The new album from Greg Grease, Born to Lurk, Forced to Work, has to be one of the most under-appreciated releases of the year. The textures and vibes on this record are second-to-none, and Grease is sounding more focused and genuine than ever. This cut, “Killer Love,” features a guest verse from I.B.E. and some striking black-and-white shots of street scenes in the Twin Cities.
One of my favorite new finds of the week is Battlerat, who have a new EP, Spoils, coming out on December 19. They have a release show planned for that night at the 331 Club with Niki Becker, Tungsten, and Rupert Angeleyes.
For the latest in tpt’s Lowertown Line series we get an up-close look at Cloud Cult, who performed a free show for their fans last summer as part of Northern Spark.
Troubadour Sam Cassidy shipped over this video with the news that it’s part of a new series, and he’s getting ready to release the second installment on January 15 at the Turf Club. In this shot, we see Cassidy taking a long, lonely walk, channeling his inner country outlaw, while actor Eric Pierson wakes up from being passed out in the alley next to the Turf. A bit of foreshadowing for the release party, perhaps?