Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Best videos of 2010 - Category: Best Use of Inanimate Objects

Friday, December 31st, 2010

We love our stuff. If you think that’s not true, try watching Hoarders or MTV Cribs sometime.

Wax Taylor (feat. Charlie Winston) - I Own You (taken from In the Mood for Life)

Actually, we kind of love our stuff a little too much. Umm… anyone wanna go Ghandi with me?

Boy Eats Drum Machine - Hoop + Wire (taken from Hoop + Wire)

Jason Sivers imagines a world where it’s not our computers & cell phones that unite and achieve sentience, but rather our boxes of tapes, Ataris and alarm clocks that we forgot to clear out from our parents’ attics.

OK Go - This Too Shall Pass (Rube Goldberg version) (taken from Of the Blue Colour of the Sky)

As I said the other day about the marching band version of this song, OK Go have been so generous to pour themselves into these videos to remind us that anything is possible, even a two-story Rube Goldberg machine synced to a pop song.

The end is near…

Best videos of 2010 - Category: Beautiful Storytelling

Friday, December 31st, 2010

These three, because of their depth, simplicity and beauty, stood alone from some of the sillier categories I created.

Harper Simon - Berkley Girl (taken from Harper Simon)

I have to say this every time I mention Harper Simon, but I didn’t discover his 2009 debut album until a year after it had been released. It wasn’t for lack of paying attention, it simply had barely been reported on in the indie music press. Which is criminal, because not only is Harper the son of Paul Simon, but the album is completely amazing. So, quit jumping the shark with this Wavves and Sleigh Bells crap and start doing your jobs again in 2011, ok guys?

Jena Malone stars as the girl Harper loved and lost (except for as a friend).

El-P - Time Won’t Tell (taken from Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3)

Children can be cruel, and so can poverty, but the human spirit still triumphs.

Black Prairie - Red Rocking Chair (taken from Feast of the Hunters’ Moon)

If you’re not a parent, you may feel some bafflement as to how parents can feel such deep love for these tiny creatures who can barely eat by themselves, usually smell like food and/or poop and have ruined their sleep, social and sex lives. But I can tell you, something, like an embedded microchip you didn’t know was there, switches on when you have a child, and the love you feel for them transcends any feelings you’ve had for anyone, ever.

So, to lose a child is probably the most heartbreaking thing that could ever happen to a person. Portland’s Black Prairie tell this story with grace, using only a few instruments, words and scenes.

Keep on ridin’…

Best videos of 2010 - Category: Best non-Glee High School

Friday, December 31st, 2010

As we close in on the final, more specific categories of the year’s best videos, the number of videos that fit into those categories is getting smaller and smaller. Despite the fact that the dream that you’re back in high school and are completely unprepared for your finals because you’ve forgotten to attend class all semester is pretty much universal, the number of good music videos that take place there are still relatively slim.

There’s something that happens in the brain during adolescence that makes colors look brighter, food tastes better, time seems infinite and music feels like it could carry you out of the solar system. Our nostalgia for this feeling is a big factor in the success of GLEE—a show I also enjoy, though I often wish it relied less on autotune & slick, overcompressed production.

Foals - Blue Blood (taken from Total Life Forever)

Here’s a scene I’d like to see on GLEE in the new year: A freshman, bearing a strong resemblance to a young Corey Feldman or Dominic Monaghan, develops a crush on a teacher and gives her an uncomfortably intense serenade at the school talent show.

Free Energy - Bang Pop (taken from Stuck on Nothing)

GLEE’s creators flirted with the idea of taking over the school via the PA system in their Madonna-themed episode, but failed to achieve the potential blissful anarchy they could have because (1) it was a teacher who put the music on the PA in the first place and (2) there is a limited amount of anarchy you can achieve with Madonna as your soundtrack.

She & Him - In the Sun (taken from Volume Two)

Or, picture this: Zooey Deschanel guest stars on the show as a new student or something, and they come up with a flimsy plot excuse to perform this pretty much identically to how it is here.

Well, I should probably stop thinking like this. GLEE is, after all, on the same network that killed Firefly, Arrested Development and Dollhouse for being too good.

Stay in school, we’re not out yet…

Best videos of 2010 - Category: Best Comedic Use of Authority, Control or Dominance

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Something that occupies a good percentage of our brain activity is the question of whose authority, control or dominance we are under, how we feel about the position we find ourselves in, and what is the best response to our circumstances. Because of this, these relationships are a rich source of comedy.

Superchunk - Digging for Something (taken from Majesty Shredding)

Mac McCaughan takes matters into his own hands, and decides to cash in on Superchunk nostalgia with a band comprised of hipster cliches. But will the other, true members take back what’s theirs?

Junip - Always (taken from Fields)

A mystical air guitar savant confiscates Jose Gonzales’ side project Junip’s guitars. But not in a jerk way, more like a “there is no spoon” way.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Bottled in Cork (taken from The Brutalist Bricks)

A Broadway huckster commandeers Ted and his band into making a third-rate musical based on their latest album.

Grum - Straight Through the Night (taken from Heartbeats)

Two vice cops, partners, in the 80s, closet their feelings for one another, hilariously pushing the boundaries of “brotherly love.”

Grum - Can’t Shake this Feeling (taken from Heartbeats)

Even after we’re legally adults, sometimes we need our parents to get us out of a bad situation. Even (or especially) when that bad situation is performing in pornographic competitive eating films.

*Note: Both these videos for Grum were directed by The General Assembly, and are my two absolute favorites of the entire year.

Miike Snow - The Rabbit (taken from Miike Snow)

Somehow, Andreas Nilsson made the connection between Miike Snow and The 2 Live Crew, in the form of a bearded 10-year-old boy and his harem.

*Note: Andreas Nilsson also directed several other of my favorite videos this year, including the Junip one above, the MGMT one below and the Yeasayer video from yesterday’s post.

The Mynabirds - Numbers Don’t Lie (taken from What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood)

A bowling alley worker (who bears a strong resemblance to The Jerk-era Steve Martin) has had his life taken over by three beautiful women in party dresses, with an endless supply of confetti and balloons, and whose true nature is somewhat of a mystery.

SideChild - You are the One

Shot in a “making-of” style, we see the perils of letting the wrong director shoot your video.

MGMT - Flash Delirium (taken from Congratulations)

Nothing says “control” and “authority” like military and old money!

Keep checking back…