20. Kimbra – Settle Down
The gorgeous Kiwi-born singer certainly knew how to make a first impression with her debut video, presenting a twisted fantasy (no, Yeezy, it’s not beautiful and dark) involving dollys, pretty cinematography and fire. That will all make sense once you’ve seen the video, trust me. I love this video on account of its creativity and its fearless imagination – it’s increasingly rare to find that in any international pop music, let alone stuff being created so close to home (Kimbra now lives in Melbourne). A breath of fresh air that was very much needed in 2010.
19. Ben Folds and Nick Hornby – From Above
One of the more interesting collabs from the year saw piano punk Ben Folds get his groove back thanks to About A Boy writer Nick Hornby. In this video, Hornby’s words come to live through visualisation – thankfully, with no appearance from Hugh Grant in sight. It’s a simple black and white animation which truly drives the messages woven into the song right home to its viewers. Poignant, cute and really cleverly done, if you haven’t experienced Lonely Avenue yet then hopefully the video for From Above will be your catalyst.
18. The Bedroom Philosopher – Northcote (So Hungover)
No matter where you were in 2010, Justin Heazelwood brought back the novelty song in amazing fashion, taking on a topic no Aussie had considered tackling before – the boho hipster. You know the type – cardigan wearer, apathetic about most things, in a band, arrogant… the Beddy Philly (thanks, Robin from The Boat People!) nailed this character perfectly. The song’s re-enaction instantly generated plenty of laughs and high rotation on Channel [V] and rage – he even dressed up in his hipster uniform when I saw him play the song live! Some great cameos in here too – look out for Kram from Spiderbait, Tim Rogers and Miss Angie Hart!
17. LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls
Really, it was only a matter of time before James Murphy and co. were sabotaged in the making of their own video by a gang of vicious, anarchic pandas who throw glitter everywhere, trash studio sets and smear make-up all over the band. I’m just personally quite glad and eternally grateful that LCD Soundsystem were brave enough to put together the remaining footage and present is as the music video even after the painful ordeal that they were put through during the making of what should have been a groundbreaking performance video. Y,WGAV! salutes you!
16. Willow Smith – Whip My Hair
As they say in the hip-hop world, this shit was a motherfucking gamechanger. You’d expect something wild from someone who’s DNA partly consists of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but this was one of the most extravagant and stupidly fun videos to be unleashed in the pop world for quite some time. I mean, come on! The colours! The dancing! The kids being liberated! What’s not to love? Quit guzzling the haterade and appreciate this for what it is – the guiltiest of pleasures, but pleasure all the same.
25. Otouto – W. Hillier
Stunning, simple and classy, I love rewatching this video from one of the best new bands in Australia. The dance routine, similar to the music itself, is very delicately arranged, perfectly synchronized and a complete joy to watch. The best part, however, has to be watching all three band members – Hazel, Martha and Kishore – dancing along with the No Lights No Lycra team and getting the choreography perfect. Now THAT is dedication to one’s art, people! See my original post on the video here.
24. Art vs. Science – Magic Fountain
2010 saw the AvS gents take the throne as the official partystarters of Australian music – a pretty awesome title to have, if you ask me. They visualised this in their second ever music video, Magic Fountain, in which a mad scientist blast some wicked beats through a suit made entirely out of speakers, making everybody dance as soon as they get caught up in the sounds. It’s wildly imaginative and a very fun watch – it’s great to see more Australian acts thinking outside the square with their music videos; and Art vs. Science are no exception. You’ll see my blog on their new video, Finally See Our Way, soon; but for now, you can view my original post on this video here.
23. Katy Perry – Firework
I think this one is all about the context for me. On its own, it’s a visual ode to being different and standing up for oneself. Add in the fact that Perry herself dedicated it to the It Gets Better campaign and it takes on a deeper meaning. It’s not everyday that a mainstream pop star will make such bold sociopolitical statements, let alone promote the idea that being different is something to aspire to. It’s for this reason that I commend Katy’s vision in this video, creating something affecting in addition to being visually spectacular.
22. Kylie Minogue – All the Lovers
Oh, come ON! It’s Kylie, with a bunch of sexy half-naked people making out in a pile. Does this one REALLY need an explanation?
21. Hollerado – Americanarama
One of the great left-field successes of music videos in 2010, this one came from a little known indie rock band looking to do something that was, in their own words, “cheap and fun.” They put together this amazing video with a group of friends and a budget of roughly four grand, and filmed the entire thing in one take. It might seem impossible when you watch it for the first time, but all it took was a little bit of speed changing and everyone managed to get it together. Will this bring them an OKGO-esque level of video notoriety? Guess only time will tell, but this is a pretty fucking great start, don’t you agree?
Hello, hello, hello!
Well, for the past week or so I have been racking my brains. And let me tell you, the brain-racking process is not one to be envied. That said, I’m very glad to finally present this week my first major project for Y,WGAV! – bringing you the thirty best videos of the year just passed. There’s a lot of kerrazy shit that went down in 2010, and I’m going to be very interested to see how it continues on in the new year. For now, though, let’s kick back and have a scroll through the year that was, presenting the finest visual specimen set to some of the year’s best tracks.
30. Big Boi feat. Cutty – Shutterbugg
Outkast were always reliable for some outstanding videos – Ms. Jackson and Hey Ya! amongst the best – but here was a chance for Big Boi, long percieved to be the weaker half of the duo, to prove himself. Impressively, dude hit it out of the fucking park – not only was Shutterbugg easily one of the best songs of the year, it had a crazy good video to back itself up. The shiny, sleek and slightly freaky video saw BB jamming with a puppet band, decapitating himself, rolling in a psychedelic car that changed colours and just generally being a dude – mostly in a tuxedo, naturally. Effortlessly cool. See my original post on the video here.
29. Clare Bowditch and the New Slang – Modern Day Addiction
Clare had an amazing 2010. She released her best album, put together her best backing band and had some killer shows to back it up – I followed the tour for two nights and it was really something quite special; and not just because I was head over heels in love with the backing vocalists (The Lady Garden, as they were known)! Additionally, this happened: a bold, concise and memorable music video, serving up visuals for the song’s extensive metaphor. It might not make sense at first, but give it a chance. This is one that sticks in the memory. See my original post on the video here.
28. Brandon Flowers – Crossfire
B-Flo – it’s his rap name, deal with it – didn’t have a great start to the year. After the passing of his mother, The Killers cancelled most of their Australian tour and announced a hiatus. Things didn’t get much better – his solo album, Flamingo, fizzled due to slow sales, no huge single and generally being a bit of an average affair. One great thing to come out of all of this, however, was the Springsteen-aping single Crossfire and its kickarse video. In a sick little role reversal, it’s Brandon who’s the damsel in distress and Charlize Motherfucking Theron who is the action hero, saving his arse after he inexplicably gets captured by both terrorists and ninjas. Plotless and stupid? Shit yeah. When has that ever stopped something from being awesome? See my original post on the video here.
27. Darren Hanlon – All These Things
Few people in this world make me as happy as Darren Hanlon. For the past half-decade or so, Daz has continually made music and videos that just warm my heart. 2010 was no exception, releasing the wonderful I Will Love You At All and putting out this adorable video. Complete with kitschy dance routines, weird dudes in balaclavas (sp?) and plenty of odd visual gags, it’s a video that consistently entertains and brings warmth and even more loveliness to the song itself – never thought that could be possible! See my original post on the video here – and, if you’re feeling adventurous, listen to my acoustic cover here!
26. Kings of Leon – Pyro
The Kings have always been a bit hit and miss with their videos – they’ve gone from rocking out in the woods to wanky Bon Jovi-esque montage videos. For the first time in awhile, however, they went a bit conceptual to soundtrack what is arguably the best song from Come Around Sundown. The scene could be any dive bar in America, the characters could come from any unfortunate background…but it’s this ambiguity that lures you in, and subsequently keeps you watching until the inexplicable but strangely brilliant conclusion. It’s one for repeated viewings for all the times you don’t get it, but for what it’s worth this could be the band’s best music video yet.
“Y’know you really oughta move out of California…”
Earlier in the week, I had the honour of meeting Patrick Matthews when he was hanging out in Wollongong with the lovely Owl Eyes. In case you didn’t know, Patrick was the original bassist for The Vines before going on to Youth Group, and most recently The Jewel and the Falcon. I was happy to chat about the latter two, but one thing you should know about me is that I was OBSESSED with The Vines.
This band, at the ripe old age of 12, exposed me to a whole new world of rock and roll. A world of drugs and destruction and videos like this – Get Free was another one of those things that just completely blew me away the first time I saw it. It blew them away too – literally, the sight of Craig Nicholls flying off the face of the earth due to some explosive on the ground, to me, remains one of the iconic shots of 2000s rock videos.
I can’t really expand much more on how much this video freaked me out and excited me simultaneously as a child. I still love The Vines, but this was my peak of obsession – knowing every word to every song, wanting to be Craig, etc. You know the drill. Anyway, rock out to this one!
“Yesterday, I woke myself with such an awful feeling…”
Welcome back to Y,WGAV! for 2011! More information about the Top 30 Videos of the Year later on in the week, but I thought I’d kick off the year with a great Aussie artist. Last year (ooh, exciting! I can say “last year” now!), I did a blog about Andy Bull and his video for Young Man – at the time, he didn’t have a video to promote anything off his Phantom Pains EP. As you can see, the tide has turned since that blog!
This is a decidedly bizarre video involving paintball suits, blood, some crazy dude and the chopping off of one’s thumb. Watch it once and it makes no sense, watch it twice and it makes a little bit of sense, and then from the third viewing onwards it goes back to making no sense! Whatever your interpretation, it’s incredibly intriguing, well-shot and certain to get heads turned.
Happy new year! Hope you all had an awesome time – I couldn’t have enjoyed Peats Ridge more, it was fantastic!
This is just a post to let you know we’ll be back to regular posting next week, but also to let you know that coming very soon you’ll get to see THE TOP 30 VIDEOS OF 2010 according to yours truly! What an awesome video year we’ve had, and there’s so much to talk about. Who will take out the top spot? You’ll see, in time…
Anyway, happy new year to you guys! Back real soon 🙂