Top 30 Videos of 2011: 25 – 21

Part two! A very tasty five clips last week, but they’re about to get even better and better! From escalators to James van der Beek and back, let’s edge just a little bit closer to the top 20…

25. Battles feat. Gary Numan – My Machines
Directed by Daniels

It was great to have the brilliant Battles make their return in 2011, proving they still had what it took despite losing vocalist/frontman Tyondai Braxton. Gloss Drop kicked all kinds of arse, and it got even better when they made their return to videos. Bringing along Gary Numan for the ride, this very simple but incredibly effective clip revolves around a single location – an escalator at a shopping mall. Not too enthralling on paper, until a father desperately attempts to grab a dropped present for his son, tumbling down the “up” side of the escalator. A gripping, exciting video that is great for both simply enjoying and for complete and utter over-analysis, which I thankfully haven’t done here but am prone to do from time to time.

Read my original blog on My Machines here.

24. Darren Hanlon – Butterfly Bones
Directed by Natalie van den Dungen

I knew I was going to love this video as soon as I heard about it. One of my favourite directors, Natalie van den Dungen, at the helm (also responsible for Darren’s great All These Things video from 2010, amongst others); as well as two of my favourite Australian actors, Jessica Tovey (Home and Away, Paper Giants) and Rhys Muldoon (The Secret Life of Us, Play School) making appearances. Sure enough, I adored this clip from the very second I saw it: Darren Hanlon is his usual adorable self, the cinematography and locations are utterly gorgeous and even cranky old writer Bob Ellis makes a great cameo with his sole line: “You bastards!” I maintain that anyone who isn’t a fan of Darren’s – especially after seeing his videos – needs a soul.

Read my original post on Butterfly Bones here.

23. Death Cab for Cutie – Home is a Fire
Directed by Shepard Fairey and Nicholas Harmer

Some delightfully clever stuff here from the Death Cab guys, who made one of the year’s most underrated records (in my humble opinion, of course) in Codes and Keys. The video is a collaboration between the band’s bassist, Nick Harmer (also responsible for The Decemberists‘ excellent Sixteen Military Wives video) and prominent stencil artist Shepard Fairey. Fairey is best known for his Andre the Giant Has a Posse and Barack Obama: Hope art, stickers and posters. Stencils featuring the lyrics of Home is a Fire were created and put up and around various city locations, with some wonderful shots of their creation as well as shots of the stencils in relation to their part of the song. It’s an ambitious proejct, but one that has worked significantly in the band’s favour – truly one of their most special videos to date.

Read my original blog on Home is a Fire here.

22. Ke$ha – Blow
Directed by Chris Marrs Piliero

OK, we should probably get the facts out of the way first. I’m not a Ke$ha fan, I don’t enjoy the majority of her music and she often has a tendency of getting on my nerves. That said, I am more than willing to put literally all of my premonitions and grudges aside if it means I get to enjoy this video. I love this fucking video. As far as mainstream top-40 pop clips went this year, few topped Ke$ha’s efforts alongside former Dawson’s Creek heart-throb James van der Beek – or, “James van der Douche,” if you believe Ke$ha’s insults. The two are at some sort of bizarre party where they are essentially the only humans – the rest are unicorns in suits. No shit. The humour is much more knowing and tacky than her previous videos, and the whole thing looks fantastic without the obvious commercial sheen. I’m not going to become her #1 fan overnight, but I’ll be damned if Ke-dollar-sign-ha hasn’t won this round.

21. TV on the Radio – Will Do
Directed by Dugan O’Neil

Been a lot of ups and downs for TV on the Radio this year, but I admire them so much for overcoming the loss of their friend and long-serving bass player Gerard Smith, whom appears briefly in the video, and continue on as a four-piece in support of the excellent Nine Types of Light. It was sudden and devastating, but they’ve risen from the ashes and ultimately triumphed, particularly with some amazing shows in November here in Oz. I’ve always loved the imagination and imagery of TVotR’s videos, but I’ve found this one to be easily the most affecting out of everything they’ve done. It’s bold and very emotional, depicting how blurred the lines can become between fantasy and reality – and, subsequently, just how frustrating that can be for some. It’s heartbreaking, but beautiful to watch – not to mention how beautiful it is to look at, especially in HD. A defintive and powerful clip that stands alone as a work of art as it does an accompaniment.

Read my original blog on Will Do here.

***

10 down, 20 to go. The suspense, naturally, is killing you.

Catch up on part one here.

Send me your best clips of the year here.

All sorted? Jolly good. This time next week, then.

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