David here, hoping you’ve had a wonderful 2014 already.
So, this is the announcement I was talking about last week. I figured I would give you lot the heads-up first. As we head into another year, I am here to let you know that, after March 2014, Yes, We’ve Got a Video! will be done.
A few things have influenced this decision, namely the fact that I got so busy last year that I couldn’t even see 2013 out. Now that my freelance writing schedule is getting bigger and bigger, not to mention writing a new Nothing Rhymes with David album, my once-frequent activity on Y,WGAV! has been seriously halted in the past few months. It’s nobody’s fault, and it’s certainly not a matter of caring any less about music videos or anything of the sort. Ultimately, I had to make the call. No sour grapes, no regrets, no nothin’. I have had an absolutely fantastic time running this blog, and I hope you have enjoyed reading it.
A huge, sincere thanks to everyone that has made this blog possible. From the wonderful artists, producers, directors etc. that fill this space with videos I want to talk about to the PR people that have kept in touch about new artists and guest bloggers, I’ve been really lucky to have a decent enough run with this place. Two Pedestrian.TV blogster nominations, a wonderful community of people who subscribe and interact, some truly world-class hatemail (hi, Kerser fans!)… I started this blog with no anticipation or hopes for anything greater, but that’s exactly what I got.
TL;DR – this is it! Let’s make it count! Thank you!
Welcome one and all, at long last, to the top 30 videos of 2013. I’ll have a bit more information for you regarding this year for Y,WGAV! on Monday – in the meantime, let’s wave goodbye to a pretty spectacular year for music videos from across the entire board. Thank you so much for reading! See you on the other side.
10. Panic! At The Disco – Girls/Girls/Boys
Directed by Djay Brawner
Geez, did it just get hotter in here? Yes, at the ripe old age of 26, Panic! At the Disco‘s Brendon Urie has never looked better – so why not celebrate that with a sensual homage to a classic video by D’Angelo? This is a completely superficial entry in the countdown, ultimately having no artistic merits beyond its smooth camera work and its nod to the Untitled clip. But, man… those EYES. Those HIPS. I’m getting all hot under the collar just thinking about it. The best way to go about the video for Girls/Girls/Boys is to simply indulge.
Read my original post on Girls/Girls/Boys here.
9. FIDLAR – Cocaine
Directed by Ryan Baxley
A few observations to be made about this video. Firstly: Holy fuck, how much fun did FIDLAR have in 2013? These kids rattled cages across the world and delivered some of the year’s most delightfully bratty numbers; including this one that closed out their self-titled debut. Secondly: Nick Offerman is one of the flat-out coolest dudes on the planet. Whether he’s down to the bristling mustache in character as Ron Swanson or he’s fully-bearded and working away in his craftsman’s studio, Offerman is a genuinely fascinating guy who is constantly hilarious. Combining these two was a no-brainer, as Offerman goes on a (literally) pissed-off rampage when he is fired from his job. Don’t fuck with FIDLAR and don’t fuck with Ron Swanson. There will be consequences.
Read my original post on Cocaine here.
8. Matt & Kim – It’s Alright
Directed by Jacob Lincoln and Matt Johnson
One of the greatest things about Matt & Kim as a musical act is the fact that everything they do feels like an event. This is especially apparent in their music videos – from fearless food fights to nudie runs and back again, there’s nothing that the dynamic duo won’t try. When it came to making a video for It’s Alright, one of the standout tracks of their Lightning album, it was clear from the outset that they wouldn’t take it lying down. Imagine our surprise, then, when they did literally that: tossing and turning in their sleep became an exhausting choreographer’s dream. A delightfully entertaining prospect from one of the most consistent video-making acts we have. Sleeping has never made you so wide awake.
Read my original post on It’s Alright here.
7. Brendan Maclean – Stupid
Directed by Brian Fairbairn
Of the four countdowns we have done of the best videos of the year, Brendan Maclean has been in the top 10 for three of them. And no, this isn’t some sort of conspiracy – neither he nor we are getting paid for any of this. Nope, it’s simply a matter of the guy constantly pushing the boundaries and thinking outside the square when it comes to his videos. After experimenting with the one-take format on Beat Me To It, the Mac locked up with the team of Brian Fairbairn and Karl Eccleston to present two very different stories. Stupid comes on at a party – of which Maclean is the only attendee apart from the person who is supposed to be celebrating – and he can’t help but get lost in the moment. The girl, however, decides that it’s her party and she’ll cry if she wants to. Things go to extremes for both of them and the result is one of the more weirdly wonderful videos that managed to take off in 2013. Stupid has become Maclean’s most popular video by a considerable margin. You’ll see why.
Read my original post on Stupid here.
6. Mumford & Sons – Hopeless Wanderer
Directed by Sam Jones
Stadium folk is dead and we killed it. But not before it let out one last dying cry – for the final single from their Babel album, the often-imitated-but-never-duplicated Mumford & Sons left its visualisation to four of America’s top comedic actors. If Hopeless Wanderer proved anything, it was that they were in on the joke this entire time. Yes, they took their songcraft seriously and put in serious mileage when it came to touring and performing. But no-one can be that gravely serious all the time. Even Thom Yorke has to shake the sillies out every now and then. This video was a wink and a nod, a knowing grin, a trace of irony and humour that cracked a smile from the normally miserable Brits. A hiatus was announced for the band in 2013, meaning this could well be the very last thing that they do as a band. They spent that moment wisely.
Read my original post on Hopeless Wanderer here.
5. FKA twigs – Water Me
Directed by Jesse Kanda
Few artists could make such an intimidating first impression – especially if they are as impish as FKA twigs. Once you’re locked into those eyes, it’s going to take all your power to draw you away from them. The video is conceptually basic, taking its cues from Nothing Compares 2 U arguably better than Wrecking Ball did (FKA didn’t get any open letters, at least). It’s the veers off her face that provide momentary breaks from contact, but once she appears again the eyes have grown even bigger. What is most impressive is how the animation and doctoring of FKA’s face is veering between the obvious and the just-too-close to reality. A challenging but engaging affair.
Read my original post on Water Me here.
4. David Bridie – Delegate
Directed by Mat Govoni
So, who’d have thought it? The guy from My Friend the Chocolate Cake managed to make the best Australian video of 2013. I sure as shit didn’t see that one coming – then again, I don’t think a lot of people did. How did we get here? Simple, really: For the most politically outspoken song on his new album, Wake, Bridie wanted to make the most politically outspoken video that he has ever done. A timely and at times foreboding video, it’s a very clear commentary on the treatment of asylum seekers in Australia – and let’s keep in mind this video came out before Abbott was elected in. The slow-build and the gradual pacing allows for the visual metaphor to really sink in, and its conclusion will most likely leave you with your jaw somewhere on the floor beneath you. Delegate wasn’t just the best Australian music video of 2013 – it summed up Australia in 2013 more succinctly and unfortunately than anyone else could.
Read my original post on Delegate here.
3. Major Lazer – Bubble Butt
Directed by Eric Wareheim
This is a combination of some of my favourite things – the directorial work of Jash/Tim & Eric alum Eric Wareheim and the music of Major Lazer, who delivered one of the best albums of 2013 in Free the Universe. Wareheim has worked with Diplo and co. on their Pon De Floor video back in the day, so it’s great to see this meeting of the minds once again. The end result is one of the best things to come from either camp in years – 2012 saw Diplo starting the Express Yourself movement through a wickedly entertaining video, and has continued on its legacy with a bombastic, brassy and proudly weird clip that could have only come from the mind of Wareheim. Although this didn’t spark any major moral outrage at the time of its release, that certainly doesn’t mean that the clip hasn’t rattled a few cages – a quick trawl through the comments section will show a myriad of outraged and disgusted viewers. It’s an intentionally provocative clip to conservative and well-I-never outragers, which will make you want to side with team Major Lazer even more. Above all else, though, Bubble Butt is an obscene amount of fun. It’s fully aware of how ridiculous it is. Moreover, it revels in it.
Read my original post on Bubble Butt here.
2. Anika – In the City
Directed by Kyle Whittington and Joe Broady
When I was putting this list together, I was given a tip to choose videos in which I could not imagine the song without the accompanying video. That was never more true than with the truly odd and celebratory video for In the City, a Chromatics cover as performed by little-known Berlin-via-Bristol artist Anika. I couldn’t tell you much more about her apart from the fact that she’s cut an album with Geoff Barrow of Portishead and Beak> fame. Then again, I don’t need to tell you much more – this is a video that speaks for itself. Exactly what it’s saying is anyone’s guess: It appears to be some sort of Cinderella meets Murder on the Dancefloor competition to win the heart of a fair maiden. It gets weirdly intense at points, too, all the while still being wickedly funny. If this song was played to me on its own, I would simply long for the tight calves, the tracksuits and the outraged reactions at being eliminated. The two are inseperable. Good luck trying to figure out what the fuck’s going on in the video for In the City – but you’ll need even more luck trying to forget it.
1. Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone
Directed by Vania Heymann
2013 was a year of expecting the unexpected in a lot of ways – and, in the music world, this was never more true than when a video for Like a Rolling Stone was released some 48 years after it first came out. Bob has always had an interesting history with music video – his Subterranean Homesick Blues is oft-viewed as a pioneering concept clip, and even in recent years he has managed to keep things visually fascinating with videos for songs like Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ and the Y,WGAV!-charting Duquesne Whistle. Even with that taken into consideration, no-one could have quite anticipated where the video for Rolling Stone would end up. What we have here is a collection of flickering ideas and psuedo-realities rolled into a television set that you can flick through, perusing every aspect of what the song offers. There’s Drew Carey on The Price is Right. There’s Marc Maron talking down a guest on WTF using the song’s lyrics. There’s the Pawn Stars team talking shop. Hey, Danny Brown‘s here! Why the fuck not? You could have as many experiences with this video as you wanted – or as little. Hell, you can just watch the news reporter talk you through the song. Maybe watch a live Dylan performance thrown in for good measure. Whatever you may choose, you’ll end up with a very clever and genuinely wonderful video experience. The future of music videos is literally in your hands. How does it feel?
Nearly there! We skipped a week, so the top 10 will be up on Friday. An announcement is coming on Monday, as well. So watch out for that. In the meantime: Some more of the year’s best videos!
15. Alison Wonderland featuring Fishing – Get Ready
Directed by Aidan Keogh
Never work with children or animals. It’s a golden rule. Unless, of course, we’re talking corpse-painted children with outstanding rap skills. And party animals. In those instances, the green light is flashing very, very brightly. Alison made a hell of an impression with her first-ever video and single, matching the two together perfectly. One of the year’s best efforts, nation or genre regardless. It’s a celebration, bitches!
Read my original post on Get Ready here.
14. The Uncluded – Delicate Cycle
Directed by Pete Lee and Ben Fee
Few acts showed as unwavering a love of music videos in 2013 as The Uncluded – aka Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock – managed to. Releasing videos for a solid chunk of their debut album, Hokey Fright, they went from fish psychiatrists to animated Frankenstein monsters. Their best, however, came in the form of an exultantly joyful, mutli-storyline video that celebrated the weirdness that comes with every day life. For fans of two-legged dogs, one-legged lunch ladies and big-hearted music.
Read my original post on Delicate Cycle here.
13. Action Bronson – Strictly 4 My Jeeps
Directed by Jason Goldwatch
Action Bronson is the coolest uncool kid in the hip-hop world. He’s the size of a fridge and raps mostly about food and wrestling. Naturally, his relative outsider’s stance has drawn a lot of people to him. Watching the Strictly 4 My Jeeps video will show you exactly why: He laughs in the face of what is trendy, fashionable or even conventionally attractive. He does things his way, whether it’s getting a dance from an obese woman in a gold bikini or messing around with the enigma that is Riff Raff. It’s refreshing, it’s silly and it’s entertaining as fuck. Shrimp money, bitch!
12. Kirin J Callinan – Victoria M
Directed by Kirin J Callinan and Scott Kiernan
Ignoring Way II War at the time of its release was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in the history of Y,WGAV! I’ve gone on record by saying I fucked up, so I made sure to keep an eye on Kirin J Callinan from there on out. I – and everyone else, of course – was rewarded by this delightful homage to classic soap operas; where even the most minute of characters had to express who they were in a matter of seconds for the opening credits. Callinan takes on all of them with his typical campness and eccentricity, and it’s nothing short of delightful. This guy matters.
Read my original post on Victoria M here.
11. Super Best Friends – Round and Round
Directed by Matt Roberts
2013 was the year that Australian politics became the laughing stock of the world, thanks in no small part to The Daily Show throwing attention down our way. The in-fighting, the backwards policies, the homophobia, the fuck-up that was our election… it was a rough fucking year, let’s call a spade a spade. Even so, for a couple of glorious minutes in the second half that just didn’t matter. Politicians from both sides of the fence took a few seconds to appear in a music video – a funny, clever one; too. For that brief, glimmering moment, it felt like maybe music was the language of us all. Maybe we should worry less about boat-stopping and shark-culling; and start worrying more about Super Best Friends. It’s just a thought.
Read my original post on Round and Round here.
20. The Tongue – Australian Dreaming
Directed by Caroline Tresise
Xannon Shirley – aka The Tongue – isn’t the kind of dude to be untoward about his ambitions. He puts a lot of heart and soul into what he does, and I love him for it. Here, he’s made one of the best Australian videos of 2013 – and there’s a strong emphasis on Australian; given the issues that he is tackling both musically and visually. Each character portrayed has a purpose – no-one is vilified or humiliated, simply shown on their own particular walk of life. It’s excellent viewing – really makes you wish there were more Aussie hip-hop videos like it.
Read my original post on Australian Dreaming here.
19. Dune Rats! – Red Light, Green Light (Green Version)
Directed by Pilerats
What can you say about this utterly ridiculous video that hasn’t already been said? The lovable burnouts of Dune Rats paid homage to their friends in DZ Deathrays the only way they knew how – getting unceremoniously stoned in a very short amount of time. There is nothing more to this video, and there absolutely does not need to be. It’s just stupid fun that requires little more than a shaka and a “yewwww” in celebration of its existence.
Read my original post on Red Light, Green Light here.
18. Laura Imbruglia – Awoooh!
Directed by Karl Siemon and Stephen Nicolazzo
Some weird shit tends to go down when there’s a full moon – especially if you have as outlandish an imagination as your mate and mine Laura Imbruglia. For this comically spooky and proudly low-budget affair, Laura seeks the attention of the hottest guy in the club; while a dorky basketball player vies for her attention. Of course, the night is young – what happens next is anyone’s guess. Camp, cartoony and wickedly funny. Howling forever.
Read my original post on Awoooh! here.
17. Just Blaze & Baauer featuring Jay Z – Higher
Directed by Nabil
Holy shit. Nabil, who is quickly becoming one of my favourite directors, goes all grandiose on us here; opting for a “short film” over a music video. It carries a similar intensity to Hey Jane, my #1 video of 2012 – as the tension builds, you are drawn in further to the lives of the characters and the balance it strikes between pure fantasy and harsh reality. The whole thing looks fantastic, and although it’s cracked a million views it feels like it deserves so much more.
16. Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band – Bad Dancer
Directed by Ben Dickinson
The oldest person in the entire list by some margin is also probably the coolest – Yoko Ono has made a career out of not giving a fuck, and rarely has that been more prevalent than in this fantastic video. Enlisting the help of some similarly cool non-fuck-givers – Ira Glass, ?uestlove, Reggie Watts and the surviving Beastie Boys – Ono brings her simple, effective style of weirdness to the forefront. Bad Dancer pretty much does what it says on the tin. War is over – let’s dance like nobody’s watching.
What’s up, friends? Thanks for coming back yet again and checking out our little dealio here, as we look back at the best visual counterparts to the songs of 2013. If you missed part one, you can check up on that here. If not, let’s get right back to it!
25. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)
Directed by Becky and Joe
This groovy tune from the part-Kiwi, part-Portlandian’s second album was certainly one of the more talked-about clips in the indie world this year. It’s safe to say that there was nothing out there quite like it – the imaginative team of Becky Sloan and Joe James (with the clever moniker of Becky and Joe) lured us into the life of a perverted puppet whose life manages to get weirder and weirder by the second. His surrounds and the people in it tend to raise more questions than get answered, but perhaps that’s why it’s such a strangely alluring clip.
24. iwrestledabearonce – Boat Paddle
Directed by Justin Beasley
It’s morphin’ time! In order to save the universe from a giant butt-faced monster – and that’s quite literally what it is, by the way – the guys and girl of IWABO suit up and use the almighty powers of rock & roll. You may have guessed that we’ve gotten to a silly section of the countdown, and you’d be absolutely right. Everything here is as cheesy and hammed-up as you’d expect; very much a reflection on how rare it is that the gang actually take things seriously. They’re just an outrageously fun band – if anyone deserves to be saving the world, it’s gotta be them.
Read my original post on Boat Paddle here.
23. Batpiss – Loose Screws
Directed by Chris Matthews
We all know how this one goes: Boy gets job, boy gets abused at job, boy decides to go on bloody massacre rampage. It’s the oldest trick in the book! Melbourne trio Batpiss pricked up eyebrows across the country with their cartoonishly graphic video, complete with a nod to one of the best videos of 2012 and a finale that no-one could have possibly seen coming. Major kudos to the make-up department, as well as the slab of extras whose campish overacting sell the video even more than it was already being sold. Yet another world-class video from Australia’s relatively-underground scene.
22. Cloud Control – Dojo Rising
Directed by Ian Pons Jewell
A truly international affair if ever there was one: Australian band based in the U.K. enlist London director for a video shot in Bolivia. Yeah, that just about checks out. While we’re at it, why don’t we throw in a dodgy, down-on-his-luck clown and a seemingly-sweet little girl who seeks revenge on said clown ruining her birthday party? Hell, why not? In for a penny, in for a pound. Gorgeously shot and splendidly strange, Dojo Rising proved to be one of the year’s biggest curveballs from a video perspective. It wasn’t what anyone was expecting, but it was sure as hell what we got.
Read my original post on Dojo Rising here.
21. Psy – Gentleman
Directed by Choo Soo-hyun
If 1,877,401,067 YouTube hits can’t be wrong, can 623,110,248? That’s the billion-dollar question, and the answer was a resounding yes. Sure, following up literally the biggest music video of all time was a big ask – but the K-pop superstar took it in his stride and kept things just as outlandish, as extravagant and as hilarious. Not an instant classic, but certainly one guaranteed to raise a smile everytime you see it.
Read my original post on Gentleman here.
What do you think? Leave a comment or an email; and we’ll see you next week!
It’s about that time! We’re back, people. That’s right, YWGAV is not dead – although we were on life support for awhile. It was pretty much a matter of life getting in the way; among all the various other dealios. I’ve got some great plans for 2014, though; and if you’re reading this, I’m really glad that you’ve either come back or just started reading.
So, here’s the deal. We’re going to take a look at the 30 best videos of the year for the fourth year in a row. You can find the starts of the previous lists here, here and here. Once you’re up to speed, we’ll get straight to it! Here, friends, are the top 30 videos of 2013.
WITH APOLOGIES TO: Every other Uncluded video (spoiler alert!), every other Lonely Island video, Beach House, Drake, Haim, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Tyler, the Creator, Lily Allen, Janelle Monae, Yo La Tengo, Violent Soho and Nick van Breda…
30. Arctic Monkeys – Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
Directed by Nabil
After a boozy night out with the boys, Alex Turner decides to wander over to the house of a girl he fancies. What follows is a brilliantly OTT look at the tricks that play on one’s mind when they are under the influence – or, in Alex’s case, a metric shit-tonne of influences. The direction and cinematography is sharp, the editing is brilliantly shambolic and it’s the best video they’ve made in years. Let’s just ignore the grammatical mess that is the song title and focus in on the video itself.
Read my original post on Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? here.
29. Major Lazer feat. Peaches & Timberlee – Scare Me
Directed by Brandon Dermer
For all of his action move macho madness, it’s easy to forget sometimes that Terry Crews is the exact kind of crazy and hilarious you’d want out of someone who thrives in such a gravely serious market. For every Expendables, there’s a role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine or teaming up with Tim & Eric on Old Spice ads. So it was a perfect choice to make Crews the live-action Major Lazer as the major is brought into a wild action-packed mission with cameos from The League‘s Nick Kroll, Workaholics‘ Blake Anderson and The Game‘s Lauren London. Kind of wish that this was a TV series – as if you wouldn’t follow the Major anywhere!
28. Darwin Deez – You Can’t Be My Girl
Directed by Keith Schofield
Genuine question: Did we all just completely forget that Darwin Deez existed? I could not tell you the last time I had heard his name before this clip came out. Whatever the case, he certainly made sure we didn’t forget about this brilliant little video. Inserting yourself into footage is nothing new – take the classic Gnarls Barkley video for Smiley Faces as the best possible example of how it’s done – but it’s safe to say that it’s never been done in quite the way that Deez and director Keith Schofield (Duck Sauce, Ladyhawke, Supergrass) took it on. Delving into a myriad of stock footage, it tells the story of a sociopathic onlooker venting his frustrations to anyone that will listen – or, in this case, completely ignore him. It’s about as strange and as remarkable as you’d expect.
27. The Lonely Island – Spring Break Anthem
Directed by Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone
A Lonely Island comeback year always means one thing: Shit-loads of videos. Andy, Jorm and Kiv were no strangers to Y,WGAV! readers in 2013, from the nightclub insanity of Go Kindergarten to the strange bragging rights of Diaper Money. The pick of the lot, however, was easily the original version of Spring Break Anthem. Starting off with a smashing Between Two Ferns highlight reel between host Zach Galifianakis and his guest James Franco, the two somehow end up in the fantasy realm of a Cancun spring break party hosted by TLI. If you know what’s coming next, then… well, you know. For those that didn’t see this the first time around, however… you’re in for a hell of a time.
Read my original post on Spring Break Anthem here.
26. Bloc Party – Ratchet
Directed by Cyriak
It seems like Bloc Party always wait until after they’ve released an album to drop a complete curveball on us. We got it with Flux and One More Chance for the last two albums, and then the hip-hop-flavoured Ratchet dropped in the wake of 2012’s Four album. With the band on break, it was time to dig into the archives – animator extraordinaire Cyriak took apart the videos for Octopus, Two More Years and Helicopter and literally created a monster out of them. Perhaps the single greatest re-use of a videography ever? I would wager so.
Read my original post on Ratchet here.
What do you think so far? Enjoying the videos? See you next week!
Something a bit out of the ordinary for Wednesday lunchtime. For the first time ever, Y,WGAV! has got a competition going – we’ve got some tickets to give away to the very exciting upcoming VIVID Sydney festival coming up at the Sydney Opera House throughout May and into June.
Everyone from Cloud Control to Kraftwerk is making an appearance, but of particular interest to you electronic music fans will be the Terminal Projekt; which is set to take over the Customs and Cargo Hall of the Overseas Terminal over the weekend of the 8th and 9th of June. It looks like it’s going to be an incredible show of stunning visuals and some exciting performances from acts like dOP and Sepalcure.
Sound like fun? Bet you’d like two tickets – worth $118 – in your hot little hands, right? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Thanks to the kind and attractive folk over at Finely Tuned, that’s exactly what I’ve got. So, if you’d like two tickets to the first night of the Terminal Projekt, then just send your name, address and phone number in an email to email@example.com. It’s as easy as that!
Entries close on May 1st.
For more information and to grab tickets, click the picture below.
“Say what you want, but it won’t change a thing…”
Truly, truly, truly never thought I’d see the day. I mean, fucking Travis? The fucking Why Does It Always Rain on Me? guys? THAT Travis? Even post-hit, I hadn’t heard from these guys in about nine years or so. Truly just thought they’d quietly parted and been rained on separately. Now, it seems they’re back, having completed their seventh (fucking seventh!) studio album. This is our first taste from it, which they’ve put up for free download on their site. More of interest to me, however, is the cracking video.
Naturally, with a title like Another Guy, your mind has most likely gone all hetero on us and assumed that the song is about a relationship ending because old mate Fran Healy has seen his woman with… well, another guy. Wrong! Wrong! In this delightfully cheap clip – in breathtaking standard definition, I might add – the Travis gang are all mad at one another. In some sort of bizarre Fleetwood Mac
-esque situation, every member of Travis has been involved in a relationship with another. Throughout the course of the clip, they catch each other out – and, by some bizarre twist of fate, all of them have shacked up with the same balding grey dude. How about that, huh? I love the knowing humour and the play on convention that Travis have gone for here. Never thought I’d say it, but it’s great to have them back!
Shit is about to get well pointy, son! This time around, we’ve got crazy kids, crazy pep-peps and crazy dudes with sledgehammers. You have been warned – THIS is the second half of the top 30 videos of the year, and it’s fucking GLORIOUS.
15. tUnE-yArDs – My Country
Directed by Mimi Cave
There’s always been somewhat of a childlike wonder to what Merrill Garbus – aka tUnE-yArDs – does in her music. So why not bring in an army of tykes to visualise the opening track from her brilliant W H O K I L L record? As a matter of fact, you might not even notice when Merrill herself appears in the video – she blends in with their excitement and awe perfectly. Not only does this look like it was an insane amount of fun to make, but because there’s so many super-cute/super-awesome kids, you can probably pick out a favourite or two. I’m gonna go with old mate on the drums, the bald kid that’s REALLY getting into it. The popping-and-locking breakdance girl is a winner, too. Life-affirming awesomeness cometh in the form of tUnE-yArDs. The kids are alright.
Read my original post on My Country here.
14. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Directed by Declan Whitebloom
A lot of questions got raised in the wake of this video’s release. Does T-Sweezy really need those glasses? Why are her bandmates all dressed up like woodland creatures? Is there a plot to this thing at all? You can probably answer all of them with a quick whack ’round the side of the head and an exclamation of “DUDE! It’s a pop video!” Of course it’s completely ridiculous and plotless. That’s half the fucking point! I’m like a fly going towards the zapper when it comes to Taylor’s videos, but I love this one the most for its knowing humour and its willingness to be just a little adventurous – the single camera format in particular is fantastic, and I wish more pop videos used it. A pleasure that was guilty as charged.
Read my original post on We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together here.
13. Dinosaur Jr. – Watch the Corners
Directed by The Director Brothers
For all his sour demeanour and his perceived lack of humour, I still think that J. Macsis is a funny dude. Doing a video like Over It, a parody of nineties skate videos, was solid enough evidence. But bringing in a guy like Tim Heidecker (of Tim & Eric and The Comedy fame) sealed the deal for me. Watch the Corners isn’t quite a “funny” video, per se; in the same way that Heidecker’s The Comedy wasn’t quite funny. That said, it’s a blackly comic affair about young love, over-protective parents and crossing over into the rebellious teen phase. It fits the song perfectly, and given Heidecker has less than 10 seconds of dialogue all up, his actions speak far louder than words in this context. Watch out for the pool and watch out for the final revenge on his daughter’s ex.
Read my original post on Watch the Corners here.
12. DZ Deathrays – No Sleep
Directed by Vonne Patiag
The DZ boys know how to make a lot out of a little – hell, prior to this clip, their best-known clip was a one-take for The Mess Up which was just the band doing as many shots as possible. And so, with a small pink backdrop and a comedy superstar, DZ manage to deliver a hilarious twist on a classic video, that being Paul Simon‘s clip for You Can Call Me Al. With Arj Barker taking the place of Chevy Chase, he takes the ball and runs with it, throwing in some ridiculous guitar shredding and bongo solos for extra measure. What you see is what you get with this one – and what you get is awesome lip-syncing, sledgehammers and PUPPIES! Don’t worry, the last two aren’t related.
Read my original post on No Sleep here.
11. Explosions in the Sky – Postcard From 1952
Directed by Peter Simonite and Annie Gunn
Photography and video have gone hand-in-hand forever. There’s been countless music videos that have been made up entirely of photographs, and it’s a really cool and interesting idea when done properly. What’s so fascinating about Postcard From 1952 however, is that it’s a video documentation of the moments that lead up to – as well as the moments that follow after – a photo being taken. It takes the concept of the song’s title and runs with it. The scenery, the costumes, the locations… it’s absolutely breathtaking. It goes to show just how much can go into a solitary moment, a flickering second in time that’s captured. Absolutely wonderful stuff. A true video experience.
Next week… the top 10! It’s all over, dude!