“Shelter also gave their shade, but in the dark I have no name…”
A few things I’d like to talk about before I get onto today’s top video. Firstly, I just want to say how fucking bored I am with the hate towards Mumford and Sons. Trying to take them down a peg in 2013 is like trying to tell everyone how shit Britney is in 2007, or how slutty you think Ke$ha is in 2010. It’s lazy, it’s boring, it’s cheap, it’s Pavlovian, it’s unchallenging and it makes you sound like a dreary rock pig attempting to talk “street” with the “kids” about their “popular musics.” Just… just fucking shut up, okay? No-one thinks you’re clever – literally, if someone thinks you’re clever, they’re a no-one.
Point number two: As much as I fucking hate M&S hate (I’m not even a massive fan), I truly cannot stand bands that take themselves too seriously. It’s in this regard that I can sort of see where the backlash has come from for Marcus and the boys – by all means make “serious” music, but have your wits about you and never make it seem like what you’re doing is a chore. Loosen up, and learn to laugh at yourself – you and your music are never as important as you make them out to be.
Okay, so we’ve got both of those points out of the way: Let’s talk about this new Mumford and Sons video that you’ve no doubt seen busying your feed the past few days. In replacement of the four band members, four comedians have taken their place – namely Saturday Night Live‘s Jason Sudekis, The Hangover‘s Ed Helms, Arrested Development‘s Jason Bateman and MacGruber himself, Will Forte. I love all four of these guys on an individual basis, so perhaps I was always predisposed to enjoying this video. But holy hell, did these four go above and beyond the call of duty.
Hopeless Wanderer is by no means one of the better tracks on Babel, but much like OKGO, it’s not so much about the song. There’s too much fun to be had here to worry about something as petty as the song itself. There’s fake beards, fake tears and all-too-real makeout sessions. Bateman thrashes away on a banjo, Forte sways with his double bass and all four glide down the river in their boat. It’s never cruel or taunting, but it does give a very obvious nod to the fact that M&S aren’t always the most cheery of gents. Don’t worry yourself over something like whether you’re being “tricked” into liking Mumford and Sons. People attempting to tell you that are complete fucking morons. Just settle down, now. It’s only folk rock. They’re just comedians. Nobody’s going to get hurt, and that’s the most important thing.
“It was like James Dean for sure, you so fresh to death and sick as cancer…”
We’ve never really touched on the passing phenom of Lizzy Grant, better known to you lot as Lana Del Ray. People either find her an enthralling relief from the current batch of female pop stars or an incarnation of Satan himself. Me? I just find her unremarkabe. Spectularly unremarkable. As in, I legitimately cannot think of anything interesting about her music. The things that people say surrounding the supposed conspiracy of how “credible” or “real” she is as an artist is more engaging than anything from her debut album, Born to Die. So, I’ve kept my mouth shut. That is, until now.
What you’re about to see is one of the most turgid, faux-artistic phlegm-wads that has passed for a music video in the past few years. This is Blue Jeans, and in order to spice up a bland slice of Shirley Bassey-wannabe chanteuse stylings, director Yoann Lemoine has thrown together a clip that’s enragingly bad. What’s so awful about it? The long, drawn-out shots of Lizzy’s flat, emotionless face. The oh-so-pretentious black-and-white – being in B&W doesn’t make it look any more like a classic, honey. The deadshit they cast as the male lead, who essentially takes his shirt off, jumps in a pool, sticks his fingers down Lizzy’s throat and leaves. It starts off nowhere, it leads nowhere and stays exactly there. It’s four-and-a-half minutes and feels like it goes on for an hour. It’s drivel, basically. Any further questions, just look into Lizzy’s distant, vague eyes or her bee-sting lips. You’ll know the answer.
Ten down, twenty to go. There have been some killer inclusions so far, and the following five is no exception. You want teddy bears? Ninjas? Car chases? Michael Bolton? We got ALL of that shit, right here! Let’s go!
20. Rhys Muldoon – I’m Not Singing
Directed by Natalie van den Dungen
A double-spud for one of Australia’s finest actors and one of Australia’s finest video directors. Both Rhys and Natalie were involved with Darren Hanlon‘s wonderful Butterfly Bones video, and they make their return here to focus on the title track for Rhys’ debut kids’ album. It’s an adorable mini-adventure, following the rockstar lifestyle of a keyboard-and-drums duo making their way to yet another rocking gig – except their roadie keeps nagging them about listening to his album. “I’ve been driving you four years,” he moans. “I don’t know how many times I have to ask!” We should probably mention at this time that the duo are teddy bears, and the roadie is Rhys Muldoon himself. The puppetry is simple, the animated background is sweet and the dancing kids just make this video. Few Aussie clips were this fun in 2011 – and you can only imagine that this would have been the most fun to be a part of. Ahh, Rhys – is there anything you can’t do?
19. Bluejuice – Act Yr Age
Directed by Sam Bennetts
It all started with throwing on robes and turning into a cult that believed that the gaps in peanut butter jars were actually negative space, way back when in 2007. Ever since, Bluejuice have been responsible for some of the most insane dedication to awesome music videos this side of OKGO. So how do they do it this time? Amazingly, they haven’t done something completely insane – let’s not forget that their past videos have including the band jumping out of an aeroplane and learning how to jump rope from scratch. Rather, this just involves the pure gutsiness of Mr. Jake Stone. If you haven’t seen it, I’m not going to spoil it. All you need to know is this: You know that bar that Bluejuice keep setting for themselves and their videos? They keep fucking clearing it.
Read my original blog on Act Yr Age here.
18. The Lonely Island feat. Michael Bolton – Jack Sparrow
Directed by Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer
Although Turtleneck and Chain, the sophomore album for Saturday Night Live kids The Lonely Island, didn’t quite hit the mark in the way that their killer 2009 Incredibad did, it almost went without saying that they were going to make one of the best videos of the year. The trio are easily one of the few things that keep people coming back to SNL, and this side-splitter shows exactly why that’s the case. Everything is lampooned, nothing is sacred, and they have no problem in coaxing major celebrities in poking fun at their area of music, either. T-Pain was the generic AutoTune hook, Akon got the squirrel-y hook and now the Godfather of mullety cheese Michael Bolton gets a taste. You can clearly tell he’s loving every second of it, too, as he switches from pirate costumes to his best Al Pacino impression. Killer timing, played just right – The Lonely Island are more than just frat-boy fun. They’re something for everyone.
Read my original blog on Jack Sparrow here.
17. Art vs. Science – Higher
Directed by Dave Budge
What more can we say about Art vs. Science? We bloody love them. They’ve been featured four times, they charted in last year’s countdown with their bombastic Magic Fountain video and they make a triumphant return once again to top off an absolutely sensational year. They dropped The Experiment, their debut album, toured nationally and internationally, rocked the ARIAs with one of the best performances in years and released a selection of great videos. This particular adventure, however, was unquestionably the pick of the lot. It’s easy to imagine the AvS guys as cool dudes, but what happens when they become secret agents that jump out of planes and battle aliens? Whadaya think, dummy? A whole stack of crazy shit goes down – and it’s nothing short of riotously entertaining throughout. Congrats, gents.
Read my original blog on Higher here.
16. Britney Spears – I Wanna Go
Directed by Chris Marrs Piliero
Just throwing this out there, but what a great year for pop videos. Some mild wankery aside, there were some truly sensational clips ruling the charts throughout the year. It’s great to see some major acts doing some tongue-in-cheek stuff, not worrying about maintaining a “rep” or “cred” or whatever – and major kudos has to go to Chris Marrs Piliero, making his second appearance in the countdown after his wonderful unicorn bloodbath with Ke$ha. On this, her thirty-sixth(!) music video, Britney gets delightfully bitchy in a paparazzi stand-off, referencing everything from The Terminator to her very own Crossroads 2. It’s all very wink-wink-nudge-nudge, and you can clearly tell that Britters and CMP would not have had it any other way. Even if you’re not a Britney fan, give the lady some credit for shaking shit up just a little!
Read my original blog on I Wanna Go here.
A very fun segment of the countdown today. Did you enjoy these clips too? Let us know what you think – drop a comment below or shoot an email across to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can catch up on part one HERE and part two HERE. The second half of the countdown begins next week! See you then!
“Harrison Ford is a quarter Jewish – not too shabby!”
Why should Christmas get all the fun? Way back when Adam Sandler was actually funny (if you were born after 1992, you may have trouble remembering this), he penned a Hannukah carol to celebrate the Jewish festivities in the only way he knew how. It’s turned into a mini-anthem of its own, and a couple of years ago Cherry Cherry himself Neil Diamond decided to have a crack at it.
This adorably cheesy video clip is the result of said cover, and although Diamond plays it straight in his cover, he still keeps the humour intact. There’s a lot to like about this – it’s family friendly, it’s cute, and for all of its dagginess it doesn’t make me want to skull-drag innocent children along dirt roads the way that many a Christmas carol tends to do. L’chaim, bitches!