But wait! There’s more!
Oliver Clark – Atomic Thrust
He’s the man with the sexiest voice in comedy and suits that could make Paul F. Tompkins look like a hobo. Yes indeed, the housewives’ choice Oliver Clark is one for the ages. For the title track of his new album, he decided to put his pelvis to the test; subsequently delivering one of the flat-out funniest videos of the year.
Blood Orange - Chamakay
In which Devonte Hynes goes home. Well, in a traditional sense, anyway. Visiting Guyana for the first time ever, Dev makes his way around the beautiful area and connects with the townsfolk. Parallels can easily be drawn with frequent collaborator Solange‘s wonderful video for Losing You, but not even that can match the tender beauty of seeing Hynes meet and speak with his grandfather for the first time ever. Stunning.
They Might Be Giants - You’re on Fire
They’ve been getting weird since before you were born and they show absolutely zero signs of slowing their roll. Here, they give a spin to the opening track on their sixteenth(!) album, allowing some mince meat to take lead vocals while the gorgeous Lauren Lapkus from Orange is the New Black dances around the kitchen preparing to send it to its impending doom. Because of COURSE that’s what they would come up with.
Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball
A lot of people have asked me about this one. Where do I stand? What do I make of it? Now, I’ll be the first to admit it needed an editor, and maybe some restraint on the more… shall we say… ‘out there’ moments. When she’s staring straight down the barrel of the camera, though? I simply cannot deny it. It’s gripping, and it’s honest, and it’s the most real that we’ve ever seen the girl born Destiny Hope Cyrus.
Arcade Fire - Reflektor
What an exciting time to be an AF fan. As the band bravely venture into what may be their weirdest album to date, we’re treated to what may be their weirdest video to date for the album’s title track. Late-night roadtrippin’, mirror suits, giant paper-mache heads, tricked-out caskets… I mean, I’ll be damned if I know what it all means at this point. It looks pretty amazing, though; don’t you agree? What a thrilling video.
Fall Out Boy feat. Big Sean - The Mighty Fall
The saga continues. This year, Fall Out Boy have been releasing music videos for every song from their Save Rock & Roll LP; following a conceptual story about the four members and a secret briefcase which has contents only they (and the villains of the series) know about. There’s been aspects of Stockholm syndrome and Clockwork Orange-esque ultra-violence thus far, and the madness continues here with some all-new characters. Kudos for keeping them guessing, boys.
The Polyphonic Spree - Let Them Be
Following on from the parallel universe of the You Don’t Know Me video, the Spree get animated on the second video from their excellent Yes, It’s True. album. Director Ben Rowe takes the song into a lush dreamscape, enlisting the help of dozens of creepy-crawlies, frogs, aliens and what appears to be an avocado. No, really, it’ll all make sense once you’ve seen it. Well, okay, I won’t make any promises…
Moby feat. Wayne Coyne - The Perfect Life
Oh, come on! It’s Moby and Wayne Coyne in mariachi suits. What joy! What pure, unadulterated awesome have we found ourselves with? If you don’t get a smile out of this one, your heart is dead as dead can be. That’s all that can be said!
Hiya, folks! So, you may have notice we’ve been a little lax on the updates. I’ve been ridiculously busy with other projects that I’ve barely had time for Y,WGAV! Don’t worry, honey, it’s not you – it’s me! Thankfully, we’re back as of tomorrow. But, before we tell you THOSE stories, we have to tell you THESE stories. Here are some of the best videos that have dropped in our absence. And there might be a few more yet to come!
Major Lazer feat. Peaches & Timberlee - Scare Me
Awaken the Major! Following on from their fantastic Eric Wareheim-helmed video for Bubble Butt, the futurista warriors bring their mascot to life in potentially the most awesome way possible – that’s right, kids, this is not a drill. That’s Terry Crews as the Major himself! Hell yeah! Throw in the wonderful Blake Anderson and Nick Kroll to round out an already-awesome cast; matching the high-speed romp to an already-bounding track.
Anika - In the City
Okay, so I know absolutely nothing about this band; where they’ve come from, what they’re doing or even if this is from an album or an EP. Truth be told, I can’t even remember how I was linked to this. All I know is that this is one of the most ridiculously watchable videos of the year. Couldn’t tell you what was going on for the life of me – essentially, I’m like Donkey after watching the DuLoc tourism puppet show in the first Shrek movie. “Wow… let’s do that again!”
Just Blaze and Baauer feat. Jay-Z - Higher
Here’s one out of left-field – an absolute banger from the power trio of Just Blaze, Jay-Z and the one-shake wonder himself, Baauer; set to one of the year’s darkest and most confronting videos. Described as a “short film,” we’re taken into the jungle and into a dangerous, sinister underbelly in which children begin playing with fire; not realising how burnt they will soon become. Pristine cinematography and some genuinely chilling moments. Stellar.
Josh Pyke - Warm in Winter
The reliably-lovely Pykey has given us some very sweet videos over the years, particularly from his second studio album Chimney’s Afire which sported the distant dreaming of The Summer and the motherfuckin’ guitar boat of Make You Happy. Here, JP soundtracks a blossoming friendship between a homeless girl and a homeless… wolfman? It’s got a human body and a cartoon wolf head. You do the maths on that one. They don’t say a word between them, but the way it plays out says it all.
Avril Lavigne - Rock & Roll
Damn you to Hell, Chris Marrs Piliero! This guys has to be the best pop video director around – he’s managed to not only elevate average songs into flat-out awesome ones with his clips (see: Britney Spears‘ I Wanna Go); but he also manages to make clips that make allies out of former Y,WGAV! enemies (see: Ke$ha‘s brilliant video for Blow). This time around, he’s giving the treatment to longtime frenemy of the blog Avril Lavigne, throwing her into a Tank Girl-esque action parody that borrows from MCR, GnR and plenty of other three-letter acronyms. Like RnR! Heh? See what I did there?
TV on the Radio - Million Miles
Here’s a blissful and serene clip from one of my all-time favourite bands, getting back to nature in the most endorphin-releasing sort of way. A gardening show filming goes awry, leaving one of the hosts to go Kanye on the whole thing as they go off-script and head to the soapbox. When the host is removed, she decides to bring the entire crew along with her for the ride. Weird and wonderful, the exact kind of concoction that has made this band one of my most beloved over the past few years or so.
Crayon Pop - Bar Bar Bar
This. Shit. RULES.
More later today!
“Let me go, where’s there’s no memory of you…”
Earlier this year, the music world heard the abrupt and surprising news that Kim Deal was to leave the Pixies for good. This wasn’t a full-band split like last time around – the Pixies were staying on, Kim was not. It was a bit of a shock to the system, especially considering what a huge influence she had over the band’s sound. We still had The Breeders – it’s not long now until the Last Splash tour hits Australia – but it was going to be flat-out weird to experience the Pixies without Kim doing her thing. Not long after that, we got Bagboy, the first new Pixies number in nearly 10 years. An insane video followed. It was promoted bigtime and plastered all over the place. They wanted to make a definitive, big statement about their return. Kind of a big deal, if you will.
By means of contrast, Kim dropped this remarkably quiet song quite recently with no fanfare whatsoever. The video is a simple affair, no cereal baths or youthful recklessness here. Hell, not even the lady herself had much to say about Are You Mine? - that is, except to give a succinct and touching description of the song itself:
I live with my mother, who has Alzheimer’s.
In the house she’ll stop me, put her hand on my arm, and dearly ask, ”Are you mine?”
I say back to her, ”Yeah momma, I’m yours.”
Oh, how my heart ached after reading that. The video, created by Kurt Ralske, is an intimate and strangely sweet affair. Its cast of characters are a humble collection of salt shakers, as owned by Deal’s grandmother. They are cast under flickering, coloured light, and occasionally covered in beads. It’s elementary in its approach, but it’s starkly emotional and even a little gut-wrenching – especially when the cameras hone in on the salt shakers’ blank expressions. The direct contrast between the warming glow and their cold, unmoving faces… I can’t describe it. What a tiny marvel this video is. A true delight.
“Live your life, VHS cassette, fast forward, back to the future…”
I remember meeting Alison Wonderland at the fourth birthday party of Sosueme, perhaps one of my only tolerated club nights in Sydney. She was polite and sweet; and I actually didn’t find out she was actually a DJ until later in the conversation. “Oh, right, cool,” I responded. “That sounds like fun.” Little was I to know exactly how much fun – her set with the rest of the Sosueme crew just as the clock hit midnight was a world of high-energy excitement and bombast. It was unpretentious and entertaining, which is more than I can say about a slew of other deck-spinning douches in the city.
Anyway, this year Ms. Wonderland has made the move into original music, and her debut single features a collaboration with my boys in Fishing busting out their rap dude personas. Now, I’ll be honest – as much as I dug the song, I wasn’t sure the video would be much chop. Nothing personal, it’s just that DJs… well… they’re not great with the music videos, are they. Let’s not forget the first-ever negative review we gave of a clip on this blog was a David Guetta video. And have you seen the Pauly D video for Night of My Life lately? Don’t. Of course, this isn’t to compare Alison to either of those guys – like I said, she’s different. One might even say, One of Us. So with equal amounts of relief and pleasure, the video for Get Ready ended up fucking ruling.
Like, seriously – Alison, Doug and Russell have gone above and beyond the call of duty here. Watching a crew of delinquent teenage zombies busting mad rhymes into a fisheye lens already screams “fucking awesome” on paper. The word ‘awesome’ being underlined several times. Watching the whole thing executed, however, leaves one at a loss for words at points. It’s just so much fun to watch – the lip-syncing is seamless, the little breakdancing dude left my jaw on the floor and the varying hijinks that unfurl throughout the second half cemented the shit-eating grin on my face. They couldn’t have made a better clip for this track, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. For Alison, for the rap dudes of Fishing, for the breakdancing zombies… the whole shebang. They’ve started something beautiful here, friends.
“If the wind has got you shaking, I will be your blanket…”
It was the very first day of 2010 that I was first introduced to Martha Brown. Her band, Otouto, were playing at a showcase for Popfrenzy records, downstairs at the Civic Hotel. I remember it vividly – I had never heard them before, and as they were playing I had never heard anything like them before. It was truly amazing stuff. I gushed to Martha about their music and bought their single, Sushi, from them. Although they’ve been a bit quiet lately, they remain one of my absolute favourite Australian bands. Ever? Probably. They mean a lot to me. Some of the best nights I’ve ever had have been at Otouto shows. I mean that.
Here we are in 2013, and Martha is finally shifting the gears on her solo project, bAnoffee. This is the first single to be released from the project, and it makes me very excited for where her solo sound is headed. Directing is Alice Glenn, Martha’s cousin who also directed the two brilliant Otouto clips for Sushi and W. Hilliar, the latter of which made it into my best videos of 2010 list. It’s a simple and intimate portrayal of Martha, who is shown training and air-boxing throughout the clip. Some tender close-up shots and some really cool backwards/forwards shots of Martha wrapping tape around her arms adds to the awe-inspiring visuals. It’s not too complicated or demanding, and it suits the song beautifully. No matter how much things change, some things always stay the same – my music crush on Martha Brown isn’t going away anytime soon.
“I promise I can grow tall, while making love is free…”
In the near-fortnight since its release, FKA twigs‘ new video has been one of the most talked about and most shared videos on my feed. I wasn’t familiar with the name – not even by her prior stage name of Twigs – so it quickly dropped to the bottom of the pile. Much like the David Bridie scenario, I fucked up big time leaving it this long. Sure, less than two weeks isn’t that great a deal of time, but I still need to be quicker to the chase. And if any video is going to wake you from that sort of slumber, it’s Water Me. Holy shit.
You’ve seen the head-on, one-take video before. Plenty of times. From classics like Nothing Compares 2 U and No Surprises to Janelle Monae‘s Cold War, which took its rightful spot as one of the best videos of 2010. With that said, you’ve probably never seen the concept tackled quite like this. One more or less can’t take their eyes off her – at one stage, that becomes quite literal, but you’ll know that when it comes to it. It’s a relatively bare-bones presentation of the woman and her music at first, before it delves into the surreal and the jarring. Never breaking eye contact. Always focused. Always engaged. This is definitely a must-see clip. If you haven’t seen it a million times already thanks to your feed, that is. Maybe it’s just me. All I can say is that this is one worth talking about.
“Treasure hunting, just before they show you where the Devil is…”
Dammit, if we have to include the entire album of The Uncluded, then we will. The collaboration between Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson is no stranger to this blog, as with this video we will have now featured them a grand total of five times. That’s insane. What’s even more insane, though, is that they are five from five in terms of flat-out awesome videos. That honestly does not happen in this proximity, their productivity has been nothing short of ridiculous since Hokey Fright came out. It’s almost enough to tide me over until their return to Australia. Hey, I said almost.
Anyway, for this adventure we find the band tackling a very sensitive issue with sweetness and heart – plus some pretty awesome animation. Aesop and Kimya play insects that, much like the song suggests, end up needing some “pieces” themselves. It’s all very odd and a little dark, but surely it’s par for the course at this stage when it comes to these two. The animation style is simple and creative, the story tugs at the heart-strings and it’s all handled really well, able to connect to audiences of all ages. May this project be in an endless, delicate cycle.
Tim Hart is an Australian singer-songwriter, best known as the
drummer and vocalist of Boy and Bear.
His favourite video is Always by Junip.
For me, when I look at film clips, I like to see something new and fresh, rather than the age-old band performance clip. Because, let’s face it… they’ve been done to death. Having said that, I’m aware that I’ve been part of such clips; but, for my 2 cents this one is a cracker. It was shot mostly at the Air Guitar World Championships in Finland and it’s weird. I guess, at a stretch, it is technically a performance clip; but the way that it’s done is great.
It starts in a dingy bar with what we assume is a covers musician playing in the corner of a pretty empty bar. There is one rather intense, slightly creepy guy drinking and smoking in a booth. He is staring at the guy playing covers he reaches his hands towards him and miraculously the guitar disappears. The covers musician doesn’t seem to notice and keeps playing. The weird guy then walks in to a room where the three members of Junip are sitting around playing the song together and he performs the same transformation on them, before taking them to air guitar school.
I think this video is great because it has a narrative and it manages to convey it effectively (something that so many videos attempt to do and fail at). The culmination of the video is the band been wheeled up on to stage at the air guitar world championships and sitting on the stage in the same very understated formation they were playing in when Weird Creepy Guy discovered them. I love that the director was clearly taking a shot at the overly serious “trying to be rock and roll” videos, and I think he nails it. In the end, creepy guy doing weird dance moves+ air guitar + Junip = my favourite film clip.
Boy and Bear‘s new album, Harlequin Dream, is in stores August 16th.
You can pre-order the album here (physical) or here (digital).
The band are also headed out on a national tour in support of the record.
All tour dates can be found on their official website.
“Like a small bird pretty, while it’s crapping on a new day…”
Well, goddamn! Here’s something I didn’t think I’d be posting in 2013: We have a new Pixies song and video, everybody! Not too long ago, we heard news that Kim Deal had officially left the band, leading most – if not all – to assume that this would be the last we’d hear from the band. Imagine the surprise, then, when we discover that not only are the band continuing on, but they have new material on the way – their first original song in nearly ten years!
The visual accompaniment for Bagboy features none of the remainingPixies themselves – as is well documented, they never did enjoy making videos. Rather, they’ve left the job up to director duo Lamar + Nik; who take the ball and run with it into a world of smoke bombs, reckless abandon and potentially the coolest bath you’ll see in 2013. I love the way they’ve captured the oddity of both the song and the Pixies in general, sending this kid in as a spokesman for all the weirdness that is sure to ensue when the Pixies eventually release another record. Will Kim be missed? Of course. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy this, though, can we?