They’re one of the most revered post-rock bands on the planet and they’ve just released a floaty, gorgeous new album called Valtari. On top of that, yesterday they were announced for the second annual Harvest Festival this November alongside former Featured Friday act Beck, Ben Folds Five, Grizzly Bear and a stack of other awesome acts – how about that? We have decided to celebrate by looking at 5 of the band’s best videos. There’s soccer, there’s little kids, there’s cold weather and there’s old people – and we’re only just getting started.
Do you really need an essay on this one? Naked! Running! La la la la! Go go go!
A wondrous, joyful experiment in which the band employed a dance company made up entirely of people with Down’s Syndrome. What they do over nearly ten minutes is so inspired and wonderful to watch. The love and the passion for this artform is truly conveyed, and it comes straight from the heart. It wouldn’t work any other way – with any other song, any other singer, any other dancers. Believe.
A great adventure in a bizarre alternate universe populated almost entirely by children. I really love how the video builds up in accordance with the song, leading to that spine-tingling crescendo. It’s cinematic in scope, breathtaking in location and wholly rewarding as an audio-visual experience.
2. viðrar vel til loftárása
Set entirely in slow motion, this is a romantic tragedy laced with hope that has absolutely no dialogue across its seven minute running time. It doesn’t have to – you know the old addage “actions speak louder than words” as well as I do. With an openly gay frontman in Jonsi, it felt like it was only a matter of time before this was addressed in the band’s videos. It’s done so beautifully – a young boy, out of touch with the world around him, plays with dolls and falls in love with a boy that rescues said dolls after they’re viciously thrown away by a homophobic father. Let it captivate you.
As wonderful as all of these clips are, I think I always find myself coming back to this gorgeous sepia daydream of senior citizens causing chaos in ther neighbourhood. It’s not sweepingly epic or emotional, but it’s just a simple release of bliss that has resonated so much with me ever since I first saw it when I was fourteen. The glee in their faces is just priceless. I can always associate it with this song; and that itself will always bring a smile to my face. What more could you ask for?
Hey gang! So, we’re not particularly denominational here at Y,WGAV!, but it’s still a place where any holiday is celebrated. Whatever you got, we’ll gladly take the day off to celebrate it. In this instance, we’ve got the Easter long weekend to look forward to – a spiritual time for some, but for most just another excuse to send ourselves into a confectionery-induced coma. To celebrate, here are five videos that will annihilate your sweet tooth. Chocolate, ice cream, lollies… it’s too good to be true!
5. New Young Pony Club – Ice Cream
Within the first 20 seconds, there’s a glorious spinning shot of sticky sweetness in a conglomerate of gooey candy – bullets, licorice, teeth, jellybeans etc. It’s a low-budget delight for the senses, really – and that’s not even mentioning knockout lead singer Tahita Bulmer. Simple pleasures are always the greatest.
4. Craig David – What’s Your Flava?
Here’s a blast from the past – suffering from Second Album Syndrome, Craig David tried to rustle up some interest in his new gear with this dorky homage to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. As lame as it is, credit where credit’s due: he actually runs a fairly solid parody that runs with the plotline of the original story. Oh, and he travels down a chocolate river. There’s no earthly way of knoooowiiiing…
3. Rainbow Chan – Sweet Tooth
Here’s one a bit out of the ordinary , to say the least. One of my favourite Sydney artists, Rainbow Chan (yes, that IS her real name!), a few months ago took the initiative of having multi-coloured ice-cream melted and dripped onto her from above. It sounds a bit weird – and by god, it is. What can’t be denied, however, is just how watchable it is. There’s something strangely beautiful about a woman eating a snake lolly while being completely covered in rainbow ice-cream. And I never thought I’d say that.
2. Shanks & Bigfoot – Sweet Like Chocolate
Perhapsthe definition of a one-hit wonder. No-one had heard of Shanks & Bigfoot prior to the late nineties, and no-one has heard from them since. With their sole hit single, however, S&B inspired a whole generation of chocolate lovers. I loved this adorable fantasy chocolate world as a child, and it still brings out the child in me to this day.
1. Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg – California Gurls
Yeah, sorry Shanks – but not even your land of chocolate can compete withKaty Perry shooting cream out of her glorious tits.
Happy Easter, kids, hope you enjoy your holidays. We’ll be back on Monday, bellies full and eyes square from watching so many videos. Good times!
Howdy! Pinch and a punch for the first of the month, and can we all please give a warm welcome to the downright AWESOME month of July! Recognise, people! What’s so awesome about it? Well, for one thing, we here at Y,WGAV! are bringing back the Takin’ 5 section and bringing it back for good. We’re kicking off its triumphant return with an Artists’ Special month – each week, every Friday, we’re going to be focusing in on an act with some particularly awesome videos to their name.
To start off, where better than the mastermind behind several werid, wacky and wonderful video experiences – the divine sir Beck Hansen. For nearly as long as I’ve been watching videos, I’ve been watching this maniacal character at work, and he’s always presented me with some truly mesmerising clips that span his whole career. Here’s a sample of my faves.
5. Devil’s Haircut
A seemingly simple video of Beck strolling the city streets of Japan with a boombox, but it’s the little things in this clip that will lure you in and ensure that you’ll do at least a couple of double-takes. A perfect example of Beck’s inspired imagination.
As the first video from Beck’s Guero album in 2005, I’d sadly nearly forgotten about him. Thankfully, I snapped back into formation quickly thanks to this fantastic video game adventure. Look out for the trippy gravedigging scene and the unexpected ending.
The next video from Guero would end up bettering E-Pro. How do you follow up such an awesome video? Simple: Get mad. No, literally, get MAD. The whole video is a world of classic MAD-esque fold-ins, except they’re taking place in what would appear to be the real world. Madness ensues.
2. Sexx Laws
Machines getting it on. Brightly coloured costumes. Funky puppets. A motivational speech by a young Jack Black to top it all off. If this isn’t a classic Beck video, I don’t know what is.
1. Lost Cause
Interesting bit of trivia about this one: This video was actually done entirely using Adobe Photoshop. Pretty remarkable, huh? It’s probably Beck’s most simple video concept, but I truly find it the most mesmerising experience. I always love watching this video, especially really late at night when I just get lost in the strange beauty of it all.
This will be my very last post of the year! Tomorrow I’m heading up to the Peats Ridge festival with a friend, and it looks like it’s going to be an amazing couple of days of peace, love and music. I’m really excited to see a few of these musicians, so I’ve decided to put together a top five of my favourite videos from my favourite Peats artists.
5. PVT – Window
Take a walk on the wildside with one of the coolest bands in the country and their first video under their new, vowel-less name. It’s one thing to shoot a live performance video, but to do one as a point-of-view piece with cameras on the band’s fucking heads is just plain awesome.
4. Parades – Loserspeak in New Tongue
Inspired, beautiful, one of a kind. Parades have to be the best band in Australia right now. This video perfectly reflects that.
3. Dan Mangan – Robots
In case you didn’t know, I’m juuuuust a little obsessed with Dan Mangan and his wonderful ways. Of the videos he made for the Nice, Nice, Very Nice record, I think I love this one the most – a hilarious take on 80s gang movies with an adorable twist.
2. Washington – Rich Kids
The reigning pop goddess of Australian music, move the fuck out of the way Debutt Mauboy. We got zombies, we got piano, we got one very sexy party up in this bitch. Please get amongst it! For the good of the land!
1. Lightspeed Champion – Galaxy of the Lost
Sadly, I’ve just heard that Dev is having trouble getting out of New York. I really hope he gets here in time, though – I’ve been waiting years to finally see him live! This video best sums up his creativity, his imagination and his overall brilliance.
See you all in 2011, and thank you SO much for your support this year!
YES, WE’VE GOT A FUCKING VIDEO!
Gotta be honest, boys and girls – I burn easily and spend most of my time indoors. Hey, I’m a music blogger, what did you expect? With that said, there’s always something about the summer that brings out a great spirit and mood in music – and when the lovely people at 2threads and Alteec approached me about doing a summer playlist, I figured I had nothing to lose! Here is five videos and songs that sum up summer – and yes, that was totally intentional.
5. Jonathan Boulet – A Community Service Announcement
As soon as that E chord wafts in with the familiar guitar intro, I’m taken to scorching heat, cool waters and plenty of dancing. The insane video is also a treat that takes me to this mood and state of mind. No joke, the guy is a fucking visionary – it still blows my mind that it all came from his garage.
4. The Boat People – Under The Ocean
Such a simple, bright song deservedly gets an accompanying simple, bright video with the band rocking out by the shoreline. No doubt this one will be on high rotation as the weather outside gets more and more unbearable – perhaps I can live my summer vicariously through music videos?
3. Crowded House – It’s Only Natural
Insanely daggy? Oh lord yes, that’s a given. But I honestly can’t think of anything more so-daggy-it’s-awesome than rollerblading through city traffic in America in a Hawaiian shirt and playing an inflatable guitar. That’s just one of the many shenanigans that the Crowdies get up to as they roll through various citys, just mucking about. In terms of my current “summer” playlist, I’d also have to throw in Saturday Sun from this year’s Intriguer – but, really, you can’t go wrong with old school Crowded House. Ever.
2. Christina Aguilera – Candyman
This reminds me of many a summer with my sister, blasting Xtina in her car. A not-so-guilty pleasure of mine, the Candyman video still practically blinds me with its brightness and energy – no matter when or how or under what circumstances I see it, it takes me to a happier, warmer place where everything is jazzy-cool. Can’t go wrong with that!
1. Bananarama – Cruel Summer
Yeah, what? Don’t judge me, kid – I don’t care how uncool it is, Cruel Summer sums up the vibe of the “summer” thing perfectly. The music – catchy, upbeat, vibrant – and the video – bright, fun, outlandish – complement each other perfectly. How can you not love the three girls of Bananarama walking down the street in perfect unison, pretending to work in a car shop, wearing fucking overalls? I mean, come on! That’s summer perfection right there, boys and girls – and I couldn’t care less if it means I’ve no cred! Party on!
Thanks to Amanda and all at 2threads for throwing this little bit of inspiration my way. Happy summer!
You got it, boys and girls – today we’ll be counting down my five favourite videos from the band I’m seeing in a matter of hours – U2. Having sadly missed their Vertigo tour, I’m really excited to be a part of the massive 360 tour, with the insane device known only as…THE CLAW. Only the biggest band in the world could get away with something so crazy! Anyways, I’ve been listening to these guys for many, many years; and I really cannot wait to finally see them in the flesh. Anyways, here we go – my top five U2 videos.
As a kid, this video restored my faith in the fact that U2 could be cool. They were my favourite band in 2004, as I got their album at the time (How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb) and their live DVD (Go Home) for Christmas. Was so stoked. Anyway, I still find this video so exciting – the special effects, the cool-as-shit performance style, even Bono’s strut as he sings the second verse. That’s how you do an overblown rock video, kids.
Okay, so I’m not usually big on the whole music video-movie tie-in thing. Gotta love this one, though – ahead of the first Tomb Raider movie, the band are spliced in perfectly into the movie with Angelina Jolie making a guest apperance or three. At the time, this was one of the most expensive music videos ever made – and, if you ask me, worth every bloody cent.
3. Where the Streets Have No Name
At the peak of their eighties love affair with the U.S., the band filmed this one on top of a roof in LA. Over thirty thousand people showed up, and it gets a bit out of hand. God, it’s always awesome to watch, though – it’s an engaging snapshot of a time where the band were arguably at their finest, and it’s worth it purely for the onslaught of mullets you get to see throughout.
2. New Year’s Day
A simple, effective video near the very beginnings of U2’s career. Half the band are almost unrecognisable as they perform in the middle of the snow. As much as I love this video, I can’t help but feel sorry for Larry Mullen, Jr. - the rest of the band get their instruments and all he gets is a snare drum! It’s a straightforward video, but it resonates with me heaps for some strange reason.
1. Beautiful Day
I will alway associate U2 with this video. No matter how many times I see it, I get a great sense of well-being and am consistently inspired by it. What does it? I wish I knew – the airports, the sense of adrenalin, Bono jumping around in the waiting terminal, the people coming together…it’s something. Search me. All I know is that I adore this video – to me, one of the best pop videos of the 2000s.
Another week, another five. This week, we’re going to be taking five with one of the most prolific performers in modern rock history – Dave Grohl. Yes, he of Scream, Nirvana, Late!, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Garbage, The Prodigy and Them Crooked Vultures fame. He’s been everywhere, man; and he’s got some awesome videos to prove it. Let’s take a look.
5. Queens of the Stone Age – No-one Knows
Arguably the rock song of 2002, Josh and Nick enlisted Grohl for the drums and Mark Lanegan for the second guitar on their third album, Songs for the Deaf, making it quite possibly the fucking coolest lineup of QOTSA ever. When he’s not going apeshit behind the kit and sporting a dashing goatee, he can also be seen in this video getting freaky with the other Queens and a particularly psycopathic deer. For those who’ve never seen, you have been warned.
4. Foo Fighters – Big Me
A nice laid-back tune from the 1995 debut, this was Grohl’s first post-Nirvana clip and it’s remained one of the most memorable moments in the Fooey’s extensive videography. The video is an extended satirical ad for Footos, an obvious pisstake of Mentos, and the band are obviously having a blast as they ham it up and flash their big, goofy grins. There’s not much more to this video than that, but it’s a treat to watch – not to mention gasp quietly at how freakin’ YOUNG Dave looks! Nice song, nice video – the nicest guy in rock begins his reign of non-terror!
3. Nirvana – Heart-Shaped Box
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to Nirvana vids, but I think this one is the one that’s stuck the most with me over the years. Cobain’s demented vision is brought to life by a Dutch director/photographer, Anton Corbijn. The thing I love most about this video is Corbijn’s attention to detail, and how well he worked with Cobain’s ideas and treatment for the video. It’s easily Nirvana’s darkest video, high on conceptuality and remarkable imagery – the kind of 90s video that stuck with its viewers long after the TV was turned off. Grohl isn’t the centre of attention here, but him bashing the shit out of the drums reminds you just what a beast he is behind those skins.
2. Foo Fighters – Everlong
The defining Foo Fighers song and the defining Foo Fighters video. Double characters, multiple storylines, brilliant direction and the perfect mix of humour and action. I’ve spent so many late nights and early Saturday mornings watching this video everytime it came on and I’m still finding new things about it to enjoy everytime I do.
1. Foo Fighters – Low
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. It’s a mind full of questions, yours – what the hell is this song? How did it beat Everlong? And is that Jack Black?
The answers you seek: This is a track from One By One, the album that featured bigger hits such as All My Life and Times Like These. This was a promo single, to my knowledge. It beat Everlong because this is the most ridiculously hilarious video Grohl has ever starred in. Yes, even better than his turn as Satan, the gay pilot, the Foo Fighters fangirl and Davy Grolton. It’s not a popular choice by any stretch, but I can’t help it – Low is the lowest budget, but the highest level of enjoyment. Oh, and you bet your balls that’s Jack Black.
This is Takin’ 5, in which Y,WGAV! takes a category, runs with it, and compiles the top 5 videos relating back to that category. Simple enough? Thought so.
Let’s kick off with today’s category. We’re looking at cameos – they happen all the time in movies, where you swear you can see a familiar face. Happens all the time in music videos, too; as you will soon find out with this top five.
5. Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
Cameo: Chevy Chase
The comedic actor was part of the reason this solo number from one half of Simon & Garfunkel was such a hit. As Chase and Simon sit together in what appears to be a waiting room, Chase delivers a highly animated lip-sync interpretation of the lyrics as the man who actually sang the song twiddles his thumbs and offers half-hearted backing vocals during the chorus. Hilarious and timeless in its humour, this is easily one of the more unforgettable things either one has done.
4. The White Stripes – I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
Cameo: Kate Moss
She might have wasted a year or three on smack with Pete Doherty, but Moss’ sexiness was at its most insurmountable peak at the time of filming this. Gorgeous in its black and white cinematography and perfectly choreographed to fit Jack’s twangy guitar and bluesy howls, this was a part of the trifecta of video clip smashes from the band’s Elephant record that also included Seven Nation Army and The Hardest Button To Button. Gotta love those Whites.
3. P. Diddy – Bad Boy for Life
Cameos: Ben Stiller, Dave Navarro, Travis Barker, Ma$e, Crazy Town and most of the artists on Bad Boy Records at the time
Diddy’s recent comedic turn in the hilarious Get Him to The Greek shouldn’t be a revelation to those in the know – for the tough guy persona he is known all too well for, he sure does have a sense of humour about him. Look no further than this ridiculously catchy cut from 2001’s The Saga Continues…, in which the Bad Boy family move into an upper-class suburban neighbourhood andvwreck total havoc. While Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and blink-182 drummer Travis Barker jam in Diddy’s garage, the man himself is up on the roof of his new house, driving golfballs into the window of his neighbour – who just so happens to be comedian Ben Stiller. There’s a lot to see and do on this video, so there’s not much left to say except to enjoy it. We can’t be stopped now!
2. Fatboy Slim feat. Bootsy Collins – Weapon of Choice
Cameo: Christopher Walken
Perhaps the defining “cameo” video of the early 2000s and arguably the best-known video of Norman Cook’s career. It was this video and this video alone that saved Fatboy’s second album, Halfway Between The Gutter and The Stars, from being a total commercial bomb. There is nothing more to the video than the fact that you get to see Christopher Walken, one of the greatest film actors and general badasses of our time, dancing joyously around an expensive-looking hotel and, in one very special moment of the video, flies through the air. I repeat: Christopher Walken flies through the fucking air. Oh my God. An absolute joy, this is a triumph of music video making. Hell, it’s videos like this that made me want to start a blog like this to begin with.
1. Johnny Cash – God’s Gonna Cut You Down
Cameos: Too many to mention!
With the first posthumous addition to the Johnny Cash discography, director Peter Kaye decided to send off Cash with a star-studded, black-and-white tribute. Although a word isn’t spoken, the expressions on the faces of everyone from Kanye West to Johnny Depp says it all – we are all sinners, we are all human and we are all equal. It’s a grim video, and it needs to be watched several times away from the “hey, I know that person” vibe. Even so, it’s a fitting homage to one of the darkest and most important songwriters of all time.