December 13, 2011

top music videos of 2011

Usually I don't have the patience for an entire 4-minute music video. (It must have something to do with the internet, cause my attention-span seems properly drawn-out when I'm consuming other bits of pop-culture.) Below are some of the videos that sustained my pathetically short internet-attention-span for their full duration--a real feat! This is by no means comprehensive (clearly), so before you start questioning the glaring lack of Beyonce on this "list," know that I'm no Beyonce-hater. "Countdown" is a great song and the video is quite impressive; but I've never been able to watch it straight through--it's kind of overwhelming and a little off-putting--but that probably says more about my own anxieties and shortcomings than it does about anything else. Enough with the caveats. Enjoy!

"Cruel" [Directed by Terry Timely] from St. Vincent's Strange MercyDomestic life is tough, especially when your stuck in the 1950s, especially when your psychopathic step-kids are calling the shots.

"Fish" [Dir. Kathryn Fahey, Michael O'Leary] from Wye Oak's Civilian. Silhouetted puppets, biblical allusions, and neon lights are combined in this quirky, stunning tale of evolutionary origins.

"Lotus Flower" [Dir. Garth Jennings] from Radiohead's The King of Limbs. Thom Yorke dons a bowler hat and gets freaky. If you've ever seen me dance, this will look vaguely familiar.

"Riding for the Feeling" [Dir. Archie Radkins] from Bill Callahan's ApocalypseThis continuous shot of a soaring ski-jumper uses artwork from Max Gaylon. It might be just one note, but it's one worth sustaining. And that's part of the point: a utopian fight against the ceaseless flow of time. Some peaceful stuff right here.

"My Machines (feat. Gary Numan)" [Dir. DANIELS] from Battles' Glass DropA postmodern "myth of sisyphus," or something equally pretensious to that effect. Probably a good thing to watch before you start your Christmas shopping. Also: Gary Numan!

"The Shrine/An Argument" [Dir. Sean Pecknold] from Fleet Foxes' Helplessness BluesI'm always impressed with animated music videos, but this is undoubtedly one of the best I've ever seen. Made by the brother of FF frontman Robin Pecknold, "The Shrine/An Argument" falls somewhere in-between Where the Wild Things Are and The Lion King. It appears to be all paper-based, but the incredible lighting effects and the grainy, orange tint help to align the images with the nostalgic fantasy-folk sounds of the Fleet Foxes.

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