Friday, December 11, 2009

Best music videos of the decade (5 - 1)

The Darkness
Director: Alex Smith
Best use of a sausage as a microphone in history.... Just watch it and enjoy the spaceship tomfoolery.

"Dashboard" (2006)
Modest Mouse
Directors: Mathew Cullen and Grady Hall
All of Modest Mouse's videos are worth watching. "Dashboard"'s video is the least surreal (subjectively) and most story-driven, but what a great ride. A fisherman tells a dive bar about a hyperbolic fish tale, all with some great elektro-fantasy CGI and island shots [that totally remind me of Tim Burton's Chocolate Factory remake]. It's a bit Moby-Dick and a bit that Daggermouth episode of Family Guy. The moral: always watch out for the old fisherman that gives you the wink.

BEST OF THE DECADE INDEX [ Intro .:. Hon. Mentions .:. 15-11 .:. 10-6 .:. 5-1 ]

Director: Joseph Kahn
Remember that music videos have a chief purpose: to wow someone enough to buy a song they would otherwise never give a second chance. This is what happened to me. "Knights of Cydonia" has an orgy of great movie scenes--A Fistful of Dollars, Westworld and even The Matrix all jumbled in there. There was even a contest to see who could point out the most film homages packed in this sci-fi western. It is progressive in a way the early 21st century expresses best: a hybridization of 20th century pop culture. I'm overwhelmed every time I watch it.

Director: Roboshobo
"All Nightmare Long" (which was the best of '08) surpasses the epic 1989 "One" as Metallica's most metal video concept, and that's saying a lot. It was inspired by some old propaganda reels procured by Kirk Hammet while on tour in the Eastern Bloc. Roboshobo paints an alternative World War II outcome, eventually leading to a controlled zombie apocalypse on American soil (all presented by great-looking retro footage and grimy cartoon CGI). The plot is superb, and zombies are so hot right now. I probably would have never appreciated the song's juicy guitar solos if not for the imagery. Easily the best animated feature since "Do the Evolution".

"Knife" (2007)
Grizzly Bear
Director(s): Encyclopedia Pictura
The year 2007 was particularly ripe for great video concepts. The '10s will be an era of Encyclopedia Pictura, a guild of post-production wizards unleashed upon this earth (maybe you know them from a recent Bjork video). "Knife" has one stunning scene, and it's pulled off oh-so well: the Rube Goldberg contraption. I can't tell you what the sinking effect did to me when I first saw it. It's like seeing the ending to a fireworks show, when there's thousands of dollars exploding into thin air. Credit this one for launching the Brooklyn hipsters' careers.

The Top 15:
  1. "Knife"
  2. "All Nightmare Long"
  3. "Knights of Cydonia"
  4. "Dashboard"
  5. "I Believe in a Thing Called Love"
  6. "The Crystal Cat"
  7. "Tonto"
  8. "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground"
  9. "Invincible"
  10. "Whale Song"
  11. "What You Waiting For?"
  12. "The End Has No End"
  13. "Across the Night"
  14. "Cinnamon Girl"
  15. "Lose Control"
BEST OF THE DECADE INDEX [ Intro .:. Hon. Mentions .:. 15-11 .:. 10-6 .:. 5-1 ]

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