Phew. I didn’t realize how much work writing up 30 videos was going to be. At work I was complaining to a coworker about how much work I was putting into this project and he just laughed at me because I said pretty much exactly the same thing last year around this time when I decided to expand that year’s project from 10 to 20 videos. If I for some reason lapse into another moment of madness next year and decide to do 40 videos, please, someone slap me. But in the meantime, you better enjoy the fruits of this year’s insanity.
15. Classixx – All You’re Waiting For (feat. Nancy Whang)
This stylish, high-gloss video is perfect for a song whose lyrics essentially glorify douchy, self-obsessed excess. Tell me the chorus “I’m all you’re waiting for” isn’t a tad bit dickish? But that’s OK, because we now live in an age of rich, self-obsessed asshats we want to emulate as we watch their “real” housewives act like idiots in 20 different frickin’ cities, much like how we enjoy watching Nancy Whang rock out in spoiled excess on her yacht in this classic (pun intended) video for Classixx’s fantastic song “All You’re Waiting For”. This video is so fun and so exceedingly well made that you’re going to quickly forget about all the nasty things I just wrote and immediately focus on everything else that’s amazing about it.
How perfect is the video? Well how about the moment when Nancy downs an entire martini from 1:03 to 1:17 as the music slowly builds and the melody rises up the scale to match the liquor pouring down her throat? How about immediately after that from 1:18 to 1:31 when the rocking of the boat perfectly matches the sing-song nature of the chorus? How great is that? Plus, puppies! What’s not to love?
14. DJ Oguretz – Let The Music Fuck You
Sometimes the mark of a great video is when you take a chance on something for which you had little to no expectations to only then have your mind completely blown by it. DJ Oguretz has an immediately likable face, being a big Russian lug of an everyman with a fetish for Vanilla Ice’s fade haircut from the “Ice Ice Baby” days. The video starts off pretty innocuously as Oguretz goes about his morning ritual in a low-tech Russian farm house, getting ready for his big night DJing at a local community center while the song’s pretty standard acid house beat plays in the background. There’s a nice innocent folksy charm to the whole thing. Then at the 2 minute mark the beat drops out, the vocals kick in, and something magical happens. Never mind for a moment the extreme outrageousness of the chorus, which for the record is just flat out genius. When the music comes back in and joins those amazing vocals the song suddenly transcends just about everything that’s going on in your life and takes me back to the first time I ever heard an epic dance track that left me stunned on the dancefloor. “Let The Music Fuck You” is a musical epiphany, an instant classic that slyly helps you express everything there is that’s great about music.
13. Whinnie Williams – Break Hearts In Your Sleep
“Break Hearts In Your Sleep” plays like a highly stylized, deeply charming, 60’s influenced Wes Anderson homage. It’s a short film in which Whinnie and her toy poodle Brian dream of going to France but are flat broke so they go on an Antiques Roadshow-type program to see if a family heirloom is actually worth anything, only to discover that it is worthless (…or is it?). The actual song only starts to play after a minute into the video when a receptionist puts her record on as hold music, and the song definitely has that vintage warm vinyl feeling to it of a classic Wall of Sound 60’s girl group composition. It’s pure retro power pop in the best sense possible and points to the fact that Whinnie Williams is poised to have a pretty big year in 2014.
12. Toro y Moi – Rose Quartz
Let me start this off by saying that Toro y Moi’s album Anything In Return is easily one of the best albums of 2013. If you haven’t picked it up yet, please do so, because it’s front-to-back, wall-to-wall awesomesauce. They put out lots of great videos from Anything In Return this year, but “Rose Quartz” is by far the most interesting to watch. It was created by rotoscoping their live performances with huge gobs of paint, mirroring how each of the sounds in the song seem to be layered on top of each other just like the thick layers of paint in the video. The trippy, spaced out, psychedelic nature of the song lends itself really well to the beautiful experimental nature of the video.
11. Lapalux – Without You (feat. Kerry Leatham)
Not everyone is going to get into this–frankly–bizarre music video for Lapalux’s “Without You”, but that’s OK because I love it. Before I dig into this video though, a quick word about how I watch all the videos I go through before picking and choosing what will eventually make its way onto the blog. I rarely, if ever, watch a video all the way through the first time I click play. Usually what happens is I either skip forward after a few seconds to try and get to the good part (or find a good part), or I hit play and then jump to another tab in my browser to do something else as I listen to the song. Only when and if the song grabs my attention (usually after repeat listenings) do I fully watch the video all the way through start to finish to prepare myself to write about it.
The reason I’m telling you all of this is because the exception to the rule happened the moment I hit play on Lapalux’s “Without You”. Despite my ADD infected brain begging and pleading with me to move onto something else I was immediately sucked in to this video and nothing could pull me away. The slow and seductive beat reminds me immediately of FKA Twigs (who just missed out on a spot on this year’s list because of this video). The song is so mysterious and seductive, but there’s also pain and heartbreak in there too. The story follows a woman who falls deeply in love with a gimp (one might say she’s sexually fascinated with him) only to break up with him because his gimpiness doesn’t fit in with the societal conventions of her friends and family. The gimp then falls onto hard times without her while she slowly comes to the realization that she wants him back, that she needs him, but it’s sadly too little, too late.
The more I write about it, the more I wish I’d put “Without You” a little higher up on this list. It’s just so damn good. And just in case you haven’t already figured it out yet and the fact that this is a love story involving a gimp hadn’t already clued you in, this video is pretty NSFW, so view appropriately.