I was going to save this post until much later in the month, but then it dawned on me that I might forget to make a top-list post and then January will hit and it will be too late. And I don’t think it would be all that timely to post a best-of ’09 list in the beginnings of ’10. So, with that in mind, I say let’s push forward with The Best Music Videos I Saw This Year. The criteria for this list wasn’t all that complicated. The band had to have a really good song, not be too insanely popular, and be more than just a band playing for an audience. It also had to keep the viewer engaged by not beating it’s gimmick to death. Might seem like vague rules, but when you see these videos, you’ll understand what I mean. Also (and this is a MINOR criteria), the videos needed to be in a high quality format (HD) and be easily embeddable on any website.
Let’s do this.
5) Do You Want To Date My Avatar – The Guild
This video makes it onto this list because the song is catchy, and the nerdy references are cranked up to eleven. It’s an ode to those of us who play MMORPG’s (pronounced: meh-mor-pe-guhs) and anyone who knows what a level 50 paladin is. Also, the costumes are rad and there really isn’t a band to speak of, so the conceit of playing to an audience doesn’t exist. If you like this, check out the show.
4) French Navy – Camera Obscura
I like Camera Obscura, a lot. Their newest album, My Maudlin Career, is simply a gem and this video captures the essence of that. It’s shot to look like old footage, and it’s cut fast enough to keep you from being too bothered by the band playing music together in a flat. Sure, the mushy lovey-dovey story within the video is a little gag-worthy, but the music keeps it from getting too obnoxious.
3) Lessons Learned – Matt and Kim
I like this band well enough, but their other music videos haven’t really caught my attention. They’re you’re typical indie music video where they just have the two band members playing an instrument in a weird environment. This video breaks that conceit and it’s all the more refreshing for it. I also like this song much better than Daylight, which you could hear for awhile on some alcoholic beverage commercial. Also, naked people who are fairly good looking make this music video a win in my opinion.
2) Sick Muse – Metric
This video makes it this far down the list in it’s simplicity. It’s a band goofing around and not really playing their instruments. They aren’t playing to an audience and they are dancing around like fools. It helps that the band is amazing and the album is perhaps the best one I’ve heard this year. I wanted to put Gimme Sympathy on this list as well, since it had an interesting gimmick, but there wasn’t an HD version on youtube. Also, I like this song just a teensy-weensy bit more.
And the winner of best music video this year?
1) Cousins – Vampire Weekend
The film student in me loves the low-tech of the video. It’s just the band playing their instruments on a dolly in a back alley somewhere. It fits the tone of the song, which differentiates itself from the previous album with a bit more energy than A-Punk and plays around with time and space editing which I love in music videos. Check out near the end of the video where they wear the other band members’ faces behind their own. It’s an editing gimmick that makes the video editor in me SQUEE with delight.
And of course, the runner up..
Dimmer – Bishop Allen