So, as my esteemed colleague Mr. Lord alluded to in yesterday’s tracks post, we got hella year end pies in the oven at ID:UD headquarters, and they’re baking up all golden and crispy. Consequently, much of my time has been dedicated to list writing, sending long argumentative e-mails to Bruce and revisiting records I’ve already listened to and written about to ensure that my recollection of their quality is accurate. I’ve had little to no time for anything that just dropped (although I’m gonna try and squeeze in the new Access to Arasaka), and so, finding myself in need of a post for today, I’ve decided to fall back on the internet’s friend to phonin’ it in, Youtube. Please enjoy this unsorted list of the 10 best videos of 2011 that pertain to the coverage of this site, with selected commentary by me, your humble pal.
Speaking of commentary, and I promise to keep this brief, can we please, please have fewer misogynistic and xenophobic videos in our end of the pool next year? I ain’t naming names (if you follow the scene you know who I’m talking about, we’ll leave trying to start internet beef via editorials to Side-Line), but at least two major artists lost my support as a DJ and a blogger this year, not just for putting out dumb, women and minority hatin’ videos, but for their responses to legitimate criticisms of those videos. Guys, when your only rebuttal is to dismiss critics of your controversy baiting imagery as being “haters”, what you are actually saying is “I had nothing to say creatively with this and I am unable to defend my artistic decisions.” Hey, remember when Our Thing was an alternative to the mainstream culture of hatred? So do we.
I would also like to note that although it falls well outside of this site’s purview, the most incredible science fiction video of the year is most definitely The Weeknd’s “The Knowing”. Animated pseudo afro-futurist insanity with a robot soul soundtrack? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
The Gothsicles, “Save Dat Mermaid”
I may have never played Goonies 2 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, but thanks to the clip for “Save Dat Mermaid” I no longer have to. If it ever comes up at a party, I can confidently bluff my way through the topic by mentioning the Eskimo and the gangster who looks like an 8-Bit version of Walt’s Heisenberg disguise from Breaking Bad before making my way back to the buffet table to eat like 50 pounds of baby carrots. Thanks The Gothsicles!
Although the videos are identical, I must say I’m partial the german language version of IAMX’s little slice of cabaret pop “Bernadette”. Doing a stereo camera style video isn’t an idea I recall seeing previously, and fits the old timey feel of the track to the proverbial T.
As a dude who dressed up as Magritte’s “Son of Man” for Halloween, I’m pre-disposed to enjoy Collide’s tribute to the famous French artist. A typically lush bit of business from the duo, who’ve been excelling at this sort of thing for quite a while now.
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Karen O “Immigrant Song”
In spite of my general hatred of Zep, I do have a soft spot for “Immigrant Song”. I have an even softer spot for Trent Reznor and for anything that is likely to cause baby boomers to froth at the mouth with outrage. Nice digital distortion style vid from Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director David Fincher, who some of you may recall helmed such classics as Aerosmith’s “Janie’s Got a Gun” and George Michael’s “Freedom 90” before he got into big screen pictures. Unlike anything else on this list, I can’t embed it, so I’ll send you over to venerable Canadian print rag Exclaim! for a boo. Edit: some enterprising soul has uploaded the video to youtube, enabling me to share it here!
Henric de la Cour, “Dracula”
Former Strip Music and Yvonne singer De la Cour has that weird Nick Cave ugly/hot vibe about him, your appreciation (or lack thereof) of which will determine how much you like the video for his amazingly catchy single “Dracula”. We dig it, it’s ultra minimal as approaches go but has a nice hypnotic vibe.
Marsheaux, “Can You Stop Me?”
Greece’s synthpop queens Marsheaux get progressively better and better with each passing year, and despite not having a record (or even a single for that matter) to promote in 2011 put out this fabulous and fashionable clip for our enjoyment. Can they just hurry and finish up an album? We’re friggin’ starved over here.
Gary Numan, “The Fall”
Man this song is great, so great in fact that Bruce dedicated a whole paragraph to it in his review of Uncle Gary’s Dead Son Rising. Although the terrifically entertaining video for Numan’s collaboration with Battles got a lot more digital ink in 2011 (Sidebar: Battles are ELO for indie kids. Discuss.), this one perfectly captures the nexus of rawness and smooth production that the song rides on.
Left Spine Down, “X-Ray”
One of the things Vancouver’s LSD have had going for them for a while now has been very tight looking promotional imagery to go with their music, the importance of which can’t be ignored. We’re big fans of the group’s 2011 album Caution and were equally psyched to see such a cool, pro looking video to accompany the first single, a fitting accompaniment to the added production sheen they’ve added to their sound with the help of Dave Ogilvie.
Haujobb, “Dead Market”
Okay, so we mentioned in our review how appropriate the video for Dead Market is as a reflection of Haujobb’s precise, mechanical approach to the music on New World March, and that alone makes it worthy of inclusion on this list. Also, this is ID:UD, where we will ALWAYS find a way to talk about Haujobb. I don’t care if it’s an article about the sophism inherent in the arguments used to defend Nazi imagery in the neo-folk scene, I’m shoehorning in a reference to “Penetration”, god damn it.
The Present Moment, “Intrigue”
You ever read Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle? Someone involved in the making of the video for the amazingly good single off of TPM’s Loyal to a Fault sure did, and it pays dividends. See folks, this is how you can make effective, thoughtful use of fascistic imagery in a fashion that actually says something and isn’t just for shock value. Top marks from us.