Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Watch me

It's kind of funny how everyone who writes a blog feels compelled to compile lists, and no time is this more obvious than just before the new year. Is it because we're so full of self-importance? Is it such vanity? Or is it the result of the same obsessive-compulsive behaviour which spurred some of us to begin keeping regular, sometimes painfully detailed online diaries to begin with?

Tonight I am going to post my five favorite music videos this year. My artistic criteria involve both the quality of the music, and the visual appeal of the imagery. I'm not the type to love a video for a bad band, nor am I a huge fan of pointless abstraction unless it's the next level shit, and there isn't much of that next level shit out there. This year, even Chris Cunningham and collectives like The Designer's Republic and Associates in Science have become less progressive or innovative. Fortunately, big-budget mainstays like Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze have continued to impress (Jonze with his Gondry-esque Adidas commercial, and Gondry with his ultra-Gondry White Stripes video). But this isn't really about the big budgets for me -- it's about innovative and interesting.

5. Jeremy Warmsley - Verses / Drinkme - Manifesto | Dir: Ben Rollason
Isn't that the worst when someone says top five and they sneak in a sixth choice? Whatever, both of these are directed by Ben Rollason, and are excellent videos. Rough edges show; the digital effects in Manifesto are loosely polished, which makes them that much better, and the acting in Verses is quirky enough to be good. Each of these pieces holds you from start to finish with a cohesive story, and consistent feel. I covered Drinkme a while ago, and still find Manifesto will work a dancefloor with it's Elastica-like hook.

Watch: Verses MOV / Manifesto MOV (Both of these require a click-through.)

4. Tom Vek - C-C (You Set The Fire In Me) | Dir: Adam Bartley
Hey Tom, you're a fucking muppet. Yeah, you're a fucking muppet but you sure can play those drums, and I hear you bring a solid live show to back it up. Oh and your little friend -- he's a muppet too.

Watch: WMV

3. Sigur Rōs - Glōsōl | Dir:
Arni & Kinski
Takk is an excellent record, and this video captures the feeling of the lead track perfectly. The colours are lush, and the atmosphere heavy -- it's a slow song, but watch this to the end; it's well worth it.

Watch: MOV (Must click-through)

2. Man Man - The 10lb Moustache | Dir: Adam Carrigan
I've watched this video countless times, and I never get sick of the surreal dialogue with it's non-sequiturs making a kind of strange sense, as the story moves forward. LIFE, YOU DOG. YOU SALT MY TEA!

Watch: MOV

1. Doves - Sky Starts Falling | Dir: Reuben Sutherland
This video is just stunning. From the extensive use of 3D, to the wonderfully composited effects work, the whole thing is beautiful to watch just from a technical standpoint. Add in the surreal storyline - surprisingly emotional given it's loose presentation - and you've got what I think is the best video of the year. Nice work.

Watch: MOV


Shout out to For The Records, who've linked AYF? permanently. He is another Toronto-based writer who spends a lot of time covering shows in this city, including The Diableros' CD release last weekend, which was one of my favorite concerts this year.


Watch the next issue of Eye Magazine for a mention of Daughters Of Invention. Way to go Jaime, NOW you're bigtime.

I bet I get to say that again soon...


I seem to run into Rory a lot; last week, I found him in a book store killing time before one of his DJ gigs. Yeah, the guy actually reads -- well, magazines at least.


Popsheep also like Colourbook (and get a permanent link as I add yet more people from Toronto to the right hand column). Nice to see Colourbook is getting picked up on, and in response, I'll drop three more of their latest tracks:

Colourbook - Never Get Old
Colourbook - Older, Wiser
Colourbook - A Long Line Of Men