05. The Kooks “Around Town”
The video for “Around Town” by The Kooks looks like a mix of early Quentin Tarantino and Luc Besson films. It starts with a French reading of If by Rudyard Kipling. It goes on to be a story of a young woman who teams up with an old man to be contract killers. The twist here is that the man’s old partner was his son who is killed on a job. The old man carries the burden of that loss difficulty. Someone who’s taken it worse is the woman, who was in love with the son. The result is that joining the old man is her revenge killing. The tell should be the woman’s look as the video opens. It’s serious, it’s empty, and it’s cold. This is stark contrast to the close of the video where she looks down, almost shutting her eyes as though she is about to cry before lowering her gun and walking out of camera focus. Revenge tales always come with a price, and this one leave it for the viewer to decide if it was worth it or not.
04. Clipping featuring Cocc Pistol Cree “Work Work”
Clipping had himself a pretty good year by my estimation. He released his album CLPPNG which featured great songs and videos to match it. Having made the Video Rewind four times in 2014, I can’t but help going back to my first introduction to Clipping in his video for “Work Work” featuring Cocc Pistol Cree. As the video opens we see rats in something that looks like a sewer, and then the camera pans back. We come out through Clipping’s mouth and see he’s got himself in a predicament. He’s face down, hands duct taped behind his back, with his top teeth placed elegantly on a curb. Cocc Pistol Cree is there with her foot on his head keeping him down. Clipping raps the whole time in this uncomfortable position, and the camera even pans to the side to show he’s got his teeth legitimately on the curb. In fact, the beauty of this video is the smooth camera pans that take us all around the scene from start to messy finish. Nothing is lost by the fact that it’s not Clipping that reigns supreme in this video but Cocc Pistol who comes out looking like a total boss. As a collected body of work, Clipping has to be my go to artist of the year when it comes to videos which helps to earn him number 4 with “Work Work”.
03. Skrillex featuring The Ragga Twins “Ragga Bomb”
“Ragga Bomb” by Skrillex and The Ragga Twins is one of my favorite tracks of 2014. The video for it is a combination of Mad Max style survival in a post apocalyptic world, dangerous people dancing in groups like West Side Story, and lightsaber duels like Star Wars. There are some athletic, fit people who live without Netflix, video games, or Facebook. Honestly, forget Crossfit. Just start living they way these dancers and actors in the video do. Skrillex’s music can be said to sound otherworldly, and the video for “Ragga Bomb” does seem like a different world. One in which science is more advanced and humanity has paid a price for it.
02. Ages and Ages “Divisionary (Do The Right Thing)”
“Divisionary (Do The Right Thing)” by Ages and Ages is all about doing the right thing. It promotes having your own morals and ethics, and bending them for no one ever. The video is a perfect visual for this song. Some teenage boys are the bullies of this neighborhood. They treat the younger kids like punching bags, and steal their stuff, taking it so far as to take over the tree fort in the woods. The young children band together to finally stand up to these bullies, most notably the ring leader. They plan some pretty nasty things, including filling squirt guns with urine. One boy, the blonde one, realizes that this is wrong, and doesn’t go to the extreme of the other children. The bully saunters off humiliated, and has maybe learned his lesson. But one good little boy stays a good little boy. He grabs his bicycle back and walks off without celebrating with the other children. Don’t succumb to peer pressure kids. Do the right thing. Do it all the time.
01. Sia “Chandelier”
Sia’s “Chandelier” is a song about a talented woman surrounded by yes men and women. This person is willing to drink until she swings from the chandelier. It’s a case of YOLO, which is the bastardization of Carpe Diem. The video, though not featuring Sia, plays out like the female character in the songs childhood. We have a young girl who is wearing a dancing leotard, a wig, some makeup, and has pink paint on her fingers. She’s in a modest apartment, that looks empty yet slightly dirty. She’s alone without any supervision, and it looks like she’s got nothing else but dancing. We meet her propped up in her front door, and from there she dances around the apartment. This is nothing different for a child to do, but the way she does it is different. At times she seems silly like a girl should, but then has these gestures that seem too mature for her to be making. She is that talented girl who will make it onto some grander stage, but may surround herself with the wrong people and live a life where she tries to escape her pain. The colors in this video are dim but diverse. The choreography is amazing, and the dancer Maddie Ziegler is phenomenal in this video. She takes us on a world wind dance routine through the apartment, into the hallway, and back again. By the end, you see how hard she has been working with her heavy breathing. That kind of talent always requires hard work, and helps make “Chandelier” the best video of 2014. See you all next year.