If you want to hear some of the best music that Phoenix has to offer, you don't have to head to a venue. Just open up YouTube on your phone. We gathered some of the most visually arresting videos that Phoenix bands created. Please turn up the volume and enjoy.
'bullshit, ur a nice guy'
One dick pic is one too many, so Fairy Bones decided that enough was enough. In June, the band released the catchy NSFW single "bullshit, ur a nice guy," which confronts the serious topic with a catchy melody and humor. The empowering track gets taken to the next level with the music video. The band's lead singer, Chelsey Louise, and other local female artists take turns letting out their aggressions on various objects with a sledgehammer as the song's lyrics are typed out on a messaging app. It's doubtful that the song will end the dick pic epidemic anytime soon (though it would be cool if it did), but the anthem has the power to change minds on how people can feel when a phallus from a so-called "nice guy" suddenly shows up on their phone. No song from a local band this year has managed to be this empowering. Jason Keil
Unless you’ve spent the last few years actively ignoring local music, you’re likely aware of Okilly Dokilly. This self-proclaimed “nedal” band are both a celebration and a pseudo-satire that kneels at the altar of The Simpsons’ Ned Flanders. So much of their joke, then, is based on the show's visuals, from the matching sweater sets and immaculate mustaches to their stage show and music videos. “Reneducation,” off this year’s totally awesome Howdilly Twodilly album, is an especially perfect example of the band’s layered brilliance. The whole clip has this vibe of a Twisted Sister video. Head Ned and company attempt to “reneducate” a group of folks and turn them into fine, upstanding neighborinos. It’s both creepy and deeply nerdy, and the understated production value enhances those qualities. But really, it tickles the part of the brain where you can’t believe something so wacky is actually happening in our dimension. And that’s Okilly Dokilly to a T: A Simpsons metal band shouldn’t be a thing, but boy howdy, are we all better off for their shtick. Chris Coplan
Body of Light
'Time To Kill'
Few local acts saw as much success in 2019 as darkwave duo Body of Light. After a stellar show at The Rebel Lounge opening for Boy Harsher and BOAN in March, the group toured through the summer with Drab Majesty and Xeno & Oaklander. They also released a fantastic new full-length, Time To Kill, on Dais Records. The final product is a magnificently fun collection, 100 percent worthy of every Depeche Mode comparison it will warrant. No piece of Time To Kill’s rollout makes this more evident than the video for the title track. Shot in an industrial venue in low framerate, the visual captures classic goth aesthetic perfectly. The interior chain link fence at the venue brings me straight to Bauhaus's appearance in Tony Scott vampire classic The Hunger before David Bowie sinks his fangs into a leather-clad victim. Interspersing the live footage, Alex Jarson stares at the camera with ferocious intensity as he contemplates the time he has left. It’s glorious, and it’s a testament to the work that Body of Light put in this year to level up. Gerrit Feenstra
i-Dee and DéLa Preme
'Hey Sensei' featuring Mega Ran
This local rap collaboration from the Naruto-inspired EP Black Uchiha came out earlier this year, but because of the ambitious nature of the project, the accompanying video took over four months to produce. As we reported in September, i-Dee, whose real name is Jamal Ujania, says that the video was his way to share with the world his love of anime. The track and the video feature an appearance by Raheem Jarbo, who is better known as Mega Ran. The popular local nerdcore artist contacted Ujania to collaborate on each other's projects. Ujania says the track not only pays homage to the rappers that came before but feeds into who Jarbo is: a mentor who provides guidance. Jason Keil
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'Koruna & Lime'
In truth, Injury Reserve had three fantastic videos this year. “Jawbreaker” kicked 2019 off as the year of IR, the one where we’d get to see Phoenix’s most exciting and groundbreaking act in recent history take the global stage. Then, “Jailbreak The Tesla” upped the ante with flashy and fun whip-centric visuals. But it wasn’t until the third video for their self-titled debut that we saw the trio pull out all the stops. Directed by the group's own Parker Corey (just like the other two) and released a month before album drop, “Koruna & Lime” is a single-shot head-trip. We start staring up at the ceiling as Ritchie With a T bobs into the shot for the Willy Wonka intro. Then, the camera pivots to Stepa J. Groggs, relaxing on a cart ride around a makeshift hall of mirrors as you can see Parker follow him closely with the camera. It's off-kilter and explosive. Gerrit Feenstra