We've nearly got another year in the books, and with a great year came a great collection of fabulous music videos from musicians representing a wide variety of genres. So we're counting them down, in the far-too-usual fashion.
The best part of this year end list?
Kanye West is not #1.
Crazy, I know...
10. Lady Gaga and Beyonce, "Telephone"
My goodness, there's so much undeniable aristic prominence in this video. How could a tagteam of Beyonce and Lady Gaga be anything but epic? Between Beyonce's dances and Lady Gaga's numerous elaborate costumes (particularly the lit cigarette sunglasses), there's so much to see to the point where I notice something I hadn't noticed before every time I watch "Telephone" again.
9. Hot Chip, "I Feel Better"
Finally, the day has come for someone to destroy a boy band! Hell yes. What could be better?
8. St. Vincent, "Laughing With a Mouth of Blood"
While the video interests me more than the song does, it still sounds pretty. The video features Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen playing women that run a feminist bookstore in which Annie Clark, known as St. Vincent, does an in-store performance to no crowd at all because Brownstein and Armisen neglected to put up any fliers to promote the show. The visual of Armisen playing a woman is fun to watch as you listen to Annie's beautiful voice.
7. Fool's Gold, "Surprise Hotel"
The juxtaposition of the old guys who are amusing in that awkward "cute old man" sort of way and the hip kids partying was pretty neat. And who doesn't love spraying soda all over other people. As guitarist Lewis Pesacov once told me in an interview, the mood of the video can best be described as "ecstatic bliss." I think he summed it up accurately.
6. Kanye West, "Runaway"
If you really have to ask why this is on the list, you clearly haven't watched the video. I mean, are you kidding me, bro? This shit is amazing.
5. Toro Y Moi, "Low Shoulder"
There have been few times when I have been more entertained by someone's imaginary trance. An old woman who seems like an innocent coffee shop owner slips something into a teenage girl's coffee, and a mystical mind trap ensues from there. The creepy faces that the old woman makes while holding sparklers in the teenager's dream are hilarious, as is the chick in the leotard who licks her own hand and has one hell of a unibrow that's worse than that of Frida Kahlo.
4. Local Natives, "World News"
If you noticed some similarities between "World News" and "Surprise
Hotel," that's because Matthew Lessner directed this video too. As a big fan of Matthew Lessner's work, I really enjoyed "World News." Local Natives is my favorite band of 2010, and I loved all of the videos they released this year. The setting in "World News" is gorgeous, the band made up of a boy and a handful of old men is cool, and an emergency dance party is always a plus. Furthermore, did I mention how beautiful all the people this video are?
3. Ok Go, "This Too Shall Pass" (Rube Goldberg Machine version)
The Ferris Bueller bedroom contraption-style system of the machine in this video is fascinating. In an interview over the summer, Ok Go's bass player, Tim Nordwind, revealed me that the machine created for this video took six months of mapping out. The Rube Goldberg Machine only worked 100 percent three out of 89 times. Even though it was tough to capture everything they wanted to put in this video, it turned out very well, and it's undoubtedly visually fascinating.
2. The Black Keys, "Tighten Up"
Both this song and Ok Go's "This Too Shall Pass" have alternative versions of the video, but I like these versions the best. Anyway, I love the storyline in this video. The Black Keys use the kids they bring to the park as a prop to attract hot moms. In the meantime, two little boys have a playground rivalry since they're longing for the same little girl. The guys in the band beat each other up with their instruments in an effort to impress the hot mother of the young girl that the little boys were pining over. How precious love on the playground can be.
1. Arcade Fire, "We Used To Wait"
This year Arcade Fire released a music video you can customize. "No way," you're saying if you haven't already checked it out. Yes, way! With the power of HTML5 and Google Chrome, the band created The Wilderness Downtown, which is where you can start your customizable music video experience. Just enter the address of your hometown and let the magic begin. You can even email someone a postcard that you type into part of the video. And yes, you legit get to see your own house in your customizable video. Shwing!
Mike Escoto contributed to this list.