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10.14.14: The Last VJ’s Top 5 Music Videos of the Week

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Welcome to The Last VJ, music fans! It’s a diverse round-up this week, everything from petty destruction to thought-provoking visions of primal gods and hidden mysteries. This one might be best if viewed by night, so save the link and curl up later if you want to best experience some of the lines this series of videos is going to cross.

Highasakite, “Darth Vader”

Highasakite comes correct with the first video from the upcoming Silent Treatment. “Darth Vader’ is a simple video that is fun in it’s terrible implications. For all intents and purposes it’s really just the story of one asshole kid running around doing asshole things. Think about is as the meth-up juvenile delinquent version of Green Day’s “When I Come Around”.

What’s awesome though is how perfectly this mirrors the song it is the video for. “Darth Vader” as a tune sounds lighthearted but is actually an exploration of whether or not we’re bad people inside. Just as Anniken Skywalker started out as a scared kid with a crush looking to save someone’s life, here we’ve got just your typical ten-year-old looking to be big and bad.

Well, not enough people cut Skywalker down when he needed it just as no one elbows this kid for slapping the ass of a girl as he walks by. The result of both is a gleeful descent into well rewarded destruction and villainy. Wonderfully done.

Goat “Hide From the Sun”

Looking at some of the more esoteric videos that came out this week we get “Hide From the Sun”, directed by Sam Macon who also did Dum Dum Girls’ “Bedroom Eyes”. Macon’s a master of the bizarre and unsettling, and this video is no different.

Imagine if Where the Wild Things Are were taken to its total logical conclusion with an adult. Strange, primal forces declaring an outsider king and commanding revels by night? Doesn’t that sound exactly like an avant garde horror film? Here’s we’ve got masked Aztec gods and a queen flanked by the killer from The Town That Dreaded Sundown and bejeweled skulls all over some kind of sun dance. It’s freakish, fun, and definitely worth watching.

Nervous Nellie, “Cat Like Figure”

“Cat Like Figure” is a great nostalgia video for people that remember the best of the music video world back on the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Animated and directed by Andreas Johansson, it’s little more than a collection of carnival imagery and sepia-toned skies. Woven through it all, though, is a curious motif of death and fear. It’s just subtle enough to not punch you in the face, but it does follow you if you watch closely.

Feed the Rhino, “The Sorrow and the Sound”

“The Sorrow and the Sound” is chilling on so many different levels. I’ve watched it four or five times and I’m still not sure I’ve puzzled out what’s going on, and that’s one of the reasons it unnerves. Shot in a stark grey scale that feels knife-like, it follows a young man in what appears to be either some stranger religious cult or possibly an afterlife on perdition. It’s very hard to tell, but one way or another he comes face to face with a bloody truth at the end. The shots shift so that you rarely, if ever, get a full view of any person in the video, making it more like a drunken recollection of violence than a short film. It leaves you lost, confused, and devastated.

M83, “Moonchild”

Let’s leave off with something magical and beautiful. “Moonchild” is hard to describe. Mostly we are gifted with shots of a black, hooded figure traveling the world extinguishing triangles of light. Maybe this would make more sense if I’d ever read the Aleister Crowley novel of the same name, and maybe it wouldn’t, but the song and the video are still powerful evocations of some twilight force that inspires and echoes. Largely instrumental, on stray pits of what feels like lost revelations pepper the beginnings and the end. Just a little musical sorcery to beckon you all as the dark comes sooner this time of the year.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.