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 Jef With One F
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10.21.14: The Last VJ’s Top 5 Music Videos of the Week

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Welcome to The Last VJ, music fans! Got to admit, this week is a little schizo. I’ve got no theme or arc of style. What I do have is everything from the lighthearted creations of children to German metals clowns. None of this will make a single lick of sense, but I promise it’s all wonderful nonetheless. Put on your phones and come listen with me.

Nude Beach, “For You”

I’ll admit, I’m throwing this one in here largely because of the adorable factor. Nude Beached teamed with kids from the Children’s Museum of the Arts to put together a stop-motion animated music video that tickles the corners of your smile. No, it’s not any sort of deep exploration of a theme, and I have to admit I rolled my eyes a bit when Nude beach sang one of Bryan’ Adams’ cheesiest lines accompanied by hand-written subtitles, but it’s still fun. Just fun all around and a worthy collaborative creation. My fez also goes off to Nude Beach for forwarding the cause of the music video by getting young creators involved. You’re doing God’s work, my friends.

Fiction, “Lonely Planet”

Mike Barrett’s video for “Lonely Planet” isn’t so much a video as it is an exploration of cinematic landscaping using computer technology that reminds me of a Sega Dreamcast. That’s not meant as an insult, by the way. On the contrary, “Lonely Planet” has a wonderful retro vibe that drops me back into the days when I thought the prettiest video game ever made was Shadow of the Empire. Woven nicely with band footage, it accomplishes what it sets out to do in that it creates an interplanetary sense of malaise and dread. You tingle when you watch it.

Fall Out Boy, “Centuries”

It occurs to me I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually heard a Fall Out Boy song in my entire life and know it. They were always just a band I went “Oh, a Simpsons reference, huh?” and went on about my day. If I’d known they were capable of making a music video like “Centuries” I might have been a much bigger fan!

“Epic” is a word that gets thrown around too lightly, but here it is appropriate. The band represents a group of gladiators sent to die in the pits, but who come together and triumph with the help of a mysterious hooded benefactor. I’m not going to lie… the video is under the surface a pretty blatant call to Christianity as opposed to more “barbarous” faiths, but setting the rife symbolism aside it is so lovingly shot and wonderfully realized that you can easily enjoy just the visual heroic message. In a way it’s sort of the human version of Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” except that this song actually kicks ass as opposed to that apocalyptic drivel.

It’s exciting, well done, has a gripping narrative, and is beautiful to the eyes and ears to boot. So very well done.

Shabazz Palaces, “Motion Sickness”

Shabazz Palaces gives me more hope for rap and hip hop videos than any other group in the world. Every damned thing they put out is magic. Dark, heartbreaking magic, usually, it’s true, but magic nonetheless. How to describe “Motion Sickness”… you remember that scene in Boogie Nights where Julian Moore’s kid tries to call her while she’s at a porn party and can’t get through? Imagine that scene going on for four minutes while at the same time being played over every sick flow and with the added bonus of a medical problem on top of that. It’s a kick to the gut, but it’s also another top-notch offering from one of the best music video groups in the game today.

Megaherz, “Fur Immer”

I am going to say everything that needs to be said about this video in a single run-on sentence, and if it doesn’t sell you on its brilliance then I can’t help you. I hope that one day someone loves me enough to turn my departed memory into a video involving dapper German metal clowns heroically baseball batting their way through doors in order to cuddle my rotting corpse. Greatest love story ever told, or greatest story period ever told? You decide.

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.

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