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

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Welcome to The Last VJ, music fans! The holidays slow down the flow of music videos but doesn’t stop them entirely. We’ve got some great new local love this week, as well as some truly disturbing works and as I live and breath a rapping radiated dinosaur. Put your dance shoes on for these because it’s all up-tempo magic, even when it’s scary.

The Many, “Meta”

This week we start with a project from our own Cory Sinclair of The Manichean. He’s been contributing vocals to a new collective, The Many, and this week saw the release of their first music video by Jerry Stokes.

It’s a collage video incorporating footage from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Such videos are usually very pretty but rarely offer anything deeper in terms of narrative. There are exceptions of course. Metallica’s “One” certainly tops that list, and another Houston act, From Beyond, crafted a near-perfect exploration of the Coffin Joe films that pulled a total Dark Side of the Rainbow.

“Meta” also manages to use the film footage in a way that serves the song well. There’s a definite connection to the song’s story that makes you forget it’s not original content. Well done, indeed.

Ten Ven & Ripley x Zebra Katz, “One Bad Bitch”

If Right Said Fred was in the current season of American Horror Story then this is the exact music video that would be produced. It is balls to the wall insanity, mixing danceability with complete and utter horror. Our hero comes into an opulent home of pristine whiteness in order to lead older rich ladies upstairs one by one.

The final twist isn’t exactly shocking. You’ll likely see it from a mile away, but the video is executed with such sinister style that you still cringe at every hinted bit of ultra violence. A flash of a knife here, the gums and fangs of a dog there; it all adds up to an excellent spine-tingler.

Morandi feat. Inna, “Summer in December”

Now for something existential. “Summer in December” is a just a fantastic dance track on its own, but the video is a masterpiece of pacing. It’s somewhat fractured, weaving in and out of scenes with little linearity, but it seems to follow Morandi as he pieces his memories back together following a car crash that may or may not have killed hi. Inna is his spirit guide, a woman he loved that he betrayed. The two singers are powerful physical performers that bring love and tenderness to the scene and play off each other with great skill. As far as love stories in music videos go, “Summer in December” a top ten entry.

Mefjus feat. Dope D.O.D, “Godzilla”

I can honestly say that this is the greatest music video featuring a rapping legendary monster ever made. That sounds flippant, I know, but Mefjus and Dope D.O.D. commit fully to the premise and they bring the pain 110 percent. Accompanying them is a minimalist but still incredible slick animated feature by Ciro Ayala. It has the stark colors and inventive angles of Sin City, and manages to actually sell the idea of a rapping King of Monsters without for a second making it feel cheesy. Hell, Ayala makes Zilla, the horrible ‘90s-version of Godzilla, look like a force to be reckoned with. Your life isn’t complete until you’ve seen this.

Philip George, “Wish You Were Mine”

Dance videos are a mixed bag. Often they showcase impressive talent, but they are generally narratively uninteresting. It’s rare to get something so awesome like “Wish You Were Mine” that can use dance to bring an amazing story to life.

It follows a young boy growing up in a stolid suburban neighborhood. Everything is bland and slow and boring, but in his head his community dances around him. Standing still and sad in a store you see him busting moves in the security camera, and in the rearview mirror of a bus he hosts a party while in reality everyone else is sitting calmly letting the city go by.

As a commentary it hit home. Not only is the boy desperately burning with movement and music, but he sense that all around him so are other people. It’s like a telepathic miracle, connecting into the brains of his neighbors and seeking expression. Such a shame when the video is over. You’re left waiting for the next act when everyone is freed through the power of dance…wait, that’s the plot of Footloose, isn’t it?

Jef has a new story, a tale of mad robot nurses and a man of miracles called “Sleepers, Wake!” available now. You can also connect with him on Facebook.