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

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Welcome to The Last VJ, music fans! This week we’ve gathered some of the oddest directors of the music video into place to discuss everything from relationships to nightmares. It’s going to get a little weird, so hold on.

Lucius, “Hey Doreen”

Starting off this week is a hell of a strange rode from Michael Leblanc and Scott Cudmore bringing to visual life Lucius’ latest track, “Hey Doreen”. It’s a very off the wall offering, all grayed out and dismal but with surprisingly pink flashes of light and love. Essentially it’s the story of a pair of women, possibly sisters, who though of advanced age use their charms to lure men back to their home and kill them. Doing so seems to restore their youth temporarily, but so much of what they are dances in and out of shadows it’s actually very hard to tell. It ends up being somewhat unsatisfying from a narrative perspective, but it does achieve a sort of Lynchian mystery that makes it a damned fine video.

Allo Darlin’, “Bright Eyes”

All Darlin’ doesn’t get nearly enough praise for how good they are. I’d call them the Psychedelic Furs of this generation personally. Here they’ve teamed with video makers Casey and Ewan for something lighthearted but with a nice inner depth. It’s a video about relationships and how they end, but everything is told through symbolic representation of objects. Granted, this often leads to some eye-rolling puns about the loss of spark between them as the bride is avatared by a stack of sockets (Symbolism, get it?), but if you’re really committed to dancing through the cycle of bric-a-brac used for the story you can get an incredibly nuanced and deep look at these two people’s lives just by the junk they resemble. Or you could ignore it and watch the cat type on a computer. Both are good ways to pass the time.

 

 

Demitia and Sene, “Runnin’”

It’s a week for directors with weird names (Says the guy that goes by Jef With One F). Aaaronisnotcool pulls out a real monstrosity for Denitia and Sene’s “Runnin’”. Proof that you can take a very simple concept and make it horrifying. We follow a woman in a zebra body suit running towards the camera through the night. After a bit she’s pulled down and into the blackness by a figure in a blank white mask.

As the video goes on this scene repeats over and over with slight variations. When she runs next, two figures take her out. Then it’s three. And again. And again. Then she tries to wear a mask herself and finds she goes unharrassed, but chafes under the mask and throws it away. She’s duly punished.

What a grim exploration of how we beat people down and make them like us. It’s nightmarish in its intensity, and a good candidate for one of the most slyly frightening videos of 2014.

 

Glass the Sky, “Touch”

I’d completely forgotten that Erin Rodgers had told me Glass the Sky were working on a music video with Jerry Ochoa, and then boom, it’s in my inbox. This is another beautiful if gruesome creation by Ochoa, who tends towards the macabre nearly all the time. Here we have a retetlling of Frankenstein, starring Greg Dean as the scientist and the stunning Erin Marquez as the creature he creates.

Though the video is a little light on driving plot unlike Ochoa’s last production “Ninth Level” for his own Two Star Symphony, it’s still a marvel for the eyes. I love the little touches he adds in. The glowing syringe that homages Re-Animator and the fact that he Dean injects into the top of Marquez’s skull like she was a newborn. It’s slightly predictable, but marvelous in the way it plays out visually. Ochoa is easily the local master of making dark things seem alluring.

 

 

The Head and the Heart, “Let’s Be Still”

We’ll go out on a slow burn this week. Jon Jon Augustavo pulls out all the stops with a beautiful video for “Let’s be Still”, but you have to be willing to go along with it for a bit. Ironically, that need mirrors the song’s message of enforced introspection and quiet rather well.

We follow the band as they attempt to escape a crazy world by running and eventually into hot air balloons. It’s a spectacle in the sky that wows, but the real wonder is when people start falling through the clouds to what looks like their deaths. In reality, it’s an umbrella float to the ground, but it initially hits you like a reverse Rapture.

It’s impossible not to feel the moral behind what’s going on. It’s a video about seeking the calm within without running away. As someone that makes it a point to consume music in a format that forces me to pay attention to it with two senses instead of blaring it in the background as I drive or something, it’s a lesson that more people need to learn. You see more when you stop awhile.

 

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