11.18.14: The Last VJ’s Top 5 Music Videos of the Week
Welcome to The Last VJ, music fans! This week we take a look at a couple of extremely disturbing works that will probably not improve the quality of your sleep tonight. Luckily, there’s some whimsical dancing and a nice start to the holiday music video season to sand of the sharp edges. Make no mistake, though, the last one is dangerous. Good luck, and press play!
Oh Land, “Nothing is Over”
It’s sappy, it’s sentimental, but I’ve got to admit that ‘Nothing is Over’ is feelstastic nonetheless. It’s a song and video about breaking up and giving it another chance, which is nothing new, of course, but Nanna Øland Fabricius carries the whole thing with a depth and warmth that shines through the fact that it’s basically an ad for Free People sweaters. That’s fine, A Charlie Brown Christmas was made to sell Coca-Cola, but that doesn’t make it any less magical. The start of the holiday music videos is upon us and “Nothing is Over” seems like a good place to begin the winter snuggles.
Melanie Martinez, “Carousel”
I can’t believe I missed this video when it debuted a month ago, but better late than never. Melanie Martinez is responsible for some of the greatest creepy videos of the last couple of years. “Carousel”, directed by Adam Donald, isn’t quite as disturbing as “Dollhouse”, but it’s still got more than enough weirdness to make you squirm. Particularly the bit where we see Martinez’s severed head being used in one of those water gun Midway games. Sometimes it seems like she really should get more credit for being the shocking and brilliant artist that she is, but she always seems to fly under the radar.
I’m not usually impressed with straight dance videos. It’s not that the talent on display isn’t amazing; it’s just that rarely makes for a compelling narrative. “Shekini”, directed by Clarence Peters, offers two things to the pot in order to launch the video into more unique territory. The first is that the quality of the dancing is nearly superhuman. It’s really fun to watch. The second is that there are flaming soccer balls. Not enough of them, sadly, and they don’t play as prominent a place as they should, but for about a minute it was like being in a live-action Blitzball commercial. For that minor miracle, five stars all the way.
Deerhoof, “Paradise Girls”
I don’t know how Deerhoof is pulling this off, but for three straight weeks they’ve put out brilliant and wildly different music videos of outstanding quality. “Paradise Girls” is definitely the weirdest of the bunch. With an impish grin, singer Satomi Matsuzaki dances in her footie pajamas surrounded by giant, white, fabric-wrapped women who appear to have a variety of mysterious appendages. It’s lighthearted and wacky, but it makes absolutely zero sense. All I know is that everyone seems to be enjoying themselves so why not the viewer as well.
And finally… this. This right here. You know how there are two kinds of nightmares, the ones that feel real and the others that just have this nebulous sense of dread and terror you can’t face? This is what happens when the second one escapes out into the corporeal world. Every second is like drowning as you try desperately to understand what is pulling you under. It’s the perfect combination of uneasy sensory overload, and there’s zero chance I won’t see it tonight when I close my eyes. Watch it if you dare.
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.
by Guest Author