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 Jef Rouner
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12.02.14: 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 potent mixture this week, featuring sadness, nightmares, and Kate Freakin’ Pierson of all people. Street Fighter fans will get a homage from one on the most genius artists in the form of music videos, and there’s a Christmas Carol for those that are feeling the pull of winter. Play on!

 

Adria, “Pull Me Under”

You can do an artist just singing and dancing in a video and make something magical if you use the right artist. Adria is one of the few that I’ve ever seen that can really hold a viewer’s attention all by herself in “Pull Me Under”. It’s definitely magic.

It’s largely series of shots involving Adria in and around various levels of water. That in itself makes for playful refractions of light that hypnotize, but there’s a sadness to her movements as well. You’re reminded of the legend of the selkie, a seal woman whose skin was stolen by a man that loved her and doomed her to walk on land until she could find it again.

With every gesture, tear, and passing shot of Adria’s back pebbled in goose flesh there’s a longing for home in the water and a despair at not being there. It’s as beautiful as a ballet, and very well done.

Kate Pierson feat. Fred Armisen, “Mister Sister”

I used to crossdress when I was younger. Mostly I did it for <em>Rocky Horror</em>, but I did it outside of that safe haven sometimes as well. Why? Because sometimes I wanted to be a pretty girl.

I can’t tell you how much Pierson’s tune spoke to me, reminding me of those days with the kind of lyrical brilliance she has always brought to her work. I wish there was a bit more to the video aspect of “Mister Sister”, a deeper story or more compelling visual journey, but just the words alone on this one are enough to touch deep, forgotten places. Its  very existence is astounding.

 

 

Bunny Michael, “A.F.D.”

There is no artist currently working today like Bunny Michael. She has never put out a video that wasn’t a masterpiece of surrealism, sex, and sound. Whenever I see an update to her page pop up in my newsfeed I know that at least one entry in this column is taken care of.

This time she goes old school, starring in a variation of the old Street Fighter games, except that instead of various racial stereotypes Michael battles the elements of the world in order to spin-punch her way into almighty Buddhahood. No, that doesn’t make any sense, and it never will. Director Ainara Tiefenthaler did a fantastic job giving Michael yet another world to destroy and remake. God, I love this woman’s work.

 

Röyksopp, “Skulls”

Sometimes you just want to have a phat beat and a weird melody drag you through a flashing, incomprehensible nightmare until it leaves you twitching like you just finished masturbating roughly to some form of vaguely illegal pornography. This is the video for that. Have fun in the woods.

 

Military Voices feat Abby Strong, “1914 – The Carol of Christmas”

As the days grow darker and the wind cuts harder, I thought we’d end this week with a gloriously sad song of Christmas. Filmed at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, “1914 0 The Carol of Christmas” is a remembrance tribute to those that fell in the first World War. From present day we journey back through time and memory to see the lives of those that fought, haunted by Christmas ghosts along the way.

The song itself is amazing, weaving the most poignant of carols in and out of the main melody with a vocal skill unimaginable. More than that, though, it’s a constant reminder of the cost of war. You’d have to be made of stone to not feel moved by 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.