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

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Welcome to The Last VJ, music fans! This week is full of action and weirdness. It’s an even split between Hollywood stunt work and indie insanity, but I promise we’ll end it on a good, heart-warming note. Put on your head phones and come with me now!

Steve Aoki feat. Flux Pavilion, “Get Me Outta Here”

I feel bad because I love Steve Aoki’s music but in general he makes really sub-standard music videos. It’s not that they aren’t slicker than snot on a doorknob; it’s just that they rarely aspire to anything but candy apple daydreams. Usually it’s just pretty things with no story.

“Get Me Outta Here”, directed by Tom Cole, is the first time that I can remember Aoki really getting into a solid video groove. He stars as some sort of science fiction technician that detects a giant, destructive storm heading his way and must literally outrun it down a mountain to a waiting car below.

It’s an action-packed piece of work with some really impressive parkour illustrated by the sadly uncredited stuntperson (Aoki wears a workman’s mask throughout most of the video). There really hasn’t been anything like it since the opening of Casino Royale, and for a truly thrilling video it’s one of the best.

Wray, “Bad Heart”

Another good thrill ride this week was “Bad Heart” from Wray, directed by Justin Gaar. Through a rocky, mountainous desert two masked men on motorcycles speed through the desolation in search of mysterious lights. Whenever they find them they absorb them into their chests, eventually gaining enough to break through a barrier in the night so they can offer the light to a trio of priestesses wearing coils of rope around their heads.

Yeah, I never said it made sense, but it does make for a mice mixture of high octane and arcane weirdness. Think Mad Max meets the video game Journey and you’ve sort of got a handle on this very inventive video.

Victoria+Jean, “Holly”

There are bands who when I see their names in my music video inbox I smile like a kid on Christmas. Folks like Bunny Michael, Melanie Martinez, Deerhoof, and cats like that. I’m going to add Victoria+Jean to that list because for the second time in a month they’ve thrown something magic right in my face with “Holly”.

The insane video was done by Spike and Jones on 16mm, and stars the titular Holly. She’s a mad, vivacious young girl who dances around in her underwear in a room filled with crucifixes. This summons Jesus (no really) and the two of them teleport to the woods to snuggle amongst the taxidermy while Victoria and Jean play music wearing paper mache masks. I’m also pretty sure there’s some sort of subtext involving child abuse in there, but frankly I took a lot of cold medicine before I watched “Holly” and I’m afraid if I go too deep into the rabbit hole on this one you might never see me again.

Motopony, “Get Down”

Man, it was a week of mindfuckery, it was. Motopony brought some real A-game in “Get Down”. Dreamlike and strange, it’s a quest between a man and a woman to find each other by weaving in and out of a mysterious wood. It’s often one long Twin Peaks joke, from the strange dinner party hidden in the trees to the giant owls that are clearly not what they seem. However, this stays firmly on the side of homage and not theft, and the ultimate conclusion of the story is both sweet and unforgettable.

Marty Friedman, “Undertow”

I’m not going to lie; “Undertow” is cheesy as hell. Full-on sharp cheddar, but it’s also very, very good. You know those old montages you used to see of a little girl learning to dance ballet intercut with footage of, like, her dead mom who inspired her? OK, this is exactly that, but with karate. Friedman wails the inspirational guitar anthem like a j-pop love song, and the scene is so wonderfully sweet that I dare you not to shed a tear at the end.

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.