Well here we have it, folks. The final round of our 12 months of Transbuddha music video madness. The last of 79 music videos whittled down from a whopping 438 posted this year. And it only took me 11 hours to put together!
I think it’s safe to say that we had some kickass music videos to help us waste our daytime, working, and general slacking off hours. None of which could have been accomplished without those of you who submitted posts, sent links, or just spend enough time here to make this worth our while. So let’s bust out these last few videos and give this year the wrap-up it deserves.
Adam Samberg & Justin Timberlake – Dick in a Box: Once again a tough choice, but the fact that Samberg and Timberlake obviously put some time into writing and performing this song made it an easy win. It works both because it’s a tremendous send up of those hokey late 90’s love songs, but also because it’s just a well put together tune.
Pizzicato Five – It’s a Beautiful Day: We went waaay back in time for this one, but that’s why the greats are considered timeless. A beautiful song with a wonderfully nostalgic video vibe.
The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers: As I stated when I posted this the first time, it’s telling that I would post a clip for my least liked song on this album, but that’s how well made this promo for Broken Boy Soldier is.
Findlay Brown – Come Home: A simply gorgeous video for an equally gorgeous tune. Brown is most certainly topping off my ‘artists to watch for in ‘07’ list.
The Zutons – Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love?: Being, as I am, married to a dance major, I’ve come to appreciate more and more just how difficult great choreography is to pull off. While this clip had the benefits of lifting Jerome Robbins’ work (as well as the dancers from Cuba’s National Ballet), it’s still a wonderful piece of work, and a loving nod to a great musical.
Venus Hum – Fighting for Love: Playmobile animation needs to make a serious dent into modern music video making. How can you go wrong with it?
Mellow – Fantastic: Once again, giving the nod to great comic book animation of old is a guaranteed way to make my best of lists. Though it does help if I already adore your band. Thankfully, Mellow wins on both counts. A simply wonderful and nostalgic look at the comic greats of old, and a fitting way to close out this list.
Sweet doodling doodlebugs! That’s a lot of music videos. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready for 2006 to be over and done with. 2007 is looking to be a banner year, both for Transbuddha and for Casa del Monkey, as I’ve got all manner of kickass features and functions in the works, not to mention my imminently arriving twin daughters, whom I’ll groom to be ninja and comic book loving science nerds who will one day lead us all in the war against the machines. It’s gonna be so awesome.
Since I won’t be seeing any of you until 2007, let me once again say that I’m truly humbled by the community we’ve got here, and that is thanks to you, my dear anonymous internet pals. I can’t possibly overstate how thankful and appreciative I am of your continued support and encouragement. So rest assured that, come 12:00 AM, 01/01/07, I’ll be raising my glass to you, and to the great year ahead.
See you in the future!
– Best Regards,
Aaron Weber / .alphamonkey.
This might mark the month that animation became such a prevailing format on Transbuddha, as 6 out of these 8 clips rely heavily on some form of animation. Is it too much? I don’t think so, but then again you’re the ones reading. What say you?
Maybe it’s just that live action work is in decline as more and more directors explore the limitless world of animation, but whatever the case may be the results have been pretty good.
Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins – Rise Up with Fists: I was hoping this promo would spark a new genre we could only call the Hee-Haw Homage, but sadly no one has seen fit to take up the mantle. No matter, it’s a gem in its own right.
The Rapture – Whoo! Alright Yeah..uh huh: As much as I’d like to not be, I’m a total sucker for that 70’s style animation, and this clip runs through the School House Rock style to Fat Albert and back again. AWE-some.
Prefuse 73 – The End of Biters: Wow. Just, wow. The combination of rotoscoping and CGI work still have a of punch. Just an incredibly wonderful video to look at.
Lasse Gjertsen – Amateur: This was another tough call, but in the end I had to include it. Gjertsen’s masterful use of editing to piecemeal his masterpiece won over quite a number of folks, and I can’t think of any Web 2.0 guy who deserves the attention more.
The Softlightes – Heart Made of Sound: I can’t possibly overstate the impact this song and clip had on me. Listening to it now, I’m just as blown away by it as I was the first time. I was so impressed with this clip, I had to track down every video Kris Moyes ever made.
Four Tet – Go Go Ninja Dinosaur!: Seriously. Go back and read the title of this song again. How could I not post this?
The Presets – Are You The One?: Yup, another Moyes video (and another visual winner). Good stuff.
Minilogue – Hitchhiker’s Choice: I loved the premise of using a whiteboard to animate a video, but really the kicker was the animator spent so much time on drawing monkeys. I mean really, it’s like it was made for me.
A couple of returning favorites, but mostly October’s best came in the form of newcomers. This was another tough month to whittle down to the essential choices, but I think you’ll agree these are some damn fine videos.
If there is any recurring theme here, it’s one of deconstruction and reapplication. Most of these clips do a wonderful job turning music video cliches on their head, both through exposing what goes into them and via sheer unadulterated overkill of the same.
Lemon Demon – Word Disassociation: While the novelty aspect of Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny is certainly high, I hope it doesn’t overshadow the fact that Lemon Demon (aka Neil Cicierega) is one hell of a songwriter. Apparently, he’s a damn fine video director, judging by this clip of his own work. Truly inspired.
Peter Björn and John – Young Folk: This marks the first of four clips in this month’s best that garnered nomination love in Antville’s 2006 Music Video Awards, and while it didn’t win in the end, it’s certainly a great clip. The late 70’s Marvel Style animation really won me over.
Deichkind – Ich Betäube Mich: I can state with authority that the only thing going through my mind the first time I saw this clip was ‘WTF?’. Lunatic and chock full of goofy, goofy fun. It’s no wonder this took home the ‘Most Fun Video’ award in the aforementioned 2006 MVAs. Never let it be said that Germany doesn’t know how to throw down when it comes to goofy videos.
Pop Levi – Blue Honey: I loved this promo for the sheer ‘I’ll do whatever I want’ factor. A great mish-mash of styles, and a truly great tune.
Gnarls Barkley – Who Cares?: The video that was so damn good, I couldn’t make myself wait until Halloween to post it. Mario Van Peebles? Blacula? Again, this was a ‘how can I not post this?’ choice.
Hot Chip – Over and Over: And here we have the ‘Best Video of the Year’ winner, according to Antville’s discerning readers. I still think Muse’s Knights of Cydonia should have taken that prize, but I’m more than willing to admit that this brilliant and sardonic deconstruction of music video cliche is pretty damn brilliant. It’s a hell of a song, to boot.
September brought a nice mix of favorites both new and old. I relied heavily on ‘classic’ clips, but more out of a genuine love for the music as opposed to cheap sentimentality. Still, there were some new faces mixed in with old, and some new clips from artists who take waaaaay too long to put out new material.
Golden Dogs – Never Meant Any Harm: What a great introduction to a great band. The Fritz Lang office thing works exceedingly well, and the art direction just slays me.
Gil Mantera’s Party Dream – Elmo’s Wish: I love the fact that there are still people out there who realize that rock n’ roll should be, above all things, fun. A bizarrely endearing video from an equally bizarre artist.
Badly Drawn Boy – Nothing’s Going to Change Your Mind: I’m a big fan of Badly Drawn Boy, and videos like this only solidify my adoration. I want a piano driven car so badly.
Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out of This Country
Prince – BatdanceGreat song? Not hardly? Great video? Well, no, but it’s a great reminder that Prince is capable of weirding out with the best of them.
The Kinks – Victoria: I adore this version so. Looking through September’s music posts, I just couldn’t pass this one by. A fantastic tune by an equally fantastic band.
T. Rex – Jeepster: Another song so kickass I included it in my wedding program. It’s T. Rex, people. That’s all the justification I need to include it here.
George Harrison & Paul Simon – Here Comes the Sun / Homeward Bound
Ah, my first month living in Ohio. Aside from desperately missing all my friends, favorite restaurants, and disposable income, who knew it’d be so fruitful in the music video department?
We went all over the map (musically speaking) in August, which might very well be the most appropriate of choices for a very transitional month for Transbuddha.
The Raconteurs – Hands: This was the track that really won me over from my previous stance of suspicious ambivilance towards The Raconteurs. I’m glad it worked, as it’s become on of my favorite albums this year. Anyway, Hands is not only a great premise video, but it’s also quite touching and sweet.
Bonnie Prince Billy – Cursed Sleep: See that image up there? It’s Will Oldham wrestling E.T.! How is that not awesome? This whole clip is a beautiful narrative piece, and marks one of the best use of dream imagery I can remember.
Ok Go – Here It Goes Again: I’ll admit it: This one almost didn’t make the list. I know it’s been rather popular, but my first reaction to the clip was ‘Oh man, couldn’t they think of something else?’ However, I’ll give the boys some kudos for some clever choreography even while I wish they would have tried something completely new this time around.
Scissor Sisters – I Don’t Feel Like Dancing: If you took Elton John, blending him together with the Bee Gees (with a hearty dose of ecstasy, and then fed that concoction to a bunch of glam rock obsessed hipsters just before letting them loose onto a studio backlot, this is the video that would result. Awesome doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Cornelius – Music: Calling this video trippy is like calling the blood and beer covered guy who lives under Hobo Bridge ‘mildly colorful’. Another fantastic video from one of Japan’s best artists.
Lily Allen – LDN: It kills me that whatever half assed stuff Gwen Stefani and Fergie craps upon the airwaves gets overplayed like a voice mail message from Jesus while artists like Lily Allen are out there making smart dance-y pop music like this. Seriously, people. Truly a brilliant tune, and a gorgeous (if only ironically) video to boot.
Pan’s Labyrinth : 4 & ½ Stars (out of 5)
It’s rare that we get a movie as devoted and focused to a central theme as Pan’s Labyrinth, so let’s thank our lucky stars. Guillermo del Toro delivered a film so touching and disturbing that it’s hard to classify it into a single genre. All you can really say is that it’s a great film.
Set in 1940s Spain, a young girl named Ofelia Ivana Baquero is torn from her city home to a rural stronghold of a failing government fighting an insurgency. But when she arrives, a mystical creature tells her that she is a Princess that belongs with him in an underworld, and that she must prove herself before she can be reunited with her father.
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Arthur and the Invisibles : 1 & ½ Stars (out of 5)
Slow and steady wins the race. Take your time. Both maxims make for sound advice that Luc Besson obviously chucked out the window when he made Arthur and the Invisibles, a computer animated/live action movie that wasn’t anything to shit yourself over in the first place; but thanks to its gratuitous usage of quick pacing, is ensured to not become a family classic.
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July has always been a spotty month for Transbuddha, and this year was no exception. Preparations for the relocation of Casa del Monkey took their toll, as did the 4th, and of course, my birthday. Of course, two whole weeks of reruns took their toll. Thankfully, the bountiful font of awesome that we call the Internet had a bevy of musical treasures to share with us this time around.
Cadence Weapon – Black Hand: I love to see hip hop videos that aren’t afraid to break the creatively stifling conventions we normally encounter, and Black Hand tears through them with ease and aplomb. Awesome.
Joanna Newsom – Sprout and the Bean: Ah, we return to Joanna Newsom for her beautiful video for Sprout and the Bean. Newsom is most definitely an artist, in ever sense of the word, and her passion shines through in everything she does.
Zero 7 – Waiting to Die: Zero 7 has a history of hauntingly beautiful videos, and Waiting to Die was no exception.
CSS – Let’s Make Love And Listen to Death From Above: Here’s one of the reasons I keep working on this site, regardless of the effect it has on my personal life and pocketbook. I mean really, how else am I going to stumble across a Brazilian dance rock sextet like CSS, let alone their lovable low budget video? Great stuff.
Muse – Knights of Cydonia: I have to say, this was one my absolute favorite videos this year. Freakout doesn’t even being to describe this insane mashup of styles and genres, all thrown together into a movie trailer. Sheer unadulterated brilliance.
Discover Oddity: Alright, so this one is kind of cheating. Of course I was going to put this on the list! I did make it, after all. Considering my twin loves of space and David Bowie, putting Space Oddity to footage of the space shuttle Discovery’s July 4th launch was just too good an opportunity to pass up. I think it’s safe to say my skills as a video editor need some work.
June found us with some downbeat moments (and some sad farewells), but everyone knows happy people don’t write the best songs. Joy, despair, and smarm shared the stage in June, which I found rather fitting as it marked my last full month in a town I’d spent 26 years in, as well as being the month in which I found out I’d be a father in 07. So yah, an exciting, weird, and bittersweet month, which pretty much sums up these videos.
Nicolai Dunger – Hunger: While perhaps not an astounding video, I’ll take any chance I can get to pimp my boy from Sweden. Enjoy!
Billy Preston – That’s the Way God Planned It: We said g’night to Billy Preston on June 6th, and there was no more fitting tribute than his live performance of That’s the Way God Planned It from the Concert from Bangladesh.
Jose Gonzalez – Hand on Your Heart: It took Swiss singer songwriter with an Argentinian name to do the impossible: Make me like a Kylie Minogue song, but I’ll be damned if that’s not exactly what Jose Gonzalez did. His stripped down Nick Drake approach works far too well.
Mike O’Connell (feat. Dr. Ken) – What’s It Gonna Be?: This would have been a tough call, but throwing George Washington into May’s list opened the door to O’Connell’s goofy ode to the last call pickup artist. Bonus points for actually being a one take video, but really the winner is the silver lame bodysuit worn by Dr. Ken.
The Postal Service – We Will Become Silhouettes: Once again we move backwards, but this goofy video pairs well with this oddly morbid tune.
The Spinto Band – Mandy: This stop-motion / paper cutout clip really won me over with its style. Dig it!
If April was the month of astounding visual panache, May was the month where fun ruled. I quite like the month of May, if truth be told. You’re well into Spring, and the promise of Summer makes everything brighter. Of course, you’ll soon rue Summer once the nightmarish temperatures kick in, but hey May still kicks some ass.
The Concretes – On the Radio: Ah, the faux one take video. Easy to screw up, but immensely enjoyable when it’s done right.
Hannes Coetzee – Teaspoon Slide: Okay, so this is cheating a little. Not technically a music video, I know, but Coetzee’s awesome slide work more than makes up for the simple visual of a man sitting on a stump playing guitar.
Dead Girls Ruin Everything – All Is Forgotten: Lawrence, KS rockers Dead Girls Ruin Everything go for the gusto and take a loving page from a couple of the 80’s most memorable sex comedies. Brilliant, and fun.
I’m From Barcelona – Collection of Stamps: Hey look! It’s another pop collective group! The song is great, but the video is just too much fun.
Camera Obscura – Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken: This trippy number is offset by Camera Obscura singer Tracyanne Campbell’s almost morose delivery in answering Lloyd Cole’s ’Are You Ready to be Heartbroken?‘, but the juxtaposition manages to work (even with some dead spots in the clip). Great tune, to boot.
Mint Royale – Blue Song: Featuring Noel Fielding (of the Mighty Boosh) and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), this clip is perfect for those of us who’ve done the car seat rock star thing before.
Cox And Combes – George Washington: What doesn’t kick ass when it comes to this clip? Beyond the insane (and insanely catchy) tune, the visuals are just hysterical. I sang this for months.