Category Archives: Videos

2012 Song Favorites: Videos and Moments

If you survived — or even bothered to read — that overblown list of songs, thank you and congratulations on many years of extended life.  If you discovered even one new “favorite” from that enormous glut, I’ll consider my time on earth to be a success.  Here I present my favorite videos of the year, as well as the “moments” — the brief glimpses of songs that keep me coming back over and over again.  Call it an addiction to goosebumps.


Favorite Videos


1. PSY – “Gangnam Style

I’ll never forget the first time I saw this video and thought it was the most amazing thing ever.  Then a couple weeks later, the rest of the world had the same realization.  Yes, I just hipster-cred’ed PSY.  Witty, hilarious and the catchiest thing to come out of Korea since plastic surgery, I’m still not sick of this song.  I know, I can’t believe it either.

2. Coldplay – “Princess of China

Shaw Bros x Coldplay x Rihanna = amazing. 克利斯 马丁 万岁!

3. Of Monsters and Men – “Little Talks

Gorgeous, magical little clip in the vein of Tim Pope’s old cutout videos (ref. Coldplay “Trouble“).  I’m hipster cred’ing this bitch too, as you can refer to my post from the beginning of the year.

4. Alt-J – “Fitzpleasure

Goofy band (in the vein of Battles and Hot Chip) greenlighting a dark, lush video dripping with sexual and religious imagery?  Sold.

5. Juliet – “My First Hardcore Song

I still get a kick out of this 8-year old Aussie growling about her dog Grommit and opening up a mosh pit on a trampoline with her stuffed animals.  She kicks more ass than many bands these days…

6. The Black Keys – “Lonely Boy

Chubby dancing nerd.  No, not Psy.  This is Carlton Banks at 50.  Amaaaaazing.

7. Bjork – “Mutual Core

This is what it looks like when rocks fuck and fight.  And vomit and bleed and rage.  Such an elemental and visceral experience for the hardest thing Bjork has recorded since Homogenic.  Churning, pulsing, and thrusting with buzzsaw hardcore breaks.  It’s amazing.  And all a little terrifying.

8. The Rolling Stones – “Doom and Gloom

Noomi Rapace’s boobs.  Because I didn’t see enough in the Millennium trilogy movies.

9. How To Destroy Angels – “Ice Age

Trent, wifey and his pals hole up in a cabin at the edge of the earth during the apocalypse, playing a sparse tune that is oddly warming and organic.

10. Lana Del Rey – “Blue Jeans



My Favorite Moments

These are the points of the song where I get chills.  Go crazy.  Giggle with anticipation.  Turn up the volume.  Cry uncontrollably.  Strip my clothes off.  Play the broom like a guitar.  Not all at the same time though…

  1. Joshua Ledet – “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World
    There’s a point at 2:32 where he unleashes such a pure and passionate “HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” that it just sends shocks of goosebumps through my brain.  Like every single time.  You can’t even fucking come close to this kid’s power.  Like Winehouse hijacking “Valerie” from the Zutons and Hendrix swiping “Watchtower” from Dylan, this will forever be his song (sorry James Brown).  Gatdayum! 
  2. Florence and the Machine – “No Light, No Light
    The moment at 3:07 with the synth line, when the heavens open and Flo belts out a sustained 15 second wail.  Fuck. Me.
  3. Bat for Lashes – “The Haunted Man
    At 2:54 (3:13 on the live video link), there comes a swell of low-end rumbling goodness that, if you’re sitting in a car, will surge from the bottoms of your feet up through the hairs on your head.  It is so blissful that sometimes I just sit and wait for it with my eyes closed (parked, of course).
  4. Muse – “Madness
    The prettiest delivery of any Muse love lyric.  Ever.  4:10 “I need your looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove” followed by a smooth and sweeping crash.  Thank you, Kate Hudson.
  5. Ellie Goulding – “Holding On
    The drop at 1:22.  Whoooooooooooosh.
  6. The Black Keys – “Little Black Submarines
    When it turns into a Led Zeppelin song at 2:08.  *Neil strips, grabs the broom-guitar, and tears up the kitchen*
  7. Regina Spektor – “Open
    At 2:38, something so jarring, so unexpected, and so uncomfortable happens, that your previous enjoyment of the song is suddenly shaken.  And yet it has its intended effect: you feel suffocated, gasping for air like a fish suffocating to death on dry land.
  8. Taylor Swift – “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
    The lines: “This is exhausting” (2:23) & “… with some indie record that’s much cooler than mine” (1:19)
  9. Howard Shore – “Song of the Lonely Mountain/Thorin’s Song
    When the dwarfs start singing.  Awesome.  And then the sweeping orchestra comes in a wave over the Misty Mountains.  Goosebumps.  I think I watched the trailer a couple hundred times just to keep hearing this segment.


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NEW Arcade Fire – Abraham’s Daughter

Oh hail the gods of music.  Just yesterday I was beseeching my favored deity for a taste of what Arcade Fire would be offering to the upcoming Hunger Games soundtrack.  And today it dropped.

One of two songs to appear on the film’s soundtrack, “Abraham’s Daughter” is a dark little dirge sung by Regine, my favorite Canadian sprite.  “Sprawl II” (or would it be III?) this ain’t.  It’s a brooding lament about good ol’ child sacrifice, which is something both Panem AND Abraham are familiar with.  It closes on a heavy tribal stomp that left me with a feeling of absolute dread.  If this is supposed to set the tone for the entire movie, then damn, this is going to be one hell of a ride.  Second contribution “Horn of Plenty” is said (by Win himself) to be Panem’s national anthem, so you know that shit is going to be grand, over-the-top and completely terrifying.  Just like Arcade Fire’s best torch songs.  Let the games begin!

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Of Monsters & Men

Get on board now, because this band is going places in 2012.

Of Monsters & Men is a humble little Icelandic band that have blown up over the past couple months, riding the success of their breakthrough single, “Little Talks.”  Thank God for my local alt-station, WFNX, otherwise I wouldn’t have heard this wonderful song.  I can’t stop listening to it.  Thus, I thrust it upon you now, dear reader.

The music is heartfelt and triumphant, catchy and extremely hummable.  Rolling Stone‘s David Fricke called them the “new Arcade Fire” (and Iceland’s Mumford and Sons), which I think is a perfect summation of this band for the curious listener.  If grand crescendos, textured instrumentation and happy chorus-chants are your thing, then you’ll be as happy as I am to have discovered a new band.

When I first read about them, the band’s name confused me.  I thought they were either a hardcore band who were trying too hard to be scary (“ooooh, Monsters!  We’re so tough and dangerous!!!”) or a pretentious Fueled By Ramen joke band who were trying too hard to sound edgy and literate (“let’s make a play on Steinbeck but change ‘mice’ to ‘monsters‘ because we’re so hip and chicks will dig it, bro.”).  Alas they are just a folk band from the land of Bjork and Sigur Ros, sans loopy freakishness and fake language bullshit.

For their upcoming tour, their Boston stop was upgraded from a tiny hall in hipsterville to our downtown House of Blues.  And their debut album, My Head Is An Animal, hasn’t even dropped yet (out in “early 2012” via UMG).  I can already taste the inevitable indie-blog backlash that’ll happen when the masses discover the band…

Enjoy the “Little Talks” video.  It’s a gorgeous and playful little thing, a refreshing artistic bow by a band that we’ll be hearing a lot of in the coming months.


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M.I.A., The Superbowl’s Real Winner

Well that was a disappointing game.  My beloved Pats lost.  Alas, we’re used to disappointment in Boston.  If anything could save my evening, it was Madonna’s halftime show.  Chock full of guests (Cee-Lo, Nicki Minaj, LMFAO), there was clearly one stand out performance: M.I.A.‘s middle finger.  It’s the one thing we’re all still talking about.

You don’t get much more rock ‘n roll than flipping off the entire country.  Why else was she there?  For Madonna’s new single?  Psshaw.  M.I.A. is smarter than that.  In addition to that delicious subversion, she’s also got her own music to promote.

The video for “Bad Girls” includes drifting cars, fire and booty-grinding.  Also, did I mention she’s in a vaguely Arab-esque setting with sand, oil pipes and a whole lot of veils and keffiyehs.  Yes, you read that right.  Leave it to Maya to keep tings political.  I love you, gurl.

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Super Madonna

In preparation for your Super Bowl parties this Sunday, here’s a taste of what’s to come while you’re replenishing your drinks, plates of pretzels and new dishes that you found on Martha Stewarts website during halftime.  Classic Nicki doing her best cheer, as well as M.I.A. back from her early retirement.


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Arcade Fire Live – Austin City Limits

Arcade Fire played my favorite gig of 2011 (and released my favorite album of 2010).  PBS recently aired their visit to the Austin City Limits show.  Naturally, it is awesome.  They have that same manic, perform-like-it’s-our-last-gig energy that you know and love.  Only you’re seeing it through a woefully small frame.

If you were lucky enough to catch them on the current tour in support of The Suburbs, relive a few of your favorites from that setlist.  If you have yet to see them in concert, here is a great — albeit less energetic — way to get a taste.  Like hockey, why is it that things from Canada are best experienced in person?

See, there’s still very good reason to support public broadcasting.

Click here for ARCADE FIRE LIVE at Austin City Limits.  And then put on some padding, because you will certainly be concussed after “Month of May.”

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The Kills – The Last Goodbye (Video)

True fact:  The Kills are cooler than you.

Over the course of four albums, the duo have crafted dark, sludgy tunes that make me want to turn in my life as a well-behaved and polite suburban boy for a life of rock excess, including, but not limited to:  tight pants, drunken sex, drug binges, supermodels and unwashed hair.

Their latest — Blood Pressures — is a lot grimier than predecessor Midnight Boom.  It sounds a little dangerous and foreboding.  There’s some psychedelic voodoo bubbling beneath the surface.  (For starters, I recommend my favorites off the new album: “Future Starts Slow” and “Baby Says“, the latter reminding me of my Stones favorite, “Gimme Shelter“.)

So when “The Last Goodbye” pops up, it’s a surprise.  The song is pretty.  It’s heartbreaking.  It’s a weeper.  They just released an intimate video to accompany the track, giving fans a peek at Jamie and Alison fooling around in front of the camera.  It’s sweet.  I wish I could hang out with them, share some hugs, maybe grab a coffee, chat about the economy and the housing market.  Give them tips on a good shampoo regimen.

Video can be viewed at

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