This is the time of year when everyone gets very confused and worried about who’s going to win big at the Grammys, and we are not facing down the sad likelihood that the music industry is about to anoint Macklemore as a 12 Years A Slave-esque juggernaut. So I’m sure you won’t be shocked to learn that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Can’t Hold Us” is up for that Best Music Video Grammy. Its mind-boggling competition: Jack White’s “I’m Shakin’,” Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie,” Jay Z’s interminable art-gallery self-flattery monument “Picasso Baby,” and Capital Cities’ “Safe And Sound” (which has swing dancing in it). Yee. Someone, I suppose, had to make the VMA nominating committee look like it has its finger on the pulse. I’ll be pulling for Timberlake, mostly because I can at least figure out the logic behind his nomination. Anyway, a lot of people made good music videos this week, and none of them will ever be nominated for a Grammy. We’ve got five of them below.

5. Kwes. – “Rollerblades” (Dir. Ian Pons Jewell)

Just going to put this out there: If you’re going to be in a room with an overly demonstrative rollerskating modern-dance type, maybe you want to rethink your jewelry choices.

4. Cass McCombs – “Unearthed” (Dir. Eric Fensler)

For the first minute-plus, you’ll be bored. Then you’ll be confused. Then you’ll spend a few minutes trying to mentally sort out what you’ve just seen. Best visual poem about the awe-inspiring indifference of nature since Gravity.

3. Black Lips – “Boys In The Wood” (NSFW) (Dir. Matt Swinsky & the ATL Twins)

The Black Lips’ whole troublemaker schtick has threatened staleness for a very long time, so they deserve credit for recruiting the right collaborators. The ATL Twins are Harmony Korine’s go-to goons, a sort of non-rapping Southern American Die Antwoord, and their presence here lends the Lips a sort of hallucinatory nastiness that goes with their gutter garage rock like champagne with strawberries.

2. Savages – “Strife” (Dir. Antoine Carlier)

My dad, in an effort to force me to think, made me read The Stranger when I was in seventh grade. I got bored and stopped reading even before the beach murder. If this video had existed back then, my dad could’ve just showed it to me and gotten the same intended effect, and I would’ve actually made it to the end.

1. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting On You)” (Dir. Jay Buim)

A loving, empathetic, beautifully photographed look at an entire way of life, one that goes surprisingly well with the band’s slow-rolling triumph. When’s the last time you saw someone sincerely praying in an indie rock video?

Comments (4)
  1. I’ve been listening to A LOT of Future Islands ever since the Coachella line-up was announced.

    I briefly listened to “In Evening Air” a few years back after a close friend highly recommended them to me. I remember enjoying it, but it wasn’t until I returned to it this month that it REALLY connected with me. That album is incredible! Top to bottom album perfection. I was able to burn both it and “On The Water” onto one CD that I’m currently jamming in my car, but it’s tough to not replay “In Evening Air” over and over.

    Either way, I knew they had a new album coming out but THAT music video sort of cemented in my mind that listening to lots of Future Islands was exactly what I should be doing right now. The subject material literally hits close to home. When I leave work this evening, I could drive less than an hour and see something very similar to what is featured in that video. Of course yours truly is far from what’s featured in that video (aside from the blue jeans) but it represents a lot of what I’ve grown up with where I live.

    ANYWAY! Future Islands. Great band. Great #1 pick Tom. Can’t wait to hear their new album and then see them live for the first time. (Sort of hitting myself now that I missed them when they rolled through my state awhile back… but the Coachella setting will likely make it an even more electric show).

  2. OK, so you’re really blowing off The Stranger in your comments about the Savages’ video (which is an incredible video!). Let me tell you…I know it’s a high school staple now, but that thin novel is actually pretty potent if you read it the right way. This will sound silly, but it was just one of the factors that pushed me to leave behind my life in Indiana and move to New York.

    Anyway, Future Islands is/are incredible. Last two albums are classic (as mentioned by raptor jesus). And I have super high hopes for this new album (that and Wild Beasts are my most anticipated omg). And…I’m seeing them both in the coming months. So…thanks to Camus and other things for getting me to NYC.

  3. 0. Real Estate – Talking Backwards

  4. gotta throw in some love for the video for eating out’s “that’s my man”, which is just excellent

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