Last week was Thanksgiving, so this week’s list actually collects two weeks’ worth of videos. I figured this wouldn’t be much of a problem, since labels and publicists tend to crank out way less stuff during the holidays. I was wrong. The past two weeks have yielded a whole lot of good music videos, and I probably could’ve expanded this week’s list to 10 if I’d felt like doing extra work. (I didn’t feel like doing extra work.) So allow me to shout out the one video that didn’t make this list but probably should’ve: Grant Singer’s clip for GTA’s “Red Lips (Skrillex Remix).” What an awesome video! But there were five that I liked better, and they’re all below.
5. Dev09 – “You Made Me” (Dir. Brett Haley)
Sorry, Ted Leo, but Chisel is officially no longer the coolest music thing ever to come from South Bend, Indiana. Dev09 struts through the machine shop and steals everything.
4. CL – “Hello Bitches” (Dir. Parris Goebel)
I once found this MC Hammer live-in-concert VHS video at a swap meet, and it had this quote on the cover that looked like it came from a movie critic: “One of the freshest dancers in the world!” or something like that. It didn’t come from a critic. It came from Bobby Brown. And I remember thinking, “Why would that motivate anyone to buy this thing?” Watching this CL video, I kind of get it. CL is one of the freshest dancers in the world. (I bought the Hammer video, obviously.)
3. Tame Impala – “The Less I Know The Better” (NSFW-ish) (Dir. CANADA)
It’s that age-old story: A love triangle between a boy, a girl, and the slam-dunking gorilla mascot from Master P’s “Make ‘Em Say Uhh!” video.
2. Chvrches – “Empty Threat” (Dir. Austin Peters)
A little-known fact that this video brings to light: High-school goths are incredibly fun people. (Or, at least, that’s how I remember them from high school.)
1. M.I.A. – “Borders” (Dir. M.I.A.)
An absolute motherfucking masterpiece, a vivid vision that could not possibly be more urgent and of-the-moment. And even while she’s saying something that needs to be said — people on the run from their homes are human beings who need our help, not fucking vermin, basically — she manages to look like the coolest person in the universe.