By opening the polls yesterday to the most important vote of 2008, we understandably set off a firestorm of doubt, unrest, and confusion: Best Video Of The Year? But who remembers all the videos? Well we remember all the videos. That’s because we blog. It’s understandable that, if you don’t spend your days resizing YouTube embed codes, you might not remember every video to hit the internet this year. Also it’s understandable that, if you’ve been on the internet this year, you’ve come to think of most “indie”-oriented videos as cheaply constructed press-cycle-extending promo material. HOWEVER I think you’re being a little cynical and depressed about this whole thing, and someone has to win this category, and really at the end of the year there were a few clips worth remembering. To help jog the brains, here’s 11 that, while maybe not the best, might remind you of the good times we had together in four-minute intervals in 2008:
Chad VanGaalen – “Molten Light”
I don’t know if Soft Airplane will get the Best Album attention it deserves, but I think that’s just the plight of the VanGaalen. Anyway this is a category where he could place well. As he has in the past, Chad does all the animation for this video, creating an entire audio-visual universe in this wonderfully bizarre, Edgar Allen Poe-esque slice of morbid beauty. (The song is a gem, too.)
Gnarls Barkley – “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul”
Now I won’t tell you which video I’m voting for Best Album Gummy, but I am voting for this video for Best Video Gummy. The downcast and cavernous “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul” was Odd Couple’s finest moment from the start, but when Jorma from Lonely Island revealed the complexion of his bleeding heart to Waverly from Friday Night Lights, and it made like a California Raisin with the voice of Cee-Lo Green, I immediately counted Chris Milk amongst my favorite directors working today.
Devendra Banhart (& Natalie Portman) – “Carmensita”
More like “Bhagavad Gita.” These two may be over, but they’ll always have this sweet piece of sacrilege to remember their time together. Hindu scholars were up in arms at Devendra’s portrayal of these sacred deities, and asked Natalie for an apology (interestingly, not one of Banhart). Wouldn’t take a joy trip to India anytime soon if I were them. (Maybe not one of the best videos of the year, but I certainly thought it one of the more memorable. I have my reasons.)
Radiohead – “House Of Cards”
Radiohead. Lasers. “3D plotting technologies collecting information about the shapes and relative distances of objects.” This one was a mouthful, and fun to look at, and it had a screensaver, too. They’ve tied up the nerd-vote from so many angles with this one.
Vampire Weekend – “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”
Ezra plays the Andrew McCarthy role, Rostam and the Chrisses play the other members of Vampire Weekend. The first half is John Hughesy — all mansions and lives of leisure and sitting on is-your-bed-made, with girls pretty in pink — the second half is “Thriller,” if imagined by Robert Smith.Weezer – “Pork N Beans”
Oh, hai YouTube.
Well, that’s just to get the conversation going. Consider this the dedicated Best Video lobbying thread. Lobby away! (Add links to vids to make it more internetty.)