So here, in ascending order of awesomeness, are our picks for the top 10 videos of '09:
10) Peter Bjorn & John - "Nothing To Worry About"
They'll probably forever be known as "that whistling band" from Sweden, whose "Young Folks" made them the ultimate one-hit wonders of the indie-rock set. But what PB&J really should be remembered for is their slice-of-life mini-documentary of Winehouse-pompadoured, leatherclad, Tokyo teddyboys busting a move in Yoyogi Park. These breakdancers are the young folks who really caught our eye in 2009:
9) Blake Lewis - "Heartbreak On Vinyl" (Unofficial Video)
This wasn't a "real" video, but rather a fan creation for the title track off the American Idol's underrated sophomore album. But Blake's ode to old-school, sadly shuttered record stores sounded just like a lost classic off a John Hughes soundtrack, so it was perfectly complemented by his loving fan's expertly edited medley of footage from some of the greatest music-minded flicks of the '80s and '90s, including Spinal Tap, Pretty In Pink, High Fidelity, Fast Times, Airheads, and Empire Records. The result was like "Heartbreak On Celluloid":
8) Lady Sovereign - "I Got You Dancing"
The self-described "biggest midget in the game" returned with a vengeance in 2009 with her eerily perfect video homage to The Warriors. Yes, people, THE WARRIORS! Make way for the S-O-V, because this video just RULED in 2009:
7) Datarock - "Give It Up"
These tracksuited Norwegians actually shot this video before Michael Jackson's tragic passing, but their witty "Beat It"-inspired clip turned out, ironically, to be one of the coolest King Of Pop tributes of the year nonetheless:
6) Coldplay - "Life In Technicolor II"
Everything is better when puppets are involved. This is just a FACT. And this fact is especially factual when it comes to music. Various musicmakers have featured puppets in their videos, but Coldplay's Thunderbirds-meets-Punch & Judy sendup is now officially one of the best to date. The only thing that could've made it better would have been a Joe Satriani marionette bumrushing Chris Martin's puppet show in plagiarism protest:
5) Tinted Windows - "Kind Of A Girl"
With a lineup featuring members of Smashing Pumpkins, Hanson, Fountains Of Wayne, and Cheap Trick, powerpop supergroup Tinted Windows could have made some big-budget blockbuster video like the ones they'd made in the past with their respective A-list bands. But sometimes it's better to keep things simple. So Tinted Windows instead introduced themselves to the world via a cheaply shot, fake '80s public access TV show, Rock After Dark. And it was so totally rad, we still wish the clip's monotonal star, Godwin Alexander, was a real person--so we could hire him to be the new Yahoo! Music veejay. Rock After Dark truly needs to become a real TV show in 2010:
4) Shakira - "She Wolf"
Just what was it about this worthy-of-full-screening video that made it SO compulsively viewable? The flesh-colored leotard? The uni-legged unitard? The cage? The quadruple-jointed yoga poses? The underground lava tunnel? The "ah-ooooooo"? Hmmm...maybe a combo of all of the above. All we know is, we...Could. Not. Stop. Watching. This:
3) BPA - "He's Frank"
Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, has made some of the most iconic videos of all time. And in his newest side-project BPA, he continued to impress with "He's Frank," featuring the vocals of the real Iggy Pop and the uncanny puppet likeness of a fake, felt Iggy Pop. (Again, in case our #6 entry did not make this clear: PUPPETS RULE.) The Stooges are finally getting inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2010, but we think Iggy's immortalization in this hilarious 2009 clip is, frankly, a far more honorable tribute:
2) Lady Gaga - "Bad Romance"
Lady Gaga's most over-the-top video yet took place in a bath-house. So why did watching it make us feel so...unclean? Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water, here was the Fame Monster herself, parading through a maze of stark white subterranean shower stalls rocking a series of creepy masks, razorblade sunglasses, barbed-wire press-on nails, and CGI'd anime eyes...and freaking us out so much, we may never bathe again:
1) Mika - "We Are Golden"
With the help of mad-genius director Jonas Akerlund (famed for Madonna's "Ray Of Light," Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi," and Primal Scream's "Country Girl"), British fop-popper Mika made his big bid for U.S. superstardom by dancing around a teenhood bedroom in his underwear. Maybe it alienated some conservative American viewers, but the video perfectly captured the effervescent mood of the song. Because seriously, who didn't want to dance around the house in one's skivvies to "We Are Golden" in 2009? It was the year's the ideal pure pop song--as if the Bay City Rollers recorded a disco mashup of Annie Lennox's "Walking On Broken Glass" and Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is A Place On Earth"--and it was so shiny and happy, we're still hoping that the cast of Glee will perform it when the series returns in April 2010. But until then, we'll just be watching Mika boogie in his boxers, over and over and over:
- Arts & Entertainment