2015…twenty fifteen…the 2K15….
I guess everyone went into the year with the exact same mentality of “Ok, last year sucked, this year is going to be totally better right?” Well, 2015 never really got off the ground from the Paris shooting one week in, multiple wars in multiple places, civil unrest and riots in America, but don’t worry folks, certain politicians are here to make America Great Again! I’m not here to share my views on anything affecting the world, so I won’t…because we (society) got Star Wars and Steve Harvey memes, and then apparently since those are the real issues (along with Starbucks cups), it’s all good, right? Well, we did get Pluto, and that was kind of cool.
This year continued the trend of pop videos being the only thing that can have a budget and the only thing people are going to talk about. If I read how great Rihanna’s “Bitch better have my money” or Adele’s whatever is, I’m…I’m beyond just rolling my eyes now. I’m pretty sure the tweens just watch Justin Bieber videos over and over, they don’t read entertainment weekly articles saying how great the video is. So, why do we bother focusing only on the pop music? It’s lazy really. I seriously doubt if you don’t write about Taylor Swift for a week, your clicks are going to go down 90%. There’s a big rumble about how music is on its last legs since no one wants to buy music, go to shows, or wear the t-shirts, so why bother making new things? It’s sound logic, but it costs nothing to write this. So why people want to spend their time shooting fish in a barrel by going “hmmm…most watched videos must mean they’re the best videos!” Well, I steered away from that to find videos that are worth watching, or at least amusing to me. My opinion is totally valid. I’m a co-host on an NBA podcast on a wrestling site (Editor’s note: pop culture with a hefty dose of wrestling)! I mean, I’m on the internet and only my opinion matters. For reference, this article was not written by me, but rather by InternetUser22442. Yeah…total anonymity.
So, on to the videos of 2015. Now that i got the usual pop music rant out of the way, let me say this – I see a lot (really, a good number) of top lists include Drake’s “Hotline Bling” with the description of ‘It inspired countless numbers of vines’. So that’s what videos are good for now- copying them? Are you serious? the video is just him dancing in a stupid turtleneck sweater in random coloured rooms. That’s a video of the year? Because you can do it at home? So what’s #1 on your list? Watch me Whip Watch me Nene? Seriously? Other people not featured as usual are Adele, Biebs, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Missy Elliott, and anything in between that. On to the list.
The honorary memorial RIP Dusty Rhodes off to the Pay Windah in the Sky category. True story. Back when I was a kid, we only had one TV, and as you know with one TV you need to pick and choose your battles, and all my dad did was watch TV. Like he’d come home from work and that would be it. I fought, and ultimately won, the right to watch WCW Saturday Night because Dusty Rhodes’ nonsensical ramblings about Plundah and Clubberin’ and Pay Windahs were just funny to me. Yeah, I watched WWF Mania and WWF Challenge (or was it Action?) on Saturday Morning, but at night it was all about Saturday Night. Yeah, the wrestling was really bad and featured a lot of scrubs, but Dusty always entertained me.
The Mountain Goats – Ballad of Chavo Guerrero Jr
The Mountain Goats are an indie rock band from South California who released a wrestling-themed album entitled “Beat the Champ” this past year, and this video splices together 1980’s era quality footage with everyone extolling the virtues of Mr. Guerrero.
The WTF Category:
The usually popular ‘lets just make weird shit for the sake of weird shit’ has produced yet again.
Chemical Brothers – Sometimes I Feel So Deserted
Did you know the Chemical Brothers were still around? Of course you did, you’re an expert, just like you know the Prodigy is still around and both had new albums out this year. Well, not if you listen to terrestrial radio where all you have is Block Rockin’ Beats and Firestarter respectively. Did you know that Block Rockin’ Beats is 18 years old already? Yeah, time flies. This is, as said before, a very strange video about robot hunters. Sure. And a robot that’s being chased. I’m not going to spoil it, because the video is worth watching until the end, but…i don’t want to be all pro-human and all, but should that robot come off as sympathetic at all? Maybe in the end, maybe shouldn’t it be hunted? I don’t know, again I don’t want to sound all robotist? humanist?
The Prodigy – Wild Frontier
Did you know the Prodigy were still around? Of course you did, you’re an expert, just like you know Chemical Brothers are still around. The Prodigy released their latest album, The Day is My Enemy, to virtually no US fanfare. #1 in the UK, but #2 in the US…dance charts. #127 Billboard. In the days of no one buying music, even less bought this. Which is a shame. Although I didn’t like it as much as their last release “Invaders must die,” I thought it was a solid outing for the one guy who makes the music and two others who just…stand there. No, they’re in like over half of the songs. In this stop motion video, we have some animal organ harvesters who meet their match when they come up against one of the animaniacs and a moose in a blazer, and then there’s of course a twist ending, and…what was I watching again?
David Bowie – Blackstar
No, i’m not going to do the same intro again. But…this is for his new album out in 2016 (The song is…not so good. He sounds like an old lady now). I am not going to joke when I say this is my honest synopsis of this 10 minute video directed by a Swede who directed two episodes of Breaking bad. Here’s my best shot.
Some random alien race finds the body of an astronaut and uses his skull as a holy relic. Meanwhile, David Bowie is a blind preacher who’s job is to train blind alien scarecrows that are blind as some sort of first defense system against this moss monster? Either that or they’re just live sacrifices for said monster. And if that’s not too much WTF for you, he doubles down by seemingly changing the song in the middle. THAT’S NOT THE SAME SONG. WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS VIDEO? WHAT DID I JUST WATCH? ARGH!
The simple gimmick category
Shred Kelly – Sing to the Night
I admit i’m a sucker for videos that are done in one shot. They’re innovative, elaborate, and not just Drake dancing in a purple room. This year’s candidates come to us from the very Canadian and unfortunately named Shred Kelly. This one shot video shows the band and friends skiing down a hill, and yeah, you can tell not every beat hits the mark (I mean they’re doing ski jumps and all) and the outtakes show how hard it is to pull off a one shot video. But it’s a fun little thing. Right. All the videos can’t be doom and gloom (coming up later). Two interesting things. 1. The guy in the red suit looks like a mix of Marshall from How I Met your Mother and Will Forte. 2. If you watch the outtakes, you can see they did it once in regular winter clothing. So, they had to do it all once and then do it all again in cheesy 80’s attire. Rough. .. oh yeah, and 3. What a horrible name.
Health – Stonefist (live)
Ok, this isn’t technically an official music video, but a live clip. But here’s the thing that impresses me. This was done in one single shot – just one camera in the back of the club. Then, they can just zoom in and move the video around for the edits, with zero quality reduction. Remember 20 years ago when Mario 64 was high technology because it was a 360 degree camera? Yeah, well, look at how things have changed. The detail on this camera is amazing. As for the band, Health, you may know them from the Max Payne 3 soundtrack, but they used to be sort of an experimental noise band, but their new album Death Magic is definitely more accessible.
Bjork – Stonemilker
From fist to milker, we continue the stone theme, and for once we don’t have Bjork in the WTF category. Er…i mean, did you know that Bjork is still making music? No…did you know that Bjork is 50? Hard to believe. But what I like about is the video is that it’s a 360 panoramic video and you can drag it around. Granted there’s not much going on in the video and the background is minimal, but you know what? It’s something different.
One of this year’s more popular themes: The Talent Show Category.
For some reason, apparently kids talent shows were extremely popular this year, and i found not one, but three videos with the exact same concept, school talent shows. I don’t know, maybe there was a month where the video for Blind Melon’s “No Rain” made its rounds? Shrug?
Mark Ronson – Feel So Right (ft Mystikal)
It’s good to see Mystikal back. He’s been too quiet since his release from jail five years ago.
Ghost – Cirice
Ok, we had our normal over the top swagger one, now it’s time for the evil carrie horror twist. Ghost (formerly known Ghost BC in America due to band trademarks) is a swedish art-metal group that involves an evil pope with a ghoul backing band. Each album gets an updated version of the lead- Papa Emeritus. One interesting fact about this album- the producer of this album also “co-wrote” songs for Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, and Madonna. One of these things are not like the other? Ya?
Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment – Sunday Candy
Did you know Chance the Rapper is still… ok, I’ll stop. Did you know is real name is Chancellor? I bet you didn’t. So, this checks off two boxes on the list, one for being done all in one shot, and two for being in the talent show vein. Ok it’s more of a high school play, but what is a play, a group talent show. Anywho, it’s super wholesome ABC Family fun where Chance talks about how great his grandma is.
Now it’s time for some depressing videos! Cagtegory. I had like 5 videos here, but that’s just too much. So, apologies
Thundercat – Them Changes
This is a depressing song about heartbreak and an equally depressing song about a ninja who was forced to go into early retirement? That’s probably the most upbeat synopsis I could give.
MIA – Borders
Social Injustices, international edition. Did you know she’s 40? MIA hangs out with some Fugees, and I’m not talking about Wyclef…maybe Pras. What ever happened to him post Ghetto Superstar?
Vincent Staples – Senorita
Social Injustices, domestic edition. We are the 99%
Now that’s that’s done, we have come to what I think should be the video of the year. I’m not saying that it is, but it should be.
Jilk and Haiku Salut – Periscopes
So this is a song you’ve never heard and a video that has next to no clicks. Drake has over 250 million views…this has 6000. Maybe the 20 year old version of myself would go “It’s just some dumb kids playing with powder.” This video features two things and two things only: simplicity and joy. There are no bugattis, no bottles of crystal, no social injustice or discrimination…just simplicity and joy. I know there’s someone out there who’s going to bitch and moan about ain’t no joy for the ___________, but you know what. Fuck you. That’s what. Let the kids have their moment.
I also have a NBA podcast with one Mr. Andrew Riche, but don’t hold that against him. There you can here more negativity and me mispronounce all the names. As always, i thank you for reading.