I don't watch many music videos. I don't own a TV, but I suppose that's not much of an excuse, seeing as there aren't many music videos on TV anyway. I guess I could have gone to a couple of fancy French blogs but I sort of have a vinyl problem, and that takes time.
But that doesn't mean I didn't see enough videos this year to make a list. This isn't a “best music videos of the year” list, this is more like an extended 2008 Cargo brainfart, with heavy weighting towards things I've seen (and remembered) in the last two weeks. In no particular order:
Alessane Sy, "Yeye Boyel"
There are dozens of great videos where I found this one (akwaabamusic.com), but this one epitomizes what I love about African music. It's just so goddamn, motherfucking, happy. This dude is going to try and make this seem like a hip-hop video—girls dancing, slow-mo shots of his Lexus, and he can't pull it off. Why? He's smiling, everyone is dancing and this ends up being a better video than anything BET has screened in years.
Shad, "The Old Prince Still Lives at Home"
Those Brits have such a wacky sense of humour! But seriously, did Will Smith just become a big deal or something over there? Between this and Wiley's "Summertime," I get the feeling there's something in the water.
Fleet Foxes, "White Winter Hymnal"
I don't love this band or think that they made the best album of the year or anything like that; in fact, if you try and step back and objectively describe them with one word, it would have to be creepy. The claymation doesn't help, and I don't know why a bunch of white, long-haired hippies singing high harmonies scares me, but this song is undeniable either way.
Radiohead, "Reckoner" and "House of Cards"
I'm just going to come out and say this. I'm a bad person. I never really listened to In Rainbows. I mean, I did. I downloaded it just like everyone else, but in all the bluster over how monumental it was, I couldn't bring myself to care about the music. But Radiohead drags you in, kicking and screaming, and these videos are no exception. Both are real trips—intelligent, innovative and visually stunning.
Wiley, "Wearing My Rolex" (Heather Mills and Paul McCartney version)
Okay, so I'm a sucker for anything having to do with The Beatles and to a lesser extent, clever editing. I can't fathom why anyone would put something like this together, but it's refreshing to know I'm not the only one that likes to make Heather Mills jokes. The only one under 25 maybe, but I'm not alone!
Flying Lotus, "Parisian Goldfish"
If you are on LSD and reading Splice right now I sincerely apologize; This video will ruin your trip. Or your life. Really, it's terrifying, and oh so appropriate accompaniment to Flylo's bizarre beats.
BPA featuring David Byrne & Dizzee Rascal, "Toe Jam"
This seems like it could be a Spike Jonze video or something. It's very clever, but the gimmick wouldn't work if the song wasn't so weird. David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal? Is no collaboration too ridiculous to imagine?
Wale, "Nike Boots"
Ah Wale at Howard's Homecoming. That's a big deal huh? I like Wale but I really just included this cause it will upset my friend Gabriel Baker that Wale is on my list but not his. And of all the videos I've seen of his over the last year (50? 100?) this one is my favorite. It really gives you the sense that Wale is happy with what Wale has accomplished. And he should be.
King Ayibosa, "Look Ma Shoe"
This is another great example of the indomitable African spirit. Look at ma shoe! The Fader blog mentioned telling everyone in the office to look at their shoes for days after seeing this, I say we try and make it a national trend. In fact, I think pointing at things in general and loudly announcing their presence could be the next teen fad.
T-Pain feat. Lil Wayne, "Can't Believe It"
I really, truly, un-ironically love this video. The song, not so much, but the video is mesmerizing. Seriously, just watch it.
Some random kids doing Lynryd Skynyrd
This might be like Time magazine pulling some bullshit and calling "you" the person of the year, but for me, this is why music in 2008 is so exciting. The Internet has changed everything. Post your creepy-yet-talented, kids singing classic rock covers on YouTube, and it might get 150,000 views. Hell, their version of "California Dreaming" has half a million views. Start clicking on related videos, go down the rabbit hole, you never know what you might find. This could have been 1000 videos.