Luckily, the internets has picked up the torch that MTV and VH-1 abandoned for pregnant teenagers and rehab shows. The #1 video of the year, as you'll see, epitomizes the influence that the internet (a.k.a. the only place to see music videos now) has had on the medium.
So let's get to it! I give you the 15 best music videos of 2010:
#15: David Crowder Band "SMS [Shine]"
Remember when you were 7 and you had used up all the templates that came with your Lite-Brite? And you came up with your own design? Didn't you feel like such an artist? Well, after watching this video, you'll realize that the smiley-face sun you made was crap. Check out the "making of" feature here.
#14: TIE between Local Natives "World News" and Mumford & Sons "The Cave"
I don't know which band came up with the idea of resort hotel staff lip dubbing their song first...but I think we can agree that they BOTH stole their aesthetic from Wes Anderson films.
#13: Broken Bells "The Ghost Inside"
I prefer this fan-made video to the official video, which is pretty great in it's own right. But come on. Hall & Oates! That beats the chesty gal from Mad Men in a sci-fi tragedy any day.
#12: The Boy Least Likely To "George and Andrew"
While we're on the 80's male pop duos kick, let's talk about Wham!.Not since the cast of Seinfeld fictionally reunited on Curb Your Enthusiasm has a fictional reunion...well, ever happened. And what a coincidence that Andrew is still wearing his "Choose Life" shirt!
#11: Hanson "Thinking "Bout Something"
You're damn right I'm putting a Hanson video on the list. Deal with it. It's sort of a cross between a homage to pawn shop scene in The Blues Brothers and the parade scene from Ferris Beuller's Day Off. Plus Weird Al is inexplicably playing the tambourine! I dare you not to love this video.
#10: Ted Leo & the Pharmacists "Bottled In Cork"
TC wrote about this a while back. I'll let his review do the talking.
#9: Janelle Monáe (feat. Big Boi) "TightRope"
This is more about the song than the video. Still, both One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and It's Kind Of a Funny Story would have been well served to have an asylum dance-off.
#8: B.o.B. (feat. Rivers Cuomo) "Magic"
This was my favorite pop song of 2010. I still love it. And the video is just as good. Sexy Fruity Pebbles in the bathroom. Bizarro Being John Malkovich-like plot. Rivers Cuomo wearing a puffy vest from 2001. Classic.
#7: Cee Lo Green "Fuck You"
I'm not the biggest fan of the Happy Days-ish video. I prefer the text-only version. There's something mesmerizing about it (did you know that the third "oooo" in the chorus is spelled 4 "o"s, not 3?!).I mean, honestly, this song is clearly about the words. Oh, and you have to check out Whitney Avalon's reply, "Clearly Obsessed"
#6: Ok Go "This Too Shall Pass"
Of course they're on the list. And while I have a soft spot for their alternative version that features and is played by the Notre Dame Marching Band, you just can't beat a Rube Goldberg machine. It's the rules.
#5: Kanye West "Runaway"
I've been rooting for Kanye. He gets picked on my bullies like Taylor Swift and Matt Lauer. Jerks. And yet, while everyone else is declaring his new album the best of the year, I've been left a bit disappointed. Still, his short film about a Phoenix falling from the sky (and a giant paper mache Michael Jackson head?) is epic indeed.
#4: Arcade Fire "The Suburbs"
From the best album of 2010 (my opinion...sorry Kanye), and the best music video director around (my opinion...sorry Hype Williams), this video reminds me of the climactic scene in E.T., but without that older brother with the giant nostrils...or the iconic red hoodie...or the alien.
#3: The Black Keys "Tighten Up"
I first saw them when they opened for Guided By Voices NYE show in Indianapolis in 2002 or so. This year, the Black Keys have deservedly blown up. And as adorable as the kids are in the video, I think my favorite moment is the sage advice given in the first few seconds...that when your playmate partner smells like ranch dressing, you just hold your breathe or something.
#2: Vampire Weekend "Giving Up the Gun"
So many great things in this video. RZA reffing tennis. Joe Jonas wiping his hand off after his post-loss handshake. Evil Jake Gyllenhaal taking a swig of booze before and during his match. Coach Lil' Jon. The flaming tennis racket. The boom box playing "Holiday." It took a technological spectacle at #1 to knock this out of the top spot.
#1: Arcade Fire "We Used to Wait"
I've probably watched this video using roughly 20 different locations. If you're unfamiliar, you start at the video's website. You enter an address, preferably your childhood home, to get the most of the nostalgic/tragic/creepy feel they're aiming for. And then you watched a hooded figure run around your old haunt while trees begin to sprout. It's nuts/awesome.