December 29, 2006

AtD Announces: The Notable Music Videos of 2006: Official Nominating Thread

As 2006 draws to a close and we reflect and resolve in anticipation of a new year, new hopes, and dreams yet to be fulfilled, I thought we'd take a moment on the old 'log to visually look back at the year that was, with the best music videos of 2006! Now this is by no means a new idea, but thanks to the advent of YouTube and Digital Democracy, we can go about this in an entirely new and interactive way. Before we get to the good stuff I thought it would be useful to talk about what actually makes a music video one of the 'best'. There is no real SOP here, so let's improvise:

Criteria for evaluating the quality of music videos:

1) Originality. Art eternally strives to reinvent itself in a world with finite tools in which to create it. The struggle to be fresh and different among legions of influences and imitations is ultimately a large part of what defines it's place in the grand scheme of things. No one really enjoys seeing arbitrary shots of a band performing against interspersed sprinklings of bad dancing or pretentious non sequiturs, do they?

2) Audio/Visual Congruity. If you're going to bother putting the time and energy into developing a visual medium to convey your musical message, wouldn't you say it ought to be appropriate? Although the utterly irrational and absurdest vid can be fun and humorous, it's generally aimless and unwelcoming. Go for the themes, the style, the flair; let the pictures carry the notes on wings of glory and not on broken backs up a mountain of defeat.

3) Coherence. Sometimes it's good to blow people's minds. Most of the time. however, it's good just to be understood. While the occasional foray into the experimental realm of existentialism and atmosphere sometimes make a powerful statement, it should meet the fundamental expectation of narrative; that is, it should weave a story or a unified idea in some way. Even Tool's infamously bizarre visual constructions contain a sense of character movement and purposeful events. The simple goal here is to not try too hard to be the Pablo Picasso of the music video world.

4) Integrity. Not all bands, in fact a good number of them, probably cannot afford to make a professionally scripted, shot, and edited video. That's okay. What's not okay is throwing together some loose ends into an imploding bomb of sloppiness and carelessness. Much effort with little to fund it does not necessarily spell logistical nightmare. One only need look at OK GO's instantly cult classic "Here it Goes Again" for proof of the fact that rudimentary can go a long, long way.

I don't portend to be an expert of the directorial and production world who is readily qualified to speak to the inherent objective characteristics of a given video. So if you want to disagree, agree, add your own thoughts and comments, or slap me across the face, you can do all but the last (I'm behind a computer screen and therefore inevitably distantly removed from you). So while you're debating the merits of that, what were the standout, provocative, sexy, innovative, and intense videos of 2006? Alternatively, and perhaps more amusingly so, what were the most atrocious, banal, preposterous, and unwatchable videos of the year? Let's do it all. We'll use the comments as the official nominating thread. The contributors of the site (as well as any of our faithful or new readers) are welcome to throw their ingredients into the pot and then we can soufflé the sucker and see what turns out at the end. Ultimately we'll chose the ten best, because our opinions rock, and we'll also chose the worst. We might even choose to give some videos their own made-up honors such as 'Best use of the color brown.' You never know.

In the end we'll have some kind of list-thingy with YouTube links, and commentaries, and maybe even some other fun goodies. Think of it as the VMA's (without MTV) meets the Mystery Science Theater 3000 of musical motion pictures. Or something like that.

As this will be the last post of 2006 to this site (as far as I know...), May you all have a Happy, Safe, Blessed, and Inebriated New Year. We'll catch you bright and early in 2007 on the flipside of this post. For now on to the comments, nominations, and flame-wars!


RyTunes said...

This will possibly be the first of many comments.

My first nominee is OK Go "Here It Goes Again", but I think that's probably been nominated a few times over. So my vote goes there. Reasons being it being one of the most original videos, performed by the band on a minimal budget, and may be single-handedly responsible for the furthering of a band's career. Plus, it paved the way for the internet - YouTube in particular - as being a positive and powerful marketing tool.

My next video may be debatable, even by me as time goes by if I see something better. But for now, I submit to you "Shoot The Runner" by Kasabian. I submit this to you as it is I think a successful homage to the 60's Beatles psychadelia, and yet completely different than any of its contemporaries in its use of paint splatter and color. It is an Andy Warhol of music videos, a possible example of music video as high art, and I think deserves much credit. More to come. Still debating on if "Diary Of Jane" by Breaking Benjamin is a worthy contender.

Doughnutman said...

My nominees:

Ft. Minor featuring Holly Where'd you go.

Disturbed Land of confusion

PATD - I write sins not tragedies

Gnarlys Barkley - Crasy

Justin Timberlake - sexy back

Dixie Chicks not ready to make nice

Weird Al white and nerdy

Shakira featuring Wyclef - hips don't lie (I hate this song but I feel it deserves to atleast be discussed)

U2 green day - saints are coming

All AMerican Rejects - Move Along

AFI - Miss murder

Fray - how to say a live

Blue October - hate me

Doughnutman said...

I think you are missing something in evaluating best music videos of the year. You need to take into account the impact the video had on the year and possibly the impact of the artist themselves. (Not sure on that last part)

two more nominations

Bruce Sprinsteen Ms McGrath

Neil Young - Living with war

admin said...


Death Cab for Cutie - Soul Meets Body
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Face Down
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
The Killers - Bones
30 Seconds to Mars - The Kill (Bury Me)

Possibly a few more in the next day...

admin said...

I am adding:

My Chemical Romance - Welcome to the Black Parade
The Killers - When You Were Young
Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars (British version)


The Killers - Bones (enforcing one video per artist rule)
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc. (disqualified due to release in calendar year 2005)

RyTunes said...

So I said many more posts and by that I mean one more.

My final nominees are Stone Sour "Through The Glass", Red Hot Chili Peppers "Dani California", The Fray "How To Save A Life [version 2]", Snow Patrol "Chasing Cars [the full version]".

RyTunes said...

Actually, I do have one more. People In Planes - If You Talk Too Much.

Doughnutman said...

Matisyahu king without a crown

pink stupid girls

Kelly Clarkson - walk away

Doughnutman said...

Lostprophets - rooftops

cobra starship snakes on the plane

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