Hey, boys and girls! I’ve been reviewing music all year–songs and artists that I’ve really enjoyed, and those I found horrifying. I try not to be genre-specific, but it does become a strain on my ability to effectively deliver my honest opinion. Having said that, I can (and regularly do) appreciate lots of different styles of music, which you’ll see here. Some of these may not surprise you if you’ve frequented this site to read our rants and reviews, or if you’re friends with me on Facebook. Leave your comments below if you agree or disagree. I’m sure we’ll come to a polite consensus. I should also mention that these are purely looking at the video itself. Someone might have had a great song, but the video was just satisfactory. So, if we’re all on board this fucking gravy-train, let’s start off with the BEST 5 Videos I’ve seen this year:
5. Lil Wayne–How To Love
There’s a lot going on in this video, and I get that “this isn’t my life, but holy shit” moment that I always got from 2Pac’s more emotional songs. I’ve had conversations with hip hop enthusiasts who hate Lil Wayne, and others who couldn’t live without him. It could just be the heart-tugging elements of the video itself…but it’s songs like this, that cement Weezy’s relevance and diversity, IMO.
4. Tyler the Creator–Yonkers
Vulgar, offensive (to some), and with such multi-leveled introspection, I feel like I’ve been Incepted, I can never be mad at Odd Future. They gave me some of the best music (most of it for free) and one of the best concerts of the year. They’ve irritated many, arguably growing too immense for their own good, as they now walk around so high-and-mighty with their heads in the clouds that they look like collectible Bobble-Head versions of young black hipsters. They’ve inserted themselves into every possible media niche, and it all started here, when Tyler hit the mainstream. It might be nonsensical, silly, horrific batshit, but I hope it never ends.
3. Garfunkel and Oates–This Party Took a Turn for the Douche
Been in love with Garfunkel and Oates for a while, but Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome definitely have everything going in this video. With guest appearances by Sarah Silverman, Tig Notaro and Alia Shawkat, and references to everything from Tim Taylor to Jeff Goldblum, I can’t get enough of this video and wind up showing it to everyone whether they like it or not. Fuck you.
2. Manchester Orchestra–Simple Math
This video doubles as one of my favorite videos and songs of the year. There’s so much happening in this tribute to, what I can only assume is, the moments that flash before you when you’re a fat kid. This video became so engrained in my mind with this song that I can hardly listen to it anymore without feeling that sense of drifting in and out of reality; and that sounds totally gayballs, but it’s true.
1. Beastie Boys–Make Some Noise
I would be amazed if this video isn’t near first place on every “Best of” list of the past year. Not only is it a celebrity-packed, epic and bad-ass homage to the aging band, but the song is phenomenal and proves that the boys from Brooklyn are still relevant. Their style, while subtly evolving and incorporating new vision, remains–at its core–identical to the old school. Mike D, MCA, and Ad-Rock are re-energized as portrayed by Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, and Danny McBride.
And now we have to move on, I’m afraid, to the Worst of 2011…the videos that made me hate myself, the music industry, and you. But they also made me feel so much better about listening to everything for free, courtesy of the Internets.
5. Rebecca Black–Friday
I know, I know. It’s easy and it’s on every list, but it’s unavoidable. There’s no way, being a pop culture website, we could just ignore this bullshit. This took the world by storm and it’s probably the reason YouTube still exists. As horrible as this song and video are, I can’t be mad at Rebecca Black. She doesn’t know any better…which is why, I couldn’t just crash her attempt, landing it safely in the Hudson Bay of 5th place. Also, I love the completely unpredictable and insanely meaningless rap at end. This has undoubtedly made Black more money and given her more opportunities in life that anyone in her family has ever had, so…she’ll inevitably fade into obscurity when something more painful to listen to over and over and over again emerges in 2012.
4. Kreayshawn–Gucci Gucci
Some of you may find it odd that in the “Best of” section, I swooned over Odd Future, only to post a video in the “Worst of,” featuring several members of the band making guest appearances…and to that, I say: well observed! Anyone who likes this video must get themselves a CAT scan. I tried to like Kreayshawn, after her interview with Nardwuar and educating myself to her punk-rock upbringing, I thought to myself: Hey, self, this isn’t going to be awful! And immediately after, I thought: Self, why are you listening to me in the first place?
As much as I can’t abide Skrillex and think all of his “songs” sound identical, this video really had me questioning whether he should be on the cover of SPIN, or that anyone should know his name (stage name). I actually liked his video for “First of the Year (Equinox),” even though the tune itself was just as shrill and irritating as this one, thus keeping it off my top 5…but this video is simply awful, and the Christmas gimmick pushed it over the edge to just being painful to watch (and listen to!).
2. Lady Gaga–Marry The Night
I’m sorry. I don’t get Lady Gaga, and I probably never will. Nothing she says or does ever seems honest or original. Her fans praise her for her weird personality, original style, and overall “fuck everybody” attitude. In reality, she just represents a new generation of club kids who dig this because they’re too fucked to realize how obnoxious it all is. Marry the Night, like all of Gaga’s videos, is far too long–and it would be entertaining if it weren’t so flat and boring. You know how people have that ongoing argument about art? Someone will say, “This isn’t art, this is just slapped together and stupid.” And then someone else will retort, “Who are you to say what art is? Maybe everything we do is a form of artistic expression!” Yeah? Well, this isn’t art.
1. Shira–Pound on my Muffin
This spot was supposed to be reserved for the lovely Courtney Stodden, who graced us with some of the worst vomit-inducing musical macabre we’ve ever heard. But, alas, her videos were all 2010 timestamped, so I had to think on my feet. This is the best/worst thing I found. Hitting it kind of close, as this just hit the internets on Christmas (of all days), but I think I found my swan song of 2011. The lyrics are so atrocious that I can’t help but think it’s a joke…but if it is, it’s not funny. Not only does Shira’s scarred and weathered appearance indicate she’s had more than her muffin pounded over the years, she has the sad, desperate demeanor of a stripper, or that girl from the neighborhood who always wanted to be a stripper, and then mysteriously disappeared. My absolute favorite part of this video has to be the faces on all of the men who make appearances, pretending to seem interested, and instead looking confused or horrified. Time will tell if this piece of shit gains any media attention. But at 60,000+ hits, it’s starting to look like a bright year for Shira!
—That’s All Folks! Welcome 2012!