The following should be heard in Ray Liotta's voice for maximum effect:
As far back as we can remember, we always wanted to be a VJ. We grew up with MTV, and until we had to break it off after we found the channel hoing around with a pack of syphilitic realitysauruses, we never missed a chance to park ourselves in front of the diode's warming glow and watch the proud strut around.
Obviously, the idea of a dedicated music video channel has more or less become obsolete. What Rocks Off hopes and prays for is that some enterprising individual will harness the power of the all the truly spectacular work being released on YouTube into some kind of daily show. Since we spent the best part of this year looking at a new music video every day, we got to see the dedication unsigned and indie artists put into the visual interpretations of their work.
So of all the great stuff witnessed this year, Rocks Off presents our top 10!
10. Chromeo, "Don't Turn the Lights On": If not for Mick Cullen over at Subterranean Radio we might never have discovered the funky-fresh mind-nookie that is "Don't Turn the Lights On" from Chromeo's third album, Business Casual. Since then, we've caught Chromeo on Yo Gabba Gabba, and learned a valuable lesson about washing our hands.
9. Grinderman, "Heathen Child": We purposely didn't include major artists in this list, but room must be made for the unbelievable weirdness of Nick Cave's Grinderman. Truth be told, Rocks Off was a bit meh about the first Grinderman album, but Grinderman 2 is a non-stop trip straight through the wasteland of Cave's brain.
And no matter what anyone says, "Heathen Child" was the most disturbing music video of the year. When the lead singer shooting fireballs out of his ass while wearing a centurion costume is the normal part, you know you've gone down the rabbit child.
8. mCRT feat. Katcha, "I'm a Shark (Suck My Dick)": "Because it's Shark Week" is a failsafe excuse that applies to any situation. It's certainly the reason we decided the world needed to her a good rap song about sharks, especially after Mr. Cool J dropped the ball so shamefully. How blowjobs got linked with swimming death machines that never sleep is anyone's guess, but we promise to ask mCRT if we ever get the chance.
7. Vulcho Bonev, "God Is Right": Vulcho Bonev is either from Costa Mesa, Calif., or another planet entirely. His Day Glo celestial party anthem "God is Right" was one of those video we happened to stumble upon within minutes of its uploading, and we just sat back secure in the knowledge that the internet is never gonna run out of proud lunatics. Bonev could be their king.
6. Fatawesome, "The Oregon Trail Song (My Titties)": When you combine the phat beats and incredible production values of Fatawesome with the most celebrated video game featuring dysentery of all time, you know you've got some gold on your hands. Not only do you get to watch a robot rape a toaster, you also get some very helpful advice on exactly how to get the best score on Oregon Trail. Hint: It's better to buy bullets than food, just like in real life.
5. Goldfrapp, "Alive": Goldfrapp, like Nick Cave, is part of a very short list of major artists who made their way onto the list, and that's because an exercise video featuring vampires in dance gear attacking King Diamond lookalikes while Goldfrapp flaunts her nipples in a sheer white outfit deserves as much loves as it can possibly give. Seriously, it was like Xanadu and Near Dark had twins. Congrats, ma'am, we're in love!
4. Steve Morse, "Sharp Dressed Man": Now, the band is called Rick K and the Allnighters, but anyone whose had a chance to see this rendition of ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man" know that they only man in the band who matters is super-drummer Steve Moore. Flailing and fantastic, Moore set the bar forever as far as out-of-control stick moves are concerned, and managed to work his way into internet superstardom.
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3. Hundred Year Flood, "Sunshine": "Sunshine" brought us a little bit of that old late-night Cinemax, Doom Generation sickness back into our lives in this incredibly well-shot effort. Dirty driving through the desert with Felicia Ford and Hundred Year Flood was simply the best piece of propaganda for lawlessness and blues-rock we saw all year.
2. The Irrepressibles/Roy Raz, "The Lady Is Dead/In This Shirt": You may have noticed that the way into Rocks Off's heart is to either rap in a silly manner, or just go screaming of the edge of the mundane into the canyon of WTF. While this short musical film by Roy Raz set to the song "In This Shirt" by The Irrespresibles is certainly weird, it also has a great sense of beauty. Rocks Off honestly had tears in our eye watching it. It's that good.
1. Cute as Hell, "Meow": Sorry to be a five-year-old about it, but Rocks Off just didn't see a single music video this year we liked better than Cute as Hell's song about cat butthole. We wish it were different. We wish that we had the mental capacity and artistic temperament to put something with redeeming social value in the top spot, but we don't. This vid stomps many colons right back into their owners' intestines, and we cannot deny it.
Jef With One F is the author of The Bible Spelled Backwards Does Not Change the Fact That You Cannot Kill David Arquette and Other Things I Learned In the Black Math Experiment, available now.