The 25 Best Music Videos of 2013, Nos. 15-11

As Rocks Off's 25 best music videos of 2013 countdown continues, Thursday was a celebration of the year's gratuitousness and debauchery. Today we turn it down a notch a bit to explore less garish and more meaningful stuff. And by meaningful, I mean some blood will flow. Get a towel.

REWIND: The 25 Best Music Videos of 2012 Nos. 20-16

The 25 Best Music Videos of 2012, Nos. 25-21

15. Baths, "Lovely Bloodflow" You could watch "Lovely Bloodflow" a dozen times in a row and still not understand exactly what's going on. I know because I did. The video mostly follows a wounded samurai as he is tended by strange masked woodland spirits, but whether it's for his health or for his service as a sacrifice is impossible to determine. It's a blank slate of a video you can project so many different heroic archetypes on, and director Andrew Kauper has some real potential.

14. HOTT MT, "YKWYR (You Know When You're Right)" You can never go wrong with a haunted pinball machine. "KWYR" feels like it slipped right out of the golden age on MTV when they gave any insane person with a camera a budget and told them to go fill the rotation. The video combines all the cheesiness of the '80s with a modern touch and awareness, and that gives it a unique flavor. Also, it's nice to see someone trying to bring Devo hats back as a fashion statement.

13. Matt Nathanson, "Kinks Shirt" Bobcat Goldwait is responsible for what may be the most groundbreaking music video of the year from a social perspective. It's certainly the only time I have ever seen a transgender relationship portrayed in a music video in a down-to-earth and realistic way. He sets Nathanson's impossibly catchy indie rock tune to a story that is much more common than some might think. It's a true gem.

List continues on the next page.

12. The Babies, "Mess Me Around" Sometimes it's all about how much fun you can have, and The Babies had themselves some fun on this video. It's a typical get-the-band-to-the-gig concept, but it's populated by an amazing cast of weird characters that takes the band on all kinds of strange and incomprehensible adventures. If anyone ever says to me, "Let's braid our feelings" to me, I am immediately getting in their car to go wherever they want to take me.

11. La Luz, Big Big Blood" Grindhouse cinema is sort of a lost art, really. It's basically learning how to con people into seeing your movie with a gory poster and by editing it into as many visceral beats as possible. With the Internet, that just doesn't work anymore. Still, that didn't stop La Luz from paying tremendous homage to the genre by wandering through the scenes captured on garish and bloody lobby cards. They are literally like a Tarantino scene come to musical life.

Tune in Monday for 10-6. Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.


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