I feel bad that I don't make it to more live shows here in the city, but try very hard to make up for it with my lightning focus on the art of the music video. Houston produces extremely high-quality music videos, and if 2014 didn't compare to last year in terms of quantity, it did so in quality. So here's the cream of that particular crop.
5. BLSHS, "Gave It Away" BLSHS did some really great videos around the beginning of 2014, but they were largely mash-ups of old commercial or science-fiction footage. Very entertaining, but not really original. Then finally they put out "Gave It Away," a narrative-driven work that also features a huge number of local scenesters on top of everything else.
It's a slightly disturbing video that I am 90 percent certain is about date rape, but directors Kyle Lamar and Alister Auguste never quite take Michelle Miears quite that far. We mostly see her at a party, ghostlike as ever and clearly haunted but you never get a handle on by exactly what. It's a beautiful creation, and I hope to see more from my favorite synth act.
4. The Wheel Workers, "Yodel" Directed by David Nguyen, "Yodel" is a hella creative techno-western that awesomely shows off the Wheel Workers' strengths. It's the triumphant story of a drunken sheriff who comes to the aid of a woman about to be sexually assaulted and ends up in a chase and gunfight. Probably the most interesting aspect of the video is the weird way that blood has been replaced with flowers, up to and including a sunflower sprouting from a bullet wound in a bandit's forehead.
3. Wild Moccasins, "Eye Makeup" This one almost flew under my radar, but last month the Moccasins crafted a spectacular video directed by Otis Ike and Ivete Lucas. It follows singer Zahira Gutierrez as she works up the nerve to try and perform in a drag-queen show while trying to get the attention of an uninterested suitor. It's kind of a strange video, sort of the exact opposite of Matt Nathanson's "Kinks Shirt," but Gutierrez plays it well.
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2. Linus Pauling Quartet, "C is For Cthulhu" Director and LP4 guitarist Ramon Medina made one of the great contributions to the world of the Cthulhu Mythos. Using an inventive mix of live action and stop-motion animation, he brings the legendary elder god to frightful life. Super-props go to Christian Best and his mad-eyed dreamer routine, not to mention the hard-boiled badassedness of Makana Clemons as an intrepid explorer.
1. Glass the Sky, "Touch" For the second year in a row, director Jerry Ochoa makes this list, although this time using his talents for Glass the Sky instead of his own Two Star Symphony. "Touch" is a chilling and dark recreation of Frankenstein, full of sad beauty and body horror all at the same time. It's the typically dark and elegant work Ochoa is known for, and further proof that he's only on his way up as a filmmaker. Once again, he and his peers make Houston's music-video world first-class.