Vote or Die: The Last VJ's Top Five Music Videos of the Week

Welcome back to The Last VJ, music fans. Once again we've scoured the Internet in search of the newest and best music videos for you to vote on, in order to see which one will high-five the hand of Apollo and which shall wrought naught but a spanking from Hades. Five bands enter, one band leaves. Enjoy the selections, and don't forget to vote your favorite at the end.

First off, a big round of applause to Iceland's The Vintage Caravan, who is on a streak having managed to last two straight weeks of competition. Last week they held onto the title of Best Video by a single vote, narrowly beating out Birdeatsbaby and their creepfest, "Ghost." As always, the accomplishment allows them to try again for another round against four newcomers. Let's meet them.

REWIND: Last Week's Music Video Round-Up

Cut Copy, "Free Your Mind" I could sell you this video in a lot of ways, but I prefer to just call attention to the fact that it stars Alexander Skarsgard as a shirtless hippie Jesus playing invisible basketball with a bunch of cult members/asylum patients. Even taking the obvious eye-candyness out of the equation (I'm straight, not blind), director Christopher Hill turns Cut Copy's pop-indie anthem of expanded consciousness into strange and dark places.

There are great shades of Fight Club lying around, and a dash of Jim Jones to top it all off. "Free Your Mind" serves to remind you that no matter how normal you think the world has become, pockets of cult madness lie all across the civilized planet.

Lewis Watson, "Even If" There's a subset of music videos that I just unabashedly love: videos of heartbroken guys surrounded by beautiful women doing sexy things. There's just something so wonderfully incongruent about a dude moping while foxy coeds have pillowfights all around him; no one has ever pulled it off better than Lewis Watson does here.

Singing sadly of his broken heart as a parade of almost '80s-level gratuitousness unfolds around him, ultimately all the fanfare has no effect on lifting Watson's woes. Director Alexander Brown has impeccable timing in weaving the slow-motion wantonness that matches the soft pace of Watson's song over the real-time grief.

Videos continue on next page. Vote there!

J. Roddy Walston & the Business, "Heavy Bells" Man, a lot of bands are doing videos on weird cults lately, but "Heavy Bells" is a much more lo-fi approach than "Free Your Mind." What director Matt Wignall lacks in Hollywood polish he makes up for in manic and disturbing energy; there are no messianic tones here. Instead, we watch a small group grow ever more demented as the raucous and throbbing rock of Walston and his crew perfectly undercuts the whole, "Touch these electrodes to see if you're worthy" action that is taking place. It's a frightful piece of brilliance.

Brian Milson, "Nothing Grows in Shadow" Under normal circumstances I would probably ridicule and mock Milson for his cheesy-ass song and even more transparently down home music video. However, I spent all day reading about rape and suicide and frankly I don't have the heart for that.

Milson may well have written the only true Christian song I have ever heard. It's a song about not judging and learning the worth of yourself and others. It's a song about lessons, and for all that it feels like Toby Keith nonsense... here in a dark moment surrounded by tragedies, I can't help but feel a little hope because of it. There's a reason such songs endure. In moments of weakness they shield our souls.

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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