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

Welcome back to The Last VJ, music fans. It's another week of plumbing through the depths of the Internet trying to find the true art of the music video hidden under the mainstream and ignored by the once-proud MTV.

Your votes count, so let us know which of these five videos deserves to have their praises sung by the naiads, nymphs, and muses for their triumph in the genre, and which shall be castigated by the hard tones of manticores, minotaurs, and other low beasts for not quite living up to their full potential.

Planeteers? The power is yours.

Cut Copy, "Free Your Mind" First, a big round of applause for last week's winner Cut Copy, who harnessed the incredible power of Alexander Skarsgard to both tell a compelling story of a strange, insane cult leader, as well as making it into another round of voting. The competition was close, but the potent mix of spiritual unease, sex appeal, and Cut Copy's incredible indie-pop track was enough to make it the clear winner in the voting.

REWIND: Last Week's Music Video Roundup

Dream Koala, "Odyssey" One of the videos I've been avidly waiting for, Dream Koala does not disappoint. Directed by Fabulous (Adrien Peze and Albin Merle) & Les Gentils Garçons, it's a slow burn that takes a little effort to stick with as it slowly brings to light a terrible apocalypse.

So much of the video is given over to crafting beautiful landscapes, but just as you start you start to grow bored with beauty the video drops tiny hints at something going terribly wrong. The final conclusion remains one of the most beautiful and horrifying things ever put on tape. It was like the phrase, "Now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds" had become a song and a series of images. Brave, amazing stuff.

Jim James, "State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)" Clean White Lines brings us this interpretation of Jim James' "State of the Art" about the adventures of a man with a television head. That particular image gets a little more played out every year, and the video suffers from not quite having enough action to sustain its length.

However, it is a devilish look at what it means to be only viewed as a mirror to what others want to see. My favorite bit was the sad homeless man who saw only images of his family in the static of our hero's head. That speaks loads about how we are all just receivers for the hopes and expectations of others. Plus, James's incredible song is a sort of modernist version of Primus, so kudos there.

The countdown continues on next page.

Don Diablo, "Origins" I can't tell you how many amazing songs I've discovered through video game trailers in the last several years; Nico Vega's "Beasts" from Bioshock Infinite and The Heavy's "Short Change Hero," just to name a few. This is the first time I've ever seen an artist use video game footage as an official music video, though, and you can't beat Batman: Arkham Origins for street cred in the game world.

I just love that the sort of thing I used to see for summer blockbusters now belongs to video games. Brave new world.

REWIND: The Top Five Countdown, Two Weeks Ago

The Pretty Reckless, "Going to Hell": I like The Pretty Reckless. I had the opportunity to interview Taylor Momsen a while back, and I know that she is very involved with her music videos, doing storyboards and even stepping into the director's chair.

"Going to Hell" isn't going to win any awards for originality or anything, but it's a very solid rock video that reminds me just how much I used to love watching Lita Ford back when I was a lad. It's hot, dark, edgy spook that makes me think we're insane for ever paying Miley Cyrus the slightest bit of attention when Momsen is so clearly more talented, hotter, and daring than the former Hannah Montana will ever hope to be.

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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