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Ten Greatest Music Videos Of 2010

Ten Greatest Music Videos Of 2010 (photo)

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We’ve premiered quite a few magnificent music videos this year, and some of the best to be seen anywhere just in the past few months, if I dare say. Since there are far too many shot for any one person to see them all, inevitably, all the issues of bias and subjectivity that apply to any list of creative works are compounded here by sheer volume. But, dear reader, the very fact that we’ve been intimately in the loop with many of the finest pairings of sound and vision in recent months gives us a slight edge in preparing such a list. Admittedly, some of the following videos premiered here on IFC, but all of them earned their place in this list because they rose above the rest with noteworthy execution and immense style.


10. Rachel Goodrich, “Light Bulb”

Rachel Goodrich’s vaudeville indie pop tune “Light Bulb,” featured in “Weeds,” was the subject of a video contest held by Miami’s Sweat Records. This entry directed by Lucas Leyva, didn’t win (it came in 2nd), but it’s awesome juxtaposition of Goodrich’s whimsical song with Miami thug life easily makes it one of the best videos of the year in my book.


9. Röyksopp, “Senior Living”

At about ten minutes long and incorporating multiple tracks off of Röyksopp’s album, “Senior,” this counts as a short film as much as music video, and it won’t be the last one on this list. Still, it falls decidedly into the music camp for our purposes, lacking any real deep narrative angle. I still can’t believe this is actually the city of Detroit. Knowing that makes this dystopian vision of three babes wandering through a zombie and wolf-filled hellscape even more freaked out.


8. Die Antwoord, “Zef Side”

If this list were the Most Blown Out videos of the year, I’d have to put this one first. Everything about it is too severe, from Yo-Landi’s hair, to Ninja’s junk swinging. This video pretty much landed Die Antwoord a record deal with Interscope. They just brought “that next level shit,” and brought it hard.


7. Arcade Fire, “Suburbs”

New roads and tidy lawns can’t hide the menace lurking in Spike Jones’ take on the suburbs. What begins as good times biking around the neighborhood turns to calamity, as these kids come of age in a police state.


6. Grinderman, “Heathen Child” (NSFW?)

Director John Hillcoat (“The Road,” “The Proposition”), has Nick Cave, Warren Ellis and crew depicted as Classical Gods firing raw power out of their eyes and arses all while a girl of questionable age sucks her thumb in a bathtub waiting for the Wolfman to come. Rabid, filthy, awesome stuff.


5. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, “Game Gets Old: the Trilogy”

Director Philip Di Fiore loves the look of old Blue Note record covers and photographs and wanted to create a world that brought that look to life with Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. The result was a three-part series, which combined was the authentically vintage, “Game Gets Old: the Trilogy.” Shot on 35mm Panavision with an anamorphic lens from 1964, you’d be hard pressed to guess this was made in 2010 if you just stumbled upon it. Sharon Jones and the baddest horn section in Brooklyn more than look the part too, no one keeps it as real as they do.


4. Mark Ronson & The Business Intl, “The Bike Song”

Nice shades, hot chicks, sweet bikes. Mark Ronson has it all. I’m tempted to repeat what I wrote about this after it premiered in Fall just to remind myself how good life can be: “The ridiculous Japanese/Tron/R2D2/Knight Rider transforming bicycle routine comes out of nowhere, and then Ronson is just rolling, hooking up with his jobless friends, jacking fools, and kicking it with hot French girls. You know how it is.” Most sartorially stylish viddy of the year declaration, still stands.


3. Baths, “Lovely Bloodflow”

Never has a video made perishing in the woods look so beautiful, even appealing, as this one for Baths’ (AKA Will Wiesenfeld) “Lovely Bloodflow” during which he incongruously sings lines like “Kick up my shit, you wanna.” This is a must see by directors by Alex Takacs and Joe Nankin who together go by the moniker Young Replicant.


2. El Guincho, “Bombay” (NSFW)

Whoever said “There’s a shortage of perfect breasts in this world” (Westley did), didn’t see El Guincho’s trip into the human cosmos. You don’t want to stop and think about that any more than you would want to stop and think about what the hell is going on in this totally out of control piece called “Bombay.” Just feeling it is good enough. Perhaps all the random associations and wild fetish play will coalesce into a story in the larger film for which this is actually a trailer.


1. Kanye West, “Runaway”

“Think big, set your goals high. I mean, a 35 minute film — we did it. We so seventies right now. We rock stars, fuck y’all’s opinion.” That’s what director and emotional basket case, Kanye West, said when his short film “Runaway” premiered in New York. Over the past few months, Kanye has proven decisively that he is one of the most fragile entertainers in the world, and without question, also one of the most fascinating. It may not be playing by the rules to put the 30+ minute “Runaway” in a list with the rest of these music videos, but then, Kanye doesn’t play by any rules either. That, and because this gratuitously narcissistic musical fantasy is spectacular to behold, is why this is #1.

Honorable mentions must go to Seu Jorge & Almaz’s “The Model” — part 1 and part 2 which veers more directly into narrative territory. It’s the smoothest short I’ve watched this year. Also check out Revolver’sLeave Me Alone,Morning Benders‘, “Promises” and Broken Bells‘ “The Ghost Inside.” Lastly, for going above and beyond using forgotten, antiquated, technology to create visual effects see Neon Indian’s freshly premiered “Mind Drips.”

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.