05. El-P – “The Full Retard”

If you don’t like puppets, there’s probably something wrong with you. And, by extension, if you don’t enjoy this gleefully childish video where El-P cruises around with an egg-throwing, beer-swilling, cocaine-sniffing squirrel puppet, then seriously, go see a doctor or something. Get help. You’re broken. -DJ
 


04. Liars – “No. 1 Against The Rush”

Did you ever see The Human Centipede II? If you didn’t, then, dear god, never do. But if you did, you’ll recall a pale, doughy, glasses-wearing guy who works as a parking garage security guard and goes around bludgeoning and kidnapping people. Similar idea here, except the creep in this video works at a dry cleaner and targets the members of the Liars. Run, Angus! Or at least take that guy out. You’re like 10-feet tall. -CW
 


03. Explosions In The Sky – “Postcard From 1952″

Everything is more gorgeous in slo-mo. That’s the lesson to take away from this video for Explosions In The Sky’s “Postcard From 1952″ off of the band’s 2011 album, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. Co-directors Peter Simonite and Annie Gunn artfully recreate scenes from the Howdy Doody era, with shots of sprinklers, family portraits and neighborhood parties. It’s nostalgia at its finest, and the beauty in every shot makes sense when you learn that Gunn is a photography pro and Simonite worked on Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life. -CW
 


02. Spiritualized – “Hey Jane”

Ten minutes is a lot to ask, but director AG Rojas makes it worth your while in the video for Spiritualized’s “Hey Jane” from Sweet Heart Sweet Light. Rojas’s camera tails a drag queen—played by RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Tyra Sanchez—as she takes care of kids, makes her money and ultimately deals with violence. The video is cinematic, but it doesn’t treat the song like a cheap sidekick soundtrack, as its storyline was obviously built to match the music—otherwise Rojas might’ve made that walking scene at the hotel a little shorter. It’s poetic, sad, disturbing, beautiful—and totally unforgettable. -CW
 


01. M.I.A. – “Bad Girls”

M.I.A. and director Romain Gavras (son of European auteur Costa-Gavras) redeemed themselves for the overwrought, ginger-hating “Born Free” video with this instantly iconic celebration of feminism, rebellion and cool cars doing cool tricks while cool music plays. In an era where even some of the best music videos feel like timid little sketches of much bigger ideas, “Bad Girls” stands out as a video that’s not afraid to push boundaries of taste, ask difficult political questions and do it all with gorgeous, widescreen visuals that could be lifted from a Michael Bay movie. This is what music videos are supposed to look like. -DJ