by Dan Jackson and Lizzie Plaugic

We conquered songs. We conquered albums. What’s left? Videos, of course. With the internet clogged with dozens of new videos every day it can get a little difficult to separate the good from the bad. Also, who really has time to watch every VHS-scrubbed “tour” video? Well, we do, and we’ve made this list so you don’t have to suffer through any more boring videos. Enjoy!


10. Screaming Females – “Poison Arrow”

Aesthetically, it’s looks like a 1970s sitcom, but there are way more dudes in drag than you would normally see on I Dream Of Jeannie. The clip documents a meeting of the New Brunswick Fine Arts Collective which is apparently a place where you show-off “pieces” with titles like “The Spiritual Prism” and “Mixolydian Abstraction,” and hope your goat-hair cape doesn’t smear the paint. The artsy band of outsiders’ hijinks culminate in an alleyway meeting with a face tattoo guy and an old man transforming into a pastel-colored orb of celestial light. It’s all delightfully low-brow. – LP
 


09. Le1f – “Spa Day”

Le1f has a knack for pairing his slippery, increasingly introspective music with sparse, precise visuals. The video for “Wut” is a masterpiece of concision and “Soda” is equally fun and minimal. Compared to those, the “Spa Day” clip is a big budget blow-out, and why not? It’s a song all about the pleasures of treating yourself, so it makes sense that the video for it would be equally indulgent. – DJ
 


08. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Swim And Sleep (Like A Shark)”

Look, this is gonna sound weird, but I’m suddenly mesmerized by the sight of animated puppet-people masturbating. Unknown Mortal Orchestra have somehow managed to take a relatively lame storyline (getting caught jerkin’ it) and make it repeatedly watchable, because they discovered that when you use wide-eyed marionettes, you can make anything beautiful. The protagonist puppet’s self-love ruins his life for a while and he cries puppet tears, but it all comes back around in the end in a cycle that can only be described as a “circle jerk.” – LP
 


07. Robin Thicke – “Blurred Lines” (Feat. Pharrell And T.I.)

First off, I’d just like to thank Robin Thicke for managing to weasle “Robin Thicke has a big D” spelled out in silver balloons into his video without making me feel like the apocalypse is coming from inside my body. Congrats. Plus, there are women gyrating in (plastic?) underwear, Pharrell dancing adorably, and T.I. flashing paper, all while smirking. It’s not just wildly self-absorbed—it’s self-awarely self-absorbed. – LP
 


06. Kvelertak – “Bruane Brenn”

Certain music video tropes just work. Case in point: this video of kids singing “Bruane Brenn,” one of the many feral throat-grabbers off the group’s impressive Meir. It worked when Spike Jonze did it. It worked when Danny Brown did it. It works here. It will probably work forever. – DJ
 

Next page: CMJ’s Top Five Videos For 2013 (So Far…)