Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 31st 2012

12 Days of Music Video of the Year

Certainly, in a very short time, on a surface level this became the Macarena. It’s also true that being Korean, and coming from the milieu of both K-Pop and mainstream “hip hop” videos, this is a novelty thing – in the sense that had it come from, say, The Offspring, it would have been meaningless. And, yes, you will hear this song at every basketball game you ever go to for the next twenty years.

But I guess I had started assuming that music videos had lost the power to surprise or delight us. And, after well over a hundred viewings, I can honestly say this one still hasn’t jumped the shark with me – I squeal with delight like a goddamn girly-girl every time this comes on. And it’s one of those things that you could both write a Ph.D. thesis about but which is also one of the most unabashedly shallow things ever made.

As I said in the comments to my original post, regarding the rocketing to fame of PSY, this video, and this song: “a world where this happens is just a fundamentally better place.”

1. PSY – Gangnam Style

(2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 30th 2012

12 Days of Music Video of the Year

I have a confession to make. As with David Letterman’s Top Ten staff, #2 is usually my favorite. I take great care in 12 Days rankings, and #1 is undeniably the best, but… well, as a fan of covers, b-sides, and rarities, #2 usually winds up being the video that I secretly love the most. It may not have the legs of #1, or the mainstream appeal, or the polish, but it’s usually the music video that most takes me away. More succinctly, while #1 is usually the best music video of the year, #2 is usually my favorite find.

2. Lisa Hannigan – I Don’t Know

(2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 29th 2012

12 Days of Music Video of the Year

Everybody knows OK GO makes mind-blowing music videos. I think what is often forgotten is that they also write terrific songs.

3. OK Go – Needing/Getting

(2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 28th 2012

12 Days of Music Video of the Year

This kind of music gets no respect. It should.

4. Reggie Watts – Panama

Reggie Watts covers Van Halen

(2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 27th 2012

12 Days of Music Video of the Year

5. Aesop Rock – Zero Dark Thirty

(2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 26th 2012

12 Days of Music Video of the Year

6. Grouplove covering Andrew W.K. – Party Hard

(2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)


Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 25th 2012

12 Days of Music Video of the Year

Talk about a band making a splash. In any case, I agree wholeheartedly with Rojas’ observation:

If you’re going to try to sound like somebody, Queen is an excellent choice.

These guys own that sh*t.

7. Fun – Some Nights

(2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 24th 2012

12 Days of Music Video of the Year

Through total coincidence, Mumford & Sons come in at #8 for the second year in a row.

8. Mumford & Sons – Awake My Soul

(2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 23rd 2012

12 Days of Music Video of the Year

The beginning of a recurring them for this year’s Music Videos of the Year. For once, there is a heavy sampling of actually the most popular songs of the year, including some pretty ubiquitous ones. Normally I’m so far outside the pop culture stream that there is really no relation to my year of music and the year of music, although there’s usually a smattering of overlap. But this year, for whatever reason, the two actually synced up.

Anyway, although I do like it, the original version of this probably wouldn’t have made the cut, but the YouTube compilation ala Kutiman actually makes for a very entrancing piece.

9. Gotye – Somebodies (A YouTube Orchestra)

(2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 22nd 2012

12 Days of Music Video of the Year

So yes this is totally a hippy thing, and the music video is (charmingly) bad. But whatever man, this makes me happy.

10. David Wax Museum – Yes, Maria, Yes

(2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 9:49 pm on December 21st 2012

While the World Hasn’t Ended Today…

Civil liberties kind of did.

The NDAA passes the House and Senate very comfortably, so indefinite detention of American citizens is now explicitly legal in this country, and oh yeah, for good measure, just so we’re clear federal authorities do not need a reasonable cause warrant to read your email. They just, you know, can. So Merry Christmas!

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 21st 2012

12 Days of Music Video of the Year

He looks like the Weird Soda Review dude.

Also, maybe it’s the end of the world today, and if so, these guys would make a nice little soundtrack for it. If you’re going to go, go jauntily.

11. Patrick & Eugene – The Birds and the Bees

(2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 3:03 pm on December 20th 2012

The Only Zero Dark Thirty Review I Need to Read

Haven’t seen it – probably won’t. But Chris Kelly’s review, “Erin Brockovich for Fascists“, is awesome.

Posted by Brad @ 2:32 pm on December 20th 2012

Soccer Kits for AL East Baseball Clubs

Having to work with graphic designers daily in the last two years, I’ve come to gain an enormous respect for the really good ones (there is a big dropoff from “really good” to “average”). And this guy’s throwaway project – designing soccer jerseys for AL teams – blows my mind a little.

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 20th 2012

12 Days of Music Video of the Year

It begins!

Honestly, not too many hard cuts this time around. The 12 that I’ll be featuring through New Year’s Eve were basically all easy calls, with not too many I feel bad about leaving out. And though I have my normal oddities and covers and whatnot, honestly the list this year skews mainstream, surprisingly. Even the also-rans (e.g., e.g.) aren’t like shocking oddities or anything.

That said, it’s certainly not what you’d get from Pitchfork or whatever. On to 12!

12. Mark Farina featuring Sean Hayes – Dream Machine

(2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 2:30 pm on December 19th 2012

Music Video of the Prelude to the 12 Days of Music Video of the Year of the Week

Let me just get this out of the way right upfront. The following will not be the Music Video of the Year, although it is certainly not lacking in its own…charms?

Gwar – Carry on My Wayward Son

GWAR covers Kansas

But really, I think the following sums up the year in music videos best.

Posted by Brad @ 9:32 pm on December 17th 2012

Two other thoughts regarding Sandy Hook coverage

I have to admit, this massacre has really pushed me off the “hard” opposition to gun control, and this is the absolute right time to have that conversation.

But, can I just say two things out loud? This isn’t meant to preclude that conversation, but at the very least, relates to the heart of the two main ideas I’ve heard floating around on hours and hours of cable TV.

1. Screening for “mental health” or otherwise preventing “crazy” people from buying guns, whatever the hell that means, is irrelevant to this discussion. These guns belonged to the mother, remember.

1A. Related, I am not sure when Asperger’s or being a shy, anxious, and socially awkward teen became classified as being “crazy” to the extent that you deserve less rights and privileges than others and some kind of special class of citizenry. So I doubt “mental health” screening would have preventing a gun sale in any event, and, of course, were such a system in place, that would be a very, very thorny road to go down, which I could write volumes on but trust you’re smart enough to extrapolate on your own.

But all that is, again, irrelevant, because he didn’t buy the guns. So gun ownership laws had no effect on him (save the waiting period, which apparently worked…err, after a fashion anyway). So no matter how much needle-threading is done on who is or isn’t too crazy to own a gun, that doesn’t come into play at any point in this case.

2. The assault weapons ban would not have prevented the massacre. We know this because this dude was operating under the assault weapons ban (the law in Connecticut), and obviously it did not prevent the massacre. That’s not really a small, or inobvious point.

So, like I said, let’s have those conversations. But those are two pat talking points that are clearly not very thoughtful, constructive, or, well, true. Again, just wanted to say them out loud.

Posted by Brad @ 8:48 pm on December 17th 2012

“To the Media, Regarding Newton”

A fine rant.

But at the same time, I can’t help thinking this.

How many of you watched, rapt, as children were being interviewed, or clicked on a headline that said “Reporter informs dad of his son’s role in shooting” or whatever?

How many of the same people who decried the tabloids’ role in Princess Diana’s death loved Princess Diana because of how much they’d followed her in supermarket tabloids and glowing People profiles?

This stuff happens because this stuff sells, and it often happens that the people most offended by it are the people that are offended precisely because they are following it most closely and breathing in every bit of invasive coverage, arranging every ambush interview like pieces of a hobby puzzle.

This is not a better than thou post, but I have gotten to the point where I just turn that shit off every time it starts veering into that territory – and btw, it doesn’t matter if it’s the NY Post photographing a guy on subway tracks or Anderson Cooper waxing profound and sentimental while some off-camera producer aggressively corrals a father for a taped one-off that they can use 15 seconds of as color for a segment discussing the heroism of the survivors.

Paparazzi are basically the scum of the earth. But it’s not just some stringer with a telescopic lens taking crotch shots as a starlet gets out of a limo. It’s the media culture we live in.

And it exists, solely, because we demand it.

Posted by Brad @ 6:35 pm on December 14th 2012

Not Very Deep Thought of the Day

If you’re going to murder a member of your family, just murder them. There’s no need to be a dick about it.

Posted by Brad @ 6:58 pm on December 7th 2012

Last Call for Music Videos

If anybody besides Rojas has any music videos they’d like to share, speak now or forever hold your peace. Compiling the 12 Days of Music Video of the Year soon – what blew your mind this year?

Posted by Brad @ 2:41 pm on December 7th 2012

The Problem with Voting for People Because You Assume They Secretly Agree with the Positions You Like Even When They Say They Disagree…

Is it’s usually just better to take them at their word.

Posted by Brad @ 10:29 am on December 7th 2012

Goodbye, Jim DeMint, and a Related Announcement

Say what you will about him, but DeMint was both a standup guy and an important articulator as well as back-room operator for a very important and core strand of conservative thought. I like people, of any bent, who have a muscularity about their ideology that sees them trying to expand it into real-world scenarios rather than sit pat and just react based on prior templates and partisanship. The Senate will be worse without him.

On a related note, I think I am ready to hereby retire my use of the word “Tea Party” save in talking about the specific conservative grassroots insurgency of 2008-2011. It is no longer a useful or descriptive term, and its use no longer adds any value or illumination to any discussion. On the right it has become synonymous with either “fiscal hawks” or “non-establishment Republican” – on the left it has become synonymous with “crazy Republican of any ilk”. Frankly, it exists now only as a opaque label – which has always been true to some extent mind you but there actually was, for a few years, an identifiable if fluid trend and actual people behind it. Now it’s become either an all-purpose pejorative or a past-its-shelf-life brand. It adds about as much to any discussion in which its used as throwing the word “socialism” into a discussion of Democrats does. Every time I’ve seen it appended to something since maybe the early Republican presidential primaries, I have generally been reacting with “huh”?

So, and not that I was big on this in the first place, but I’m no longer going to dispatch things like “Tea Party Republican” or “Tea Party favorite” or whatever the hell, save maybe in a historical context.

Posted by Rojas @ 1:09 pm on December 6th 2012

What if?

I set the stage; you describe the consequences.


DECEMBER 21: Kate Middleton, suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, publicly announces her intention to surgically terminate her pregnancy.

Posted by Brad @ 12:58 pm on December 4th 2012

The Rise of the Publicly Funded Stadium


Posted by Brad @ 2:43 pm on December 3rd 2012

The Royal Baby

I actually groaned when I heard the news this morning, because most of the women in my life are obsessed with celebrity tabloids and the royals – I am surrounded by it – and the sheer volume of my life’s headspace – really from now until death – that is going to be taken up by the Kate/William/baby is too depressing to contemplate.

Prepare – prepare! Follow it on Twitter.