Monday, January 8, 2018

"The Vids Are Alright 2017" Starts Now

It's been quite a year for record-smashing video streams.

Remember July 10th? That was the day Youtube history was made once again when Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" (from the soundtrack of the Dwayne Johnson / Vin Diesel vehicle Furious 7) dethroned 2012's long reigning big budget video for "Gangnam Style" by PSY to become the most popular Youtube clip of all time.

Luis Fonsi's "Despacito" broke Mr. Khalifa's record a mere 25 days later on August 4th. Since its premiere on 1/12/17, "Despacito" has nearly surpassed 5 billion streams, a checkpoint it will reach by Spring 2018.

Youtube has a boner for its own record breaking distinctions, not incomparable to Hollywood's blockbuster business model: The top 10 highest grossing movies of all time still include 4 movies from 2015. The top 15 include 4 movies from 2017, and 18 of the top 20 were released in the past decade. "Breaking the world record" is now a business model for moving visual art. It won't be long until it spreads to TV, Netflix, Hulu and the like.

As capitalism continued its growing influence on both music exposure and video, hiphop was chosen by the people as the music streaming world's most popular genre of 2017. Unsurprisingly, the year's most engaging visual concepts found their way into more hiphop videos than in any other calendar year in the the genre's history. (No disrespect to Hype Williams or Paul Hunter, but this is probably true.) Comparatively, videos in almost every other genre seemed less inspired than ever. Perhaps disinterest has grown from newfound lack of marketability. Why put so much effort into creating an interesting or weird or stimulating video that no one will ever see?

2017 was a year when the creators of this blog decided to run our own music video channel on Youtube. We were probably on the hunt for dope music videos more persistently in 2017 than any of the past 10 years. The hunt exposed us to a lot of really good rap clips, while the best videos from the world of rock, metal, weirdo, experimental, pop or R&B simply didn't want us to find them. We know they're out there somewhere, and they often cross our path after the year's end. But from where we stand now, hiphop singles and especially hiphop videos kicked more serious ass than any other genre.

It will be more obvious once we get into the top 10. For now, check these out...

Priests “Pink White House”
Priests directed their own damn punk rock video just the way they like it. The band encounter themselves. One of them plays a swamp thing, and there's a food fight. All money shots with no anticipation: the way rock videos should be. This technically debuted late-2016 or else it might have placed Top 10.

Ariel Pink "Another Weekend"
"Concept by Eric Andre" caught our attention. A fun story of what happens to Ariel Pink throughout a typical weekend, it fits with the trippiness of his more psychedelic clips like "Mistaken Wedding."

Hellrazor "Ants vs Dragons"
Whoops, how did this get here?

The Saxophones “If You’re On The Water”
Four new fan clips from Alejandro Taruth were posted in 2017. Song selection seems to be moving farther away from Rubber Soul-core (bands like Homeshake, Mild High Club and Good Morning), nearer to folk/make-out jams from bands like Cigarettes After Sex, and more closely following the narrative of the original films instead of a less faithful re-purposing of images.

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