WVAU 2015: Best Music Videos

Jack Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Skufca

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Titus Andronicus ‰ÛÒ The Magic Morning

As my entire cohort of Facebook friends and Twitter followers probably know, I was super excited for the release of Titus Andronicus‰’s fourth LP, The Most Lamentable Tragedy, and freaked out when a few lead singles dropped, hung on nearly any tidbit of news, and nearly died when on July 1st, the band released “The Magic Morning,‰” a 15-minute long short film/long music video.

It details the action of most of the second act of the five-act rock opera that is The Most Lamentable Tragedy. It also gave us a first impression of what the album was going to be, being the first place we heard the tracks “Lookalike,‰” their cover of Daniel Johnston‰’s “I Lost My Mind,‰” “Mr. E. Mann,‰” and the highlight of the act, “Fired Up‰” before closing with the before-heard “Dimed Out.‰Û

But phenomenal music aside, the music video itself is a work of video art whose rival I have not seen. Created nearly entirely in-house by members of [email protected] and their friends, it serves to make clear the complex events of the rock opera, in which “Our Hero,‰” played by a bearded Patrick Stickles, meets a doppelgünger, “The Lookalike,‰” played by a beardless Stickles (thanks to the magic of editing), who convinces Our Hero to change his way of life.

In addition, “The Magic Morning‰” also features every type of staging and choreography you‰’d want in an indie-punk music video, ranging from frantic scrambling around a mattress (“Lookalike‰Û) to a pastiche of Broadway (“Mr. E. Mann‰Û); from menacing ritualistic speeches (“Fired Up‰Û) to exercise video (“Dimed Out‰Û). It puts a smile on my face every time I watch it which, during the month of July, was probably at least three times a day if not more. It honestly is one of my favorite music videos of all time and gives me hope that more, for the other 4 acts, may be coming (or even a full-on staged production. Hey, a man can dream…). – Jonathan Skufca 

Drake – Hotline Bling 

Music videos are time capsules. They hold so many pieces to the puzzle of our culture. Advertising strategies, popular dance moves, fashion styles, and technology being the most noticeable. But they also can provide deep insights speaking to larger trends.

You may be thinking, “Whoa Jack! I clicked this link because I thought that this would be a lighthearted expression of your undying love for Hotline Bling! What is going on?‰” Oh, don‰’t you worry, this is, but this is a video truly encapsulates 2015 pop culture and will be watched repeatedly by generations to come.

Director X had the honor of creating the 2015 video for Drake‰’s smash hit “Hotline Bling‰Û. This Toronto-based music video icon has been making lavish, high-budget music videos for over 15 years. Do you remember the R. Kelly 1970s-inspired “Share My Love‰” video with the LED lights glittering like diamonds? If not, you should as soon as possible.

The colors that Director X painted through this mysterious, CGI-filled world is ominous yet whimsical. The pastels on the walls perfectly match the subdued, dance-inspiring beats of the song itself.

I‰’m definitely not a fashion expert, and I don‰’t necessarily think that this video marks the renaissance of the chunky turtleneck sweater, but this is the video where Drake cements his style for this stage of his life.  He moves away from clean-shaven “Best I Ever Had‰” Drake and “Headlines‰” Drake when he attempted to grow a beard. We now here with a confident Drake who has become a global, well-liked celebrity who can actually grow a full beard.

This confidence is further displayed through his dance moves. These are bathroom dance moves that Drake has put out for the world to see:

Bathroom Dance Moves (n.)

1. The rhythmic body shifts made in the privacy of one‰’s own bathroom

2. Movements made after a shower while still naked in the bathroom mirror

The video caught the Internet ablaze because so many people already lived it. Jamming in the shower to iPhone speakers or on the sidewalk with headphones in doing these exact dances to “Hotline Bling.‰” Drake transformed fantasy into reality.

Flash forward to 2065. At this time, seventh graders learning about what life was like 50 years ago via holographic projections of this exact video. They may be a bit confused by the opening call center scene, but they will end with a greater understanding of what “got the people going‰” in 2015.

– Jack Fitzpatrick