Best Video

City Paper

The music video is a strange genre in a strange place. In his recent book “How Music Works,” David Byrne writes about how part of the Talking Heads’ popularity came from the fact that his art-school training meant that they were able to make MTV videos when not that many bands had that kind of competence. Of course, now everyone has a camera in their pocket and editing software on their laptop, so it’s extremely easy to make a video and extremely hard to make a great video. And of course, the first requirement for a great video is a great song. The visuals are usually super prosaic—Young Moose with guns and money and his crew, or DDm at the Broom Factory, to mention two of this year’s great videos. But nobody does much new with the form, as Byrne and co. did. J. Roddy Walston and the Business upped the ante with this year’s video for ‘Some Days.’ There’s a deluxe version that uses technology to allow the viewer to shuffle the series of images by dragging them as they move across the screen in a grid. But even the normal version is great and creepy—a guy in a boat, a woman at her toilette, a stiff formal family dining, some girls in animal masks and not much clothes in a hotel room, a butcher, and a baptism. Images of these scenes rotate and blend into one another with a crisp darkness and sardonic sensibility that brings each to catastrophe and then back to normality with a slow subtlety that both compliments and subverts the anthemic quality of the song. 

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