Going To ’11: Music Videos of 2011

I always think that nobody watches music videos anymore, but then I remember that like 75% of the “Most Viewed” videos on YouTube are music videos that have, collectively, been viewed over five billion times. Nevertheless, it still seems like the cultural importance of music videos have waned. It seems like they exist now for people who want to listen to music on their computer without using iTunes, Spotify, or Pandora.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t cool videos that come out every year. This is a brief overview of the most inspired videos of 2011 (that we saw):

Best Use of Abstract Shapes in a Music Video

“Second Song” — TV On The Radio (Dir: Michael Please)

This is what geometry is for.

Best Video About Unrequited Love

“Conversation 16” — The National (Dir: Scott Jacobson)

John Slattery is a Secret Service Agent pining for President Kristen Schaal. What else could you want?

Best Video of One Person Dancing

If there was a trend in music videos this year, this was definitely it. Everyone from Radiohead to R.E.M. to Robyn was doing it. The Taiwanese pop sensation Toyo Tsutsuli released a video for his song “Dancing Alone” that featured him—you guessed it—dancing alone. James Blake’s video for “The Wilhelm Scream” seems like it’s going to be one guy dancing, but he never actually dances. Nevertheless, there is one video from this genre that stood out:

“Lonely Boy” — The Black Keys (Dir: Jesse Dylan)

I want to take dancing lessons from Derrick T. Tuggle…

Best Video Based on a Great American Novel/Best Video of the Year

“Calamity Song” — The Decembrists (Dir: Michael Schur)

I mean, obviously, when you base a video on the most popular scene from Infinite Jest, you’re going to score points with all of us at NPI….

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