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Favorite Portland Music Videos of 2011

For me, 2011 will be the year I, by medical necessity, began megadosing vitamin D in earnest, due to the excessive amount of rain. Some of us may also measure last year not in IUs of supplements consumed, but by rejection letters received or dollars not earned. Still, at the end of the year, I looked back and had much to be thanful for—friends, family and my health, to name a few. And also, some great music videos out of my hometown of Portland.


Jared Mees & the Grown Children - Hungry Like a Tiger

This is one of a few videos I saw this year which were filmed in reverse and reveal intriguing plot details, not unlike Christopher Nolan’s 2000 film Memento.



Holcombe Waller - Hardliners

Holcombe Waller actually released three other stunning videos this year, but this is my favorite. Seemingly one single shot, Waller is transported from the confines of his bedroom to the stage of a theater filled with loving friends and supporters.



Menomena - TAOS

Portland director Alicia J. Rose is at the forefront of music videos being made here. Her credits from last year include treatments for Talkdemonic, Golden Bloom, Holcombe WallerAgesandAges, and this, my favorite of hers, which I chatted with her about earlier in the year. Rose’s style is often aimed at a different sort of fantasy than tawdry takedowns, but she’s pinned this one.



Loch Lomond - Elephants and Little Girls

Another beautiful, well-choreographed video, shot in one continuous take.



Viva Voce - The Future will Destroy You

When Kevin and Anita Robinson wrote the lyric “the future will destroy you”, I’m pretty sure they didn’t have post-nuclear cat-men in mind. But if you’re familiar with the work of Danial Ryan, aka Wolfgore, you can imagine that for him, the leap wasn’t too far.



The Decemberists - This is Why We Fight

In director Aaron Stewart-Ahn‘s less absurd (though not entirely dissimilar) post-apocolyptic world, bands of children are forced by their teenage overlords (maybe they were the only survivors because they were in a bomb-proof school building?) to dig through the garbage dumps of the former world for useful items. 


The Decemberists’ other video last year was equally compelling, though in a more satirical way.


Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside - I Swear

Up-and-coming Portland director Matthew Thomas Ross not only conveyed the timelessness of Sallie Ford’s music, but also foreshadowed her appearance on David Letterman.



The Thermals - Not Like Any Other Feeling

I’m pretty sure this moon landing shown below is a stop-motion hoax, but a quest like this could certainly galvanize our nation in these polarized times.



Portugal. The Man - Sleep Forever/Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now)

Portugal. The Man are based out of Portland, but originally come from Wasilla, Alaska. For this video, front man John Gourley returned to the wilderness of his home state (I believe Russia can be seen in the distant edges of some of the wide shots) to play a lone hunter in this thirteen-minute amazing achievement. 

A warning for children and/or sensitive viewers: Wilderness survival ain’t easy.


*Bonus: Duran Duran - Runway Runaway

No, Duran Duran have made no announcement of relocation plans to Portland, but director Justin J. Lowe‘s video for their song “Runway Runaway” was selected as a finalist in their contest (and was far superior to the winner) to create the song’s official video. I appreciate not only the novel take on the song’s story, but the video also taps into the wonderfully magical thinking children are capable of.


These were my favorite Portland videos for 2010, and these were my favorites from all locations




video Best of 2011

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