Frontier Psychiatrist

Archive for the ‘Best Videos of the Month’ Category

K-Pop Stars: Wonder Girls

[Editor’s Note: This article was written before the release of Gagnam Style]

No matter how the borders of the world might divide us, all of humanity shares one thing in common; we all know a catchy pop song when we hear it.  The head bobs, thoughts become light, fluffy clouds appear and, after three minutes, we are not necessarily any better people but we’re damned sure happier.  The current axis mundi for such music is Seoul, South Korea.  Known as K-Pop, it’s a strange and potent amalgamation of the last 15 years of Western pop, dance music, hip-hop and R&B manufactured with startling precision.

As American record executives continue to drown in their own ineptitude, confused and frightened by the digital age, desperately seeking a way to keep selling music to the masses, the bosses in Seoul have found a winning formula: Killer hooks, wicked choreography, visceral aesthetics, meticulous production, global-fusion youth fashion, and attractive young Koreans make for a wildly compelling confection.  By sifting through the detritus of the West, pulling out the gems we’ve inexplicably abandoned, then adding their own unique sensibilities, South Korea has given birth to a truly global 21st century pop music, where all that matters is your head keeps bouncing, your body keeps moving, and you finish with a smile on your face. With that in mind, we’ve chosen the Top 10 K-Pop music videos of 2012 (so far).  Since K-Pop is as much about performance and aesthetics as it is about music, all three criteria were given equal weight.

10. F(x) – “Electric Shock”

This is not F(x)’s most compelling track but the video has all the elements which makes K-Pop so oddly vital.  Crisp choreography over dance ready synth in a pseudo-futuristic setting while the girls themselves look like really clean versions of American street kids.  The hook is a curseworm.  It will nest in your brain and emerge when you least expect it.  Also, this is not the last time on this countdown careful observers will see a sleeveless AC/DC shirt. Further Reading:  The pink tank in “Hot Summer”.

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We dropped the ball on the top 5 videos of the month for February, so today we’re making up for it with a double entry.  The best videos of the last two months run the gamut from old school to groundbreaking.  Many of our most-featured artists are included, as are a handful of obscure upstarts.  Sit back and enjoy the show.

10. Mouse on Mars – “Polaroyced”

Concept: Guy in mask dances.  French bulldogs fly.  Glitter falls from sky.

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Every 30 days we bring you our five favorite music videos of the month gone by; if you missed any of last year’s entries, click here. The music video is off to great start in 2012, and there were many fantastic entries that could not find room on the list.  If you take a look at some of them, head over to our tumblr where we have posted several (and where we frequently post new music and videos).  In the meantime, enjoy the months’ best, featuring shadow puppets, action figures, dangerous car stunts, and gay porn stars.  Read the rest of this entry »

I have long trumpeted the virtues of the music video, an art form that sadly had its public outlet terminated 15 years ago just as it was reaching maturity.  The work produced in September 2011 justifies my efforts.  Throughout the year we have been conducting monthly music video countdowns, but no month has been quite like the last.  The volume of brilliant work was overwhelming, and each of the videos below could make a strong case for #1 in any other month.  As for the month’s top video, suffice it to say that, in a different era, it would have made stars of its creators. Enjoy the show. Read the rest of this entry »

The summer was a slow time for new music releases, but it proved a spectacular time for new music videos.  There were so many outstanding releases over the past two months that we had to exclude clips from site favorites like St. Vincent, Fucked Up, and Bon Iver.  Given that we did not publish a column last month, this month’s entry includes ten videos.  The entries below feature religious cults, sock puppets, cherry-red Mustangs, and post-modern literary references.  Watch and enjoy.

10) Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Little Blu House”

Portland’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra is one of dozens of young bands cranking out psychedelia-inspired pop music in 2011.  Their self-titled debut, released this summer on Fat Possum, will make you nod your head, dance seductively, and wish you had some drugs.  The video for album-highlight “Little Blu House” is exactly what you’d expect it to be.

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Given the fact that one of our editors has spent the month of July in sub-optimal physical condition, some of our regular columns have been turning up a bit late this month.  Among these is our top 5 videos column for June, which finally sees the light of day at the end of July.  Its arrival in the midst of a suffocating heat wave seems appropriate, however, as the month’s best videos include many distractions from summer’s dog days, including snowy landscapes, barren trees, and school.  Be advised at always that the work environment in non-ideal for enjoying this particular column.

5)  (tie) Explosions in the Sky – “Last Known Surroundings”

This is the first music video from Texas cult band Explosions in the Sky, and it’s quite good, but I have to admit that I’ve included it because of its striking similarity to the 1980s Nintendo game 3-D Worldrunner, a game that absolutely no one played except me.   I hated those Serpentbeasts. Read the rest of this entry »

Every 30 days we bring you our five favorite music videos of the month gone by; if you missed any previous entries, click here. May’s best videos feature rituals, mysteries, fantasies, and lots and lots of girls. Enjoy the show, but don’t enjoy it at work.

5. Beyoncé – Run The World (Girls)

Right now, Beyoncé is probably thinking, “Awesome!  I hit #5 on Frontier Psychiatrist’s top 5 videos of the month!”  We have two words for you Ms. Knowles: you’re welcome. Read the rest of this entry »


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L.V. Lopez, Publisher
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Freya Bellin
Andrew Hertzberg
Franklin Laviola
Gina Myers
Jared Thomas
Jordan Mainzer

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Sons of Dionysus


A Transmedia Novel of Myth, Mirth, and the Magical Excess of Youth.