In the midst of all of this seasonal stress, music is a great way to stay sane. And if Bing Crosby and The Carpenters aren't quite fulfilling your needs, then we have you covered with a helping of some of this week's best music video offerings. Before the eggnog-guzzling festivities commence, take a breather.
We're taking a break from the radio show this weekend after wrapping up things up on the Strombo Hundo countdown last Sunday evening. In case you missed it, you can run down the best of 2011 here.
Like the lovechild of Nick Mason and John Bonham, Paul Barry's monstrous drumming complements Erik Culp's flawless combination of guitar, Moog and Taurus pedals in this Toronto duo's premiere video. The Philip Sportel-directed cut is a nice breath of fresh air from the cold weather - it's a refreshingly distilled electronic piece.
Arcade Fire 'Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)'
Win Butler and co. have released two Vincent Morisset-directed versions of this track, one traditional video and one interactive (remember 'We Used to Wait'?). They're both urging your impulse to dance along with Regine Chassagne as she prances through the suburbs with surreal faceless backup dancers. What are you waiting for?
Colin Stetson 'Those Who Didn't Run'
This Issac Gale-directed 10-minute piece is an excellent testament to saxophonist Colin Stenson's amazing year - from the critically acclaimed EP 'Those Who Didn't Run' to the Polaris Prize short-listed 'New History Warfare II: Judges'. He's also dropped in on both Bon Iver and Feist's latest records. Gale described the idea behind this song as trying "to create something that unfolds super slowly, that the viewer can sort of become immersed and then get lost in, with the music driving it all."
Jay-Z & Kanye West 'N****s In Paris (Live In Vancouver)'
Shawn Corey Carter and Kanye Omari West wrapped up their Watch the Throne tour in Vancouver with a nice dose of egocentric brilliance. If you've been keeping tabs, you're well aware that the power-duo are addicted to performing 'N****s In Paris' multiple times. They shattered all previous records as they pumped out the jam eleven times! This is so cray - Rolling Stone took time to break down the numbers, noting that out of the 168 performances, they played the song an average of 4.95 times a night - which is 613.2 minutes in total. That s**t cray.
James Blake 'A Case of You'
This post-dubstep British crooner seduced our Canadian hearts when he released this Joni Mitchell cover on his 'Enough Thunder' EP in the fall, but now there is a visual to accompany the emotional rollercoaster of this piano ballad. Featuring Rebecca Hall ('The Town', 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona') from her lover's perspective, director Seb Edwards does one helluva job to capture a claustrophobic relationship.
Michael Bublé Duets
If you haven't seen it yet, you might have heard about Michael Bublé and Jimmy Fallon's tour-de-force on 'Saturday Night Live' last weekend. It was an alumni reunion with the return of Weekend Updaters Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, with Rachel Dratch, Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan dropping by as well. Tradional skits like 'I Wish It Was Christmas Today' were resurrected, but perhaps the best skit of the night was the impersonation-off in the Bublé duets commercial. Fallon does an impressive takes on Sting, Bieber and Russell Brand, while Fred Armisen delivered a hilarious schitzo-impersonation of Radiohead's Thom Yorke, à la "Lotus Flower". Honourable mentions to Nasseem Pedrad's M.I.A., Jay Pharoah's Jesus-stomping Kanye and Kristen Wiig's Taylor Swift.
Drake ft. Lil Wayne and Tyga 'The Motto'
The fashion choices are a little questionable (lime green rubber boots, Lil Wayne? Really?), but you can't mess with the flows on this track, an outtake from Drake's album 'Take Care'. It opens with a message from the mother of rapper Mac Dre, who died in a 2004 shooting in Kansas City.
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