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Our Favorite Music Videos Of 2014 (So Far)

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We’re already halfway through 2014, giving us tons of pop culture fare to sift through. So now that we’re in the dead heat of summer, we’ve taken time to look back on the music videos we fell in love with during the first half of the year.

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by (@zaragolden)

Taylor Swift’s “Never Ever” And The 5 Best One-Shot Music Videos Of All-Time

“Fun fact,” tweeted Taylor Swift before last night’s premiere of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” proud to have you know that the wheEEEE-msical new video — which includes five costume changes, multiple dance parties, and a boyfriend very dismissed — was shot in one continuous and unedited shot. And as she should be, as the latest to pull-off the one-shot feat.

A particular fixture of the 90s, this sort of one-shot music video was popularized by Michel Gondry, and includes classics like Lisa Loeb’s “Stay (I Missed You)” and Weezer’s “Undone (The Sweater Song).” But the one-shot seems to have fallen out of favor as late, computers generally being the video-director’s preferred trick. It’s nice to see reviving this old one. And so, in celebration of Taylor’s entry into the One-Shot Club, let’s take a look back at five other important one-shot videos:

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by (@kat_george)

OK Go’s Video For “Needing/Getting” Features A Car As The Entire Band

Sometimes it feels like OK Go have cornered themselves by creating so many magical, innovative videos — because now we just expect that the band will give us something quirky, thoughtful and original. Lucky for OK Go, they don’t seem to have a problem delivering, ever, and their video for “Needing/Getting” is no exception. Given the hype around the Drive soundtrack last year, it seems that OK Go found inspiration in the movie, literally driving in order to create music.

The video sees the band in brightly colored safety suits inside a car that’s kitted out with all manner of mystery gadgets. Once the car takes off, the meaning of the gadgetry becomes apparent, and it’s go go gadget music! The car speeds through a country landscape, various antennae beating against barrels to create a drum beat, extending to strum guitars hanging from a fence and to tickle against glass in a cacophony of glorious sounds. The set itself seems huge, with the car speeding down corridors with instruments and found items positioned in such a way as to create music. We’ve got to hand it to OK Go — they never cease to surprise and awe with the technicality and imagination of their videos.

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by (@Lacezilla)

The Greatest Song Of The 00′s: What Should It Have Been?

If you tuned in to our five-day 100 Greatest Songs of the 00′s countdown last week, you already know that pre-preggers Beyonc? took home the #1 spot with hubby-featured smash, “Crazy In Love.” Good for them, right? The collabo is over eight years old, and still carries with it a sense of sonic recognition that might one day be categorized as “timeless.”

If you ask our countdown’s pundits, however, there is a wide range of respectfully-dissenting opinions on what video should have been #1. Tim and Damian from OK Go suggested that Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” should have earned the coveted slot, our former colleague Rich Juzwiak was vying for Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together,” and a number of other commentators from the show made arguments for OutKast, Kelly Clarkson, and Eminem.

If you could have your way with our list’s top 10 songs, which one would you have crowned ?The Greatest of the 00′s? Take our poll and leave us your thoughts in the comments section. Don’t worry, we’re thick-skinned!

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Tuned In: OK Go Take A Backseat To Animal On Leno

OK Go‘s attention-getting music videos and performances have been an effective way to get attention for their music in a Web 2.0 world, but it’s probably pretty exhausting. The band’s off-kilter visual sensibilities, though, are not far off from those of the Jim Henson Company, so we weren’t surprised that they were tapped to cover “The Muppet Show Theme Song” (and shoot a music video) for The Green Album. Their appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno yesterday was an extension of that, but it was also a showcase?and, probably, a relief?for the band. Joined by Animal, who provided a wicked drum solo mid-song (no explosions, though), the band found themselves able to focus entirely on their performance, without needing to supplement the song with another gamble for the audience’s attention. So they sounded great! Plus, the promotion of Thanksgiving-weekend film The Muppets was as unobtrusive as a multi-million dollar push can be, and any excuse to get someone playing a theremin on The Tonight Show is a bonus.

Bonus evangelism (pun not intended): Kirk Franklin appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, performing “I Smile,” a song that’s just outside the Top 20 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart (after peaking at #12) but virtually unknown to all but “urban adult contemporary” listeners, because it’s also spent 21 weeks at #1 on the Gospel chart, and for most American listeners, non-secular music (no matter what the religious affiliation) may as well be in another language. “I Smile” is a funked-up “Hard-Knock Life” based around an S.O.S. Band sample (as interpolated through the 1997 Scarface and Tupac single “Smile”). If Glee renditions can cross over and chart, why not Franklin’s choir (filled with chart-toppers in their own right, like Isaac Carree) singing a track based on a Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis break?

Elsewhere in late night…
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by (@Lacezilla)

The Muppets Recruit OK Go For Wacky “Theme Song” Video

By now, OK Go’s creative video aptitude has likely made its way to your world in one way or another. Be it through your TV screen via their 2006 VMA reinactment of the attention-grabbing treadmill dance from “Here It Goes Again,” or more recently, through your inbox via either of the one-shot versions of “This Too Shall Pass,” pooch-friendly “White Knuckles,”or kaleidoscope-esque “All Is Not Lost,” it’s becoming clear that the visuals they cook up seem to continuously out-do the last. So naturally, when we got word that they’d be collaborating with The Muppets, we didn’t know what kind of madness to expect.

Muppets: The Green Album hit stores today, and besides OK Go, also features artists like Weezer, The Fray and My Morning Jacket, all covering Muppet classics that we know and love. Batting first, OK Go kick-off the album with the “Muppet Show Theme Song” and synchronized with the album’s release, liberated a video for the lively collaboration earlier today. Piggy-backing on throwback visuals from the band’s previous viral hits, the colorful clip shows some (adorable) intermingling with the entire cast of characters, and reeks of childhood-awakening, make-you-smile potential. Go ahead: press play and don’t act like you forgot about the most sen-sational, in-spir-ational, celeb-rational, Muppet-ational show that life has to offer.

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Lollapalooza 2011: The Performers In Profile (And Other Onstage Poses) [PHOTOS]

We may not have been able to attend Lollapalooza 2011 ourselves, but the photographers we sent in our stead got some great shots. Yesterday, we shared their fashion roundup of attendees, but of course we wanted lenses be pointed at the stage at least some of the time, and this gallery definitely delivers. Click through for shots of performances all weekend, including shots from must-see sets like Eminem‘s, as well as some great snaps of You Oughta Know alums like Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Lissie, and more!

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And our trusty VH1 News team was also on hand, scoring some awesome interviews with the likes of Tinie Tempah, My Morning Jacket, Foster The People, Christina Perri and Ok Go. We’ve got some exclusive video to share with you below.

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For OK Go, Making Another Viral Video Is No Small Feat

For some reason, it’s a power-pop band’s lot in life to be underrated and undernoticed?a fact that’s been true at least since the sixties, when entire life cycles of under-the-radar garage-rock bands went by before Lenny Kaye compiled their hits into the first Nuggets collection. It’s no less true now. To be successful as a power-pop band, you need something extra. For Fountains of Wayne, it was a catchy gag-single (“Stacey’s Mom”) plus financing from Adam Schlesinger‘s side-hustle as a commercial composer. For Sloan, it’s been Canadian arts-socialism (via FACTOR).

OK Go‘s angle, starting with the mega-success of the video for “Here It Goes Again,” has been eye-catching visuals. This has led to the unusual challenge of outdoing the last video with the next one, most successfully with last year’s Rube Goldberg video “This Too Shall Pass.” Their antics have even inspired other artists like Death Cab for Cutie to shoot art-gimmick videos, even as OK Go’s own sound has drifted more towards the indie-guitar-pop of those same bands.

Their latest eye-catching clip, for “All Is Not Lost,” features the band?accompanied by the Pilobolus Dance Company?contorting themselves on a transparent surface, through which the video is shot. In the clip, viewable above, the band and dancers spell out some of the lyrics with their feet.

At the interactive site allisnotlo.st, you can enter your own message, and the dancers walk across the screen and spell it out (even if your message is explicit?so teenagers and teenage-minded adults, have fun spelling out OK Go foot obscenities).

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