Another year, another twelve months of outstanding local music videos. We watched more videos than we can remember this year, and there were lots of winners, showing off the Denver music community's signature innovation and sense of humor. Though it's impossible to make a comprehensive list, here are the ten music videos made by Denver bands in the last year that have stuck with us.
Note: As we said, there is more art then we can take in sometimes. If you had a music video you liked this year, share it in the comments, we'd be happy to view it.
10. "Girlfriend" — In The Whale
In The Whale spent most of 2015 on the road, touring with various bands and playing probably every city twice. But when the band was home, it stopped by the hallowed grounds of Red Rocks to give a fantastic performance of the catchy single, "Girlfriend." The video is simple, but then again, with In The Whale's insane stage presence, simple is all you need.
9. "Quetzalcoatlus" — Ian Cooke
No other musician has two videos on this list, but no musician besides Ian Cooke put as much time and energy into making the world of dinosaurs come to life. Like a history lesson you would actually pay attention to, "Quetzalcoatlus" (no, we can't pronounce that either) brings the dead to life and makes you care about creatures from eons ago. Cello and dinosaurs turned out to be the perfect musical combination — who knew?
8. "Red Plastic Cup" — Turner Jackson
Oh, the ode to the party. Those nights that end the next day, where you spend hours dancing, drinking, and conversing with strangers who quickly become your friends, your brethren of the night. Many people have written this ode, and many have failed in the attempt. But Turner Jackson, longtime Denver hip-hop master, succeeds with aplomb. Managing to make it genuine without turning into parody. As I age, I've grown weary of the red solo cup parties that last until 4 a.m, preferring a quiet room with friends and a bottle of whiskey. But Jackson makes me want to don my best party dress, grab my girl squad, and throw a house party for the ages, all while singing along to “Red Plastic Cup.”
7. "Taste Your Medicine" — Pink Hawks
Sometimes the best music videos are the ones that are the most fun, as is the case with Pink Hawks' “Taste Your Medicine.” The pop/jazz/world band took over a roller rink and turned it into the disco of your dreams for this non-stop party of a video. Filled with neon and the fantastic music of Pink Hawks, this video will make you want to find an empty warehouse, a good funk band, and throw the best black light skate party ever. If only your 10th birthday party at the sad, now defunct roller rink had been this cool.
6. "Had It All" — One Flew West
Indie rock gets a bad rap in this town where the only buzz seems to be around hipsters in suspenders or freaks with synths, but One Flew West is bringing it back, and bringing it back well with the “Had It All” video. An obvious spoof of the “Too Many Cooks” nightmare of a video (which takes place in Denver if the opening shot is to be believed). The band makes you giggle while blasting through one of the better indie-rock songs in recent times.
Check out five more of the best music videos by Denver bands.
5. "Bryn Marina" — Sound of Ceres
The “Bryn Marina” video is just as trippy and unsettling as the new single itself, but also just as mesmerizing and gorgeous. The underwater scene filled with skeletons, organs and creatures is the kind of thing you just can’t tear your eyes away from. It’s creative and perfectly represents the other-worldly ambitions of the band. For the first thirty seconds, you may just want to turn off the video, but by the end you can’t wait to hit play again. Which sums up Sound of Ceres pretty accurately.
4. "Epilogue" — Ian Cooke
Ian Cooke’s Antiquasauria, his dinosaur-themed album, is a bold endeavor. He had to make music that not only sounds good but references Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Mesozoic Era. The result, in true Ian Cooke fashion, is beautiful, intelligent and chaotic, as is the just delightful animated music video for “Epilogue.” Full of whimsy and color, the video will, at the least, teach you about dinosaurs. It’s the dinosaur documentary of your dreams, delivered by one of the smartest Denver musicians working today.
3. "Beer Commercial" — Bud Bronson And The Good Timers
Every Denverite has had that day where they come home from work, open a beer, and suddenly their house is transformed into a giant summer day party, right? Okay, probably not. But sometimes Denver, especially in the summer, can feel like a giant beer commercial, and party boys Bud Bronson and The Good Timers understand that better than anyone. Half genuine, half sarcastic, this video is wholly a good time as Greater Than Collective Label Manager Ben Desoto embraces his inner beer commercial. For fun, play the “how many Denver references are in this video” game while you watch.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
2. "S.O.B" — Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
The throwback band goes for the throwback video in this prison-themed riot from the Night Sweats. Stuck in jail for, we guess, stealing suitcases — madman Nathaniel Rateliff creates a prison band and puts on the best jailhouse show since The Man In Black stepped into Folsom Prison. It’s almost impossible to capture the frantic energy of a Night Sweats show on film but the directors here succeed, showing off the band’s musicianship and kinetic presence. Not to mention the accompanying song is one of the catchiest of last year. It’ll have you stomping and clapping along with the inmates the whole way through.
1. "Doing It Right" — The Yawpers
The best music video this year was also probably the bloodiest. Hard rockers the Yawpers released American Man this year, which garnered national attention and the insane video for the single “Doing It Right.” The above mentioned video starts with the main character slitting his wrists, and from there it goes to a cut-off penis, a car chase and a cameo by Absolute Vinyl’s owner Doug Gaddy. It’s violent, intriguing and perfectly represents the Yawpers' balls-to-the-wall attitude.
Vote for your choice of best local music video at the Best Of Denver 2016 Readers' Poll.