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TikiKiti Awards: November

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’… somewhere between the present and the future.

I swear, we’re almost there. November is over, the turkey has been snuffed and stuffed. And speaking of overindulging, we’ve got six videos on tap this month, the final two entries were judged a photo finish by our distinguished panel of mimes and marionettes.

As always, the prestigious Barclay Award is presented each month for outstanding achievement in indie video artistry.

The current Top Six feature amazing women who take no shit, a hip-hop horror movie, and “Dolphins On Wheels,” which belongs in a genre all its own.

1. Producer: Unlocked Films
Artist: April March
Song: “Chick Habit”
Category: Narrative

Pundits and savants are already quaking in fear over the possibility that now is the time that righteous women take back the night and kick ass. We welcome our new witch overlords.

2. Producer: Chris Cotton
Artist: Loyalty Is Timeless
Song: “Space”
Category: Narrative

Hip-hop and horror go together like spice on rice. The line between grim reality and mad science is gossamer thin, and we have to stick together against bumps in the night.

3. Producer: Alex Videographie
Artist: Markus Schultz
Song: “We Are The Light”
Category: Narrative

So, the skateboard is a metaphor for making the best use of the tools around us? Or perhaps the story boils down to showing more respect for the paths taken by others. Anyway, it’s a thought-provoking vignette, shrewdly rendered.

4. Producer: Skinny PM + Mane Precieuse
Artist: Holly Guelce
Song: “Mwen Jenn Manmou”
Category: Performance

Dancer Mane Precieuse’s defiant choreography transforms this deceptively simple video into a torch of revolution and release. Our souls are free to dance despite oppression to the body.

5. Producer: Anna Harvey
Artist: Sia
Song: “Bird Set Free”
Category: Narrative

A beautiful model has a psychotic break because she’s lost control of her life. The editing contrast between her composed exterior and her fraying grip on reality is frighteningly realized.

5. Producer: Faculty of Art + Design (FAD)
Artist: Kill The Noise + Dillon Francis
Song: “Dolphins On Wheels”
Category: Narrative

I will never forget where I was when I watched “Dolphins On Wheels.” This video demands your attention and never surrenders. A childish farce that offers a nerd hero who won’t conform, the Faculty of Art and Design have created a very special spectacle that you won’t forget, even if you try.

That’s what we do at TikiKiti: Display Unofficial Music Videos from all corners of the world that wash up on our shore like notes in bottles. Keep sending them, we’re here and loving it.

Billboard’s Top Fan-Made Videos

SketchShe

While scaring up internet intelligence on Unofficial Music Videos, I happened upon Billboard magazine’s “10 Most Popular Fan-Uploaded Music Videos From 2015.” As the title clearly indicates, it’s a popularity contest, as one would expect coming from a chart-focused publication.

There’s nothing wrong with winning the popular vote, but Billboard’s list would seem to be another example of rewarding the most familiar formulas, e.g., one video is for the ubiquitous “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen. Even though innovation isn’t the goal, the list does include some noteworthy highlights.

Two of the top 10 videos are treatments of “Watch Me (Whip & Nae Nae)” by Atlanta artist Silento, with this performance by Heaven King and her crew drawing over 190 million views.

Let’s face it: You can’t go wrong with cute kids in a video, and Heaven King and her dancing divas are downright adorable. The choreography reveals plenty of hard work and preparation, but it’s still joyfully ragged, and practically begs the viewer to join the fun. It’s a good time and there’s nothing wrong with that.

In this and other videos (shot by her mom), we see Heaven driving a “fancy car” with her dog, and she even has her own little entourage, a child’s view on the trappings of adult success. Hopefully when she’s older and a bit more worldly, she can create inspiring videos about having the smarts to avoid the usual pits and snares that gobble up our young creatives.

Elsewhere on Billboard’s list we get a heaping dose of ambition, as the Rockin’ 1000, a veritable army of musicians, covers Foo Fighters’ “Learn To Fly” in order to convince bandleader Dave Grohl to bring FF to Cesena, Italy for a concert. As the director himself says in the video, it was a project that took over a year to make.

The supple editing and swooping camerawork is impressive, as is the sheer scope of the project. In that regard, it’s the exact opposite of Heaven and her friends picking up a few steps. One can’t help but admire the logistical sophistication of the endeavor, which paid off to the tune of over 36 million views (and presumably, a Foo Fighters concert).

Apparently Mime Through Time is a “thing” perhaps inspired by the viral success of The Late Late Show’s Carpool Karaoke. Here, three Austrailian friends known as SketchShe share a ride through rock history, complete with costume changes and a hurricane of remain-in-your-seat jigs, gyrations, and gesticulations.

The premise is original, energetic, and once again extends an enthusiastic invitation to the viewer to rock along, whether stuck in traffic or stuck behind a desk. Shake what Mama gave you!

The ending is also funny as hell, and it compelled me to watch more Mime Through Time videos by SketchShe, whose groovy moves have attracted over 40 million views to YouTube. Nice job, ladies!

It’s encouraging to know that Unofficial Music Videos (even popular ones) reveal variety and imaginative solutions, qualities we hope to cultivate further at TikiKiti.

This is a test…

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