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Subterfuge: Alternate Reality Indie Nominations for the MMVAs

June 15th, 2009

I’ve got this friend, we’ll call him Tim, who sometimes talks about what he’d do if he took over the world. Mostly, I say “Tim, you sound like a crazy fascist!”. But on occasion, I wonder what I’d do if I ruled the world. After “House Full of Kittens”, I think the first thing I’d do would be to suggest my OWN nominations (and categories) for this year’s MMVAs. ‘Cause you know, there’s a lot of good stuff that didn’t make it up there.

If you think I’m wrong about these picks, why don’t you try and correct me? Huh, punk? I DARE YOU!


If you gathered 30 of your closest hipster friends in your house for a raging party, these are the songs they’d ask you to put on repeat.

Handsome Furs – “I’m Confused
Zombie attacks are only half of what makes this video great. The other half is dancing! The third half is that I kinda have a thing for Dan Boeckner. But that is neither here nor there.

Winter GlovesLet Me Drive
Remember back in grade school when you used to make those flip-books of stick-figures dancing? Winter Gloves has just taken that concept to a glorious new level. You seriously have to see how they do this. It’s almost magical.

Woodhands – “I Wasn’t Made for Fighting
In case we haven’t talked before, you should know that Daniel Werb of Woodhands is pretty awesome, in a super nerdy yet super amazing way. In this video he proves that he can freeze time, one of his many talents.


The definition of twee, loosely quoting the Urban Dictionary, is something excessively cute, almost to the point of absurdity. I think these videos fall well into that category.

The Ghost is Dancing – Without Friends from Jon S. on Vimeo.

The Ghost is Dancing – “Without Friends
Well known for being one of those huge Canadian collectives, TGID chose to keep their video simple and low budget: Jamie Matechuk is running down the street alone. Then his friends (and bandmates) show up! Happiness ensues!

City and Colour – “The Girl
Dallas Green is technically too hardcore to be in a category for a Twee video. But if you take a listen to this song, you’ll see EXACTLY why it’s here.

Julie Doiron – “Heavy Snow
Another can-indierock legend, Julie’s video for Heavy Snow features, surprisingly, no snow at all. Somehow, though, Julie’s ramblings and strange behavior in the video perfectly match her vocal ramblings in the song itself. Oh Julie, you so twee!


Sure, you can be a Finger Eleven or a Nickleback, and explode things (ie: the world) in your videos. OR, you can be like these nominees, and have some happy-rock-out-times while still being intelligent and hilarious about it, like all good Canadians.

Malajube – “Porté Disparu
This video is like a wicked French-Canadian version of Clue, and I mean the one with the multiple endings, as this video also follows that model. Death, mystery, uni-colour suits, what else could you want?

Arkells – “Oh, the Boss is Coming
Here’s another alternate reality for you, where the Arkells are musicians working in a box factory (or something), and end up having to film the company’s safety video because they accidentally taped over the old one. Lots of cheezy meta-behind-the-scenes footage. Comedy gold.

Waking Eyes – “Wolves at the Door
Winnipeg’s Waking Eyes play on this great “Little Red Riding Hood” theme throughout the video, and there’s even a surprise twist at the end of the video. Hot. This is one video you’d hope was playing on the television screen at the bar when last call rolls around.


Because we all know true country isn’t found in the city, but these bands come pretty close to replicating, and perhaps possibly improving, on a country-like sound. Just like Brampton! (Look at it loom)

Neko Case – “People Gotta Lotta Nerve
I LOVE animated videos. And Neko Case’s also has monkeys, elephants, and a little animated girl with a rifle. Also a giant whale in a swimming pool. Did I mention I love animated videos?

Elliot Brood – “Fingers and Tongues
This black and white vid seems a lot like a 1950’s educational film about the year 1910. How cool is that?

Joel Plaskett – “Through and Through and Through
Former Thrush-Hermit member and superstar in his own right, Plaskett spends the entire video riding around on various vehicles, including a golf cart, and is still freaking awesome doing it. How does he do it? I would bottle that charisma and make a fortune, if I could.


A lot of good music (and music videos) are made in Canada. But not all of it is, and here is some proof.

Franz Ferdinand – “Ulysses
It may be the flashing lights, Saturday-Night-Fever walk, or the jumping on the bed while playing guitar, but something about this video makes me want to party. Even if Alex Kapranos looks totally lost and possibly concussed for the entire video.

Bloc Party – “Mercury
So the dudes in Bloc Party dress up like monkeys and Frakenstein-together a minotaur to win a US election and take over the world. Enough said about it. Plus the song is killer.

Grizzly Bear – “Two Weeks
I love this video like you like watching scary movies, or car crashes – it’s so creepy you just can’t look away. This song has also been stuck in my head for three weeks. What can I say, I’m a sucker for oohs and aahs.


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