Have MTV’s Video Music Awards ever been about the videos? Or the music? Or the awards? Since 1984, the VMAs have provided a publicity stunt platform like no other — a tradition we expect to see continued during Sunday’s awards show knowing that Tyler, the Creator will be in the same room as Bruno Mars.

Meantime, music videos continue to flourish online. We don’t expect MTV to play music videos in 2011, but wouldn’t it be nice if they really recognized the best of them? This year’s nominees for video of the year feel like a motley demographic grab: Adele, Beastie Boys, Katy Perry, Bruno, and Tyler. Hmph. For our weekly Taking sides post, we each picked a music video from the past year that we felt actually deserves some love.


Allison Stewart: My vote goes for World Order’s “Machine Civilization,” (above) even though I don't know who they are and I like not knowing. This video is so eerie and beautiful and everyone in it is so odd. First they’re reverse planking (is that even a thing?) then they’re a human earthworm and then some other things, and it's like an old school Madness video mixed with that Christopher Walken Fatboy Slim video, except everyone in it is very serious. Also, there are dogs in it, and I'm a sucker for anything with dogs in it, even poodles.

Chris Richards: The best music videos would take you into an artist’s real world or their fantasy world. Either you’re at a house party with Dre and Snoop or hanging with Missy Elliott in some Hype Williams-designed space station. That’s why I love this video for James Blake’s “Limit to Your Love” so much. It’s both. We’re invited into his messy bedroom where gravity doesn’t work and the bassquakes are no joke.

David Malitz: While doing this exercise I realized that I still don't really enjoy music videos! Even with the ridiculous amount of nudity they all seem to have these days. So I think I will go with “Moves” by the New Pornographers for one simple reason: “Ted Leo as Kathryn Calder.”