Remember those nights when you stayed up with your friends watching music videos on MTV? Kids today will never know the frustration of the pre-internet days, when we had to wait for our favorite songs to come alive on the big screen (well, a screen bigger than the one on your phone) and the equal excitement when they finally did.
Not only do music videos give us insight to an artist's range of creativity (or at least hired creativity), they also serve to contextualize the values and aesthetic of the times. Nothing sums up the '80s like the music videos from hair metal bands showing girls in hot pants rolling around on expensive cars. And Oak Cliff record store Top Ten Records (338 W. Jefferson Blvd.) is always down for a history lesson.
The store, which also doubles as a stage for indie and experimental live music shows, will celebrate the best of North Texas' music videos by screening some old favorites on the second edition of Local Music Video Night II.
On Friday, Jan. 31, they will be showing a local music video festival of sorts curated by local music archivist EV Borman. The first event took place in September, and Borman says they plan on doing at least two more this year.
"As an archivist for our project the Texas Music Archive at Top Ten, and also in general, I spend a lot of my time checking out local music," Borman says, explaining how the project came about. "And we've had a few local music video release shows at Top Ten, so the idea for setting up a projector and a screen to showcase a few hours of recent local music videos evolved very naturally."
The space is worth the visit for its history alone: In addition to being the oldest record store in Dallas, it's a collector's piece in the JFK mystery puzzle, the spot where police officer J.D. Tippit was last seen making a phone call before he was shot. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested soon after for killing Tippit and President John F. Kennedy.
Visitors still come by to look at the phone and end up learning more about Dallas culture than they probably anticipated from its employees — largely musicians like harpist Jess Garland, Borman (from Atom and EV) and noted singer Lily Taylor — and selection, which includes a DVD section of Texas filmmakers and local music releases.
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"To clarify, these are not music videos from big-name acts," Borman says of this upcoming event's selection.
"[Erykah] Badu is great, and the Toadies have definitely made an impact on the scene here, but we are featuring bands and video artists who are doing well enough creatively and financially, and organized enough to present their material in a music video format, but who haven't gotten the attention they deserve, or who are up-and-coming."
Borman, Taylor and their team remain committed to promoting culture through events like Local Music Video Night II.
"Top Ten wants to showcase the broad array of diverse talent in the DFW area by exploring these musicians' and artists' work. Offering these screenings in-house inside the record shop encourages a dialogue about the music culture we are creating in North Texas," Borman says. "It's also a unique opportunity for local music fans to intermingle with local musicians."
Top Ten is still accepting local music video submissions for the event. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with "local music video submission" in the subject line. You must include the name of the act and website or link.