Nice job this week, video directors! There were definitely too many good videos this week. I don’t know how I didn’t manage to find room for the A Place To Bury Strangers video where toys melt and burn in extremely satisfying ways, or the Wild Nothing video where Michelle Williams, despite not really doing anything, manages to play both the Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson roles in Lost In Translation. But that’s where we are! Also, perhaps because this is the week before Halloween, a lot the videos that made the cut are dark and violent as fuck. I support this! This should happen every week! Check out our picks below.
5. Chromatics – “Looking For Love” (Dir. Alberto Rossini)
I spent a year and a half dating a fashion design student (now, as far as Google can tell, a successful designer — whut up, Flora!). So I feel like I can say, with some authority, that the entire fashion industry is the biggest bullshit attention-grabbing rich-people scam ever devised. (There is a decent chance she would say the same thing about music criticism.) But in filming a fancy-ass Karl Lagerfeld show like it’s an Italian horror movie from 1979, Alberto Rossini seizes on everything good and visually striking about that entire universe, with the added bonus that you’re never sure when a whisper-screaming serial killer is going to rampage through the backstage area.
4. Sufjan Stevens – “Mr. Frosty Man” (Dir. Lee Hardcastle) (NSFW-ish)
Anytime you see Claymation (or puppetry) in a music video these days, it’s a pretty good bet that things are about to turns subversively violent; it’s a medium of art that now seems to exist completely to satirize itself. But this brief burst of fucked-up gore stands out just because it pushes its seasonal slapstick viscera way, way beyond the point you’d expect, upping the ante until the whole conceit becomes upsetting and funny again.
3. The Black Keys & RZA – “The Baddest Man Alive” (Dir. Chris Marrs Piliero) (NSFW-ish)
No to the parts where RZA rips off a waitress’s shirt and gets all rapey with his rant-rapping. But a big yes to everything else — RZA ripping some poor unfortunate’s arm off, the part where he slaps a popular blues-rocker in the face with a fish, and especially the final punchline.
2. Nude Beach – “Some Kinda Love” (Dir. Tom Scharpling)
Tom Scharpling is just a funny motherfucker. Anything else I could write would give away too much.
1. Titus Andronicus – “In A Big City” (Dir. Isaac Ravishankara)
It’s hard to say what I like so much about this one, but Patrick Stickles absolutely sells the bare-bones concept with his addled stare, and those shots of New York give his look of determination and annoyance all the context they need. Also, I’m a complete mark for Terrence Malick-y hand-through-the-grass shots. And go ahead and use this great profile as the DVD extras.