Considering that New York City — the place where most of the indie label/publicist/writer infrastructure calls home — spent the entire week in a state of Deep Impact disaster, it’s remarkable how little Hurricane Sandy affected the endless march of bloggable music items. Maybe we didn’t see quite as many new music videos this week as we usually do, but it was almost disconcertingly easy to put together a top five this week, and doing it without even including Gucci Mane’s fucked up slasher film. Plenty of this week’s music videos took place in New York itself, and as a former New Yorker now living in drier, more internet-secure environs, I couldn’t help but wonder how shitty some of those locations are looking today. It didn’t keep me from enjoying the videos, though. Our picks are below.
5. Free Energy – “Electric Fever” (Dir. Brook Linder)
I am a person who ate a bunch of weed cookies and then went to see Jackass: The Movie in the theater on opening night, spending 90 minutes in a state of convulsive laughter while surrounded by teenage Juggalos. So of course I like shit like this. I will always like shit like this.
4. Joey Bada$$ – “Fromdatomb$” (Feat. Chuck Strangers) (Dir. David M. Helman)
I didn’t have cable as a kid, and one of my greatest teenage pleasures was spending nights at friends’ houses, frantically soaking up as much the Box and Rap City as I possibly could. Joey and his friends, actual right-now teenagers, can’t even do that, so they’re making their own circa-1995 Rap City bait right now. It’s retro and reductive and maybe even corny on some level, but I love them for it anyway.
3. Young Dreams – “Fog Of War” (Dir. Kristoffer Borgli)
A video from a Norwegian band on an Australian label that plays out exactly like an exceptionally well-made French rich-kid psychodrama, one that starts with disaffected middle-distance stares and ends with blood and disaffected middle-distance stares. You could frame almost any still image from this one and hang it on your wall.
2. Ben Gibbard – “Teardrop Windows” (Dir. Tom Scharpling)
I was not expecting to enjoy a Ben Gibbard music video, but Tom Scharpling regularly pulls off miracles. Scharpling is, of course, someone with deep indie-scene roots. But he’s only been directing music videos for a couple of years, and nobody in the form is having more fun with it than he is. With this one, he turned Ben Gibbard’s general boringness into an asset. Salute.
1. Das Racist – “Girl” (Dir. Aristotle Athiras)
Retro movie-gif tropes turned into absolute liquid-sunshine joy (even if I wish they would’ve expanded on that inexplicable street-fighter subplot). Judging by this alone, Fahim Anwar, the video’s lead, should be one of the world’s brightest stars.