On Friday, an asteroid struck Stereogum’s bank of computer servers, or something, and we were out of commission for the day. This was, of course, tragic, since it sent all of you home for the weekend without a single blog post with 20 minutes or so of very good music videos. But if you made it through that horrific weekend, here’s the better-late-than-never list, with a few gems that arrived during the holiday publishing break.
5. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – “We No Who U R” (Dir. Gaspar Noé)
A quick spoiler: Nothing happens in this video. It’s just a shadow slowly looming its way through a forest, with no twist at the end. But I still sat nervous through the entire thing, waiting for some sort of hammer to drop, and that’s entirely because Gaspar Noé’s name was on this thing. Up until the final second, I was ready for something on the level of the face-caved-in scene from Irreversible. That’s how you know a filmmaker has power: When his mere name turns a stretch of experimental nothingness into a harrowing experience.
4. Kendrick Lamar – “Backseat Freestyle” (Dir. JeromeD, Dave Free & Kendrick Lamar)
So that’s what Sherrane looks like. Also, the editing job on this thing feels like being punched in the eye repeatedly. I’m not saying that’s a sustainable aesthetic, but when a song smashes away like this one, it fits.
3. Girls’ Generation – “I Got A Boy” (Dir. ?)
At the end of 2011, I got low-level obsessed with K-pop videos, which, at least for the songs that weren’t ballads, showed a level of flash and showmanship and nothing-makes-sense vision that just does not exist in Western pop music anymore. I figured that little burst of fascination might be over in the post-”Gangnam Style” age. But yeah, no, evidently not. We are not in charge anymore.
2. 2 Chainz – “I’m Different” (Dir. Elisha Smith-Leverock)
“I’m Different” was already the most-fun song on 2 Chainz’ Based On A T.R.U. Story album, and when it’s accompanied by the image of 2 Chainz, in animal-print pajamas and gold-encrusted John Lennon glasses, riding a yacht down the highway, it only gets better. The key to 2 Chainz’ unexpected ascension to rap stardom, it turns out, probably has something to do with his willingness to transform himself into a cartoon character.
1. Toro Y Moi – “Say That” (Dir. HARRYS)
While nobody was looking, Chaz Bundick somehow became the smoothest individual in the entire indie sphere. If you tell me that you saw this coming, I will tell you that you are lying.