I can’t imagine any of the artists on this week’s list had huge budgets to play around. Even Santigold, the one who could’ve presumably commanded a small pile of money to make a video, ended up doing something quick and homemade instead. So consider these to be five ways to stretch dollars while actually making a piece of imagery worth four minutes of somebody’s time, rather than the indulgent found-footage messes that so many indie bands make. Our picks are below.
5. Free Energy – “Girls Want Rock” (Dir. Brook Linder)
Back in their early days, music videos were frequently just goofy montages of bands doing fun shit. Somewhere along they line, they became something approaching serious art. But it’s still pretty great when a band can go back to the goofy-fun-shit template without making it look like a tired throwback. I give you: Free Energy on go-karts!
4. Santigold – “Girls” (Dir. Weird Days)
Last year, when Lena Dunham’s Girls was the subject of a mini-controversy about how it was too white and navel-gazey, I thought the whole thing was pretty dumb, since the show never pretended to be anything more than a story about one sheltered group of friends. But Santigold’s video for her song from the show’s soundtrack does a pretty amazing job showing what an actual real-world cross-section of women looks like, and it’s fun and exhilarating and weirdly inspiring. All the women who show up in the video look cool and tough and together, even if that’s all they have in common.
3. Dan Deacon – “Guilford Avenue Bridge” (Dir. Alan Resnick)
Touring across the United States involves a whole lot of endless hell-drives through deserts and cornfields and mountain ranges, and artists love to complain about the drudgery of the experience. But this video, in its time-lapse jumpiness, makes the whole undertaking look like one huge blast of adrenaline. And the similarly sped-up footage of a Deacon live show reminds me that it’s been too long since I’ve seen Deacon live, that it’s still a fun thing to do.
2. Ty Segall – “Thank God For Sinners” (NSFW) (Dir. Matt Yoka)
Last week’s 30 Rock had a joke about how Steve Forbes was a ball of fingers when he was born. It was funny. I laughed. And now here’s a vision of just how nightmarish a sentient ball of fingers would be. This video shoot must’ve been pretty uncomfortable!
1. Dutch Uncles – “Flexxin'” (Dir. ?)
Dutch Uncles frontman Duncan Wallis: Kudos, sir! You sure know how to sell your song! That level of commitment is a rare thing indeed.