straight2video

Now that nobody ever watches music videos on TV anymore, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the people who make videos don’t have to submit themselves to any television network’s Standards & Practices department. Nudity and gore and all sorts of other previously-verboten things are fair game. Mostly, that’s awesome. But sometimes, we end up with something like the Weeknd’s new “Pretty” video — an impressively made, beautifully shot story that might also make you hate the world and everyone in it. It’s fine to have blood in videos — three or maybe four of the five videos below have some level of violence — but the violence in “Pretty,” is dipshit violence, violence that comes from some rancid, ugly, dark place. It doesn’t have to be like that, and those three videos show three different ways to go bloody without going asshole-nihilistic.

5. PUP – “Reservoir” (Dir. Chandler Levack & Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux)

Even without the bloodletting, this would be a fun and exciting punk rock video. With it, it’s a whole lot more fun — a parable about the band as military battalion, the intrepid few willing to finish the song at all costs. The timing of that resuscitation? Too good.

4. Bass Drum Of Death – “Bad Reputation” (NSFW-ish) (Dir. Wilcoxsessions)

Few things are closer to my heart than video made to look like ’70s juvenile-delinquent exploitation videos. I may have actually hooted out loud for the eye-gouge.

3. MGMT – “Cool Song No. 2″ (Dir. Isaiah Seret)

MGMT’s psychedelic wackiness is usually a thing I can take or leave, and lord knows there’s plenty of that going on here. But things like the first minute and a half of this video — Michael K. Williams, beautifully photographed, in full-on avenging badass mode — are the reason I wake up every morning.

2. FKA twigs – “Papi Pacify” (NSFW-ish) (Dir. FKA twigs & Tom Beard)

Maybe this one isn’t explictly violent the way the previous were, but it’s still sort of an open question whether we’re watching a murder or a bout of rough-but-tender lovemaking. It’s essentially impossible to stay comfortable while watching this one, but it will absolutely linger long after you watch it.

1. Solange – “Lovers In The Parking Lot” (Dir. Solange, Peter J. Brant & Emily Kai Bock)

This video had already won me over utterly and completely, and then Mannie Fresh showed up. And then Bun B danced. Attention video directors: If you get Bun B to dance in your video, even for a split second, it is an automatic #1 on this list.

Comments (9)
  1. That FKA twigs video is so fucking great. Just the right amount of intensity and ambiguous creepy sensuality.

    Not a fan of drag queen voguing? To me that was the best dance video of the week with “All Night” from Icona Pop. I’m not even into the group, but I thought that video was equal parts fun and touching.

  2. Also, I’m not fond of MGMT that much, but that is one great video. Love the editing and the color palette.

  3. of all the videos on this list, the FKA Twigs video is the only one that achieves that elusive blend of complexity and simplicity that becomes iconic with time. it recalls d’angelo’s “untitled”, sinead o’connor’s “nothing compares 2 u”, portishead’s “only you”. it’s easily on my list of the year’s best, surpassing even her stunning video for “water me”.

    • Oh, “Untitled”. I love how it come down to the essential of having just him singing his heart out. Also, such a great video for at-the-time closeted me:

      I also agree about FKA twigs. You can already see this is quite a memorable video.

  4. How can FKA twigs’ video not be #1? I’ve only seen it once and the imagery still haunts me.

  5. Clearly THIS was the best video that came out last week! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjYTj_EMGU8

  6. that pup video is fucking awesome!

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