It’s not on this week’s list, but this might be a good place to acknowledge director Hannah Lux Davis’s video for the willfully ridiculous Mike Will Made It/Miley Cyrus/Wiz Khalifa/Juicy J single “23.” Michael Jordan is the most iconic and universally beloved athlete in my living memory, and here we have a video that reduces much of his iconography to a backdrop for a high-school sex comedy. Miley wears his number on her crotch. I can’t stop thinking about how Jordan might feel when he’s watching the video (horny, I’m guessing), and I wish someone would do the same thing for, like Babe Ruth, or Johnny Unitas. You have to admire the audacity. Or maybe you don’t, but I do.
5. Young Galaxy – “Sleepwalk With Me” (Dir. Fabricio Lima)
In the last conversation I had with him before he died, my grandfather told me a story about when his World War II naval vessel had to bring back a boat load of “queers”: “We were scared to death of those queers, but they put on a hell of a show.” (My grandfather was a great human being but also a product of his time, and he wasn’t all there when he was telling me this.) Up until very recently, that story made up my entire knowledge of gay people in the military during WWII. But here we have a lovely video, inspired by the real story of two soldiers, that tells a simple love story as a dreamy cartoon, and hints at a possible Brokeback Mountain-esque movie that someone really should make.
4. Small Black – “Breathless” (Dir. Nick Bentgen)
There’s no story here, and very little connective tissue. But as a photo essay of the dumb shit that young people do to keep themselves entertained. A lot of what I see in the music is stuff that would seriously piss me off if I saw it in real life: Breaking bottles at a skate park? Someone could get cut! But Bentgen has made it all look grand and mythic, which is how that dumb stuff mostly feels when you’re the one doing it.
3. Drake – “Hold On, We’re Going Home” (Dir. Bill Pope)
Drake in a ski mask, with a gun. Drake, causing the worst CGI explosion I’ve seen since the first live-action G.I. Joe movie. Drake, concerned and pained over the kidnapping of his negligee-clad girlfriend. Drake, pensively celebrating financial success, ’80s Miami-style, while A$AP Rocky makes an endless toast. All Drake everything.
2. Mudhoney – “The Only Son Of The Widow From Nain” (Dir. Carlos F. Lopez)
Maybe, if you’re lucky, a music video will give us a gonzo pastiche of cheap ’50s haunted-house movies. Or it’ll give us a gang full of dancing greasers. It sure as hell won’t give you both. This one, though? This one spoils us.
1. Charli XCX – “SuperLove” (Dir. Ryan Andrews)
I can’t imagine there’s a single pop star on the face of the earth who’s more fun to hang out with than Charli is. That shoulder-lean dance she does with the robot just kills me.