Typically, in this space, we do the week as a Thursday-to-Thursday thing, and we wait a week to consider any videos that come out the same Friday as this column runs. As you may have noticed, one Beyoncé Knowles happened to give us a new “visual album,” with 17 new music videos, just last night. According to most estimates, she threw the whole bundle on iTunes at around 12:13AM, and many of them aren’t online in full yet, which means they won’t count toward this week’s countdown. That’s good, since there’s no way in hell I’d have time to puzzle through them all without at least a day to consider. But if the Beyoncé videos counted toward this week’s list, there’s a good chance we’d be looking at an all-Beyoncé top five, especially when you consider that this was a slow week for music videos. Instead, that all-Beyoncé list may still arrive next week, and we’ve got five other videos below.
5. Daft Punk – “Instant Crush” (Feat. Julian Casablancas) (Dir. Warren Fu)
It would’ve been more hardcore if they’d CGI-melted the actual Julian’s face, but this ridiculous thing still carried a soft emotional punch of its own. Why don’t they make more kids’ figurines with messy hair, anyway? Kids always have messy hair. They could relate.
4. Blitzen Trapper – “Thirsty Man” (Dir. Robbie Augspurger)
There are many fun things about this video, but the main reason it’s on this list is the switchblade comb. The switchblade comb was my shit in 4th grade. Just being honest.
3. Cities Aviv – “URL IRL” (Dir. TerrorEyes)
There is not one stitch of clothing in this video that I would be able to pull off, and everyone in the clip still somehow manages to make all of it look cool. I don’t know if that’s special effects or magic or what, but it demands recognition. Also, I wish Death Grips were more like this.
2. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Cinnamon And Lesbians” (Dir. Jay Winebrenner)
It can’t be easy to visualize Malkmus’s shambling, self-aware lyrical scraps, and yet Winebrenner found a way. Exhibit A for anyone who believes that the Jicks are a secret jam band.
1. Red Fang – “Blood Like Cream” (Dir. Whitey McConnaughy)
It’s not like I’ve spent a ton of time in Portland or anything, but this video is more true to my experiences there than anything I’ve seen on Portlandia. People in Portland can drink. Also, I’m slightly annoyed that there’s a real guy named Whitey McConnaughy and I can’t make it my rap name.