I didn’t write this column last week, since SXSW was just about monopolizing my attention. So we’ve got two weeks’ worth of videos to sort through here. But for whatever reason, it was still a bit of a struggle to come up with five really good videos. Part of the reason, of course, is the way the industry grinds to a halt for SXSW, and maybe it’s just taking a minute before it’s really firing on all cylinders again. Still, after such a dark clusterfuck of a festival — or, if you weren’t there, after reading so many tedious reports about that dark clusterfuck of a festival — it would be nice if there were some more inspiring videos out there. But even if this week’s list is a little light, we’ve still got five good ones, and they’re below.
5. SZA – “Babylon” (Dir. APLUSFILMZ)
SZA’s aqueous boho-soul is a powerful thing, and it unites some disparate strains of music. (When I saw her at SXSW, she had Thundercat playing bass in her band and a Schoolboy Q guest appearance.) But a song like this is really just a simple and pretty and quiet meditation, and it deserved a video as simple and pretty and quiet as this.
4. Ratking – “So Sick Stories” (Feat. King Krule) (Dir. Eric K. Yue)
So Ratking’s whole thing is that they’re extras from Kids if they were rappers? That’s sort of awesome, actually, and King Krule fits into that whole aesthetic absolutely seamlessly. Also, I would very much like to own that Trash Talk windbreaker.
3. Johnny Cash – “She Used To Love Me A Lot” (Dir. John Hillcoat)
There’s a bit of poverty-porn to this video, and a slight whiff of the whole real-America-as-seen-through-foreigner’s-eyes thing. (Hillcoat is Australian, even if he did make one of the best Westerns of the past decade.) But goddam if Hillcoat can’t film a deeply lined face and make it look like the most compelling thing in the world.
2. Le1f – “Boom” (Dir. Sam B. Jones)
Yelp review of this particular eating establishment: Well, the food wasn’t that good, but the atmosphere sure was, um, lively!
1. A$AP Ferg – “Let It Go” (Dir. Dan The Man)
Try to imagine Rocky ever doing anything this stupid or fun. This type of goofball absurdity is one important reason why Ferg is special.