I took the last two Fridays off work, so this column actually covers the last three weeks of music videos. You’d think that we’d be looking at an absolute murderers’ row of selections here. Nope. No single segment of the entertainment industry went into a deeper holiday slump than music videos. I don’t know what the hell happened. People are still looking at their phones and their computers over Christmas, you know? Someone could’ve come out with something. There are a couple of very good videos on the list below, but there are no great ones. Thus far today, we’ve already gotten two videos that might be better than anything on this list. But even though everything I just wrote seems engineered to prevent you from clicking the jump, every video on this week’s list is worth a look. The past weeks at least coughed up five strong-enough videos, and that’s something.
5. The Afghan Whigs – “The Lottery” (Dir. The Afghan Whigs)
May we all have as much fun at our jobs as Afghan Whigs sound engineer Ryan O’Hara. I don’t really understand that Ren-Faire getup he sometimes wears, but I do understand the passion.
4. THEESatisfaction – “Recognition” (Dir. Tiona McClodden)
A still and pretty trip through the spacier sides of the black-artist canon, and a touching meditation on identity, on finding your place in a world that seems to have no place for you. Community and lineage can be beautiful things.
3. La Dispute – “Woman (Reading)” (Dir. Niall Coffey)
If you’re making a music video, “constant kinetic energy” is a pretty good thing to aim for. And Julie Ann Minaai can dance.
2. DJ Snake & AlunaGeorge – “You Know You Like It” (NSFW) (Dir. Dori Oskowitz)
There is absolutely no reason to make this video’s protagonist an ape beyond, like, apes being awesome and the whole ape thing somehow making an otherwise-disturbing video weirdly funny. So it was obviously a great decision to make the protagonist an ape.
1. Sia – “Elastic Heart” (Dir. Sia & Daniel Askill)
The backlash makes sense, but this is a powerful and vivid performance, one that lingers in your head for a while after you’ve seen it. During a slow week, that’s more than enough to seize the #1 spot. Also, I am into Shia LaBeoeuf’s reinvention as an absolute gruggy sketched-out weirdo. He’s pretty great in Fury! And Maddie Ziegler can dance.