There are too many music videos. And unlike songs and albums (which there are also too many of), videos demand your full attention to enjoy them. We know it’s a part-time job in itself to make it through all the clips we post, so welcome to ‘Straight To Video’: Once a week we’ll round up the best music videos to come out in the last few days, from those we posted and those we did not, along with live performances and other visual bits that you may have missed. Think of it as the visual counterpart to our Monthly Mix series, intended for folks who don’t have the time to watch every video we post (i.e. everyone). ‘Straight To Video’ will be out every Friday so you can watch these clips on your casual Friday at work, or the weekend (perfect for that NSFW Die Antwoord video). Screw in your eyeballs and let’s go.
Darkstar – “Gold” (Dir. Evan Boehm)
Says the director: “The 3D models of Darkstar were built using the open source 3D Structured Light Scanner, which is a DIY, home built version of the laser scanner made famous in Radiohead’s “House Of Cards” music video. By projecting flickering light patterns from a standard issue office projector, we built accurate 3D models of the groups faces.” Unlike the Radiohead video, Darkstar’s has a ghostly, soft-edged feel.
Brandon Flowers – “Only The Young” (Dir. Sophie Muller)
Flowers’s love of melodrama can sometimes lead to gorgeous videos like this one, which features aerial dancers and slow-motion photography.
Eminem – “No Love” (Feat. Lil Wayne) (Dir. Chris Robinson)
Lil Wayne had to film his verse before he began his prison sentence. I like the bully storyline here, though I wonder if Eminem and Lil Wayne relate more to the bullies than to the underdog. Chris Robinson directed ATL as well as dozens of videos for T.I., Busta Rhymes, and Alicia Keys.
Though we’re focusing on music videos for this column, West’s performances on SNL looked more like traditional music videos, the seamless white wall blocked out the stage and any backing musicians. It comes off as a little sterile, but he wasn’t going for “live tv appearance,” he was going for “performance art.”
Cloud Nothings – “Hey Cool Kid” (Dir. Allen Cordell)
This is another high school drama, though here we get all of the revenge played out, without the initial abuse. “I figured since the protagonist was a creepy nerd, you’d sort of put the back story together yourself, since it’s the kind of plot we’ve all seen in high school movies from the 80s,” Cordell told me. He also says that the Japanese text on the screen says, “Power!” “Holy shit!” and “Victory!” since he thought that some scenes had an anime feel to them. He also says that Stu Ares, who plays the protagonist, is not creepy or nerdy, despite the very creepy, very nerdy video still, below.
Uffie – “Difficult” (Dir. AB/CD/CD)
French production group AB/CD/CD also directed Lily Allen’s “Fuck You” video.
Mumdance – “Don’t Forget Me Now” (Feat. Esser) (Dir. Ben Reed)
The talking puppet fruit in this video actually serve a darker purpose. “I originally misinterpreted the track and its refrain of ‘Don’t forget me now’ as the voice of a childhood demon returning to tempt you into horror. But I thought it’d be good to do something deadpan and comic too, that kind of took the piss out of horror/surrealist imagery,” director Ben Reed told me. “So I figured I’d make a video that five year old children would frightened of, but that ultimately would be completely silly.” It’s funny and fun, but you can detect something sinister in those grape eyes.
Die Antwoord – “Evil Boy” (Dir. Rob Malpage)
Where to start? This song seems to be about involuntary male circumcision, although given the pain and the age when most circumcisions take place, aren’t nearly all circumcisions involuntary? Anyway, the lyrics are in English, Xhosa, Afrikaans, and are worth reading, since parts of the video (like where guest MC Wanga says he’s not ‘a gay’) could be interpreted as homophobic. Inside this clip you’ll find carved phalluses, District 9 prawn hands, morning wood, nipple-less breasts, hoodies made out of red-eyed rats, and Diplo. Even Diplo looks kind of shocked at this video, and he’s in it.
Avey Tare – “Lucky 1″ (Dir. Abby Portner)
Dave Portner, aka Avey Tare, had younger sister Abby create this hazy animated clip.