There aren’t too many certainties in life, but here’s one: If you’re a rich, famous, globetrotting superstar DJ and you piss out of your mouth in your music video, that video will end up at the top of this list. There’s just no getting around it.
If, however, you’re the singer for a massively important and newly defunct alt-rock band, and you spend your entire video holding a camera on the face of a famous actress, doing nothing else, you won’t ever come anywhere near this list. If you made that face exploded Scanners-style, maybe you’d have a shot at the list, but you didn’t, did you?
1. Duck Sauce – “Big Bad Wolf” (Dir. Keith Schofield)
Well, they did it. They made a video that was legitimately shocking, confounding, and funny as hell, all at once. First time through, I had absolutely no idea what was coming. The clip starts out ridiculous and then keeps finding ways to amp it up. Bonus points for having all this absurdity set in such a drab, workaday world; it just means it hits that much harder.
2. Man Man – “Pirhanas Club” (Dir. Lex Halaby)
Watching a mob of baby greasers running around and fuck shit up is the sort of thing that makes me wish I’d found better uses for my childhood. All those conversations about whether Thor could beat Silver Surfer seem much less cool in retrospect.
3. Wild Flag – “Electric Band” (Dir. Hollerings)
Videos-as-sports-movies are hard things to get right, but this one nails it, mostly because three members of Wild Flag (Janet Weiss in particular) are believable competitive athletes, and because Mary Timony is even more believable as the one willowy type who falls asleep in right field and seems barely cognizant of the fact that a game is happening. And when the video switches the whole underdog dynamic around with its surprise ending, it gets even funnier.
4. Beyoncé – “Party” (Dir. Beyoncé & Alan Ferguson)
Another week, another great Beyoncé video! This one isn’t as great as some of its predecessors, but it’s fun and colorful, and it keeps your attention. The Beyoncé/Kelly Rowland reunion at the end is fun, and the set design manages the not-easy task of making a trailer park look like a great place to be. Historically awful J. Cole verse, though.
5. The Black Keys – “Lonely Boy” (Dir. ?)
So it’s not a music video, exactly. But that doesn’t mean you’re looking away before it’s over.