We didn’t do one of these last week, on account of the holiday and all, which leaves us a whole lot to choose from this week. There were so many good videos from so many different corners of the internet universe this week that every single selection here is pure gold. Also, there was one music video this week that was pretty much just Beyoncé grinding for five minutes, and I didn’t list it. Please acknowledge my restraint. Our top five, after the jump.
1. Fleet Foxes – “The Shrine/An Argument” (Dir. Sean Pecknold)
A perfectly evocative animation about some sort of antelope or elk or something wandering across a fantastical plain and encountering some freaky creatures. It’s tough to say what the whole thing means, but it raises goosebumps throughout, and it really taps into this mythic quality in the song, building on it and making me like it more than I did already.
2. Birdman – “Y.U. Mad” (Feat. Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne) (Dir. Gil Green)
Nicki Minaj’s eerily accurate Lil Wayne impression in that one scene! Her absurdly impractical bathing-suit thing in the other one! Lil Wayne’s giant red hat! Lil Wayne and Nicki’s synchronized dance steps! Birdman’s almost-entirely bleeped-out verse! Rap videos! When they’re done right, there’s nothing better. Also, I like imagining Birdman’s face when Wayne showed up on set dressed like an eighth-grade candy-raver fashion victim.
3. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up (Dir. Khalil Joseph)
These images may not connect on any non-abstract level, but each one is haunting in its own way, and they all add up to something that lingers in your brain. And just as importantly, each one looks way crisper than anything you’d expect to see in a low-budget music video. Seriously, that bit under the subway tracks looks like something from a Christopher Nolan movie.
4. Handsome Furs – “Serve The People” (Dir. Han Xia)
If this video about an everyhipster’s struggle against day-to-day drudgery were filmed in Europe or even America, it’d likely still be pretty good; the economic storytelling and well-composed cinematography would see to that. But since it was filmed in China, it also works as a fascinating glimpse of how people live when they’re attempting to live the kind of lives that we take for granted but doing it on the other side of the planet.
5. The Jameses – “5th Dimension” (Dir. Drew Blatman)
A fun, evocative, fast-moving time-lapse travelogue of Florida that almost makes that ridiculous state look like a nice place to be. Almost.