Vacation, it would seem, is finally over. For the first time in a few weeks, it was actually a bit of a chore to narrow this list down to five videos, since a lot of people are finally letting some good work out into the world. And I’m a bit surprised that two of them are animated. Animated music videos often seem like lame, boring cop-outs, but at least a couple of directors have really sunk their teeth into the form’s possibilities this week. Check out this weeks’ five videos below.
5. Blitzen Trapper – “Taking It Easy Too Long” (Dir. Brian Adrian Koch)
A pleasant three-minute meditation on a very Pacific Northwest breed of laziness, the one where you just abandon your truck on the side of the road the minute it stops running. The Blitzen Trapper dudes come off like five very fun hangs, at least one of whom is capable of growing a truly staggering walrus mustache.
4. Star Slinger – “Dumbin’” (Feat. Reggie B) (Dir. Dan Higginson)
A romantical Choose Your Own Adventure book of a music video. A girl who only looks like a model — and who, for some reason, does not own any sort of telephone — gets worried that her fashion-photographer boyfriend might be in the process of dumping her for some actual models. Things work out in the original video, but things end differently in the alternate version, which uses the track’s Diplo remix. I’m tempted to say the second ending is the more realistic one, but I don’t really know what life is like for people who look like models.
3. Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi – “Two Against One” (Feat. Jack White) (Dir. Chris Milk)
The first of the animated videos on our list, this is a bloody head-trip that somehow works as an internal monologue for the villain of the Danger/Luppi concept album Rome. But even if you don’t care much about that album’s narrative — and I sure don’t — it’s fun to watch this thing twist and wriggle through all its different rabbit holes.
2. Trash Talk – “Slander” (Dir. Jim Dirschberger)
And here we have an even better example of the animated music video, though it, too, is a violent head-trip. (Maybe that’s the secret.) This one’s a fun time: The band’s vengeful blast rendered in vivid and hyperactive color, with a nasty punchline that just goes on forever. Ideally, this is what happens when punks figure out how to use computers.
1. Real Estate – “Easy” (Dir. Tom Scharpling)
We are, of course, hopelessly biased here, since our Videogum comrade Gabe Delahaye has an honest-to-god starring role in this thing. Even without that, though, this is further proof of Tom Scharpling’s iron-fisted grip on the indie rock video game. Given a limited budget, this man can tell a perfectly compelling story and make it visually interesting and straight-up funny. If you’re an indie band and you’re not at least trying to get him to do your next clip, you are doing it wrong.