This is the week the music-video gods finally awoke from their slumber. I had to leave so much good stuff off the list this week: self-deprecating superstar send-ups, excitingly one-note punk-rock rave-ups, disturbing dystopian visions, intense adoreableness, experimental visions that didn’t quite work, the Lonely Island’s big return. The five I ended up with below are just straight killer.
5. Grizzly Bear – “gun-shy” (Dir. Kris Moyes)
I badly wanted to bump this one for Syron’s “Here” because I love the song to bits and because the video makes me happy rather than queasy. But I can’t discount the achievement of “gun-shy”: The meticulous framing, the uncanny lighting, the band members’ willingness to do disgusting things to themselves. I never want to watch the video a second time, but the one time I did watch it, I was impressed.
4. The Knife – “Full Of Fire” (NSFW) (Dir. Marit Östberg)
Östberg speaks of the video as an empowering thing, and I can see that. But it also works as an exploration of the intensely serious sex things that people are doing that you might not understand at all. And that’s a good thing; our generation needed its own “Sex Dwarf.”
3. Tame Impala – “Mind Mischief” (NSFW) (Dir. David Wilson)
You could probably make the argument that Tame Impala’s grand mission is to turn ’70s Camaro-rock into spaced-out art-music. If that’s true, then it makes perfect sense for them to remake “Hot For Teacher” as a beautifully-designed headfuck and then get Urban Outfitters to pay for it.
2. Yo La Tengo – “I’ll Be Around” (Dir. Phil Morrison)
So: Serious-faced Mac McCaughan singing and fingerpicking in a forest, old YLT song lyrics and soup recipes projected across the screen, and the three actual members of YLT starring in a beautifully realized domestic scene that ends with an inexplicable arrest and two even-more-mysterious reactions. I don’t know what any of this means, and I can figure even less about how Morrison turned it all into something gorgeous. But I was somehow moved watching this thing.
1. Mykki Blanco – “Kingpinning” (Dir. Clarence Fuller)
I don’t know how many rap-video taboos there are left, but I’m pretty sure this one shatters all of them.