Watching the VMAs on Sunday night, something struck me: The music videos themselves were fairly beside the point, but almost every video that won a major award was absolute bullshit. Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” video, which won Video Of The Year, is pretty-enough boring nonsense. Meanwhile, Robin Thicke’s problematic-but-fun “Blurred Lines” video, which did more to make its artist and its song than any other video this year, got shut out completely. So the “Mirrors” win feels like the infamous Crash Best-Picture win, a big mess that gets the institutional recognition just because it seems like it should be important. Ideally, the VMAs should be our one regular awards show that rewards fun, consequence-free bullshit, but apparently even it isn’t immune to the prestige vote. These are hard times for fun, consequence-free bullshit, friends. But people are still making good music videos, and you can see five of them below.
5. Belle And Sebastian – “Your Cover’s Blown (Miaoux Miaoux Mix)” (Dir. Graeme O’Hara)
A commendably silly piece of froth with one major issue: Why is Cassie from Skins resisting her magical-quirk makeover? Embrace it, Cassie! It looks great!
4. Robin Thicke – “Give It 2 U (Remix)” (Feat. 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar) (Dir. Diane Martel)
This doesn’t quite achieve the majestic smut-levels of “Blurred Lines,” but it’s not for lack of trying. Belongs on the list if only for the audacious nudge-levels of the Leisure Suit Larry referee uniform, and for the confetti cannons that fire off whenever Kendrick yells “doo!”
3. Zola Jesus – “Fall Back” (Dir. Allie Avital)
We need to start putting statues of Nika Roza Danilova on our rooftops to scare evil spirits away. Here, natural elements seem to bend around her, just so they can make her look slightly more iconic than she already looks. A prime example of music video as architecture.
2. The National – “Graceless” (Dir. Sophia Peer)
Never expected to find myself saying this, but I want to party with these guys.
1. Gesaffelstein – “Pursuit” (NSFW) (Dir. Fleur & Manu)
Staggering, fascinating, harrowing. Cold Mailman’s “My Recurring Dream” video if it took place in a militaristic dystopian future-world. Please, someone, tell me where I can find one of those gold metallic gloves.