Straight To Video

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

Some list-nerd stuff, before we begin. A$AP Rocky’s Karl Lagerfeld’s The Warriors video for “Multiply” dropped at midnight last night, which means it technically came out this morning. Since this list covers Friday to the following Thursday, that means it wasn’t eligible. It would’ve probably made the list, too. Maybe next week, Rocky! Thom Yorke’s “A Brain In A Bottle” video, part of his blitz-you-with-a-surprise-album release plan, came out last Friday, which means it was eligible for this week. But this week is stacked, and that one didn’t make the cut. You should’ve danced more, Thom! The videos that did make the the list — including a pair of instant classics at the top of the list — are below.

5. Chromeo – “Old 45’s” (Dir. Dugan O’Neal)

This one had me at “HAIM in a barfight.”

4. The New Pornographers – “Dancehall Domine” (Dir. Leblanc + Cudmore)

I was never a big French New Wave guy, but French New Wave works a lot better when the movies are three sprightly minutes long, and when they’re built around songs this good.

3. The Bug – “Function / Void” (Dir. Factory Fifteen)

Most sci-fi movies don’t have their senses of future-design quite this well thought-out. This one plays like the shortest episode of Black Mirror ever made.

2. Arca – “Thievery” (NSFW) (Dir. Jesse Kanda)

Mastodon faced some controversy this week when they filled their video for “The Motherload” up with asses and drew the predictable wait-is-this-racist internet reaction. But I like that video, and I would’ve put it on this list in a slower week. The best thing about it: The girls in the video don’t pay any particular attention to the dudes in the band, or even to the silver-painted ogres or whatever those guys are. They seem to be dancing for the hell of it, or to impress each other. But as far as subversive butt-jiggles go, this bleak, horrifying monster of a thing came along and just annihilated that video, and maybe the idea of asses in general. Alternate blurb: Amber Rose is sure taking this divorce hard.

1. Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” (Feat. Kendrick Lamar) (Dir. Hiro Murai)

There is so much going on in this video: The slow and confident camera moves. The poignant implicit comment on the idea that this country does not value the lives of black kids. The questions about grieving, and about the whole idea of the afterlife. And yet, the feeling that lingers with me as I’m watching is this: Holy shit, those kids can dance. Who even knew you could dance to Flying Lotus? Where did they find these kids?