This week, we got two videos that riffed on nostalgic nuggets of ’80s pop culture, and both of them came out within about an hour of each other. Both of those videos are made with charm and inventiveness and a sense of fun, and both of them are on this list. But these constant nostalgia-riffs are starting to pile up and feel redundant. So maybe let’s take a break from that? Or, since they’re both good videos, maybe I should just shut up. This week’s picks are below.
5. Jenny Lewis – “She’s Not Me” (Dir. Jenny Lewis)
I’d like to say that I’m impervious to tired music-video concepts like gratuitous nostalgia and Fred Armisen cameos. But then Armisen shows up dressed like Fred Savage in the 1989 video-game odyssey The Wizard, the masterpiece of the child-actor version of Jenny Lewis, and my resistance just up and disappears.
4. Julian Casablancas + The Voidz – “Human Sadness” (Dir. Warren Fu & Nicholaus Goosen)
A pretentious overlong mess of a video, with a whole lot of ideas and no real connecting thread, for a song I don’t like at all. And yet it succeeds because everything we see in the video looks so badass. That’s really the story of music video, isn’t it? You can get away with anything, as long as it looks badass.
3. Mikal Cronin – “Say” (Dir. Jonay Ray)
Frankly, I’m surprised the real Chevy Chase made it through the ’80s and into today without anyone doing any of this to him.
2. The Weeknd – “The Hills” (Dir. Grant Singer)
Abel Tesfaye flips a car full of women, calmly walks away bleeding, doesn’t even turn around for the explosion, and still makes it into the dark mansion in time for his rendezvous with some more women and the guy from Ariel Pink’s “Dayzed Inn Daydreams” video. If that’s not a commitment to freakiness, I don’t know what is.
1. Lil Mama – “Sausage” (Dir. Walu)
It’s Friday afternoon, and if you can’t have any fun watching this ridiculous thing, you have no sense of joy in your heart.