It finally happened: Nabil, the most dependable music-video auteur, made a just-OK video. Lots of Nabil’s trademarks are on display in his clip for Foals’ “Give It All“: The harsh clarity, the sweaty tension, the surprise ending. But the official version of the video cuts out the surprise ending, leaving its man-depressed-over-breakup storyline languishing with nowhere to go. And even with that ending intact, as it is in the director’s cut, this is fairly boring, rote stuff, a story that doesn’t really need to be told yet again. Fortunately, though, there were some other people making videos this week, and some of them made some really good ones. Five of them are below.
5. Saintseneca – “Bad Ideas” (Dir. Jon Washington & Zac Little)
So many indie rock videos resort to the same tired-ass tricks: Stock-footage montages, blurry deep-woods photography, drawn-out breakup stories. Meanwhile, Columbus punk Zac Little put some thought into making something that people might actually want to watch and so he gives us masked wildmen firing Roman candles out of SUV windows. That’ll do!
4. Everything Everything – “No Reptiles” (Dir. Jon Higgs)
Pro-tip: If your bandmates start getting riddled with bullets, drop your guitar and get out of there. It’s probably not worth it to stick around and finish the song. Still, props to Everything Everything for sticking it out and completing their song even though they should all be dead. That’s dedication.
3. Radkey – “Glore” (Dir. Nicos Livesy)
Why is tripped-out, gory claymation still so goddam watchable? Once upon a time, this kind of thing was probably subversive. It’s not anymore, but it’s still a whole lot of fun to stare at.
2. Jonny Greenwood – “Roked” (Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
So it’s not exactly a proper music video. It’s more a montage of Anderson’s making-of documentary about Greenwood recording an album in India, and it’s being used as a trailer for the film. Still, Anderson is one of our greatest music-video director when he’s not keeping himself too busy being one of our greatest motion-picture directors. He’s got that innate gift of framing everything he sees in the most compelling of ways, and this is a beautiful little piece of business.
1. N.A.S.A. – “Meltdown” (Feat. DMX & Priyanka Chopra) (Dir. Ty Evans)
I still think the song is a piece of shit, and DMX’s participation still bums me out. But if I ever start thinking of a skate video set in Dubai as a bad idea, tell me to retire. That will mean I no longer have any capacity for wonder or joy. It’ll be all over. This this is so exciting and beautiful and nuts, and all these guys should be dead 15 times over. The part where grubby bearded skater guy skates down the sloping roof of that building? Incredible.