This week was bookended by two absolutely great music-related videos, neither of which was an actual music video. In the beginning, there was Patti Smith’s devastating read of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” at the Nobel Prize award ceremony in Sweden. Smith lost it halfway through and had to restart the song, but that somehow just served to make the performance heavier and more raw. And then, at the end of the week, there was Solange, who turned her Tonight Show performance into a stunningly gorgeous art piece. None of the week’s actual music videos could measure up to those two clips, but there were some good ones anyway. Out picks are below.
5. She & Him – “Christmas Memories” (Dir. WATTS)
An endearingly twee bit of heartwarming holiday nonsense about a Christmas tree that develops self-awareness — and grows human legs, no less — that somehow becomes more psychedelic as it goes along.
4. Elbow – “Magnificent (She Says)” (Dir. Joe Connor)
This one takes us halfway around the world to show us nothing but beauty, without any context. There’s something very touristy; we never learn, for instance, whether these people have hard lives, which seems likely. But the images themselves are things to behold.
3. DJ Shadow – “Bergschrund” (Feat. Nils Frahm) (Dir. Matt Devine)
An alien abduction becomes a glorious slapstick routine. And if I’d seen this on MTV’s Amp late one stoned late-’90s college night, it might’ve changed my life.
2. Bigbang – “Last Dance” (Dir. Han Sa Min)
South Korea’s greatest boy band have mastered the visual panache of the early-’90s R&B video, and none of us are safe.
1. Bigbang – “Fxxk It” (Dir. Seo Hyun-Seung)
South Korea’s greatest boy band have mastered the visual panache of the mid’-90s alt-rock/bubblegrunge video, and none of us are safe.