Radiohead’s “Lift” video is apparently packed with Easter eggs for Radiohead superfans. That’s cool, I guess. Good for that video. It’s still a boring music video that doesn’t get good until the twist at the end. Nobody needs Easter eggs. They’re fine and all, but they won’t make a video good by itself. Don’t put all your energy into Easter eggs, video directors. Just make better videos. Radiohead didn’t make this week’s list. The five videos that did make it are below.
I like how this video is futuristic without making a big point of it. You just see the slightly-altered Los Angeles skyline in a few shots, and it creates this vaguely uncanny feeling that things are somehow different. That’s cool. That’s a cool effect.
Early-’90s high-contrast pop-house-video black and white is the best black and white. Also, Madonna herself hasn’t done a Madonna impression this good in years.
For most bands, the tour-footage music video is the one when you’re out of ideas, near the end of the album cycle, and you just need to stretch that promotional budget a little further. For Japandroids, this is only the second music video they’ve ever made, and the idea of the freewheeling rootlessness of tour life is the band’s single greatest subject. A Japandroids tour video just makes sense. It makes these guys look like they’re living right, and it fires me up that much more for when they come to my town next month.
Carpenter is one of the greatest B-movie directors of all time, and even if it’s been a long time since he’s made a great movie, you can still tell that you’re in the hands of a master just from how he makes Los Angeles look at night. The track and video both revisit Christine, Carpenter’s possessed-car-kills-people Stephen King adaptation, which most people would probably agree is minor Carpenter. But he still harnesses the primal dread of that premise and then gives it a fun twist at the end.
What a dizzying, disorienting horror movie of a video. Nothing here makes sense, all of it turns your whole sense of direction upside-down, and the images will just sear their way into your brain. This is a minor masterpiece.