“Bits of yellow paper, addressed from you to me…”
Here’s another example of when a performance-based video can score themselves a hall pass here at Y,WGAV! Perhaps you’re familiar with Michel Gondry; the legendary French director behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and countless classic music videos for Bjork, Steriogram, Foo Fighters, The White Stripes, Kylie… just to name a few. It’s pretty safe to say that the guy is one of my heroes, whose work has shaped the blog’s motives for even existing.
When I found out that Love Letters would be his first music video in three years – following a Bjork clip from back in 2011 – I couldn’t have clicked fast enough. Although it quite literally centres around the band performing the song, I knew that there would be more to it. It’s Gondry, after all. He manages to find a way. After a few views, I was completely taken – it’s not what’s happening in the confines of the performance, it’s the scenery that surrounds it. As the camera spins, it takes us to a different, beautifully-painted backdrop. The concept is so simple, but it adds so much to the song. Dammit, Gondry, you’ve done it again!
Trash McSweeney is an Australian musician,
best known as the vocalist, guitarist and songwriter of The Red Paintings.
He has picked two of his favourite videos: Jorga by Bjork and
Three Dimensions by Something for Kate.
This song has been such a massive influence on my life and the string direction in many TRP songs. So much feeling and power. The digital graphics in this video flows well with the song for me. I love the story of this video, the beginning of the world’s continents in a past time on planet earth. That is Bjork’s gift, I feel – to make epic sounding music about huge changes and epic stories with such simple and beautiful instrumentals and melodies. I can never get enough of that Icelandic sound.
Easily my most favourite Aussie band. I think Paul Dempsey could out do any artist just on his lyrics alone. Oh, and a pleasure to see Clint Hyman smash it out on drums. I picked this one as I always admired the metaphors and symbolism Paul uses in his videos that relate to his songs. This being a stylistic little video with enough charm to take out Metallica. Excited to see these guys are back after 6 years with a new album. Bring it on.
The Red Paintings are on tour in Australia throughout September. For a full list of dates, visit the band’s official website – www.theredpaintings.com
Welcome to week two of July’s Artist Special for Takin’ 5. Today, incase you hadn’t picked up, is all about those wickedly brilliant English gents The Chemical Brothers. Now, while I’ll freely admit to not being a massive fan of their albums, they’ve delivered some absolutely essential singles of the past decade and a half or so. And when it comes to their music videos, they’re pretty much untouchable – friends of the blog Dan Ilic and Meshel Laurie both agree! So without further ado, let’s check out the best vids from these unstoppable siblings.
5. Block Rockin’ Beats
For me, it’s a tough tie between this and the Smack My Bitch Up video on the clip that best defines the insanity following the breakthrough of rave culture in the 90s. Interspersed with footage of crowds going nuts is a brilliant plot of a Bonnie and Clyde-esque duo who attempt to pull off the perfect crime. Look out for Ed and Tommy themselves making a cameo near the bar.
4. Let Forever Be
From the tripped-out mind of Michel Gondry comes this decidedly trippy video, as if you’d expect anything less. I love the effect of there being a much bigger picture from one simple idea, continually zooming out to see what can be seen. Great imagination and a great journey to take along with the song itself.
Forget the Juggalos – if you want the real deal when it comes to delinquents in clown makeup, look no further than these badass little dudes. From their secret painting of their faces to the epic dance-off, another brilliant escapade into weirdness. This was the band’s first video with Adam Smith directing – amazed they didn’t go back to him for another five years!
2. Hey Boy Hey Girl
I originally only saw the second half of this video, and when I started watching the first half another time and thinking that they’d made two videos for the song! In a way, that’s reflective of the upredictable nature of the video itself. If you’ve never seen it, prepare to get seriously freaked out. Right down to the very last…you’ll see.
1. The Golden Path
Really? This one? Yep. Absolutely adore this video. Why? I think it’s because we’ve all wanted to escape into the surreal whenever we’ve been slavishly working away on something, be it a job or office employment or even a shitty assignment. This whole video is just complete bliss. And it’s completely weird, too – doesn’t hurt!
Okay, I’m gonna be completely honest. I have no fucking clue what the lyrics are. But that doesn’t bother me – we’re here for the music video of Steriogram, who were at one stage probably New Zealand’s biggest rock music export. We can put this down to two main reasons: the first being that New Zealand doesn’t generate that many rock bands – at least, not many good ones – and the second being that this song was freakin’ EVERYWHERE in 2004. Movies, ads, music television – you name it, Walkie Talkie Man was blaring. It also helped to have one of the coolest videos EVER accompany the whole thing, don’t y’think?
With iconic director Michel Gondry at the helm, the band rock out on knitted-wool instruments in a knitted-wool studio in the middle of a knitted-wool city that’s attacked by a knitted-wool monster. Really, on paper that’s bound to give anyone a raging clue – and it’s EVEN BETTER in actuality. Shit gets crazy as the giant dude tears up the city and rips the lead singer in half- typical Gondry nuttery – but it’s an amazing amount of fun, and immesurably clever. Can you imagine how much time and effort must have gone into making this video? From the guitars to the giant hand, it’s a wildly imaginative and brilliant creation. Sadly, the band never reached the same heights of awesome but at least they had a mountainous high with this song and video.
Now, what were the words again?
Dan Ilic is an Australian writer, comedian and performer, currently based in New York City.
Amongst his best known work is Hungry Beast and The Ronnie Johns Half Hour.
His favourite videos are Sabotage by the Beastie Boys and Star Guitar by The Chemical Brothers.