I’ll decide in a moment’s time, to turn away, leave it all behind…”
The contrast between the last two videos released from Moby‘s new album Innocents could not be greater. The Perfect Life, a collaboration between the big M and Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, was as extravagant as you’d expect – all rooftop parties and mariachi outfits. This time around, however, we’re dealing with a much more lush and blissed-out song, featuring the dreamy vocals of Damien Jurado. It only fits that we’re dealing with a much more subdued and simple clip – but that doesn’t mean it’s not a wonderful thing in its own right.
Almost Home follows the adventures of a stuffed rabbit and his travels across the country. It’s filmed on super-8, Moby himself cameos as a limo driver and the whole thing apparently had a budget of roughly 10 bucks. It’s a very basic clip, interspersed with footage of Jurado busting it out somewhere completely unrelated to the story. I am simply warmed by its utter charm – Moby doesn’t do videos like this one very often. They serve as a strong reminder of not only how goddamn underrated Moby is, but how sometimes a little rabbit and some steady handheld work is all you need to win the heart of a music video blogger.
But wait! There’s more!
Oliver Clark – Atomic Thrust
He’s the man with the sexiest voice in comedy and suits that could make Paul F. Tompkins look like a hobo. Yes indeed, the housewives’ choice Oliver Clark is one for the ages. For the title track of his new album, he decided to put his pelvis to the test; subsequently delivering one of the flat-out funniest videos of the year.
Blood Orange – Chamakay
In which Devonte Hynes goes home. Well, in a traditional sense, anyway. Visiting Guyana for the first time ever, Dev makes his way around the beautiful area and connects with the townsfolk. Parallels can easily be drawn with frequent collaborator Solange‘s wonderful video for Losing You, but not even that can match the tender beauty of seeing Hynes meet and speak with his grandfather for the first time ever. Stunning.
They Might Be Giants – You’re on Fire
They’ve been getting weird since before you were born and they show absolutely zero signs of slowing their roll. Here, they give a spin to the opening track on their sixteenth(!) album, allowing some mince meat to take lead vocals while the gorgeous Lauren Lapkus from Orange is the New Black dances around the kitchen preparing to send it to its impending doom. Because of COURSE that’s what they would come up with.
Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
A lot of people have asked me about this one. Where do I stand? What do I make of it? Now, I’ll be the first to admit it needed an editor, and maybe some restraint on the more… shall we say… ‘out there’ moments. When she’s staring straight down the barrel of the camera, though? I simply cannot deny it. It’s gripping, and it’s honest, and it’s the most real that we’ve ever seen the girl born Destiny Hope Cyrus.
Arcade Fire – Reflektor
What an exciting time to be an AF fan. As the band bravely venture into what may be their weirdest album to date, we’re treated to what may be their weirdest video to date for the album’s title track. Late-night roadtrippin’, mirror suits, giant paper-mache heads, tricked-out caskets… I mean, I’ll be damned if I know what it all means at this point. It looks pretty amazing, though; don’t you agree? What a thrilling video.
Fall Out Boy feat. Big Sean – The Mighty Fall
The saga continues. This year, Fall Out Boy have been releasing music videos for every song from their Save Rock & Roll LP; following a conceptual story about the four members and a secret briefcase which has contents only they (and the villains of the series) know about. There’s been aspects of Stockholm syndrome and Clockwork Orange-esque ultra-violence thus far, and the madness continues here with some all-new characters. Kudos for keeping them guessing, boys.
The Polyphonic Spree – Let Them Be
Following on from the parallel universe of the You Don’t Know Me video, the Spree get animated on the second video from their excellent Yes, It’s True. album. Director Ben Rowe takes the song into a lush dreamscape, enlisting the help of dozens of creepy-crawlies, frogs, aliens and what appears to be an avocado. No, really, it’ll all make sense once you’ve seen it. Well, okay, I won’t make any promises…
Moby feat. Wayne Coyne – The Perfect Life
Oh, come on! It’s Moby and Wayne Coyne in mariachi suits. What joy! What pure, unadulterated awesome have we found ourselves with? If you don’t get a smile out of this one, your heart is dead as dead can be. That’s all that can be said!
Business time! We’re in the top 20 now and there is NO turning back. Let’s go!
20. Aimee Mann – Charmer
Directed by Tom Scharpling
Oh, Aimee. While most musos your age are meticulously tinkering away on bullshit, you emerge out of nowhere with a delight like this one. The title track to her album is all about the way people perceive you, and in turn how they can be deceived quite easily by such things. Bringing this to life might sound like a bit of a bummer, but Aimee manages to do it with an unshakable smirk and some very entertaining surreal art. After not wanting to go on tour, Mann hires a robot version of herself. All kinds of craziness ensues, as one would expect. But hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself…
Read my original post on Charmer here.
19. Bob Dylan – Duquesne Whistle
Directed by Nash Edgerton
After essentially – and somewhat accidentally – pioneering the conceptual music video all those years ago with Subterranean Homesick Blues, it’s interesting that the only part that Dylan hmself plays in this video is simply strolling the streets with what can only be described as an oddball posse. I wouldn’t even say it’s a sub-plot. He just happens to be there. The true story of Duquesne Whistle is far darker, far more sinister and far more sour than its opening minutes would have you believe. A love story turns into some happy accidents, but those accidents have serious consequences. Is it all about the anguish of true love? Who knows? All you can say is that it’s one of the best videos Zimmerman has ever done.
Read my original post on Duqeusne Whistle here.
18. Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra – Do It with a Rockstar
Directed by Amanda Palmer, Wayne Coyne,
George Salisbury and Michael McQuilken
Well, holy shit. If you’ve been following the first lady of punk cabaret over the years, you’ll be well aware the girl knows how to throw a party or two. But this? This? This is next fucking level entirely. This was the video party of the year, with all apologies to Bieber and his pool crew. Dude, there’s so much glitter! And pole-climbing! And watermelon smashing! Everyone is making out with everyone! It’s at the same time terrifying and exhilarating. So much fun to be had, in such a particularly manic way. Oh AFP, no-one does it better.
Read my original post on Do It with a Rockstar here.
17. The Beards – Got Me a Beard
Directed by Tom Bettany, Michael Bidstrup,
Joshua Fielder, Joel McMillan and Chris Edser
Have you ever felt exiled or alone because of your devotion to your facial hair? The Beards sure as shit have – hence their decision to create this cartoon utopia in which all kinds of beards from all across the world can come together and live in peace. Outside of this bearded heaven is a different matter entirely, of course; as you will well see from the video. But even for a moment, there is justice in a world of beards. What was I saying? Oh, yeah: BEARDS.
Read my original post on Got Me a Beard here.
16. Gotye – Easy Way Out
Directed by Darcy Prendergast
What do you do to follow up one of the most iconic videos of the past 15 years? Well, naturally, you spend nine months on a video that lasts just over two minutes; complete with animation, several different versions of yourself and a dizzying Groundhog Day-esque conceptuality. No, it hasn’t reached the levels of STIUTK either in terms of views or in terms of credit due, but it proves that no matter how big things get for Wally DeBacker, he’s always going to be an extremely creative working mind; continually exploring new ideas and innovations. God bless Wally de Backer.
Read my original post on Easy Way Out here.
And there we go! Fifteen more to go, people!
“Your animals are all alone, there’s a chicken waiting on the stove…”
Catching up again. This one has been hanging in my tabs for weeks, and I honestly have no idea why it’s taken me so long to get around to it. That said: Holy fucking shit, am I beyond glad that I did. Filming a wild party is not a new and exciting idea, people. It’s been done. You know it, I know it. With that being said, it takes a video like this to make it feel like it’s new and exciting – and who else to bring that fire back than Amanda Fucking Palmer and her new merry band of men?
Before the song even starts, we are treated to two different groups getting into the AFP show – a drag queen and her friends; and a group of hipster caricatures. Both provide some hilarious dialogue in the video’s opening minutes, before shit gets decidedly real as Amanda and The Grand Theft Orchestra take to the stage and tear through what’s become one of my favourite songs of the year, Do It with a Rockstar. All of the doubt, bitchiness and slander that went on in the previous scenes is gone. Everyone is going decidedly mental – from the freaky lead hipster who hooks up with the drummer, to The Flaming Lips‘ frontman Wayne Coyne, who is inexplicably and awesomely climbing over the top of the crowd on some kind of pipe. It’s beautifully chaotic, and a true joy to watch. Long live AFP.
“I felt your heart so close to mine, and I knew our joy would fill the earth…”
Well, here’s something. As a music video geek, it always exhilarates me when I see that the art of the music video is still something worth investing debate, discussion and reaction into. And so it was, when The Flaming Lips dropped a well and truly messed up video for their collaboration with Erykah Badu, a cover of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. You probably missed it, but Badu herself fiercely cracked the shits with the band, claiming it offended her. It’s all out on the interwebs anyway, I can’t add anything to the debate either way. All I know is that I love the Flips for not letting it deter them one bit.
Exit Badu, enter Amanda Fucking Palmer. Already on the campaign trail for her first studio album in four years, Theatre is Evil, AFP happily takes over on vocals and nudity for this video clip. It’s a slew of slow-mo shots of the band doing weird shit like hit fake fur with wire cables and twirl around bits of silver. Amanda, meanwhile, flounders about in the bath. It is, as one should surely expect by now, completely and utterly fucking insane. That’s why it’s such an entertaining prospect, though – I really could never expect anything less from either camp involved. See what you make of it. Smile a little.
“He shakes his head, finally stands up, throws his hands up in the air…”
Can you believe it’s been ten years since Steve Burns, the original host of Blue’s Clues, left the show? Since then, he’s mostly been subjected to various death rumours – including a nasty one about how he got manic depression and killed himself. Thankfully, none of that is true – although, to be fair, not many people are aware of exactly what Steve did next. The truth is, he got with some dudes from The Flaming Lips and made an album – a pretty good one, too, called Songs for Dustmites.
There are two videos that exist for the album’s lead single, Mighty Little Man. Although the one with Steve himself featured is sweet enough, I’ve decided to share what’s known as the “Dancing Gabe” version. A wild bearded man – looking similar to E from Eels – is jamming the track on a discman, while also air-drumming and smoking away. I think I love this video because anyone who can honestly say they’ve never found themselves in a similar situation while listening to music in public is a goddamn fucking liar. There’s no other word for it. Get your air drum kit out and get rocking.
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!