Friday, July 21, 2006

Let us once more give thanks to the miracle of YouTube

Via Linkfilter is an article from the UK magazine Stylus, which has composed a list of the 100 greatest music videos. Certainly not a new concept, but I was pleased at some of the entries. Some highlights:

(93) Cake – "The Distance" - There's a slice of my post-college TV viewing past!

(82) Eminem – "My Name Is" - Still pretty damn funny. It also stands as one of two key points to figuring out what this white boy rapper had above previous white boy rappers than enabled him to surpass being a one hit wonder: the ability to mercilessly make fun of himself as well as others. The other key point being that Eminem is actually talented.

(74) Aphex Twin – "Come to Daddy" - After reading the brief review, I'm glad to discover that I'm not the only one to think this video is one of the freakiest, most disturbing things to have ever been filmed.

(53) Jamiroquai – "Virtual Insanity" - I'm proud to say that I figured out how the video was shot before I had even finished watching it for the first time.

(51) Pulp – "This Is Hardcore" - A favorite of mine for a long time, and very hard to describe, so I'll just re-post what the reviewer from Stylus said:

"From the opening footage of actors screen-testing, to lightning, pianos, murder scenes, 'SCENE MISSING,' men tied to chairs, sudden awareness of the crushing existential Void, resentful nurses, broken glass, red phones, file footage, driving, blood on pillows, dinner parties, 'you can't be a spectator, oh no,' a woman dancing with a photograph (the one moment of actual happiness), fistfights, heart attacks, deathbed utterances, swirling Jack O'Lanterns, Jarvis swanning down a line of Busby Berkeley dancers, and the 'and then it's over' as the camera pans away from the sets—if anything, the video improves on the noir/porno/PoMo/misanthropic dread of the song. The two have virtually nothing to do with each other, but that atmosphere of cracking up, of men made dangerous by their lack of real human contact, carries over. A lush, overripe, and completely seductive nightmare."
(50) Nine Inch Nails – "The Perfect Drug" - Classic Trent.

(47) Fatboy Slim – "Weapon of Choice" - I have to give props the reviewer on this one. Instead of just rehashing all the praise on Walken and his dancing that so many others have previously done, he also takes special note of the beginning and end parts of the film that make this such a great short story as well as music video.

(14) Beastie Boys – "Sabotage" - To me the video still looks like a lost "Kids in the Hall" sketch, but that doesn't make it any less cool.

(11) Fiona Apple – "Criminal" - Although I'm thrilled to see my favorite singer/songwriter this high up on the list, it's too bad it's for this particularly overplayed video that branded Apple with a jailbait image. "Paper Bag" kicks so much more ass than this one.

(02) Johnny Cash – "Hurt" - Trent pops up again, though in the most unlikely place. Cash's cover of this Reznor song was his final video. As much as I liked Walk the Line, I'm afraid this four minute video does a much better job at recapturing the emotion of this man's life than a two hour movie did. Heartbreaking.

(01) U.N.K.L.E. f/ Thom Yorke – "Rabbit in Your Headlights" - I had seen this video a grand total of once before seeing it on this list (Like many of the videos in the list, this one probably got a lot more play in Britain than here). Yet that one viewing remains in my memory, and I can understand why they made freaky this one number one.

And that's all for this week, folks. See ya Monday.

1 comment:

Maki said...

Just want to say thanks for helping me waste a significant portion of my weekend watching a bunch of these (and subsequently digging up my Peter Gabriel Play DVD to watch more great videos).

My only problem with the #1 choice is that it breaks my cardinal rule of videos: dialogue and sound effects playing over the song. A good video shouldn't need it, and really, it would have played just as well without the protagonist's mumbling and the guys stopping to ask where he's going. Still, a great song, with that terrific piano bit (which is just the intro to a song which is significantly less creepy-sounding) and fantastic Thom Yorke vocals, especially near the end (which, of course, gets obscured by mumbling.) Okay, I've used enough parentheses now.