Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Top 10 Music Videos Ever...

Ok, we've been on a bit of a hiatus for a while...alright, a loooong hiatus, but whatever. Little Gun and Jack the Rabbit made a pilgrimage to the homeland (aka Ireland) for a week and I was in the Rockies with the brosef for St. Patty's Day so we're all covered for at least a bit.

Anyways, maybe I'll get on a roll here and write a couple of overdue posts. It's 70 degrees in NYC and I'm in a great mood -- fueled by a perfectly made margarita and a couple of pale ales...I should really be writing for Rolling Stone on some fantastic tour or something -- and loving life.

So without further ado, here's what you showed up for: the top 10 music videos ever (no arguments allowed)...

10. Aha - Take On Me

Seconded only to Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" as my quintessential 80s song, Aha's "Take On Me" will forever be remembered for its unique, if at times, cheesy plot line, while pushing the boundaries of animation for its era. And who doesn't want to help some dude getting beaten with a huge f-ing wrench?

9. The Roots - What They Do

The Roots will always be my favorite hip-hop group. Period. Their combination of live music with Black Thought's fluid lyrics are bar none the best thing to come out of rap since the East Coast-West Coast feud. Granted, The Roots have been doing this since before the days of Biggie and Tupac, but the fact they've lived to continue their mesmerizing songs under the radar for so long...I'll save this rant for another post altogether...instead, enjoy their sense of humor and ?uestlove's killer afro (the best I've ever seen).

8. The White Stripes - Denial Twist

Arguably one of my favorite artists of the 21st century (granted, that's only 7 years...), the White Stripes continue to push the musical envelope with each new release. It's only appropriate that they associate themselves with the director who is the most cutting edge of today's crop. Michel Gondry, of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "The Science of Sleep" fame, is a perfect collaborator as Jack and Meg White enter Gondry's twisted (pun intended) and wild world. Here's an excellent video Gondry did with a similar technique.

The last I heard, the Stripes just finished recording their newest CD "Icky Thump" in Nashville.

7. Doves - Sky Starts Falling

Beyond the fact that this was the first time I had ever heard of the Doves, I fell in love with this video from the first time I saw it. I know it plays well visually because of its over exaggerated editing and black and white format, but goddamn does it move me. I have no idea how this video relates to the song besides the obvious "sky falling" as a metaphor for the planes/bombs, but who gives a shit, it works. (Also, this YouTube version is crap...the version I saw was much better...) If you're a snob and say that this isn't as impressive as you think you could make it, to you I say: "If I made this music video, there is nothing that would stop me from showing this to a hot girl and then ushering her into the passenger side of my Porsche."

6. Fiona Apple - Criminal

This choice may have something to do with the fact that I was about 14 when this video came out and we had just gotten cable (MTV) for the first time. However, after years of pretending that I'm remotely artistic, I've come to realize that Mark Romanek is a genius. Rumor has it that he's a prick to work with but who gives a damn when he makes videos that in the end look as stunning as this.

5. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Can't Stop

So here goes another Mark Romanek clip (I'm trying to limit myself...seriously...) that is inspired by the "One-Minute Sculptures" by Erwin Wurm. This video, while captivating, really embodies the personality of the RHCP -- don't worry, we're buddy-buddy. I love the framing as well as the improv that went along with each shot, giving the video an authenticity that you rarely see. Look for any shot with Frusciante and the lamps on the floor -- beautiful.

Warner Bros. won't let us post but here's the link:

4. Beastie Boys - Sabotage

First of all, I'm out of beer. Second of all, I have some tequila left. Whew. Got that out of the way.

Anyways, this next video completes my personal Texas-trio (in a good way for once). Spike Jonze, along with Michel Gondry and Mark Romanek, rounds out my list of music video idols as he directs this homemade-looking film. Now many people may say, "Hey, I could've taped this in a weekend with my buddies from high school." To you I say: "You have no idea what you're talking about." This video stems from a long period of pre-production and the best sense of humor that you definitely don't this day, my buddy D. Goulashki and I can still throw the name of Cochese around and know exactly what the other is talking about...

3. Johnny Cash - Hurt

A NIN remake and Mark Romanek masterpiece, "Hurt" earns this place on so many levels. While Johnny Cash's life ended, this video restored it to millions of people, even those that did not know his work before (including me). I purposely left out Romanek's NIN videos (which are f-ing and here) for the sole reason that this video can represent for all of them. When I first saw this music video, I was almost moved to tears...unlike Trent Reznor, who actually started bawling when he saw the video for the first time...

2. The Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight, Tonight

I would like to clarify that this was my all-time favorite video until I became a movie snob in college. In the fall of 2002, I learned that this video was based directly off of Georges Melies' 1902 film "A Trip to the Moon." Here is the original video (watch it with the sound off...) I still think "Tonight, Tonight" is a theatrical masterpiece and something that expanded the original very well. Without any pre-disposition, Valerie Feris and Jonathon Dayton conveniently directed this music video. They were most responsible for the incredible "Little Miss Sunshine."

1. Radiohead - Paranoid Android

If you don't like Radiohead, stop reading. Radiohead are the most influential band since the Beatles, in my opinion, and they are much more than just a band -- they are the key to the future of music as we know it. Without their growth from The Bends to OK Computer, to Kid A, there is no Yoshimii Battles the Pink Robots and without Kid A, there is no Radiohead...

I was scared as hell when I first heard Kid A and to this day I have trouble listening to it straight through. However, I believe Radiohead are the connective tissue in the music business today and they control what happens next. From what I hear, they are back in the studio working on their next album, which will no doubt surpass their last (Hail to the Thief, which I loved...).

Here is, without question, the most influential music video of all time, as well as a song that will stick with you forever...


Honorable Mentions:
Janet Jackson - Got 'Til It's Gone
Linkin Park - Faint
Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice
Britney Spears - I'm a Slave 4 You (for obvious reasons)
Notorious B.I.G. - Sky's the Limit
Tupac - California Love
Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity
Dire Straits - Money for Nothing