Music Video Of The Day: Clocks by Coldplay (2003, directed by Dominic Leung)

For the longest time, I’ve had a fantasy about the collapse of civilization.

It goes something like this: The Left and the Right in America have finally realized that their true enemy is the deeply entrenched, deeply authoritarian, nonideological government.  The people have finally risen up.  Rioters are in the street, attacking both each other and their oppressors.  With the police proving either incapable or unwilling to try to control the riots, the National Guard has been called in.  Tanks roll down Main Street.  Helicopters hover above burning building.  Disembodied voices announce that anyone caught violating curfew will be shot.  It started with a burning city but now the entire country is on fire.

I see all of this as I sit in back of the limo that is carrying me and a few of my loved ones to the airport.  At first, I feel sad that America is collapsing but, as we get closer to the airport, that sadness is replaced by hope.  As bad as things are, at least we’ve got somewhere else to go.  At least we can start again, hopefully without any of the bullshit that led to the collapse of civilization in the first place.

There’s a private plane waiting for us.  We take our seats.  As the plane takes off, I look out the window and I can see that the tanks and the rioters have just arrived at the airport.  Our plane is the last one to take off.  We are the last ones to escape.  As the plane flies us to our new home (sometimes it’s Ireland, sometimes it’s Italy, sometimes it’s Spain, sometimes it’s an island off in the middle of nowhere), I looked out the window and I see the city burning below.

And, during all of this, Clocks is the song that’s playing in the background.  Seriously, it’s great escaping music!

As for the video above, it was filmed in London, at the Docklands Excel Building.  The audience was largely made up of local college students.  It’s actually a rather simple video but that’s okay.  It’s perfect for the song.


(Val should be back and handling music video duties tomorrow!)

Music Video of the Day: Only Happy When It Rains (1995, dir by Samuel Bayer)

I’ve been told by more than one person that this song basically is me.  At first, I assumed they were just saying that because both Shirley Manson and I have red hair and people always tend to assume that all redheads are alike.  But then I actually listened to the song and I was like, “I’m only happy when it rains?  I’m only happy when it’s complicated?  My comfort is the night gone black?  Yeah, I guess that does kinda sound like me…”

And then I watched the video, which is basically Shirley singing and dancing in a dilapidated warehouse while the other members of the band destroy stuff in the background and I immediately had flashbacks to when I was going to college and me and my friends would spend the occasional weekend exploring an abandoned and/or condemned building.  And I was like, “I guess this song basically is me!”

This video was directed by Samuel Bayer.  Bayer has directed close to a 100 videos, for everyone from Maroon 5 to P!nk to Nirvana.  Bayer directed Nirvana’s famous Smells Like Teen Spirit video.  And, just by doing quick check, I see that Val has actually reviewed two other videos directed by Bayer: Zombie by the Cranberries and No Rain by Blind Melon.


Music Video of the Day: Won’t Look Back by Duke Dumont (2014, directed by Tim Main)

Y’all are going to have to forgive me.  I am absolutely exhausted as I write this so I’m not going to say as much about this wonderful video as I possibly should.

One the one hand, this video is a pitch perfect takeoff of almost every heist film released since the mid-90s.  From the masks to the guns to the thrilling escape and subsequent chase, Won’t Look Back gets everything right.  Of course, what sets Won’t Look Back apart from other action homages is that it replaces fast cars with pogo sticks and segways.  It’s terrifically amusing and it all works a thousand times better than it has any right to.

This video was directed by Tim Main and edited by Sam Jones.  Pat Scola is credited as director of photography.  All three did an excellent job and have a lot to be proud of with this video.


Music Video Of The Day: Midnight Madness by The Chemical Brothers (2008, directed by Dom & Nic)

Did you know that apparently there are goblins living in London trash bins and that these goblins just love to dance?  Well, if you’ve watched the video for The Chemical Brothers’s Midnight Madness, you do!

I have to admit that I was disappointed to learn that this video did not feature an actual goblin.  Instead, it’s just a man in a goblin costume.  (Oh well.  I guess real goblins are camera shy.)  When we first see the goblin, he’s played by Daniel Ilabaca.  When the goblin starts dancing on stage, he’s played by the Algerian dancer Lilou, a member of Pockemon Crew. Speaking for myself, regardless of who is playing him from scene-to-scene, I just love how happy the goblin is.

This video was directed by Dom & Nic, who have been directing music videos since the early 90s.


Music Video of the Day: Gagarin by Public Service Broadcasting (2014, dir by Alex Kemp)

There are some things that just make you smile and, for me, this video is one of those things.  I love this song.  I love the dancing.  I love the whole spirit of the video.  It brings me enjoyment at a time when the world seems like a very negative place.  What more need I say about it?

Gagarin was the first single to be released from Public Service Broadcasting’s 2nd album, The Race For Space.  As you can probably guess just from the title (and the song), the entire album deals with the history of the space race and the rivalry between the Americans and the Russians.  Gagarin is specifically about Yuri Gagarin, the first man ever to journey into space.

Did Yuri Gagarin find time to dance during his orbit around the Earth?  No, of course not.  He was in a tiny Vostok spacecraft and, as a Communist, he probably wasn’t allowed to dance.  (This is the main idea behind communism, isn’t it?  No dancing unless you’re listening to Rage Against The Machine or something like that.)  Gagarin was lucky in that, unlike a lot of other participants in the Russian space program, he actually survived his journey.  Still, if it had been allowed and if there had been room and maybe a source of gravity, I bet he would have danced.

Gagarin was directed by Alex Kemp, who has two other videos to his credit: Public Service Broadcasting’s Signal and Duotone’s Alphabet.  The choreography is credited to Kieran Donovan.

Anyway, enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Drugs by Ratatat (2010, dir by Carl Burgess)

Today’s music video of the day is Drugs by Ratatat.

Some of my friends have told me that they actually found this video to be the creepiest thing that they had ever seen and that they would never forgive me for making them watch it.  Myself, I think it’s only as creepy as you choose to make it.

Visually, this video is entirely made up of Getty stock footage.  None of the images are actually connected, beyond the fact that they were all designed so that they could basically mean just about anything.  As viewers our natural instinct is to try to force everything we see and experience into a coherent storyline.  That’s an instinct that this video exploits to perfection.  In short, this video means whatever you think it means.  And what you think it means says more about you than the video.


Music Video of the Day: Brrrat! by Armand Van Helden and Steve Aoki (2010, directed by Ace Norton)

This video was directed by Ace Norton, who was several videos to his credit.  Watching this video, I was immediately reminded of the work of Ben Wheatley, though the video predates all of Wheatley’s features films, with the exception of Down Terrace.  The guns firing at the balloons brought to mind Free Fire.  The image of a man tied to a line reminded me of A Field in England.  And the video’s dystopian tone felt almost identical to the dystopian tone of High-Rise.

I’ve shown this video to a few people and most of them have replied with, “What the fug did I just watch?”

Well, it doesn’t matter to me whether anyone else agrees or not.  I like this video, specifically because it is so bizarre.  Why should music videos make sense?  This is a video (and a song) that creates a definite mood.  It plays out like a dystopian nightmare and really, when was the last time that a dystopia ever made any sense?  If the world followed any sort of logic, it wouldn’t currently be on the brink of destruction.

Anyway, enjoy!