Quick Hitters: Epic Music Videos

I’ve stated in a previous post that for the most part, I don’t like music videos all that much. It seems like they are even less in the public eye now than they once were. At least, nobody I know talks about them anymore except when a artist does something in the video so outrageous it generates a jaw-dropping reaction from the masses. This is usually not the mark of a GOOD music video. No, to be something that actually adds to the song rather than just using footage to market the track, you mainly just need to be creative and come up with something cool. The following music videos are ones that I feel are shot not only to the tune of a great song, but were videos that didn’t do what everyone else did. They thought outside of the the box, effort was put into it, and at some point something happens that makes you picture the music video whenever you hear the song.

 

I included a video from each decade that I’ve been around for-90’s,00’s, and now (I purposely excluded the 80’s as I was not at a point in my life where I could appreciate a good music video…and a lot of them were weird).

 

1. The Prodigy-Smack my B!tch up

****NSFW**** (for language, drug use, nudity…I could keep going on so just don’t watch it at work)

“Woah”…that was the only reaction I could muster the first time I witnessed this video. The effect of all that is going on is further amplified by the fact that I was only 10 years old when I would have seen this. The premise of it is the night out from a direct first-person perspective. You know nothing about this person going into it. You get the idea the person is going to be making some questionable decisions later on in the evening simply by their behavior while preparing for the evening. The person involved doesn’t disappoint as you are taken on a roller-coaster ride of debauchery that includes several physical altercations, destruction of property, and graphic loss of bodily fluids. It’s uncomfortable and entertaining at the same time. They also made sure to include a twist at the end to make it that much more memorable.

 

2. Steriogram-Walkie Talkie Man

One could make the argument that this is the type of music video we’ll look back at in 20 years and laugh at. It is somewhat campy but still very original. It is the first and likely only music video to be composed mostly of string. Besides the band-members and extras, nearly every other part of the set is knitted on-site. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. This video takes on the refreshing  mindset that they’re just trying to have fun with it, and nothing else.

There’s an interesting subplot going on as well’ with the antagonist, “giant string man” we’ll refer to him as, trying to destroy the entire city. He is successful in the early going, wreaking carnage on everything in sight and appearing almost invincible. But eventually he tries to take out the capitol records building which ends up being his undoing. Two studio execs, who appear to be no older than 12 years of age, save the day and the lead singer who ends up being partially dismembered as a result of the attack. All the while, there’s a decent song playing featuring some of the fastest dishing out of lyrics I have ever heard in my life.

 

 

3. Lorde-Tennis Courts

Earlier I said a good music video needs to think outside of the box. Lorde does that and more here. While it’s insanely simple, I think it’s a great music video. It says so much more that your typical vid that just has the artist strutting/dancing in the middle of an entourage of fellow strutters/dancers while trying to look cool mouthing out their lyrics. “Tennis Courts” is creepy, unique, and has great use of back lighting. You may wonder what the hell you’re watching if you’ve never seen it before but once you get into the song, I think you’ll learn to appreciate the whole experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quick Hitters-EDM faves

To commemorate the recent twitter battle between Win Butler of Arcade Fire and Deadmau5, I’ve put together 3 of my favorite EDM songs that I’m guessing you haven’t heard before. If you’re left feeling confused after reading the last sentence, I’ll break it down for you. EDM stands for electronic dance music. Within the past 10 or so years, I’ve noticed that indie groups were looking to branch out from the conventional stringed instruments and began to heavily utilize electronic sounds in their music.

 

 

The irony is that Arcade Fire is one of the bands that helped pioneer this movement of experimenting with their own sound using electronics (example here). It’s gone over well in the world of indie and artists like Foster the People, Daft Punk, CHVRCHES, and Cut Copy are considered just as indie as the more traditional, stringed instrument-based groups such as  The Strokes, Pavement. or the Pixies.

Back to the fabled twitter battle, Arcade Fire frontman, Win Butler, sent out a tweet that simply stated “Shout-out to all the bands still playing actual instruments at this festival” (referring to Coachella). Deadmau5 took offense to the statement and it’s easy to see why; it’s clearly a knock on artists that rely heavily on their power Mac and other accessories to create their sound onstage. Deadmau5 unleashed a couple of response tweets essentially saying that it doesn’t matter what method you use to create you art, good music is good music. You can see the whole story here.

 

Personally, I side with Deadmau5 on this one. While I see where Butler is coming from, I have fully embraced the EDM movement in Indie. I think it’s great that Indie fans have their own brand of dance music and neither have to lackadaisically sway back and forth while zoning out to the more traditional indie brand of music; or have to pretend to enjoy themselves while dancing it out to this uninspired, lamestream brand of dance music. And artists like Deadmau5 are huge reason why it’s not like that anymore.

 

 

 

 

1. The Whitest Boy Alive-Golden Cage (Fred Falke remix)

 

So there you have it folks, now for some under the radar EDM tunes that I’m hoping you’ll enjoy. First off is the Fred Falke remix of The Whitest Boy Alive’s “Golden Cage”. It’s tough not to feel good after hearing this song. It has what seems to be sad lyrics but the beat is uplifting. I haven’t heard much of anything else from these two artists but if they can produce more of this, I’ll give them a closer look.

 

 

 

 2. Prodigy-Climbatize

Prodigy has always been one of my favorite electronic acts and their album The Fat of the Land will always go down as one my favorite albums from the 90’s. Most have probably heard “Firestarter”, “Breathe”, or “Smack my Bitch Up” from this album at some point during their lives but climbatize is favorite of the non-singles from this album. It’s long and doesn’t sound like an EDM song right from the start (starts slow w/ little percussion in the intro), but once it gets moving along it’s a unique and fun blend of synths and percussion instruments. It’s keeps your interest throughout and has a cool outro with all of the instrumentals pushed to the background to give it a sound as if it’s being played far away.

 

 

3. Deadmau5-Not Exactly

I didn’t think it would be right to close out this post without including a song by Deadmau5 himself so here’s “Not Exactly”, my favorite track off of album Random Album Title.