Scene Not Herd: Music Videos

Scene Not Herd: Music Videos
2008’s music video offerings are some of the strongest the medium has seen in some time. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings tastefully elect to make a video as authentically retro soul as their music. Every element is spot on — an eyebrow piercing that’d be anomalous in the time period is the only give away that "100 Days, 100 Nights” is a modern work. Sticking to black and white, Arcade Fire’s "Black Mirror” is a gloomy odyssey of a shipwrecked man with a glowing jar. The programmers allow some colour to splash in with the New Pornographer’s "Challengers” pulling a Pleasantville, with the gradual introduction of pigment into a lover’s embrace. Hilariously parodying hip-hop stereotypes, Bumblebeez’s "Dr. Love” goes for pricey celluloid to capture a pack of fugly shirtless dudes sporting tattoos of keyboards, drum pads, ducks and other odd shit that are played in time with the music around ridiculous dance sequences and raunchy slow motion playground ride shots. Emily Haines retains her consistent video quality with an interesting beach scene of people pouring lots of liquids on themselves polarised by night vision and thermal emanations for "Our Hell.” Menemona’s "Evil Bee” demonstrates the necessary evils of industrial process with an inventive clip of a cybernetic bee trying to escape its life cycle. The most literal combination of sex and rock’n’roll possible, Group Sound perform the sound track to a hardcore make-out session from inside a woman’s vagina, attempting to dodge fingers, a tongue, a papier-mâché pecker and the eventual money shot for "Temporarily In Love.” A simple, twitchy semi-performance piece for Vampire Weekend’s "A-Punk” is rather boring compared to the more fascinating visuals, like Destroyer’s animated hair swallowing and birthing bodies and faces in "Myriad Harbor,” and Muse’s psychedelic trip through a living Lego version of the "It’s a Small World” ride for "Invincible.” Young Galaxy’s attack on the moon video for "Come and See” has little impact and an animated video of anthropomorphic animals riding on tombstones with ghosts by Morceeba feels out of place. Goldfrapp’s "Happiness” is a hopping good time, Deerhoof’s "You, Dog” is as odd as the song, "Like A Rolling Stone” is amazingly meticulous in its composition, "Pigs” is an awesome live, high-speed paint job of iconic American buildings riding atop a flying pig and Gnarls Barkley’s "Run” is what it is, failing to stand out amongst the competition. Hot Chip’s "Ready For the Floor” is supposed to be an homage to Tim Burton’s Joker but it comes off more like a cheap insult. The running man becomes the newest dance sensation in Scotland and is subsequently snapped up by MC Hammer in "Something Good ‘08” and Justice use cheesy high budget fonts spelling out song lyrics to support their Daft Punk aping. Björk’s "Wanderlust” was supposed to be included but oddly wasn’t, but even without it, if a certain channel showed videos of this quality, I’d be a viewer once again