Friday, August 29, 2008

Cap'n Neurotic's Top 20 Favorite Music Videos (In No Particular Order)

Co-worker and fellow SF/Comic geek Starlett has posted a list of her Top 10 Favorite Music Videos. And while I can't quibble with most of her choices, I can't help feeling that a Top 10 Music Video list that doesn't include an entry from either Spike Jonez or Michel Gondry -- even in the "runner up" section -- is missing something. So, I figured I'd go ahead and do my own list . . . of course, the problem is making sure I don't overload on Spike Jonez and Michel Gondry videos . . .

Anyway, here's my Top 20 Favorite Music Videos (In No Particular Order). As with Starlett's list, this is not a list of favorite songs, necessarily, but of those clever, original, inventive, entertaining, engaging, disturbing, memorable music videos that helped burn the songs into my brain forever. When possible, the videos will either be linked or embedded.

1. "Everlong" by The Foo Fighters: One of those cases where I'm not sure how much of my love of the song is just because I love the song, and how much is because I love the video and the love bleeds through. Always loved the Evil Dead homage, as well as Dave Grohl's dream warrior skills. Plus, the nice shift from woman in bed to man playing drums at the end is one of my favorite transitions of all time. The first Michel Gondry video on my list, and one that only touches on his love for recursive storytelling.

2. "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai. Such a cool video; I remember spending so much time trying to figure out how they pulled it off back in the day.

3. "Take on Me" by Ah-Ha. A true classic, don't think this one needs much in the way of explanation.

4. "Sabotage" by The Beastie Boys. Prior to this video, I don't think I ever would have dreamed of linking The Beastie Boys to 70s police dramas, and yet Spike Jonze makes it seem like such a natural fit.

5. "Buddy Holly" by Weezer: Was a big fan of "Undone (The Sweater Song)" but it was "Buddy Holly" that firmly entrenched Weezer into my favorite bands list. This one always brings back memories of the Parker days.

6. "Praise You" by Fatboy Slim. While I had unknowingly been a fan of his work before this one, I'm pretty sure that "Praise You" was the video that really put the name Spike Jonze on my radar.

7. "Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim: Can't go wrong with a dancing Christopher Walken, especially dancing to a song that references the sand worms in Dune. Again, thank you Mr. Jonze.

8. "Lucas with the Lid Off" by Lucas. Another video that's filled to the brim with Parker nostalgia, and another example of the stylistic mastery of Michel Gondry.

9. "Bachelorette" by Bjork. Out of all of the Bjork videos directed by Gondry (which is most of them), I think this self-referential tale best exemplifies his work.

10. "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel. Another classic video that probably doesn't need much explanation from me.

11. "Are You Gonna Go My Way" by Lenny Kravitz. Don't know what it is about this video, it's not particularly clever or original, but somehow it just perfectly captures the energy of the song for me. Plus, I'm pretty sure that the girl that dorky kid from Dazed and Confused hooks up with is in it.

12. "Clint Eastwood" by Gorrillaz. Got to have at least one video from everyone's favorite animated band since The Archies, so if I'm going to have one might as well have the one that introduced them to the world.

13. "It's Like That" by Run DMC vs. Jason Nevins. Love the dance-off in this. 'Nuff said.

14. "Sober" by Tool. A bit freaky, to be sure, but darned if it didn't leave an impression on me.

15. "Around the World" by Daft Punk. Recursive and repetitive, like any good Gondry video, but endlessly visually interesting at the same time.

16. "It's Oh So Quiet" by Bjork. Look, a Bjork video done by someone other than Gondry! And look, that "someone" is Spike Jonez! And it's a paean to Broadway musicals! Plus, y'know, Bjork!

17. "Janie's Got a Gun" by Aerosmith. This video made a huge impression on me as a kid; guess I shouldn't have been so surprised that it was directed by the man responsible for a couple of movies that have made huge impressions on me, Se7en and Fight Club. That's right, before becoming a big name Hollywood director, David Fincher was a pretty prolific video director, handling work by Madonna ("Vogue," "Express Yourself"), Billy Idol ("Rock the Cradle of Love") and, most surprisingly, Paula Abdul ("Striaght Up," "Forever Your Girl," "The Way That You Love Me," and two others to be named later). The one thing that always drove me crazy in the video: what the heck was Janie spelling on the floor after shooting her dad?

18. "Don't Speak" by No Doubt. I always liked the way No Doubt was able to take their frustration and turmoil generated by the media focus on Gwen and transform it into one of their best videos.

19. "Freak on a Leash" by Korn. Magic bullet destroying stuff all over town, what's not to love?

20. TIE: "A Million Ways to be Cruel" and "Here it Goes Again" by OK Go. Yeah, they've probably been overplayed to death by now, but with good reason.

I'm pretty sure there are some videos that have just totally slipped my mind, and I'm sure Zinger will be the first to say "I can't believe you included that No Doubt crap but left out so-and-so." I welcome any and all comments and suggestions.


Zinger said...

I finally thought of a good one - "Nth Degree" by Morningwood.

It's hard to hold back on the Gondry vids. But I think I might include "Fell In Love With a Girl", "Walkie Talkie Man", or "Let Forever Be". Actually, I think we should just do "Top 20 not including Gondry", because he easily has 20 awesome vids.

Redneck Diva said...

I can remember being utterly transfixed by "Take On Me" as a teen. It's a total classic.

As is "Sledgehammer", even though I can't STAND the song.

OK Go rawks.

Starrlett said...

I cannot WAIT to watch these this weekend!! I may end up editing my list... especially as you called to my attention that I somehow completely left Bjork out.

Dang. Edits may indeed be forthcoming.