A Few Modern Music VIdeos That Make Us Think That The Art Form Isn't Dead
by Penn Collins
With the death of MTV, and the death of the record stores, and the album, artists over the past decade have steered away from expensive overblown music videos like this and this, generally saving the hundreds of thousands of dollars to reupholster their jets or whatever.
Because there is no longer a good return on investment from music videos (YouTube royalties don't pay the same way MTV and VH1 do/did), most have abandoned the over-the-top videos or at least scaled them back dramatically. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though, as it's caused bands and labels to stop just throwing money at videos and forced them to get more creative with them on a budget.
While they might not have the mass-market appeal the way a Michael Bay movie might, there's still TONS of great music videos out there. You just have to look a little harder. With so much content out there, and very little of it being spoon-fed to you the way it was on TV, it's a little daunting to know where to begin, so I suppose the easiest thing to do is just start with the bands you like and go from there.
Anyway, this isn't meant to be a list or a guide or anything like that. It's only to serve as a reminder/notification that there are still pretty entertaining and interesting music videos from current artists out there, so take a look and go from there if your 17 year-old self is missing the art form.
This video is very cinematic, though it may turn off a few fans, because the kids screaming the lyrics obscure the original vocal tracks, but it's pretty damn great in my book. This is probably my fave video I have seen since the days of MTV, but it helps that this is one of my fave singles of the decade, so judge for yourself.
With 19 million views, this one's hardly a secret, but a good video is a good video.
Below, we've got another new conceit of the Internet age, the fan-made music video. Here's one of the most rocking singles of the decade (again, in my awesomely humble opinion) set to a live Muppets performance. It's hard not to like. It's actually impossible not to like.
In a delightfully 90's take on a music video, here's the delightful 90's band Superchunk proving they haven't lost a step, all while juxtaposed with footage taken via cat.
Here, tUnE-yArDs (shit, that's a pain to type) take their weird sound and mellow it out a little with a bunch of kids. Then they return it to its weird state with a ton of weird adults covered in paint. Spectacle is spectacle.
Most of this runs towards indie and the less mainstream, but I'm assuming that everyone has already seen the videos for OK GO and Gaga and all that. For obvious reasons, these videos rely less on special effects, and more on art. But if that's not your thing, just take this and don't tell anyone I gave it to you.
And if that damaged your indie sensibilities a little too much, here's a video in which TV On The Radio's lead singer Tunde claims to have been moonlighting as a nomadic Prince impersonator. That should get your levels of street cred up a little.
And here we've got Lykke Li making a big ole' stink in a fancy restaurant, while Stellan Skarsgard sits idly by. It's probably the most Lykke Li video that Lykke Li could make. Which is to say, it's pretty damn dramatic and interesting.
That's not to say all these videos are low-key affairs. World-renown and bombastic French dance duo Justice win the WTF? Award (which is quite a distinction in this group) with Civilization. If anyone can tell me what's going on here, I'll give them a dollar. Whatever it is, I like it.
Here, the Foo Fighters give more than a nod to Michael Douglas' 'Falling Down' in yet another satirical video by the rock band. There are a lot of great comedic actors out there, but when Dave Grohl does "pissed off" I don't think anyone can be funnier.
On that note, go forth and see what you can scare up. There are still great music videos out there, but just done on a smaller scale, which fits pretty well with the conventions of most music these days. Honestly, one could argue that with YouTube and the DIY mentality, there has never been a better time for music videos. I'm not going to say that, but someone could.