"Clever" music videos?
June 15, 2007 3:48 PM   Subscribe

"Clever" music videos?

Two of my favourite music videos are Star Guitar (because of the music/visual synchronicity) and Smack My Bitch Up (NSFW - because of the twist at the end).

What else would I like?
posted by Mwongozi to Media & Arts (63 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
 
Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy"
posted by lunchbox at 4:00 PM on June 15, 2007


You might like "Rock DJ" by Robbie Williams, which is also probably NSFW. And Feist's "1-2-3-4".
posted by cgc373 at 4:04 PM on June 15, 2007


Check out the videos of Michael Gondry and Spike Jonze--their work exemplifies what you're looking for. The Director's Label Series Boxed Set is a fabulous collection for fans of the artform, but you could also just look up the videos individually on YouTube.
posted by flod at 4:05 PM on June 15, 2007


Michel Gondry. Dammit.
posted by flod at 4:06 PM on June 15, 2007


Maybe David Fincher's video for George Michael's "Freedom '90", with the supermodels lip-synching, and Mr. Michael in absentia?
posted by cgc373 at 4:09 PM on June 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


The music video for Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" is ...different -- it's sort of a love or hate kind of thing.
posted by rossination at 4:10 PM on June 15, 2007


Why not take a look at Stylus Magazine's Top 100 Music Videos? You might find some you might like there.
My own favourite is 'Just' by Radiohead. To this day, I get a mental itch just trying to figure out what that bloke on the floor said when the subtitles abruptly stopped.
posted by sweetlyvicious at 4:22 PM on June 15, 2007


Take on Me
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:24 PM on June 15, 2007


To this day, I get a mental itch just trying to figure out what that bloke on the floor said when the subtitles abruptly stopped.

He says "Last one on the floor's a rotten egg."

No, really. Watch his lips.
posted by armoured-ant at 4:31 PM on June 15, 2007


Float On - Modest Mouse
posted by alona at 4:43 PM on June 15, 2007


*Definitely* seconding the works of Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze. They made, respectively, this unfuckingbelievable video of Kylie Minogue's "Come Into My World" and Christopher Walken's iconic tap dancing in Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice", among others.
posted by Asparagirl at 4:44 PM on June 15, 2007


Also from Michel Gondry + Chemical Brothers: Let Forever Be.
posted by treepour at 4:45 PM on June 15, 2007


Can't Stop by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. <--Pops in new window
posted by zephyr_words at 4:48 PM on June 15, 2007


(Unfortunately, that Kylie video link isn't very good quality -- and the video's genius depends on your being clearly able to see all the small background touches that keep repeating, multiplying, and playing off each other as she circles round the camera multiple times. But if you can find a sharper, less compressed version, preferably on the already-mentioned Michel Gondry DVD collection, it's highly recommended.)
posted by Asparagirl at 4:50 PM on June 15, 2007


UNKLE - Rabbit in your Headlights
Radiohead - Karma Police
Kenna - Hell Bent
posted by meowzilla at 4:50 PM on June 15, 2007


Hmm, I lied it didn't pop. My fav scenes are the lamps and the packing peanuts.
posted by zephyr_words at 4:52 PM on June 15, 2007


Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai
posted by bitdamaged at 5:00 PM on June 15, 2007


Lou Reed's No Money Down is a classic. I'd been looking for a copy for years until YouTube came along.
posted by nixxon at 5:14 PM on June 15, 2007


This isn't exactly a music video - I guess it's more of an art piece - but it's visually striking. Pink by Charlie White. And seconds on Crazy and Jamiroquai,
posted by Addlepated at 5:26 PM on June 15, 2007


Wicked and Weird by Buck 65. Puppetry and crime!

(I feel obligated to mention that I actually know this guy, who worked at the campus radio station in Halifax at the same time as me, under the dj name Jesus Murphy.)
posted by joannemerriam at 5:29 PM on June 15, 2007


Money for Nothing, by Dire Straits.

But you have to put your mind back to the 80s when it was State of the Art.
posted by bondcliff at 5:48 PM on June 15, 2007


Mute Math - Typical was filmed backwards.

Rubber Johnny by Chris Cunningham (with music from Aphex Twin) is completely insane and awesome.
posted by nitsuj at 5:55 PM on June 15, 2007


(there may be some NSFW imagery in Rubber Johnny.)
posted by nitsuj at 5:57 PM on June 15, 2007


Another vote for Michel Gondry. Daft Punk - 'Around The World', Kylie Minogue - 'Come Into My World' and Cibo Matto - 'Sugar Water' being just a few.
posted by samstarling at 6:01 PM on June 15, 2007


OK GO

This video revitalized their dying career. I hear that the founders of YouTube actually asked them to make a video for the site. They did and it has received millions of views.
posted by caddis at 6:14 PM on June 15, 2007


3 Feet Deep by DJ Format, featuring MC's Abdominal and D-Sisive.
posted by sellout at 6:24 PM on June 15, 2007


Seconding Kenna, recommending Freetime as well as Hell Bent.
posted by nursegracer at 6:55 PM on June 15, 2007


New Japanese one...

Ryukyudisko
posted by ejoey at 6:56 PM on June 15, 2007


A followup to sellout's suggesting 3 Feet Deep, anything produced by Keith Schofield.

(Pi has been a personal fav for some time)
posted by samsara at 7:39 PM on June 15, 2007


Anything by Devo.
posted by SansPoint at 7:42 PM on June 15, 2007


(Oh also...Loud and Clear)
posted by samsara at 7:44 PM on June 15, 2007


Devo - Beautiful World
posted by schyler523 at 7:45 PM on June 15, 2007


The real Gondry/Chemicals winner: Star Guitar.

Also Mint Royale's Singin' in the Rain (the full version, without Gene Kelly).
posted by genghis at 7:56 PM on June 15, 2007


you might want to look into the directors labels dvd's ... lots of the stuff mentioned on here is on those. my favorites are the michel gondry and spike jonze one. amazon has both.
posted by krautland at 8:22 PM on June 15, 2007


Radiohead -- Just
posted by modernnomad at 8:28 PM on June 15, 2007


.yalpdloC yb tsitneicS ehT denoitnem sah eno on eveileb t'nac I
posted by Rock Steady at 8:46 PM on June 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gnarls Barkley's version of Gone Daddy Gone is pretty high-concept, too.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:52 PM on June 15, 2007


"Do It With Madonna" (Androids) (funny), "Human" (Car Park North) (really rather good), "Gray Video" (Danger Mouse — Beatles and Jay-Z); "Wishful Thinking" (Ditty Bops); "Mosh" (Eminem) (no, seriously!), "We Will Rock You" (Evian); "Jed's Other Poem (Beautiful Ground)" (Grandaddy); "Lotion" (Greenskeepers) (Silence of the Lambs homage); "Move Your Feet" (Junior Senior); "Nice Weather for Ducks" (Lemon Jelly); "Canon Rock" (Jeong-Hyun Lim); "World on Fire" (Sarah McLachlan); "Scent of a Robot" (Pete Miser); "Do They Know It's Halloween?" (North American Halloween Prevention Initiative); "Loud and Clear" (One Block Radius); "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" (Scissor Sisters); "Fidelity" (Regina Spektor); "Buddy Holly" (Weezer); "Superman" (Chris Appelhans); "Fix You" (Young@Heart) (Coldplay cover).
posted by WCityMike at 9:03 PM on June 15, 2007


Herbie Hancock - Rockit

Goldfrapp - Strict Machine and Number One

Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out


And, as far as clever, conceptual videos go I can't believe nobody's mentioned this one yet.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:35 PM on June 15, 2007


Take on Me

And, of course, The Sun Always Shines on T.V., which picks up the story where Take on Me leaves off.
posted by WCityMike at 9:45 PM on June 15, 2007


Also, a friend of mine had a record release for which he did some really rather cool-concept music videos: "Mighty Little Man" (and alternate video), "What I Do on Saturday", and "Dead."
posted by WCityMike at 9:47 PM on June 15, 2007


A friend of yours? As in "Steve is a friend to children all over the world"? Or as in you really know him? Man, I hate to get starstruck, but we are huge fans of Steve's work here (TV and music). "Mighty Little Man" and "A Reason" are two of my all-time faves. Give him my best, and tell him his fans are eagerly anticipating the new album!
posted by Rock Steady at 10:31 PM on June 15, 2007


Yup, I knew him for a few years, during the period of time in which we were both enrolled in Allentown College's theater program. I'm afraid we lost contact a long time ago, though, so I'm afraid I can't pass along your message. When he tours, though, usually we catch up a little when he hits Chicago.
posted by WCityMike at 10:36 PM on June 15, 2007


"The Scientist" by Coldplay
posted by The Deej at 10:37 PM on June 15, 2007


Also ... F-Y-I.
posted by WCityMike at 10:42 PM on June 15, 2007


This video revitalized their dying career.

That's a weird way to describe their first smash success. It's not like they were the Rolling Stones or anything. They had a great production deal for the second album and were probably going to do at least as well anyway.

I hear that the founders of YouTube actually asked them to make a video for the site.

The first one, "A Million Ways", was done behind the backs of their label. The second one, "Here it Goes Again" (eponysterical?), was borne from the success of the first, because the label eventually backed the "Million" video with an astroturfing campaign. It wasn't posted only on YouTube, anyway.

Ah, the question. Lots of good ones above. My favorite recent "clever" video has to be Jarvis Cocker's "Don't Let Him Waste Your Time".

A few others not mentioned before:
* An Honest Mistake by the Bravery
* Breaking the Habit by Linkin Park (yes, but it's clever (and so help me I like this song))
* Sober by Tool

Of course, everyone's definition of clever varies. YMMV &c.
posted by dhartung at 11:02 PM on June 15, 2007


Not extremely "clever", but really neat:

http://videos.thelonelyisland.com/tli/nobodymove.mp4

We Are Scientists - "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt"
posted by Mikey-San at 11:21 PM on June 15, 2007


Blur - Coffee & TV and the already recommended Let Forever Be.
posted by muteh at 1:02 AM on June 16, 2007


Hot Chip - Over and Over
posted by jne1813 at 1:26 AM on June 16, 2007


Drop - The Pharcyde Much better than the Coldplay rip off version of sdrawkcab soediv.
posted by djstig at 2:53 AM on June 16, 2007


I find TISM's videos are always entertaining, from the visually catchiness of Thunderbirds Are Coming Out (the irony at the end always kills me) to the politically incorrect hilarity of What Are Ya? to teenage philosophy Greg, The Stop Sign!(lots of Australian popculture references).

I'd never heard of this one before, but from 1.30 in, it features a voiceover in which two members of the band discuss the sorry state of music videos over footage of kids auditioning for their next video.
posted by goshling at 3:06 AM on June 16, 2007


Oh, and AFAIK, all the bands in the Thunderbirds clip were real bands.
posted by goshling at 3:12 AM on June 16, 2007


I am also kind of fond of Eskimo Joe
New York - more backwardsy stuff
Wake Up - wtf? lol
Black Fingernails, Red Wine -much more interesting & disturbing than the version in the toilet

I think From The Sea & Smoke (and also some song about a Liar)are great clips too, but can't find links to them.
posted by goshling at 3:50 AM on June 16, 2007


Remind Me by Royksopp.

Animated using infographics and, yes, the song was used in a GEICO commercial.
posted by sciatica at 7:17 AM on June 16, 2007


Quite a few from Royksopp...neat!
posted by samsara at 9:00 AM on June 16, 2007


Knights of Cydonia by Muse.
posted by rhapsodie at 11:30 AM on June 16, 2007


Anything with Abdominal & DJ Format.
We Know Something You Don't Know
Vicious Battle Raps
The Hit Song
3 Feet Deep
Separated at Birth
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:42 PM on June 16, 2007


To this day, I get a mental itch just trying to figure out what that bloke on the floor said when the subtitles abruptly stopped.

He says `Hey, if you lay down in the street you can see Radiohead playing in that apartment up there'.
posted by tomble at 5:42 PM on June 16, 2007


The Avalanches, of course!

Frontier Psychiatrist fits your criteria more closely, but I'm very fond of Since I Left You.
posted by gnomeloaf at 6:12 PM on June 16, 2007


As someone mentioned The Scientist,

Jack Johnson's video "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" is also shot backwards
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 2:21 AM on June 17, 2007


OK Go - Here It Goes Again


treadmill choreography!
posted by kjs4 at 7:31 AM on June 17, 2007


Night Flight RockIt
posted by vronsky at 5:47 PM on June 17, 2007


Maybe not your definition of clever, but here's a couple more videos I really enjoy from the artform perspective:

Motor - Black Powder


Nine Inch Nails - March of the Pigs (I love how minimal the video is with live performance music, not the studio version)

I'll second the Goldfrapp videos, too...
posted by Sasquatch at 4:10 AM on June 19, 2007


« Older I would like to paint my wall ...   |  Another broken quotation. Who... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.