High-energy, visually interesting, utterly SFW music videos?
January 30, 2014 6:48 AM   Subscribe

I am teaching a class where the students mostly arrive early and sit waiting for everyone to arrive. During this time, I like to play some high-energy, visually interesting, utterly safe for work music videos. Students have commented in the past that they really enjoy it. The thing is, I don't have enough good videos to make it through the semester. Can you suggest some videos for me to use? I particularly like unusual, non-english videos, but fun remixes and other ideas are great as well.

I have seen this previous thread, though it is dated. Videos I like to use are things like:

World Order - Mind Shift
Blue Man Group with Venus Hum - I Feel love
Leningrad — Fish

And I really enjoy mixups like this, but I don't consider this SFW enough:

Lilyest Hobo

Other genres are great, I welcome all suggestions.
posted by procrastination to Media & Arts (59 answers total) 61 users marked this as a favorite
How about Happy by Pharresl Williams? There's 24 hours of it!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:50 AM on January 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Weapon of Choice
posted by phunniemee at 6:52 AM on January 30, 2014 [9 favorites]

This is a totally great one. So much to look at.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:00 AM on January 30, 2014 [4 favorites]

Can't go wrong with New Order:

True Faith
Blue Monday
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:03 AM on January 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Of Monsters and Men have some have some elaborate, mythic videos:
Little Talks
King and Lionheart
posted by BrashTech at 7:03 AM on January 30, 2014

Ponponpon! I love this one so, so, so much.
posted by xingcat at 7:04 AM on January 30, 2014

Madeon - Pop Culture
posted by empath at 7:04 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

This was just on the Blue yesterday:

Jack Conte - Pedals
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:08 AM on January 30, 2014

White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
Daft Punk - Around The World
posted by 0 answers at 7:09 AM on January 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Take 'em back into history with Land of Confusion by Genesis
posted by jquinby at 7:09 AM on January 30, 2014

Re: Daft Punk...oh man, let's not forget Michel Gondry's work:

White Stripes - Fell in Love With a Girl
Chemical Brothers - Let Forever Be
Kylie Minogue - Come Into My World
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:18 AM on January 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Unusual and non-Western(ish)? The Man With the Red Face!
posted by googly at 7:32 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

From Korea:
Cassette Schwarzenegger "Play"
Postino "I Love It"
Mongoose "Cosmic Dancer"
Younha "Run"
Glen Check "60's Cardin" (featuring animated characters from Pucca)
Neons "I believe in the saying 'Love at first sight'"

From Japan:
Moumoon "Emerald no Oka"
Handsome Kenya "Toryanse" (you'll have to judge whether the bit from 2:38 - 2:46 is SFW, though)
posted by needled at 7:33 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Banshees--Passenger, Killing Jar

Curve--Horror Head (lots of close-ups of Toni Halliday, so maybe not visually interesting enough?)

This Mortal Coil videos are interesting to look at, but not necessarily high energy.

Tanya Donelly--Pretty Deep
posted by crush-onastick at 7:43 AM on January 30, 2014

You can't get much higher-energy than Great Big Sea's Mari-Mac.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:52 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Many of Cornelius's videos fill the bill nicely; if you like Fit Song, you should explore the rest of his YouTube channel.
posted by carrienation at 7:56 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Any Beastie Boys video especially from Hello Nasty or To The 5 Boroughs.
posted by bleep at 7:56 AM on January 30, 2014

Stromae!!! He sings in French, and his videos are heavy on the visuals. Love love love him.


Alors on danse

Tous Les Memes

Tous les memes (live version)
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:58 AM on January 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

For Gondry, I'd add IAM's Je danse le Mia. There's the Cantat factor, but the video for Noir Désir's Comme elle vient is really awesome. I'd add Andreas Doreau's Demokratie for the weird factor. How SFW is SFW is for you to judge: Pearl Jam's Do the Evolution.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 8:02 AM on January 30, 2014

What does the fox say?

guy in a fox suit nuff said
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:12 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Take On Me by a-ha
posted by belladonna at 8:23 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Katachi by Shogu Tokumaru is stop motion, but not in the traditional sense. The song is fun, not as twee as a lot of other Japanese pop, and the video is really entrancing to watch.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:36 AM on January 30, 2014

Seven Nation Army - White Stripes
Single Ladies - Beyonce (sorry, but that video is hypnotizing to me! I can't stop watching it!)
Thinkin' 'bout somthin' - Hanson (TRUST ME! Great song, great video, high energy, and Weird Al plays the tambourine in the video)

I suggest going 80's on this. There are so many great, visually interesting (ie. hilarious) videos from the 80s, and they are mostly all SFW.
Tarzan Boy
Eye of the Tiger
Take On Me
Dancin' on the Ceiling (Oh my god, use this song!)
We're Not Going to Take it
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:45 AM on January 30, 2014

Visually interesting:

Lorn - Diamond
Lorn - Weigh Me Down
posted by cashman at 8:54 AM on January 30, 2014

Seconding "Let Forever Be."
posted by kimota at 8:54 AM on January 30, 2014

More from Japan: Ponponpon by Kyary. Or pretty much anything by Kyary.
posted by seiryuu at 9:14 AM on January 30, 2014

Here is a playlist of the youtube links so far, it should be editable (and work hopefully).
posted by 0 answers at 9:23 AM on January 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Time for Polysics!
I My Me Mine (and to really blow their minds, the all Strong Machine 2 version)
Electric Surfin' Go Go
Baby Bias
Coelakanth is Android
Catch on Everywhere
And my two all-time favourites:
Black Out Fall Out
Mr Roboto (yessssssss)

The Applicants' Evelyn Waugh
We Are The Physics's Less Than 3

Oh No!
Big Trouble
posted by Katemonkey at 9:25 AM on January 30, 2014

chris cunningham's videos are often striking but not necessarily high energy, i found him through the Palm Directors Series which is good for finding and exploring the music video landscape. it's also where i rediscovered a bunch of videos and could put their face to a director. i highly recommend scrubbing through these dvds since they're just music video showcases.

* my favorite is only you by portishead, not so much high energy as it is disorienting. dir by cunningham.
* second up is gantz graf by autechre, produced by alex rutterford
* third up is star guitar by the chemical brothers, i'm certain this is gondry.
* fourth up is virtual insanity by jamiroquai, directed by jonathan glazer

the spike jonze and gondry dvds are way more high energy, def. check out those dvds
posted by nsfmc at 9:26 AM on January 30, 2014

Moby first held auditions for Bodyrock, and then made what is probably my favorite music video of all time with the "winner".
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:29 AM on January 30, 2014

Lounge Lizards - Big Heart
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:09 AM on January 30, 2014

I can and do watch this video over and over and over, it is that interesting.

Dan Deacon - True Thrush
posted by kaspen at 10:50 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Grizzley Bear - Ready, Able
Bjork - All is full of love
Flying Lotus - Putty Boy Strut
Dan Deacon - USA (this is actually a 22 minute music short film, but it's certainly visually intersting)
posted by kaspen at 10:59 AM on January 30, 2014

The videos for Jaded by Toyboy & Robin, and Hey Love by Quadron are both charming celebrations of different forms of dance.
posted by rollick at 11:01 AM on January 30, 2014

Maybe some vocaloid videos? They're Japanese, and some are pretty high energy.

posted by anthy at 11:16 AM on January 30, 2014

More of a short anime film than a music video: 自主制作アニメーション『the TV show
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 12:14 PM on January 30, 2014

OK Go are actually really good at the kind of video you're asking for. Here are some more:

This Too Shall Pass - brass band version
WTF? (does contain the f word, but also has the niftiest use of video trails I've ever seen)
White Knuckles (awwww, doggies)
Here It Goes Again (treadmills)
posted by flabdablet at 3:20 PM on January 30, 2014

Los Colorados from Ukraine gained international notice a few years ago with their charming cover of Katie Perry's "Hot n Cold" (lyrics will be NSFW, but included for historical context). They have since graduated to some higher production values with this accordion-laden cover of I Like to Move It.
posted by Kabanos at 3:23 PM on January 30, 2014

Oh wait, you also need some Mr. Oizo with Flat Eric.
posted by Kabanos at 3:25 PM on January 30, 2014

Needing/Getting (car and... things)
posted by flabdablet at 3:26 PM on January 30, 2014

Kyary has been mentioned a couple of times, but no mention of Perfume (songs written and produced by the same guy), so here are some:

Natural ni koishite
Fushizen na girl
Dream Fighter
Magic of Love

Their other videos, as far as I know, are SFW too. Their songs are mostly upbeat and their videos just showcase their awesome dance moves.
posted by misozaki at 5:06 PM on January 30, 2014

Response by poster: Oh my goodness. I wasn't able to check back in during the day, but you all are awesome. I may not even have to teach anymore, I have enough videos to replace all my class material.

I'll come back and mark some best answers as I sort though all this, but I appreciate all the suggestions!
posted by procrastination at 6:11 PM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Tunak Tunak Tun on repeat. Or any other Daler Mehndi. Or any other bhangra, with exceptions for visible midriffs (if that would push the sfw-ness too much.)
posted by notquitemaryann at 6:43 PM on January 30, 2014

Anything by Les Rita Mitsouko (french)...cest comme ca is awesome...
Dance Apocalyptic by Janelle Monae
posted by sexyrobot at 7:58 PM on January 30, 2014

Oh, wow. Having completely watched the lilyest hobo video you posted looking for the problem part, I see that I completely underestimated how utterly "utterly" SFW would have to be. Sorry.
posted by ctmf at 8:14 PM on January 30, 2014

In Your Arms - Kina Grannis an insane music video animated entirely with jelly beans. Watch it at 1080p.

Full disclosure: I worked on this video.
posted by sidi hamet at 8:18 PM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not sure if you consider it mild enough for work, but Verka Serduchka's Eurovision performance for Ukraine is fantastically high energy and fairly tame for a pop song.
posted by librarylis at 9:23 PM on January 30, 2014

Supergrass - Pumping On Your Stereo - special puppetry bonus
posted by RakDaddy at 8:07 AM on January 31, 2014

Two more from TV On The Radio:

The Golden Age

Caffeinated Consciousness
posted by RakDaddy at 8:16 AM on January 31, 2014

Forgot one! Chaiyya Chaiyya!
posted by BrashTech at 8:55 AM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older Modifying a hoodie - help?   |   Custom metal casting - Need help with the... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.