I never had cable when I was a kid. We were an analog family. We still are an analog family. I was never aware of the world of music videos. I would see the odd thing here and there at friends houses, then after the advent of the internet I would look up my favorite songs online and by the time I got cable my freshman year in college my roommates had a standing rule of not watching anything besides sports center – and apparently, not washing their dishes, a rule my current roommates follow.
So, my exposure to music video has been limited to my own intentional hunting and finding. Generally speaking, videos ruin songs. Just this week in the office a Muse video – good band despite their involvement with the Twilight movies, though I don't appreciate them as much as I used to – came on where teddy bears or gingerbread men – it was hard to tell – emerged from the ground and terrorized a city. Yeah, not the mental image that I had associated with that song.
Still, there is the occasional video that perfectly blends mood, meaning, and melody to make an audio-visual explosion of the brain. Here are two of my choices (note: there may be an ad before they start).
1. Best of You: Foo Fighters.
Curtain opens to a tight shot of Dave Grohls mouth literrally hugging his microphone and then the dam burst to a relentless emotionally-charged marthon of image and sound. Best of you, indeed.
2. Where are you: Our Lady Peace
Unfotunately, the embedding code has been disabled by request and I don't have the time to hunt down a different version so, really, click here to watch. Really, click it, it's awesome. From the opening seconds of a seemingly-German military march to a circle of African dancers jumping in slow motion, the video blends a dozen different styles and movements into one concrete room with a relentless drive. Fantastic. Seriously, click the link, and watch it.
It's no coincidence that both of these videos are loud, fast, grunge. I can get my slow-music on but it doesn't make for good video. Video needs speed and pulsating beat, driving the music into you temple like the drip of water at a Chinese POW camp.
It's also no coincidence that both these videos are, for the most part, performance based. I don't need stop-motion skeletons (The Killers) or Candyland breasts squirting foam (Katy Perry). I don't need men in gorrilla suits (Bloodhound Gang) or any other gymick. I watch the video because I love the song and the visual elements should only enhance the sound, not distract from it.
So, Woodstockers, what's your favorite music video?