Brian Lopez “Crossfire Cries”
Brian Lopez’s video for “Crossfire Cries” is all about finding a job, sort of. Brian’s at a job interview. Admittedly I haven’t had many of those in my life, but I do wish they all had gone something like this video. For starters, I think no matter what job you do, you should always have a contract. For that matter, you should also have trade value. Brian’s got his toys with him, which I don’t recommend bringing with you to a job interview. His potential new boss is also weird. We have the silly face to serious face back to silly face stare down. We have post it notes that read “crying is for bathroom breaks”. This man isn’t even wearing pants. Needless to say, I do wish all job interviews went like this video.
Madeon featuring Passion Pit “Pay No Mind”
Madeon and Passion Pit have joined forces to give us the song “Pay No Mind”. The video for “Pay No Mind” is like a treasure hunt. A man and a woman find themselves in futuristic city. This video is the second in a trilogy, following the story begun in “You’re On” featuring Kyan. Asteria and Icarus are trapped in this city which seems like it might be a great place to live. It’s a very technologically sophisticated city. Yet, they long to escape it. There is no exit ramp that will get you out as the whole city is sealed behind a wall. For these two it’s all about studying the city, its buildings, its maps, its outlay. It’s also about figuring out the secret behind a hexagon symbol that appears throughout the city. They eventually find their way out, but they have to go underground which makes sense because if you want to get anywhere you have to do some digging, but not with a shovel. These two are pretty smart and savvy and soon find themselves in a desert. The visuals are intriguing here bordering on what I can only assume the modern cities in Qatar or the United Arab Emirates must look like. State of the art, modern designed sky scrapers with modern luxury that technology allows surrounded by flat, barren deserts. I can’t wait to see how this journey ends.
alt-J’s video for “Pusher” is about as solemn as you can get. It’s a dark, dreary day in the fall, or perhaps early winter. The trees are bare. The buildings look abandoned. The recessed soccer field is in decay. There’s a telephone booth that has seen better days. In the midst of this a man is setting down his briefcase, removing his trench coat, and climbing atop a stack of bricks. He’s the only one with hair, for circling around him are a group of bald, clean shaven business men. Some have brought their umbrellas. Others stand with newspapers folded up underneath their arms. And at one passing glance the camera pans through a car that seems to have a person long dead sitting in the rear. The man in the center starts to preach, and goes on well into the night. Finally, he seems in great distress as he pulls his hair out, then grabs his head and twists violently breaking his own neck. This doesn’t seem to faze the others, not even the gentleman who has made his way into the telephone booth. They gather their things and walk away. There was no interest in whatever words the man was peddling, and now that the show’s over, they go on back to their own affairs. It’s a scene that makes you wonder who the insane party was, the preacher or the crowd.
Oh Land “Flags”
Oh Land’s video for “Flag” has to do with flags. It’s actually quite a charming little video made with Oh Land’s face and construction paper. The opening scene sees an interesting little creature looking at a far away planet. Out comes a rocket ship, followed by a short voyage around Oh Land’s head and a landing on said planet. And finally, of course, the planting of a flag. Because who wouldn’t claim an entire planet? A scene change occurs and we find another figure sailing in a boat. The destination? Why, an island. And again, the island is claimed by the planting of a flag. That’s followed by some sort of bed bug attack. I’m not really sure, but after we go deep into the sea. Or so it seems until the sun is back, and there’s some tomato like object. And it looks like a flag is planted in a book. The entire video is shot with Oh Land lying face up, large sheets of cardboard are place over her head, with a cut out for her face. Then these shapes made out of construction paper are moved around by hands. There’s no fancy computer graphics in this one. Yet, it achieves what a video should. We have Oh Land promoted with her face, and the planting of flags shenanigans are entertaining as well.
Clipping had a great year in 2014 that saw four of their videos make the Video Rewind. 2015 has been pretty quiet coming off their album CLPPNG from last year, but the past week saw a debut of their new video “Summertime”. It was shot on a beach, but when people turn to the camera their eyes and mouth are replaced by Daveed Diggs’s eyes and mouth. It’s an interesting look, especially when a woman turns towards the camera. We also get a shot of Daveed, mostly his face, but rather than seeing any eyes or mouth on his face, we simply see holes that allow for the backdrop image to appear through. It’s as though they turned Daveed’s head into a jack-o-lantern. They make their way from the beach, where eventually they get pulled over and a big deal is made because they don’t have permits to shoot a music video. That’s unfortunate, but what is really appealing about his video is the way that the movements the people make in terms of what they are doing naturally as the camera is rolling syncs up nicely with Daveed’s eyes and mouth superimposed on their faces. The people behind Clipping’s videos keep coming up with out of the box ideas for their videos. It’s fresh, and I think it works very well with their music.