Even though the closest thing to a music video you’ve seen on TV recently is a Jack’s Mannequin song set against some B-roll of L.A. on The Hills, I can assure you, the music video is NOT a dead art form! And in 2008, the music business may have struggled to make money in the pirate-ridden seas of album sales, but they had no problem spending money on some incredibly beautiful, funny, creepy, and bizarre music videos. Here are my favorites from this year, in no particular order (if you must know, “Shine” is my favorite). Take some time to sit back and remember that music + moving images = MAGIC! I know I missed a bunch, so please include your personal favorites in the comments!
Thunderheist “Jerk It”This video will turn you on – and in turn make you wonder if you’re a pervert.
Architecture In Helsinki “Like It Or Not”
As a lady who loves all things embroidered and needleworked,
this video gives me a giant heart boner.
Beyonce “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
Beyonce’s relatively simple, yet stunning, video inspired countless tributes such as this.
MGMT “The Youth”Eric Wareheim of Tim & Eric directed this. What, you couldn’t tell?
I’m simultaneously freaked out and mesmerized.
Adele “Chasing Pavements”
Choreography on the pavement: cool and fitting.
SNL: “J*zzed In My Pants”I just call it ecstasy.
The BPA & David Byrne Featuring Dizzee Rascal “ToeJam”I LOVE THIS VIDEO! It’s so. Much. Fun.
MGMT “Electric Feel”
Don’t kill me….but in this video, MGMT reminds me of a MUCH cooler version of The Jonas Brothers. Aaaanyway, this video is what it would be like if the band threw a party in my nightmares (fun, yet terrifying).
TV On The Radio “Golden Age”I have NO idea what’s going on here, but the cops dancing are pretty awesome.
Bjork “Wanderlust”Dayaaaamn Bjork, this sh*t is INSANE. Way to take it to a whole ‘nother level and make the rest of the music world feel like Jan Terri. The video was done in stereoscopic 3D, which basically means it will blow your mind. (To watch in 3D, go here.)
The New Pornographers “Mutiny, I Promise You”Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler made this video for The New Pornographers as part of their Penelope Princess Of Pets series on Superdeluxe. It’s adorable.
Fleet Foxes “White Winter Hymnal”I feel like they used to show animation like this on Pinwheel. And it still kind of scares me. But set to Fleet Foxes, I’m downright obsessed.
MGMT “Time To Pretend”
I realize there’s a lot of MGMT on this list, but seriously, these guys know how to make a music video! The multiple drummer scene totally reminds me of the Olympics opening ceremonies.
Gnarls Barkley “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul”
As I’ve mentioned before, this video is a combo of the diner scene from Spaceballs, California Raisins, and a Prilosec OTC commercial. It’s THE BEST! Plus, Jorma Taccone!
Radiohead “Reckoner”This video was made by Clement Picon, who was one of the winners of Radiohead’s Aniboom animation contest. Its serene beauty fits the song perfectly.
Britney Spears “Womanizer”
Writhing around nude covered in baby oil: the mark of a major comeback.
Feist “1234″ (Sesame Street Version)I like this better than the original.
Of Montreal “Id Engager”Take an Of Montreal happy pill and watch this. It always makes things better.
Radiohead “House Of Cards”DID YOU GUYS KNOW THAT no cameras or lights were used in making this video?? Radiohead, more like Spacelaserhead! Ahem.
Ferras “Liberation Day” (Greg Johnson Runs Naked)Greg Johnson made this delightful video of himself running naked across America, set to a Ferras song. The video quickly spread and it seems has been made the official video for the song. Well, duh, music business, that’s how it should be. Let your fans make the videos for free!
She & Him “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”Katy Perry, I dare you to try and be this cute.
Yeasayer “Wait For The Summer”This one starts out creepy crawly with some beetles running around, but then kind of turns into what it might look like if the side of your custom van could be animated.
Hot Chip “Ready For The Floor”This is what you’d get if you combined Two Face from Batman with a Robert Palmer video.
Chris Dane Owen “Shine”Proof that incredibly elaborate, high-budget music videos still exist –
for no reason other than to bring unending joy to my heart.