Weird And Wonderful Music Videos
Directed by Tom Kuntz and Mike Maguire. Grandad's in drag playing the drums, the German's have taken care of the horn section, Casper the friendly Klan member and his buddies are our chorus. And that's just for starters. For main we get a human-headed turtle, a coconut puppet, a horse as instrument...it's a literal translation of the song's lyrics and sounds which means no need to eat that brown acid. I'll see you back at the ward.
Directed by Chris "King Mindf#ck" Cunningham. If you're not creeped out and sobbing for your sanity after watching one of his music videos then you're doing it wrong. Featuring a deranged goblin creature screaming in the face of a sweet old lady while Mr Aphex Twin's electronically distorted face screams about eating your soul, this video is as freaky as waking up to find a naked werewolf standing over your bed wearing the transplanted face of your mother while singing Rock-a-bye Baby. Mr Cunningham set the mutated benchmark for disconcerting music videos and then shattered it in two with a high pitched binary shriek from inside the matrix.
Directed by Michel Gondry and built by him and his son (who's featured at the beginning) using LEGO pieces. A painstaking effort shot frame by frame, the result is a blocky childhood wonderland of manic White Stripes running to and fro. In its stop-motion energy reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer video, speaking of which...
Directed by Stephen R. Johnson. It's like the fevered dreams of Wallace and Gromit after too much pre-bedtime gorgonzola (Aardman Animations helped with the claymation). Something of a revelation when it came out, it'll still knock you out cold if you've never seen it before. Like a sledgehammer of dreams smashing into your consciousness.
Directed by Peter Serafinowicz. A video dripping in awesome, where a boy band get shot in the face by a bald guy who shoots lazers out his mouth. And then a disembodied head comes along, fires eye-lazers into the crowd before vaporizing Hot Chip while singing along to the track. Epic.
Directed by Magnus Carlsson, it features characters from his cartoon Robin. Beguiling, violent and disturbing, and all the more troubling for being an animation. Lucid imagery and a mournful tone populated by unpleasant happenings and an inexplicable sense of worry sticks from the start, when Robin cries salt-suds from his bottle of sham. Later on a fat man manages to chop his own limbs off. But it's alright because he's saved by buxom mermaids.
Directed by Michel Gondry. We head into the dreams of Dave Grohl and his girlfriend - bandmate and drummer Taylor Hawkins in drag - where his alter ego (Sid Vicious?) is fighting cartoon-styled teddy-boys to protect his damsel-in-distress. Meanwhile Taylor's dreaming about some Evil Dead-type happenings in a cabin in dark woodland. What to do? Grow one big hand and start slapping like you've got a pair. Dream logic drives this one along until the band emerges at the end to play us out.
Directed by Spike Jonze. An injured anthropomorphic dog walks around New York City with a ghetto-blaster having a few words with his fellow city-dwellers. Some day that dog's gonna be president.
Directed by Howard Greenhalgh. Surreal and apocalyptic, full to the sickly brim of unnaturally grinning strangers in a hyper-real suburban neighbourhood. And then the inevitable: a black hole opens up and swallows them all. But the band play on, naturally. Prophetic.
Directed by Hammer & Tongs. The adventures of an animated anthropomorphic milk carton called Milky, you'd have to have a heart made from granite and hate to not like this one. Graham Coxon is missing and it's up to Milky to find him, so off he sets from the breakfast table to solve this mystery, braving lawn trimmers and hitching a lift from a motorcyclist. His strawberry milk girlfriend meets a vicious fate but all is set right in the end.
Directed by Superhate. It's like you're at a festival and you've necked a handful of coloured pills given to you be a man whose eyeballs look like two ping-pong balls stuck to his face. And the sun's shining down on you, blinding your eyes while all around you turns into a whirl of hazy colours as you fight to free yourself from an invisible balloon but you don't have the strength.
Directed by Isaiah Saxon and Sean Hellfritsch. Featuring furrow browed men, large wooden contraptions, bulbous bipeds and plenty more curiosities. I bet a lysergic-soaked John Lennon never saw any visions to match these. It should come with its own mental health warning. I don't even.
Directed by Chris Cunningham. A copy of this video about clam-jousting gynoids resides in MoMA in New York City, proving that music videos can be art.
Directed by Philipe de Couffle. Featuring synchronised slapping in time with the music and live footage of the band. I think it says something about meeting your mates down at ecstasy airport to catch a flight to the summer of love.
More Chris Cunningham. Leave it to Messrs Cunningham and James to subvert the bling culture of rap music with a video that features the words "bitch", "niggaz" and "muthaf#cker" about 100 times each in the first four minutes of the video, before we're "treated" to the horror of Richard D. James's face on the hot bodies of beautiful laydeez. It's sick, funny, upsetting, funky, and ten minutes long.
Directed by Michel Gondry. It's like you've snorted a line of ketamine through your vision. A jarring and kaleidoscopic treat, the sort of video you come away from having to shake your head back to reality.