The Academy’s decision to cut the performances of all Best Original Song nominees was a misguided attempt to shorten the telecast. (They said the songs would be better served when put into context with their cinematic accompaniment.) This rational claim of expanding an aural experience with enhanced visual contrasts is legitimized by a long history of music videos (We looked to MTV for backup, but apparently they’ve forgotten about that whole “music television” thing). Artistically challenging and stimulating music videos are still constantly cranked out by any band with a video camera and a vision, pairing awesome music with some awesome eye-candy.
On the occasion of Vampire Weekend’s star-mashing, RZA-presiding premiere of the video for “Giving Up The Gun,” Flavorpill is launching a recurring feature where we’ll give you the best music video releases of the past week: lo-fi, high concept, NSFW, and everything in between. After the jump, watch the brand-new Vampire Weekend video and our other choices for this week. As always, let us know if we missed anything.
Vampire Weekend feat. RZA, Jake Gyllenhall, and Lil’ Jon – “Giving Up The Gun”
The line about “wrists of steel” makes much more sense now. RZA doesn’t do much more than glower like a Wu-Tang Morpheus, but Jake Gyllenhall steals the clip as a flask-swilling, comically intense opponent wearing skin-tight blue tennis thigh-highs. Vampire Weekend have never shied away from image self-parody, but here the stark white visuals and guest spots overshadow the song.
The Phenomenal Handclap Band – “Baby”
Retro-soul horns and twiddling flute accompany this jaunt in the woods. Religious icons, a blood-splattered mirror, and what looks to be animal carcasses also inhabit this story of an obsessive axe-murderer.
Caribou – “Odessa”
We’ve unwittingly included a video with bloodied faces and more prominent tribal flute. It’s an evolving haze of wintry landscapes and melting faces, including shots of some truly bewildered kids.
Tegan and Sara – “Alligator”
More snow! And synchronized dancing that looks straight out from New Kids On The Block. Perfect for extracting your partner from a collapsing igloo of confetti.
Liars – “Scissor”
Eerie harmonies work go so well with lifeboats stranded in shimmering water. The roaring interludes will make you want to stay far away from yachts and rocks. No snow, but plenty of blood, even if the conclusion masks the obvious tragedy.