Music News

Video Roundup: Drake, St. Vincent, Basement Jaxx, Portugal. The Man, Clues

​Things are chug-chugging along on this humpday, and while music news may be at a premium today, there have been quite a few recent music videos in the past week or so that have come to my attention. It's always fun to fawn over new videos, and today has provided two so far -- Drake's "Forever" and St. Vincent's "Marrow." Polar opposites, for sure, but they are worthy of your attention, if not to poke fun at whatever it is Drake thinks makes for a "good" music video.

First up is Drake's latest video, "Forever," featuring Lil Wayne, Eminem and The Interrupter (no, not him, him). This video is just odd to begin with, complete with some two-story scaffolding, flames and Eminem. The song is for the soundtrack to the upcoming LeBron James movie/profile of a superstar's basketball life More Than A Game. It's got that MC Hammer "Too Legit To Quit" feel to it, yet it has more flames and less athletes. You can get up off that couch, Weezy, those cameras pointed at you mean you're shooting what's called a "music video." At least Kanye was given his own know what, no. No more stupid Kanye interruption jokes. Ever.

Next up we have Dallas' own St. Vincent's newest video from her stellar sophomore album Actor. It's a very straightforward affair which lets fans of St. Vincent's music get a solid grasp on just exactly what the singer looks like. The song is so damn good, though, that she doesn't quite need a flashy video (ahem, Drake) to cover up for anything. Yeah, comparing mainstream hip-hop videos to ones made by indie singer/songwriters is just what I do.

Next up is a little guilty pleasure of mine, complements of Basement Jaxx and Sam Sparro. The video is for the track "Feeling's Gone," off Basement Jaxx's new album Scars, due out October 13. While the video may be quite out there, the Weinerville feel to it makes it so very familiar, not to mention silly for all the right reasons. It's got just enough charm and panache, which is good because too much would just make it something very off-putting and weird for those who aren't familiar with Basement Jaxx's aesthetic appeal. That, and Sam Sparro's vocals are still some of the best -- if not the best -- in today's music scene.

"Feeling's Gone" not weird enough for you? Well, let Alaska/Portland indie rockers Portugal. The Man take care of that. Their latest video for their soulful, stomping single "Do You" combines all things bizarre, albeit with normal sized bodies. I just love how goddamn creepy the band looks in this video -- their beards and long hair only help the odd look, clashing with the pasty makeup in the best way possible. Perhaps they will dress up like this when they play The Clubhouse next Tuesday. Goofy looks aside, that show is sure to be quite kick-ass. Now, please, enjoy some white, wire-frame cacti.

Last, but not least, we have the super-simple, incredibly subversive video for Clues' newest single "You Have My Eyes Now." It features one half of quite possibly the most offbeat comedy duo in 10 years Tim & Eric, Tim Heidecker, playing a cuckolded, super-lame boyfriend/husband out shopping with his significant other. The societal pressures of what is "right" and "wrong" -- mixed in with his having to put up with what seems to be a less than fun girlfriend/wife -- finally get to Tim's character, and he can no longer take that sexy, coquettish mannequin's advances. He gives into his carnal pleasures and takes down the plastic lady, not giving in until security has to drag him away, kicking and screaming. The look on Tim's character's face when he finally gropes the mannequin's breast is priceless. He is really a brilliant comedic actor, turning something so simple -- basically a one-man performance --  into something very subversive and memorable.

So there you have it, 5 music videos worthy of your attention, not because they are necessarily good songs, but because they show just how compelling and fun music videos can still be in these modern times.

Music videos have had a long tradition, dating back to the early 1980s, and that decade was responsible for simultaneously promoting the art of music videos while absolutely ruining their credibility. This last video is a perfect example -- however fun and just plain silly it truly is -- of that latter idea. Enjoy.

Oh, little Ric Ocasek...

Thanks to Pitchfork, Electric Moustache and Videogum for bringing these videos to light.
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Michael Lopez