Music Video Friday: Knights of Cydonia

I first discovered this music video in the summer of 2007. It is still one of my favorite music videos. Its an extremely bizarre mixture of the three iconic b-movie genres: Spaghetti western, sci-fi and kung fu. Like most music videos it doesn’t make much sense, but it is visually engaging and fun to watch. The song, written and performed by muse, is actually a pretty awesome tune as well, though the words are fairly incoherent.

I apologize for the random half-clothed make-out scene in the middle of it, but I should point out that they very purposefully have the ‘director and crew’ very visible in a mirror to the far left of frame in that scene. Check it out, It’s hilarious. You’ll also want to read the credits which are pretty funny as well. One example is at the end the Roman numerals MCMLXXXI appear, which translates as 1981 – giving you an idea of the era in which the spirit of the video comes from.

Unfortunately embedding is disabled for this video, so you’ll have to visit youtube to get it. There’s a link to it at the top of the list below. If you enjoy this video there are several more versions of it that you might get a kick out of so here’s my playlist with links to all the various versions of the video.

Music Video Friday: That’s not my name

The Ting Tings are a group from the UK who have made a big splash over the past few years – their song ‘great DJ’ has appeared in numerous movie trailers and shampoo ads. This particular song got stuck in my head yesterday and now I can’t get it out. Fair warning: 1) The refrain does have the word ‘hell’ in it, so it may not be a good one to play around the kiddos if you don’t want them repeating it later. 2) If you listen to this it will be stuck in your head for at least three days.

you’ve been warned.

I love the simplicity of the way this is shot: A turn table and a white background for most of it. The energy comes from the editing and the angles. It also shows the different musical layers visually in the latter part of the song. There’s some cool techniques applied here.

Music Video Friday: Thriller by Michael Jackson

Widely regarded as the greatest music video of all time by everyone but Kanye West, Thriller is more like a musical short film than a music video. And while Its not one of my personal favorites, it is Halloween weekend, so I couldn’t resist featuring it this friday.

Thriller is the most downloaded music video on iTunes and is also probably one of the most referenced music videos in popular culture. A recent parody is a scene in Wizards of Waverly Place wherein zombies partake in a dance battle with the Wizards – said one zombie, “One music video and we’re expected to have dance battles everywhere!” There’s also the only scene my dad ever wants to watch out of the movie 13 Going On 30 wherein Jennifer Garner leads a party in the dance. But really you can find the dance anywhere; prisons, marching band shows, weddings, weddings and more weddings. Dragon*Con even attempted a world record for the most people doing the dance at once. Mexico City holds the record at almost 14,000 people.

So yeah – Thriller is pretty much the undisputed most influential music video to have been produced to date. One last interesting fact about the song that few people seem to recognize: While MJ wrote many of his own songs, Thriller was written by a guy named Rod Temperton who also wrote several other songs for Jacko.

Have a good weekend and a safe Halloween!