Not the most inspiring set of videos this week. Work harder, everyone! There were a few good ones, though, and we’ve got them listed below.
1. Die Antwoord – “Fok Julle Naaiers” (Dir. Ninja & Ross Garret)
The first few Die Antwoord videos were so weird and mesmerizing and alien that they opened up this whole possible reality of South African rave-rap white trash open hostility and accidental genius. Then, it turned out that they were really just married art types doing this for attention after Ninja couldn’t make it as a straight-up rapper. They also got an Interscope contract and became as overexposed as a weird internet novelty can possibly be. That wore some of the magic off, even though they’re pretty incredible live performers and even though they’re devoted enough to their batshit concept that they’re willing to get all tatted up in its name. Their new video isn’t up to the standards of the old ones, but they’ve once again proven themselves capable of creating some deeply striking images. And they’re apparently willing to cover themselves in scorpions and fill their mouths with worms to do it. That’s, like, worth something.
2. Tom Waits – “Satisfied” (Dir. Jesse Dylan)
All Tom Waits has to do to land #2 on this list is make some crazy faces in his backyard, improvise a couple of goofy dances, and continue to be the man. That’s what happens when you’re an unquestioned world-class bad motherfucker.
3. T.I. – “I’m Flexin’” (Feat. Big K.R.I.T.) (Dir. Motion Family)
In its own way, this isn’t that different from the Tom Waits video. It’s an exceedingly simple video, one that succeeds or fails almost entirely on the strength of its star’s charisma. And like that Tom Waits clip, it happens to feature an extremely charismatic star. In a slow, week, that’s all you need.
4. Rammstein – “Mein Land” (Dir. Jonas Åkerlund)
The concept is deeply silly and even a bit obvious, especially when it turns into the Joker-makeup bacchanal in its last minute. But the little touches are nice. Frontman Till Lindemann, for instance, is an almost disturbingly plausible David Hasselhoff clone. And the song turns out to be easier to twist to than anyone could’ve expected. Nice color pallette, too.
5. The History Of Apple Pie – “Mallory” (Dir. ?)
Kids dancing around, having fun, looking genuinely enthused, playing catchy song. And then there’s a food fight that involves a Jell-O mold that looks like a brain. That’s not much, but it’s enough to push this one past the endless video where the supermodels pretend to be Duran Duran.