Top 5 Music Videos of the Week: The Weeknd, Jonathan Roy + more
5. Spiral Stairs — “Dance (Cry Wolf)”
First up this week is an amazing retro-inspired video directed by Joe Salinas. It follows a man and a woman as they attempt to communicate with each other through some extremely outdated computer systems, searching for meaning in their lives in spite of inadequate technology. It’s an odd video that serves as a neat commentary on how chained we are to portable electronics when it comes to trying to connect with each other. The end result is basically like a smart phone dystopia, a bleak finale where all we have left to feed our mobile electronic addictions are the last of and most ancient of portable computers.
4. Watsky feat. Julia Nunes — “Stick to Your Guns”
This is definitely going to be the weirdest thing you see today, so get comfy. “Stick to Your Guns” is already a gut punch of a tune that starkly lays out the terrible state of American gun violence, and how we do and don’t deal with it. Director Carlos Lopez Estrada took this bleak tune… and made it even more disturbing by having puppet sheep get systematically and comically murdered when one of their own is inspired to violence by a children’s book full of dinosaurs eating each other.
Like I said… weirdest thing you’re going to see today.
Strangely, this cartoonish approach actually makes the song’s message even more engaging, mocking the simplistic way we tend to think about America’s gun problem. “Stick to Your Guns” treats its audience like children unable to understand higher concepts, and frankly, that’s probably what we deserve in the face of repeated tragedy.
3. Andy Suzuki & The Method — “Fight”
Normally, I wouldn’t put a video like “Fight” in the countdown. I like to reserve this column for videos that do new and interesting things with the medium of music video, and “Fight” is really just a parade of news footage over an admittedly awesome song. That said… between Martin Luther King Day and the inauguration this week, “Fight” gave me a much-needed morale boost with its celebration of the struggle toward justice and freedom. It just made me feel good.
2. Jonathan Roy — “Good Things”
“Good Things” is an emotional rollercoaster that chronicles Jonathan Roy as he descends into self-degradation following a bad break up. Directed by Javier Aguilera and Andrew Hunt, it’s one of the most beautiful videos of 2017 so far, with a keen sense of imagery. Roy’s character is a photographer who frames even his hedonistic fall from grace with an eye towards composition. The result is terrifying and lovely, like a well-shot car crash.
1. The Weeknd — “Party Monster”
Wrapping up this week is “Party Monster,” directed by BRTHR. Calling it a feast for the eyes doesn’t even do it justice. “Party Monster” is like looking at someone’s horny nightmare, with flashing abstract imagery coming through at every turn. Panthers leap out of televisions and The Weeknd sings out of neon crosses. It’s a spellbinding, intoxicating video.
by Jef Rouner