FREAKY LINKS: Music Videos

Remember when music videos used to tell a story? When they said more than "buy my CD"? The MTV Video Awards has become a depressing affair. Never mind the show itself, which wanted to have all the energy and excitement of a concert but instead made me think maybe I don't WANT to be invited to a P. Diddy party.

No, what's depressing is watching the nominated videos. Clip after clip of an artist either in the studio, in concert or throwing a block party for the fans. Of course there are some exceptions, (I really like Missy Elliott's "Lose Control" and Green Day's "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams"), but nearly every category seemed to have at least three nominees that were just space fillers by popular artists.

Where have all the good videos gone?

A couple of years back, Palm Pictures had the answer to that question with its Director's Label series, highlighting the work of now filmmakers Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry. On September 13, a 2nd series of DVD's are being released but except forJonathan Glazer, this new batch of videos, although beautifuly shot and quite artful, are slick promotional pieces first and foremost, like magazine covers come to life.

But the music video is not dead, as I recently discovered. It's thriving on a website called Cliptip. Ever wonder if The Shins made a video? Or The Postal Service? How about Franz Ferdinand? They're all here and all downloadable, most of them in Quicktime. Plus, there's more adventuresome fare like Louis XIV, The Chemical Brothers and LCD Soundsystem and a few classics like Prodigy's infamous video for "Smack My Bitch Up" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean."

Moloko, The New Pornographers, Oasis. I've even discovered some new acts like Goldfrapp and Juliet. Best of all, most of these videos are actually fun to watch. Some even merit repeat viewings. (My #1 recommendation is Tiga's funky dance remake of Nelly's "Hot In Herre" which uses hip-hoppin' marionettes. )


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