Aught Lang Syne: Tim’s Video Hitlist

I want to make one thing clear from the start: This is my hitlist. John, Josh, and Pierre had nothing to do with it, and I don’t want to sully their reputations or that of the blog as a whole in presenting it. You know what I think about music.

But the following is a list of eight music videos from the Aughts, loosely defined as “my favorites.” I was late to the music video party, not getting MTV until it stopped playing music videos.*

*I mean “getting” there in the sense that I did not have it as a channel on my television. I did understand what MTV was.

If you want to make the case that I don’t “get” music videos, go ahead.

Alien Ant Farm — “Smooth Criminal”

It’s kind of ridiculous that this was the first music video I really liked, especially considering I didn’t understand ANY of the allusions to Michael Jackson videos. Maybe that’s why I liked it: It seemed original and cool. And even though it lost its originality, it’s still cool.

Plus, I find this version of “Smooth Criminal” as a song better than MJ’s, as untenable as that seems.

Johnny Cash — “Hurt”

This would be my pick for the greatest video of the decade. And I know far too little about Johnny Cash to add anything else.

Seabear — “Arms”

There are two types of people in this world: People who find this video irreproachably cute, and people who are heartless. I briefly pushed for spring break in Reykjevk after seeing this, although, some of that had to do with the Icelandic financial crisis, too. (I owe a long overdue hat tip to Emily Collette Wilkinson at The Millions for introducing me to this video, this song, and this band.)

OutKast — “Hey Ya”

My reasons for liking “Hey Ya” are neither original nor enlightening. The video lives up to the song, which is probably the best of the decade, regardless of what John S or Pitchfork says.

Mute Math — “Typical”

Do you realize what is going on? It’s all backwards! Like, they had to learn to sing and play guitar and drums and all backwards! HOW IS YOUR MIND NOT EXPLODING???

Steriogram — “Walkie Talkie Man”

My affinity for this song was short-lived and driven mainly by a similar affinity for MVP Baseball 2004. Nevertheless, it’s hard to describe this video—which despite its use of yarn and not Legos, reminds me of Legos*—as anything except “really cool.”

*And I know the White Stripes did, in fact, use Legos in “Fell in Love with a Girl,” but I still prefer this video because I have a semblance of an idea of what is going on.

Beyonce ft. Shakira — “Beautiful Liar”

Do I really need to go into why this one makes the list? I can’t think of two other artists I would prefer to collaborate in a visual medium than these two. I also like to think that putting the two on the same team, as it were, raised both their games the same way Kobe and LeBron being on the Olympic team did for them.

The fact that they look weirdly alike and that the video itself falls well short of its potential—have you seen “Baby Boy” or “She Wolf”?—only means they should revisit the template sometime next decade.

Robin Sparkles — “Let’s Go to the Mall”

Because ‘80s nostalgia—or making fun of Canada—never get old.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by james Schneider on December 11, 2009 at 9:01 AM

    touch the sky by kanye West should be on this…


  2. Posted by Wey on December 11, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    what was the point of this?


  3. Posted by doc on December 11, 2009 at 7:34 PM

    Johnny Cash was a great country/rock singer in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s and made an unexpected 21st century comeback with NIN’s Hurt. He passed away shortly after. His daughter Roseanne Cash is very talented and just released an album of her father’s favorite country songs which has been very well received. He recorded in the same studio in the 50’s, Sun, as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis (Great Balls of Fire, Carl Perkins (Blue Suede Shoes), and Roy Orbison (Pretty Woman). They were all good friends. Basically these were the white guys who with the black guys like Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry, who started rock and roll. See the movie “Cadillac Records” if you want to learn about the latter. Good, not great movie, but the music is amazing and you do see the origins of the most popular music in the world.


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