Episode 9: Azealia Banks in a Tree, Azealia Banks in a Warehouse

Azealia Banks in Elon Musk's house...

Hope everyone’s enjoying the last fading days of summer. Several of the videos this week are reflecting that specific pre-autumn ennui. Others, like Kanye and Lil Pump’s “I Love It,” are just plain goofy.

As always, if there’s a recent video or video-related news I missed that you think I should check out, please email me at the address at the bottom of the newsletter. And if you prefer to watch your music videos in playlist form, check ‘em out here.

The Videos

Childish Gambino, “Feels Like Summer” (dir. Donald Glover, Ivan Dixon, & Greg Sharp)

You’ve probably seen this one already: a cartoonish summerscape, with drawing designs by Justin Richburg, one of the strangest cartoonists out there. (Seriously, go look up his other work.) See if you can name all the rapper cameos in the video without cheating.

Kanye West & Lil Pump ft. Adele Givens, “I Love It” (dir. Kanye West & Amanda Adelson)

The legacy of Big Hand Ludacris lives on.

Silk City & Dua Lipa, “Electricity” (dir. Bradley and Pablo)

Azealia Banks pointed out on Instagram that this video seems inspired by her own “Anna Wintour” video, which….yeah, it really does resemble it. (I’m wondering whether Dua Lipa is starting to market herself as a more palatable version of Banks, with the same odes to New York ball/Chicago house culture in her music but with less chaos in her public persona?) But this takes the “Anna Wintour” concept up a notch, dressing Dua Lipa up in a similar white crop top (with, admittedly, less nipple) and turning the warehouse into the club.

The Struts, “Body Talks ft. Kesha” (dir. ???)

The Strokes never truly died in Britain. I’m not a fan at this latest attempt at watered-down garage rock revival aesthetics (they literally reference the “Seven Nation Army” video at 1:43) but who cares, Kesha is here, and this is a great look for her. Best part is when she squishes a banana with glee, totally out of nowhere.

Oscar #Worldpeace & Ragz Originaleare, “Send” (dir. Broken Antenna)

This almost makes modern dating seem fun and interesting and tender. What a concept! I’m also very into the idea of framing a music video around a barber shop conversation.

Aminé, “REEL IT IN” (dir. Adam Aminé Daniel & Jack Begert)

Ricky from Quincy’s Car Wash is my new hero. This song also contains the immortal line: “She Björk cute/So she really fine/Just sorta weird.”

Thom Yorke, “Suspirium” (dir. Ruff Mercy)

For Thom Yorke’s soundtrack contribution to Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Suspiria, director Ruff Mercy (what a name) took a 16mm film strip of a dancer and rotoscoped it with lurid blue and fuchsia colors. This is some film nerd shit if I’ve ever seen it.

The Kooks, “Four Leaf Clover” (dir. Sophia + Robert)

When did The Kooks get so dark??? I do like this video a lot, although the moment when the band itself shows up kinda kills the mood. Their doofy performance in the sun doesn’t really go along with “teen girls trying to process a traumatic event through the transcendence of nature.”

A Kind of Man, “Teddy Love” (dir. Meeto)

I have no idea what’s going on here – there are like five different videos in this one video – but I’m very intrigued.

OneRepublic, “Connection” (dir. Lovecraft)

This is a bad song (“con-nyec-tion,” Ryan Tedder sneers, adding a dollop of nasal fluid at the end), and the video isn’t all that great either. But it’s hilarious to see the Oculus being so blatantly advertised in pop music as of late, like with Nicki Minaj’s performance at the VMAs. Guys, the Oculus is a glorified train station that is being passed off as a mall – a really badly designed mall! Where are all the shots of Tedder frantically running through the Oculus’ many dimly-lit side-tunnels, desperately trying to find the one Starbucks he saw on the map? Where are all the teens and their moms glancing around disconcertingly and asking, “So…where’s the Macy’s?” In any case, I’m wondering why Port Authority is shelling out for so much publicity now even though the place opened two years ago.

Ebenezer, “53 Sundays” (dir. Louis De Caunes)

Shot in New Orleans, this video resembles “Love Drought” if it were explicitly about a cult.

Yves Tumor, “Licking an Orchid (ft. James K)” (dir. Daniel Sannwald)

It’s rare to find a video that captures the same creeping dread and suspense as a horror film. This is a notable exception.

Calvin Harris & Sam Smith, “Promises” (dir. Emil Nava)

Watch this video, and you can spot one of the reasons why George Michael opted out of appearing in “Freedom ‘90” and let the supermodels tell his story. Calvin Harris and Sam Smith uncomfortably stick out like sore thumbs in the imitative drag ball atmosphere they’ve built. Sam Smith can’t dance. I’m sorry. But all the stage lights and the glitter and the costumes and the Winnie Harlow, all of that is *chef’s kiss.*

Not3s, “Just Fine” (dir. Oliver Jennings)

A celebration of the age-old fantasy of going back to high school and bragging about your new, awesome life to the teachers who used to diss you. For instance: “Yeah man, now I own a fast food restaurant. Inside my mansion!”

Muncie Girls, “Clinic” (dir. Jack Barraclough)

Unethical scientist + lotta jokes + twist ending = great video.

Ash, “Confessions in the Pool” (dir. Dylan Holmes-Williams)

A very silly video in which Ash is mistaken for the Second Coming of Christ.

alt-J, “Deadcrush (feat. Danny Brown) (Alchemist x Trooko Version)” (dir. Jeron Braxton)

This gave me a lot of Toontown flashbacks. It’s Toontown on a bad trip, basically.

Pig Destroyer, “Mt. Skull” (dir. Joe Stakum)

Okay, here’s something I’ve never thought about before: how do you make a music video set to a heavy metal song? (For all the nerds: yes Pig Destroyer is grindcore, technically, but it’s the same conundrum.) How do you choose where to edit in your cuts in a cacophony of rhythm? I can’t imagine it’s as simple as “Just cut on the downbeat.” This video’s solution, at least in the first third or so, is to just do away with rhythmic cutting entirely; we see long, solemn shots of a funeral procession, all while the band is shredding in the background. From there on it gets…weird. But also very funny, and totally unpredictable, and a great way to highlight all the trashy Downtown Los Angeles landmarks like Pershing Square and the LAPD building (at the 1:47 mark).

John Lewis & Partners + Waitrose & Partners “Bohemian Rhapsody” ad (dir. Dougal Wilson)

Kids recreating the “Bohemian Rhapsody” video…in space. It’s cute.

This week’s throwback video: Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (dir. Bruce Gowers)

Let’s enjoy this classic, one-of-the-all-time-greats video before the Bad Biopic Of The Same Name hits theaters.

Please direct all feedback, questions, comments, tips, etc. to ClaireShafferVevo at gmail dot com. And feel free to forward this email, share on social media, and encourage your friends to subscribe. We’ll be back next week with more vids. •