Now that MTV has stopped playing videos, Fuse has become little more than an extension of the Warped Tour and all employees of VH1 Classic recently were fired, threatening the future of that network, decent music videos largely have become a thing of the past on the airwaves.
But YouTube has begun to fill the void, with lots of rare and hard to find clips. Here are some of my favorite videos of late, new and old, that you’ll be hard pressed to see anywhere but the Web site.
Madvillain, “All Caps”: A comic book come to life, this visually dazzling video tells the mythic tale of masked superhero MC MF Doom in cartoon form. Taken from Doom’s must-have collaboration with producer Madlib on 2004’s “Madvillainy,” the cut pairs Doom’s laconic, smoked-out flow with trilling piano, a jazzy walking bass line and horns that sound like they were taken from a lost ’60s spy flick. Spiderman, you’ve been served.
Kylesa, “Hollow Severer”: This video looks like it was made with $10 and a wad of Play-Doh, but it’s great in a Mr. Bill-Goes-To-Hell kind of way. A commentary on totalitarianism and conformity with shape-shifting clay figures, the clip is dark, unsettling and hard to turn away from. Oh, and the song kills, too, a nasty blast of coed sludgecore that sounds like Eyehategod with ovaries.
Alanis Morissette, “My Humps”: This longing, piano ballad version of the Black Eyed Peas hit is almost as funny as hearing Fergie trying to rap. With her voice quivering like an infant’s upper lip, Morissette somehow delivers Fergie’s prose with a straight face, though you won’t be able to listen to it with one. “Tryin’ to feel my hump, hump / Lookin’ at my lump, lump,” she moans like she’s telling off a former flame. “You don’t want no drama,” she later adds. Oh yes, yes we do.
Gil Mantera’s Party Dream, “Elmo’s Wish”: If the Bee Gees’ Maurice and Barry Gibb hailed from Youngstown, Ohio, and had a thing for unicorns and sparkly unitards, they’d be the Party Dream, the best live band you’ve probably never seen. Sporting Buick-sized shades and dubious facial hair in this clip, these two drop some sweet vocodered ’80s pop almost bitchin’ enough to render parachute pants back in style.
Sage Francis vs. Sole: Indie hip-hop’s two greatest white boy MCs throw down in a cramped apartment in Munich. The two generate enough heat to melt a stack of Eminem CDs, battling until Sage is pounding his chest, face red, while Sole literally bounces off the walls. Who’s the victor? We are.
Bonnie “Prince” Billy, “Agnes, Queen of Sorrow”: This spare, beautiful song has an equally affecting video, done in black and white line drawings as stark as singer Will Oldham’s bare naked voice. Oldham looks like a homeless drifter in the clip, and he sounds like a lost man, singing in a lonesome croak, offset by the honeyed voice of his duet partner, Marty Slayton. In the video, Oldham and his girl chase spiders, watch the sun set and play a game of pingpong, clasping each other’s hands — and your heartstrings.
Jason Bracelin’s “Sounding Off” column appears on Tuesdays. Contact him at 383-0476 or e-mail him at jbracelin@ reviewjournal.com.JASON BRACELINMORE COLUMNS