Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A.F.I. - "Miss Murder" (Director's Cut)

Davey Havok (owner of the coolest name in music) and A.F.I. are back with the new single, "Miss Murder", a truly terrific rock song with a brilliant video directed by Marc Webb. One of A.F.I.'s distinguishing characteristics have been their epic and grandiose videos (see: "The Leaving Song, pt. 2; Girls Not Grey), and this video is no exception. Webb's direction style, seen in My Chemical Romance's "Helena", Brand New's "Sic Transit Gloria", and The Used's "All That I've Got", is just gorgeous. This video, while having a story (something about a woman, "Miss Murder" coming to kill Davey Havok, I believe), isn't exactly a narrative like a lot of videos. But the glitz and the glam more than make up for it.

Video: "Miss Murder" (Director's Cut) - A.F.I. [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Marc Webb}

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Classic Video - Foo Fighters: "Everlong"

You have to understand - I love Dave Grohl. I think he's one of the most creative people on the planet - in his music, his style, his ability and his complete willingness to give himself to his music. This video, directed by the amazing Michel Gondry, shows off both the genius of Grohl and of Gondry. Gondry's video is that of a dream in parts - Grohl and his "wife", played by Taylor Hawkins (who is in drag in two videos, looking moy sexy in both) each have dreams that are connected. The video is so damn gorgeous from start to finish - you have the infamous "growing hand", the decision to go between black & white (for the real world) and color (for the dream world), and Gondry's truly amazing cinematography is still a standard in my eyes.

Part of the attraction to this video is the desperation of the song - part of the attraction of the video - it's a love story in under five minutes, and one that you won't forget.

Video: "Everlong" - Foo Fighters [iPod Compatible][highly recommended]
{Director: Michel Gondry}

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Black Heart Procession: "Not Just Words"

As I've written on my site, I'm a big fan of the Black Heart Procession. Their dark psychadelic sound is really impressive. And this video (which, if we had got it a day or two earlier, would have been an exclusive - damn you MySpace!), featuring Shannon Sossamon (for no reason that I can figure out except that she's very pretty and dances like a goofy Stevie Nicks) takes us on a tour around a garden where the band plays. It's not exactly the most challenging video I've seen this year, but it's the kind of video that really suits the song - dreamlike.

Video: "Not Just Words" - The Black Heart Procession [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Rainbows & Vampires}

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Streets: "Never Went To Church"

Mike Skinner's follow-up to the wholly sad "Dry Your Eyes" is his newest weepie, "Never Went To Church", a track that has taken time to grow on me. I think that this video is actually what did it for me - the track is one of his most personal, if not the most personal that he's ever written. While "Dry Your Eyes" was about an unnamed woman, this is very specifically about the death of his father and how hard it is without him - it's not a love song in the traditional sense, but rather an elegy for his Dad, who he obviously loved.

The direction of the video is gorgeous. Unfortunately, despite my scouring the internet, I can't find out who directed it. doesn't have it, and the official site doesn't either. I wish I knew, because the cinematography is just phenomenal - it captures the song perfectly - the simplicity of it (how often do you watch a video with just one person in it, really?) is stunning.

Nice work. Check it out.

Video: "Never Went To Church" - The Streets [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Allan Smithee}

Monday, May 22, 2006

Deadly Fists of Kung Fu: "Shortpacked"

Wow. I don't really know what to say. It's like an episode of Robot Chicken gone power-pop. Don't get me wrong - that's a great thing. The video is highly entertaining (and when a band is called "Deadly Fists of Kung Fu", can you expect anything else? I mean, really?), and the simplicity of the video, despite what must have been a bitch to animate really impresses. I know it sounds odd - but when a band that has had less than 3,000 profile views on MySpace is able to produce a video of this kind of quality it really says something - nice work, fellas, you've got yourself a new fan.

UNRELATED NOTE:: The reason that Big D (or, Derek to you) hasn't been posting is because the dude got an internship with Vice Records for the summer - and he's got an awful internet connection. He's barely posted on his own site (considering that he was posting about eight times a day before and he's down to four posts a week), but he'll be back in the saddle soon enough. Don't fret, kids.

Video: "Shortpacked" - Deadly Fists of Kung Fu [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Steve Barron}

Friday, May 19, 2006

k-os: "Crabbuckit"

So if you hadn't figured it out yet, I'm a big fan of k-os. I love his music - it's the fuse of hip-hop, jazz, rock, and funk all into one that really does it for me. This video follows k-os through the streets of Toronto (I assume) with his guitar as he rocks out and and looks through his sunglasses to see 'the crabs in the buckit', so to speak. This site seems to slowly becoming a Micah J. Meisner fan site, which I'm okay with.

The song is amazing, the video is fantastic. It's a celebration, bitches.

: "Crabbuckit" - k-os [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Micah J. Meisner}

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Alkaline Trio: "Mercy Me"

Sometimes, videos are so bizarre it's hard to write about them. This is one of them. The animation is really interesting and different. Alkaline Trio is one of those bands who have been around forever and I really can't say a bad word about (nor can anyone else), and the video is just flat-out original. There's not really a plot to it, and there really isnt much else to say. It's just a terrifically well-done video and it coordinates nicely with the song.

Animation seems to be a theme around here recently. Hmmph.

: "Mercy Me" - Alkaline Trio [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Benjamin Goldman}

Lady Sovereign: "Random"

In a music studio come to life, we find wee little Lady Sovereign spitting some of the most clever and fastest rhymes on the planet over a sirenesque type of beat. Her style comes across in this video (directed by Chris Cairns of "Disco Infiltrator" by LCD Soundsystem; "We're Here" by Guillermots) in a pretty slick way - between the spoofs on the St. Louis scene ("that churr, I mean chair"), of Jennifer Lopez, and of the idea that as a little white girl she can't spit rhymes (which, um, she definetly can. Let's put it this way - she's far better than most of those other little female MCs) - and thats sort of the appeal of the video - it's a new take on the 'bling' type of hip-hop video. And it's a riot, from start to finish. Lots of fun.

: "Random" - Lady Sovereign [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Chris Cairns}

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lupe Fiasco: "Kick Push"

Lupe Fiasco, out of Chicago, is one of the hottest MCs on the national hip-hop scene. He's apparently a very big fan of skateboarding, and you'll see why in this video, with the use of the "Skateboarding Is Not A Crime" slogan in various spots. He's techincally already appeared once on this website, in Derek's post on the Kanye West clip for "Touch The Sky, and I certainly hope he appears again on this site, as his album "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor" has been receiving great buzz - Jay-Z is the executive producer.

As for the video itself - the skateboarding motiv is well executed and doesn't ever overwhelm you, which is a good thing. The camera tricks in the video are similar to that of a normal skate video - close shots and tight angles are the keys to the video.

Video: "Kick Push" - Lupe Fiasco [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Christopher Adams & Hana McDowell}

Minus the Bear: "Pachuca Sunrise"

Thanks to Wendy at Toolshed for this video, as it's pheeenomenal. It's really a great video for "Pachuca Sunrise" by the Washington band Minus the Bear. The concept is brilliant - I mean who hasn't had those pill-shaped things that you put in water and have them expand into dinosaurs or guitars? They're the best things ever. When I was young, I cut my finger really bad on a pair of scissors (still have a scar on my left middle finger), and I got it fixed up. My Dad took me to the hospital, and a few days later, we had a 'vacation' to Rhode Island. I don't really remember much. I have no idea why a trip to Rhodey would be a vacation (considering it's basically the same distance as, say, Worcester), but we stayed in a hotel and I remember going to art stores in Providence at the age of 7 or 8 or 9. I know this sounds odd, but my most vivid memory of this whole situation was that on my way home from the hospital, my father took me to a store and bought me a bunch of those dinos-in-a-capsule and told me we couldn't open them until we got to Rhode Island. My sister and I sat at the bathtub and watched them expand (I remember that hotel bathroom had mirrors on both sides next to the mirror, my first memory of seeing an infinite amount of Bens in my life, something I will treasure forever. If YOU saw an infinite number of me's, you'd treasure it too).

The point is this - it's kind of funny that this video would trigger these memories, but it did. It's really well done, and beautiful looking. I guess what I'm aiming for with this post is that music videos, as a medium, can be far more emotional than, say, just the song. They can trigger different memories than a song can, and that's significant. Check this video out.

Video: "Pachuca Sunrise" - Minus the Bear [iPod Compatible]
{Director: FAD}

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Rainer Maria: "Catastrophe"

First things first - lead singer Caithlin De Marrais is gorgeous. I have to get that out of the way, because having watched the video now about 15 times in a row. She's flat-out gorgeous. Second, Thank God for Fuse, because without them, we'd never see videos like these (what with programs like MTV2's Subterranean basically disappearing). Additionally, Fuse will often spend 30 minutes in the middle of a day playing only videos by Thursday - can you imagine MTV, MTV2, MTVHits, or anything like that squandering 30 minutes in the middle of the day NOT playing the latest Rihanna or Jessica Simpson video? I love it.

Anyhow -- Rainer Maria! Awesome stuff - the song itself is wonderful, and the video, directed by David Ahuja and Claire Carre ("to lend her beautiful, surreal style to the proceedings.") A series of somewhat surreal situations and artistic moments make up the video (in that way, similar to the Red Hot Chili Peppers video for "Can't Stop"). There's a pair of incredibly cute girls who interact throughout the video in really bizarre ways that end up with them trying to hurt and kill each other - but in possibly the cutest ways possible. It's just that kind of video.

Video: "Catastrophe" - Rainer Maria [iPod Compatible]
{Director: David Ahuja & Claire Carre}

Buck 65: "Kennedy Killed The Hat"

Buck 65 has been featured on this site before, with the feature on 463 (a truly fantastic video, in my opinion), but this one, for "Kennedy Killed the Hat" is just as good, albeit a scant 2:20 long. The Micah Meisner-directed clip (who also did the 463 video and the "Man I Used To Be" clip for k-os) is simple - a chase of some sort of freak (or, as the song puts it 'mu-tent-te') through the streets of an unnamed city (although I assume that it's Toronto, knowing how these people work) with truly phenomenal editing. We really never see a half-naked, mostly-shadowed Buck 65 throughout the video, and that makes for an even more interesting clip.

Normally, I wouldn't include two screencaps, but this video deserves it, to get an idea of the cinematography of the two 'sets', so to speak.

Video: "Kennedy Killed the Hat" - Buck 65 [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Micah Meisner}

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Depeche Mode: "Enjoy The Silence (Remix)"

Depeche Mode, honestly, is not one of my favorites. That's the truth. I've never been able to get into them. But this video for the remix of "Enjoy The Silence" is just awesome. The animation is very cool, and the story of the video is Matrix-esque. I think that's part of the attraction - that it's so very cool, both in style and simplicity. The animation isn't complex like a Gnarls Barkley video - it's simple and really, honestly interesting. Also, the remix itself is terrific, which doesn't hurt things.

Video: "Enjoy The Silence (Remix)" - Depeche Mode [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Uwe Flade}

Monday, May 08, 2006

John Cena & The Chain Gang: "Bad, Bad Man"

Hoooly fucking shit.

I don't even care if I lose all credibility for posting a video by a WWE Wrestler. First off, the video is fucking hilarious. Secondly, the song is BANGIN'. I completely forgot how good this video is. Spoofing the A-Team will always go over well here in Casa De Ben, and it's videos like this that can prove that while videos are usually a serious affair (see: Wolf Parade and Angels & Airwaves), some of the best are those that are strictly videos for fun. And this video is fun, first and foremost. There's really nothing else to say about it. It's an A-Team spoof. The song is terrific (all things considered: he's a Wrestler, and his supporting cast is less than spectacular. N.W.A. they aren't).

I know that most of the time, the videos we post on here are usually pretty 'indie' or at least have some sort of connection to the indie world - but this one doesn't. At all. And it's terrific. Plus, I mean, Gary Coleman's in the video. GARY COLEMAN, PEOPLE! If someone could fill me in on the director, that'd be great.

Video: "Bad, Bad Man" - John Cena & The Chain Gang [iPod Compatible]
{Director: ???}

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sunset Rubdown: "Us Ones In Between"

Wow. This is easily the best unofficial video I've ever seen, created by Dan Beirne, one of the incredible writers for Said The Gramophone, which consistently features the best writing and most perfect descriptions on any blog on the internet. In fact, "blog" is nearly too silly of a word to do such a wonderful site like theirs justice, but I digress. This video is so perfect, so moving, yet it was created on what I can only assume was a negligible (if any) budget. The video opens with cars driving backwards on a rainy street, the ending to a story we'll never know, but can only infer from the credits that begin to roll immediately after. Most songs would be an afterthought for this video if the emotion of this track, from Wolf Parade frontman Spencer Krug's sparse acoustic side project, Sunset Rubdown, we'ren't so disarmingly perfect. The credits themselves... perfect, painting the complete picture of a woman's life using only small, minimalist brush strokes and the mere presentation of seemingly random facts. There's no beautiful aesthetic here, there's hardly any visual stimulation at all even, yet one finds themselves strangely enthralled and glued to the monitor until the very end. This inspires a tingly feeling of awe in spite of its next-to-nothing presentation and sparsity; all I can do is request you view it for yourself and form your own opinion.

Video: [highly recommended]
"Us Ones In Between" - Sunset Rubdown [iPod Compatible]

Friday, May 05, 2006

Queens of the Stone Age: "Go With The Flow"

You know, there are days where I really don't like music. I know that sounds weird, but it's usually after DJing, I just don't like listening to anything. I'll usually play video games or something else to pass the time. However, there are some bands that I'm always interested in hearing - this is one of them. Queens of the Stone Age songs are so fucking good - such fucking rock and roll music, it makes me giggle. If I could be anyone in rock and roll, I think I might want to be Josh Homme - he's got to be the single coolest guy on the planet, let's be honest.

All this video does is prove exactly that - the animation is perfect (although it does look like rotoscoping). The video is absolutely perfect for this song, in every way - the psychedlia at the end, the implied sexual references left and right - it is just perfect for one of the sexiest rock and roll songs I've ever heard. If I was to make a 4/20 mix, this would certainly be on it. The same animation house who directed this (Shynola) also did the equally fantastic "Move Your Feet" for Junior Senior, "An Eye For An Eye" for U.N.K.L.E., "E-Pro" for Beck, and "House of Jealous Lovers" for The Rapture (and a ton of Radiohead 'blips' as well).

Video: "Go With The Flow" - Queens of the Stone Age [iPod Compatible] [highly recommended]
{Director: Shynola}

Thursday, May 04, 2006

John Vanderslice: "Trance Manual"

Fresh off of the excellent video he directed for JV's "Exodus Damage" (available for download here or below) , Brent Chesanek returns with another great video for "Trance Manual", the second best track on last summer's Pixel Revolt. While the video doesn't immediate lend itself to easy analysis as it's an at-first curious assembly of sights and music, the images prove to fit the sound very well. Given the extremely political subject matter of "Trance Manual", we can obviously assume a strong sentiment regarding America in the video, especially with the mysterious explosions against the skyline in the distance. The video is very poetic and otherworldly, and fits the surreal feeling of the song quite well.

"Trance Manual" - John Vanderslice
.M4V: "Trance Manual" - John Vanderslice [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Brent Chesanek}

"Exodus Damage" - John Vanderslice
.M4V: "Exodus Damage" - John Vanderslice [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Brent Chesanek}

To the best of my knowledge, these are the only two videos Vanderslice has released. Let me know in the comments if this assumption is erroneous.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

k-os: "Man I Used To Be"

k-os' video library is terrific - "Crabbuckit", "B-Boy Stance", "Love Song", and "Heaven Only Knows" are all beautifully shot videos - but this one, "Man I Used To Be" is his best. With one of the best breakdance sequences I've ever seen, we travel with k-os as he travels through the T-Dot O-Dot. The song itself is one of my favorites, and the video blew me away the first time I saw it. As I said, the breakdance sequence is unbelievable. From start to finish, this was one of the best videos I saw in 2005 and it will be one of the best you'll see this year if you haven't yet.

Video: "Man I Used To Be" - k-os [iPod Compatible] [highly recommended]
{Director: Micah J. Meisner & k-os}

Monday, May 01, 2006

Wolf Parade: "Modern World"

Thanks to reader Daniel for pointing out this video to me - wow. Although its a few months old, it's definetly worth posting and definetly worth downloading. Wolf Parade's gorgeous music is accompanied by a truly tremendous music video (directed by Adam Bizanski, who also has directed clips for the Shins), done with stop-motion animation using somewhat-creepy figures and eventually machines that look like they could kill. Frankly, it's not really a video to watch late at night, but it is certainly one to watch nonetheless. Breathtaking animation usually gets me pretty good.

Video: [highly recommended]
.MOV: "Modern World" - Wolf Parade
.MP4: "Modern World" - Wolf Parade [iPod Compatible]
{Director: Adam Bizanski}