Friday, September 22, 2006


Stylus has published their list of the top 100 music videos of all time. I blame the writers' youth (fifteen years younger than me), and their apparently international pedigrees, for the fact that I've never seen over half of these videos, including #1. The list grabbed me, though, and reminded me that videos transformed my musical tastes from mainstream to slightly alternative (David Byrne in an oversized suit, anyone? I couldn't tear my eyes away, but why not?). As much as it drove my dad up the wall, MTV was my earliest artistic influence, and made me consider abstract visual concepts, subtext, and complex plot points in a way that it would take me years to realize. Oh, and it influenced my hairstyle too. That Martha Quinn was so rad.

Admittedly, the only clips I sat all the way through when I read the list were the two Nirvana entries (nos. 77 and 48) and Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice (no. 47), though I was tempted by Guns-n-Roses' Cold November Rain (no. 41). Maybe Hungry Like the Wolf (no. 87) and Billie Jean (no. 61) are already burned indelibly on my subconscious? Or maybe Kurt Cobain, Christopher Walken, and Axl Rose are as inherently mesmerizing as their reputations testify. My one suggestion to these whippersnapper authors is to take a look at Yes's Owner of a Lonely Heart. Begin watching at 2:10 when the real video starts and the typical 80's warehouse performance footage ends. And imagine a 13-year-old, who had been reading Sweet Valley High books and watching Brady Bunch reruns after school, sitting on a naugahyde La-Z-Boy in her middle American, orange-shag-carpeted living room, with her mind blown.

(Damn you, kottke, and your list links, they're taking over all of my web surfing time.)

1 comment:

EuroTrippen said...

Hmmm, well I don't remember seeing Ben Folds in there, but it does have Cake & Fat Boy Slim, so it can't be all bad.