Simple videos

Oct 15, 2012

Hey, how you doing? I really want to write this blog with all the sincerity possible, and honestly I don’t know how to start this post so Imma jump to the point!

Lately I've watched so many great music videos, amazing, impressive and dazzling, I mean, there are always good videos out there, great videos, and there are also bad, really bad ones, but lately (maybe because I have been procrastinating a lot) I've come across many amazing videos, new ones and some, kind of old, some are revisited from the past because they never die for me, and I realized they all have this thing in common: they are so simple, no long story, no overdoing stuff, they’re just about one thing and one thing only.

I myself am kind of an organization freak, I need things to be organized (not necessarily lineal, but organized), and clean, and precise, and I guess I am like that when it comes to music videos too. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn't mean I don’t love complicated, elaborated, stuff that make you pick your brain, because I do. I just LOVE simple videos, and when I say simple, I mean that these videos have such a clean concept, they’re very precise about the idea behind it. Yes, the way to get there, the production part, it can be messy and complicated, but in the end, these kinds of videos are the ones that come more striking to us. Don't you think?

I’m talking about those kinds of video that make you say "Damn, it’s such a simple idea, so why, why in hell didn't I think of this first? I would be rich and famous by now", but you know that the idea was just too brilliant, just too brilliantly simple that it could have never crossed your mind; it's like when you turn your house upside down looking for your missing keys, just to find out an hour later, that they were in the most obvious place.

In no especial order:

1. A Thing for Me  by Metronomy

Directed by Megaforce, it's such a fun video overall, and with a simple funny concept, that I won't explain right now because is better if you just watch it; I’m just going to say that it is a very crazy and kind of painful way to sing karaoke. I love this video so much because the idea is so unique, I had never seen this before, and I kicked myself in the ass for not thinking of it first.

2. On a Train by Yuksek

I heard this song on the radio and loved it right away, and I didn’t know the name of the song or the singer, but yesterday I could finally get the song and my sister who said  "Uhm this might have a good video", looked for it immediately, and i thank her for that. Anyway, at first you think is just a regular boring boy meets girl video but it’s not. This one, directed by Cédric Blaisbois, is so simple yet so dreamy and beautiful and unexpected. I think I watched like 7-8 times just yesterday. And Yuksek is fucking hot! And it is so simple, even I could have thought of it, but I didn’t ._.

Dafuq bro? Wake up!

3. My Machines by Battles

This one drives me crazy, I love it, I love it, I love it. It's so simple that it is about this one and only action throughout the whole video, but it is impossible to get bored, it's so mesmerizing and captivating, you just can't stop watching. The colors of this video are this eerie gray which I always love on most videos, and the way that Gary Numan sings with all his Gary Numan-ness while the guy is just casually falling down the escalators is beyond awesome.
Is a one shot video directed by this relatively new and very talented duo DANIELS (they are the two guys at  your right if you scroll up, the asian and the blonde guy with their sexy pose) and you might have seen some of their very fresh work lately like the music video for Houdini and Don't Stop by Foster the People, and Simple Song by The Shins, and the very pregnant video for Chromeo , and so on, these guys are great and they're just gonna keep getting greater. They are also funny, very funny.

4. Money Grabber by Fitz and The Tantrums

I remember listening this song on the radio a lot, I remember liking it, and then I remember myself growing tired of it and starting to hate it because they played it so much on the radio. And then I remember watching the video (cause it came up on an episode of Criminal Minds and I was like, Gurl I know that song). I remember being hypnotized by all its cool colors and very fast cross-fades/dissolves and cool dancing, (that singer dude looks mad cool). I was in love with the song again, and now I sing it all the time. This is the power of a great music video, because in the end music videos are supposed to sell the song. Yeah, it’s all quick cross-fade transitions and blue and red lights, but these two "nothing especial" things resulted in something very powerful for the song, it just Fitz the song so much (gosh what a terrible pun). It was directed by Michael Mohan.

5. Can't Stop Feeling by Franz Ferdinand

This one is from 2009, and it shows you how you can do a very fun, refreshing, easygoing unique video on a tight budget, I mean the top comments for this video on YouTube go like "this video only cost 5 bucks" "omg holes in Alex sweater vest" etc. This very stripped-down amateur looking video is all about the clever use of transitions, and the guys just having fun. I love it for the simplicity of it and you do enjoy a lot watching it. The director was Russell Weekes, and it was definitely a big "why didn't I think of this first" kind of MV.

Ding ding ding bonus videos (these are also examples of simple conceptual videos, that I love):

8. Here it Goes Again by Ok Go (directed by Sie and the band)

9. Gold Guns and Girls by Metric (directed by Eady Bros)

10. 1901 by Phoenix (directed by Bogstandard (Dylan Byrne & Ben Strebel)

11. Treat Me Like Your Mother by The Dead Weather (directed by Jonathan Glazer, director of the famous Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai)

12. Islands by The xx (directed by Saam Farahmand)

And the award for THE greatest, awesomest most simple video of all times is:

13. Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan

This one definitely wins the award, like really, you literally just need a camera, a marker and paper and a person, yet somehow this video is so powerful.

 I fell in love with this video as soon as I saw it, I was so impressed at how simple it was, but how meaningful it could be at the same time. One of the first videos that scarred me for life, definitely. In fact, I blame this video for giving me the crazy idea and illusion that you can achieve so much, without having a big fancy production, just a bright imaginative, creative mind, and a great attitude. Thanks Bob!

The point of this whole thing is that simple videos are great!, aaand.. you don’t need a big Hollywood production to get your ideas across, you don’t need loads and loads of money and expensive equipment to make the most creative and groundbreaking masterpieces of all cheesy as it sounds you just need creativity, imagination and determination and that’s it, my friend.

Which video did you like the most? or what's you favorite video of all time?, do you think I missed a very important video here? how many times did I say the word "simple" on this post? 

Is the time to speak your mind in the comments!

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  1. He visto dos videos de los que mencionas ahi arriba. El de Ok Go y el de Franz Ferdinand. Son simplemente geniales. No he visto los demás pero seguro me encontrare en un futuro no muy lejano apreciando todo lo que mencionas. Y varias veces pasa eso de que vemos una idea y es como "eso se me hubiera ocurrido a mi!" Así mismo como dices, no se necesitan miles para hacer videos :P me atrevo a decir que los mas caros pueden ser mucho menos ingeniosos que los anteriormente citados.

  2. Si, son geniales y es genial ver como la creatividad puede sobrepasar el hecho de tener un reguero de dinero o no. Nos da esperanza a los que no tenemos cuartos :)