MIXING 8MM WITH 8 TRACKS.
It’s time for another edition of Grindhouse Grooves, showing the latest videos who take their cues from the more dingy side of the cinematic tracks. This time we’ve got monsters, roller derbies and assorted mayhem for your viewing and listening enjoyment.
Bat for Lashes – Lilies (Dir. Peter Sluszka)
Creepy puppets are the new black, first off in this moody, beautiful video involving stop-motion, a bizarre landscape and otherworldly lightning.
Hundred Waters – Boreal
(Dir. Lucas Levya & Jillian Mayer)
And next in this trippy little work from experimental artists Hundred Waters that feels a bit like a bigfoot movie as directed by Lucio Fulci in 1981.
Five Knives – All Fall Down
(Dir. Bryan Schlam)
Roller derbies aren’t uncommon in music videos, but I’m all about them, especially if they’re in an apocalyptic future that looks like it’s set in a long-abandoned department store and backed with a catchy synth-punk (is that a thing?) track from Five Knives.
SSION – High (Dir. Cody Cricheloe)
SSION hasn’t been mentioned in this column before, but I love their stuff. This video is no exception, as the lead singer pulls out an ancient VHS of karaoke and jams along to it, and then weird stuff starts to happen, and there are giant fortune cookies of milk getting painted via lipstick.
Sean Price – BBQ Sauce
(Dir. Todd Angkasuwan)
White people please do not recite the chorus, but this video for Sean Price’s track sticks the rapper into history, ZELIG-style, using a bunch of vintage footage, including Johnny Carson, “Jeopardy!” and Bob Ross.
Matt Costa – Good Times
(Dir. Emmett Malloy)
While the video starts off with a Wes Anderson vibe, things quickly go into PURPLE NOON and DEAD CALM territory with this take on a boat-set love triangle.
K-X-P – Magnetic North
(Dir. Kimmo Kuusniemi)
I’m a sucker for ephemeral films, obviously, and so is K-X-P, who used footage from a never-released Finnish anti-drunk driving short from 1986 to back their latest track.
Czarface – Air ‘em Out
(Dir. McFarland & Pecci)
Czarface consists of Boston hip hop artists 7L and Esoteric and Wu-Tang’s Inspectah Deck, so the Tarantino influence in a music video of theirs isn’t surprising. It’s a cool piece, and while it doesn’t really get gritty until the last minute, there’s some fine intensity and motorcycle stunts to tide you until then.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Jubilee St.
(Dir. John Hillcoat)
John Hillcoat (THE ROAD) strikes again with another great collaboration with Nick Cave, this one featuring Ray Winstone as a man who finds meaning in his relationship with a prostitute. (NSFW)
MS MR – Fantasy (Dir. Austin Peters)
I’m not quite sure what’s going on in this video that involves two people in a diner, confetti-vomitting cheerleaders, and a severed hand, but I like the aesthetic.
Zac Brown Band – The Wind
(Dir. Mike Judge)
Mike Judge returns to animation with this tale of a cyborg redneck in the Georgia swamp in “Robo Redneck aka The Six Million Dollar Honky.” It’s ROBOCOP meets SWAMP GIRL in the mode of “King of the Hill.”
Elliphant- Live Till I Die (Dir. MOFO)
I know the ‘80s VHS look is getting to be a cliché in music videos, but I don’t mind if it’s done well, as in the case of this track featuring a Swedish vocalist with a Jamaican accent singing a catchy song in a video that feels like it should be best stumbled across on a foreign public access channel in 1986.
Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie
(Dir. David Fincher)
I wouldn’t normally have mentioned this, as it’s Justin Timberlake and the song is all over the place, but David Fincher’s return to the world of music video is a work of beauty despite the source material. Cinematic in the best of ways, this brings out the classic style that the song tries hard to evoke with ease, much as Fincher did decades ago with Madonna’s “Vogue.”
Be back when the jukebox has been restocked,
- Paul Freitag-Fey