The Fine Art of Music Videos

...Or rather, the fine art of choosing them.

So, the topic of ponderment for Alex and I this week has been favorite music videos. This was prompted by two different things. First, my insane love of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and the 80's station on Sirius radio has always amused Alex. Second, he's been using that nifty app on the iPhone to find out the titles/artists for cool songs we hear on TV. Namely, during the Olympics, Muse's insanely awesome "The Knights of Cydonia."

Yeah, go look it up on YouTube. Right now. I'll wait, really.

YES. We've decided it's "Kill Bill" meets "Firefly" in a wondrous clash of cheesy genres.

So, anyway. Alex keeps asking for my top ten list of music videos. I've been working on it for three weeks, usually on my drive home as I suddenly remember one. And I think I've got it. He rather tyrannically insisted that I keep it to ten, although I originally had eleven (finally had to bump Madonna's awesome "Hung Up," to my chagrin). So now I also have an "Other Favorites" category.

And since I don't like the actual music video for Chris Cornell's opening to Casino Royale, but love love LOVE the opening in the movie with it, I decided that it didn't actually qualify. And now I also have the beginnings of a list with my favorite film opening credits.

Sigh. A lister. Can you tell why I'm a librarian?

Top Ten

  1. Here It Goes Again, OK Go -- reasoning: humor, awesome choreography, unparalleled creativity, and I like the bald guy with glasses (oh plus I like the song)
  2. Thriller, Michael Jackson -- reasoning: classic, great cheesy storyline, awesome choreography, awesome song, and Vincent Price
  3. Tonight, Tonight, Smashing Pumpkins -- reasoning: lovely period/goth feel, haunting, and it references a cool old silent film
  4. Call Me When You're Sober, Evanescence -- reasoning: just gorgeous, and a fairytale flavor to boot
  5. Vogue, Madonna (original) -- reasoning: Madonna. Dude. plus, awesome choreography, great style, killer song, classic!
  6. Knights of Cydonia, Muse -- reasoning: amazing cross-genre humor
  7. A Million Ways to Be Cruel, OK Go -- reasoning: same as reasoning for #1. DUDE.
  8. Ain't No Other Man, Christina Aguilera -- reasoning: great retro flavor (several of them)
  9. White and Nerdy, Al Yankovic -- reasoning: insanely clever parody that's too true
  10. Feel Good Inc., Gorillaz -- reasoning: awesome crazy odd animation, and... yeah.

Other Favorites

  • Hung Up, Madonna
  • The World is Not Enough, Garbage
  • Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Eurythmics
  • Lady Marmalade, Moulin Rouge Soundtrack (various)
  • Don't Speak, No Doubt
  • Safety Dance, Men Without Hats
  • Mercy, Duffy
  • Vogue, Madonna (MTV Awards version)
  • You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), Dead or Alive
  • Bad, Michael Jackson
  • Beat It, Michael Jackson
  • Wild Wild West, Will Smith
  • Men in Black, Will Smith
  • One, Metallica
  • Take On Me, A-ha

Favorite Film Opening Credit Sequences

  • 007 Casino Royale
  • Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • 007 Goldeneye
  • Charade
Note: the above is not very indicative of my top ten, or even top fifty favorite songs. That's because my criteria for a music video is much more complex:
  • choreography (skill, appropriate for song, and creativity)
  • general creativity
  • narrative helpful, particularly if costumes involved
  • classic quality--timeless, not something I won't care about next year
  • humor--not necessary, but really helpful
  • song quality
And there you have it.


Home in Texas

Anyone else frantically watching (and fast-forwarding through the boring parts) the Olympics each evening to clear space on their DVR for the next day's round of events?

I thought we were pretty much through with stuff Alex and I were interested in watching, now that Phelps has officially made his mark, gymnastics is pretty much wrapped up, beach volleyball seems to be winding down, and we finally gave up on the rowing events... but now I hear that the rhythmic gymnastics cometh. With ribbons and all.


Not that I'll be able to catch much of it the next two nights--since the library closes at 6pm each night, I am going to have to scramble and use my evening-time at home to print more items for my annual performance review-type binder. Yippee.

Quebec City was awesome, my IFLA presentation went exceedingly well, and I now have at least four trips of which I haven't even looked at the photos I took--much less edited or uploaded to Flickr. Dangit, I need Christmas break already.

Oh, and Alex is taking scuba diving lessons--last week was his written test and pool exercises, and this weekend will be his open-water test, at a local lake. We were hoping to camp out there, as well, but between the rain and my mom coming into town, I think we'll just make the drive Saturday and then Sunday. I'm hoping to get some photos of him in all his gear this weekend--woohoo!

While he's underwater and I'm sitting on the shore, I've got my New York City guidebook to look through, to make some final plans. We'll be there August 28 - September 2, and will be catching a Yankees game and The Lion King (maybe another show as well, but that's the one we broke down and paid full price for). I've also got a handy list of "best of" NYC sights from my pal Rosemary (who lives in Queens)--any suggestions are certainly welcome! I'm hoping we won't be totally doomed, going over a holiday weekend... but ah well, you go when you can.


Wednesday = "Meh"

It's not really a bad day, although it feels like it's trying hard to become so.

This morning, I woke up for the third time in the past week having had a dream about Cherie--most of them involving Cherie still being alive, and this most recent one discussing her as gone, but then she showed up to join the commentary, as well. In each dream, I was having the best time with her--going to the movies, laughing, etc. They were really good dreams--they were just hard to wake up from.

This morning, I found out that Pauline Baynes, my favorite illustrator, had died a few days earlier. This article focuses on her work for Tolkein, but I knew her best through CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia.

I got home from work at 10:45 last night--a glorious 13-hour day courtesy of my overloaded schedule, which is completely my fault. I learned how to say "no," just not soon enough. In any case, I slept in a little so I wouldn't be completely useless at work today, but even so, I have a raging sore throat and feel a bit spacey.

And I should be excited--I'm going to get to present at IFLA in Canada next week, after all! A new country, an international professional opportunity--but I'm tired and I'm sad that I can't bring Alex. All in all, it scares me a little that I'm longing for the fall semester to begin. Am I really so busy that three classes' worth of homework will seem breezy by comparison? Rationally, I highly doubt it. But as usual, being the well-seasoned schoolgal that I am, I'm excited for classes to begin, so that's probably a good thing.

So, yeah--it's not a bad day. But I can't help feeling a little down, nonetheless. Well, maybe "down" is too strong a word--it's more like "quiet and thoughtful."