After watching the guest program on Rage last weekend (for those overseas readers, Rage is an Australian music video program) and enjoying the really eclectic selection of videos, I got to thinking about what I would program on my list of music videos to share with the televisual world. Of course the list starts out with an obvious blend of a whole range of tracks from artists that you feel should be represented – musicians such as David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Doors, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Iggy Pop, and so on. However rather than end up with a list of what could be described as ‘really important songs’ from ‘really important artists’, I wanted to filter my song choices in some way. What better way to filter than to apply some random rules to the process?
So the two rules I applied to my guest programming selection are that:
(1) My list could only include a total of 30 songs; and
(2) I had to actually own the song which I was selecting.
Suddenly my list changed dramatically from what it was originally. And then began the extremely difficult task of narrowing my selection to only 30 tracks. So without further delay, I hereby deliver for your viewing (or listening) pleasure, the 30 songs which I would guest program on Rage (with no preferential ordering):
- Radiohead: Paranoid Android (OK Computer)…Radiohead as always are fascinating and thoughtful.
- Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds: The Mercy Seat (Live Seeds)…Nick and the boys totally rock it live, and the crazy energy of this song deserves to be appreciated loud and raw.
- Beck: Scarecrow (Guero)…a difficult song to categorise, but displays a seriously unique style and thumping beat.
- Eels: Mr E’s Beautiful Blues (Daises of the Galaxy)…The Eels are just so cool and this video is fun and happy (just like the song).
- Mirah: The Garden (Advisory Committee)…the beat on this song kills me…it’s irresistible!
- Cat Power: Sea of Love (The Covers Record)…delicate, respectful cover of a most beautiful, fragile song.
- Beck: Everbody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Soundtrack)…Beck’s voice is incredibly powerful and soulful as he communicates longing, sadness and acceptance.
- Radiohead: Creep (My Iron Lung)…I have a rather major band crush on Radiohead. This song is beautiful, angry and is the perfect blend of emotional and musical contrasts.
- Jeff Buckley: Hallelujah (Grace)…intense, sorrowful, sweet and captivating.
- The White Stripes: I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself (Elephant)…Kate Moss is gorgeous beyond belief in this video directed by Sofia Coppola.
- The Stranglers: Golden Brown (He Died With a Felafel in his Hand Soundtrack)…I’m not sure why, but I’ve always loved this song and the exotic luxury of this video just feels so right.
- Smog: Our Anniversary (Supper)…not sure if there’s an official video to go with this track, but the song just had to be included as it is intimate, warm and ‘real’ beyond belief.
- Lykke Li: Little Bit (Youth Novels)…interesting, dreamy video. I love the sense of movement throughout (also check out the beautiful B&W video for her other song, ‘Tonight’).
- M.I.A: Paper Planes (Kala)…addictive song and compelling ‘raw’ video which avoids complicated styling. M.I.A is mesmerising.
- Damien Rice: The Blower’s Daughter (O)…beautifully conveys the right balance of pain and aching sadness. The video features scenes from Closer (such a cast…the chemistry between Julia Roberts, Clive Owen and Natalie Portman is amazing! … I have issues with Jude Law so he doesn’t count).
- Beastie Boys: Ch-Check It Out (To the 5 Boroughs)…these crazy kids always have fun, and this video is no exception. Street rage, heaps of costume changes, and a final fatal explosion…what more could you want?
- Hawksley Workman: Ice Age (Treeful of Starling)…just a stunningly beautiful, romantic song (in fact, the entire album is the same).
- Johnny Cash: Hurt (American IV: The Man Comes Around)…wonderful cover by an absolute music master, the video is perfect in visuals and pace…and oh so sad…gets me every time…
- Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (featuring PJ Harvey): Henry Lee (The Best of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds)…gets my vote for the sexiest music video ever. Seriously. You must watch it!
- Pop Levi: Pick-Me-Up Uppercut (The Return to Form Black Magick Party)…he’s just so crazy, I love it! This song always makes me smile.
- Bjork: It’s Oh So Quiet (Post)…wonderful Spike Jonze directed video with fantastic ‘popping’ colours, cleverly mixed-up pacing and great use of choreographed dancers.
- Gary Jules: Mad World (Donnie Darko Soundtrack)…fantastic visuals in the video directed by Michel Gondry are the perfect accompaniment to this beautifully measured and sad song.
- Basement Jaxx: Romeo (The Chillout Sessions 3 – Ministry of Sound)…hello Bollywood!
- Elvis Costello: I Want You (The Very Best of Elvis Costello)…love the beat and range of emotions in this song (see if you can track down the Fiona Apple cover…it’s awesome as well).
- Kings of Leon: On Call (Because of the Times)…love the boots and the subdued opening before the song suddenly bursts to life.
- The Beatles: Let It Be (The Beatles Anthology 3)…simplicity in delivery and style at its very best.
- Blur: Tender (13)…a big beast of a song that begs to be sung along with. The B&W totally works for me.
- Jem: Come on Closer (Finally Woken)…this song just sounds so ‘naughty’ (in a very, very good way).
- John Lennon: Imagine (Lennon Legend)…I love the dreamy opening as John and Yoko walk towards their home, the white shutters which are opened to let in the bright sunshine, and the shared look of love.
- Seu Jorge: Life On Mars? (The Life Aquatic Soundtrack)…great Bowie song + great cover = awesome video. Steve Zissou rocks!
So that’s my list (at least at this particular moment in time) – please share your thoughts. What would you include on your own personal music video list? …(feel free to apply my rules, adapt your own limitations, or choose to give yourself no boundaries at all…).