Where is all the humor gone?

This iPod singing thing reminded me of something probably burried in the past. Not sure, but is it true that music videos some years ago were more humorous than they are today? Maybe it’s that mostly videos by Blur remained in my head but I have the feeling that music videos today are primary aimed on “let’s make the band look cool” (Rock), “let’s show some dancing chicks with bouncing butts and maybe let’s have some more naked body parts as well” (Hip Hop) or ” we don’t have any clue what this video is about so we just booked some dancers” (Pop). Okay some try to have at least a bit of humor or one or two witty takes as in Lady Sov’s video for “Love me or hate me”. But most vids are very generic. Put a Franz Ferdinand tune over a Arctic Monkeys video. Nobody will get it. It’s sad, isn’t it? Take Blur. In the 90s they had videos with nice humor. For example “Parklife” (though it looks very 90s).

But the last Blur videos just had nice looks. That’s another thing I came across: A lot of videos do look very, very arty. Unfortunately it’s arty for the art’s sake and not because of some nice idea. Many videos are visually nice but that’s it. Of course this could make sense because the audience will concentrate on the music and see the visual execution as “just nice looks”. And that’s okay. But I prefer videos that are witty, weird or have some kind of message or tell a story. Like the next two examples. First is Jurasic 5. Unfortunately they split up. “Unfortunately” because they wrote intelligent songs (for the homie in you: the kicked intelligent rhymes over bouncing beats) and had some nice videos. Though this one includes the Dave Matthew’s Band…ugh…here’s “Work it out”:

The next one is a strange, witty and weird video of a great band. Muse mix up Science Fiction and Western for their brilliant directed video “Knights of Cydonia”. Brilliant song as well. Prog Rock. Great.

Hm. Any thoughts on this anybody? Let’s hope that young bands will try to not only do good music, as well. Just saw the new Arctic Monkeys video…a bit dissapointing compared to their music.


  1. lauren

    OK seb, you asked for it:
    lauren’ top 5 great music vids, not necessarily based on personal musical taste:
    1. Aphex Twin, Come to Daddy.
    2. Weezer, Buddy Holly
    3. Fatboy Slim, Praise – which you already mentioned, kudos. (above both Spike Jonze – genius)
    4. White Stripes – can’t remember the tune, but the Lego clip.
    5. Bjork – It’s Oh So Quiet or Lily Allen, Alfie

    And i’m pretty sure all of them have an element of whimsy, if not outright humour.

  2. Seb

    don’t know that aphex twin-thing. and I don’t like bjork. but the others are really great. buddy holly, praise…great videos. really entertaining. and the white stripes lego-thing is probably “fell in love with a girl”. it’s really nice, true. though the greatest musicvideo I know is totally not funny. it’s just the coolest thing ever. the verve and “bittersweet symphony”. brilliant. especially the take when he jumps onto and over the car.

  3. lauren

    bittersweet symphony is great! you must check out the aphex twin vid-clip – it’s freaky..

  4. Rob @ Cynic

    I think you’ll find that we now live in a World where we crave peer acceptance and ‘humour’ just doesn’t cut it interms of awards regarding film/video. [Yeah, the ad industry is abit of an exception but even that is changing this way too]

    We call it the ‘Jim Carey’ syndrome – because he craved acceptance by the peers in his category [stuffy, boring, old sods] so went against everything that made him famous in a bid to try and get it. Of course it didn’t work because he wasn’t true to himself … which begs the question, do awards etc truly make you happy if you only get them for being ‘deep and meaningful’?

    Personally I’d choose a Blur video [or a mad Queen one … It’s A Hard Life for example] over Radiohead, even if interms of music, the opposite is true.

    What a serious post … that’s because its 6 in the bloody morning!

  5. Will

    Can’t believe J5 have split up.. thanks for letting me know Seb.

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    I like to change a few things from time to time. Because change is vital. And because I get bored being at the same place for some time and nothing really happens. That's why I moved this blog to another website you get there by clicking on one of the links below. Hopefully we will meet there again, maybe not. If so, we just were not made for each other. Sorry. Bye.

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