Our buds over at Consequence of Sound recently featured the masterful skills of music video titan Spike Jonze The director has some of the most iconic and influential alternative music videos, to the point where he’s become one of the most underrated players in establishing the genre in the 90’s as a visual spectrum and not simply just an audible one.
Jonze also had a hand in some of the biggest hip hop videos of all time. He worked with Notoriuous B.I.G and the Pharcyde. He went on direct hit films like ‘Being John Malkovich’, ‘Her’, and ‘Adaption’ with his unique slanted yet engaging touch. He’s also acted in plenty of films like ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘Three Kings’.Jonez has been able to balance high art with humor, as he was also a key player in the ‘Jackass’ movie/TV series. Jonez simply has continued to make alternative content for mainstream audiences looking for just that, something outside of the norm but within reach. Recently he partnered with VICE to launch the documentary focused cable channel Viceland. That’s quite the run when you consider he started just doing skate board videos.
This prompted a dig into his alternative video catalog so we could highlight some of his best work with our beloved favorite bands.
Weezer – ‘Buddy Holly’
This send-up to the cheesy TV sitcom ‘Happy Days’ used ahead-of-it’s-time editing to drop the band directly into the show playing in a sock hop scenario. The song already had our hearts, but this clip made the track get our eyes in a memorable way playing up Weezer’s unbridled embrace of smart-ass nerdom in all of it’s forms. Jonez also handled the video for another gem off the ‘Blue’ album ‘Undone (Sweater Song)’.
Beastie Boys – ‘Sabotage’
Three rappers turned 70’s dram cops in a wigs, sliding over cars, chasing bad guys over rooftops, and mugging for the camera. It’s almost has ingrained in our collective psyche as the song itself, and perfectly mirrors the song’s rousing energy. Jonez and the surviving Beasites collaborated recently on special live retrospective live shows in New York and Philadelphia.
Bjork – ‘Oh So Quiet’
The Icelandic singer Bjork has never been one to follow the path previously traveled, but rather making one all her own which was clear in this video which took big Broadway style musical numbers and flipped them upside down. Yes, they do
FATBOY SLIM – ‘PRAISE YOU’
Alt dance wizard Fatboy Slim was not very fond of his music videos, until he got a note from Jonez expressing how much he liked his music and a presentation of lofi ideas for videos. The idea here was simply fun and undeniable. Jonez leads a not-well-trained dance troupe in a heartwarming flash mob (before those were a thing) as they dance their choreograph routine in front of a busy movie theater. It becomes such a scene that a man comes up and turns off the boom box providing the soundtrack, and they regroup to continue their radical act. It’s just fun and eye-catching to see a music video play out in a real space in relatively real time.
DAFT PUNK – ‘DA FUNK’
An anthropomorphic dog man brings his boom box and it’s raise-the-roof beat through the lonely streets of NYC just trying to connect as he settles into a new life. Yeah, how does that even make sense? Well watch the video and try not to feel for this mutt man.
Watch Mojo did a solid job as well digging into Jonez’s career.