Music videos can be very powerful – they can punctuate an important message or express difficult concepts in a visual medium in order to make the lyrical meaning of a song clearer for the listener/viewer. Many music videos contain imagery that is easily identified as relevant to the subject matter of the featured song – but sometimes directors confuse us with strange imagery and weird conceptual art that leaves us generally guessing about the artist’s intended meaning. Weird videos are not entirely uncommon, but some are just so strange that they are pretty much in a class of their own. The following videos are either brilliantly weird or weirdly brilliant – these curious must-see visual oddities are also set to some pretty good music, definitely worth checking out – just don’t ask me what it all means…
Yeasayer – Ambling Alp
Released in 2009, Ambling Alp is a great song, but this video contains strange floating faces, weird slime all over everything and everyone, bizarre out of body experiences and a lot of nudity – seriously – ouch to rolling down that hill in the buff!
Primus – Mr. Krinkle
Epic Claypool – I love the bass in this track from the 1993 Primus classic album Pork Soda. But this video is weird… a dark warehouse where a creepy pig plays doublebass in the foreground and circus performers randomly entertain in the background… need I say more?
Dali’s Car – The Judgement Is The Mirror
Peter Murphy of Bauhaus fame co-founded this group in 1984 and subsequently released this interesting single/video. Given the reference to the father of surrealism, Salvador Dali, it is not surprising to see a plethora of clocks and surreal images in this video – but that isn’t really the weirdest part. A giant laser disc is featured as the star of this video (admittedly, it does look cool flashing in the sunlight) until it is callously tossed into the sea like a frisbee – with no explanation as to what the significance of it was in the first place.
Aphex Twin – Windowlicker
Released in 1999 things don’t really get weird in this video until a few minutes in. A stretch limo pulls up and a man gets out, proceeding to “school” two ridiculous gangster wannabees with some provocative dance moves (it’s all very Fossey in a way), umbrellas and a suggestively used champagne bottle. The weirdest part? All of the females in this video receive a “faceover”, with their own faces replaced by one that resembles composer Richard David James – beard, moustache and creepy Guy Fawkes-esque grin included.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Don’t Come Around Here No More
Weird and somewhat frightening, I’m pretty sure this video gave me nightmares as a child and I love Alice In Wonderland – fanatically in fact. The video showcases Tom Petty as the Mad Hatter hosting a tea party – dropping sugar cubes into a teacup containing a drowning Alice and culminating in a gruesome cake cutting that I’m pretty sure was not included in Lewis Caroll’s original text…