“Because I used to not like you, now I think you’re okay…”
Ben Folds has had some pretty awesome people star in his videos in the past. This has included, but is not limited to, “Weird Al” Yankovic, William Shatner and Tim & Eric. For his first video clip with Ben Folds Five since 2000, however, old mate Foldsy has gone above and beyond the call of duty. He’s brought in the A team, the big guns, the real freaking deal. You’ve read the rumours, and now you can see it for yourself with your own beady eyes: the cast of Fraggle Rock are back, and they are HERE!
As the Five’s producer, played by Rob Corddry, watches on, the band attempt to record their new song. It’s not long, however, until they’ve disturbed the Fraggles, who have to come up to the surface in order to find out what all the hub-bub is about. They start going crazy about the joint, while a romantic sub-plot between two of the studio workers unfurls. It’s… well, what else can you say? It’s wonderful. Absolutely fucking wonderful. This warms my heart more than I could possibly emphasise. It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s heart-warming… it’s exactly what I’d expect from Ben Folds, his Five AND the greatness of Fraggle Rock combined. Let’s dance.
20. Kimbra – Settle Down
The gorgeous Kiwi-born singer certainly knew how to make a first impression with her debut video, presenting a twisted fantasy (no, Yeezy, it’s not beautiful and dark) involving dollys, pretty cinematography and fire. That will all make sense once you’ve seen the video, trust me. I love this video on account of its creativity and its fearless imagination – it’s increasingly rare to find that in any international pop music, let alone stuff being created so close to home (Kimbra now lives in Melbourne). A breath of fresh air that was very much needed in 2010.
19. Ben Folds and Nick Hornby - From Above
One of the more interesting collabs from the year saw piano punk Ben Folds get his groove back thanks to About A Boy writer Nick Hornby. In this video, Hornby’s words come to live through visualisation – thankfully, with no appearance from Hugh Grant in sight. It’s a simple black and white animation which truly drives the messages woven into the song right home to its viewers. Poignant, cute and really cleverly done, if you haven’t experienced Lonely Avenue yet then hopefully the video for From Above will be your catalyst.
18. The Bedroom Philosopher – Northcote (So Hungover)
No matter where you were in 2010, Justin Heazelwood brought back the novelty song in amazing fashion, taking on a topic no Aussie had considered tackling before – the boho hipster. You know the type – cardigan wearer, apathetic about most things, in a band, arrogant… the Beddy Philly (thanks, Robin from The Boat People!) nailed this character perfectly. The song’s re-enaction instantly generated plenty of laughs and high rotation on Channel [V] and rage – he even dressed up in his hipster uniform when I saw him play the song live! Some great cameos in here too – look out for Kram from Spiderbait, Tim Rogers and Miss Angie Hart!
17. LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls
Really, it was only a matter of time before James Murphy and co. were sabotaged in the making of their own video by a gang of vicious, anarchic pandas who throw glitter everywhere, trash studio sets and smear make-up all over the band. I’m just personally quite glad and eternally grateful that LCD Soundsystem were brave enough to put together the remaining footage and present is as the music video even after the painful ordeal that they were put through during the making of what should have been a groundbreaking performance video. Y,WGAV! salutes you!
16. Willow Smith – Whip My Hair
As they say in the hip-hop world, this shit was a motherfucking gamechanger. You’d expect something wild from someone who’s DNA partly consists of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but this was one of the most extravagant and stupidly fun videos to be unleashed in the pop world for quite some time. I mean, come on! The colours! The dancing! The kids being liberated! What’s not to love? Quit guzzling the haterade and appreciate this for what it is – the guiltiest of pleasures, but pleasure all the same.
“You better watch out, ’cause I’m gonna say fuck!”
Ahh, Ben Folds. An artist I grew up with, although not quite as the involved fan that I am today – I spent years singing along to the Ben Folds Five hit “Brick” before I ever knew what it meant. In terms of videos, however, I’ll always remember the first clip he did as a solo artist – the title track to the awesome Rockin’ The Suburbs album.
This is one of those videos where, at the time, I’d never seen anything else quite like it. Folds performing as every member of a full band could have just been him stroking his ego, but it was also pretty symbolic of becoming a solo musician for the first time, now that I think of it. The energy with which each version of him performs is also a bold message of being free and ready to be the piano-pop smartarse he really wanted to be. Ripping on the nu-metal fad by dressing up as Fred Durst and also throwing in a subtle message of “Korn sucks” (look out for it!) was also incredibly timely and entertaining. There’s just too much fun to be had in this video, which is probably why I remember the whole thing so vividly. I’m not a massive fan these days, but you get me to this era of his career and I’m more than willing to worship at the altar of Foldsy. Another tip: look out for the sound engineer near where the bridge kicks in – pretty “Weird” dude, right?