Monday, June 16, 2014

10 Irreversibly Post-apocalyptic Music Videos

A scene from "Till The World Ends" by Britney Spears

That (ever-incomplete) list of futuristic music videos behooves us to run down their kissing cousins. In no particular order, here are the musical short films that want to reach betimes the end of all things earthly: 

"California Love," 2Pac

Mr. Shakur and Dr. Dre party like it's the end of the world in the wastelands of their beloved West Coast. Chris Tucker is clearly a patron of futurism, seamlessly going from The Fifth Element to this urban fantasy, no, the fantasy of this urban music.

"This Corrosion," Sisters of Mercy

Gothic rockers know too much pre-apocalyptic darkness and desperation that it's second nature for them to revel after Game Over. Aptly enough, this song features centrally in the robot-apocalypse film The World's End, whose director remarked that the video looks like its sequel.

"Helena Beat," Foster The People

Debbie Gibson once sang the future only belongs to the future itself, and the future is electric youth. Well, the futuristic youth in this clip are less electric than anarchic, although they do derive their power from electricity. You have to watch why. 

"Fly," Nicki Minaj

So what if it is the Armageddon? Nicki and Rihanna won't have your Mad Max outfits, thank you very much. No plane crash, no mysterious catastrophe will ever dare ruffle their mascaras—not even when they're busting some taekwondo moves.

"City Rising From the Ashes," Deltron 3030

Now here's one video that is as much a doomsayer as the song itself. This is how folk music would sound like in the future.

"I'm A Slave 4 U," Britney Spears

Who says you don't have time for sex in the wake of The End? Britney has proven herself the unlikely mistress of apocalyptic videos (see the destructively literal clip for "Till the World Ends") with this sweaty orgy of images about a planet beset by either cataclysmic solar flares or the pop princess' innate hotness. 

"You Got Lucky," Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

A pioneering vision of the aftermath on music television. 

"E.T.", Katy Perry

Post-apocalypse is, by default, the realm of budget conscious-directors. It's easier to scatter garbage around a music video set than order custom-made props from Pinewood Studios. Garbage is the planet's number one resource, after all. Floria Sigismondi helmed this video, essentially the MTV version of Wall-E.

"Untitled #1," Sigur Rós

Floria Sigismondi proves she can easily oscillate from mainstream projects to counterculture labors of love without losing her vision. The auteur transformed this Sigur Rós track into a lilting dirge to a nuclear holocaust, as reflected on the eyes of the kids. To quote Garbage, they're only happy when it rains...ash.

"Blame It On The Weatherman," B*Witched 

Roland Emmerich must have taken down notes from this one. Or B*Witched must have watched Waterworld. Either way, this is a thought-provoking piece of pop videography and the most clear-cut doomsday clip we've ever beheld on MTV. 



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