Good lord, I’m never going to know what to call this fucking decade.
In the last decade, most of the videos I listed were the simple ones, with just a single sentence idea, a small cast, and a small budget (or what looks like a small budget, anyway). But this is the 2000’s! New millennium, baby! In this decade, most of the videos on the list are BIG! Large cast! Big concepts! Lots of colors to distract from how pear-shaped the decade went almost immediately after take off!
“Weapon of Choice,” by Fatboy Slim
This one barely made the decade as it is, so this is the exception. Another decade, another Fatboy Slim, another Spike Jonze. This time featuring Christopher Walken, living enigma, dancing around a completely empty hotel in what might be purgatory. There isn’t much to even say about this one. Christopher Walken is a delight and close to four minutes of him dancing is a blessing.
“I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” By Panic! at the Disco
I’ve never seen a band declare in such a loud voice exactly what’s going to be happening for the next few years. “Hi, we’re Panic. Shit is about to get WEIRD. We mean, like, band camp levels of fucked up. You know all those theater and tech kids in high school who were all fucking each other like rabbits? Maybe a band kid or two got in there? Well, we are ALL OF THEM. We are LEGION. We are going to PUT HOT TOPIC ON THE MAP.”
These guys were all still teenagers when this band got started, so predictably after this first album they started fracturing faster than a cheap bed frame at a whorehouse, but for a few years, this is what they were.
“A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me,” by Fall Out Boy.
Christ, what a mouthful. So glad these long titles didn’t catch on.
Anyway, I love vampires. I write about vampires. I read vampire books, and I watch vampire movies and TV shows. I am also VERY PICKY ABOUT MY VAMPIRES. No, I don’t like Twilight, mostly because that’s not how I like my vampires. I like vampires deadly. I like them to be the fucking villains. Sexy, fine, as long as they’re also killing people. This…doesn’t quite pass muster, but honestly not a whole lot does so I’ll take what I can get. I’ve definitely watched far worse multiple times just because it has vampires, and at least this comes with a bop.
Big concept, big cast, lots of cameos, and fucking NO one looks comfortable in those false fangs. Not a single person for a single second.
“Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani/” “Hey Ya!” by Outkast
I have a feeling these are two of my favorite videos of the 2000s in the same way “1979” qualified for the nineties. These videos are fucking iconic. They are so 2004 I just broke my flip phone. They bring me back to the summer I was learning to drive. They bring me back to the back half of high school, when I realized while I didn’t hate it there, I was definitely over it and no longer gave a shit about it and was just biding my time until college. I mean, call it senioritis but that shit started junior year. My greatest achievement to date is that no one I went to high school with has any idea where I am, so any miserable high school kids out there just know that someday you, too, can move halfway across the country and never speak to those people again. It’s fucking great.
“1234” by Feist
Indie music got big in the back half of the decade. Or maybe it was always growing? I don’t know, I really need to keep myself from making this big sweeping statements about music because I honestly have no fucking idea. I know what I like, and that’s why I keep writing these articles as videos I like and not the best videos because, honestly, is anyone else going to pick that Fall Out Boy video besides me? No.
Anyway, I love this one because colors. And because there’s a lot of people but it still looks cheap. Like, it’s obvious all the dancers were just assigned a color and told to bring in whatever they had from home, right? And it looks like it was choreographed in an afternoon. Simple, but still big. I love it.
“Knights of Cydonia” by Muse
I feel like, if you’re not already familiar with “Knights of Cydonia” or even Muse, you should listen to this song without the video first. Then watch the video. Then tell me if you’re surprised even a little bit. Because I bet you’re not. I bet this is exactly what you were expecting. This is just what Muse is. They are effortlessly this. This is their essence, their entire beings. If it was revealed they were interdimensional travelers (like David Bowie) I wouldn’t be surprised in the least. There’s cowboys. There’s robots. There’s intrigue. There’s synth. It’s great.
“Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga
Speaking of explaining your entire existence in a five minute clip…I mean, I think a lot of Lady Gaga’s videos are pretty close to expressing the most essential facts at the center of her being, but this one gets the closest. There’s dancing. There’s weird outfits. She’s distorted for a few shots for some fucking reason. There’s a plot, kind of, and it’s weird. That freeze-frame shot starting at 3:06 is completely divine. And the whole thing is a gateway to how truly fucked up everything would get in the next decade.