There are plenty of bizarre music videos that exist (as evidenced by the first, second, and Halloween edition lists), and they are considerably more accessible now that websites such as YouTube exist. Before the advent of streaming video, one had to purchase VHS tapes or sit and wait for the videos to be shown on TV, and even then, the more bizarre videos were often cut. But now any video, be it popular, unpopular, unknown, disturbing, or just all around unorthodox, is available online, for your viewing pleasure. Allow me to organize a few to get you started:
Muse is well known among fans for their unique, sometimes psychedelic sound. Knights of Cydonia is one of their most popular songs (in part because of the Guitar Hero series of video games) and its video lampoons both spaghetti Westerns and science fiction.
Artist: Gogol Bordello
It isn’t so much the video that is bizarre, as much as it is the song. Gogol Bordello is a band from New York City, composed of members from many countries, primarily in Europe. The song’s meaning stems from a crazy woman who always wore purple clothing, who lived in the same apartment complex as the lead vocalist (his accent is no far cry from Borat), and when his girlfriend and he would argue, he would often tell her she might as well “start wearing purple”. And if that doesn’t do it for you, try not to bob your head to this song!
My Own Summer, a staple of Deftones’ live shows, was inspired when vocalist Chino Moreno was stuck inside during a stuffy, hot summer day, and envisioned an Apocalyptic world without people where the sun was blocked out (no judgement on whether or not any chemical influence was involved). And because the only good way to cool off during the summer is a nice dip, the Deftones decided to shoot their video with lots of water. Take a pass on this one if you don’t like sharks.
Just in case anybody was under the impression that the French cannot do death metal, postpone judgement until after you view the above video. The black and white isn’t what makes it bizarre, and the random flashes to unsettling images isn’t why it landed on here. The icing comes from the simple twitchy, unnatural shots. It almost feels like the images are those of a photorealistic flipbook. This effect can be slightly unnerving given the proper mindset.
The 1990s were known for many things, including the band Soundgarden. And distorted faces, bright colors and almost fake-looking suburban yuppies are included, too.
The surrealist animated dreamscape in this video tells a tale of a father neglecting his son for work. While this is perfectly acceptable subject matter, it is unusual in that it is told with fish, aliens and scary mailboxes.
Artist: Daft Punk
Prior to scoring the new Tron movie, Daft Punk were doing what they do best: Making weird stuff catchy. This video (which features a shortened version of the much longer song) is nothing but technological commands, repeated in quick succession, with the word “technologic” thrown in occasionally. Not the typical formula for a foot-tapper, but once you get over the creepy baby/skeleton/robot hybrid, the song will most likely be stuck in your head.
Artist: Dresden Dolls
Some say this song is a sad illustration of a lonely woman dreaming of the perfect man. Others say it is a metaphor for a dildo. Whatever explanation you choose to believe, the video is worth watching simply for Amanda Palmer’s various and exaggerated facial expressions.
There is just something about a bass-playing, pig masked man an his circus of freaks grinding out what might be music that strikes an unsettling chord. In other words, a perfect match for this list.
Speaking of freakshows, one isn’t complete without bearded ladies. This song would probably be touching, but the child-like drone of one sister followed up almost immediately by the jolly, upbeat vocals reminiscent of a 1940’s singer, rids the first listen of this song to a confusing slew of odd sounds and imagery. From the (hopefully) glued-on facial hair to the random stuffed animals, CocoRosie makes for a weird trip. I dare you to look up an interview and sit through the entire thing without wondering “what the hell are they talking about?”