1. Smashing Pumpkins — Eye
Eye was on the soundtrack to David Lynch’s Lost Highway, which had a very short theatrical run but managed some alt-rock air time on Canadian radio, which beamed over the border to me in New York.
If you know Lynch — The Elephant Man, Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive — then you can guess Lost Highway was dark and mysterious, and Billy Corgan’s achy whispering, backed by electronica and a howling chorus, match Lynch’s pulp perfectly.
The video’s a little psychadelic, and far more reminiscent of Siamese Dream than Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.
2. Of Montreal — Requiem for O.M.M.2
If Monty Python, Roald Dahl, and Salvador Dali did a student art project together at Berkeley, the result would be an Of Montreal video.
Let’s back up, because I think it’s important to point out the band isn’t from Canada at all — it’s from Georgia, which should tell you a little about its sense of humor. Legend has it that frontman Kevin Barnes pulled the band together after a break-up with a girl from Montreal, but that story’s changed a dozen times in interviews.
Don’t be fooled by the Beatles-ish acoustic pop sound here. Sure, the tunes might be color-coated, but listen a little more and they’re mostly sad, poetic musings that gracefully avoid pretention.
The videos all have the same stop-motion 2D over high-res photography feel, and are more non-sequiter, pastel dreams than commentary or reflection of the lyrics. Oh, and they all look like they’re made in Flash. I strongly recommend checking out Tim I Wish You Were Born a Girl, Rapture Rapes the Muses, I Was Watching Your Eyes, I Was Never Young, and Wraith Pinned to the Mist.