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10 (mainstream) Music Videos You Need To Watch (again) RIGHT NOW Because They Are Aesthetically Fab And I Have Better Taste Than You

In no particular order.

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1. DTF (Adore Delano; Directed by Michael Serrato)

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I'd like to start by saying that something I immensely dislike about the music industry is that oftentimes the credit for a music video is given solely to the musical artist i.e. pop star who already gets credit for everything. This is wrong. Music videos are a collaboration between many creative people and the fact that pop stars accept the American Music Video award statues is appalling. So I've listed the directors. If you like the video (which is famous), you should look up the director because a lot of these people have incredible sites with much less viewed work that has even more artistic integrity. This will hopefully, therefore, lead you to a whole network of incredible video artists and subsequently less famous but great musical artists.

ANYWHO I don't know who this Michael Serrato character is, but I'm in love with him. This video by Adore Delano, who is actually a super great pop-drag-fun-stupid star, is so hot and so funny and aesthetically just fetch in every way. The reversals, the hot dog, the hair, the nails, the laundry detergent, down to every ratty root in that ratchet wig. It's ON POINT. Adore's other videos ("Party," "Hello I Love You," "I Adore You") are also great and you should watch them all. Get into it.

2. F For You (Disclosure; Directed by Kate Moross)

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Disclosure, as we all know, is awesome. And they're adorable. And they're like twelve and yes that should make you feel bad about yourself. This video, directed by Kate Moross with animation by Ruff Mercy, Patch Keyes and Kate Moross is stunning to look at and has Mary J. Blige in it which is pretty fierce on its own. Put her in a crazy zany animated frenzy and it's just aesthetic paradise. The song is great too, obviously (it's Disclosure), though this particular version is a remix featuring Mary J Oblige as opposed to the original featuring Howard Lawrence.

3. Good Intent (Kimbra; directed by Guy Franklin)

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All three of Kimbra's most popular music videos ("Cameo Lover," "Good Intent" and "Settle Down") are amazing. They are directed by Guy Franklin who is a beautiful and somehow quaint Australian beautiful man (did I mention he's beautiful and perfect) with awesome taste and this is such a good collaboration because they are both swell. I chose "Good Intent" because it's my personal favorite. The choreography is spectacular (and very Fosse-esque) and the lighting is immaculate. Also she looks DIVINE. This is how you do contemporary Noir, by the way (I'm looking at you, Christina Aguilera). Also "Good Intent" is a sweet song and Kimbra is great and you should listen to her and if you don't you're horrible.

4. Why Don't You Love Me (Beyonce; directed by Melina Matsoukas)

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I am perfectly aware that "Single Ladies" is the best Beyonce music video. We all know that. This one is the one you need to watch right now because it has such a good sense of humor and it's so beautiful and the outfits are great and somehow it's about WW2 but not really and I love it. Obviously, the best part are the mascara streams so delicately placed on that stunning mug. This video makes me want to drink alcohol which is always a good sign because alcohol is good. Also it's important because Melina Matsoukas is an incredible director (she did the stunning "We Found Love" and got a grammy!) and she is a woman and there should be more women everything.

5. Love is Lost (David Bowie; Directed, as far as I know, by David Bowie)

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Do not watch this before sleeping, for it is truly the stuff of nightmares. In fact, you may be better off not watching it at all. It's quite powerful and the home-made quality of it (Bowie made it himself over the course of a weekend according to legend, i.e. the internet) makes the imagery even stronger, in my humble opinion. Yes, the mask thing is weird. But I love the washing of the hands and even the scary mask face is rather endearing. Just watch it (but definitely not before bed or while under any influence of any kind)

6. Your Makeup is Terrible (Alaska; Directed by Saša Numić)

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Yeah this is the second Drag Queen video. We just need to accept that Drag Queens are better at theatrical beauty than we are and that's that. I LOVE this video. It's not so much a song as it is sentences over a beat but they are the funniest sentences ever said. Also the video's imagery is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Beautiful, funny, incredibly dark and sophisticated but not too serious. I live for it. And I live for Alaska's nails. She has the most incredible claws I've ever seen. The final sequence with the enormous clouds of make up crashing down on Mathu Anderson is the stuff of miracles.

7. Who's Got the Pain (Music and Lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross; Directed by George Abbot and Stanley Roney)

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This isn't so much a music video as it is a clip from a movie (it absolutely is just a clip from Damn Yankees) but we need to take a moment to bask in the splendor that is Bob Fosse. If you don't know who Bob Fosse is then you need to sue the United States Government for not giving you the education every citizen is entitled to. I'm not going to say that Bob Fosse INVENTED cool, but it's absolutely true. Michael Jackson's legendary dancing? Fosse. "Single Ladies?" Fosse. (Beyonce talked of this during an interview in which she sinfully referred to the outstanding Gwen Verdon--featured in this video from Damn Yankees--as "Bob Fosse's wife," as if she were some kind of mortal) This video is awesome because the dancing is, as usual, perfect. Fosse combines hardcore technique with impeccable style and intellectual genius with pure unbridled physicality. This is why he is the founder of, well, style. Get the fuck into it. I mean the yellow tops with the navy pants and white shoes and little straw hats??? You've got to be kidding me with how fierce this is.

8. Losing You (Solange; directed by Melina Matsoukas)

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This video is EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING ONLY. I adore Solange, obviously (if you don't there's something deeply wrong with you)--this song is bomb and this video is an aesthetic feast (once again directed by powerhouse Melina Matsoukas). The lighting is gorgeous and the style is immaculate. Now for a tangent--I love this video mostly because this is REAL LIFE. The SAPE (Society of Taste Makers and Elegant People--no it's not an acronym) are a collection of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, specifically I believe in the city of Brazzaville (correct me @joe_faragher if I'm wrong not much time for fact checking I'm late for dropping a friend at the airport oops) who have a concentrated investment in color and style, sort of riffing on colonial aesthetics with incredible color schemes and socks and shoes and just the best clothes. And these are people with NO money. I mean, very poor people who have chosen to invest in the way they look because it gives them an incredible awe-inspiring empowerment. That is what I LIVE for, using aesthetics to create your own world. These are people who have said no to the way the world has chosen to label and perceive them and I LIVE AND DIE for it. If you're interested, there is a fabulous book called Gentlemen of Bacongo by Daniele Tamagni that photo-documents this incredible niche of people. Unfortunately, you may want to library this one because used copies start at $358. It has an introduction from designer Paul Smith who drew heavily on the Sapeurs (as they are called) for his Spring 2010 London collection. (The poor fool didn't realize that the re-contexualization of their immaculate style took away the beauty and charm and that these stupid hyper-emaciated white models looked foolish but that's neither here nor there.) While I'm on the subject of amazing fashion from the continent of Africa, you should look into some of these incredible photographers: Samuel Fosso, Maloch Sidibi and Seydou Keita, whose work influenced the Sapuers (I believe) and hold to the theme of aesthetic empowerment. Faragher out.

9. Telephone (Lady Gaga; directed by Jonas Åkerlund)

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This is not an endorsement of all Lady Gaga's videos, which with the notable exception of this one I find to be heavy-handed, a bit pretentious and fashion for the sake of fashion/let's pretend Lady Gaga is the first person in the 21st century who remembers what pop art is. Not to hate on her, I'm a big big fan of The Fame Monster. ANYWAY this video is undeniably gold. Aesthetically precise, hilarious and with an oscar-worthy role portrayed by Miss Queen Bee. Something about the chemistry between these two pop stars is so right--Beyonce seems to ground the otherwise chaotic and somewhat heady Gaga and introduces a much needed sense of humor into the performance; the presence of Beyonce makes Gaga's stony weird faces amusing as opposed to aggressively "lookatmeI'mweird." The Tarantino references are obviously lovely and well-executed and the whole story is to (literally) die for. The fact that the song doesn't start until we've been watching for 45 minutes is perfect and the choreography (which I think is generally a huge strength of Gaga's earlier visual work) is pristine. Just a great romp and use of ten hours (since that's how long it takes to watch) Also Beyonce's yellow eye-make up (designed by the wonderful Billy B) is nothing short of miraculous.

10. This is How We Do (Katy Perry; directed by James Copeman)

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I'm not a huge fan of this song. It makes me a little uncomfortable when extremely wealthy famous people encourage the youth to spend their rent money on bottle service. I wouldn't include this if it weren't for my enormous relief that FINALLY Katy Perry, who I really do like, MADE A GOOD MUSIC VIDEO. After the "Dark Horse" disaster (can we say cultural appropriation in the most offensive collection of cgi nonsense I've ever seen). And I love this. Visually. The big wow moment for me was definitely the deconstructed car. Living.

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