Madonna: Don’t Tell Me (2000)
The video is nicely matched to the feel of the song and has a strong and consistent style. When the Music album came out, a number of people returned it because this song’s stutters convinced them the CD was defective.
The video’s stutters at the beginning are even more eerie on YouTube, since you’re convinced the video hasn’t finished loading. There’s some subtle things going on — watch how, when the cowboys on the billboards freeze, the dust they kick up keeps moving. I don’t know what it means, but it’s nifty nonetheless. And who would have thought to see Madonna doing line dancing while sporting a nice tail and an elite squad from the New Cowboy Village People?
Boards of Canada: Dayvan Cowboy (2006)
This is one of those videos I could watch over and over. The echoey music is coupled with striking visuals that add a story to the song, one that fits nicely with the music itself. When I first saw this, I wondered where they got the footage of the man falling to earth. Wonder no longer: it’s from footage of Captain Joseph W. Kittinger Jr.’s jump from over 100,000 feet as part of the Air Force’s Project Excelsior. He rode a balloon up for an hour and a half; the trip down took nearly fourteen minutes. Crazy.