Mike Skinner may have a silly stage name, but everything else about him seems perfectly authentic. Besides being a none too cute Birmingham boy with classically bad British teeth, he's the antithesis of everything we associate with hopelessly pimpified Stateside hip-hop: he's sensitive, introspective, often confused and profoundly unfleet of tongue. He even ends this not-ready-for-primetime clip-which offers a gritty, faux-verite look at a wedding reception, featuring plenty of drugs and drinking-by getting beaten up, after his girl gets it on, somewhat graphically, in a toilet stall with another guy. As Mike might put it, this video is fit, and it knows it.
Director: Adam Smith, Colonel Blimp Editor: Adrenalin@Rushes
The Donnas, "Fall Behind Me"
The Donnas aren't nearly mall-trashy enough to make a good impression-they look like Repub-licans, and we can easily imagine them bringing in Orrin Hatch as a guest vocalist. But they had the good sense to hire Tomorrow's Brightest Minds to put layers of '70s psychedelic cheese, replete with a unicorn, over this otherwise blah piece of garage pop. Suddenly the tune doesn't seem so bad and the Donnas are at least tolerable-though they'd be a lot better off if they asked the Bush Babes, or even the Kerry Kuties, to join the band.
Director/Effects: Tomorrow's Brightest Minds, Oil Factory Editor: Russell Lichter
Moby/Public Enemy, "MKLVFKWR"
Chuck D. and Flava Flav do the music and Moby does the lyrics on this defiantly anti-war, anti-Bush ditty, striking a rare note of rebellion amid the general pop-cult malaise. The message rocks, and so does the song, a veritable left-wing booty booster. There's no director-it's all stock footage and concert footage expertly cobbled together by Giles Bury. And we know he's an expert because he never shows Moby for more than a split second; the sight of the Mobester-it must be that earnest, Vegan-complacent expression combined with the shaved head-can likely invoke feelings of violence in even a committed peacenik, which just wouldn't work in this context.
Editor: Giles Bury, Cut + Run, London/Santa Monica