15. The Decemberists – “16 Military Wives”
(D: Aaron Stewart-Ahn)
Colin Meloy and company coyly poke fun at their bookish reputation with this fantastic video set at an overly ambitious prep school. Featuring some great indie-rock cameos, including The Long Winters’ John Roderick as—what else?—the bearded, bespectacled, scarf-wearing professor.
14. Kanye West – “Jesus Walks” (version 1)
(D: Michael Haussman)
West had three different videos shot for this song. While the second got all the attention, this one is even better. Kanye steps to the pulpit in the role of a preacher dishing out a heaping helping of painful truth.
13. Bright Eyes – “At the Bottom of Everything”
(D: Cat Solen)
In this wonderfully bizarre video, passengers on a doomed flight chat, share cocktails and make out feverishly as the plane goes down.
12. OutKast – “Hey Ya!”
(D: Bryan Barber)
What’s cooler than cool? This video, for starters. It’s The Ed Sullivan Show, Andre 3000-style, including an 8-piece band comprised entirely of Dre clones, and plenty of Beyoncés and Lucy Lius shakin’ it like a Polaroid picture.
11. Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out”
(D: Jonas Odell)
In the exceptionally inventive video for this epic, early-aughties dancepunk anthem, the members of Franz Ferdianand look like surreal gear-cranked cyborgs who’ve crawled inside Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketchbook. This gels nicely with their driving, angular, mathematically precise pop-rock workouts.