Once upon a time, a Brit-pop duo known as The Tings Tings were discovered by music producer Rick Rubin, which led to some appearances on MTV and ended with a hit song called “Shut Up and Let Me Go.” Apparently everyone lived happily ever after. The group, which just announced details of its sophomore LP, is nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy, and this weekend will be taking its irreverent antics to Saturday Night Live in an episode hosted by Sigourney Weaver.
Don’t recognize the band’s name? Check out a Dr. Suess-style rhyming primer on the Ting Tings — which was done by artist Peter Oumanski and narrated by MTV host Jim Cantiello — after the jump. We’ve also rounded up some of our favorite illustrated music videos to help you kill the remaining hours in your work day.
1. Remind Me by Röyksopp
Royksopp‘s video for “Remind Me” is like infographics on steroids, but in a good way. It elaborately depicts a woman’s working day in London’s Square Mile through various diagrams and schematics: a topographical overview of her location; a breakdown of her house; an anatomical dissection of the sound waves from her alarm clock hitting her ear drums. “Remind Me,” which you may also recognize from the GEICO commercials, won Best Video at the MTV Europe Awards in 2002.
2. Chinese Translation by M. Ward
M. Ward‘s “Chinese Translation” video showcases Zen-driven illustrations by Gene Blakefield and Darin Bendall. Directed by Joel Trussell and Eric D. Johnson, the storyline involves a poignant journey to an old man sitting under a Weeping Willow for answers to philosophical questions. “Chinese Translation” is from M. Ward’s fifth album, Post War (2006). He is also part of the duo She & Him, with actress turned indie chanteuse Zooey Deschanel. The group is releasing a follow-up to their debut album, Volume One, in March.
3. Me & Mary by Asobi Seksu
“Me & Mary” is a single off of Hush (2009), Asobi Seksu‘s third album. The video was illustrated by Brooklynite Dan-ah Kim and directed by Aaron Stewart-Ahn, who was also behind Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Possess Your Heart” video. The color play between black and white, feather storm, and methodical trees in the video add a touch of whimsy to something otherwise dark and mercurial. The band, formerly known as Sportfuck, is set to go into the studio in April, and lead singer Yuki Chikudate recently admittedthat she misses the “loud Asobi Seksu.”
4. Id Engager by of Montreal
Leave it to the Southerners for a good dance party (and Freudian references). Hailing from Georgia, of Montreal features ninjas, reptilian-slash-human forms and a Sasquatch-ian character in the video for “Id Engager” (“I can’t help it if it’s true, don’t wanna be your man, I just want to play with you”). Animators Marc Reisbig and Hanne Berkaak directed the video and were inspired by playing Consequences, a writing game that creates a short story by passing different slips of paper amongst a group. “Id Engager” is a single from Skeletal Lamping (2008), an album on which Kevin Barnes fully revealed Georgie Fruit— his African-American transexual alter ego.
5. My Delirium by Ladyhawke
New Zealander Ladyhawke begins the video alone in a motel room. She’s suddenly transported to a prosaic pastel-colored world cruising the desert in a Ford Thunderbird, a liberating scene reminiscent of Thelma & Louise. The illustrious landscape was created by Ladyhawke’s former roommate, Sarah Larnach, and the video itself was directed by Benji Davis and Jim Field, an animation duo known as Frater.