EW looks at the latest in online music videos -- We give grades to new clips from Franz Ferdinand, Beck, the Strokes, and two others

By Leah Greenblatt
December 02, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

EW looks at the latest in online music videos

God bless the Internet. While MTV provides us with roughly 76 daily rotations of the latest Game or Gwen video, online sites give less TRL-friendly artists a chance to show their stuff. Even better, you can play them on your own schedule. Our picks of the most notable below.

FRANZ FERDINAND, WALK AWAY (www.dominorecordco.com/site/downloads/franz_walk) Franz gets pensive, excellently. A pulp-noir setup in which singer Alex Kapranos and his pouty, pink-suited girl’s romance turns sour also keeps his bandmates in hot pursuit. We can’t tell if their trench coats and shades make them good guys or bad, but bonus points for the black-and-white-to-color switches, and Kapranos’ final-flourish skills with cutlery. Grade: A-

BECK, HELL YES (www.beck.com/media/index.php) The song itself is kind of a minor jam; still, who doesn’t like tiny dancing robots? Engaged in a very of-the- moment Memoirs of a Geisha fan dance, the little figures jerk and lock in tandem for a captive audience, while Mr. Hansen appears as a sort of blue-tone cowboy hologram, and a voice (actress Christina Ricci’s) intones, ”Please enjoy.” So do! Grade: B+

MORNINGWOOD, NTH DEGREE (www.morningwoodrocks.com/video.asp) Ingenious in a why-did-no-one-else-think-of-that? way, the clip uses famous album covers, from Kraftwerk to the Circle Jerks, as a jump-off to role-playing some half-dozen bygone genres, nailing almost every great cliché as they go. The song’s boppy synth chorus treads on ”Hey Mickey” territory, but the hook (and the concept) is undeniable. Grade: A

THE MAGIC NUMBERS, FOREVER LOST (www.themagicnumbers.net/music.html) The hirsute, coed foursome become animated in a sunny, superbasic style that recalls cheapie educational shorts from your junior high health class but exactly matches the song’s winsome, hippieish charms. Watch as the band wakes up, rehearses, and papers the town with show fliers?all while managing to maintain their smooth, glossy locks. Grade: B

THE STROKES, JUICEBOX (www.thestrokes.com/index2.html) Enjoy it online, kiddies, because this much non-hetero action probably won’t be hitting MTV’s high rotation any time soon. The song, a raucous, bare-bones stomper, is solid, but the mixture of vomit, same-sex make-out sessions, and incongruous rich old ladies can’t be mainstreamed by a David Cross cameo. Or maybe we’re just not cool enough to get it. Grade: C