Metaphysical Monday: Music Videos

By Seth Hecox on September-3-2012 | Filed under Writing Essays For High School Students.

Metaphysical Monday:  Music Videos

Listening to music is an aural experience. Watching a video is in itself a visual experience. Viewing a music video combines the two in a (sometimes) good way. All of us remember certain music videos and how they enhanced our appreciation of a particular song. For me, one of those was Becoming The Archetype’s video for Magnetic Sky.

Just kidding.

But seriously, I still enjoy watching that. Jimmie Myers and Troy Stains deserve all the credit for that fine piece of work. If pressed about my most memorable music video, I’d probably have to say “Paranoid Android” by Radiohead. They have lots of fine music videos, but I can remember the time and place and impression of my first viewing of that video and how much it affected my view of Radiohead as a band and of OK Computer as an album.

Much like album art, I love it when bands put effort into great music videos. I generally enjoy the videos put out by Coldplay (have you seen the videos for Fix You or Paradise?) and Blink 182 and even Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’m hard-pressed to come up with anything really awesome in the Christian music underground, but I’m sure someone can remind me. I did enjoy some MxPx videos back in the day.

There’s an element of creativity that reveals itself when a creative bit of music is seamlessly paired with a creative bit of video. If music is a primary gateway to the soul (and I believe strongly that it is) and video is a primary gateway to the mind (teachers everywhere affirm the fundamental connection between observation and education), then in music videos, there is the distinct possibility of the unification of the two most powerful elements of the human essence: soul and mind!

Our deepest emotions are seated in our soul (cue arguments over where the soul is located as per the transhumanity column I did here on MM) and our cognitive processes are seated in our minds. Often, I think, the two operate in a loosely-connected manner, vaguely aware of each other’s processes. At least that’s the way I view the inner workings of my mind and soul. But in a powerful music video, the processes of the two spheres of human experience are united in a shared experience that draws together the concrete and the abstract. That is powerful!

The ability of a well-conceived music video to accomplish this task is unique and profound. In a way, it’s a fusion of the left side of the brain with the right side of the brain. By that, I mean that the concrete, practical part of your mental process gets synced (or should I say N*Sync?) with the abstract, theoretical part of your mental process. And if you’ll allow it, that fusion can be a powerful experience.

Know what I mean, jelly bean?

About the author Seth Hecox

I play music and write articles. I write the Metaphysical Monday article for IVM. I have a folk project due out later this year. I identify with the Reformed aspects of the Christian faith and I live in the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia. Follow my musical life at and my (lame) comedy life at View all posts by Seth Hecox

33 Responses to 'Metaphysical Monday: Music Videos'

  1. MrM says:

    Mutemath’s “Typical” is pretty impressive, IMO, and their video for “Blood Pressure” I find bizarrely addicting. And while I don’t advise the music video due to some highly explicit content (there is a censored version), 30 Seconds To Mars’ video for “Hurricane” gave me a whole new appreciation for the song. I also find just watching a video of the band live can (sometimes, not near as much as the music videos) really add appreciation for a song. You’re very right, putting audio and video together is powerful.

  2. MrM says:

    And I just watched the video for Magnetic Sky and it was actually, well, due to my inability to think of a better word, awesome. Much respect.

  3. Taylor C. says:

    A well-written and artfully crafted music video usually makes me love the band even more. Likewise, whenever a band releases a rocking-out-in-a-warehouse video, I lose a little respect for them. (Unless the song is “The Pursuit of Vikings” and the band is Amon Amarth.)

    Awesome post. Magnetic Sky’s video is probably my favorite music video of all time (of all time).

  4. What Is Preparedness Theory. says:

    I love me a good music video. Manchester Orchestra’s “Simple Math” is the best I have ever seen, but House of Heroes’ “In the Valley of the Dying Sun” was the first music video that affected me apart from the song.

  5. Kevin Fitz says:

    Seth, what happened to the Breathing Light video?
    I can’t find it anywhere. I’m guessing it was taken down?

    As for video’s, one of my favorites is Metallica’s video for Until it Sleeps. I thought that was a really artistic video and something I enjoyed more than the song itself even. It’s also the first video to come to mind when you mention a good music video.
    I like a lot of Dimmu Borgirs video’s as well.Very visually stimulating, haha.
    The new Impending Doom video was really cool as well. I don’t really pay much attention to music videos in all honesty.

    I’m kind of on the side with Zao though, Jeff from Zao said something about the cost for a music video being so much they could record 3 albums or 1 music video. Kind of ridiculous if you ask me, especially for an indie band. For people like Eminem, Katy Perry ect ect who are making millions and are sure to get at least 20 million views on internet alone, let alone tv, they have reason to release video’s constantly. I just feel that indie bands get screwed over in the music video world by paying so much, but yet, not gaining many fans from it. There is always Comcast though?

  6. Jimmy says:

    As I Lay Dying’s “The Darkest Night” video, or “Nothing Left” and “The Sound of Truth” that tell a story. Those two are amazing examples of the music and video working together

  7. Kevin Fitz says:

    But speaking of visual and musical at once, I am very anxious and excited to see/hear Showbread’s Cancer. I’ve listened to Cancer a bunch already, but it’ll be awesome to see how the artwork and movie coincide with the music. Their Anorexia Nervosa masterpiece was one of the greatest thing’s I’ve ever seen/heard and I wish more bands would do stuff like that, so props to them for creating that.

  8. CommanderKeen says:

    I had the pleasure and privilege to work on Demon Hunter’s LifeWar video. From that album, its the song that felt LEAST like it could produce a video, but the whole concept and execution of it changed my mind completely. Sometimes throwing in the visual element can really help to bring out and enhance the lyrical content.

    ALWAYS been a fan of MxPx’s videos too. “Chick Magnet”, “I’m OK, You’re OK”, “Want Ad”…I could go on :)

  9. thruchristalone777 says:

    I think one of the best music videos I have ever seen is Johnny Cash’s video for the song “Hurt”. That video is insanely powerful.

    Also Nickel Creek had some pretty cool videos, and Thrice’s “Image of the Invisible” was pretty cool as well.

  10. Lucas says:

    Manchester Orchestra’s video for “Simple Math” immediately came to my mind. That one is like the Inception of music videos. I love Paramore’s video for “That’s What You Get”…mainly because Hayley Williams looks amazing in it. And she has all her clothes on. :)
    Thrice’s “Image of the Invisible” is amazing and also mewithoutYou’s “January 1979” gives me goosebumps and I don’t know why…

  11. Luke Foster says:

    I liked wolves at the gates video for dead man, thats the only one i can remember right now though

  12. bradfromtampa says:

    Listener’s video for wooden heart is amazing.

  13. The music video for David Crowder’s song SMS (Shine) is amazing. probably my favorite one. i also enjoy Malevolence by A Plea For Purging

  14. scott says:

    I remember being an teen when Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child came out. “Memphis Will Be Laid to Rest” scared the junk out of me.

  15. Andy K says:

    Two memorable videos that come right off the top of my head are Living Sacrifice “Reject” and Training For Utopia “Two Hands.” Those were a couple of my favs when I was younger and I still think they are pretty great now.

  16. eleventyseven’s video for love in your arms was pretty sweet. they all get beat up by flatfoot56

    • Chris says:

      I’m still waiting for the Living Sacrifice video where their song causes These Hearts and Rocky Loves Emily to sprout facial hair and trade in their girl jeans for something more metal.

  17. Little Balloon by Jenny and Tyler may not have been phenomenal, but I thought it was really clever. :)

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