I have a new theory on it, though: it's nostalgia for the kind of gear that everyone had back in the 19A0s -- back when we all watched our LaserDiscs on small 3-gun front-projection televisions, and every time someone slammed a door in the house, the guns would twitch out of alignment. You remember that, don't you? Don't you?
Here's a more typical offender, which I happened to see just today. Raised black-level 20% to make it feel "old-timey"? Check. Inserted video "glitch" effects that have never, ever occurred in nature? Check. (e.g. 0:36, 1:03).
See that filter-sweep knob on your fancy DJ mixer? Yeah, don't use that.
Other things that make me immediately hit "next" on a video without watching it:
- Precocious children. Seriously, stop having ten-year-olds lip-sync your music while doing cute or terrible things. It's not original. It's not creepy. It's just boring. (Ok, I will grudgingly make an exception for M83. And there is a Zombie Exemption. But these outliers are very few and far between.)
- Traditional animation of the hand-drawn, paper-cutout or stop-motion variety. I feel weird saying this, but I have come to despise hand-drawn animation. Every time I see it in a music video I assume that what happened is that someone's final project for their first-year animation class just had a soundtrack slapped onto it. (That goes double for anything that was obviously made with Flash.) It seems cheap and lazy.
- Live performance videos. You have to be almost-impossibly charming to make a two-camera live shoot not be boring. It is not the same as being there.
- Videos made entirely of repurposed "found footage" of old industrial films. I have a huge amount of respect for the Prelinger Archive, but come on... seen it.
- And of course anything set next to a pool or a car, but that's an indicator that it's not really a music video but is actually a softcore porno with a soundtrack extruded from some kind of autotuned Ministry of Sound pink slime machine.
I watch a lot of videos. I have opinions.