Three Must-See Music Videos that Celebrate the Future

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How do you pin-point the moment when something moves out of the realm of social outcasts and closet loves, and into the light of general acceptance, and ‘even the gas station clerk knows what that is’?

One pretty clear indicator is when it makes its way into pop music. Here are three music videos that celebrate science fiction in a beautiful, surreal way.

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Paradise  by Within Temptation

Within Temptation is pretty much one of my favourite bands ever, sandwiched right in between Delain and Evanescence. They’re a Dutch metal symphonic band. Paradise (What About Us) features the guest vocalist Tarja Turunen, who is a haunting counterpart to the lead singer Sharon den Adel.

The music video starts out by depicting a bleak bombed-out world, where crosses mark mass graves, and skyscrapers stand abandoned, or in ruins. “All in all you’d expect the wise to be wiser.” Two figures in masks starts collecting pieces of scrap from radioactive labs and other parts of the scenery, and build a contraption that turns out to be a cloud seeder of some kind. “No, it’s not a paradise, but it’s all we want and it’s all that we’re fighting for.” The strange machine works it’s magic, and it begins to rain, bringing life back tot he previously dead planet.

The song itself was based on a speech given by General Peter van Uhm on May 4th, the Dutch Day of Remembrance.

Those who serve don’t think only in terms of ‘me.’ Those who serve don’t think only in terms of ‘them.’ Those who serve also think in terms of ‘us.’ That is where the victory over injustice begins. Because freedom, equality and justice, a better world, are made by working together.

You can read a copy of the full speech here.

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Alligator Sky by Owl City

If you haven’t already seen this video then you must live under a rock. Or you just got back from a trip to Mars and you’re still catching up on all the progress we’ve made in music videos since then.

Alligator Sky is unique in that it paints  a rather typical picture of an abandoned planet, all the way down to the muted color scheme. But after a moment you realize that something is different, and it’s not just the upbeat happy music. The streets are strewn with debris–but instead of shattered glass and rubble the debris consists of confetti, streamers, and party cups. Instead of headlines announcing the arrival of nuclear war, the papers left in the vending machines announce “Farewell to Earth.” Instead of Earth’s population abandoning it because it’s no longer habitable, the story is that they’ve left for somewhere else. They’ve gone to pursue the stars. It’s a beautiful, optimistic and surreal portrait of humanity which stands out in stark contrast to the usual apocalypse and dystopia views of science fiction.

The video also have a very whimsical, retro-futuristic feel to it. From the fish-bowl helmet worn by guest star Shawn Chrystopher, to the retro, analogue camera he uses to take pictures of the abandoned streets, abandoned cities, and even the grand canyon. When he returns to his shiny, but still familiar rocket ship were Adam Young is waiting, we are left with the feeling that this was nothing more but a tourist stop by two astronauts on a tour of the universe.

Now I’ma dance like I never danced
Sing like I never sing, dream like I never dreamed
Or tried to , ’cause we’ve been lied to
That the sun is somethin’ that we can’t fly to

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Space Oddity by Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield has made a reputation for himself as the astronaut who made space cool again. During his stint on the International Space Station he uploaded a number of youtube videos, from what happens when you wring out a wet wash cloth in space, to how to brush your teeth. He also took his guitar with him, and apparently recorded enough covers that he’s releasing the first music album recorded in space.

His cover of “Space Oddity” features stunning views of and from the ISS, and has been viewed on Youtube over twenty-five million times. The song itself was written by David Bowie and released just before Apollo 11 successfully landed on the moon.

If you haven’t seen this video yet, then you’re past due to watch history being made. And if you have, then it’s probably time to watch it again.


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