Sunday night Chris Cunningham premiered his first music video in about four years at MoMA, an epic bit of subway window Chiaroscuro for Gil Scott-Heron’s plaintive wail of a song, “New York Is Killing Me.” It’s easily the best music video ever shot in the New York City subway, but there are at least four other videos that make good use of the MTA…
Michael Jackson, “Bad”: Though it involved no actual subway trains, just leather-clad loitering in the Hoyt Schermerhorn station in Downtown Brooklyn—and, in the extended version of the Scorsese-directed, Richard Price-penned music video, a long Metro North sequence—this video still seems to inform most New Yorkers’ subway etiquette.
Flight of the Conchords, “Inner City Pressure”: Perhaps befitting a song all about not having enough money to do anything in the city, the boys walk under the JM(Z) tracks on Broadway, briefly make it halfway up the staircase to the Marcy Avenue stop platform, but then keep walking.
Savage Garden, “I Knew I Loved You”: According to Wikipedia, this wasn’t really shot on a subway, but rather on the set from the Seinfeld episode “The Subway,” which took place entirely on subways. Remember that? (Remember Savage Garden?)
Macy Gray, “I Try”: Yep, really digging here, to the point that we’re going to watch this video again (muted, maybe), which follows Ms. Gray from her condo, via bus, into the 53rd Street station and catching what looks like an exceptionally clean V train.