Videodrone: Sufjan Gets Animated

Nov 8th, 2006 // 10 Comments

We love this animated clip for “Put The Lights On The Tree”, the first single from Sufjan Stevens’ upcoming Songs For Christmas box set. But we have to admit that we’re a little bit biased, because it was created by animator Tom Eaton, a friend of Idolator who’s performed with Stevens, and who’s collaborated with Sub Pop singer Rosie Thomas. We asked Tom to list his favorite animated music videos for us; after the click-through, a collection of clips that are even more cartoonish than that Eminem footage we put up this morning.

Pointer Sisters – Pinball Number Count
This video was my favorite part of Sesame Street, what with its trippy design and the otherworldly Pointer Sisters track. I’d be so disappointed when the ball went down the final chute and it was all over. So… it’s great that this version is extra long.

Junior Senior – Move your Feet

I’m a big fan of lo-fi animation. Jr./Sr.’s music combined with dancing toast and exploding dolphins makes what must be the perfect animated video.

Tom Tom Club – Genius Of Love

I love these scribbly James Rizzi designs and the scrappy, off-the-wall pacing.

Grizzly Bear – Deep Sea Diver

Tyler Coburn’s hand drawn, creepy video game treatment of Grizzly Bear.

Kraftwerk – Autobahn

At the premiere party for my short Thinking Cap World” in Subtonic, the bartender told me about this epic video. Roger Mainwood’s visualization is fantastic, turning the music into literal blips and tubes. I’m less into the classic rock imagery in the middle… but the boundless curiosity of the main character completely matches the wonder felt listening to this track.

Sufjan Stevens – Put The Lights On The Tree [YouTube]
Good Eaton Animation


  1. katie_a_princess

    LOVE the sufjan clip

  2. Emily Gould

    I get that Pointer Sisters tune stuck in my head all the time! Bizarre.

  3. AndrewTaylor

    OK so I had no idea the Pointer Sisters did the number count song. That was the coolest retroactive childhood realization I’ve had in a while.

  4. Anonymous

    wow. the pinball vid. brings me back.

    also, though. one of my faves? radiohead’s paranoid android.

  5. mickeyprecious

    Awesome! I love me some Tom Eaton animation!

  6. claudiachloe

    Tom Eaton: Master.

  7. MosH8ed

    I just realized that the Tom Tom Club was founded by Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz from the Talking Heads… pretty cool!

  8. Dickdogfood

    Dude! Dude! Jason Forrest’s “War Photographer”! It’s the cutest thing! Viking band geeks conquering evil!

  9. The Mozfather

    I like some of his stuff, but sometimes Sufjan is so Sufjan, ya know? Those whispered verses! The pretending-to-be-school-children choir! The brass instrument and xylophone noodlings! The ultra-twee references to Jesus! Someone crying in the lyrics! It’s like someone blended Illinoise and scooped out all the froth and whipped into a Christmas greeting.

  10. Justin (@ Live Music Blog)

    Is this Kraftwerk’s first mention on Idolator? Keep that up; they rule. And so does that video…

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