Simon Vozick-Levinson
July 25, 2007 AT 12:00 PM EDT

We all know how seriously Kanye West takes his videos. Remember the king-sized kerfluffle he caused last fall when his “Evel Kanyevel” clip for “Touch the Sky” lost an MTV Europe award? Or the mind-blowing eyewear he promised (and delivered) in his “Stronger” video? Well, he’s just unveiled what might be his grandest video accomplishment yet. It’s an alternate clip for his excellent single “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” and it looks a lot like the first one he shot — except that instead of Mr. West and a desolate landscape, it stars scruffy funnyman Zach Galifianakis and rangy alt-folkie Will Oldham, aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy. (Okay, fine, it looks nothing like the first one he shot.) Take a look, then check back after the jump for my take.

Galifianakis’ deadpan antics turn out to be perfect for “Can’t TellMe Nothing.” From his opening chainsaw-wielding pose to his messianicimmersion in that murky river, he nails the song’s grandioseatmosphere — and I can’t help but crack up every time the camera cuts toa close-up of his enraged mug. (One shot of his thrusting crotchprobably would have sufficed, though.) Still, to my eyes, Oldham stealsevery scene he’s in without saying (er, lip-synching) a word. He’s justan inherently creepy-looking guy, and his deranged, Elaine Benes-styledancing has a weirdly hypnotic power; coming out of his mouth, YoungJeezy’s “ha-HA” ad libs sound positively demonic. All in all, this clipought to do pretty well for itself on YouTube. If only Kanye releasedalternate versions of all his videos with unexpected guests from theworld of indie rock!

You’ll notice that I’ve neglected to mention the Swiss farm girldance troupe — all kidding aside, who were those people?! Let me knowwhat else I missed, or if you’ve got a different take on Kanye’s bigjoke.

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