A cowgirl workout, Manhattan sightseeing, poets, kitchens, cafes and that cinema in Auckland where the carpet always feels like it’s going to peel off.
Betchadupa “Empty Head”
“Empty Head” was Betchadupa’s first single, back at a time when these fresh-faced teens were mainly known for their famous rock dads. Lead singer Liam spends most of the video being a cool rock dude in his underground rock bunker, while the rest of the band bring comedic antics around the newly opened Force Entertainment Centre.
Greg Johnson “Let Time Be Still”
“Let Time Be Still” was based on a poem by James K Baxter, as part of the 2000 tribute album Baxter. It’s different from typical Greg Johnson songs, with more of a simple electronic sound. The video is shot in blue-tinted monochrome, filmed around the remote Whanganui settlement of Jerusalem. There’s also footage of a woman with a moko wandering around a city area.
“Workout” was over-the-top Europop, the kind of stuff that the newly opened Universal Music NZ was experimenting with. (It’s no surprise that Purrr opened for the Vengaboys.) The video puts Mel, Vivian and Nikki in sexy club cowgirl outfits and lays on the dancing and drama. It is completely magnificent.
Sam Hunt with SansAmp “Your Body Has No Flaw”
SansAmp was producer Jon Cooper and musician Ted Brown, who took a recording of Sam Hunt reading his poem, chopped it up and put it back together with music for a funky expression of admiration. The video uses footage of Sam Hunt in the studio and on the road.
Director: Paul Casserly
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Strawpeople “It’s Not Enough”
The CGI singer from “Drive” makes another appearance, this time voiced by Victoria Kelly and hanging out in Las Vegas. Any potential for Vegas excesses is tempered by shooting the city at night, creating more of a feeling of cool urban bustle.
Thorazine Shuffle “More Than Anyone”
“More Than Anyone” was Thorazine Shuffle’s final funded music video. It’s a sweet love song, but the video takes the form of homemade travel video shot around Manhattan. It’s a guerrilla shoot, using a stealthy earbud in order to film a lip sync without having to organise the minimum $2 million general liability insurance policy that the MTA would otherwise require for shooting in the subway.
Betchadupa “Spill the Light”
“Spill the Light” was directed by Gerald Philips, a young design school student who worked with the band on several other videos. “Spill the Light” was a one-man effort by Gerald, as he was the director, camera operator, animator, editor and he’s the guy in the video sitting in the kitchen, listening to music. The video was made by him printing out and tracing over frames of the footage – it took months to complete. He talks about the process in this profile in The Big Art Trip – go to part three.
Director: Gerald Phillips
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Pitch Black “Electric Earth”
The NZ On Air database had this song listed as “Rhythms & Mutations”, but that’s just a line from a sample used in the song. The “Electric Earth” video goes with the themes of the song and is based around images of both the natural and electronic world, chaos and control.
Purrr “Can’t Stop”
Purrr have such ambitious pop videos. “Can’t Stop” puts the trio in a cafe, with the lead singer falling in love with a customer, a guy who does the worst dad-dancing with his head. There’s formation dancing, which comes across more like a flashmob, then a Wonder Woman-style transformation which puts the trio in the club, wearing low-rise disco trousers and bikini tops. Ugh, I never ever want a revival of fashion from 2000. Ever.
Before Friday “Your Kiss”
This was Before Friday’s final single as a duo before reforming as Dean Chandler the solo artist, with Ben Bell-Booth has his drummer and manager. The video sees the pair as seemingly invisible cupids, taking polaroids of troubled lovers in an attempt to foster more love. The end result is a cross between creepy and adorable, but if it works, I guess that’s ok.
Director: Greg Riwai
Strawpeople “City Lights”
Leza Corban returns as the vocalist on this track. The is based around a triptych of images based around city scenes, as well as Leza singing the song. It’s like all those videos that are made up of random footage in big overseas cities, only with carefully chosen shots and skilled and thoughtful editing.