August 2006: The Decoders, The Madison Press, The Rabble, Tourist, Tyree, Voom, Young Sid

The four corners of punk, a fantasy marionette world, a dystopian landscape, cruisin’ down a country road, and a minimalist bellboy.

The Decoders “Crash and Burn”

Dystopian landscapes are common enough in music videos, but they seem to be showing up all the time in the mid ’00s. My theory is that when times are bad, people want lovely escapism, but when times are good there’s space for the luxury of misery. Don’t worry – the global financial crisis is only a few years off. So yeah, The Decoders are performing their song on top of some sort of futuristic aircraft, giving very serious rock face and hooning around a fairly decent CGI dystopian landscape. Disappointingly, the opportunity was missed to have the futuristic aircraft crash and burn.

Director: Darren S Cook

The Madison Press “Fighting Fire with Fire”

The band are dressed in black, except for lead singer Jooles who is wearing white, including white gloves. He looks a bit like a minimalist bellboy. There’s a background of ominous grey clouds, while the image itself sometimes shimmers and distorts. The song feels like it needs something a bit more complex than just a standard band performance video.

Director: Guy Tichborne
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Rabble “Friday Night”

This video alternates between The Rabble stuck in dead-end office jobs (includes scenes of face photocopying), and rocking out because it’s Friiiiiday. But look at this rather nicely composed shot:


It’s a fairly ordinary group shot – or is it? An excited YouTube commenter has discovered that the four band members might just each represent a subgenre of punk. From left to right: skate punk, pop punk, street punk and emo.

Director: Paul Taylor

Tourist “Minutes Last For Years”

The thing is, if a music video is going to involve a vintage car, the Desert Road and relationship drama, it’s going to evoke the legendary Bruno Lawrence Peanut Slab ad from the ’90s. And that Peanut Slab ad packed more into 30 seconds than the Tourist video manages in four minutes. Despite the lack of chocolate, the video was a finalist for the 2007 Juice TV Awards.

Director: David Paul
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Tyree “I Need a Girl”

Tyree’s ode to finding the perfect girl goes Bonnie and Clyde ’06 in the video. Tyree and his missus are bank robbers, but it’s ok – as a news article explains, they give their money to “kids and local people” of Papatoetoe. Their last job before their planned escape to Brazil (which seems to involve robbing the intersection of Customs Street East and Commerce Street) goes tragically wrong, with the Bonnie getting shot.

Director: Andrew Morton
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Voom “Beautiful Day”

The “Beautiful Day” video takes place in a fantasy marionette world of jailhouse badgers, hot air ballooning sheep, a constable fox and other furry friends. Along with Voom, they’re all headed for a tea party in the woods. It’s delightful but at the same time there’s a slightly sinister undercurrent. The puppetry is great. With so much possible via computer animation, it’s nice to see a video going old school.

Director: Trophy Wife Productions
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Young Sid “Undisputed”

This was Young Sid’s debut, a bold assertion of his arrival on the scene. But it’s so different from Mareko’s over-the-top debut, “Here To Stay” three years earlier. The video has a kid playing a very young Young Sid, and the video flips between the young and the old – the past, the present and the future. New Zealand hip hop had enjoyed a very successful run in the early ’00s, but things had got a bit ridiculous with so many cookie-cutter “in the club” anthems. At the very least, from the “Undisputed” video, Young Sid feels like something fresh and new, moving on from the cliches that had been clogging the scene.

Director: Andrew Morton


Two things I’ve started to noticed about videos from the mid ’00s:

  1.  A lot of videos don’t have the NZ On Air watermark. I’m going to assume this is because that while videos had to have the watermark for New Zealand television broadcast, there was no such requirement for online use. And it makes sense – a decade ago television was still how people watched music videos. YouTube was a generally inferior alternative, likely seen more as an additional promo tool, rather than the primary media.
  2. And not as many of these videos have been lodged with Nga Taonga Sound & Vision. I hope this is something that gets fixed soon. I feel nervous when a video isn’t in the film archive.

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