December 2007: Bruce Conlon, Cassette, Charlie Ash, Cut Off Your Hands, Die! Die! Die!, Donald Reid

A wander in new Zeeland, indie weirdness, a fish guitar, Westland bush, cardboard boxes, and a band plays their song.

Bruce Conlon “Long Lost Friend”

This video was filmed in the town of Zeeland, Michigan, which – like New Zealand¬†– was named after the Dutch province of Zeeland.¬†The star of the video is a guy in a bear costume who wanders about the snowy Michigan streets collecting pink balloons. It’s nice looking video – especially the bear’s pink balloons and yellow cardigan – but it all feels a bit too music video at the expense of the song.

Cassette “Look at You”

This video ain’t in no hurry. It uses a collage animation style, based around a rowboat containing three men and a cherry tree. The boat gently rocks across the ocean, but there’s also a curious bird and a man strumming a fish as if ’twere a guitar. It’s just as well that the song ain’t in no hurry either.

Director: Anna Kelly

Charlie Ash “Come Back Lover”

Oh, hello pop. New Zealand music has such an awkward relationship with pure pop. It always has to be disguised as something else. In this case, it’s cloaked in indie weirdness, about to have its cover blown when Lady Gaga came along in 2008 and made indie weirdness an ordinary part of mainstream pop. The video creates a dark mirrored world of crystal balls and hands. It’s like a gothic version of Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” video.

Director: Tim Van Dammen

Cut Off Your Hands “Oh Girl”

“Oh Girl” gets creative with cardboard boxes painted various colours. Sometimes the boxes are loosely lying on the ground, other times the band members are stacking them up. And finally they form a full height wall, only to get smash down. This seems like the perfect low-budget video. A basic set-up but really strong visuals. And easy to recreate at home!

Director: Special Problems

Die! Die! Die! “White Horses”

This is one of those videos that I don’t know how to deal with. It’s just quite boring. There’s the band, they’re playing their song, it looks cool, nothing much happens. Yeah…

Donald Reid “Hitting On Me”

“Hey, taxi driver, won’t you take me to a city,” demands Donald. The taxi in question is an old truck, with Donald standing on the back, getting thwacked by ferns as it drives out of the Westland bush and towards the bustling metropolis of Karamea. It’s like a less glam version of Stellar’s “Taken” video, but as Donald comes closer to Karamea, things get surreal. Two women join Don on the truck, where they proceed to paint his face. Then the townspeople of Karamea throw a parade for Donald, which is just the sort of thing that small towns love.

Director: Ed Davis
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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