June 2007: Pluto, Shapeshifter, Simple Day, SJD, So So Modern, Solstate, Spacifix

Red light special, the kids TV aesthetic, a grown-up game of chasey, the drum tech and the return of the giant cassette tape.

Pluto “French Grave”

Milan from Pluto is being chased through a very gloomy forest by other members of the band. We don’t know why, but it’s probably a very serious reason like he’s late for band practice. There’s one part where the guys seems to be being pulled along on the ground, but I can’t quite work out what’s happening (the video is very dark). It’s a very moody, atmospheric game of chasey.

Director: Jonathan Gerard
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Shapeshifter “Dutchies” – missing

I can’t find any sign of there ever having been a video made for “Dutchies”, but it’s on the list so I’m going to remain hopeful. “Dutchies” is the opening track of Shapeshifter’s fifth LP, so I was wondering if another album track had a video made instead, but I can’t find evidence of a NZOA-funded video from that era.

Simple Day “Amit the Indian”

According to their bio, Simple Day were formed to parody bad punk-pop songs, but the group ended up liking what they’d made and, er, pursued a career in bad punk-pop (?). It’s a basic performance video with the band playing and Amit the actual Indian setting up the drumkit as the drummer plays. The video is another reminder of how much eyeliner and dyed-black, straightened hair was happening in the mid ’00s. It’s not hard to see the early ’10s beard revolution as the total flipside of emo style.

SJD “I Wrote This Song For You”

I was at a party in at a cool flat Kingsland in 2007 when a friend noticed a giant cardboard cassette tape and had a fangirl moment when she realised it was from the “I Wrote This Song For You” music video. Yay. The video uses giant props like that to illustrate the lyrics, with some kitchy dancing girls to add to the fun. It’s a chaotic but cool video and it’s a good enough testimony that one of the video props made a great decor item in a Kingland flat.

Director: Chris White

So So Modern “Skeleton Dance” – missing

The “Skeleton Dance” video was online until recently, as evidenced by this page that still lists full production credits. It looks like it was an elaborate stop-motion animation, which makes its absence just that bit more sad. Skeletons are so hot right now!

Director: Liam Bachler

Solstate “Against & With”

There are two settings in this video. Either it’s the lead singer walking down an alleyway, or it’s the band performing in a red-lit studio. The studio looks better and there are some nice shots. Other times, though we’re treated to things like close-ups of guitar playing, which I actually think would appeal to Solstate’s bogan rock fanbase.

Director: Ivan Slavov
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Spacifix “Old Skool”

It turns out that Spacifix were managed by the same guy behind Purest Form. He’d been looking for a new group to manage and ended up in a bidding war against former NZ Idol judge Paul Ellis of Sony. The winning managers told NZ Musician that they “sold [Spacifix] on a step by step marketing strategy and business plan, telling them that small steps would build to long term success and with big steps they would fall real quick.” Well, they released an album. That’s more than Purest Form managed.

Anyway – “Old Skool”. First we start with the remix. It has a sung chorus and rapped verses, including a guest appearance from AMC (and you can read about his video shoot here). The video is shot at a skate park (so urban) and also features the Spacifix bus. Yes, Spacifix had their own bus. The video ends with a glimpse of the non-remixed version of the song and the threatening legend “To be continued”.

And that leads us to the “Old Skool” video.

It inexplicably takes place on a Japanese TV show. That is, before the song starts a couple of Japanese presenters give an intro. No one further Japanese people appear in the video. The song is a P-Funk inspired ’70s throwback, but the video seems to have taken its inspiration from 1980s children’s television. It’s always full-on and is in desperate need for some shadows to balance the brightness. Oh, like the remix?

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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