October 2007: Salmonella Dub, Tahuna Breaks, The Black Seeds, The Brunettes, The Phoenix Foundation, Tiki Taane

Sunny Vanuatu, alluvial planes, epic littering, alien love, a Hadlee shrine, and a one-man show.

Salmonella Dub “Love Sunshine & Happiness”

Hey, do you like alluvial plains? If so, you’re gonna love this video! There are a few shots of the band performing the song in a recording studio, but most of the video is aerial shots of landscapes of the South Island. So there are mountains, rivers, coats and plenty of alluvial plains. This isn’t the first time a New Zealand video like this has been made – it’s not even the first time Salmonella Dub have done it. So yeah, if you’re into alluvial plains you will love the “Love Sunshine & Happiness” video. If not, it doesn’t have much to set it apart from a random scenic New Zealand video.

Director: John Chrisstoffels

Tahuna Breaks “Real Life”

This video follows a discarded piece of paper, from an office printer to a city, and on to the coast (it travels long distance when it gets stuck in a car’s hubcap). The paper also shows an animated silhouette of the band playing. It’s quite a cool concept. Because this is New Zealand, the paper ends up in the ocean, liberated.

Director: Chris Greet
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Black Seeds “One by One”

This song was used on an episode of Breaking Bad – the one where Walter and Jesse go into the desert and do a big meth cook in the RV, only to discover that the vehicle’s battery has gone flat, stranding them. There’s a big montage scene of the cooking, and “One By One” plays under that. And that is how musicians make money now that no one buys singles.

But away from the New Mexico desert we find the Black Seeds relaxing in sunny Vanuatu. They were there to perform at the Fest’ Napuan music festival, but they took some time out to shoot a music video and a behind-the-scenes video (for Vodafone’s newfangled mobile video service). It’s a super relaxed video, mainly the guys hanging out with the friendly locals at Mele village. It’s maybe not as edgy as a mobile P lab, but it’s more enjoyable.

Director: Gareth Moon

The Brunettes “If You Were Alien”

“If You Were Alien” is a sweet song, where both Jonathan and Heather Brunette tell their sweetie that they’d stick with them, even if they were an alien. The video is animated, with a few still shots of the Brunettes used to illustrate them. The video is just as cute as the song, but the shortcuts used in the animation style at times make it feel repetitive.

Director: Nugu
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Phoenix Foundation “Bleaching Sun”

The “Bleaching Sun” video is set at Foxton Cricket, but was actually filmed at the Cornwall Park Cricket Club in Auckland. The video creates a dreamy cricket ground, with the neighbouring buildings of Greenland hospital digitally replaced with trees. The video sees the band playing cricket, performing the song and relaxing in the sun. A couple of New Zealand cricketers make cameos, and there’s a shrine dedicated to Sir Richard Hadlee. Of course there is.

Director: Luke Savage, Puck Murphy
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Tiki Taane “Always On My Mind”

This song was hugely popular, peaking at No.1 and sticking around in the top 40 for over a year. The video opens with a model of the “Heathcote Valley Hall”, which seems to have been inspired by the real Valley Inn in Christchurch (since demolished, but rebuilt in a similar style). The camera slowly zooms in and we find Tiki performing the song in a dark room, lit with an Elvis-style sign saying “TIKI” in lights, reflected in a liquid floor. The video is shot in one take, putting the emphasis on the song, with its romantic lyrics and simple acoustic guitar backing.

Director: Bret Nichols, Gary Mackay

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