June 2008: Connan Mockasin, Die! Die! Die!, Disasteradio, Elemeno P, Elston Gun, False Start, Fur Patrol

Adventures in cardboard, a tight edit, getting to the end of the alphabet, the very feminine hands, inside a boombox, a foxy tale, and it’s all gravy, baby.

Connan Mockasin “Egon Hosford”

Here’s Connan in a room lined with cardboard, hanging out with some people in extravagant costumes. Yep.

Director: Sammy Handley

Die! Die! Die! “People Talk”

This video is all about editing – and shoes. I started watching this video and there was a shot of one of the band members’ grey Chucks and I remembered that I needed some so I ordered a pair from an online shoe store. I guess that means this music video is my aesthetic. It has lots of tightly cut shots of the band playing live, including a 50 second repeating shot of a very gradually advancing scene. The editing is tightly connected with the music. It’s not just cutting with the beat, but lets the music drive and define how the video is edited.

Director: Special Problems

Disasteradio “Gravy Rainbow”

“Gravy Rainbow” is a super fun video, a combination of Disasteradio’s enthusiastic dance moves, a delightful cartoon background and puppets. But what’s most significant about it is that “Gravy Rainbow” went viral – it even has an entry on Know Your Meme. The video has over 870,000 views on YouTube – compare that with the total number of views of all others videos in this funding round –  just over 1.5 million total, an average of only 51,700 per video. The “Gravy Rainbow” video was more popular than those by Connan Mockasin, Gin Wigmore, the Phoenix Foundation and the Black Seeds – combined.

The gravy changed everything. It signalled the evolution of music videos being made for television in service of radio playlists and CD sales, towards videos having a new home base online, where racking up hundreds of thousands of views was more of an achievement than getting playlisted on a top 40 radio station. And things still continue to evolve.

Director: Simon Ward
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Elemeno P “Louder Louder”

“Louder Louder” was Elemeno P’s final funded video, the last single off their last album. As it happens, the song is one of their best, the sound of a band that was growing into a sophisticated pop-rock sound. The video is reminiscent of the simple colourful look of band’s second video, “Nirvana” from 2002, only a bit slicker. Since their first funded video in 2001, Elemeno P have produced 15 videos, all of which are nicely archived in the band’s Vevo page. I’ve found that while I might not necessarily enjoy their songs, the videos are always good, full of clever visual ideas and with the band giving lively performances. And always with good hair.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Elston Gun “White Noise”

This was the first and only funded video from Wellington band Elston Gun. They have that nu rock sound that was big in the early ’00s, so it’s hard to figure out where a band with this sound fit in the late ’00s, when things were getting more digital. The video puts the band in a dark studio space, leaving them to rock out. Occasionally the band’s lead singer gets a shoulder massage from some disembodied female hands – and they’ve really gone to a lot of effort to make the hands look feminine. It’s all very adequate, but despite the band’s energy, there’s little to get excited about.

Director: Richard Bell
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

False Start “What Will It Be Like?”

False Start ditch their earnest emo rock style for some earnest 1980s neon-coloured leisurewear. They play the part of a tiny band resident in a boombox carried around by Kimberley Crossman wearing aerobics gear. The video seems too obsessed with the notion of the “band in the boombox” and spends 12 seconds messing around with the audio of the song as Kimberley fiddles with the equaliser sliders. While the vid has the potential for fun, it ends up being a one-joke video that wears out fast.

Director: James Solomon
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Fur Patrol “Silences & Distances”

Using paper animal cut-outs with human eyes, “Silences and Distances” tells a fable of a fox who longs to befriend a squirrel and a ferret. It seems inspired by Aesop’s fables, but as far as I can tell, it’s not one of the famous fables. The video is full of sadness, both with the fox’s seemingly genuine desire to make new friends, and the inevitability that it just can’t help killing them instead. Damn.

Director: Anna Lea Kelly

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