June 2008: Tahuna Breaks, The Black Seeds, The Phoenix Foundation, The Transistors, Tono and the Finance Company, Tyna, Zeisha

A backing band, steampunk workings, a jog along the beach, nanny cam rock, a modern apartment and channelling Britney.

Tahuna Breaks “Casually Acquainted”

“Casually Acquainted” is a pretty ordinary funk/soul tune and the video is a just as ordinary performance-based video. Much of the video’s attention goes to the two women in the band’s brass section – especially the trumpet player, who is having more fun than the rest of the band combined. This signals a lack of confidence in the screen appeal of the rest of the band.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Black Seeds “Slingshot”

“Slingshot” is a song of karma, and the video puts the band in the richly animated setting of the inner working of an old steam-punk-ish fortune-telling machine. So amid the cogs and steam and hydraulics, the Black Seeds can be found. It’s moody and cool, and an evolutionary step from the groups earlier, lighter videos.

Director: Preston McNeil, Jeremy Mansford
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Phoenix Foundation “40 Years”

“40 Years” is another collaboration between The Phoenix Foundation and Taika Waititi. The video stars Taika as a jogger whose run along Queens Parade in Lyall Bay turns into a thrilling obstacle course, filled with picnickers, a military checkpoint, sword-wielding warriors and a fake animals. The video is shot in a continuous take and it has a chaotic energy to it, the sense that anything could go wrong at any point. But it doesn’t, and it ends up being a joyful celebration of Wellington life.

Director: Taika Waititi
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Transistors “Cave In”

The Transistors turned up with a rough ‘n’ ready video, made by Mint Chicks frontman Kody Nielson. The video is shot through fisheye camera, film in black and white, like secret nanny cams left in the band’s rehearsal space. The video is an explosion of energy, barely contained by the video.

Director: Kody Nielson

Tono and the Finance Company “Love & Economics” – missing

Tono and the Finance Company was the early project of Silver Scroll nominee Anthonie Tonnon. The song cleverly contrasts the two topics of the title. There’s no sign of the video online, but it’s in Nga Taonga’s archives. Here’s a live performance.

Director: Doug Marsh
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Tyna featuring Hepaklypz –  “Overjoyed”

The “Overjoyed” video starts out with Tyna being a bad-ass rapper on the street, before switching to a modern apartment where we are promised “the other side of Tyna”. This is his sensitive side, his singing side. “Overjoyed” is a full-on, non-cynical love song. A couple of guys from Nesian Mystik are along for the ride, as is Hepaklypz and friends, as well as Tyna’s lady woman. It’s a very nice video.

Zeisha featuring PNC “Secret Game”

I don’t know Zeisha, but 10 years ago I was in a short film with her. She played a Muppets-loving dream girl whereas I said “Yarr, shit me balls” in a pirate voice. A few years later Zeisha was launching her music career with the sultry “Secret Game”.

As Zeisha told NZ On Screen, the video was partly inspired by Britney Spears (the “Born to Make You Happy” and “Toxic” vids, surely). And while it does have the style of a Britney video, it doesn’t have the budget, so any time where it looks a little cheaply put together, it really looks cheap. (Oh, why is pop so hard to do well in New Zealand?) But when the video is good, it’s great. Sally Tran has an eye for cute and girly looks, and the dancers add some welcome style.

Director: Sally Tran

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