October 2008: Cairo Knife Fight, Cobra Khan, Collapsing Cities, Dave Dobbyn, Devolo, J Williams

Nature vs wallpaper, bloody lovers, Uncle Dave’s musical adventure, when shyness stops you from doing all the things in live you’d like to, and a solo dance.

Cairo Knife Fight “Come Home To Me” – missing

There’s no sign of this video – and even the song is hard to come by, but you can hear it here. But Nga Taonga has it listed in its archives, so I can only assume it does exist.

Director: Ed Davis
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Cobra Khan “Graze the Earth”

Cobra Khan serves more of their relentless rock. The video sets them in a gloomy room, decorated with patterned wallpaper, 10 years after Blur brought back the look in their “Song 2” video. But there’s something unusual happening here. The walls have holes punched in them, with light streaming through. It’s never really explained, but they’re evocative of air holes punched in a box. The room is also invaded by plants, suggesting that nature is very much finding a way.

Director: Luke McPake
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Collapsing Cities “In the Valley”

After an ambiguous opening, the video soon introduces us to two women, all glammed up with  pearls, lace, stockings, red lipstick and desire. They then proceed to lez it up, prompting one YouTube to say, “I didn’t really like the song, but damn! That was steaming HOT!” The steaming hot continues until suddenly the women start to be covered in blood. What’s going on? Are they vampires? Injury-prone lovers? Or has one of them just got her period? It makes the song’s best line – “We swapped girlfriends and never talked about it again” – even better.

Director: Tim van Dammen

Dave Dobbyn “Wild Kisses Like Rain”

“Wild Kisses Like Rain” has a lot of quirky instruments used in it, like triangles, shakers and rattles. The video is a simple studio performance and it seems determined to show how all the unusual noises are created. Instead of letting the instrumentation be part of the song, it keeps showing the smiling triangle dinger, making the video feel more like a “hey kids, music is fun” education film than a music video.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Devolo “Too Shy”

The “Too Shy” video starts with a prompt for viewers to text Vodafone for some sort of Devolo-related treat. And the Vodafone relationship extends further with cellphones featuring prominently in the video. Devolo might be too shy to talk to the girl of his dreams, but he’s not afraid to text her. The song itself has an edgier electronic sound, moving away from the blinged-out sounds favoured in hip hop in the earlier ’00s, and a sign of where popular music was heading.

Director: Ivan Slavov

J Williams “Set It Off”

Whenever I watch a J Williams video, I’m always so impressed by the dancing, but after a while I start to feel like the family in CB4 who are so impressed by Wacky Dee’s dancing (“Did I mention before that I can daaaance?”). J is joined by members of the Prestige Dance Crew and between the six of them, there are some really good hip hop moves. But despite the lyric’s cry that “I just wanna dance with you”, J dances alone on the podium. His dream, at least for the duration of the video, has not come true.

Director: Sophie Findlay
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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