October 2008: Johnny Love, Kids of 88, Kingston, Like You Crazy, Little Bushman, Mareko

Midwinter mildness, like a human version of the Easter Show thing where you squirt paint on a rotating circle, a band on tour, pulsing graphics, a peaceful show and women with different eye colours.

Jonny Love “The Last Day of June”

Jonny Love’s celebration of the middle of the year starts off shot in stark black and white. Soon he’s joined by a bass player and a drummer, both of whom have the shoulder-length bob of a guy who has been growing out a short haircut for about a year. The video flips into colour and the trio is joined by youthful string quartet, revealed to be on stage at Christchurch’s Isaac Theatre Royal, before the earthquake. The video nicely builds with the song, but there’s only so much that it can do.

Director: Logan McMillan

Kids of 88 “My House”

This is one of the best New Zealand pop songs ever, but it comes with a super sleazy video that’s getting YouTube commenters all hot and bothered. While the group give a 6/10 performance on a rotating platform, a series of women are splattered with paint. It starts with small spurts (and the obvious comparison), ending with giant buckets full. And full credit to the performers – they are all working hard to make getting splattered with cold paint while standing on a spinning platform look deeply sensual and pleasurable. Usually it’s men in white suits getting splattered with paint in music videos, so this is a nice change. None of the women look like they’re particularly enjoying it, but none of them look like they’re disliking it either.

Director: Jacob Thomas

Kingston “Miss You”

Like a lot of young New Zealand bands, Kingston has taken the opportunity to turn overseas touring into a music video, apparently with scenes from New York, Los Angeles, Germany, the Netherlands and I’m sure there’s some of Hamilton in there too. And true to its genre, the video features scenes of subways because New Zealand doesn’t have an underground (yet!), therefore subways are super exotic. And that’s basically the video – Kingston hamming it up in streets, public transport, recording studios and concerts around the world.

Like You Crazy “Night Rider Side Kick”

After Goodnight Nurse split, band member Jaden Parkes formed Like You Crazy. It shared a label with the other son-of-Nurse, Kids of 88. Like You Crazy is a cross between Goodnight Nurse’s emo pop sound and the electronica and same sense of melody that Kids of 88 delivered. The video shoots the band in black and white, adding pulsing graphics, a cross between an electrocardiogram and a stereo’s graphic equaliser. It’s hard to engage with it, but that’s partly due to the legacy of three different layers of vertical and horizontal letterboxing that envelops this version of the video.

Director: Haimona Ngata
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Little Bushman “Peaceful Man”

Warren Maxwell’s Little Bushman deliver “Peaceful Man”, an ode to the pacifist Te Whiti-o-Rongomai, a not uncommon song subject for New Zealand artists. The video was filmed at a concert at Wellington Town Hall in 2009, where the band were accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. It’s a simple performance video that captures the intimacy of Warren’s performance, the grandeur of the orchestra, and the vibe of the rock-meets-classical concert. Cut with that is photos and sketches of Te Whiti and the siege on Parihaka. It creates an effective and moving video.

Director: Matty Warmington
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Mareko featuring J Williams “Them Eyes”

“Them Eyes” is Mareko’s celebration of the different eye colours of “females”, making it sound like a scientific observation. But he draws upon shallow stereotypes. For example, the blue-eyed subject is not a lawyer or an X-ray technician; she’s a spoiled princess who likes to go clubbing. Boring. The video is set in a fancy holiday house, where Mareko and J Williams hang out with the women who have different eye colours. It just feels uninspired.

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