October 2008: Solstate, The Black Seeds, The Mint Chicks, The Tutts, Upper Hutt Posse

A caring world, the case of the disappearing seeds, owl vs robot, the power of the green screen and warrior spirit.

Solstate “Turn the Other Way”

Solstate have more of their inoffensive pop-rock, maybe a bit like Incubus. This video follows an angry young man as he tries to figure out his place in the world. He acquires a knife and is about to mug a businessman when Boh Runga (!) suddenly stops him from stepping out into traffic. Someone cares! So that’s enough to turn him on the path of quite-goodness, and we discover that – twist! – the lead singer of the band is the kid grown up.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Black Seeds “Make a Move”

This video looks like it was filmed in Australia, but it’s not making a star of its location. The plot sees all but one member of the Black Seeds turned into photos that move with stop-motion animation styles. The remaining Seed must seek out his band members, which seems to involve rearranging the photos in a particular order. The rest of the band eventually appears… or do they? It’s all very mysterious.

Director: Maia Horniak

The Mint Chicks “I Can’t Stop Being Foolish”

A woman wakes up and discovered that tiny robots are causing havoc on her kitchen, breaking cups and throwing eggs. She does what anyone would do in that situation: she calls the guy from Owl Industries who wheels over his giant owl to sort out the problem. The owl wheeling takes up much of the video. At its heart it’s a quirky version of the old damsel in distress trope, and the video would have been so much better if that had been changed or subverted in some way. But still, it’s a nicely weird, arty video for the Mint Chicks twisted pop.

Director: Sam Peacocke

The Tutts “All Over Town”

In a throwback to the early ’90s, the Tutts show up in a studio to record their video in front of a green screen, directed by two weirdos, a cameraman and a knob-twiddling director. It’s all fun with cheesy digital effects, then the camera guy pops outside and he’s in the midst of an extensive wildlife park, bringing all sorts of fauna into the green screen, always with laser eyes. The song itself is good in that Tutts kind of way, but the video ends up being stickier and more memorable.

Director: Sam Handley

Upper Hutt Posse “Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou”

I like a video that tells a good story and this does it so well. It features Taungaroa Emile, who plays a young guy who’s gone on a bush walk with his girlfriend. It’s all very scenic and lovely when he starts to get haunted by a warrior who was in a battle with the British decades prior. (The YouTube description says it was specifically inspired by “Maori resistance against invading British at the Battle of Orakau in 1864.”) The warrior’s taiaha transfers to the young guy, who later uses it to fight off some armed police he finds brutally attacking someone in the city. I feel like I haven’t done a great job of describing it, but it’s really well done and  fits nicely with the song, the title of which translates to “We will fight”.

Director: Te Kupu
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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