March 2010: Anika Moa, Annabel Fay, Autozamm, Black River Drive, Boh Runga, Bulletproof, Computers Want Me Dead, Concord Dawn

Running through the ’80s, over yonder in old Havana town, haunted by a ghost, doctoring the rock, rocking the winery, Slave takes over, computron 2010, down at the Prater.

Something is a little different here. The first funding round of 2010 was in March, not the usual February date. I don’t know why it was delayed by a month, but I have this idea that it might have been due to debate over the future of NZ On Air’s funding scheme.

In March 2010, music consultant Chris Caddick was brought on to conduct a review of NZ On Air’s music funding schemes. This led to the Caddick Report, which brought an end to the traditional $5000 music video funding — but certainly not an end to music video funding.

So it’s March 2010 and the $5000 funding scheme has little over one month to run before it was replaced with Making Tracks. Let’s resume.

Anika Moa “Running Through the Fire (Storm)”

Anika gets very new wave with “Running Through the Fire (Storm)”, which was nominated for a Silver Scroll in 2010. The video is a one-take wonder, with Anika wandering through a night garden, kitted out with the accoutrements of early ’80s music videos. But it doesn’t feel like a novelty one-take video. There’s enough going on with both the strong song and Anika’s delivery that the video supports the song, not the other way around.

Director: Tim van Dammen

Annabel Fay “River”

There was a bit of fuss when this video first came out because it was shot in Cuba. And suddenly all the previous NZOA-funded videos shot in exotic overseas locations (including one filmed in Cuba) were forgotten, and the fuss was all “Waaah, why doesn’t Annabel Fay’s video reflect New Zealand?” Because if you want to film your video in Cuba or London or Venice or New York or Miami or Tokyo or Moscow or any other of the exotic overseas locations found in previous NZOA-funded videos, that’s up to you. And to be honest, even though the song is called “River”, New Zealand’s rivers have featured in other videos quite enough already. The South Island’s alluvial planes have had more than their fair share of exposure in Salmonella Dub videos.

Anyway over yonder in old Havana town, Annabel is coming into her own, with the kind of sexy dork aesthetic that pre-makeover Khloe Kardashian was loved for. So it’s Annabel mooching around a crumbling building, cut with clips of a handsome Che Guevara lookalike. There’s no specific reason for the video to be shot in Cuba, but it looks good and New Zealand’s strict building code means it couldn’t be replicated in Aotearoa. And besides, in what other situation would one see the child of a multimillionaire posing next to a mural of a Marxist revolutionary?

Also worth noting: the song features an early use of the vocal featuring known as the millennial whoop, the vocal hook that didn’t start to become a thing in pop until around 2012.

Director: Anthony Rose

Autozamm “Want It Need It”

“Want It Need It” follows a young woman who goes for a drive. She leaves her motel room, jumps in her classic car and is haunted by the ghostly likeness of the guy from Autozamm. He spooks her as she is driving, seemingly making her feel both freaked out and seduced. With her emotions stirred, she returns to the motel unit where we presume the ghost will give her some ghostly lovin’. The video is full of dramatic rock shots, with the band expertly delivering their rock faces. But beyond that, there’s not much else going on. The drama and jeopardy set up has no payoff.

Director: Mi­kee Carpinter

Black River Drive “Call the Doctor”

“Call the Doctor” is a very straight, very ordinary rock video. It’s shot in black and white, with Black River Drive playing the song at a club. It has a very clean feeling and doesn’t quite capture the energy of a live gig. But the one thing it does do is present the song with the band looking all sneery, and if the YouTube comments are anything to go by, that’s all fans require.

Director: Ivan Slavov

Boh Runga “Would You Give Your Heart”

The “Would You Give Your Heart” video is shot at a gig at Ascension Wine Estate on the 2010 Winery Tour, where Boh Runga and Che Fu were the support act for the power trio of Tim Finn, Bic Runga and Dave Dobbyn. So there’s ample footage of Boh rocking the large late afternoon crowd, as well as some backstage antics. The audio in the YouTube clip has a crunchy, distorted edge, but this looks to be a glitch as the album version is much cleaner. A winery gig is about as mainstream and inoffensive as it gets, and the video goes along with that.

Bulletproof featuring Tiki Taane “Soundtrack To Forever”

The “Soundtrack To Forever” video sees Tiki Taane and Mr Bulletproof held captive by a bad guy, played by Slave (who also directed it). This makes Slave the longest-running and most regular person to appear in NZOA-funded music videos, with his own projects with MC OJ & Rhythm Slave and Joint Force, as well as cameos in videos by Moana, P Money, Sommerset and Che Fu – and I feel like there are even more. He’s not just a rent-a-thug in “Soundtrack To Forever” — he puts in a bit of actual acting as he delivers the menace. The plot is simple, but it’s nicely shot and not entirely implausible.

Director: Mark Williams

Computers Want Me Dead “In Your Blood”

This video looks all cool and futuristic, but it makes the future look dull. Computers Want Me Dead spend most of the video hunched over their keyboards, looking more like performing minstrels than cool pop stars. The computers graphics have a fun retro feel, not unlike a slicker version of the old opening titles of Ready to Roll (yes, I went there)

Director: Simon Ward

Concord Dawn featuring Rikki Morris “Forever”

This video is set in Vienna, which is a perfect setting for a weird nightmarish music video. It tells the story of a man who falls in love with a call girl named Katrin. While he’s snoozing in post-coital bliss, he dreams they’ve gone to the Vienna’s famous Prater amusement park. It’s all very romantic, but the next time she comes over, he’s shocked to discover that she isn’t his girlfriend and is still expecting cash for her time. She runs off, he chases her but just ends up at a nightclub where Concord Dawn are playing. What’s Vienna got to do with it? Not a lot, but then, it wouldn’t look the same if the couple spent their dream date at Rainbow’s End.

Director: Warren Green

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