March 2011: 1995, A Hori Buzz, Anna Coddington, Barnaby Weir, Bulletproof, Chris Cope, Dear Time’s Waste, DJ Sir-Vere

We’re down the the penultimate funding round of the original $5000 video funding grants. Just like in 2010, 2011 also didn’t have a February funding round. It started the year with March, then jumped to June.

And March offered a buzz-busting service, autumn leaves, attempted 1950s, a dreamy club sound, a quiet trip around the world, a bucket challenge, the boys and the females.

1995 “Nowhere Slow”

The influence of Interpol can be felt in 1995, a band seemingly named after the worst year of the 1990s. “Nowhere Slow” is nice and noisy and poppy, but the video is nowhere to be found. It was definitely made — there’s mention of it online and stills from the video can be found on the band’s Facebook page. Their later funded video “Love Your Ghost” is worth a watch. It perfectly captures the cool and thrill of seeing a live band in a weird venue, so much more realistically then a video filled with dozens of overexcited extras filmed in tight shots to fake a throng.

A Hori Buzz “Turnaround”

Aaron Tokona returned from the ashes of Weta with A Hori Buzz, ditching the pop-rock of his old band for more of a funk and soul flavour. In the “Turnaround” video, Aaron runs a business – Buzz A Hori. He’s employed by a woman whose boyfriend has been taken by “the dark buzz”. It’s not specified what that is, but it could stand for any negative situation in life. A crack team of Maori construction workers is assembled, ready for action in their hi-viz vests. It’s a fun video, but with surprising emotional heft.

Director: Jessica Sanderson

Anna Coddington “Little Islands”

You know, as far as islands go, the South Island and the North Island are among the biggest in the world – the 12th and 14th biggest, to be precise. Bigger than Ireland, Hokkaido, Sri Lanka and Taiwan, among others. But when Anna sings of “these little islands”, it’s not the physical size that’s oppressing her. It’s how sometimes New Zealand manages to feel like a tiny village. It’s a song of frustration and hope. Most of the video is Anna playing the song with her band, but she also also gets out and about and explores that empty New Zealand landscape. Sometimes the emptiness oppresses you, other times it gives you space to move.

Director: Logan McMillan
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Barnaby Weir “I’m Coming Home”

There are two possibilities for the set-up of this video. Either is it supposed to be set in a colourful, Happy Days-style version of 1950s America, or it’s set in the present day, starring Wellington hipsters who enjoy dressing up. I think it’s supposed to be the first but its budget makes it look like the second. Though some girls women busted smoking in the toilets of a diner, which doesn’t seem like something that would have happened in the ’50s. Either way, it’s all part of Barnaby Weir’s rockabilly reinvention. Let’s just accept that it is a phase he needs to go through, bad videos and all, and leave him to it.

Director: Ella Liao
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Bulletproof featuring Jessie G “Dub Me Crazy”

The weird thing is that this song came out months after Jessie J had hit No.1 in New Zealand with “Price Tag”, so Jessie Gurunathan evidently chose Jessie G as her stage name even though there was a more famous singer with almost the same name. The former star of Miss Popularity adds dreamy vocals to Bulletproof’s uplifting dance track. The video captures the artists at work rocking a crowd. It feels cool and stylish, and even though the song is a little repetitive, it’s a good enough dance track.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Chris Cope “World Without You”

The “World Without You” video goes everywhere — Tokyo, Paris, London. But the video doesn’t really make the most of these exotic locations. It’s mostly just Chris wandering around, seeing the sights and eating things. Despite the bold pop sound of the song, he delivers a very self-conscious, subdued performance. But then, there aren’t many people who would feel confident enough to deliver an energetic lip-sync while making a guerrilla music video in a public place. Would they have been better off staying at home and putting the effort into making a more cohesive video? This was Chris Cope’s only funded solo music video.

Director: Jordan Dodson
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Dear Time’s Waste “And So I Was Returning”

Dear Time’s Waste is Claire Duncan, and she chooses to perform under a group name instead of her own name. The video goes with that philosophy. It uses a single, continuous shot of her head, but it’s not a classic music video pose. The video is shot in reverse, beginning with a bucketful of water flying up off her head, leaving her with dry hair. It’s like an arty version of a classic Joe Lonie/Goodshirt-era video. The result is that the video doesn’t dominate the song. It gives Claire’s dreamy pop a place to play out, all two minutes of it.

Director: Special Problems

DJ Sir-Vere featuring J Williams, K.One & Mareko “Major Flavours”

Major Flavours was a popular series of mix CDs, put together by DJ Sir-Vere. They’d originally run annually from 2001 to 2005, but made a comeback in 2011. The track “Major Flavours” was a new piece for the 2011 CD, and it slides right in to the trend of electronic-infused hip hop with an especially cool chorus from J Williams. It’s a smooth club track and the video creates a slick club fantasy, where men sit surrounded by dozens of “females”. But as the song fades out and the video fades to black, it becomes obvious that there is no conclusion. This is just a three-minute slice of life.

Director: Dei Hemo

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