March 2011: Dukes, Family Cactus, Flip Grater, Glass Owls, Home Brew, Janine & The Mixtape, Jayson Norris

Robo love, a face flashback, the streets of Paris, greenhouse and quirk, drinking with friends, and learning to fly.

Dukes “Secrets”

This is a surprisingly moving tale of a robot who gets quite depressed when his human girlfriend dumps him. The star of the video is Viktor the robot, created by robot maker Martin Horspool. Viktor (and friends) is filmed in stop-motion, but the video is helped along by Liesha Ward-Knox as the girlfriend. The video tells a strong and emotional story that works with the song, something that isn’t always easy to do in a music video.

Director: James Solomon

Family Cactus “Fields and Fields”

“Fields and Fields” follows a middle-aged man as he walks the streets at night. The camera is focused on his face and on his forehead we see old home movies. It seems to be implying that these are his thoughts, his memories. And that’s the video — the man walking, and occasional glimpses of the old footage on its own. The video is adequate, but it isn’t quite doing enough for the song.

Director: Bryson Rooney

Flip Grater “I Am Gone”

A lot of artists film music videos while they’re on tour in exotic overseas locations, but this is one of the few where the location is used more subtly than “Guys! Look where I am!!!” Flips wanders streets of Paris, creating a mood that perfectly matches the cool, relaxed feeling of the song. Even scenes of the Eiffel Tower still capture the mood of the song without feeling like a touristy music video.

Director: Gareth Moon
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Glass Owls “Griffin Boy”

Glass Owls are channelling Franz Ferdinand with their quirky indie pop. But the song never quite feels solid enough, with uninspired lyrics like “I just wanna know your name”. The video is packed full of quirky scenes, unusual things happening against colour-block backgrounds. The last 30 seconds of the song suddenly takes place in an empty greenhouse, giving Glass Owls a more conventional music video setting.

Director: Simon Taylor, Dominic Taylor

Home Brew “Yellow Snot Funk”

“Yellow Snot Funk” is a massive celebration of just doing what you feel like doing, a huge hedonistic party. The video is just the Home Brew crew and friends celebrating and feeling good and not caring about what society says. Maybe it’s just me getting old, but this video made me have an anxiety attack thinking of what it would be like if these guys were partying next door and having to go and tell them to quiet things down at 4am, omg.

Director: Askew One

Janine & The Mixtape “Bullets” – missing

Normally I’d think there’d been no video made for “Bullets” but Nga Taonga has a copy in their archive. Ayebro also has a blog post on the video’s release, complete with a dead YouTube link. So Janine’s debut video does exist, just not online anymore.

Director: Ralph Matthews
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Jayson Norris “The End”

The video for “The End” is animated, wherein a likeness of Jayson crafts some wings in an attempt to fly up to be reunited with his sweetie. The story is really nicely told and the animation is stylish and clear. But I find animations to be a lot harder to relate to than live action scenes. Combine that with a very MOR song, and it can be challenging to stay involved with “The End”.

Director: Eon McNaught

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