Found videos from 1996

Loads of found videos from 1996, featuring cameo appearances from three bright young actors, Stella as a grunge band, double Annie Crummer and Strawpeople, and some political pop.

Continue reading Found videos from 1996

DLT feat Mighty Asterix “One Love”

1996-dlt-feat-mighty-asterix-one-loveDespite its Bob Marley sounding title, “One Love” is an upbeat funk/soul-inspired number with an absolute killer chorus and started as a Supergroove remix.

The video has a lot going on, and it’s packed with cameos. Going by Peter McLennan’s notes on YouTube, there’s activist Tame Iti, artist Greg Semu, director Greg Riwai and music industy figure Kirk Harding, and I also spotted Joe Lonie, of Supergroove and other music videos. But it doesn’t feel like these guys are being wheeled out as super celebrity appearances (I mean, they’re not necessarily household names) – it’s more like they’re there because they were just hanging out with their friends making the video.

The video is full of people, from staunch bros hanging out down the local shops, to loving couples snuggling up together. The song has a message of unity (no surprises there) and the video does a good job of showing that without forcing it. People aren’t getting along because they’re in a music video that requires them to get along; they’re getting along cos they just do.

Even the Mighty Asterix manages a bit of self-love, with an impressive rotating shot of himself three times. This has to count as a mid-’90s digital effect that doesn’t look like a lame-arse gimmicky digital effect. It’s a fun video that nicely captures the spirit of the song.

Best bit: the store front of Otara Coffee and Takeaways.

Director: Marcus Ringrose
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… silky raven tresses.

Cicada “Future Folds”

1996-cicada-future-foldsThere are some very strange goings-on happening in some public toilets. Shot at the very photogenic loos at Hotel DeBrett, a man at the urinal turns to face the camera. He starts singing but his mouth appears to be a superimposed other mouth. It’s a bit like that weird Eskimo cartoon in Pulp Fiction with the real mouth on a cartoon, only in this video it’s all human.

If there’s another Tarantino influence it’s in the toilet setting. Like in “Reservoir Dogs”, a woman puts her hands under a hand dryer and dries them in a very slow, deliberate way.

Again directed by Paul Swadel, the video is mostly black and white, with dramatic lighting. The video is a lot more sedate than the more upbeat song, with lots of long, still shots. But the video captures the song’s tension. In this strange world inside a public toilet, with all the lingering glances, something is going to kick off.

Best bit: the old man who puts on a party wig.

Director: Paul Swadel
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… something spooky.

Shihad “La La Land”

It is the future. A lone cyber warrior roams the barren wastelands. She puts on her virtual reality helmet. Text flashed up on her cyber screen, “Serial port: SHIHAD”. She has accessed La La Land.

Hey, do you know what a serial port is? It’s a kind of plug on a computer. But obviously in this dystopian cyber future, a serial port is a virtual reality state where Shihad rock out.

Once the sci-fi intro is out of the way, most of the video is based around a live Shihad performance, featuring Jon’s new rock bob hair cut. The cyber warrior enjoys her virtual reality experience, losing her metal armour and blending in with the audience.

There’s also some dodgy goings on in the toilets, making the powerful statement that drugs = la la land = not kewl. Hollywood is also shown to be a la la land.

I know that the concept of virtual reality was quite cool in the ’90s, so this video probably seemed quite edgy (although the Dribbling Darts did it four years earlier). But now it’s just seems a bit silly and naive. It turns out that in the future people didn’t seen complex cyber helmets to experience Shihad live; they could do it on the bus using their phones.

Best bit: the brief glimpse of an Air New Zealand plane in Los Angeles. Go New Zealand!

Director: Kevin Spring
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… something strange in the toilets.

King Loser “Troubled Land”

1996-king-loser-troubled-land“Troubled Loser” was Chris and Celia doing their best Lee and Nancy. Not so much a duet as a man and a woman who both had something to say.

The band are absent from the video. With one food firmly planted in the 1960s, the it instead follows a black-clad cowboy as he stumbles around a vast desert. Sometimes it seems like the hot desert heat has got the better of him, but other times he seems as staunch as ever. But perhaps he’s hallucinating that he’s back on the range.

I’m not sure, but I think this video was shot on the massive sand dune at the north head of the Hokianga. It doesn’t quite feel like the wild west, but it also doesn’t feel like Northland. It feels like a lookalike location, that sort that might be used in a low-budget western.

But removing the band from the video and keeping the visuals stark and minimal, it puts the emphasis on the song, letting every squelch and snarl come through loud and clear.

Best bit: the cowboy’s stick; his woody companion.

Director: Daniel Mancini
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a virtual reality trip.

Head Like a Hole “Cornbag”

1996-head-like-a-hole-cornbagFor their third album, “Double Your Strength, Improve Your Health and Lengthen Your Life”, HLAH had evolved to a country inspired sound. The “Cornbag” video goes with that, placing the band in a mysterious old country shack.

Inside the shack, we discover the band are dressed as astronauts, like some hillbillies who figured out the fundamentals of rocket science. The shackship takes off, wobbles around the solar system for a bit before crashing back on Earth…. or is it?

We find the band in their civilian gear playing on a stage. Either the procenium arch is low or the band have actually landed in a planet of little people. The second option is more likely, given the logic of this video.

The raw days of “Fish Across Face” are long gone. This is a good introduction to the new HLAH sound but ensures the essential HLAHness is still there.

Best bit: the giant phallic joystick.

Director: Andrew Beattie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… alone in the desert of alienation.

Greg Fleming “California Fishing”

1996-greg-flemming-california-fishingMoving indoors from the dark street life of “Codeine Road”, the “California Fishing” video sees Greg and his band holed up in a suburban house, which, according to the YouTube description, was Greg’s flat.

Directed by Jonathan King, most of the action takes place in the lounge, with the band in full flight. There’s a nice feel to the location, and it doesn’t seem like much set dressing has been done. Yeah, it’s just Greg’s flat.

Sometimes we see Greg by himself, sitting on a couch, strumming his guitar. And we also catch glimpses of a moody young woman, smoking cigarettes and ready trashy paperbacks. She’s obviously not fussed by the rock band going for it in the next room.

“California Fishing” is a rollicking rock song, that would more traditionally be given a big outdoors video, complete with open-top cars. But keeping all the action in a house, the tension between the lyrics and the reality is increased. Stuck in suburban Auckland, California dreaming of California fishing.

Best bit: the old homemade birthday card, with a photo of young Greg riding a toy Jeep.

Director: Jonathan King

Next… the intergalatic spaceshack.

Missing videos from 1996

February 1996

Dei Hamo “International Whirl Rocker”

After making his mark doing the guest rap on Nathan Haines’ “Lady J”, Dei Hamo went solo with International Whirl Rocker (or “Rocca”, as it is listed in the NZOA database. The song was due to be released on Papa Pacific Records, but the label folded before this could happen, with Phil Fuemana eventually including the track on the groundbreaking Pioneers of a Pacifikian Frontier album. Here’s Dei Hamo performing the song live on Mai Time.

Teina Benioni “Gone Fishing”

Teina was nicknamed “the bard of Otara”. He played all the instruments and sang all the vocals on his song “Gone Fishing”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1996

Eye TV “Immaculate”

Another track from Eye TV. “Immaculate” was a return to a more electric sound for the group. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “Eye TV perform “Immaculate” in white room under flashing lights.”

Director: Sharron Ward
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Moana and the Moahunters “Prophecies”

“Prophecies” was a track on Moana and the Moahunter’s second album, Tahi. It’s a gentle soul ballad, and Moana’s website says it touches “on more spiritual matters”. This looks like a case where the video was never made.

Splitter “What You Know”

Splitter had “What You Know”, described by the Herald as “XTC-meets-powerpop”. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “The Splitter singer sings “What You Know” strapped to a chair in an interrogation room.”

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 1996

Bike “Old & Blue”

Bike’s first single, “Save My Life”, is afforded digital immortality due to its inclusion on the Flying Nun “Very Short Films” compilation, but second single “Old and Blue” isn’t so lucky.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dam Native “Top Notch Vocalist”

The only mention of the Dam Native song “Top Notch Vocalist” is in the NZOA funding list. It seems like the sort of funding that might have ended up going to a different song.

Future Stupid “Greed”

Christchurch band Future Stupid were causing a ruckus with “Greed”. While the music video isn’t online, you can take your pick of 1997 live performances at the Summer Series, the Big Day Out or a DIY music video.

Lodger “Tell Me Have You Ever Seen Me”

Another song from Lodger, aka Damon from Dead Flowers’ side project. I assume that “Tell Me Have You Ever Seen Me” is a cover of the Small Faces song.

Second Child “Prove You Wrong”

“Prove You Wrong” is the sixth funded video from Second Child.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Splitter “Tremolo Panned”

Splitter was an Andrew Thorne project and “Tremolo Panned” was a nice piece of mid-’90s rock. But best of all, the Kiwi Hit List noted that the song features “Graham Brazier on electrified harmonica”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Exponents “Do You Feel In Love”

The Exponents said farewell to Warner Music with a final single, “Do You Feel In Love”. Nga Taonga’s description suggests the video is a classic style Greg Page animation: “A claymation Exponents perform “Do You Feel In Love”.”

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

August 1996

Breathe “Smiley Hands”

Breathe debuted with “Smiley Hands”, giving just an inkling of the major label excitement they stirred only a few years later. The olden internet has revealed this short but amazing article about the Smiley Hands EP. Taken from a December 1996 issue of RipItUp, it’s the kind of music writing that’s so scarce in this digital age.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Igelese “Emotions”

“Emotions” was Igelese’s second funded video. There’s no sign of it ever having been made, which might be tied to the end of Igelese’s record label, Papa Pacific. But he went on to compose music for Lord of the Rings and Moana, so it turned out well.

Lole “Feel Like Making Love”

Lole covers “Feel Like Making Love”, that’s the safe Roberta Flack song, not Bad Company’s rock classic.

Director: Marc Swadel
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Peaches “Go”

OMG, Peaches?! Wait, it’s not the Canadian performance artist, but a Debbie Harwood project. She got her musician mates to cover classic New Zealand pop. “Go” is project’s one original track, penned by Rikki Morris.

Seven a Side “Running Back to You”

Also from the Rockquest is Seven a Side, winner of the Tangata Pasifica Beats category. A funded video for “Running Back To You” was part of the prize package. The track also featured on Tangata Records’ compilation album Tribal Stomp II.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Supergroove “5th Wheel”

“5th Wheel” is an attempt at a sweet pop song, complete with flute, strings, and ah-ah-ahs. I believe vocals are by Joe Lonie, and the video involved him sitting on the back of a ute.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The 3Ds “Vector 27”

“Vector 27” was from The 3Ds final album, Strange News from the Angels. It was also the final 3Ds video to be funded. Nga Taonga enticingly describes the video as, “The 3Ds go for a drive in the countryside and encounter flying saucers and aliens.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1996

Ardijah “Oh Baby”

After returning from five years in Australia, “Oh Baby” was Ardijah’s new single. The video isn’t online, but here’s a short clip of a live performance from the era. Nga Taonga describe the video as “Ardijah perform “Oh Baby” in cabaret setting.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Bobby Owen “Falling”

The Kiwi Hit Disc described 18-year-old Bobby Owen’s single “Falling” as a “moody soulful ballad” that was recorded at Fuemana Studios.

Dam Native “Extremities”

Another cool track from Dam Native. “Extremities” was produced by Zane Lowe.

Greg Johnson “Softly On Me”

“Softly On Me” featured Boh Runga and was produced by Dave Dobbyn. Jonathan King directed the video, filmed at a Tongan church in Auckland.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Mary “Golden Halo”

Mary was an all-girl band, and they were a very all-girl band. Check out this profile in the Herald – about half the article is about aspects of their all-girl-bandliness. Their sweet, girly song “Golden Halo” was the first of many funded videos. I’ve heard from a performer in the video who says she wore a halo, naturally enough.

Stellar “Real”

It’s cool seeing signs of Stellar’s early work, putting in the hard yards before they were snapped up by Sony and became pop icons. “Real” was another early single.

December 1996

Ardijah “Bad Buzz”

More Polyfonk from Ardijah, this time with “Bad Buzz”, a Bob Marley tribute. Nga Taonga describes the video as “Ardijah sing “Bad Buzz” walking through sideshows / amusement park.”

Director: Neil Cervin
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Brothers & Sisters “Parihaka”

Like both Tim Finn and Jacqui Keelan Davey, the young Maori band Brothers & Sisters pay tribute to the pacifist Te Whiti with their song “Parihaka”. The track featured on the Tangata Records compilation album Tribal Stomp II.

DLT “Black Panthers”

The instrumental “Black Panthers” was the second single off DLT’s album “The True School”.

Fat Mannequin “That Matters”

Fat Mannequin deliver “That Matters”, a very ’90s rock ballad.

In The Whare “Sister Dread”

According to NZOA, In The Whare’s music was a mix of reggae, hip hop, funk and metal. Their song “Sister Dread” also featured on Tribal Stomp II.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision