A high street strip, a gothic seductress, a cultural lesson, a bomb threat, a photo booth, a photo shoot, a cruise down the main street, a broadcast from outer space, a floaty necklace, a Harajuku girl and a mysterious staircase. Continue reading Found videos from 1998
Oh, hello young Zed. When this song was first released I didn’t like it because it rhymed “cow, yeah” and “go figure”. That’s still an awkward rhyme, but it’s not a terrible song.
Zed look so young in this video, and I think they were still in their final year of high school when this was released. But it’s a good pop tune that makes me wonder if the whole band were just massive music nerds.
The video stars a young man who sits down in a park with “Daisy” magazine (and you can see the ripples where a mock cover has been glued to another mag) and a glitter encrusted Viewmaster. The magazine contains Viewmaster disks that let him “enter Daisy’s world”. But he soon discovers it’s not just 3D images – he’s actually there.
Daisy’s a manic pixie dream girl, complete with long braids, black lipstick and a giant flower in her hair. She actually looks about 10 years older than the youthful protagonist, which is a little weird. In the Viewmaster virtual reality, the guy hangs out with Daisy and her friends, plays cricket (aw, Christchurch!) and gets a flyer to Daisy’s house party.
While this is all going on Zed are off playing the song. They’re dressed all in sportswear that’s about the same shade of blue. They look young, a little nerdy but with a strange kind of potential. Also, Nathan King had amazing cheekbones.
At the virtual reality party, the young guy is disappointed to see Daisy blowing bubbles at another boy. He’s been making a daisy chain for her, but accidentally treads on it, but just when about to make a move, he runs out of Viewmaster slides. Panic!
But it’s ok – Daisy has become real and joins him in the park. They laugh. They smile. They joke. Yay! But what if another guy buys Daisy magazine? Is she beholden to anyone who puts her disk in their slot?
Best bit: the look of sheer agony when the guy realised he’s crushed the daisy chain.
This is a lovely song. It makes people cry with its heartfelt experience of having a loved one move to Australia. The video, directed by Andrew Moore, is simple and gentle but has a fun, surreal setting.
The video opens with Buzz filmed in golden close-up, but we soon see him find a strange ring lying in a field. This ring has a power (and if I’d actually seen Lord of the Rings I’d make a specific reference here) – the power of flight. Can it take him to his trans-Tasman sweetie? No, but it’s still cool.
A pyjama-clad buzz flies amongst the clouds and ducks, which promoted YouTube commenter Anna to proclaim “I DONT KNOW HOW THIS CAN GET ANYMORE RIDICULOUS !! A MAN FLYING THROUGH THE AIR AND SINGING, WT ACTUALL FUCK!”
Sucked through a black hole into the centre of the earth, Buzz finds himself in a strange subterranean cave, where the palm of his hand sings and his bandmates appear in the form of a policeman and a prisoner. The three have an earnest conversation, before buzz takes off into space and is reunited with his guitar.
The end of the song – where the man’s voice flies through the air, like a duck – is a glorious explosion of colour and light and OMG-rool-trippy-as visuals. It’s probably not enough to make a girl come back from Australia, but it’ll help ease the pain for the boy.
Best bit: the cop and crim expanding from little to normal.
“Interconnector” was a track off “The Blue Light Disco EP”, right in the middle of Shihad at their absolute peak.
Directed by Julian Boshier, the video starts with a squeal and a crash, with the band walking to their instruments in a hail of feedback. Shot with a strong blue tint, the band kicks off with the tense, energetic song.
Jon has newly short hair, accessorised with a dog collar, eyeliner and a shiny blue shirt. Weirdly enough, his look reminds me of the sort of thing the Feelers were wearing around this time. I’ll just chalk it up to fashion.
The rest of the band are dressed more subtly in black, but they’re still very much part of the video, with the camera rotating around the band on a circular dolly track.
Throughout the video, various words are highlighted with on-screen graphics, using a blue neon-style font. BULLSHIT, THAT’S TRUE, HOPE, ME + MY TV and GARBAGE flash on screen, but it’s not entirely successful. For a start, the text is up very briefly and the font isn’t so easy to read. But the chosen words seem to have been picked at random. Some choice nouns flash up, but what kind of statement is made with TO DO or GOT?
I like the simplicity of this video. Ignore the graphics and it’s a really good portrait of Shihad as a solid rock unit.
Trillion is back and this time Jody Lloyd has teamed up with frequent collaborator Mark Duff. The pair find themselves in the sticky hot Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. “Nice budget though haha”, says a YouTube commenter, and indeed it’s a nice little mystery how the duo came to make their video in KL.
The video, directed by Marc Swadel, sees the lads being cool around a Sunway Lagoon, an expansive amusement park. It’s almost like a parody of all these Tarantino wannabe videos. Here are two guys in sharp suits hanging out at a fun family water park, posing for pics with tourists, enjoying the thrill rides. They even manage some music video sexface (Duff is the pro at this).
But just when all the amusement park fun gets a little too much fun, night falls and the action moves to “Duff’s secret underground disco bunker”, where a foam rave is in progress. We’re treated to shots of happy, smiling people getting their foam rave on, a reminder of a particularly malodorous part of the ’90s.
It’s a really fun, crazy video. And weirdly enough, it actually sells KL as a tourist destination. I want to go there and hang out at a water park. But I’ll skip the foam rave.
Best bit: the foam ravers looking like teachers on holiday.
Note: There’s an alternate version of the video that has Trillion’s rap turned into an instrumental break, with an earlier part of the video playing again to take the place of the rap performance.
YouTube uploader HEADLIKEAHOLENOISE introduces the song thusly: “a song developed from the find of a German porn movie in a works bin on the streets of Wellington. Enjoy!” Oh right, they just found it.
And indeed the video starts with footage of what appears to be an old porno with a Germanic voiceover informing us that “the gentleman is dressed up all in red, and the lady as it is done in pink”.
We don’t see the Euro pervs again, but were are introduced to HLAH, all decked out in leather, rubber, studs and a cowboy hat. They’re in a long wooden tunnel, gliding up and down it, which is probably highly symbolic.
It seems there was a bit of a ruckus regarding the video. A 1998 episode of the New Zealand music show “Squeeze” had a story on the “controversy surrounding their video for ‘Wet Rubber'”, even speaking to TVNZ’s head of programming standards. Well, it’s no AFFCO but I can see how it might ruffle some feathers.
The video and the song both seem intended as a pisstake of porn culture, and indeed it’s fair game, but yet when I hear the repeated lyric “Ride that whore! Make her blow!”, it makes me sigh. I’m going to blame it on the post-“Boogie Nights” (1997) mainstreaming of porn culture. The trouble is, not everyone is as clever as Paul Thomas Anderson, and it takes smarts to reference porn culture without going down the tired old route.
Best bit: drummer Hidee Beast earnestly decked out in bondage leather.
Now it really feels like the late ’90s. Deep Obsession were a dance-pop duo, but the video is careful to feature producer/co-songwriter Christopher Banks along with singers Vanessa Kelly and Zara Clarke. Together they produced very successful, inoffensive pop, with a slightly dated housey sound.
The video takes its inspiration from the title – there’s a lot of blue, snow and fur. Brrrr. But for a group that always seemed very commercial in its nature, the video has a couple of uncommercial moves.
Even though Deep Obsession are a duo, we don’t see the two of them together until near the end of the song. So I’m watching them shot in black and white, sometimes with hats, sometimes with crazy makeup, and I can’t figure out who I’m looking at. It’s like the cold has made them forget one of their unique selling points.
Just to add to the weird, one (or both?) of them is bound like a chrysalis in Gladwrap, hangs upside down (well, the camera is upside down) and she looks really annoyed. Oh my. I’m actually starting to script my own version of a video for this song.
Were they actually taking the piss? The video ends with the three of them huddled together singing “Please hold me close”, like a DIY YouTube parody of an Abba video.
Well, whatever I can critique about this video, it doesn’t really matter. The song was the second of a run of three number one singles that Deep Obsession enjoyed in 1998/’99.
Best bit: the ice queen chrysalis – you don’t want to see it when it thaws.
This video appears to have initially been chosen for NZ On Air funding, but ended up not receiving it. But I’ve included it because it’s such a weird little part of New Zealand music in the late ’90s.
“Legal Sunscreen” was inspired by the massive hit single “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”, released by Australian auteur Baz Luhrmann. “Everybody’s Free” was a spoken word track based on life advice by Chicago newspaper columnist Mary Schmich, set to dance beats.
Meanwhile in New Zealand, the Canadian-born lawyer Christopher Harder penned a similar tune with a legal theme, giving various advice to listeners. Some of it is wise – be polite to the police – but other advice seems a bit, well, lawyery. Would anyone actually say “Is this a consenting kiss, touch or act?” to their date?
The video is a low-budget number. Dramatic black and white footage of the lawyer is cut with grainy video of the police, street life and other slices of urban badness. Occasionally key terms flash across the screen, making it seem like a sexed-up PointPoint presentation.
Retrospectively, the song has a bittersweet tone, as Christopher Harder was struck off the law practitioners roll in 2006, and later underwent rehab for drug and alcohol addiction.
Musically it’s not great. It feels more like a novelty single than the original did, but I’m not sure it was intended as a novelty. It feels like it’s quite earnest, expecting that it really will change people’s lives.
But perhaps it has. The song still has an enthusiastic audience online. YouTube commenters express their thanks for the sage advice, and the video is posted in forums by people wanting to share its tips. I like to think because of this song, there are just that many more people in the world being polite to the popo.
Best bit: during the safe sex section, there’s a brief microscopic shot of some sperm.
This song was released in 2003, but the funding is from the 1998 round. The group originally received funding in 1998 for a single called “Home”, but that didn’t get made. Instead the funding stayed on the books and was put to use five years later.
Eight years since their last single, 3 The Hard Way returned with the smooth grooves of “It’s On (Move To This)”. In contrast with the seductive hip hop soul of the song, the video is set in the Cask & Cleaver, a cowboy theme bar on Dominion Road.
But rather than being full of diners wanting an entertaining dining experience along with a delicious steak, the joint is full of gruff looking cowboys and fly cowgirls.
The cowgirls feature a lot in the video, and I think this is the first NZOA-funded video that has included video vixens. At the time it was a little shocking, with an extra layer of WTF for me as one of the girls had been a receptionist at my old workplace.
YouTube uploader and label boss Simon Grigg notes, “The video got some flack for having ‘girls’ in it, but within a month or two every 2nd NZ hip hop video seemed to be copying it. It was meant to be very tongue in cheek at the time”. And that seems a fair comment. The ironic sexy cowgirls paved the way for non-ironic booty girls.
The video has a bit of plot. 3 The Hard Way upset the cowboys, who throw bottles at them, “Blues Brothers” style. But there’s never a sense of true jeopardy. The lads quit their performance and run off with the cowgirls, where they go for a hoon along Dominion Road in a stretch limo. Just think about that – it’s the early 2000s, you’re walking along Dominion Road – maybe you’ve just enjoyed a gourmet pizza at GPK – when a limo full of conspicuously partying young hip hop dudes and bisexual cowgirls drives past. You look at them and think, “_______”. Yeah, me too.
Best bit: the painful reminder of the millennial trend for low-rise jeans 🙁
Coelacanth return with “Never”. The Kiwi Hit Disc likened this song to Bailter Space and quoted Tearaway magazine enthusing, “Their music is to die for. We like them very much.”
Lole “Take You Higher”
Another track from Lole. This time she has “Take You Higher”.
Salmonella Dub “Loletta”
Back before Salmonella Dub were the kings of barbecue reggae, they had “Loletta”, an askew jazzy number. From memory, the video was a studio-based black and white job. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “The band perform in monochrome while the subject of song is in colour in backstreets”.
The Kiwi Hit Disc noted that “Colour Me Blue” was a “heartfelt ode” to Barry’s “globetrotting son”. Nga Taonga describes the video as, “Barry walking on rural road as cyclist passes. Cyclist seen in various rural locations interspersed with Barry singing in one room then another.”
“Started Something” is another video from the early days of Breathe. The track has an epic film montage sound to it. The Film Archive describes the video as, “Band perform in leaking warehouse/ garage.”
“Outer Space” is an upbeat pop-track, produced by Eddie Rayner. The Split Enz connection continues, with Bryan Bell saying that the song was “‘Loving The Alien‘ meets ‘Poor Boy‘”.
Michelle Rounds “Culture Cross”
Singer Michelle Rounds had the song “Culture Cross”.
Southside of Bombay “Say”
“Say” was produced by Ian Morris (who had previously produced “What the Time Mr Wolf”). The Kiwi Hit Disc quoted band member Kevin Hodges saying that the love song, “just felt like a good summer single”.
“All Alone” was the second of Freaker’s two funded videos. An album was planned but it didn’t get released due to the closure of record label Deepgrooves, so it’s likely this meant the “All Alone” video wasn’t made either.
New Loungehead “Ike Just Do It”
New Loungehead subvert a corporate slogan with “Ike Just Do It”, from their album Came a Weird Way. New Loungehead were another act signed to Deepgrooves.
Vocal trio Ma-V-Elle were back with “Love Is”, the soulful closing track from their debut album.
Girl band Mary have the track “Bigger”. Nga Taonga offers this rather comprehensive description of the video: “A woman sits at night in a green corner diner/coffee bar with large windows (which recalls the Edward Hopper painting “Nighthawks at the Diner”). A car approaches with the guitarist in the back seat. Mary perform “Bigger” on a TV screen in the diner. The car stops for the singer/ guitarist.”
Wellington trio NV have “Don’t Make Me Wait”, described by the Herald as having a “bitter brand of bubblegum”. Nga Taonga describes the video as “Woman sings on roadside with warehouse, pedestrians and traffic – and later rioters – behind her.”
Named after the last Dutch governor of New York and/or an international cigarette brand, the Peter Stuyvesant Hitlist were known for their entertaining loungey grooves. Nga Taonga describes the video as, “Four office workers in a pub sing karaoke to the Peter Stuyvesant Hit List’s “Superkool”. The Peter Stuyvesant Hit List are seen performing on the karaoke screen.” Ah, the old “music video as karaoke track” treatment.
“Big Cat” was the penultimate video that Bailter Space had funded in the ’90s, before returning with “World We Share” in 2012.
Leza Corban “Comfort & Joy”
Debbie Harwood put her coordination skills to good use with the album “Angels”, featuring New Zealand singers (Hammond Gamble, Rikki Morris, Mika) and TV personalities (Willy de Witt, Leanne Malcolm and Nick-bloody-Eynon) covering classic Christmas songs. Leza Corban, who had previously sung with Strawpeople, had the first single “Comfort & Joy”.
Brett Sawyer “She Came Along”
The video for Brett Sawyer’s song “She Came Along” was filmed at St Leo’s school hall in Devonport.
Eye TV have the comedically named “The Doo Song”. The Kiwihits entry notes it was rerecorded and released in 2000, and the database note that the funding was changed to the “Doo Song” from their song “Ditch Witch”.
“Classy come-down band” NV have the single “Unlikely”, which was a nominee for Best Video in the 1999 New Zealand Music Awards. Nga Taonga describes the videos as, “Singer in Queensland lakes setting and on jetty”, by which I think they mean Queenstown.
Paua Fritters are (were? I think they’re still together) an acoustic folk-pop group with busking roots. “Her Story” was a finalist in the 1998 APRA Silver Scroll awards.
“Kronos” is another track from Deepgrooves artist Pause.
In the world of non-NZOA-funded videos, 1998 saw Neil Finn contending with a 50-foot woman in the video for “She Will Have Her Way”. Neil is expertly integrated with footage from films “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” and “The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock”, making him the beau of the towering heroine, a height pairing reminiscent of the golden days of Rod Stewart and Rachel Hunter.