Deep Obsession “Miracles”

2002-deep-obsession-miraclesIt’s the long end of the Deep Obsession experience. Their remarkable run of three consecutive number one singles was a remnant of the late ’90s. Instead “Miracles” was a radio-only single and their lowest charting song at #34.

The video takes places in a hospital because, you know, miracles. The duo (Zara, with new-old member Charlie replacing Vanessa) and some dude with dreadlocks slowly, meaningfully walk along the cold blue corridor.

A young woman (whose long blonde hair makes her look like a Deep Obsession understudy) goes into a room where her grandfather is ill in a bed. She keeps a vigil over her poorly gramps, only for him to die while she’s taking a nap. A nurse come in to console the woman, and the story shifts to the nurse’s life.

The nurse, weak with compassion fatigue, comes home to find her slobby boyfriend lazing on the couch. She yells at him, he yells at her and they both end up feeling pretty crap.

Meanwhile, back in the hospital, new parents coo over their baby. The mother appears to be in the dead grandpa’s former room. But why was Gramps admitted to the maternity ward? Maybe that’s why he died.

The nurse looks on and the miracle of birth restores her faith in human nature, or some such. And then, just to make things even better, the granddaughter appears with a bunch of flowers. Oh, that’s nice. Again Deep Obsession and the dreadlocks guy slowly walk past, smiling benevolently.

“Miracles” is not the best death-bed video (that’s “Stay” by Shakespear’s Sister), it’s not the best hospital drama video (that’s “My Friend (So Long)” by DC Talk), and it’s not even the best video for a song called “Miracles” (flippin’ magnets – how do they work?). But it’s ok. It might be a bit cheesy, but it has a plot and a nice conclusion. And hey, the next time you’re visiting a loved one in hospital, if you see a fierce lookng woman wearing a leather bustier, don’t be afraid – it’s just one of Deep Obsession.

Best bit: that the loser boyfriend has already had three beers.

Next… family fun day.

Crumb “Nice to See You”

2002-crumb-nice-to-see-youThe song proclaims, “Nice to see you! Nice knowing you!”. At first I thought maybe the song was about a pick-up artist who’d got so obsessed with the technique that he’d forgotten about the human side of things (yeah, I’m currently reading “The Game”). But then the line “it’s just till December” makes me wonder if, in fact, this is the tale of a season fruit picker, bidding farewell to his Central Otago sweetie.

Well, either way, the video doesn’t go there. It’s all in the moment. The band are performing at a bar in front of an audience that – unlike your typical rock band audience – are 90% female. But given that Liv Tyler once declared Crumb were “my favourite band in the world”, perhaps this is an accurate demographic. (On the other hand, Liv was once married to that guy from Spacehog…)

The video hams it up, using star wipes and displaying the band’s name in a cheesy faux neon-sign font. There’s a lot of energy from the band’s performance, but the some of the fixed camera footage gives the video a feeling of a CCTV video, or scenes from a Big Brother house’s weekly task being rock stars.

“Nice to See You” was Crumb’s first single, a radio-only release. The video has a bit of a low-budget feel to it, but it’s a lot brighter and shinier than the low-budget offers of 10 years prior. Digital was continuing to change things, making that $5000 go even further.

Best bit: the mannequins hanging out at either side of the stage.

Director: James Barr
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… geriatric maternity.

Augustino “In and Out of Nowhere”

2002-augustino-in-and-out-of-nowhereThis video starts with a young woman, looking slightly more authentically dirty than Purest Form managed as mechanics in their “Lady” video. She wakes up and discovers she’s in a grim, empty corridor where the only exit appears to be locked doors at one end. The video is shot in black and white, so you know things are serious.

I’m not convinced by the quality of act0rizing. She seems completely puzzled by the way the corridor has walls, and that way there is a ceiling that exists. She’s not too fussed about the floor though.

I have just spent about 10 minutes engaged in an acting workshop, where I lay down in the hallway and pretended to be someone who had just woken up in a strange corridor, to see if could do a better job of acting. If it were me, I’d walk around a lot more, sussing out the situation, rather than just staring at the wall as if I’d never seen a wall before.

Fabulous cheekbones
Fabulous cheekbones: the crazy makeup is revealed in positive
Augustino are also in this strange corridor, but their world is filmed in negative, so everything looks really weird. Actually, the weirdness is helped by the band wearing theatrical make-up to create areas of shadow and light. Sometimes it gives a positive effect with the negative footage other times it looks quite sinister looking. But because it’s shot in negative, it’s easy to think, oh, that’s just the negative effect.

Back to the lost girl. She yells, bangs at the doors, and eventually they open, turning her strange corridor into Augustino’s strange corridor in negative. Bummer.

“In and Out of Nowhere” is a defiant but upbeat song, but the video makes it about as bleak as the lyrics will allow. I like when Greg Page makes unusual, experimental-style videos, but I can’t help feel that this song would have been better served by a video treatment that was a bit less grim.

Best bit: the pleasingly punctuated subtitles for the girl’s cries of despair – “HELLO?! Anyone…?”

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the pick-up via rock-out.

Missing videos from 2002

February 2002

Tadpole “Now Today Forever”

The lone missing video for the February funding round is “Now Today Forever”, the second single from Tadpole’s second album, and a rather driving rock number.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

April 2002

Che Fu “Top Floor”

There’s also only one video missing from April, Che Fu’s uplifting number “Top Floor”. As it happens, I wrote a summary of this video in 2002. It sounds amazing:

Che Fu and his posse are hanging out on the front porch of a large wooden lodge. A young lady hands out pieces of chocolate cake and MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave pass out cups of instant coffee. With a very laid-back vibe, Che Fu spends most of the video sitting in a rocking chair, knitting. But just in case you think he’s turning into an old gran, in the middle of a song he turns into a robot and does a rap. But then it’s back to the porch. At the end of the song he’s finished knitting. He admires the, er, long red thing he’s made, tosses the ball of wool up in the air and it magically transforms into a snow ball and then Che’s snowboarding off into the sunset.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 2002

Fast Crew “Mr Radio”

Along came the Fast Crew, which included Kid Deft who later reverted to his maiden name, Dane Rumble. “Mr Radio” was their debut single, a rant about the difficulty of getting play-listed – something that would soon cease to be a problem for the Crew. The single reached #15 on the Independent NZ chart.

Director: Greg Riwai
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Fuce “Restless”

Christchurch band Fuce have their final NZOA-funded video “Restless”. The group had plans to relocate to Auckland in 2003, but I don’t know what (if anything) happened next.

In 2002 I wrote this about the “Restless” video: This video uses two visual clichés, one old, one getting old. The first is where the camera jerks about as if it’s trying to find something to focus on. The second is when the camera moves as if the power of the music is making the camera shake. Yeah, it’s a low-budget NzonAir video, but it’s looking ok. It just could have looked better if it had just shown the band playing the song, instead of all the dumb camera tricks.

Director: Aaron Hogg
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Splitter “You’re Right To Rock”

Splitter got in on the rock ‘n’ roll revival with “You’re Right To Rock” an ode to you-know-what. Sample lyrics: “Power chords are ringing like a bell!”. Aw yeah.

Subware “Into”

Subware’s final funded video was the lush “Into”, with vocals from Sandy Mills.

Theo Va’a “Little Angel”

Theo Va’a was an 10-year-old singer (dancer, entertainer, songwriter and professional model) from Palmerston North who later wowed the 2003 Christmas in the Park crowd. “Little Angel” featured Atilla Va’a, who I assume grew up to be the 130kg rugby prop asserting himself here.

August 2002

Mace & The Woodcut Crew “Shake ‘m”

“Shake ‘m” is a collaboration between rapper Mace and Auckland producers the Woodcut Crew producers. I’m going to assume it’s an instructional song about making protein shakes.

Pluto “Perfectly Evil”

Pluto have the dark and synthy “Perfectly Evil”. It’s been entertainingly used as the soundtrack for an almost wordless short film made by some year 13 students for their media studies assignment.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 2002

Lavina Williams featuring Emily Williams “Higher Lovin'”

Ex-Ma-V-Elle singer Lavina Williams teams up with her younger sister (and future Australian Idol star) Emily for the soul jam “Higher Lovin'”. Their sisterly harmonies sound fabulous.

December 2002

Crystal Fitisemanu “Sunny Summer’s Day”

I’m not sure if the video for Crystal Fitisemanu’s song “Sunny Summer’s Day” was made. There’s no mention of it online, but there is a brief mention of a $3000 grant in 2001 from Creative New Zealand for Crystal to record five songs.

P-Money featuring 4 Corners “The Xpedition”

“The Xpedition” is another track from P-Money’s debut album, this time featuring 4 Corners on vocals.

Rhombus “Tour Of Outer Space”

Well, Rhombus go on a “Tour of Outer Space”.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Tadpole “Always Be Mine”

“Always Be Mine” was the penultimate single released off Tadpole’s second album.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision


This month’s consolation video is “Verbally Decapitating” by DJ Logikal. It was the winner of a competition that TVNZ’s after-hours music show M2 held, with the prize being a $10,000 fancy music video made for the winning track. This is a throw-back to how things were in the days before NZOA, where TVNZ (and its predecessors) made music videos for bands. Though in this case, it was a heavily promoted contest with an alcohol sponsor. The video – which is a really is a proper fancy video – sees DJ Logikal infecting downtown Auckland with his scratched-up beats, and it features pre-development Britomart for some gritty urban decay. It visually name-checks P-Money, and incorporates the song’s samples by having people on the street lip-syncing the words. The video rightly won Best Editor for James Anderson at the 2003 Kodak Music Clip Awards.

Director: James Anderson
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision