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

Instead…

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

Wordperfect “The Wordperfect Show”

2002-wordperfect-the-wordperfect-showWordperfect was Justin Cunningham, a master of MC battles and his identity-establishing single features guest vocals from Tyna Keelan (soon to be showing up here with his duo the Dubious Brothers).

We meet Wordperfect hanging out on the streets, but he quickly switches to a boxing gym where he’s in training for a big fight. With the fairly catchy chorus ordering listeners to “stop, cease, desist, let’s go”, these lyrics take on a slightly sinister overtone when the sight of a dude pummelling punching bags.

The boxing scenes continue with Wordperfect stomping around a ring and no sign of an opponant. There’s also Tyna as the ring announcer, and a ring girl who actually seems to have more work to do than Wordperfect. He won’t even take off his robe, but she’s happily wearing a bikini. The ring girl is up to round five without any evidence of the previous rounds having taken place. Maybe she’s just counting her laps of the ring. Or maybe he’s battling himself.

This attempt for some boxing ring drama is all pretty cheesy. The other shots of Wordperfect – on the street and in a white studio – are far more interesting. This was Wordperfect’s only NZ On Air-funded video, but he continued to collaborate with other artists before moving into the world of web marketing.

Best bit: Tyna’s dapper mannerisms.

Next… wheezecore.

Tim Finn “I’ll Never Know”

2002-tim-finn-ill-never-knowThis video has a great opening – a Sanyo radio plays the end of the Radio New Zealand long-range weather forecast for the districts, wrapping up with the Chatham Islands. We find Tim Finn alone in a dressing room, getting ready for a show. I’ve always thought that the RNZ long-range forecast is just as soothing as the BBC’s shipping forecast. Blur used to listen to the shipping forecast on tour, to remind them of England. Perhaps Tim Finn is doing the same for memories of Aotearoa.

He puts on his stage clothes, a neat suit, and sings the song as he tucks in and buttons up. We also get a look at the set list. It seems to be all Split Enz songs, and if this represents a real concert, it might have been something to do with one of Split Enz 30th anniversary shows in 2002.

The video sometimes focuses on the mundane details of the dressing room – the curves of the coat rack, a shirt button, the dust on the carpet, the painting on the wall. Tim nervous paces the room, as if he’s working himself up into the state required to be Tim Finn, pop legend.

Then the song fades down, Tim pours himself a glass of wine (which he doesn’t drink), casts an eye over the set list, and then there’s a knock at the door with “Two minutes, Tim!” Hey, Mr Stage Manager. Don’t you know that the concert’s already started in Tim’s dressing room?

Maybe that’s the problem. If he’s going to be singing Split Enz songs on stage, the dressing room might be the only outlet to perform his solo material. And once the Split Enz concert is over, maybe he will return for some alone time with the wine and the weather forecast.

Best bit: Tim’s stripy socks.

Director: Paul Casserly
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… punching above his weight.

The Unusuals “Under the Sun”

2002-the-unusuals-under-the-sun“Under the Sun” takes the set-up of Bjork’s “Big Time Sensuality” video (artist performing the song on the back of a truck) and gives it a totally logical context – the annual Birkenhead Santa parade.

Film in the ‘hood of director Andrew Moore, along comes the band on the back of a flatbed truck. It’s probably not what the parade crowd – largely made up of small children and their parents – were expecting. And there are indeed shots of kids holding blocking their ears, trying to make all the noise go away. But there are plenty more people who are enjoying this impressive parade float, with many shots of people waving and dancing as the truck slowly makes its way up the hill. And some of the little kids are really digging it.

It’s a rather scenic location too, with wide shots showing the distant Auckland city and Sky Tower way across the harbour. Another part of the parade route offers panoramic views of the inner Waitemata Harbour. It all fits nicely with the upbeat pop-rock song. Setting itself amid a lively community event in an ordinary Auckland neighbourhood works with the song and manages to make the Santa parade a bit more thrilling than it actually is for grown-ups.

Best bit: the old guy who is really enjoying himself.

Director: Andrew Moore
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… two minutes, Tim.

Stoods “Portrait”

2002-stoods-portraitStoods were, as their Amplifier bio proudly notes, the “2001 New Zealand National Battle of the bands winners”. They have a good commercial rock sound and there’s Phil Stoodley’s songwriting does interesting things.

“Portrait” is about a guy who has a one-night stand with an attractive woman, but when he goes to paint a portrait of her pretty face, he can’t actually remember what she look looks like, which is a disgrace. (Maybe he should start with the boobs. I’m sure it’ll all come back to him.)

The video sees a young artist trying to paint this portrait, but it’s an exercise in great frustration for him. He pouts, paces, stamps and is very annoyed with himself for not being able to remember that chick he rooted that one time. This was a harsh reality of the time before Facebook.

This is cut with scenes of an art gallery filled with attractive women. They alternative between stylishly staring at the paintings and elegantly gliding around the gallery. COuld one of them be his one-time shag?

We also see the band playing wandering around this gallery, but mainly they’re playing the song in a dark space. The band shots are the least interesting part of the video, a group of three ordinary looking guys who seem determined to distance themselves from the gallery madness.

Back in the gallery, the young artist finally sees his mystery bonk. At last – he can paint her. But as she walks towards him, she keeps on walking, straight through him. She’s a ghost. Or he’s a ghost. Or maybe he caught syphilis and this is all an elaborate hallucination.

Best bit: the extreme acting when the artist doubles over as the lady walks through him.

Director: Andy McGrath
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a tattoo boy from Birkenhead.

Stellar “Star”

2002-stellar-star“Star” was the last Stellar song to make the charts, interesting timing, given the song is named after the band. It’s a fairly standard upbeat Stellar rock song, but the video has an intriguing concept behind it.

Julian Boshier, director of Stellar’s “What You Do” video has some fun with the new freedom technology offered with digital cameras. The video is basically Stellar performing the song on a plain performance area (all wearing black and denim), while they’re shot by a number of fixed cameras positioned around the band.

Oddly enough, it gives the video similar feeling to that of a Big Brother episode. The cameras are there to capture the action, but the shots won’t necessarily be nicely composed. But it means the cutting between shots can be done flawlessly, with a close-up leading to a perfectly matched, totally continuous wide shot.

The editing carefully creates a bit of suspense. We don’t get a proper look at Boh singing until the first pre-chorus. Before then, it’s the rest of the band pacing and playing, with the occasional glimpse of Boh in her breaks between singing.

The biggest moment happens when the chorus kicks in and it’s revealed that the band are playing under a giant star-shaped lighting rig. It’s slightly sinister, like we’ve just discovered that the band are involved in a weird cult.

I like this video as a document of video production in 2002. But it doesn’t seem like a good video for promoting the song. It’s not a particularly strong single, so having an edgier video is a risk.

Best bit: Boh’s sassy guitar-pick-bite.

Director: Julian Boshier
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… modern art.

Rubicon “Happy Song”

2002-rubicon-happy-song“Happy Song” was the fourth of the eight funded videos from Rubicon’s debut album “Primary Colours. The album had 14 tracks, so more than half of them had music videos made. That beats both Fiona McDonald and Tadpole’s previous total of seven videos from one album.

This video sees Rubicon in spaaaace, with a parody of both Star Wars and Star Trek. Actually, I don’t think you’re allowed to do that. I think mashing up those two strongholds of popular science-fiction culture makes people really upset. And for a song that’s about happiness, that’s a bad thing to do.

The Rubicon trio are on the bridge of a spaceship, each wearing skivvies in primary colours with the group logo, which oddly enough is more reminiscent of the Wiggles costumes than the Star Trek uniforms.

It’s a lighthearted video, with plenty of “we’re under attack!” acting, which involves hurtling oneself across the screen. After fighting off attacking ships, the lads soon discover the alien enemy is on board the ship, requiring doofy laser guns to be deployed.

The song sneaks in a drum solo (Paul Reid is does a Karen Carpenter and sings from his drumkit), and while the band rock out in their civilian world, back on the ship the trio are fighting off a bad guy (who looks like an extra from Hercules) with budget-as lightsabers. The enemy defeated, the group go in for hugs. And so their happy broventures in space continue.

It’s a Rubicon video. They were, for a couple of years, really popular and made fun videos that their young fans enjoyed. And hey, if James Bond can go into space, so can Rubicon.

Best bit: the not-quite-solid lightsaber animations.

Director: Andy McGrath
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… star quality.

Kitsch “Eleven:Eleven”

2002-kitsch-eleven-elevenPunk-pop band Kitsch had a very American sound. It’s like all these local bands go to the effort of singing in their New Zealand accents, then along comes a band who get all punk and piss off the elders by sounding like they’re straight out of the suburbs of America and probably don’t even know where New Zealand is.

Maybe because of this they were ashamed to show their faces, because the “Eleven:Eleven” video is shot in extreme close-up, with many shots of sections of musical instruments and body parts. And when we do see lead singer Sam, he’s hiding under a hat, his eye closed as he sings. It seems like some sort of technical or instructional video, rather than a thrilling music video.

But the video is actually bookended by two good shots. The vid opens with a 25-second continuous shot as the camera follows a microphone lead across the floor and up the microphone stand, where Sam starts to sing. And right at the end the camera dares to do a wide shot of sorts (it’s very low so you can’t see the heads of the band members), zooming in on the bass drum, going right in through the hole, where the drummer hits the pedal on the final beat.

It’s a frustrating video because it seems to be ignoring the song’s theme of troubled love, and isn’t particularly bothered about promoting the band. But maybe that’s the point. The song is short enough that the extreme-close-up style doesn’t have time to become really boring. Kitsch are still together, and I reckon they’re the kind of band who have a loyal following and don’t need to go making a cool music video to expand their audiences.

Best bit: the band’s set list, with the song title circled. Such an attention seeker.

Next… you cannae change the laws of physics.

K’Lee “Can You Feel Me?”

2002-klee-can-you-feel-meYes, K’Lee. I can feel you. Introduced by sweeping aerial shots, our heroine returns in a Jeep, hooning along a beach. She’s not driving (possible because she couldn’t drive). Instead there’s a random blonde woman at the wheel, with two other women and a man standing at the back of the Jeep. They all look too old to be K’Lee’s friends, and the man even looks like some sort of safety expert who is supervising the ride.

It turns out they’ve come to a cave, all set up with patio lights for a nautical-themed rave. Sometimes K’Lee sits, looking like a Poseidonette; other times K’Lee and a larger group of the slightly older women and a couple of men dancing in the cave. “The beat is pumping and it’s getting krunk,” sez K’Lee. And I can’t help thinking, yeah, it looks pretty fun, but wouldn’t it be just that much more fun with a a whole lot more boys?

Some men arrive in the form of Brotha D and some Dawn Raid dudes, but just before he delivers his rap, K’Lee reminds him where her loyalties lay: “Universal is the label that pays me.” (Which is hilarious as it’s a reference to a line from “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang”.) Lucky Brotha D – at an beach cave rave with K’Lee, her women and the on-site health and safety guy.

I was a bit worried about the cave. It looks tidal so what if K’Lee and her posse became trapped by the incoming tide? Well, over on Vimeo, DOP Dan Macarthur (the man responsible for the rather good composition of the video’s shots) notes, “The scene in the cave was shot in a few hours before the tide came back in, and we had to bail at the end and drag the lights out because the waves were moving in.” Well, I’m glad.

As the evening progresses, the group safely leave the cave and frolic in the sea, which is slightly odd coming in the same funding sound as the Heavy Jones Trio’s “Staring at the Ocean”. What was it in 2002 that made people want to jump in the ocean?

Best bit: the fairy lights wrapped around the patio light, a battle of the twee lighting.

Director: Matthew Metcalfe
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… extreme close-up.

Heavy Jones Trio “Staring at the Ocean”

2002-heavy-jones-trio-staring-at-the-oceanThe Heavy Jones Trio (a four-piece group) was fronted by Kelly Horgan, formerly the guitar half of high school duo Love Soup, along with some chick called Bic Runga. “Staring at the Ocean” is a pleasant tune, a chilled out ode to the ocean. According to Muzic.net.nz, the group made the video in “a hectic week” very soon after relocating from Christchurch to Auckland.

The video begins with fragments of a crazy, boozy night, cutting to the morning after. There we find a bedroom littered with condoms, bottles, CDs and other detritus of modern life. It’s like Tracy Emin’s “My Bed” on steroids.

Kelly wakes up in bed, fully clothed, next to a sleeping underwear-clad women. Too pissed to shag? He leaves her standing at the front door, is drenched with water as he walks away (including a fish) and embarks on a long walk.

He wanders along city streets, motorways, train tracks, a bustling market, a sheep farm and over sand dunes, all the while acquiring and losing various colourful performers. He’s like a pied piper whose allure only works in the city.

Finally he reaches the ocean, where upon he strips down to his undies and plunges into the water. Finally there this young Christchurch man can cleanse himself of the decadent Auckland lifestyle that was threatening to swallow him whole.

This video is also noteworthy as being the New Zealand music video debut of director Ivan Slavov, who would go on to be a major player in music video production of the ’00s. On his MySpace profile he notes, “My first New Zealand music video. Man I used everyone I knew in Auckland at the time for this one, no wonder it played so much…”

Best bit: the well behaved sheep, doing synchronised prancing.

Director: Ivan Slavov
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… enchantment under the sea.