Missing videos from 2004

February 2004

The Have “What You Owe”

“What You Owe” was the third single by Rockquest winners The Have. The group were one of five New Zealand acts to perform at South by Southwest in 2004, with “What You Owe” being included in a best of SXSW CD included with UK music industry publication Music Week.

Director: Adam Jones

February 2004

Dimmer “Finality”

“Finality” was the final track off Dimmer’s second album, You’ve Got to Hear the Music. Anika’s Moa’s vocals blend perfectly with Shayne Carter’s giving a sweetness and depth to the song. As the video isn’t around, here’s a piece Shayne Carter wrote for Public Address in 2004 looking at the album.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Falter “Fear Of Heights”

Christchurch punk-pop band Falter, the 2003 Rockquest winners, have their second single “Fear of Heights”. The single was recorded at York Street Studios as part of their Rockquest prize package.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 2004

Crumb “Got It All”

The saga of the missing video for Crumb’s song “Got It All” has the best story. Basically, the band had agreed to work with a director who was planning an ambitious semi-animated video. It involved something like the lead singer performing at a gig, seeing a mysterious girl who zaps him and he’s sucked into a cartoon world. The production was all going well until the band saw the finished product. It was terrible. No one was happy. The label refused to pay and the video never saw the light of day. No known copy of it exists, just some raw footage and a few stills. One can only hope that some day “Got It All” will surface in all its glory.

Dimmer “Case”

2004-dimmer-case“Case” is the final video from Dimmer’s second album “You’ve Got to Hear the Music”. It’s one of those great Dimmer tracks that sounds like the soundtrack to the best/worst weekend. The video used to be hosted at Amplifier and a lone screenshot remains.

Director: Richard Bell
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Gramsci “Recovery”

Gramsci get gruntier with the very röck “Recovery”. 2004 feels like the tail end of the early ’00s rock revival. It will be interesting to see how much rock there is in the years to come.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Lucid 3 “Pitch Jumping”

Lucid 3’s song “Pitch Jumping” is their most popular track on Spotify, so it’s sad the video isn’t available anywhere. It’s a typically laid-back Lucid 3 track, with some cool organ playing.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Have “Monday Through Friday”

The Have’s song “Monday Through Friday” is another track that might not have actually had a video made, but the Rockquest winners were keeping busy and have more funding to come.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

August 2004

Heavy Jones Trio “Free”

The Heavy Jones Trio song “Free” was their second funded video and the first single off their debut album. Director Ivan Slavov vaguely but intriguingly noted that the band “gave us freedom of expression which lets us do our job.”

Director: Ivan Slavov
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Niki Ahu “Nobody Knows”

Niki Ahu won a Mai FM talent quest and had her single “Nobody Knows” produced by UK producer Colin Emmanuel. The Kiwi Hit Disk quoted Niki describing the song as “deep, grunty and heartfelt.”

Strawpeople “Love My Way”

“Love My Way” was the Strawpeople’s penultimate NZ On Air funded video, another track fro their final studio album Count Backwards from 10. The song had vocals from Leza Corban.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Visions

October 2004

No Artificial Flavours “Homeland”

“Homeland” was the follow-up single from No Artificial Flavours, but also their final NZ On Air funded video – though I’m not actually sure if a video was made. There was talk of an album, but that doesn’t seem to have happened. But I found a 2009 profile of frontman Taaz where there’s mention of new music.

Salisha Taylor “I Saw An Angel”

Young singer Salisha Taylor had her debut single “I Saw An Angel”. There’s little trace of her online, but I found a post on the soc.culture.new-zealand newsgroup where an enthusiastic member of her team described her as “a real diva but she still replies to all her fan mail.” This prompted someone to cruelly reply: “It’s good to see New Zealand music in the international spotlight. It’s a shame its shit New Zealand music.”

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

December 2004

48May “Spinning Around”

48May had funding for their song “Spinning Around”. There’s no sign of the video, but instead here’s “Into the Sun”. It seems to have been made around the same time and includes outtakes from “Home By 2”, as well as ever reliable live footage.

Red Drum “Resurrect Jim”

Red Drum was a rock band fronted by Garageland frontman Jeremy Eade and “Resurrect Jim” was their funded song. A 2003 blog from Arch Hill Recordings mentions the production of a Red Drum song called “No Cross in the Crossroads”, but there’s no sign of that either.

Director: Paul Taylor
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Rhian Sheehan feat. Gramsci, Bevan Smith & Matthew Mitchell “Miles Away”

Rhian Sheehan teamed up with Gramsci and friends for “Miles Away”.

Director: Age Pryor
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Instead…

This month’s consolation video is Steriogram’s lively “Walkie Talkie Man”, directed by the perpetually creative French director Michel Gondry, far removed from the world of NZOA. By the mid 2000s Monsieur Gondry was well established as one of the cool-dude video directors, so he was the go-to guy for Capitol Records when they needed an impressive music video to attempt to launch Steriogram in America. The stop-motion-animated woolly world was created by production designer Lauri Faggioni and her team of knitters. (This is also a good enough place to link to Gondry’s enigmatic video for “Sugar Water” by Cibo Matto, one of my favourite videos ever.) Seeing a big budget video like this makes all the New Zealand videos set on beaches seem like roughly made home movies (and in some cases that’s just what they were). Sometimes it’s just nice to revel in the world of the fancy international music video in all its glory. (Director: Michel Gondry; Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

Hey, this is the halfway point!

In almost three years, I’ve reviewed 777 videos, which is quite a lot, really. There are also 350 videos that aren’t currently available online (like the ones above), though there are definitely more videos available from the mid 2000s than there were from the early ’90s. And 57 previously awol videos have since turned up online, which is splendid. I just need to get around to catching up with those ones.

When I started 5000 Ways, I didn’t have a specific end date in mind, but I realised that I don’t want to do it forever (oh God). So I’ve decided that a good enough end goal is June 2011, the final funding round of $5000 grants before that was replaced with the current Making Tracks scheme. I’ve roughly calculated how long it’s going to take to complete it and I will reveal this: it’s going to take a bit longer than three years. It’s ok. It’s not like I have anything better to do.

The one thing this project has done is completely kill the joy of nostalgia for me. When I look at a video from the olden times, it’s like I’m seeing it how I saw it back then. And when I’m not watching old music videos, I only listen to contemporary music. Anything older than five years just makes me feel depressed. Yay.

Anyway. This is still loads of fun. Most videos are a pleasure to watch and there’s a lot of good stuff out there. The only ones I have trouble with are ones that are just really boring – because no one deliberately sets out to make a boring video. But at least now when I come across a difficult video, I can at least console myself that I’m over the hump.

Ok, on we go. Here’s a video right from the beginning, “The Beautiful Things” by the Front Lawn one of the first three to be funded.

The WBC “Sick of It”

2004-the-wbc-sick-of-itThe WBC return for their second and final video “Sick of It”, a kiss off to a person who is a “waste of energy”. Like the WBC’s previous video, “Sick of It” also doesn’t capture the live energy of the band. In fact, if I saw them play this live, it would be my toilet-break song.

The video begins in a bar. We follow a dude (played by the group’s sound guy) as he staggers around, looking rather unwell, as frenetic drum n bass music plays. He stumbles into the toilets to have a spew, but is distracted by a small white cube on the floor. As it happens, this cube contains a seven-piece ska-punk-pop group.

Into the cube we go, and much of the video is just the WBC playing the song in the cube. If the idea of a band playing in a square white room with really flat lighting sounds a bit boring, it is. The band take turns at facing all four walls, but the video struggles to get much entertainment out of the situation.

Things get slightly more interesting when a dark green light brings some moody gothic styles to the box, but that’s also limited. Suddenly the band kick down one wall and wahey – there’s an enthusiastic audience outside!

But this makes me wonder – if the cube still on the toilet floor? Is the drunk guy now looking at a tiny ska-punk-pop group rocking out to a tiny audience? Is he thinking maybe it’s time he seriously cut back on his drinking? Or is he wondering if he could make one of the little ladies be his mini wife?

Annoyingly, the video does not answer these questions. We’re left with the ska septet in the mysterious white cube. Hey, maybe that’s it – maybe they’re just sick of living inside a cube.

Best bit: the crumpled Red Bull can, for that authentic club bitch detail.

Director: Ivan Slavov
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… crack open a cold one, or six.

The Feelers “Weapons Of War”

2004-the-feelers-weapons-of-warIt’s night time. In an anonymous office building, bass player Matt strides out of a lift, disturbing the all-Asian office staff. They direct him to a bland corner office and he struts over to the window.

We discover that the other two Feelers are also standing at the window of neighbouring buildings, playing their take on the old “love is a battlefield” theme. This high-rise trio doesn’t seem to bother the other people in the offices (all Asian). Perhaps it’s a standing arrangement the band have – an alternative to renting proper rehearsal space.

It’s been filmed by the Vero building on Shortland Street in Auckland, and sometimes we see the band playing outside, evidence that the three-building technique isn’t the result of a feud.

Office buildings are pretty bleak places, bleaker still when they’re empty. The presence of a rock band could either make the building seem more rockin’, or it could make the band members seem more dull. I think the latter happens in this instance. The scenes filmed outside with the band together are far more dynamic than the band in an empty open-plan office space. Even when the song’s tension is building, the dull setting just seems to bring everything down. Maybe they should have got David Brent to do some dancing.

Best bit: the guy happily working while Hamish plays the drums at the other desk.

Next… cube dudes.

The Black Seeds “Sort It Out”

2004-black-seeds-sort-it-outThe Black Seeds get motivational with “Sort It Out”, only the chorus’ euphemistic “get up off your backside” sounds more like the nagging of a mum to her lazy 15-year-old. Come on, the lawn’s not going to mow itself.

We see the band performing in a white studio space, with the upside-down stripes of the German flag and/or the mixed-up stripes of the Waikato flag running horizontally along the walls. We also meet a lazy-arse dude who’s slobbing around his house, watching the Black Seeds on his telly.

There’s some sort of magical connection between the two as whatever Mr Lazy does affects the band. If he has a cig, the band are engulfed in smoke. When he scrapes his leftovers into the rubbish, the band are covered in food scraps. He’s inspired by the message of the lyrics, but at a very messy cost to the band.

It’s a classic “torture” the band” video. The problem with the genre is that it can be a rather gross experience watching a whole lot of crap flying around. When the band end up performing up to their knees in filthy water, it’s difficult to feel inspired by the lyrics.

I feel like there was a really good idea at the core of this video – a Dorian Gray-like transformation – but the opportunity to have some clever fun with the idea was missed at the expense of cheap gross-out lolz.

Best bit: the full wineglass on the coffee table, the sign of a man who’s given up.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… putting in some overtime.

Shapeshifter featuring Ladi6 “When I Return”

2004-shapeshifter-when-i-return“When I Return” is a very loving and very cool song, but Shapeshifter seem to have really missed the opportunity to make a great video. Instead we see Ladi6 blobbing out in her tracky dacks, looking through a scrapbook filled with mementos of life on the road with Shapeshifter.

Along with the ticket for the gig at Phat Club in Nelson, various photos in the scrapbook turn into video, revealing clips of Shapeshifter on tour. And it’s all very generic. Loads of bands have fun when they’re on tour and do crazy things for the camera, but there’s nothing about it that stands out as particularly remarkable. Oh, there’s one of the band trying to stand up in the back of a moving van. That’s nice.

But maybe Shapeshifter can get away with making a really lacklustre video because they are – and this song especially is – so beloved. YouTube commenter Davidbigsexy says “good to see the clips from the early days were the boys are in the back of the van on the floor just having epic times”. So maybe the video is just a treat for Shapeshifter fans – they don’t need to be sold on the song (they already love it) so instead here’s the band mucking around on tour.

Best bit: Ladi6’s henna hand tattoo.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a dirty old spring clean.

Salmonella Dub “Longtime”

2004-salmonella-dub-longtimeIf you fly from Auckland to Wellington, at point point the plane passes over part of the King Country that is covered in bush. And every time I always look down and think if the plane were to crash, it would probably get swallowed by the bush and be invisible from the air. Well, now you can have that thought from the safety of your own home, thanks to the “Longtime” video.

Most of the video is aerial shots of scenic Aotearoa. As well of swooping shots of dense bush, we’re also treated to rocky shorelines, green hills and a coastal town. But the most time is given to a convoy of cars making their way along a winding road, through tunnels and around many curves and bends. It could almost be mistaken for scenes from a car ad, only one of the drivers isn’t very good and seems to genuinely be having trouble staying in his lane.

This aerial exploration of scenic New Zealand takes up about two-thirds of the video. And what happens next? Well, it’s a Salmonella Dub video so they have a barbecue, obviously. (They were previously seen enjoying a barbecue in “For the Love of It” from 1999). The “Longtime” video is mostly set in the New Zealand that is virtually untouched by humans, so the barbecue isn’t in some suburban backyard, it’s on a farm.

The video finally makes a concession to the Dub’s day job – we see them playing a concert. It’s like the “Slide” video where it feels like some live footage has been whacked on the end just in case anyone forgets that Salmonella Dub are a band and not a branch of Tourism New Zealand.

Best bit: the grilling of crayfish, actually looking pretty good.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… logically it would end with a coffee table covered with candle wax.

Rhian Sheehan featuring Jess Chambers “Sunshine”

2004-rhian-sheean-sunshineIt’s a golden sunny day at Castlepoint, so what better time and place to shoot a music video? Only this video isn’t being shot in a video format. Instead director Peter Tonks has shot a large number of still photos and edited them together to create the sense of moving image.

Sometimes it has a sped-up timelapse feel, sometimes it’s like a cheap security video that only shoots one frame per second, and other times it’s literally like a series of photos. But all shots are beautifully composed and work well with the rhythm and dynamics of the chilled-out song.

The star of the video is vocalist Jess Chambers though due to the restrictions of the medium, there’s not many shots of her actually singing. But a few times it’s managed, with the series of frames of Jess singing skilfully coming together to match the song.

Castlepoint is a notoriously windy location, and perhaps the photo collage technique helps disguise this more than straight video footage would. Instead the video has a dreamy feel, like looking back at some photos of that really amazing day we went to Castlepoint when everything felt golden and perfect.

Best bit: Rhian Sheehan mystically appearing in the bush, like a wood sprite who has been summoned.

Director: Peter Tonks
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… aerial shots.

Minuit “Except You”

2004-minuit-except-youMinuit return with “Except You”, a bittersweet and supercool reflection upon a broken relationship. But the video, directed by Alyx Duncan, takes its inspiration from outside the home.

Across a lonely costal landscape comes Ruth from Minuit, two suitcases in hand. Those suitcases contain a lot of old memories and she’s there to dramatically dispose of their contents. She begins hurling away accoutrements of her past, which seems a bit more fun than dropping off a banana box of stuff to the Red Cross store.

But what’s behind this dramatic disposal? We flash back to the circus. There’s Ruth and her bandmates along with a number of circus performers, all elaborately costumed and with very expressive eyebrows. They lipsync along with the song, and it feels all very sinister. In the midst of it, Ruth slips a teaspoon down her cleavage, suggesting that her suitcases are all full of stolen goodies.

After emptying the two suitcases – but keeping the cute little dog she found in one – Ruth sets off down to the beach. But there she finds the circus people. Uh oh. They close in on her, grab her and perform the classic “sawing a lady in half” trick. Only it’s no trick. Ruth has been bisected, with her annoyed top half in one suitcase and her wiggling legs in the other. Well, when it’s no longer ethical to have animals in circuses, you’ve got to entertain the punters somehow.

I really like what’s happening in this video. It’s really stylish and dramatic with a really strong storyline, it works perfectly with the lyrics and tone of the song, and there are lots of lush details to be discovered with repeat viewings.

Best bit: the naughty fingertip lick.

Director: Alyx Duncan
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… round the rugged rocks.

Lazrus “Scribble”

2004-lazrus-scribbleLazrus was an Auckland MC who had the sweet song “Scribble”. Like a lot of rap songs, it’s a song about writing a rap song, but the production nudges it into being a cool summer jam.

The video casts Lazrus as a lonely cleaner, mopping up at Alleluya Cafe. But a sticky floor is the least of his worries. Over in the toilet, a succession of visitors (all played by Lazrus) graffiti the toilet wall. They each express themselves through the medium of marker pen, spray paint or lipstick, with little concern for the watching security camera.

The graffiti is all pretty rubbish and doesn’t even come close to the quality scribblings I’ve seen in the ladies loos at the King’s Arms or Mighty Mighty. The toilet antics aside, the strongest scenes are Lazrus along at Alleluya with the Auckland night time skyline in the picture window behind him.

The website Thread has an interview with Lazrus from 2004, where he talks about the video. He reveals that the video had to be changed at the last minute after their original location fell through, adding ” I never intended on dressing up in drag or anything.” Maybe there’s an unrealised video that would have been better than this one, but the “Scribble” video doesn’t feel like a last-minute job.

In the interview Lazrus also says, “no disrespect to NZ On Air, but the $5000 you get is never enough to pay for everything, so favours have to be pulled left, right and centre.” But the $5000 was never ever intended to pay for everything. In 1991 NZ On Air budgeted an average music video production as costing $10,000, halved that for the funding, with the expectation that the artist (or their record company) would match that. If $5000 isn’t enough, then, yeah, you call in favours or chip in some cash yourself. Or wait another decade until music video production becomes really cheap.

Best bit: the Sky Tower, looking gloriously framed by St Kevin’s arcade.

Director: Stephen Baker
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the old sawing-the-lady-in-half trick.

Goodshirt “Fiji Baby”

2004-goodshirt-fiji-baby“Fiji Baby” is a sweet song looking at relationship troubles. The title is explained in the first verse – a trip to Hamilton is made sweeter by pretending they’re heading to Fiji, baby.

The video is set in the claustrophobic world of an old-fashioned hotel room – one without the luxury of an en suite bathroom, but with the most exquisite Rococo decor. Rodney checks in, turns on the jug, stares at the wallpaper, plays his portable keyboard, goes out for a wee, makes a cup of tea and takes a nap. He evidently has a very short attention span.

While he’s asleep, he dreams of the rest of Goodshirt. They’re sitting around a table enjoying a meal while wearing animal masks. Two of them are wearing horse masks, predating the horse mask meme by several years.

Rodney wakes up and very quickly leaves the room. What did the animal head dream/nightmare reveal to him? As he power walks down the hallway, his phone rings. The video thoughtfully subtitles his quiet conversation. “Hello…? Yeah, nah, yeah.”

The video has a slightly uneasy feeling, a little bit Twin Peaks in style, which seems to symbolise the relationship stress rather than literally depict a holiday in Hammo.

And by avoiding the literal meaning of the lyrics, the song touches more people. I was interested to find a couple of heartbreaking comments on YouTube:

This is such a sad, sad, video – it makes me remember being young and poor, and the family only being able to afford to go to Hamilton 🙁

I grew up in Wairoa, Napier was a trip to the big city. Auckland seemed like a foreign land you only saw on telly.

Well, the video might sing of Hamilton, but you wouldn’t get that sort of room in the Fountain City Motor Lodge.

Best bit: the suitcase essentials – clothes, a Rubik’s cube, a knitted rabbit, and a photo of his sweetie.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a big clean-up.