August 2010: Anika Moa, Annah Mac, Atlanta Fall, Autozamm, Black River Drive, Brooke Fraser, Chazz Valentine, Die! Die! Die!

A very wet phone call, change management, paper boats, the band and the song, thrift store art, damp hair in a cool cafe, the romantic punk, and chaotic scribbles.

Continue reading August 2010: Anika Moa, Annah Mac, Atlanta Fall, Autozamm, Black River Drive, Brooke Fraser, Chazz Valentine, Die! Die! Die!

August 2007: 48 May, 5star Fallout, Anika Moa, Audio Empire, Brooke Fraser, Brotha D

Harry Houdini’s greatest hits, Anika and the lightbulbs, gentle life on the road, cardboard pop-punk, farewell to Murph, and representing the south side.
Continue reading August 2007: 48 May, 5star Fallout, Anika Moa, Audio Empire, Brooke Fraser, Brotha D

February 2007: Annabel Fay, Brian Platt, Brooke Fraser, Bryan Bell, Cliff Hedley

Nerdy office high jinks, Brooke goes to Rwanda, Bryan’s mystery date, modern furniture, and hitching a ride.
Continue reading February 2007: Annabel Fay, Brian Platt, Brooke Fraser, Bryan Bell, Cliff Hedley

December 2006: 48May, Autozamm, Bling, Brooke Fraser, Bruce Conlon, Chong Nee

A WWII fever dream, adventures in Sydney and London, a forced commercial song, a failed seduction attempt and a MySpace URL.
Continue reading December 2006: 48May, Autozamm, Bling, Brooke Fraser, Bruce Conlon, Chong Nee

October 2006: 5Star Fallout, Annabel Fay, Bleeders, Brooke Fraser, Cobra Khan

A rainy night in Tokyo, another ’06 Bonnie and Clyde, the rehearsal shed crashers, teen glam, punk pop prancing.
Continue reading October 2006: 5Star Fallout, Annabel Fay, Bleeders, Brooke Fraser, Cobra Khan

Brooke Fraser “Without You”

2004-brooke-fraser-without-you“Without You” is a short jazzy love song, the sort of thing that is in the repertoire of Saturday afternoon cafe performer.

We find Brooke sitting on a hearty old leather sofa, surrounded by stacks of books. This reminds me of the bar decor trend of having shelves lined with old books purchased from op shop bargain bins, most of which ended up being All Black biographies and Reader’s Digest condensed books. I wonder if Brooke’s collection includes Ebony & Ivory: The Stu Wilson, Bernie Fraser Story.

As well as stationary Brooke on the couch, we also get shots of couples, posing in a portrait style. As well as the obvious romantic and family groups, there’s a punk dad with a punk kid, two beardy bastards, a girl with a horse, and woman with her award-winning dogs and their trophies.

It’s a sweet song and a sweet video, but there’s just not much that’s especially captivating about it. Maybe it’s just the sort of thing to play in a cafe on a Saturday afternoon.

Best bit: the elaborately bedazzled jacket of a young punk.

Director: Tim Groenendaal
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… swimming in bread.

Brooke Fraser “Arithmetic”

2004-brooke-fraser-arithmeticIt’s curtain up on a stage, revealing a grand piano, a string quartet and several kilometres of fairy lights strung around the place. All this provides the setting for Brooke Fraser to perform her very sweet ballad “Arithmetic”.

It’s a very pretty, very atmospheric video that perfectly works with the tone of the song. Brooke always looks serene in the golden glow of the fairy lights. Sitting on the piano is a frame photo (her inspiration for the song, perhaps) and a glass of water, which – OMG – the number one rule is no drinks on the piano, ok?

Interestingly the string quartet members are all senior citizens. It’s a bit of a cliche having attractive young orchestral players, all long hair and sensual poise, so it really stands out that the video used a group of grandparents for the video. It gives the song’s message – a declaration of long-term love – a more serious context. It’s not just a young girl declaring she’s sooo in love with her bf. No, it’s the message of someone who sees herself growing old with the love of her life, just like the oldies down the back.

NZ On Screen notes that the video was the “winner of the (satirical) award for “Most use of fairy lights in a video clip” at the 2004 Studio 2 Awards”. And a rightly deserved award.

Best bit: the playing face of the granny on cello – she’s seen it all.

Director: Tim Groenendaal
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… Friday night in town.

Brooke Fraser “Saving The World”

2003-brooke-fraser-saving-the-worldThis song feels a bit out of sequence, like it should have been released a couple of years later, but all evidence points to it being from 2004. Ok.

Brooke has got her tongue pierced, which changed the way she sung – a bonus for fans of acquired lisps. She also has a smoky eye thing happening, which I think is when the “set Fraser to stun” phase kicked off.

The video follows the journey of a toy squeezy ball globe of the world. It’s sitting in a rubbish bin and gets kicked and jostled around the city, including hitching a ride on a truckload of manure.

It’s also used as an impromptu rugby ball, manhandled by a dog, and just generally gets kicked around a bit. Oh, won’t someone save the world? Where is Brooke when we need her?

She’s singing at a bus stop, on a very rainy day. With water bucketing down around her, it’s not going to be good situation to busk in. It reminds me of the leakiest bus stop ever, which is Stop B outside Petone Station, in case you’re wondering.

As it happens, the toy globe ends up making its way back to the rubbish bin from the beginning, but this time it crosses Brooke’s path. Oh look – she has saved the world from ending up in a rubbish truck. Hooray!

The comedy antics of the globe aside, the scenes of Brooke at the bus stop are really lovely. They’re shot in a cool blue palette, and Brooke and her cool blue top and the falling rain all making being stranded at a bus stop on a rainy day look awesome and sexy.

Best bit: the dog perfectly dropping the ball out of a moving car.

Note: this video has fan-made Portuguese subtitles, which is pretty cool.

Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Brooke Fraser “Better”

2003-brooke-fraser-betterOh, the sweet sound of Brooke Fraser, and in the golden age before she got her tongue pierced and started singing with a pronounced lisp. “Better” stars Temuera Morrison (pre teeth veneers – what’s up with entertainers messing with their mouths?) as Brooke’s troubled dad – like a lower-middle-class Jake the Muss who’s got most of his issues under control, but still has moods.

He comes home from work, heats up a really depressing looking dish of microwaved veggies, but he has no appetite and so goes upstairs for a lie-down. While he’s resting, daughter Brooke lets herself in and gets to work on a makeover of his living room. He wisely doesn’t come downstairs. If he did, she’d probably hand him a paintbrush and make him join in.

Brooke gives the place a good dusting (the place is filthy), paints over the dingy yellowing wallpaper with bright white paint, adds a few stylish throw cushions and a lamp, hangs a photos of a tropical island, arranges a colourful bunch of flowers on the table, and takes off, happy with her three-minute makeover.

There are actual TV shows exactly like this (the Living Channel is full of them). Troubled people get quickie makeovers to put a smile on their face and help brighten up their life. But does the fresh new look make Tem happy? As he sits down to finish his plate of microwaved veggies, he sees the flowers and has a little smile on his face. But really, Brooke goes to all the effort of making over the house, but she leaves him with the old plate of microwaved veggies? How hard would it have been to phone for pizza? Yeah.

The videos works really well with the themes of the song. There’s no attempt to dress it up as a boy-girl relationship song. Yeah, the makeover is a bit silly, but overall there’s sweetness.

Note: this video might not have actually had NZ On Air funding. It’s one of the “yeah nah” ones.

Best bit: Brooke’s careful arrangement of the throw cushions.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a fat wad of Rutherfords.

Missing videos from 2003

February 2003

Dead End Beat “Nervous Bag”

Dead End Beat were basically a slightly older and wiser Breathe with a new drummer. “Nervous Bag” was their debut single.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Donald Reid “The Return”

Donald Reid is the brother of James from the Feelers. “The Return” was his debut single, though I can’t find any evidence of there having been a video made for it, though Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision has an entry for the album track “No Ordinary Day”, which isn’t on the NZOA funding list.

Evermore “Pick Yourself Up”

“Pick Yourself Up” was another track from Evermore’s “Oil & Water” EP. I’m not sure if there was actually a video made, but it’s on the list.

Hendrix Warren “Empty”

I wasn’t sure if the video for Hendrix Warren’s song “Empty” existed, but I found the online CV of a camera operator, who lists the video production amongst his work history. Well, that’s good.

Director: Ivan Slavov

Pluto “On Your Own”

Pluto have “On Your Own”, another track from their album “Pipeline Under The Ocean”.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Soda “Falling Faster Now”

According to the band’s description on Amplifier, Soda’s “Falling Faster Now” video “explores the depths of Karaoke booth kitsch”. More than Rufus Wainwright’s “California” video?

The Brunettes “Boy Racer”

A few months ago The Brunettes’ “Boy Racer” video was on YouTube, but it’s since been taken down. I watched it once back then and I remember it involved the band performing at an empty theatre, as well as their backstage preparations. I mourn the loss.

Director: Daniel Monaghan
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 2003

50Hz “Smooth Rhodes”

More relaxing beats from 50Hz. “Smooth Rhodes” has guest vocals from Miss La.

P-Money “Go With The Flow”

There’s a P-Money track listed called “Go with the Flow”, but I can’t find any other mention of a song by that name. As far as I can tell, there were no more videos made for tracks from P-Money’s debut album Big Things.

June 2003

Brett Sawyer “Save Me Now”

“Save Me Now” was the sixth funded video that Brett Sawyer had and – surprise, surprise – it’s also the sixth of his videos to not be online. I’m very intrigued by him now. I’d love to see just one of his videos.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Carly Binding “This Is It”

Carly Binding’s single “This Is It” reached No.12 in the charts. It’s not online, but you can see her performing the song live with Donald Reid in 2006.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dead End Beat “Tonite We Ride”

Dead End Beat have “Tonight We Ride” – not to be confused with “We Ride Tonight” by D-Super. It’s a fairly ordinary early 2000s rock ‘n’ roll number.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Emcee Lucia “All This Time”

Emcee Lucia was the first New Zealand female MC to release a solo album. “All This Time” was the first track. She’s one of those artists who had a lot of buzz at the time, but I haven’t been able to figure out if she’s done anything lately.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

August 2003

The Bads “Don’t Go Losing”

In one database this track was listed as being by Diane Swann, one half of the Bads. “Don’t Go Losing” was the duo’s first single. I’m not actually sure if a video was made for this track. A profile at NZ Musician mentions that The Bads parted ways with their record company “after several videos had been shot and were poised for release”, so that might explain it.

Evermore “Hold On”

“Hold On” was a track from Evermore’s EP “My Own Way”, their last release before their debut album “Dreams” kicked off their success in Australia.

Taisha “I’ll Go”

After appearing in OMC’s video for”Land of Plenty”, R&B songstress Taisha had the country-tinged “I’ll Go”. She’s now part of the all-star cover band the Lady Killers.

Director: Ivan Slavov

October 2003

Brooke Fraser “Lifeline”

The original version of Brooke Fraser’s “Lifeline” video is not online. From memory, it involved Brooke and her band, dressed in overalls, playing a board game called Lifeline that administered electric shocks for losing moves – like a low-budget version of the Domination game from “Never Say Never Again”. And I have this idea that it ended up Brooke winning the game and her opponents being reduced to a smouldering pile of overalls.

The video was a bit darker and yet goofier than the song required, so director Joe Lonie filmed a new video, this time with Brooke walking through scenic landscapes (with a typical Lonie twist).

Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision – New Zealand version
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision – international version

Paselode “C’Mon Hallelujah”

Paselode were a rock band from Wellington. I saw them live few times in 2003 and they were always entertaining. Their songs were always about a minute too long and had one person too many playing on the track (they were a five-piece band but felt like an unwieldy ska band). “C’Mon Hallelujah” was their lone NZ On Air funded single. The band broke up shortly after, but not before the Simmonds Brothers told the band’s tumultuous story in the animated short film “The Paselode Story”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

December 2003

There are no missing videos from December 2003!

Instead…

This month’s consolation video is the super chill “Dawnskate-88” by The Video Kid, a side project by Black Seeds and Flight of the Conchords dude Bret McKenzie. This non-NZOA-funded video shows Bret and pals having a skate down the streets of Mt Victoria, then along a deserted Lambton Quay. It’s so Wellington.