1. It’s the first single off Carly Binding’s second album, So Radiate. The album title is written on her guitar strap for extra brand awareness. It actually looks like it’s been written in Twink.
2. The video is shot in portrait orientation. You know how there are all those webpages passively-aggressively reminding people to turn their smartphones to landscape orientation when filming interesting things? Yeah, eff that. Sometimes portrait is cooler. In this case, the video includes lots of tall buildings and shots going up, so the portrait style suits it best.
3. But there are lots of shots of people falling from the buildings, WTC style. Because it’s a magical music video, everyone falls safely and gets to enjoy a Carly Binding street concert, but there’s still an unpleasant reminder of the people who fell to their death on 9/11. Maybe the innocence and naivety of New Zealand means something like this can be got away with, but just imagine the outcry if an American music video had scenes like this.
4. Carly’s drummer is Scotty Rocker, star of Treasure Island: Couples at War, one of the sacred texts. This makes me intensely nostalgic for that period in the early to mid ’00s when TVNZ made lots of trashy reality shows in order to fulfil its charter obligations. I miss Celebrity Treasure Island. I miss the Scotty and Vicky-Lee magic. There aren’t even any YouTube clips.
5. In one scene there are posters for touring acts Goldie and the White Stripes, among others. It’s the weirdest bit of product placement because Carly Binding is so different to the edgy drum ‘n’ bass of Goldie or the homespun stripped-down rock of the White Stripes. But then, maybe the posters were just chosen for their colour or design, rather than any sort of artistic association.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. In 2003, Radio New Zealand broadcast a retrospective of Diane Swann’s music career to date. At that stage, “Don’t Go Losing” was due to be the first single released by The Bads. 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
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).
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”.
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.
There’s quite a cool set-up to this video. We see Carly at home, at work and in the club, but it’s how she gets from place to place that is interesting. The three sets are built side by side, so Carly jumps on the camera trolly and travels across the sets – a perfect set-up for the modern lazy girl.
Carly wakes up in her bedroom that somehow looks most like a set, with walls that seem on the verge of wobbling. Scooting along to work, she ties on an apron and begins a shift at a greasy spoon diner. There’s another waitress wearing a traditional American diner waitress uniform and she seems a bit miffed that Carly gets to wear a tank top, jeans and sneakers. But it’s that simple outfit that takes her from home, to work, then to the club. And so it happens every day. Every top Carly wears – even the off-the-shoulder one – is suitable for all three places. It’s like a masterclass in smart-casual.
The song is a really sweet, radio-friendly pop tune. Carly works hard to overcome her bitchy resting face, but sometimes it just seems like she’s trying very hard to look happy and in love. But to be fair, that sort of pop video requires a demanding performance.
I feel a shoutout has to be given to Kylie Minogue’s “I Should be so Lucky” video, which also involved three rooms that were obviously a film set. It has a different feel to it than “Love Will Save Me”, with Kylie’s girl-nextdoor charms bringing cheer.
“Love Will Save Me” was directed by Greg Page. It’s remarkable that around the same time he was making videos for metallers 8ft Sativa and indie rock dudes PanAm, and pop-rock band Elemeno P. All different, all good.
Best bit: the sneer of the sassy waitress at the diner.
Having done a Geri and escaped from her girl group, Carly Binding was ready to launch herself as a serious pop singer-songwriter. This video provides a stark contrast to the garish world of TrueBliss. The bright orange power bob is gone, replaced with soft natural curls, and the scfi Lycra has been switched for natural fibres (the surprisingly enough don’t look especially out of date a decade down the line). Carly’s sitting on the back of a truck, strumming her acoustic guitar and singing the song she wrote. She’s got a one-way ticket out of Reality Popville, headed straight for Credibility Street.
“Alright With Me” was her second solo single, a pleasant enough country pop song, with a better than average chorus that saw it reach number 10 in the charts. So it’s no wonder that the video plays it very safe, going for a sweet portrayal of Carly in the great outdoors. I get the feeling this is the sort of video treatment that someone like Anika Moa might have felt uncomfortable doing, but it’s a very Carly kind of vid.
As well as sitting on the back of a ute, we also find Jaime Ridge’s future stepmum standing in a green field with a picturesque power pylon behind her, by the muddy shores of the inner Manukau harbour and sitting in the stands at a provincial sports ground. It’s establishing Carly as an ordinary Kiwi chick, the kind who is more at home with her guitar in a pair of jeans than in the orange Lycra of the TrueBliss months.
It’s a really nicely shot video, especially with the lighting of Carly against the scenic backgrounds. Given that most recent Greg Page videos have been of a darker, rockier style, it’s refreshing to see him given the opportunity to make something a bit more vanilla. Though putting a power pylon in a music video is a welcome contrast to the touristy landcapes of similar videos.
Best bit: Carly’s relentless cheer as she bumps along the potholed dirt road.
Note: A second “Alright With Me” video was made for Australia. It’s not online, but you can see a bit of it in this video.
Another track from the elusive Brett Sawyer. His single “Supercool” has almost no digital traces, but there is a brief review by Graham Reid in the NZ Herald, where he accurately describes Sawyer’s album When It Happens as being “Not bad, but over the long haul not gripping.”
Joshna’s single “Anything” notably was written by New Zealand songwriter Pam Sheyne, best known for co-writing Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle”. The song has a cool housey sound with undeniable pop chops.
Mary “Big Boy (Santa’s In Town)”
Mary contributed the gentle track “Big Boy (Santa’s In Town)” to Christmas on the Rocks a yuletide compilation of New Zealand indie artists. (It’s actually quite a good CD, by the way.)
Moana and the Tribe “Speak To Me”
Moana, having ditched the Moahunters and rebranded to Moana and the Tribe, has “Speak To Me” the first single off her third album “Rua”. It was, as Graham Reid noted in the Herald, a departure from the hip hop sounds of earlier albums and a move to the world music sound she’s known for today.
Suzanne Neumann “Lose Control”
Suzanne reports that the video for “Lose Control” was released and was played frequently on television. Unfortunately the video is not currently available online.
Before Friday “Now”
Before Friday were a duo of Dean Chandler and Ben Bell-Booth. They had a few singles – including “Now” – before deciding that it would be better if Dean went solo with Ben as his manager.
Carly Binding “We Kissed”
“We Kissed” was originally intended as the first single off TrueBliss’s second album, and indeed the funding was originally given as a TrueBliss single. But but eventually Carly Binding left the group, taking her pop with her. Carly’s first solo single was “Alright with Me (Taking it Easy)” had its video funded in 2002, leaving the funding for “We Kissed” on the books for later use.
Confucius was the work of Christchurch electronica musician Nava Thomas. Director Gaylene Barnes intriguingly describes the “Roll Call” video as “Confucius and MysteriousD become trapped in a drum and bass time warp, in this sepia toned music video which incorporates archive footage.” The video was also a finalist in the 2001 New Zealand Music Video Awards.
Sola Monday’s second and final funded video was “All For A Dance”, a sweet folky, jazzy number.
Splitter “Supermarket Girl”
August 2000 is proving to be not a particularly fruitful month for finding music videos online. Joining the missing persons line-up is Splitter with “Supermarket Girl”.
The Nomad “Life Forms”
There’s no sign of The Nomad’s second video, “Life Forms”.
DNE “The Cause”
DNE’s second and final video is for the upbeat dance-pop number “The Cause”. “We are bound to see this group do great things,” says the equally positive bio at Amplifier.
Goldfish Shopping Trolly (GST) “Hey You”
Goldfish Shopping Trolley (or GST for short) was the original name of Opshop. “Hey You” was their first single and has the classic Opshop anthemic sound. At the time, GST were threatening to release the alarmingly titled album “Homo-Electromagneticus”, which promised to capture “the turbulent etheric renderings and solid earthy rhythmic growl of the native New Zealand west coast”.
Breathe “She Said”
After a run of 10 videos, Breathe go out with “She Said”. They just seem like a band that – for whatever reason – never quite lived up to their potential.
Loniz “Child Street Blues”
Loniz were a Tauranga-based trio who later became Pacific Realm. “Child Street Blues” was their first single, which the Kiwi Hit Disc says was playlisted on iwi and b.Net radio stations.
Weta were one of those bands who seemed hovering on the verge of greatness, but for whatever reason, things didn’t happen. (But things are very much happening for Aaron Tokona’s new band, the psychedelic AhoriBuzz). This is Weta at their best, getting series amongst shipping containers.