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.

Crumb “Stay Hard”

2003-crumb-stay-hardLike 3 The Hard Way’s video for “Nothing’s Changed”, Crumb’s video for “Stay Hard” is also set in an Asian restaurant with a karaoke machine. This time it’s a quiet night, with few customers and bored restaurant staff, played by other band members. This lack of audience doesn’t mean lead singer Carter Crumb is going to give a subdued performance. In a very un-New-Zealand manner, he rocks hard.

The karaoke video features the band’s drummer as a rugged outdoorsy bloke, getting back to nature as he slices up a log with a chainsaw, and later frolics with a dog. And that makes about as much sense as any karaoke video.

Back in the restaurant things get a little surreal, with a giant bank of televisions displaying more rock action. The song is a full-on rock song about the subject of rocking hard. The video kicks off with that rock energy and never relents.

As the video progresses, the performance seems less rooted in the reality of restaurant karaoke, and more like a surreal red room where Carter is alone with a microphone, free to rock out as mightily as he wants.

Now here’s the thing – when I think back to that 3 The Hard Way video, it’s not really a song that would work as a karaoke selection. Everyone would go off to get more drinks and/or use the toilet and you’d be left just singing to the one remaining person in your group, too polite to walk away. Whereas “Stay Hard” would actually be quite a fun song to do for karaoke, one of those early-evening numbers that gets everyone all revved up.

Best bit: The random cheerleaders – they appear, do a routine, and are never seen from again.

Note: The YouTube URL for this video contains “Porn” – Porn-QKrRLg, to be precise. This will probably see 5000 Ways get blacklisted by some overzealous corporate keyword blocker.

Director: Jonny Kofoed
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… sitting around.

Crumb “Pick up the Pieces”

2003-crumb-pick-up-the-piecesModel railways are cool. The “Pick up the Pieces” video takes inspiration from a lyric mentioning a train and sets the whole video within a model railway.

Through clever use of green screen, we see the band playing in the middle of a model railway, while the object of the song’s affections boards a train that goes hooning around the track.

The video gets a bit too literal with the song title, showing the band performing while shards of glass raining down on them. But maybe it’s actually someone sprinkling glitter on the model railway.

Meanwhile in the train carriage, a sleazy guy tries to make a move on the girl, but she gives him shade and he quickly racks off. Looking down on the model railways is a humble train nerd, who seems to disapprove of the tiny sleazy guy in his model train.

The girl on the train is crying. Perhaps she’s sad by the break-up. Or perhaps she’s realised that the train track is on a loop, meaning she’s travelling in circles around her ex and his band and will never reach her destination. Ooh, metaphor.

The video ends ambiguously. The sun comes up, the camera zooms out and we see the model landscape sitting on a table in a room. The band are still playing on their hilltop stage, tiny figures bobbing in the background. The train nerd switches off the train and finally the train comes to a stop. What fate awaits its passengers?

Best bit: little figure waiting patiently at a train station.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… car wash!

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.