Dead End Beat “Ain’t Got You”

2004-dead-end-beat-aint-got-youThe hard rockin’ “Ain’t Got You” was the final of Dead End Beat’s four funded videos. And this one starts with something truly terrifying: ’90s style tattoos. I thought I’d successfully blocked out all those Celtic insignias, barbed wire motifs, marijuana leaf art, and “tribal” expressions. But in mere seconds this video has brought back the full horrors of the era.

The animated video starts with this showcase of ink, revealing that a tattooed spider has come to life and sets about wrecking havoc around town. There’s also something that looks like a cyber praying mantis, that obviously has issues with the spider.

After a bit of chasing around town, the cyber mantis strikes down the spider, as well as the Sky Tower. A black substance (tattoo ink? spider goo?) oozes all around the city. And from this goo springs a whole lot of new spiders who set about building a giant web to trap the mantis. But instead being devoured by the spiders, the cyber mantis just flies away.

The video is all bad-ass attitude. With the song being such a full-on rock experience, it would have benefitted from having the band actually performing in the vid. But for whatever reason instead we had this “when good tattoos go bad” situation. Perhaps the crazy spider serves as a cautionary tale against the dangers of getting bad tattoos that seem cool.

Best bit: the fall of the Sky Tower, the most original use of the landmark in a music video.

Next… a muddy game show.

Dead End Beat “All My Riches”

2003-dead-end-beat-all-my-richesA limousine pulls up outside the Crystal Palace cinema in Mount Eden. Its passenger is a wealthy but frail old codger who’s come for a private screening.

The limo has the comedy licence plates “GWBUSH” which doesn’t really make sense in the context of the video. Or perhaps the oldster’s name is Gerald Wilbur Bush. They’ve have been better off swapping the plates for some regular ones. Another strange detail – the cinema has posters advertising the film “Kombi Nation”. Was the song on its soundtrack (google says no), or were the posters just there as part of the cinema’s regular line-up?

Anyway, the old millionaire is accompanied by two bodyguards who are terrible actors. The video is trying to be all noir and sexual but the bodyguards are like kids acting in a primary school play.

The codger settles down and watches a old porno, starring Shayla LaVeaux, a real American porn star (you might know her work in The Cougar Club 2, Lesbian Mentors 1: Older Women, Younger Girls, or When MILFs Attack). We also see shots of present-day Shayla in the back of a limo.

The screening is going well when suddenly a thug appears and menacing walks over the seat tops towards ol’ pops where – we assume – he murders him. It seems that Shayla and the codge are/were married, so we assume she’s taken out a hit on him. Well, it’s understandable – it would be a bit weird if your husband was obsessed with your older porn when you were still pretty young and fit.

Hey, where’s the band where all this is happening? They’re out playing the song in a dark alley. The players in the cinema story dominate the video, with the band left lurking in the shadows. But it’s a shadowy song and it works having the band lurking as minstrels in the background.

It feels like the video wants to be a lot sexier and darker than it manages to be. There are some terrifically noir and beautifully photographed shots, but it seems let down by the bumbling heavies, who should be played as smart aides, not comedic thugs.

Best bit: the theatre manager counts the fat wad of cash he’s made – way more lucrative than screening Kombi Nation.

Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the last obsession.

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!


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.