August 2009: David Dallas, Deja Voodoo, Dimmer, Erakah, Gemma Russell, Gin Wigmore

Ddot takes Manhattan, fun on the seesaw, good hair, life rhymes with hideous car wreck, and the hotel lobby.

Continue reading August 2009: David Dallas, Deja Voodoo, Dimmer, Erakah, Gemma Russell, Gin Wigmore

February 2009: Deja Voodoo, Dictaphone Blues, Dimmer, Erakah, Fur Patrol, I Am Giant

A stupid-fun fate, the wireframe wilderness, a severed cord, cool in the club, and snowboarding stuff.
Continue reading February 2009: Deja Voodoo, Dictaphone Blues, Dimmer, Erakah, Fur Patrol, I Am Giant

August 2008: David Dallas, Devolo, Dimmer, Ethical, False Start, Falter, Fur Patrol

Dozens of Post-It notes, a smooth city jam, four days in the life, a disintegrating home, fan reactions, too much motivation, and the furniture movers.

Continue reading August 2008: David Dallas, Devolo, Dimmer, Ethical, False Start, Falter, Fur Patrol

February 2007: Cut Off Your Hands, dDub, Dimmer, Evermore, Fast Crew

Ye olde Olympics, the creeping darkness, exit the crew, a gothic landscape, and the lyrics literally.
Continue reading February 2007: Cut Off Your Hands, dDub, Dimmer, Evermore, Fast Crew

December 2006: Concord Dawn, Cut Off Your Hands, Dimmer, Elle, Evermore, False Start

Hypno Shayne, 12 stripes, Auckland pop, Queensland pop-rock, and raging against the goths.
Continue reading December 2006: Concord Dawn, Cut Off Your Hands, Dimmer, Elle, Evermore, False Start

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 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


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.

Dimmer “Come Here”

2003-dimmer-come-hereI think this video counts as an animation. It consists of hundreds of Polaroid photos. They photos are filmed in sequential groups, creating a sense of movement, which is pretty much film-making 101.

Sometimes there’s a number of Polaroids being dropped in a stack on a table. Sometimes they’re filmed in close-up, giving a sense of jerky, slightly fuzzy film, rather than a series of photos. And things get really meta when people in the video hold up a Polaroid of themselves – a video of a Polaroid of a Polaroid.

Everyone in the photo is beautiful – Shane Carter, guest vocalist Anika Moa and the various model-like extras who wear clothes well.

It’s a cool, saucy song (well, it is Dimmer). The video gets that. Instead of taking a lazy route and having generic sexy antics, instead it creates a sexy vibe. What’s going on in the crimson-curtained room? Is it some sort of pervy audition or fashion shoot? Whatever it is, the video gives us a chance to flick through a fat stack of Polaroids and pretend we’re part of that world.

Best bit: the hand-numbering on the photos.

Directors: Simon Oosterdijk, Kelvin Soh
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… home by the sea.

Dimmer “Getting What You Give”

2003-dimmer-getting-what-you-giveA door opens and a man walks in. It’s a computer generated man, walking with a funky slouch, as designed by Dimmer’s drummer Gary Sullivan. The figure is soon joined by identical others, and in single-file they lumber through an ever-changing landscape, past water, flowers, a burning country manor and into a desolate city.

It’s a slow-moving video, hooked on the funk grooves of the song. The video ain’t in no big hurry either. The second half of the video shows the super chilled-out clones taking the subway to the airport.

There are hints of something sinister happening. The city streets are, after all, otherwise deserted, surrounded by barbed-wire-armoured buildings. When the clones go down into the subway, we see it from the perspective of CCTV footage and there’s a lingering shot looking at an inquisitive camera.

I’m at a point where I’m trying to figure if there’s something deeper to the video than the general sense of unease. Is the airport symbolic in a post-9/11 context? I dunno. Well, the video was nominated for best music video at the 2004 New Zealand Music Awards.

Best bit: the garden of flowers, that killer combo of pretty and sinister.

Director: Gary Sullivan
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a tightrope walk.

Dimmer “Seed”

2000-dimmer-seed“Seed” is the second video I’ve come across that’s entirely computer animated (the first was Strawpeople’s “Drive” vid). And by this stage, it doesn’t feel like a gimmick. CGI technology has advanced enough that a talented animator (in this case, Gary Sullivan) can create a world that expresses the song.

At the heart of “Seed” is a train. We follow it as it travels through the countryside, sometimes joined by birds flying overhead. But it doesn’t quite feel like an ordinary train journey. The animation has been done in black and white, giving the video ominously gothic tones.

And then things start to get slightly surreal. Song lyrics start popping up all over the landscape. A church-like building has “hate” sitting along its roofline. Other words leap and fall with the rhythm. Then things get really surreal with the train climbing up a roof (or is it a mountain with a giant chimney?) before it falls through a giant disembodies mouth.

It actually all reminds me of the legendary “12” animation from Sesame Street. Rather than a pinball, it’s the train that’s going on a similar fantastic journey, sometimes through familiar landscapes, other times through weirdness. Though Sesame Street never had a giant floating head of Shayne Carter.

Note: there’s more behind-the-scenes info over at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

Best bit: the weathervane rooster being spun around by real birds as they fly past.

Director: Gary Sullivan
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the case of the missing rappers.