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

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.

Dimmer “Drop You Off”

2000-dimmer-drop-you-offI felt compelled to look at the YouTube comments for this video. “fuck you guys who come online to hate”, says jero6919, despite there being no negative comments. And SuperStarrChild reminisces about “2003 at the Grey Lynn bowling club. I’ll never forget that gig.” But it’s Bekiblue who comments about the video itself, saying “i’m feeling ‘barton fink’ with this one…” And yeah, it does have the feel of the gloomy Hotel Earle.

“Drop You Off” is a moody song with a trip-hop flavour to it. The video gives us shadowy glimpses of a hotel room where something bad has happened. A red robe spills across the floor (like blood, you know), where an ashtray is also found. And you know ashtrays don’t normally belong on the floor. A light flickers and someone has scrawled “ready” on the wall. The song is pleasingly bass-heavy and the beater of a kick drum flicks toward the camera, like a sinister marshmallow on a stick. And in the midst of all this drama, there stands Shayne Carter. With those cheekbones and that pout, he seems born to inhabit this noirish world of intrigue.

It’s all about atmosphere. With much of the video shot as darkness and shadows, it lets the song stand out. Shayne Carter doesn’t need to take a starring role. The mystery and gloom lets the song stand out.

It’s like the video is offering clues to a crime that may or may not have happened. It’s ambiguous as to what has actually taken place. But there’ll be no neat gotcha. The video ends with a nighttime journey along a native bush flanked road. The camera is looking up, as if it were lying down in the car. Like a dead body being dropped off.

Best bit: the brocade bedspread, which may or may not cover a body.

Next… a total mess.