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

Evermore “Dreams Call Out To Me”

2005-evermore-dreams-call-out-to-meThis video is a lot of like Betchadupa’s video for “My Army of Birds and Gulls”. That is, it’s footage of the band superimposed in an animated dream world with a simple colour palette. I haven’t been able to find out who directed either of the videos, but it’s always possible they came from the same place.

The song starts out with a gentle pace, accompanied by scenes of the Hume bros floating in a golden world of stars, clouds and trees. Lots of trees. All the Evemore videos so far have taken place in magical dream worlds. It makes me really want to see them in a contemporary rock setting.

About three quarters of the way through, the song suddenly goes up an octave and the drama intensifies. This could be a cue for the video to get to get just as forceful, but it continues with the same level of peaceful tree love. This undermines the impact of the song. A gentle falling autumn leaf doesn’t really signal a big rock moment.

Best bit: the giant spider, who at least makes an effort when the band rock out.

Next… well, you’re not getting the bond back.

Evermore “Come to Nothing”

2004-evermore-come-to-nothing“Come to Nothing” is a slow, emotional tale of a lost love. The video is heavy-handed with symbolism, putting Jon and his bros into a derelict, fire-gutted house. We also see a young woman wandering the same house, but staying well away from Evermore. Just as well. It seems they have some issues.

As Jon sings, the woman wanders the house. She stands in the blackened kitchen, perhaps thinking back to happier times and that really amazing spaghetti bolognese they had that one time.

The video is shot in desaturated colours, creating a gloomy world where a relationship break-up feels like the least awful thing that could happen in an average day. And maybe a split would add a bit of excitement to the bleak and burnt existence.

There’s a bit in the song where Jon keeps repeating the line “It’s come to nothing!”, but he pronounces “come” like “cyum”. The first few times it sounds strange, then it’s the most hilarious thing ever, but by the end of the song it just sounds normal and I legitimately fear that I’m going to start saying “cyum”.

At the end of the video Jon and the woman wander into the same room, but it’s all over between them. They make an odd couple and the split seems to be like a 15-year-old guy being dumped by his more emotionally mature girlfriend. Yeah, it’s over, but it doesn’t seem like the end of the world for either of them. All that’s left is for Jon to wander off with his brothers. Oh look – a burnt out car. How symbolic.

Best bit: the woman pieces together a broken plate, and we know how that turned out in Breaking Bad.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… another place to lay down the vinyl.

Evermore “It’s Too Late (Ride On)”

2003-evermore-its-too-late“It’s Too Late” was the first Evermore single to chart, but here’s the thing – it only charted in Australia (#16), not New Zealand. It wasn’t until 2006 that the Hume brothers began charting in their home country. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that this video was filmed in Australia – Brisbane to be precise.

But the video doesn’t take advantage of the tropical Queensland climate. Instead the video is shot at night, set in a spooky enchanted forest type location. There’s the moon and a mysterious clock and not a pineapple in sight.

While the brothers are performing the song inside the trunk and/or above-ground roots of a giant tree, another guy wanders around the forest. He seems to be involved in steampunk treasure hunt happening, with cogs and other clock components being collected to make a clock. Maybe this is some kind of initiation ritual, casting for an extra guitarist to take on tour.

The wanderer collects all the clock pieces, assembles the clock and presents it to the moon. The moon, strangely enough, doesn’t respond.

Yeah, the video is a little bit silly, but the song is strong and by this stage Evermore were very experienced performers, so it all works. There aren’t many videos that can get away with a guy presenting a clock to the moon.

Best bit: skilful lighting that turns tropical flora into a Disney-quality haunted forest.

Director: Sarah-Jane Woulahan
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… big pink 2: the return.

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!

Instead…

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.

Evermore “Slipping Away”

2002-evermore-slippin-awayslippThis was the second funded video for Evermore, and they’re still at the stage where they felt like a high school band slowly figuring out who they are. Lead singer Jon has a comedically affected way of singing, introducing weird vowels to almost every word (“thing” becomes “theee-uhn”), that he has long since ditched.

The “Slipping Away” video is really simple and it looks like a low-budget job. It’s just the band performing on stage at a venue. It looks like a bar, though we never see the audience. The performance area has a low ceiling and it looks like it would just take one moderately enthusiastic leap from a band member so see them bumping the ceiling tiles with their heads.

Nothing much happens in the video. They got the funding, they made a video and it got played on the telly. It’s a perfectly ordinary early-career music video. If they hadn’t struck it lucky in Australia, this might just be another footnote in the history of NZ On Air funding, but as it stands, it’s good to come across a band in their younger, awkward years, while they’re still figuring things out.

Best bit: Jon’s backlit hair, an accidental ’80s hair metal throwback effect.

Next… old lamps for new.

Evermore “Oil & Water”

2001-evermore-oil-and-waterIt’s Evermore, the triple-bro guitar-pop group who’s had more success in Australia than New Zealand. “Oil & Water” was a track on the Hume brothers’ second EP (also titled “Oil & Water”) and it’s a pleasant enough song, but nothing remarkable.

The video takes the trio and puts them in an interesting old building full of bunches of twigs and pools of water. Or is that pools of oil? Either way, it’s not oil and water.

The lyrics are intent on using the oil and water not mixing as a metaphor to represent relationship tension. But oil and water aren’t all that bad. If it’s a petroleum-based oil, it can produce a cheerful rainbow. And add a few spices and herbs and you’ll have a delicious salad dressing.

Instead the video goes for a gothic tone. The brothers may be performing in front of a bright window, but they inhabit a world of stark silhouettes and those wintery twigs. It feels a bit post-grunge (is that a thing?), pulling away from the bright guitar pop of the late ’90s and bringing a bit of serious back.

Best bit: the awesome hair silhouettes, bringing an artful quality to a remnant of the hair metal days.

Bonus! Here’s a documentary on the 2000 Smokefreerockquest, where Evermore (aged 13-16) took out the big prize. Hugh Sundae also chats to other finalists Nesian Mystik and an early version of Die! Die! Die!

Next… the beginning of the story.