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

June 2008: Connan Mockasin, Die! Die! Die!, Disasteradio, Elemeno P, Elston Gun, False Start, Fur Patrol

Adventures in cardboard, a tight edit, getting to the end of the alphabet, the very feminine hands, inside a boombox, a foxy tale, and it’s all gravy, baby.
Continue reading June 2008: Connan Mockasin, Die! Die! Die!, Disasteradio, Elemeno P, Elston Gun, False Start, Fur Patrol

June 2007: Fur Patrol, Hera, Liam Finn, Midnight Youth, My Life Story, Paul McLaney, Pine

A bath full of wine, playing in the leaves, a small church,  love letters, a girl’s name, golden years and ur teacha iz da best.
Continue reading June 2007: Fur Patrol, Hera, Liam Finn, Midnight Youth, My Life Story, Paul McLaney, Pine

April 2007: 48 May, All Left Out, Bachelorette, Dam Native, Fur Patrol

Rural arson, astrophysics fantasy, a CGI wonderland, cut-out adventures, and other forceful symbols.
Continue reading April 2007: 48 May, All Left Out, Bachelorette, Dam Native, Fur Patrol

Fur Patrol “Spinning a Line”

2001-fur-patrol-spinning-a-lineUp to this point, Fur Patrol’s videos have been a lot of fun, with the band trapped in a swimming pool, strapped to a truck, exploring a surreal world, shooting daggers at a clone and doing a dance-off. But with “Spinning a Line”, things go back to basics.

The band are to be found playing the song in an empty Hopetoun Alpha. They’re not even playing on stage, rather they’re set up on the floor in the middle of the hall. The lighting is dramatic, with the background space almost invisible with the shadows.

The camera slowly glides around the band, and it also looks like the footage has been slightly slowed down to give a dreamy feeling. The video lets the song take over, with the band being almost a secondary consideration.

“Spinning a Line” was the final single from the band’s hugely popular “Pet” album. And it feels like the “Pet” era Fur Patrol are wrapping up, about to grow into the next stage of their career – the adventurous move to Melbourne.

Best bit: the close-ups of the bass, long vibrating strings and all.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… fangtastic.

Fur Patrol “Andrew”

2001-fur-patrol-andrewLyrically, “Andrew” is like the flipside of “Lydia”. Where the earlier song was a tortured cry to an ex-lover, “Andrew” is a cynical brush-off. And like the “Lydia” video, “Andrew” is also set in a nightclub (filmed at Calibre Bar in Karangahape Road), only this time the band has hit the dance floor.

The song starts off in a quiet mode, with the band slowly moving around a nightclub. All the other patrons are frozen in mid-groove, but everyone comes to life once the song gets bold and loud with the first chorus.

Julia saunters around the dancefloor, and it looks like there’s going to be a hoedown showdown between Fur Patrol and Andrew and the rest of the club. So far it’s all very cool, but things go up several levels when Fur Patrol break into some formation dancing, that pop staple.

I think the only other NZOA music video (so far) that’s dared to do formation dancing was Deep Obsession’s “You Got the Feeling”. Points to them for having a good, sincere go at it, but it felt more like a workout than dancing. But somehow Fur Patrol’s sarcastic, gothy dancing comes across much more slicker and accomplished. It might help that we don’t see much of them from the waist down.

The dancing woos the cool nightclub crowd, eventually turning the dancefloor from sneers into smiles. Such is the power of good choreography. More New Zealand music video should have dancing.

Best bit: Julia’s fake ponytail – long, sleek and plenty of power-swish.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Fur Patrol “Lydia”

2000-fur-patrol-lydiaBefore Adele and “Someone Like You”, “Lydia” was the default white-girl-blues song for those evenings requiring white wine and bitter tears. It’s a great song (it hit number one in the charts) and has a perfect singalong chorus – “My babeeeeey! Don’t you want me anymore?”

Director Jonathan King sets the band performing in an intimate venue (filmed at Verona on K Road). It soon becomes clear they’re miming their instruments. It’s not just air guitar, but also air bass, air drums and air microphone. As sultry nightclub singer Julia Deans sings the song, the camera captures her dramatic eye rolls and sarcastic facial gestures. She’s singing across the room from a couple at a table – a crusty looking guy sitting with a blonde chick. Lydia.

When the chorus comes around, the sarcasm leaves Julia’s face. She gets right to the emotional core of the song, that feeling of awfulness.

As the video progresses we discover that Lydia is played by Julia Deans in a wig, complete with the same labret piercing. Julia walks over to the crusty guy and Lydia and climbs up on their table. But she seems to be as invisible to them as the band’s instruments are to us. But something happens. Julia turns to Lydia and cries, “My baby, don’t you love me anymore?” Lydia acknowledges her, her face dropping. And we realise – Julia was never singing to the crusty guy (good, because gross); she was singing to Lydia, a blonde version of herself.

Such a simple and such a devastatingly good video.

Best bit: the crusty guy’s wine tasting mime.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a pretty cool night in Auckland.

Missing videos from 2000

February 2000

Brett Sawyer “Supercool”

Another track from the elusive Brett Sawyer. His single “Supercool” has almost no digital traces, but there is a brief review by Graham Reid in the NZ Herald, where he accurately describes Sawyer’s album When It Happens as being “Not bad, but over the long haul not gripping.”

Fur Patrol “Sorry”

This is interesting. Fur Patrol have funding for a song called “Sorry”, but it wasn’t a track off their 2000 album “Pet”. This might refer to the single “Andrew” (with frequent mentions of “I’m sorry”), but that song had funding in 2001.

Joshna “Anything”

Joshna’s single “Anything” notably was written by New Zealand songwriter Pam Sheyne, best known for co-writing Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle”. Unlike Ms Aguilera’s debut, Joshna’s single didn’t chart.

Mary “Big Boy (Santa’s In Town)”

Mary contributed the gentle track “Big Boy (Santa’s In Town)” to Christmas on the Rocks a yuletide compilation of New Zealand indie artists. (It’s actually quite a good CD, by the way.)

Moana and the Tribe “Speak To Me”

Moana, having ditched the Moahunters and rebranded to Moana and the Tribe, has “Speak To Me” the first single off her third album “Rua”. It was, as Graham Reid noted in the Herald, a departure from the hip hop sounds of earlier albums and a move to the world music sound she’s known for today.

Suzanne Neumann “Lose Control”

The Kiwi Hit Disk noted that at the time, Suzanne Neumann was “picking up major airtime”. But there’s no sign of her video for “Lose Control”.

April 2000

Before Friday “Now”

Before Friday were a duo of Dean Chandler and Ben Bell-Booth. They had a few singles – including “Now” – before deciding that it would be better if Dean went solo with Ben as his manager.

Carly Binding “We Kissed”

“We Kissed” was originally intended as the first single off TrueBliss’s second album, and indeed the funding was originally given as a TrueBliss single. But but eventually Carly Binding left the group, taking her pop with her. Carly’s first solo single was “Alright with Me (Taking it Easy)” had its video funded in 2002, leaving the funding for “We Kissed” on the books for later use.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dave Dobbyn “Just Add Water”

“Just Add Water” was the opening track from Dave Dobbyn’s 2000 album “Hopetown”. Here’s a live version with Bic Runga and Tim Finn.

Deep Obsession “I Surrender”

After their run of three number one singles, Deep Obsession weren’t able to keep up the same level of success. “I Surrender” was the final single from their album “Infinity” and it charted at 25.

Fiona McDonald “I Don’t Care”

“I Don’t Care” was the eighth and final track to have a music video funded from Fiona McDonald’s album “A Different Hunger”, leaving only four tracks without a video. I think that’s a record!

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 2000

Breathe “Get Yourself Together”

“Get Yourself Together” was the forth single from Breathe’s major label debut “Don’t Stop the Revolution”.

Brett Sawyer “No Mistake”

“No Mistake” is the fifth Brett Sawyer track to have funding and it’s the fifth where the video can’t be found.

Dave Dobbyn “My Kinda People”

Dave Dobbyn goes back to his sneery, punky roots with “My Kinda People”, the second single from his album “Hopetown”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Pluto “Moscow Snow”

The moody “Moscow Snow” was the first release by Pluto, appearing on an Antenna Records compilation. Here’s a live version recorded at the Helen Young Studio for TV show “Squeeze”

August 2000

Breathe “When The Sun Comes”

Breathe has “When The Sun Comes”, which includes the lyric, “Everybody likes to grow their hair long/Every once in a while/Or something like that”.

Director: Julian Boshier
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Confucius “Rollcall”

Confucius was the work of Christchurch electronica musician Nava Thomas. Director Gaylene Barnes intriguingly describes the “Roll Call” video as “Confucius and MysteriousD become trapped in a drum and bass time warp, in this sepia toned music video which incorporates archive footage.” The video was also a finalist in the 2001 New Zealand Music Video Awards.

Director: Gaylene Barnes
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

House of Downtown “Downtown Groove”

The House Of Downtown track “Downtown Groove” was best known as the closing credits song for the Tarantino-esque 2001 New Zealand film Stickmen.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Leonard “Claire Swire”

Leonard’s second and final funded video was for “The New Claire Swire”. An intriguing song, assumedly about an office worker who wrote a personal email about semen that was forwarded around the world.

Director: James Moore
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Mary “Ophelia”

More sweet guitar pop from Mary, with their harmony laden track “Ophelia”, an ode to two kittens.

Shaft “Might As Well Be Dumb”

Last seen in the mid-’90s with “Downhill Racer”, Shaft return with the loping “Might As Well Be Dumb”.

Sola Monday “All For A Dance”

Sola Monday’s second and final funded video was “All For A Dance”, a sweet folky, jazzy number.

Splitter “Supermarket Girl”

August 2000 is proving to be not a particularly fruitful month for finding music videos online. Joining the missing persons line-up is Splitter with “Supermarket Girl”.

The D4 “Ladies Man”

There were two videos made for The D4’s song “Ladies Man”. The first was directed by Glen Elliott, the second, a year later, by Greg Page. Nga Taonga describes the second video as, “The D4 perform Ladies Man with some members of the band wearing skirts.”

Director: Glen Elliott
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision (Elliott)
Director: Greg Page
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision (Page)

The Nomad “Life Forms”

There’s no sign of The Nomad’s second video, “Life Forms”.

October 2000

DNE “The Cause”

DNE’s second and final video is for the upbeat dance-pop number “The Cause”. “We are bound to see this group do great things,” says the equally positive bio at Amplifier.

Goldfish Shopping Trolly (GST) “Hey You”

Goldfish Shopping Trolley (or GST for short) was the original name of Opshop. “Hey You” was their first single and has the classic Opshop anthemic sound. At the time, GST were threatening to release the alarmingly titled album “Homo-Electromagneticus”, which promised to capture “the turbulent etheric renderings and solid earthy rhythmic growl of the native New Zealand west coast”.

December 2000

Breathe “She Said”

After a run of 10 videos, Breathe go out with “She Said”. They just seem like a band that – for whatever reason – never quite lived up to their potential.

Loniz “Child Street Blues”

Loniz were a Tauranga-based trio who later became Pacific Realm. “Child Street Blues” was their first single, which the Kiwi Hit Disc says was playlisted on iwi and b.Net radio stations.

Shihad “Just Like Everybody Else”

The list I have of completed videos includes the Shihad track “Just Like Everybody Else”. But when even the very thorough Shihad Wiki doesn’t list it in their exhaustive videography, it’s likely it was never made.

The Subliminals “Uh-Oh”

Oh, this is cruel. There are two older Subliminals videos on NZ On Screen, but no sign of their one NZOA funded video, “Uh-Oh”. Here’s the band playing the song at Flying Nun’s 30th birthday celebrations in Dunedin in 2011.

Instead…

Weta were one of those bands who seemed hovering on the verge of greatness, but for whatever reason, things didn’t happen. (But things are very much happening for Aaron Tokona’s new band, the psychedelic AhoriBuzz). This is Weta at their best, getting series amongst shipping containers.

Fur Patrol “Now”

1999-fur-patrol-nowThe video opens with the startling image of Julia Deans with glowing orange eyes, holding up a comedy voodoo doll. Just what is going on here?

Before any answers are given, the video flips into a parallel universe. Fur Patrol are performing in front of a large audience at Wellington Town Hall (or possibly Auckland Town Hall). It looks like it might be part of a festival rather than a headliner gig, but they’re still playing to a huge crowd who are loving it. [Commenters Lisa and Sam have figured it out. It was a Victoria University orientation gig at Wellington Town Hall in March 2000, where Shihad and HLAH-side project Baconfoot also played.]

The video is directed by Chris Graham, whose work we’ve previous seen with Upper Hutt Posse’s “Dread on a Mission” video and Te Kupu’s “Vision” vid. With “Now” he both captures Fur Patrol’s live energy and gets a bit arty with the strange world.

Yes, back to the strange world. There’s Julia lookin’ fierce, wearing a tracksuit and standing in a not-quite-natural world that seems inspired by Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” video. But wait – it’s not just one Julia, it’s two, a green-screen clone to add vocal harmony. There’s also a grumpy-faced small girl with two dolls, a snake, and the other Fur Patrol members hanging out with dogs.

The band also gets to have fun with great balls of CGI, including one that looks like a Swiss ball with a CGI baby surrounded by an orange plasma glow, and two smaller balls with Julia’s eye and lips. It’s a bewildering world of crazy. Parts of the CGI feel like someone mucking around with all the cool new toys in the edit suite, but other stuff – like the two Julias – just feels normal.

This all makes the live footage seem a little dull in comparison, but there’s one moment from the town hall that stands out. Julia does a sideways kick, revealing that she’s wearing a skirt over trousers – long flared trousers with a tunic-like top hanging down. It’s like hitting the late ’90s/Wellington style bingo.

Best bit: the clever cut from Julia reaching towards the camera to a concergoer doing the same.

Director: Chris Graham
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… pucker up.