June 2005: 4Eulogi, Frontline, Foamy Ed, Heavy Jones Trio, Luke Thompson, Niki Ahu, Pearl

A Freudian gothic nightmare, one night at a busy hotel, a walk along the beach and one big fallacy, yo.
Continue reading June 2005: 4Eulogi, Frontline, Foamy Ed, Heavy Jones Trio, Luke Thompson, Niki Ahu, Pearl

Heavy Jones Trio “Good to See You Again”

2004-heavy-jones-trio-good-to-see-you-againFirst, a description from the video’s director, Ivan Slavov, over at Amplifier:

“You know what it really is? It’s an anti-video. It’s a non-performance performance video. It’s Elvis Presley, lounge, Pink Flamingos. It’s Vegas. It’s nearly reality TV, but a music video. Honesty is something that New Zealand can sell to the world and this song has honesty in bucket loads.”

I read that and I thought, wow, that video sounds amazing. And then I watched it. This is what happens: the group play the song in a black studio. And that’s about it. The only other things of note: a film of an earlier performance is projected on the band, and sometimes graphics of song lyrics song float across the screen. There is no Elvisness.

The thing is, “Good to See You Again” is a really sweet folky love song. There is no loungey swagger to it, so it gets a bit lost amongst the attempted sophistication and swagger of the video.

To me, a song like this is about daylight and outdoors, not a shadowy Vegas world. The honesty might be there in the performance, but the setting is keeping it hidden.

Best bit: lead singer Kelly Horgan photographs rather well.

Director: Ivan Slavov
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the old laptop trick.

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 soc.culture.new-zealand 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

Instead…

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.

Heavy Jones Trio “Staring at the Ocean”

2002-heavy-jones-trio-staring-at-the-oceanThe Heavy Jones Trio (a four-piece group) was fronted by Kelly Horgan, formerly the guitar half of high school duo Love Soup, along with some chick called Bic Runga. “Staring at the Ocean” is a pleasant tune, a chilled out ode to the ocean. According to Muzic.net.nz, the group made the video in “a hectic week” very soon after relocating from Christchurch to Auckland.

The video begins with fragments of a crazy, boozy night, cutting to the morning after. There we find a bedroom littered with condoms, bottles, CDs and other detritus of modern life. It’s like Tracy Emin’s “My Bed” on steroids.

Kelly wakes up in bed, fully clothed, next to a sleeping underwear-clad women. Too pissed to shag? He leaves her standing at the front door, is drenched with water as he walks away (including a fish) and embarks on a long walk.

He wanders along city streets, motorways, train tracks, a bustling market, a sheep farm and over sand dunes, all the while acquiring and losing various colourful performers. He’s like a pied piper whose allure only works in the city.

Finally he reaches the ocean, where upon he strips down to his undies and plunges into the water. Finally there this young Christchurch man can cleanse himself of the decadent Auckland lifestyle that was threatening to swallow him whole.

This video is also noteworthy as being the New Zealand music video debut of director Ivan Slavov, who would go on to be a major player in music video production of the ’00s. On his MySpace profile he notes, “My first New Zealand music video. Man I used everyone I knew in Auckland at the time for this one, no wonder it played so much…”

Best bit: the well behaved sheep, doing synchronised prancing.

Director: Ivan Slavov
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… enchantment under the sea.