Like 3 The Hard Way’s video for “Nothing’s Changed”, Crumb’s video for “Stay Hard” is also set in an Asian restaurant with a karaoke machine. This time it’s a quiet night, with few customers and bored restaurant staff, played by other band members. This lack of audience doesn’t mean lead singer Carter Crumb is going to give a subdued performance. In a very un-New-Zealand manner, he rocks hard.
The karaoke video features the band’s drummer as a rugged outdoorsy bloke, getting back to nature as he slices up a log with a chainsaw, and later frolics with a dog. And that makes about as much sense as any karaoke video.
Back in the restaurant things get a little surreal, with a giant bank of televisions displaying more rock action. The song is a full-on rock song about the subject of rocking hard. The video kicks off with that rock energy and never relents.
As the video progresses, the performance seems less rooted in the reality of restaurant karaoke, and more like a surreal red room where Carter is alone with a microphone, free to rock out as mightily as he wants.
Now here’s the thing – when I think back to that 3 The Hard Way video, it’s not really a song that would work as a karaoke selection. Everyone would go off to get more drinks and/or use the toilet and you’d be left just singing to the one remaining person in your group, too polite to walk away. Whereas “Stay Hard” would actually be quite a fun song to do for karaoke, one of those early-evening numbers that gets everyone all revved up.
Best bit: The random cheerleaders – they appear, do a routine, and are never seen from again.
Note: The YouTube URL for this video contains “Porn” – Porn-QKrRLg, to be precise. This will probably see 5000 Ways get blacklisted by some overzealous corporate keyword blocker.
“Don’t Let Anyone” is a laid-back alt-country number, but the video takes the trio on a much wilder adventure. We meet the group as they’re each driving in identical brown cars. A handy map identifies that they’re travelling from separate parts of town, all headed for the centrally located Paydirt Studios.
The video uses a lot of animated backgrounds, and there’s plenty of CGI trickery, like when the band pulls up in their three identical cars (all played by the same car). The lads head into the pink palatial studio complex and each goes into an area with a different theme, involving costume, props and appropriate backgrounds. There’s a hunting lodge, a tropical beach and a winter wonderland. Hunting Lodge Tom gets to sing the song as part of his area.
It seems that Paydirt Studios are kindly making a music video for Cassette, but the Paydirt’s surreal production line is making a rather off video. Feeling somewhat uncomfortable in this strange “presentacion de los Cassettes”, the trio escape, sprinting through the sets as they flee the studios and pile into one of the brown cars as they made their getaway.
The video was directed by Jonny Kofoed, who’s since made a career out of doing delightful animations for the world of advertising. I like his dark take on the world of video production.
Best bit: Tom’s very long look in the rearview mirror.
According to an Augustino fan forum from 2001, “Overblown” was a radio-only release for Augustino. The forum is amazing. It’s so full of energy and enthusiasm for this cool band everyone loves, there’s bonding and hugs when September 11 happens, then the forum regulars suddenly peter out just as the band release their debut album. And if a band’s fan base can’t stick around, there’s not much hope for the band.
BJ White “Uptown”
The only thing I can find out about “Uptown” by BJ White is that it was included on a sampler CD from Festival Mushroom Records, in between tracks from Lash and Kylie.
Canvas were an enthusiastic trio of young men from Wellington by way of Christchurch. “Tina” was a good pop track and the video got decent airplay on music video shows.
So, an artist called Flipside received funding for a track called “Movin'”. It’s almost impossible to google (and it doesn’t help that there are two other artists called Flipside with tracks that involve “Movin'” in the title) so I can’t find anything on this track.
Nurture was a poptastic collaboration between Deep Obsession producer Christopher Banks and singer Phil Madsen. “Beautiful” was their first single and it reached #13 in the charts.
Sumix “Jump House”
Sumix was a hip hip duo consisting of friends Craig Mckenzie and Aidan Richards. Their single “Jump House” is an upbeat number with a insanely cheerful chorus that instantly reveals Craig’s roots in Christian pop. (Seriously, it has such a Christian chorus). The video was involved the duo going down the slides at Wairewa hot pools. The video evidently made so little impact that director Joe Lonie could safely later recycle the video concept Falter’s “Falling to Pieces” video in 2003.
It sounds like the name of a yuletide horror film, but Jester‘s “Eyes 4 Xmas” is actually a sweet guitar-pop tune. The video seems to have taken inspiration from Popstars. Nga Taonga describes it as “An amusing take on a reality TV talent show. We are privy to auditions for the band (“day 12″), recording the single, shooting the video, creating an image and – Jester’s first show.”
Sheelahroc were an all-girl hip hop trio from Christchurch, comprising of Ladi6, Voodoo Child and Tyra Hammond, a powerhouse of talent. The cool and cautionary “If I Gave You Th’ Mic” was their only NZ On Air funded video. My vague memory of it was an overhead shot of Ladi6 in a space like the train station foyer. The video needs to be online! In this documentary, the group talk about the video shoot being a bit of a mess, and the end video not really making much sense.
Canvas had their second funded video “Sunday”. From memory, it was the band playing the song in a house, going for a lazy-Sunday vibe.
Carmen Steele “Believe In Me”
Kiwihits noted that Carmen Steele‘s song “Believe In Me” was a “reaction to media coverage of the tragic incidence of child abuse in New Zealand” and that the production make it “one of the year’s most evocative songs”. It was Carmen’s only NZOA funding.
Garageland‘s “Highway” is a cheerful ode to road-tripping, and other pleasures. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “Footage from the road – including the Capitol Records – and on stage on a US tour by Garageland.”
GST, the early incarnation of Opshop, have the song “Put Up A Fight”. Most significantly, it was the making of this video that inspired Jason Kerrison to build his apocalypse shelter. As Jason told Salient, the video was filmed at his landlord’s “monolithic dome structure”, which inspired him to build his own.
PA Styles “Summer Breeze”
PA Styles were twins Naomi and Sharlene Sadlier. “Crowds are drawn to P.A Styles like moths to a flame,” claimed a Southgate Entertainment press release, creating an image of crowds of people madly running around PA Styles. “Summer Breeze” was their only funded video.
Director: Rongotai Lomas
Purrr‘s final funded video was “Oxygen”, but I’m not entirely sure if a video was actually made. Oh well, it was nice knowing you, three-piece girlband.
D-Super “The Moths”
D-Super go for a janglier, poppier sound for “The Moths”. It was their third and final NZ On Air-funded music video.
Meno Panteboy “Any Kinda Weather”
Meno Panteboy were an Auckland group made up of musicians who’d previously worked with artists such as Che Fu, Greg Johnson, Nathan Haines and John Rowles. “Any Kinda Weather” was a bFM hit. (In case you’re wondering, panteboy is the Greek transliteration of rendezvous and is another name for a coffee house.)
Slim have their final NZOA-funded video “Crumbling”, an upbeat song about someone who is struggling with drink and drugs.
I’m disappointed that Aaria‘s “Cry No More” video isn’t online. The slick bilingual pop vocal group had a top 10 hit with this single, but it was to be their last. From memory, the video had a similar vibe to the Spice Girls’ “2 Become 1” – all city-at-night cool.
The Relaxomatic Project “At The Onset”
There’s no sign of the final video “At the Onset” from Auckland groovsters the Relaxomatic Project.
I’m not sure if Garageland actually made a video for “Crazy”, but it’s worth celebrating as it was their last lot of video funding. They had a total of 15 videos funded over seven years, which is an impressive rate. From the low-budget fun of the early years to the more sophisticated vids of later years, Garageland made good use of the medium of music video.
Lavina Williams “So I Cry”
The “V” in Ma-V-Elle, Lavina Williams went solo with “So I Cry”. In 2006 Lavina made it to the final 12 of Australian Idol, following younger sister Emily who placed second in the 2005 series.
According to the bio on Amplifier, Michelle Kazor‘s debut single “In This Life” was the “highest charting song from an unsigned act ever on radio” – but that’s referring to a radio plays chart, not the singles chart. I’m not totally sure if this video ended up having NZ On Air funding, but it’s in the Nga Taonga archive, nonetheless.
There were two non-funded videos that made a significant impact in 2001. One was the Deceptikonz‘s “Fallen Angels”, the other was Blindspott‘s debut “Nil By Mouth”. It was self-funded and made with a budget of a mere $800. With a solid song behind it and a great scream-along chorus, it proved a popular hit and won Breakthrough Video Artist at the Juice TV awards and launched Blindspott as alternative metal heroes. (There’s a slightly-higher-budget alternative version, but it’s not as much fun as the original.)