Missing videos from 1994

There’s a Rockquest winner, some more bogan rock, a bit of hip hop, and some reggae.
Continue reading Missing videos from 1994

Supergroove “Scorpio Girls”

When an 18-year-old dude sings about “Scorpio Girls”, those “bad bitchin’ babes [who] get my guitar strumming”, you know it’s not realistically based on a reality of a man tormented by a never-ending influx of devilwomen messing up his life. It’s more likely about being an 18-year-old who wants to have sex but all the girls say no.

This “Scorpio Girls” video takes place in three locations – a live concert, a dark spooky room (via the Northhead tunnels), and the chamber of Scorpio Girls. The chamber is a white room where girls in black jeans and sweatshirts shove the band. It looks exactly like a bunch of girls who’ve been instructed to shove a band around for a music video, and most of them are obviously really enjoying themselves, looking more like “Whee-hee! I’m in a Supergroove music video!” than “Grrr! I’m a Scorpio Girl! Hide ur penis!”

This all goes to prove that the Scorpio Girls concept is a purely fictional construct. There are no Scorpio Girls, just fans who dig Supergroove. But it is good the song exists, because it has the great chant-along “Oooooh! Ah-ha!” bit.

Best bit: DIY lighting effects – waving torches while running through the dark tunnels.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… region rock whippersnappers.

Moana and the Moahunters “Tahi”

Moana’s all gothed up in black clothes and black lipstick, but the song is anything but goth. It’s a really uplifting dance track, that feels more like something from the mid-’80s crossed with some bangin’ house keyboards.

There is some green screen, but it’s done with much more style than we’ve seen over the past two years. As well as the Moahunters’ girl-group styles, there are kapa haka performers and some black and white footage of little kids in a suburban backyard.

The best thing about this song is the Moahunters lovely harmonies. In a way, I’d much rather see the trio singing their silky “Aue! Aue!” part against a green screen than any of the other stuff.

Best bit: the splendid bone and greenstone jewellery of the Moahunters.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the floating circles of sexy hard-sell.

The Exponents “Sink Like a Stone”

After trying to make it big overseas, the Dance Exponents had returned to New Zealand, rebranded as just The Exponents and released their new single “Why Does Love Do This To Me”, which promptly tore up the charts to number three and provided a rugby singalong anthem for many years to come.

Their follow-single, “Sink Like a Stone”, a Beatles-esque pop track, didn’t quite have the same chart heat. In fact, you could say it sank like a stone. Shut up.

The video is your basic green-screen set-up, only with an outdoors twist. The band performs the song in various outdoor locations, filmed in black and white, with cRaZy colourful graphics of the urban landscape swirling behind them.

The song lyrics talk of New York and the adventure of travel. Perhaps the exotic locations green-screened in behind the band are a way of bringing some big metropolitan groove on a budget. $5000 can only go so far.

Best bit: Jordan takes his hat off and has bad hat hair.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the circus come to town.

JPS Experience “Precious”

The appearance of the JPS Experience marks the first Flying Nun band to get funding. The JPS Experience break out the green screen, which is fine, but they take things to the next level with silver foil. The band play the song in a series of rooms, each with a different special effect colour scheme. It’s all very psychedelic, with the crazy swirling outside, and resembles the cover of their 1993 album “Bleeding Star”.

This green screen malarky was newly affordable video technology, so it’s no surprise that it pops up all the time in music videos, but here it’s just overkill. It’s like they’re not quite confident enough in the song or their abilities on camera, so they’ve hidden behind an oil slick of green screen.

I’ve always thought of the JPS Experience a very male band. Their songs weren’t just love songs, but seemed to be about the struggles of love and the modern male, and even floppy fringes and silver space suits work perfectly with that.

They’re all so young and beautiful, and the song is lovely. Unlike other bands in this funding round, there’s still plenty of love for the JPS Experience. A lot of fans consider them to be a band that should have been much more successful than they were, which adds a slightly bittersweet tang to the video.

Best bit: Dave’s floppy fringe.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a chronological question is asked.

Moana and the Moahunters “A E I O U”

This is where it begins. The first funding round had only three videos, but they managed to cover the extremes of New Zealand pop. The first was Moana and the Moahunters’ ode to indigenous cultural pride, “A E I O U”.

But was its NZ On Air funding considered newsworthy? A 3 News story makes no mention of that – the focus is more on the message of the lyrics. And it’s noteworthy that back in ’91, a national news story was “Hey, check out this music video!”

Watching the video itself, you can tell the early ’90s have come to New Zealand. Moana’s wearing a peasant blouse and waistcoat – Vanessa Huxtable chic. Moana performs the song with her girl group the Moahunters in front of a green screen, while Māori-influenced graphics swirl around behind her.

There’s no pretending that the world of the green screen is real. There are wide shots that show the edges of the screen, and the cold concrete floor of the studio (warehouse? suburban garage?) they are filming in.

This video features the familiar rotating NZ On Air logo in both bottom corners of the screen instead of the usual one corner. NZ On Air originally get a bit carried away with their branding requirements or was the video’s producer not quite sure what to do with it?

It’s a bright, cheerful music video, that nicely matches the uplifting house beats. It’s a perfect video to begin our journey into the world of NZ On Air funding.

Best bit: Moana’s dad, looking cool as.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… Don and Harry versus the bright shiny world of consumer culture.