August 2010: Anika Moa, Annah Mac, Atlanta Fall, Autozamm, Black River Drive, Brooke Fraser, Chazz Valentine, Die! Die! Die!

A very wet phone call, change management, paper boats, the band and the song, thrift store art, damp hair in a cool cafe, the romantic punk, and chaotic scribbles.

Continue reading August 2010: Anika Moa, Annah Mac, Atlanta Fall, Autozamm, Black River Drive, Brooke Fraser, Chazz Valentine, Die! Die! Die!

June 2010: The Phoenix Foundation, Timmy Schumacher, Tyree, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Vince Harder, We Are Romans, Young Sid

The flooded underground, snacks and guns, straight hair and big glasses, the rock format, and working for the man.

Continue reading June 2010: The Phoenix Foundation, Timmy Schumacher, Tyree, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Vince Harder, We Are Romans, Young Sid

March 2010: Kids of 88, Kidz In Space, King Kapisi, Kirsten Morrell, Maitreya, Nameless Sons, Nathan Haines, Nesian Mystik

Stretching and flexing, ghostly goings on, a Bangkok kickboxing gym, a hundreds and thousands man, the story and the ink, the hunter possibly becomes the hunted, an edgy London sound, and demons on wheels.

Continue reading March 2010: Kids of 88, Kidz In Space, King Kapisi, Kirsten Morrell, Maitreya, Nameless Sons, Nathan Haines, Nesian Mystik

August 2009: Misfits of Science, Nesian Mystik, Opensouls, P-Money, Pistol Youth, PNC

Bound in streetwear, the boys go to work, murderation, four corners of the globe, and an ordinary life.

Continue reading August 2009: Misfits of Science, Nesian Mystik, Opensouls, P-Money, Pistol Youth, PNC

April 2009: The Datsuns, The Mint Chicks, These Four Walls, Timmy Schumacher, Vince Harder, Zowie

A baby dreams, pro wrestling, a night out in Tokyo, Auckland on a grey day, attack of the crazy costumes.

Continue reading April 2009: The Datsuns, The Mint Chicks, These Four Walls, Timmy Schumacher, Vince Harder, Zowie

October 2008: Addison, An Emerald City, Annabel Fay, Antiform, Autozamm, Beneath the Silence

The ticking of time, sand dunes as desert, a trip to the beach, a trip around Auckland, murderous revenge, and some bad-ass shredding.

Continue reading October 2008: Addison, An Emerald City, Annabel Fay, Antiform, Autozamm, Beneath the Silence

Found videos from 1997

A fluffy bra, nightclub, a prison, a derelict swimming pool, three lifts and an escalator.
Continue reading Found videos from 1997

Bryan Bell “Sure Seems a Long Way Down”

2004-bryan-bell-long-way-downSix years after the Dead Flower’s last funding, frontman Bryan Bell returned with a solo record. His first single was “Might As Well Get Used to It”, with a non-funded video shot in Las Vegas that included pashing and an implied murder.

B. Bell’s solo career was more pop and less rock than this previous band. His second video was again directed by Marc Swadel, but this time shot in London. Bryan stands on a rooftop, observing life on the streets below. Soon we meet a gothy, punky girl on the tube, looking all bothered. She heads down an alleyway and ends up doubled over, vomiting up blood. Er, ok.

Next we meet a couple of guys wearing hoodies, who also look a bit ill. Then something unexpected happens. They pash – and that’s seven seconds of close-up manpash. This isn’t just noteworthy of being a gay kiss in a music video – I actually don’t think there’s been a boy-girl kiss of this intensity or duration in a NZ On Air video before.

Of course, there’s mouth blood involved with this snog. One of the kissers fondly recalled on YouTube, “i was in it. kissing a chav. and that brown goo made me throw up on myself. glamour!”

The action continues with a heterosexual couple engaging in a full-on pashing and goping session, breaking the aforementioned record. This video is just going for it. Naturally, this kiss also ends with a mouthful of goopy blood.

This all makes me wonder if there is some sort of sexual ebola outbreak in Shoreditch, with Bryan Bell being an observer from the World Health Organisation.

Best bit: #manpash

Director: Marc Swadel

Next… waking up in the future.

Dark Tower “You Beauty”

2000-dark-tower-you-beautyThis is Dark Tower at their flyest. The video starts with the duo experiencing inner city pressure. While hanging out in front of a large graffiti wall, they find themselves bothered by another couple of rival homies, one played by Jon from “Ice TV”. Homeboy Jon consults his “Hip-Hop Rulebook”, confused at this pair who rap in New Zealand accents and wear a lavalava.

Dark Tower leave the oppressive city and head for a farm, where they will be free to be themselves. Wandering the pastures, they unleash some brilliant rural lyrics, raping about how it’s “a hard task chewing grass down through Lewis Pass/I saw 10 dags dangling off a dead nag’s arse.” You definitely wouldn’t find that in the Hip-Hop Rulebook.

Their mates Rubicon come to the farm to join them, playing on the back of a ute and in a woolshed (where else?). Jody DJ with a potato sitting near his turntables, and we also see a baby sitting in a vegetable garden because that’s what happens on farms.

“You Beauty” is a fun, lively video that shows Dark Tower doing what they did best – throwing the hip hop rulebook out the window and rapping about what they know.

Best bit: Paul from Rubicon’s trademark joy-mouth drumming.

Director: Marc Swadel

Next… I’ve seen the future.

Tim Finn “Twinkle”

1999-tim-finn-twinkle“Twinkle” was the only single from Tim Finn’s fifth solo album, the self-released “Say It Is So”. It’s a very simple video and seems on par with other indie efforts from the era.

The video starts with a mysterious woman smoking a cigarette. This is a subtle change from smoking in music videos from the mid-’90s. In this video, it’s not the artist smoking, but rather a character. It’s used to convey unease, not coolness.

Tim plays a businessman. He comes home, flops his briefcase down on his bed, pours himself a scotch and sits in an easy chair. What happens next is very interesting. He’s sitting in his chair, looking at the camera, singing the song. And it looks like a webcam.

There’s the same blue screen light and unflattering angle. It actually looks like someone who’s settled down for a good, long Skype session with their sweetie in another town. But back in 1999, webcam technology wasn’t that advanced. The best you could manage on dial-up was ever-changing black and white stills.

So, ok, Tim isn’t Skyping or vlogging. He’s just sitting in his chair getting sloshed. He briefly gets up to make a phonecall and paces about for a bit, but the video is largely him just sitting.

But suddenly drama! Cigarette girl gets all “Hunger Games” on Tim. She pulls back a crossbow and shoots him in the back, through the chair. I’m not sure how this works out as she appears to have been shooting from outside and yet the arrow comes from inside the apartment. I don’t even think Katniss can shoot that well.

Director: Marc Swadel

Next… behind the bamboo curtain.