Ben King “No Ordinary Day”

2002-ben-king-no-ordinary-dayBen King was otherwise known as the guitarist in Goldenhorse, but he had some songs that he needed to get out there, so he went off on a little side project which resulted in a self-titled solo album.

“No Ordinary Day” was the single, a sweet pop song, but this wasn’t its original music video. The first version featured Ben jumping on a trampoline. (You can see excerpts of it in this Nightline interview.) Up and down and up and down. It joined Pavement’s original “Rattled by the Rush” video on the list of music videos that can cause motion sickness. So it’s not surprising that the NZOA-funded version is a lot more relaxed and still.

“No Ordinary Day” superimposes Ben on vintage photos of Auckland. So there he is, in black and white, wandering across Wellesley Street with a pedestrians casually in the middle of the road and trams rolling along their route, motorcars nowhere to be seen. The only recognisible building is the Auckland Art Gallery, back when it also housed the city library and municipal offices. Even the familiar Civic theatre corner is yet to acquire its landmark.

Ben is the only thing that moves in these scenes, as if he’s discovered the secret of time travel, but can only ever explore a fixed moment in time. Like a rubbish Doctor Who episode.

The idea of Ben King wandering around old photos never seems to go anywhere. There doesn’t seem to be any point to it, other than it being provided as an example of something that can happen on a day that is not ordinary.

It seems like so much effort has been put into making a video that doesn’t move around all the time, that the end result is a video that doesn’t really go anywhere.

Best bit: the baby’s pram in mid-push across Wellesley Street.

Director: Marek Sumich
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the story of a rollie.

Goldenhorse “Baby’s Been Bad”

2001-goldenhorse-babys-been-bad“Baby’s Been Bad” is a cheerful ska number, but like the group’s previous video “Golden Dawn”, this one gets a bit weird. It’s like Goldenhorse are slightly afraid of the straight pop songs they’ve written and have to do something to warp them a little.

This time the video gets a bit sci-fi and a bit surreal. Starting with a dystopian, black and white world where Geoff Goldenhorse climbs into a giant drawer which starts to transport him somewhere. We also meet Kirsten Goldenhorse who’s in a colourful caravan in the desert, mixing up crazy potions, involving a human heart, paper dolls and pasta.

It seems Geoff is visiting the desert to put a mysterious canister down an equally mysterious metal tube. But is he going to go back to the dystopian world? No, he is drawn to the caravan atop the sand dune.

The video doesn’t quite work for me. The song feels a bit weak from all its repetition and so the video seems like an attempt to distract from that. I’d be much more impressed if Goldenhorse could just make a straight video for their pop songs.

Best bit: the most important ingredient – a house made of macaroni.

Director: Marek Sumich

Next… ladies, beware.

Muckhole “Pop Out Punk”

1997-muckhole-pop-up-punkIt’s a quiet afternoon at the Skateland roller rink. A concession stand girl and the emcee both look bored. Ok, it’s time to shake this up a little. Send in the punks!

On cue, a big old convertible rolls into the Skateland car park, and out jumps the band in fancy dress. There’s a ’70s Afro man, a priest, an Elvis and a bee. They enter the building, the emcee cheers and the band launches into their furious 90-second song.

Muckhole are set up in the middle of the rink and while they play, roller hockey kids skate around them.

Some of the video seems to have been shot with a crane, but given that the YouTube description notes the video was made for $4000, I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it was a guy dangling in the rafters.

The song ends the band suddenly vanishes. Serenity returns to Skateland, while the waitress forlornly skates around, with no customers to receive her tray of milkshakes.

It’s a simple video with a cute concept at its core. It looks as low budget as it is, but that fits right in with the song’s angry lyrics.

Best bit: the Elvis lead singer, taking full advantage of his costume’s mana.

Director: Marek Sumich

Next… the coolest way to lay low.