Found videos from 1996

Loads of found videos from 1996, featuring cameo appearances from three bright young actors, Stella as a grunge band, double Annie Crummer and Strawpeople, and some political pop.

Continue reading Found videos from 1996

K’Lee “1+1+1 (It Ain’t Two)”

2001-klee-1-plus-1This is a magnificent track. First, the Matty J-penned lyrics. These are the top five lines from the song:

  1. “These ain’t my panties and that ain’t my skanky bra!”
  2. “While you’re getting your sex education, I’ll be smashing your new PlayStation!”
  3. “Treating our love like some twisted menage a trois!”
  4. “Playtime is over and your ass is history!”
  5. “Clean out your locker!”

The video of this angry tirade against an unfaithful lover focuses on K’Lee and her posse of six backing dancers. They go through different looks in different settings – there’s edgy street K’Lee, fun K’Lee, blonde Britney-style K’Lee and a J-Lo-style DJ K’Lee.

The backing dancers do a lot of formation dancing behind K’Lee. They’re good, but seem to be in need of a few more rehearsals to get to world-class music-video-dancer quality. But then, K’Lee’s dance moves are retricted to the waist up, which makes me think she wasn’t skilled enough to join in with the formation dancing. Instead she gets a few arm movements and some clever editing and camera angles.

Directed by fancy Australian director Mark Hartley, it’s comes across like an attempt at a modern pop video, but it doesn’t quite get there. There’s not an obvious point of failure, it’s just a bit weak all over. But if you tone down your expectations, the video ends up being highly enjoyable camp fun. The wardrobe changes are entertaining, particularly the frequent bra-as-a-top aesthetic. And it’s strangely refreshing to see bra-wearing women in a music video that doesn’t also involve male performers asserting their desirabilty.

K’Lee ends up as a master of disguise, predating Britney’s wigtastic “Toxic” video. And even though K’Lee’s different looks are done more minimally than Britney, somehow K’Lee ends up looking quite different with each look. Her sassy DJ seems staunch and mature, while the blonde fedora character is too cool for any relationship drama.

This is the most unashamedly pop video I’ve come across so far. It has set its sights high, hasn’t quite got there, but is still a wonderfully entertaining video.

Best bit: K’Lee’s sneering turntablism.

Director: Mark Hartley

Next… an unexpected journey.

Shihad “Home Again”

1997-shihad-home-againAh, good old “Home Again”. It’s possibly the song most beloved of Shihad fans, and the video captures its feelgood spirit. It’s shot in one continuous take with a static camera. So it’s up to the band to do enough for three and a half minutes to keep viewers entertained.

The video has also been shot at a slower speed and sped up, giving it a manic energy. This condensing of time allows several Polaroid photos to be taken and develop in front of our eyes.

Most of the action takes place on or around a blue couch. There are also a number of different backdrops hung in the background, a wheeled-in TV for a glimpse of off-set action and a drum kit which various band members have turns on.

The image is slightly altered by different fliters and frames being clipped to the camera, but really the star of the video is the fish tank. For about 40 seconds, some goldfish are wheeled in, where they happily swim around, oblivious to the rock dudes running and jumping around them.

In a way, what happens (or doesn’t happen) in the video doesn’t even matter. It’s such a good song that the video is almost like a screensaver, just some images to watch while you listen to a great song.

Director Mark Hartley was awarded Best Video at the 1998 New Zealand Music Awards, breaking the three-year winning streak of nominee Joe Lonie.

Best bit: the goldfish, just chillin’.

Director: Mark Hartley
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… Russell’s seduction techniques.

OMC “On The Run”

“On the Run” was OMC’s third single and last NZOA-funded video. It was the lowest charting OMC single in New Zealand (#30), but it charted in the UK (#56) and the Netherlands (#98). It’s a far cry from the glory days of “How Bizarre”, but it’s certainly not bad going.

The song is a moody track with a disco funk bass and some fab 1960s guitar tremolo, while Pauly raps and sings about being on the run, a simultaneous blend of pop star and badass.

After an introduction with a Betty Draper-ish, we meet Pauly, hiding out in a dark motel room, his face cast with shadows from venetian blinds. We also see him in a colourful room, sometimes playing his guitar, wearing a silver jacket at a press conference, and wearing a 1960s leisure suit as he is spun around on a rotating wall.

Betty also makes an appearance in these locations, but never at the same time as Pauly. She’s in the company of a sinister-looking man who seems to be keeping her prisoner. If she knows anything about Pauly’s whereabouts, she’s not snitching.

There’s no conclusion, no hint that this drama will be resolved. The video ends with a pause on Pauly and then a fade to black.

In his book How Bizarre, Simon Grigg notes that the video shoot was masterminded by the Australian record company. He describes the video as, “excessively glitzy, and devoid of anything resembling personality – Pauly’s or anyone else’s. It completely missed what it was that made Pauly stand out from the international mire.”

Best bit: Pauly banging out some instro guitar – a perfect way to pass the time when laying low.

Director: Mark Hartley
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

It would be nice if the OMC videography ended here, but there was also “I Love LA”, an irony-free cover of the heavily ironic Randy Newman song, recorded for the “Mr Bean” movie soundtrack. Simon Grigg notes: “The embarrassing video, in a Hollywood pool, cost more than every video and recording made by Pauly to date, combined. An almighty flop, a terrible record, and a career killer. Its on my label but I disowned it before release.” View with caution.

Next… outrageous sexy ’90s party.