April 2009: PNC, Savage, Smashproof, Sweet & Irie, Tha Feelstyle, The Checks

In the pages of a gossip magazine, a club full of makeup, small town New Zealand, little girls, and big fat tropical rain.

Continue reading April 2009: PNC, Savage, Smashproof, Sweet & Irie, Tha Feelstyle, The Checks

April 2007: Jackie Bristow, Jakob, Kitsch, Ladi6, Little Bushman

Bullet train to nowhere, Wellington apocalypse, hidden songstress, angry old man, and woman about town.
Continue reading April 2007: Jackie Bristow, Jakob, Kitsch, Ladi6, Little Bushman

3 The Hard Way “Nothing’s Changed”

2003-3-the-hard-way-nothings-changedIn “Nothing’s Changed”, 3 The Hard Way look back at their youth, the golden days of “Hip Hop Holiday” when they were running wild and free. It was only 10 years prior, which shows how young they still were. (I bet now they look back at the golden days of 2003, etc.)

So, what goes with reminiscing? Why, Mongolian barbecue. The video is set in that Mongolian barbecue restaurant and karaoke venue at the top of Queen Street. It’s packed with young Asian diners – a change from the “crazy Asian fans” trope seen in other music videos.

The restaurant patrons take turns at singing the song’s chorus. The screen that would normally display the karaoke lyrics instead shows the “Hip Hop Holiday” music video, which seems custom-made to evoke nostalgic feelings of youthful extravagances.

There’s slow-motion footage of goings-on in the restaurant, including the delivery of a giant platter of noodles. (OMG, I would actually watch a music video that was just people eating a giant bowl of noodles.) We also see chefs in the kitchen literally playing with fire, setting alight a meat skewer via fire breathing.

But about halfway through the video loses steam. There’s no more rapping, so the video is left with clips of the “Hip Hop Holiday” video and karaoke kids. It’s partly due to the song also running out of energy, with the end result being like a tired old man who’d rather be at home watching Coronation Street than bothering with all this hip hop malarky.

Best bit: the giant plate of noodles.

Director: Michael Reihana
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… under construction.

Dubious Bros “For The Ladies”

2003-dubious-bros-for-the-ladiesTen years ago, when Labour was in government and Auntie Helen cared about the arts, I did a year-long course as part of WINZ’s PACE “artist’s dole” programme. It was brilliant and immensely helpful, but it seems almost unbelievable thinking about it now, especially as WINZ now have this weird unhistory that says that PACE never existed.

One of the other people taking the course was Rosie Morrison, a photographer originally from Hamilton, and she’d taken the still shots used in this video. And there’s a big difference between the stuff she photographed and the Super 8 footage used in the video.

The video sees the Tyna and Macro go for a harbour cruise. The captain of the boat is not a crusty old seadog, it’s a young woman wearing nautical hotpants. While she’s steering the boat, she gyrates a little. I’ve not seen that move in Pirates of the Caribbean.

All the Super 8 footage has a golden glow to it. It’s a real “I’m on a boat” fantasy, where hot chicks are happy to hang out with Hamilton rappers because – wahey! – they’re on a boat.

In contrast, the still shots seem more grounded in reality. Instead of the sexy boat fantasy, the still shots reveal a bunch of people out on a boat in Waitemata Harbour. And it even seems more focused on the male friends of the Dubious Brothers, rather than the models, who the boys are probably too shy to approach. So whatever hip hop video fantasy the Super 8 creates, Rosie’s still shots slyly come along and deflate that. And that is very cool.

Best bit: one of the ladies eats a hearty hors d’oeuvre.

Note: This video was previously available on the website of director Michael Reihana, but it’s currently unavailable.

Director: Michael Reihana
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the people’s robot.

Katchafire “Who You With”

2002-katchafire-who-you-withThis song is about smoking heaps of pot and getting really off your face and hanging out in Hamilton. Which, for young Hamiltonians, is a popular option.

But the video never explicitly illustrates this, cleverly setting the lyrics of “wrap it up” and “throw it all my the papers” in the world of fish and chips. Yes, the band are sensibly having a good feed before their night out.

The video revolves around a big event at night, but before that the band have to get coordinated through a series of text messages (and one of them has the same cheap-arse Nokia that I had back then!). The text message is a friend of music videos. It’s an easy way to show communication or exposition without the need for dialogue.

While most of the video strays from literally illustrating the lyrics, when the song mentions “spinning out around Hood Street”, the video throws in a few shots of the street itself, a central Hamilton road known for its adequate collection of pubs and restaurants. And David’s Emporium, which is like Geoff’s Emporium or Pete’s Emporium, only better.

Finally all the text recipients come together and everyone meets up at a big ol’ outdoor party, with bonfires and that type of reggae dancing that is only tolerable when one is stoned. It

For a video that can’t show what it’s literally about, it does a really good job of expressing the vibe of the super chilled-out world of pot. I’m not sure how this works, but the song actually seems to slow down and possibly warp the fabric of the space-time continuum as it progresses. Sweet.

Best bit: the Union Jack cellphone case.

Director: Michael Reihana
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… all aboard!