Mightyscoop “About Myself”

2002-mightyscoop-about-myselfThis video is all about a guy who is in love with a sex doll. This is a known phenomena, portrayed in the 2002 BBC documentary Guys and Dolls, and later the 2007 feature film Lars and the Real Girl. But in both those cases, the fellows in question are in love with RealDolls, the expensive and lifelike silicone mannequins. But in the star of the “About Myself” vid is in love with one of those cheap blow-up sex dolls, more used for their comedy value than practical applications.

He wakes up, struggles getting the doll set up at the breakfast table, where she ‘declines’ his offer of a banana. Sigh. The couple have a romantic picnic, then it’s off to band practice. But – because society is cruel – he can’t take the bus and must walk, making him late.

His bandmates are angry and end up throwing the doll around the room. This bit is actually a bit uncomfortable to watch – men violently throwing a likeness of a woman around. There’s no comedy, it’s just creepy.

Dejected, the guy walks off dragging the doll, seemingly not in love with her anymore. A little dog attacks the doll, and somehow that’s the video’s lone bit of actual comedy. Back in town, the dude is distracted by a hot store mannequin, leaving the blow-up doll to be found by another person. But as soon as it’s gone, he realises how much he wants/needs/loves it. Pft, too late, mate.

This was Mightyscoop’s final NZ On Air video. It seems to follow the pattern of a certain kind of new artist – they get a few videos funded, the market is tested, but if nothing happens they’re on their own.

Best bit: the doll’s carefully braided hair.

Next… motorway patrol.

Mightyscoop “Stay Awake”

2002-mightyscoop-stay-awake“Are they singing about speed,” wonders YouTube uploader Haurang1. And it’s not hard to come to that conclusion, with both the song and video seemingly about the crazy-arse world of amphetamines. Oh, like a down-under version of “Semi-Charmed Life”.

The video follows the adventures of “Lars”, a bearded guy who is the group’s roadie. He’s very energetic and spends most of the time hanging out at a bar. Crawling on a pool table, talking the ear off whoever will listen and humping the bar. Ok, so this is a song about speed.

We also see the band playing in a bright white studio, and their performance has the same maniacal energy. Actually, only half the band (the two singer/guitarists) have that energy. The drummer and keyboardist are both sedately playing away in the background, doing what it says on their job description.

The trouble with the video is no one really comes across as very likeable. Lars is a dick and the band seems like some dudes who think they’re far more charming than they actually are. If the song was good, all this would be forgiven, but it’s really ordinary with a boring tacked-on synth line. It all ends up functioning as a cautionary tale against the perils of stimulant abuse.

Best bit: Lars’ thick beard, alarming by even today’s beardiness standards.

Mightyscoop “Sunny Daze”

2001-mightyscoop-sunny-dazeMightyscoop are a curious band. At their core were Dave and Sebastian, a Kiwi and an Aussie who met on their OE in England, formed a band and ended up back in New Zealand as Mightyscoop.

“Sunny Daze” is an infectious pop number, with some of that ’80s keyboard that Goodshirt were also having fun with. It didn’t chart, but I believe it had some luck with radio play. And who – apart from the KLF – could get away with a lyrics that go “I like driving my ice cream van! I like driving my ice cream van!”?

The video sees the group making a music video. Ah yes, it’s a bit meta. They’re in a studio performing in front of a rippling silver backdrop. Dave has Lance Bass-style frosted hair, while Sebastian is just wearing a scarf instead of a shirt. A short, angry director frequently yells at them.

When the chorus comes along, a couple of dancers show up, wearing the same combo of shiny bikini tops and hot pants that K’Lee’s dancers wore. Only in this video, the camera goes full-on male gaze, with many close-ups of gyrations and Sebastian’s leering face. Let’s just think back to 1991, to the lycra ladies of James Gaylyn’s “Body Fine” video. Oh, how far we’ve come in just 10 years.

The shoot is going well until Sebastian makes an inappropriate remark to one of the dancers. She storms off, which makes the director even angrier. He yells at Sebastian, who sasses back with the song lyrics, “It doesn’t really matter what you say!” Who wants to work with a dick like that? The director also storms off, leaving the band to play the rest of the song in the dark.

In real life, a new band who acted like this on a music video shoot wouldn’t get far in their career. Mightyscoop didn’t get very far either, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. As it happens, this video was nominated for Best Independent Video at the Juice TV Awards.

Next… giving it everything.