Opshop “No Ordinary Thing”

2004-opshop-no-ordinary-thingOpshop return with “No Ordnary Thing”, and it sounds like they were listening to a lot of Radiohead when they wrote it. The song is perhaps best known when it was used on Outrageous Fortune when Aurora died. Boohoo.

The video is largely animated, set in space. It opens with what looks like an eclipse, only it’s revealed that the large object blocking the sun is actually a car tyre. We soon discover that there’s whole lot of stuff floating around in space. But this isn’t standard space junk – it’s very ordinary bits and pieces of everyday life on earth. Things like a doll, a petrol pump, a t-shirt, and a flickering neon sign advertising “X GIRLS”.

But a curious thing is happening – the objects seem to be getting unwrecked, unsmashed. Then we discovered all the junk is heading for one spot and – ohh… – it’s rebuilding planet Earth, which we presume has previously exploded.

This is like one of those really rubbish deux ex machina episodes of Doctor Who. And somehow it’s only the accoutrements of Western life that are heading back, suggesting this repaired Earth will have remote African village huts made of laptops and sneakers.

Back on the rapidly reconstructed Earth, we find Jason from Opshop in a playground with his daughter. He’s taking photos of her, implying that the only thing that can bring a fractured world back together is a father’s love for his daughter. Well, that’s nice.

It feels like the song is so strong that it doesn’t really need the video. People who like the song will like it regardless of whether or not there’s a pair of sneakers floating in space.

Best bit: the “X GIRLS” sign, bringing some cheap thrills into space.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… on the road, yet again.

Opshop “Saturated”

2003-opshop-saturatedMost enticingly, the YouTube description says this song was “featured on the hit TV series The Hills“. But “Saturated wasn’t listed on MTV’s official list of all the songs used on the popular scripted reality show, so I’ll never know if it was the Speidi love theme. Actually, given the that the main refrain is “let’s stay up all night”, the song was probably used for a scene where some characters – Speidi, perhaps – stayed up all night.

I did discover a couple of songs from other New Zealand artists that had been played on The Hills. Greg Johnson had “Save Yourself” on ep 208, and two years later Savage was there with “Swing”. And if you count Natasha Bedingfield as New Zealandish, well, she did the series theme song.

My searching also revealed that Opshop had another song on another MTV show. “One Day” was on episode 213 of 16 and Pregnant, where “Emily faces the pressure of starting over in a new school and new town” among other things.

Anyway. Back to the lecture at hand. The “Saturated” video is Jason walking along a beach, and that’s basically it. It’s shot in several continuous bits, with edits to show the passing of time or to change the action happening on the sandy ground behind him. There’s no sign of the rest of the band, letting Jason be the face of Opshop.

It’s just all regular beach activity – a dude hooning on a dune buggy, a couple strolling, a dog playing (Jason throws him a stick), a couple of surfers and a bit of beach cricket.

Sometimes the lighting makes it look like Jason has been superimposed on a beachy background, but as he replied to an accuser on YouTube, “I was definitely at the beach. true story.” And when you think about it, filming it in a studio would be a lot trickier than doing it for real.

It turns out all the walking has a purpose. Right at the end, as the sun is setting, he walks up and there’s a lady. His body language is all “Sorry I’m late. Do I still get a shag?” Oh, so that’s why all those people on NZ Dating put “long walks on beaches” in their profile.

Best bit: the impressive one-handed dive catch from a beach cricket player.

Next… can’t stop, won’t stop.

Opshop “Secrets”

2003-opshop-secretsThis is Opshop gradually getting better at their craft. They hadn’t yet bothered the pop charts, but there was a catchiness to their work.

“Secrets” is a really no-frills video. It’s just Opshop playing in a dark studio, lit with white lights. It has the effect of making the video look almost black and white, and it gives the shadowy band a hint of mystery.

Jason is wearing spectacles in the video, which reflect the ring lighting used in the video. There’s also a curious light on stage which echoes the shape of the light reflected in Jason’s glasses, making it all seem a bit Twilight Zone.

Just when things seem to be getting a bit predictable, suddenly words start flashing on the screen. First “stop the propaganda”, then “start thinking”. But, like, what if that itself is more propaganda?

After the messages it’s straight back to the band, and they keep playing just as they were before, seemingly unchanged by the effect of the propaganda messages on the band or indeed their audience.

So yeah, it’s a really no-frills exercise. It is a bit boring, but it adequately captures the song and the band.

Best bit: the mugshot-style poses of the band members.


Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… working overnight at the gascrankinstation.

Opshop “Nothing Can Wait”

2003-opshop-nothing-can-waitAfter an earlier incarnation called GST, Jason Kerrison and pals became Opshop and kicked off with “Nothing Can Wait”. As the band’s bio states, in 2003 they won a New Zealand music radio competition that helped give them a break.

The “Nothing Can Wait” video is filmed in the band’s home town of Christchurch. Sometimes it’s obvious, like when we see the busy cranes of Lyttelton or the Moorhouse Ave overbridge, other times they could be on any street in any New Zealand town.

The band are on a street because they’re playing an impromptu gig in the middle of a road. Traffic from both directions is builds up around them. But rather than causing an impromptu street party or some “Everybody Hurts” traffic jam self-reflection, the disruption just causes anger and confusion – a pretty realistic reaction.

Conveniently enough, the surrounding vehicles are all very photogenic, including a big yellow truck and a dinky old blue car. The truck driver is angry and yells in Jason’s face, but most of the other drivers are just curious to see what’s going on. Hey, free concert!

Being set in Christchurch, the video has a few moment of “oh…”. The glorious day-to-night panoramic shot of the city skyline is now like a memorial of all the city’s many demolished buildings, including the Grand Chancellor Hotel.

Back back on the ground, the band are having fun being dorks, rocking out in the middle of the road. It’s a good introduction to the world of Opshop.

Best bit: Jason’s in-your-face attitude to the angry truck driver.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… getting across town.