June 2010: P-Money, PNC, Shihad, Six60, Sleeptalkers, Steriogram, Sweet & Irie

Trouble in the rubble, seductive wallpaper, a Möbius strip of Kiwi rock, over the top, the tide is high, and extreme doppelgängers.

Continue reading June 2010: P-Money, PNC, Shihad, Six60, Sleeptalkers, Steriogram, Sweet & Irie

August 2009: Misfits of Science, Nesian Mystik, Opensouls, P-Money, Pistol Youth, PNC

Bound in streetwear, the boys go to work, murderation, four corners of the globe, and an ordinary life.

Continue reading August 2009: Misfits of Science, Nesian Mystik, Opensouls, P-Money, Pistol Youth, PNC

February 2009: Nesian Mystik, P-Money, Savage, SJD, Sleepy Kid, Smashproof

Car park smooth moves, sleep’s restless revenge, the island life, letter and numbers, Fountain by the fountain, and gotta get down on Friday.

Continue reading February 2009: Nesian Mystik, P-Money, Savage, SJD, Sleepy Kid, Smashproof

August 2008: J Williams, Jonny Love, Kingston, Ladi6, Luke Thompson, Nesian Mystik, P-Money

Some dancing, general chaos, four times the fun, a glamorous silhouette, shooting in the woods, sweetness and strength, and piggybacking.

Continue reading August 2008: J Williams, Jonny Love, Kingston, Ladi6, Luke Thompson, Nesian Mystik, P-Money

August 2006: Cassette, Che Fu, City Newton Bombers, dDub, Deceptikonz, Don McGlashan

A home invasion, the housing bubble, ECT on GI Joes, video games, a wander along K Road, and some South Auckland.
Continue reading August 2006: Cassette, Che Fu, City Newton Bombers, dDub, Deceptikonz, Don McGlashan

P-Money featuring Scribe “Stop the Music”

2004-p-money-stop-the-music“Stop the Music” was the first single off P-Money’s second album and also his first number one single. Or – if you count the work he did on Scribe’s solo album – it’s his and Scribe’s third number one single.

It’s a bleak song – a declaration of the need to keep on making music, no matter what. The video is set on a dark and stormy night. Scribe is wearing his familiar uniform of a cap and hoodie, but this time the clothing has a practical use, to protect him from the pouring rain.

Inside we find P-Money, along with Sam from 8 Foot Sativa on drums, Justyn from Elemeno P on guitar and a dry Scribe. They’re all rocking out for the chorus. The way the video is lit makes P-Money look like an ill junkie goth zombie, but I think that’s the effect it’s going for.

I’ve previously noted the difficulty of shooting “in the club” videos, of directing a large number of people to look like they’re all having fun on the dance floor. Director Greg Page makes it work in this video by removing the requirement of fun. Instead we get a large group of people, jumping and punching the air in slow motion. It feels more urgent and authentic, like the music is genuinely moving them. It also helps that they also have the uncanny ill junkie goth zombie look.

The ending isn’t so strong. The song effectively ends after four minutes, leaving another minute of guitar noodling and rainfall sound, accompanied with footage of Scribe mooching off in the rain. Overall, it’s not as strong as previous P-Money/Scribe collaborations, but it’s still a nice gothic slice of hip-hop.

Best bit: the reflection of a rain-streaked windowpane on Scribe’s face, like a moving moko.

Director: Greg Page
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… robot invasion!

Missing videos from 2003

February 2003

Dead End Beat “Nervous Bag”

Dead End Beat were basically a slightly older and wiser Breathe with a new drummer. “Nervous Bag” was their debut single.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Donald Reid “The Return”

Donald Reid is the brother of James from the Feelers. “The Return” was his debut single, though I can’t find any evidence of there having been a video made for it, though Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision has an entry for the album track “No Ordinary Day”, which isn’t on the NZOA funding list.

Evermore “Pick Yourself Up”

“Pick Yourself Up” was another track from Evermore’s “Oil & Water” EP. I’m not sure if there was actually a video made, but it’s on the list.

Hendrix Warren “Empty”

I wasn’t sure if the video for Hendrix Warren’s song “Empty” existed, but I found the online CV of a camera operator, who lists the video production amongst his work history. Well, that’s good.

Director: Ivan Slavov

Pluto “On Your Own”

Pluto have “On Your Own”, another track from their album “Pipeline Under The Ocean”.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Soda “Falling Faster Now”

According to the band’s description on Amplifier, Soda’s “Falling Faster Now” video “explores the depths of Karaoke booth kitsch”. More than Rufus Wainwright’s “California” video?

The Brunettes “Boy Racer”

A few months ago The Brunettes’ “Boy Racer” video was on YouTube, but it’s since been taken down. I watched it once back then and I remember it involved the band performing at an empty theatre, as well as their backstage preparations. I mourn the loss.

Director: Daniel Monaghan
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 2003

50Hz “Smooth Rhodes”

More relaxing beats from 50Hz. “Smooth Rhodes” has guest vocals from Miss La.

P-Money “Go With The Flow”

There’s a P-Money track listed called “Go with the Flow”, but I can’t find any other mention of a song by that name. As far as I can tell, there were no more videos made for tracks from P-Money’s debut album Big Things.

June 2003

Brett Sawyer “Save Me Now”

“Save Me Now” was the sixth funded video that Brett Sawyer had and – surprise, surprise – it’s also the sixth of his videos to not be online. I’m very intrigued by him now. I’d love to see just one of his videos.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Carly Binding “This Is It”

Carly Binding’s single “This Is It” reached No.12 in the charts. It’s not online, but you can see her performing the song live with Donald Reid in 2006.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dead End Beat “Tonite We Ride”

Dead End Beat have “Tonight We Ride” – not to be confused with “We Ride Tonight” by D-Super. It’s a fairly ordinary early 2000s rock ‘n’ roll number.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Emcee Lucia “All This Time”

Emcee Lucia was the first New Zealand female MC to release a solo album. “All This Time” was the first track. She’s one of those artists who had a lot of buzz at the time, but I haven’t been able to figure out if she’s done anything lately.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

August 2003

The Bads “Don’t Go Losing”

In one database this track was listed as being by Diane Swann, one half of the Bads. “Don’t Go Losing” was the duo’s first single. I’m not actually sure if a video was made for this track. A profile at NZ Musician mentions that The Bads parted ways with their record company “after several videos had been shot and were poised for release”, so that might explain it.

Evermore “Hold On”

“Hold On” was a track from Evermore’s EP “My Own Way”, their last release before their debut album “Dreams” kicked off their success in Australia.

Taisha “I’ll Go”

After appearing in OMC’s video for”Land of Plenty”, R&B songstress Taisha had the country-tinged “I’ll Go”. She’s now part of the all-star cover band the Lady Killers.

Director: Ivan Slavov

October 2003

Brooke Fraser “Lifeline”

The original version of Brooke Fraser’s “Lifeline” video is not online. From memory, it involved Brooke and her band, dressed in overalls, playing a board game called Lifeline that administered electric shocks for losing moves – like a low-budget version of the Domination game from “Never Say Never Again”. And I have this idea that it ended up Brooke winning the game and her opponents being reduced to a smouldering pile of overalls.

The video was a bit darker and yet goofier than the song required, so director Joe Lonie filmed a new video, this time with Brooke walking through scenic landscapes (with a typical Lonie twist).

Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision – New Zealand version
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision – international version

Paselode “C’Mon Hallelujah”

Paselode were a rock band from Wellington. I saw them live few times in 2003 and they were always entertaining. Their songs were always about a minute too long and had one person too many playing on the track (they were a five-piece band but felt like an unwieldy ska band). “C’Mon Hallelujah” was their lone NZ On Air funded single. The band broke up shortly after, but not before the Simmonds Brothers told the band’s tumultuous story in the animated short film “The Paselode Story”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

December 2003

There are no missing videos from December 2003!

Instead…

This month’s consolation video is the super chill “Dawnskate-88” by The Video Kid, a side project by Black Seeds and Flight of the Conchords dude Bret McKenzie. This non-NZOA-funded video shows Bret and pals having a skate down the streets of Mt Victoria, then along a deserted Lambton Quay. It’s so Wellington.

P-Money feat. Scribe “Remember?”

2002-p-money-rememberOh, remember those days? When life was a bit easier? P-Money and Scribe do. The video has a bit of set-up to do before the song can start (a whole minute of set-up). First we see Scribe doing some freestyle rhyming with his circle of mates, as director Chris Graham’s camera circles the group. I get the feeling this was a spontaneous thing that happened on the day of the shoot.

Then the proper set-up starts. P-Money and Scribe are sitting at a park bench watching some kids playing, remember the halcyon days of their youth. Their dialogue seems improvised and as a result it doesn’t sound too clunky, and conveniently ends with Scribe saying “I remember…” as the song itself starts.

Scribe has some issues with a friend of his, who has evidently betrayed him. They’re engaged in a tense stand-off on Queen Street, but we also see a flashback of the pair play-fighting as kids. Scribe also spies a pretty lady in a record store, so that’s setting up a triangle of drama.

Scribe falls in love with her, leading to a rather nice shot of the couple cuddling on the cool old benches on the K Road overbridge, with the colourfully painted concrete and the city lights in the background.

It turns out that the girlfriend had an unpleasant childhood in the form of a dodgy uncle who molested her. This is a pretty heavy topic to have in a music video, but I think it’s handled well, with more implied than is actually shown.

But I’m most interested in how much of the video is filmed in parks. It’s like a park is a place where kids can go to escape their family home, but also a place where the adults can get away from all the pressures of their complicated lives. And while the city scenes are always full of drama, it seems that only good things happen in the lush green parks.

Best bit: Scribe’s pash – a most unexpected occurrence in a music video.

Director: Chris Graham
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a casting call.

Missing videos from 2002

February 2002

Tadpole “Now Today Forever”

The lone missing video for the February funding round is “Now Today Forever”, the second single from Tadpole’s second album, and a rather driving rock number.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

April 2002

Che Fu “Top Floor”

There’s also only one video missing from April, Che Fu’s uplifting number “Top Floor”. As it happens, I wrote a summary of this video in 2002. It sounds amazing:

Che Fu and his posse are hanging out on the front porch of a large wooden lodge. A young lady hands out pieces of chocolate cake and MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave pass out cups of instant coffee. With a very laid-back vibe, Che Fu spends most of the video sitting in a rocking chair, knitting. But just in case you think he’s turning into an old gran, in the middle of a song he turns into a robot and does a rap. But then it’s back to the porch. At the end of the song he’s finished knitting. He admires the, er, long red thing he’s made, tosses the ball of wool up in the air and it magically transforms into a snow ball and then Che’s snowboarding off into the sunset.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 2002

Fast Crew “Mr Radio”

Along came the Fast Crew, which included Kid Deft who later reverted to his maiden name, Dane Rumble. “Mr Radio” was their debut single, a rant about the difficulty of getting play-listed – something that would soon cease to be a problem for the Crew. The single reached #15 on the Independent NZ chart.

Director: Greg Riwai
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Fuce “Restless”

Christchurch band Fuce have their final NZOA-funded video “Restless”. The group had plans to relocate to Auckland in 2003, but I don’t know what (if anything) happened next.

In 2002 I wrote this about the “Restless” video: This video uses two visual clichés, one old, one getting old. The first is where the camera jerks about as if it’s trying to find something to focus on. The second is when the camera moves as if the power of the music is making the camera shake. Yeah, it’s a low-budget NzonAir video, but it’s looking ok. It just could have looked better if it had just shown the band playing the song, instead of all the dumb camera tricks.

Director: Aaron Hogg
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Splitter “You’re Right To Rock”

Splitter got in on the rock ‘n’ roll revival with “You’re Right To Rock” an ode to you-know-what. Sample lyrics: “Power chords are ringing like a bell!”. Aw yeah.

Subware “Into”

Subware’s final funded video was the lush “Into”, with vocals from Sandy Mills.

Theo Va’a “Little Angel”

Theo Va’a was an 10-year-old singer (dancer, entertainer, songwriter and professional model) from Palmerston North who later wowed the 2003 Christmas in the Park crowd. “Little Angel” featured Atilla Va’a, who I assume grew up to be the 130kg rugby prop asserting himself here.

August 2002

Mace & The Woodcut Crew “Shake ‘m”

“Shake ‘m” is a collaboration between rapper Mace and Auckland producers the Woodcut Crew producers. I’m going to assume it’s an instructional song about making protein shakes.

Pluto “Perfectly Evil”

Pluto have the dark and synthy “Perfectly Evil”. It’s been entertainingly used as the soundtrack for an almost wordless short film made by some year 13 students for their media studies assignment.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 2002

Lavina Williams featuring Emily Williams “Higher Lovin'”

Ex-Ma-V-Elle singer Lavina Williams teams up with her younger sister (and future Australian Idol star) Emily for the soul jam “Higher Lovin'”. Their sisterly harmonies sound fabulous.

December 2002

Crystal Fitisemanu “Sunny Summer’s Day”

I’m not sure if the video for Crystal Fitisemanu’s song “Sunny Summer’s Day” was made. There’s no mention of it online, but there is a brief mention of a $3000 grant in 2001 from Creative New Zealand for Crystal to record five songs.

P-Money featuring 4 Corners “The Xpedition”

“The Xpedition” is another track from P-Money’s debut album, this time featuring 4 Corners on vocals.

Rhombus “Tour Of Outer Space”

Well, Rhombus go on a “Tour of Outer Space”.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Tadpole “Always Be Mine”

“Always Be Mine” was the penultimate single released off Tadpole’s second album.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Instead…

This month’s consolation video is “Verbally Decapitating” by DJ Logikal. It was the winner of a competition that TVNZ’s after-hours music show M2 held, with the prize being a $10,000 fancy music video made for the winning track. This is a throw-back to how things were in the days before NZOA, where TVNZ (and its predecessors) made music videos for bands. Though in this case, it was a heavily promoted contest with an alcohol sponsor. The video – which is a really is a proper fancy video – sees DJ Logikal infecting downtown Auckland with his scratched-up beats, and it features pre-development Britomart for some gritty urban decay. It visually name-checks P-Money, and incorporates the song’s samples by having people on the street lip-syncing the words. The video rightly won Best Editor for James Anderson at the 2003 Kodak Music Clip Awards.

Director: James Anderson
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

P-Money feat. Scribe and 4 Corners “Synchronize Thoughts”

2001-p-money-synchronize-thoughtsSo, one afternoon in 2002 I was visiting my friend Dylan who worked in an office off Karangahape Road, sharing space with a TV production company and various other industry folk. Walking past one office, Dylz showed me a guy hard at work editing a music video. Giant orange letters floated around the screen, accompanied with the sound of Eastern European music mixed with hip hop stylings. I didn’t know what I was looking at, but there was something most intriguing about this video.

It turned out that the guy hard at work was director Wade Shotter and the video was P-Money’s second single “Synchronize Thoughts”, featuring Scribe and hip hop trio 4 Corners. It was another track that proved P-Money’s remarkable skills as a DJ and a producer, and further established Scribe as a hot young MC. Though, like previous single “Scribe 2001”, people tend to remember your name when it’s repeated throughout the chorus.

The video seems to have a somewhat higher budget than the DIY effort of “Scribe 2001”, but while it’s a simple set-up, the video has a slick, stylish look to it. The verses focus on the particular MC on vocal duty. They’re shot in the corner of a dark, shadowy room, and the minimal setting lets the lyrics stand out.

And it’s everyone in when the chorus comes along. Scribe takes the lead, with 4 Corners and P-Money backing him up. It’s a supremely confident video for a bunch of newcomers. But it’s pitched perfectly – it ain’t bragging if it’s true.

Best bit: the don’t-give-a-damn ending with just P-Money scratching.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… ice ice baby.