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

April 2007: 48 May, All Left Out, Bachelorette, Dam Native, Fur Patrol

Rural arson, astrophysics fantasy, a CGI wonderland, cut-out adventures, and other forceful symbols.
Continue reading April 2007: 48 May, All Left Out, Bachelorette, Dam Native, Fur Patrol

Emma Paki & Dam Native “Stand Alone”

2003-emma-paki-stand-aloneEmma Paki’s song “Stand Alone” was remixed by Dam Native, adding some hip hop sounds and rapped verses. It’s a long track – over five minutes – and it seems like it could have easily had 90 trimmed from it and still had its epic sound.

The video sees Emma outside at a beach and in some woods. She’s wearing a kind of lavalava/sarong, like a funky mermaid. We also see her inside, in front of a wall hung with all sorts of artworks. It all has a really relaxed feeling, like visiting a hippy artist friend who lives at the beach.

We also meet the guys from Dam Native. They’re sitting in a really brightly lit room. There’s a problem with the way the shots are lit because the performers are seated in front of a large window with a carved piece on it. So either the background is bright white and the performers look regular, or the background is regular and the performers are shadowy.

As it is, much of the indoor scenes feel like a bunch of friends making a lip-dub video on their couch at home. Emma and the Dam Native guys are great, but the video (and the XXL song, to a certain extent) feel like they just need to be tightened up a bit.

Best bit: Emma in the ocean, like a mermaid of the south seas.

Director: Rongotai Lomas
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… by the light of the silvery moon.

Missing videos from 2001

February 2001

Augustino “Overblown”

According to an Augustino fan forum from 2001, “Overblown” was a radio-only release for Augustino. The forum is amazing. It’s so full of energy and enthusiasm for this cool band everyone loves, there’s bonding and hugs when September 11 happens, then the forum regulars suddenly peter out just as the band release their debut album. And if a band’s fan base can’t stick around, there’s not much hope for the band.

BJ White “Uptown”

The only thing I can find out about “Uptown” by BJ White is that it was included on a sampler CD from Festival Mushroom Records, in between tracks from Lash and Kylie.

Canvas “Tina”

Canvas were an enthusiastic trio of young men from Wellington by way of Christchurch. “Tina” was a good pop track and the video got decent airplay on music video shows.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Flipside “Movin'”

So, an artist called Flipside received funding for a track called “Movin'”. It’s almost impossible to google (and it doesn’t help that there are two other artists called Flipside with tracks that involve “Movin'” in the title) so I can’t find anything on this track.

Nurture “Beautiful”

Nurture was a poptastic collaboration between Deep Obsession producer Christopher Banks and singer Phil Madsen. “Beautiful” was their first single and it reached #13 in the charts.

Sumix “Jump House”

Sumix was a hip hip duo consisting of friends Craig Mckenzie and Aidan Richards. Their single “Jump House” is an upbeat number with a insanely cheerful chorus that instantly reveals Craig’s roots in Christian pop. (Seriously, it has such a Christian chorus). The video was involved the duo going down the slides at Wairewa hot pools. The video evidently made so little impact that director Joe Lonie could safely later recycle the video concept Falter’s “Falling to Pieces” video in 2003.

Director: Joe Lonie

April 2001

Dam Native “Terminal Illness”

Last seen in 1997, Dam Native returned with the boisterous “Terminal Illness” (which eventually showed up on their 2010 album “Aotearoa Nobody Does It Better”). Here’s the band playing the song live in Wellington.

Jester “Eyes For Xmas”

It sounds like the name of a yuletide horror film, but Jester‘s “Eyes 4 Xmas” is actually a sweet guitar-pop tune. The video seems to have taken inspiration from Popstars. Nga Taonga describes it as “An amusing take on a reality TV talent show. We are privy to auditions for the band (“day 12″), recording the single, shooting the video, creating an image and – Jester’s first show.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Letterbox Lambs “Not A Private Joke”

Wellington band Letterbox Lambs had one funded video, “Not a Private Joke”, off the same-titled album.

Director: Jonny Kofoed
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Pierced “Painted Angels”

All I’ve been able to find out about Pierced is that they toured with Loki in 2003. “Painted Angels” was their only NZ On Air funding.

Pine “Speeding”

Pine are a three-piece pop band who specialise in melodic charm. Nga Taonga describe it as “Pine play with a Scaletrix slot-car racing set.” “Speeding” isn’t online, but here’s an in-studio performance from the late night music programme “Space”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Sheelahroc “If I Gave U Th’ Mic”

Sheelahroc were an all-girl hip hop trio from Christchurch, comprising of Ladi6, Voodoo Child and Tyra Hammond, a powerhouse of talent. The cool and cautionary “If I Gave You Th’ Mic” was their only NZ On Air funded video. My vague memory of it was an overhead shot of Ladi6 in a space like the train station foyer. The video needs to be online!

June 2001

Canvas “Sunday”

Canvas had their second funded video “Sunday”. From memory, it was the band playing the song in a house, going for a lazy-Sunday vibe.

Carmen Steele “Believe In Me”

Kiwihits noted that Carmen Steele‘s song “Believe In Me” was a “reaction to media coverage of the tragic incidence of child abuse in New Zealand” and that the production make it “one of the year’s most evocative songs”. It was Carmen’s only NZOA funding.

Garageland “Highway”

Garageland‘s “Highway” is a cheerful ode to road-tripping, and other pleasures. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “Footage from the road – including the Capitol Records – and on stage on a US tour by Garageland.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

GST “Put Up A Fight”

GST, the early incarnation of Opshop, have the song “Put Up A Fight”. Most significantly, it was the making of this video that inspired Jason Kerrison to build his apocalypse shelter. As Jason told Salient, the video was filmed at his landlord’s “monolithic dome structure”, which inspired him to build his own.

PA Styles “Summer Breeze”

PA Styles were twins Naomi and Sharlene Sadlier. “Crowds are drawn to P.A Styles like moths to a flame,” claimed a Southgate Entertainment press release, creating an image of crowds of people madly running around PA Styles. “Summer Breeze” was their only funded video.

Director: Rongotai Lomas

Purrr “Oxygen”

Purrr‘s final funded video was “Oxygen”, but I’m not entirely sure if a video was actually made. Oh well, it was nice knowing you, three-piece girlband.

August 2001

D-Super “The Moths”

D-Super go for a janglier, poppier sound for “The Moths”. It was their third and final NZ On Air-funded music video.

Meno Panteboy “Any Kinda Weather”

Meno Panteboy were an Auckland group made up of musicians who’d previously worked with artists such as Che Fu, Greg Johnson, Nathan Haines and John Rowles. “Any Kinda Weather” was a bFM hit. (In case you’re wondering, panteboy is the Greek transliteration of rendezvous and is another name for a coffee house.)

Slim “Crumbling”

Slim have their final NZOA-funded video “Crumbling”, an upbeat song about someone who is struggling with drink and drugs.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 2001

Aaria “Cry No More”

I’m disappointed that Aaria‘s “Cry No More” video isn’t online. The slick bilingual pop vocal group had a top 10 hit with this single, but it was to be their last. From memory, the video had a similar vibe to the Spice Girls’ “2 Become 1” – all city-at-night cool.

House of Downtown “What You Do”

House of Downtown‘s final funded video was “What You Do”. The band came, made some uplifting house tracks, then went away.

The Relaxomatic Project “At The Onset”

There’s no sign of the final video “At the Onset” from Auckland groovsters the Relaxomatic Project.

December 2001

Garageland “Crazy”

I’m not sure if Garageland actually made a video for “Crazy”, but it’s worth celebrating as it was their last lot of video funding. They had a total of 15 videos funded over seven years, which is an impressive rate. From the low-budget fun of the early years, to the more sophisticated vids of later years, Garageland made good use of the medium of music video.

Lavina Williams “So I Cry”

The “V” in Ma-V-Elle, Lavina Williams went solo with “So I Cry”. In 2006 Lavina made it to the final 12 of Australian Idol, following younger sister Emily who placed second in the 2005 series.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Michelle Kazor “In This Life”

According to the bio on Amplifier, Michelle Kazor‘s debut single “In This Life” was the “highest charting song from an unsigned act ever on radio” – but that’s referring to a radio plays chart, not the singles chart. I’m not totally sure if this video ended up having NZ On Air funding, but it’s in the Nga Taonga archive, nonetheless.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Instead

There were two non-funded videos that made a significant impact in 2001. One was the Deceptikonz‘s “Fallen Angels”, the other was Blindspott‘s debut “Nil By Mouth”. It was self-funded and made with a budget of a mere $800. With a solid song behind it and a great scream-along chorus, it proved a popular hit and won Breakthrough Video Artist at the Juice TV awards and launched Blindspott as alternative metal heroes. (There’s a slightly-higher-budget alternative version, but it’s not as much fun as the original.)

Salmonella Dub “For the Love of It”

1999-salmonella-dub-the-love-of-itBy 1999 Salmonella had taken a form that would lead them on to many successes. They’d acquired a new singer Tiki Taane, a charismatic, handsome and cool dude to front the less remarkable band. But most importantly, they’d stumbled across their sound, what Wikipedia terms “a unique Pacific style of dub/drum ‘n’ bass/reggae/hip hop and groove-based rock” and what others may unflatteringly call barbecue reggae.

The “For the Love of It” video is like a manifesto of what the new Salmonella Dub is all about. The opening shot in the video is a wide panorama of a pristine lakeside area, empty of people. It’s the way New Zealand has been portrayed in tourism propaganda for over a hundred years.

We soon meet the band as they travel through rural New Zealand, hanging out at the beach and by waterfalls. They finally arrive at their destination – music festival the Gathering. This lets the band engage in the very modern, very manmade act of performing amplified music, but keeping it in a natural setting.

There’s lots of random footage of the Gathering, which is a nice record of that period of the late ’90s. And with that context, it seems obvious why Salmonella Dub would have appealed to a field full of loved-up festival-goers.

But the live performance almost takes a backseat to the footage of the band enjoying the great outdoors. There’s a game of beach cricket, skateboarding, fishing, riding an inner tub in a river and, yes, even a barbecue. “Stripping it back to the roots,” declares Tiki in the lyrics, and that’s exactly what this video it all about.

Occasionally there’ll be a glimpse of the band indoors, recording stuff in dark rooms. But that never lasts for long. This is a sunny, summery video to remind people of the real wicked-as time they had on their holidays.

Best bit: the stilt-walker performance artist at the Gathering.

Director: Rongotai Lomas
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… eat your greens.

Deep Obsession “Cold”

1998-deep-obsession-coldNow it really feels like the late ’90s. Deep Obsession were a dance-pop duo, but the video is careful to feature producer/co-songwriter Christopher Banks along with singers Vanessa Kelly and Zara Clarke. Together they produced very successful, inoffensive pop, with a slightly dated housey sound.

The video takes its inspiration from the title – there’s a lot of blue, snow and fur. Brrrr. But for a group that always seemed very commercial in its nature, the video has a couple of uncommercial moves.

Even though Deep Obsession are a duo, we don’t see the two of them together until near the end of the song. So I’m watching them shot in black and white, sometimes with hats, sometimes with crazy makeup, and I can’t figure out who I’m looking at. It’s like the cold has made them forget one of their unique selling points.

Just to add to the weird, one (or both?) of them is bound like a chrysalis in Gladwrap, hangs upside down (well, the camera is upside down) and she looks really annoyed. Oh my. I’m actually starting to script my own version of a video for this song.

Were they actually taking the piss? The video ends with the three of them huddled together singing “Please hold me close”, like a DIY YouTube parody of an Abba video.

Well, whatever I can critique about this video, it doesn’t really matter. The song was the second of a run of three number one singles that Deep Obsession enjoyed in 1998/’99.

Best bit: the ice queen chrysalis – you don’t want to see it when it thaws.

Director: Rongotai Lomas
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… adventures in latex.

Upper Hutt Posse “As the Blind See”

1995-upper-hutt-posse-as-the-blind-seeUpper Hutt Posse turn with another protest song, this time wrapped up in a cool soul groove with an equally cool video. Directed by Rongotai Lomas, the video is shot in high-contrast black and white, emphasing the Posse’s talent as musicians in a recording studio. Dean Hapeta raps as he’s seated at a grand piano, and Emma Paki turns up about halfway through the song to add her sweet, strong vocals to the chorus.

But there’s life outside the safe bubble of the studio, and indeed it wouldn’t be an Upper Hutt Posse video without examples of the things that make the Posse angry. There’s a moody stroll past Mt Eden Prison; a visit to One Tree Hill’s summit, the damaged tree supported by guy ropes; and Dean takes a tense walk past a line of police officers still wearing the old custodian helmet style of hats.

Both the song and the video have a strong message, but unlike earlier Upper Hutt Posse videos that have been packed with symbols, this video has a more minimalist style. By keeping the visuals simple, the music and its message are the stars.

Best bit: Dean’s slow turn to the camera at 3:11, which seems to include a sigh.

Director: Rongotai Lomas
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dam Native “The Horrified One”

1995-dam-native-the-horrified-oneSuddenly Dam Native came along and insisted that the rules be rewritten, promising “none of that stuff that sounds American or the cliche of the typical Maori rock band.” Except there was a little bit of both, but not in a bad way.

The video for “The Horrified One” (or “Horified”, as it is sometimes punfully spelt) The video travels across Auckland, showing cityscapes, railway lines, a cruise down Queen Street at night, graffiti-covered walls, and cool inner city digs. There is a bit of cherry-picking going on – going to the parts of Auckland that look cool and urban – but it is undeniably Auckland.

Teremoana shows up to sing on the chorus, and her appearance in the video firmly dates it in the mid ’90s – dressed in tough-girl streetwear, with hair is styled in multiple Bjork mini buns. And that’s the influence of a 1993 music video on one from 1995. I now expect to see a video filmed on the back of a truck.

It’s a low-budget video, but one with a strong idea behind it. Dam Native give really good performances, looking like, yeah, they often rap in the car, by the railway lines, around the house.

Best bit: the F-word hiding in some background graffiti

Directors: Rongotai Lomas, Tracey Tawhiao
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a comeback special