Down at the hall, a mild winter, cats eyes, dramatic silhouettes, coloured dots, and a ghostly wander around Wellington.
A celebration of the glorious proletariat, work-related travel expenses, subterranean homesick New Zealander, nature porn, and cramped working conditions.
Continue reading February 2008: Katchafire, Mareko, Opshop, Salmonella Dub, Spacifix
Sunny Vanuatu, alluvial planes, epic littering, alien love, a Hadlee shrine, and a one-man show.
Continue reading October 2007: Salmonella Dub, Tahuna Breaks, The Black Seeds, The Brunettes, The Phoenix Foundation, Tiki Taane
A board game, son of Canterbury, letterboxed action, back to the ’90s, a literal road movie, and furry fun.
Continue reading August 2007: Salmonella Dub, Scribe, Steriogram, Streetwise Scarlet, Surf City, The Brunettes
Tropical crime fighting, police brutality, high street thugs, an interrogation and love (not war).
Continue reading Found videos from the 2000s
Resting bitch face, actual cows, a red room, Catholic guilt, a scenic boat trip, forecourt drama, romantic Venice, an outdoor TV and and pre-millennium tension.
Continue reading Found videos from 1999
If you fly from Auckland to Wellington, at point point the plane passes over part of the King Country that is covered in bush. And every time I always look down and think if the plane were to crash, it would probably get swallowed by the bush and be invisible from the air. Well, now you can have that thought from the safety of your own home, thanks to the “Longtime” video.
Most of the video is aerial shots of scenic Aotearoa. As well of swooping shots of dense bush, we’re also treated to rocky shorelines, green hills and a coastal town. But the most time is given to a convoy of cars making their way along a winding road, through tunnels and around many curves and bends. It could almost be mistaken for scenes from a car ad, only one of the drivers isn’t very good and seems to genuinely be having trouble staying in his lane.
This aerial exploration of scenic New Zealand takes up about two-thirds of the video. And what happens next? Well, it’s a Salmonella Dub video so they have a barbecue, obviously. (They were previously seen enjoying a barbecue in “For the Love of It” from 1999). The “Longtime” video is mostly set in the New Zealand that is virtually untouched by humans, so the barbecue isn’t in some suburban backyard, it’s on a farm.
The video finally makes a concession to the Dub’s day job – we see them playing a concert. It’s like the “Slide” video where it feels like some live footage has been whacked on the end just in case anyone forgets that Salmonella Dub are a band and not a branch of Tourism New Zealand.
Best bit: the grilling of crayfish, actually looking pretty good.
Next… logically it would end with a coffee table covered with candle wax.
Salmonella Dub’s three previous videos have all been animations, which I always assume is the result of a band too busy touring to shoot a video in person. The other way of handling that dilemma is to shoot the video on the road, and that seems to be what the Dub has done for “Slide”.
The video is shot in Sydney, as part of the band’s 12-date tour of Australia in August 2003. Much of the video is shot at a gig at the Metro Theatre. It’s a relaxed song, an ode to letting the worries of the world just pass you by.
We see the various members of the band up on stage, but there’s no sense that they’re performing to the cameras. It’s more like the camera is an audience member, just passively checking out the band as they perform.
But just in case things were getting a little claustrophobic in the club, the action moves outside. There we meet a skateboarder who is blissfully hooning down a hilly suburban street. You know you’re not in New Zealand when the footpath is smooth enough to confidently race down on a skateboard.
He then moves to the CBD, skating through a grey pedestrian mall past guys in suits (take that, guys in suits!), then it’s around a few corners and in the front door of the Metro and into the gig. Just in time for the song to end.
The video feels like a quickie, and more effort seems to have gone to filming the skateboarding scenes than the live footage. But I think Salmonella Dub have always been an album band and a live band more than they’ve ever been a singles or music videos band.
Best bit: the quality moves from the skateboarder.
Next… a broken arm.
Good animated music videos are hard, but Salmonella Dub always manage to get it right. “Nu Steppa” was co-directed by Ash Bolland and Steve Scott, with Scott previously having co-directed by the group’s videos “Problems” and “Platetechtonics (Fartyboom)”.
This time the action takes place away from the wilderness of the previous videos. It’s set in the big city, drawn in black and white and red all over.
At first things seem pretty ordinary. There are lots of scenes of traffic flow, to the point where it’s starting to look like traffic management simulation software. But then – uh oh – suddenly alien robot monsters beam down and cause havoc. Alright!
To the intense bassy rhythm of the music, the robot monsters stomp down the streets, crushing cars underfoot. The aliens don’t seem especially malicious. It’s more like they’re running along some streets that just happen to have all these random little things in the way – just like a human wouldn’t give much thought to (or even notice) stepping on an ant as they walked along.
Oh, but then things get mean. The aliens stop stomping and start using their destructor beams, smashing up remaining cars, as well as the surrounding skyscrapers. It’s a very neat destruction, with each building neatly shattered in turn. Then it’s the turn for a giant white dome of destruction to embrace the city and destroy everything left.
It’s really nicely animated video, with incredible detail. The song lyrics are all about how mighty Salmonella Dub’s music is, so the video is using the robot aliens as a metaphor. Yeah, at their peak, Salmonella Dub were as kick-arse as crazy robot aliens.
Best bit: the very detailed engine of an upturned car.
Directors: Ash Bolland, Steve Scott
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… it’s the remix.
eIn the early 2000s, anti-genetic-engineering sentiments were very popular. There was even an all-star charity single called “Public Service Announcement”, as well as the pressure group Mothers Against Genetic Engineering (MAdGE). The “Platetechtonics” video is Salmonella Dub’s foray into the anti-GE world, with an animated cautionary tale.
The video is a sequel of sorts to the group’s “Problems” video, directed by “Problems” co-director Steve Scott. And indeed this video stars the same animated characters from “Problems”, though in a more cartoony form. This time he’s a scientist and has cross-bred a “natural seed” with a “mutant seed”. And you just know this isn’t going to end well.
He plants the seed, has a nightmare about it, returns the next morning and discovered a giant purple bush. He eats a berry and goes a bit mental and had some choice hallucinations involving the music, just like in the “Problems” video. That’s a hard life.
The GE plant gets all Little Shop of Horrors, chasing the hero up a volcano. But suddenly he starts to bloat up, and floats high above the earth. The moral of the story? Er, GE food gives you gas?
The track itself is a fairly laid-back, almost instrumental number. The video is far more engaging and interesting. It avoids the temptation to takes the lazy stoner path, and instead turns the sound into the soundtrack for a surreal adventure with a moral lesson.
Best bit: the classic animation chase up the volcano.
Director: Steve Scott
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… the phone box of rage.