The fans are blown away, a sweet lullaby, the newsreel, disintegration, and cutting to the beat.
Raging against the machine, a boring road trip, high school musical, an ’80s celebration, a dark disco corner, rocking in a forest, fake tropics.
Continue reading June 2008: Mareko, Nathan King, Nesian Mystik, Opensouls, Over the Atlantic, Shihad, Sweet & Irie
Blackboard scribbles, a modern Pacific city, shockingly inoffensive, helping out with the lambs, the location that swallowed the band, and the most boring farm ever.
Continue reading April 2008: Rhombus, Scribe, Shihad, Simple Day, Solstate, Stu Strawbridge
Pro-wrestlers at the beach, the comfort of 101, circular motion, the grooviest show in town, nocturnal projections, an anatomy lesson.
Continue reading December 2007: Motocade, Nesian Mystik, PNC, Scribe, Shihad, SideKickNick, SJD
Extreme fangirling, skaters vs the police, the children (who are the future), a bleak landscape and a Shore thing.
Continue reading Videos from December 2005 – part 5
This live performance of “Home Again” was released to tie in with the band’s 2003 double album Pacifier Live, a collection of live recordings from live shows in New Zealand previously that year. It’s also the only video to be funded from the band’s Pacifier phase, with their record company otherwise picking up the tab.
The song choice feels like a treat for their core fan base in Australia and New Zealand who might have been feeling a little neglected after the band changed their name and ran off to America. What better way to win back fans than with a thrilling live video of the band’s most beloved song?
The band are keeping things very simple. They’re dressed in black and dark denim and the stage is lit with plain white lighting. I think this counts as making it all about the music, man. Though it doesn’t stop rockstar showmanship.
The video is cut together from at least two performance. This is evident as one has Jon with a t-shirt on, the other shirtless. He puts a lot into the performance, making it a thrilling and sweaty showcase, accented with rockstar leaps.
Near the end Jon goes for a wander, edging along the balcony, climbing down to the audience below, and crowd-surfing (or rather, swimming) his way back to the stage. The song has a new lyrics, “Yes, we’re coming home again” also serving as mission statement.
The video ends with Jon being a golden god on a speaker stack and/or being a golden god on the drum riser, in love with everything he does.
It feels like if there’s one thing Shihad can do really well, it’s playing “Home Again” to an audience full of New Zealanders. This video captures that. They might have less success with their other songs (would “Comfort Me” have got such a reaction?) but if they can make a theatre full of people feel happy for even just one song, that’s a good thing.
Best bit: Jon’s speedy swim across the top of the audience.
Next… left, right, straight ahead?
Brett Sawyer “Supercool”
Another track from the elusive Brett Sawyer. His single “Supercool” has almost no digital traces, but there is a brief review by Graham Reid in the NZ Herald, where he accurately describes Sawyer’s album When It Happens as being “Not bad, but over the long haul not gripping.”
Fur Patrol “Sorry”
This is interesting. Fur Patrol have funding for a song called “Sorry”, but it wasn’t a track off their 2000 album “Pet”. This might refer to the single “Andrew” (with frequent mentions of “I’m sorry”), but that song had funding in 2001.
Joshna’s single “Anything” notably was written by New Zealand songwriter Pam Sheyne, best known for co-writing Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle”. Unlike Ms Aguilera’s debut, Joshna’s single didn’t chart.
Mary “Big Boy (Santa’s In Town)”
Mary contributed the gentle track “Big Boy (Santa’s In Town)” to Christmas on the Rocks a yuletide compilation of New Zealand indie artists. (It’s actually quite a good CD, by the way.)
Moana and the Tribe “Speak To Me”
Moana, having ditched the Moahunters and rebranded to Moana and the Tribe, has “Speak To Me” the first single off her third album “Rua”. It was, as Graham Reid noted in the Herald, a departure from the hip hop sounds of earlier albums and a move to the world music sound she’s known for today.
Suzanne Neumann “Lose Control”
The Kiwi Hit Disk noted that at the time, Suzanne Neumann was “picking up major airtime”. But there’s no sign of her video for “Lose Control”.
Before Friday “Now”
Before Friday were a duo of Dean Chandler and Ben Bell-Booth. They had a few singles – including “Now” – before deciding that it would be better if Dean went solo with Ben as his manager.
Carly Binding “We Kissed”
“We Kissed” was originally intended as the first single off TrueBliss’s second album, and indeed the funding was originally given as a TrueBliss single. But but eventually Carly Binding left the group, taking her pop with her. Carly’s first solo single was “Alright with Me (Taking it Easy)” had its video funded in 2002, leaving the funding for “We Kissed” on the books for later use.
Dave Dobbyn “Just Add Water”
“Just Add Water” was the opening track from Dave Dobbyn’s 2000 album “Hopetown”. Here’s a live version with Bic Runga and Tim Finn.
Deep Obsession “I Surrender”
After their run of three number one singles, Deep Obsession weren’t able to keep up the same level of success. “I Surrender” was the final single from their album “Infinity” and it charted at 25.
Fiona McDonald “I Don’t Care”
“I Don’t Care” was the eighth and final track to have a music video funded from Fiona McDonald’s album “A Different Hunger”, leaving only four tracks without a video. I think that’s a record!
Breathe “Get Yourself Together”
“Get Yourself Together” was the forth single from Breathe’s major label debut “Don’t Stop the Revolution”.
Brett Sawyer “No Mistake”
“No Mistake” is the fifth Brett Sawyer track to have funding and it’s the fifth where the video can’t be found.
Dave Dobbyn “My Kinda People”
Dave Dobbyn goes back to his sneery, punky roots with “My Kinda People”, the second single from his album “Hopetown”.
Pluto “Moscow Snow”
The moody “Moscow Snow” was the first release by Pluto, appearing on an Antenna Records compilation. Here’s a live version recorded at the Helen Young Studio for TV show “Squeeze”
Breathe “When The Sun Comes”
Breathe has “When The Sun Comes”, which includes the lyric, “Everybody likes to grow their hair long/Every once in a while/Or something like that”.
Director: Julian Boshier
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Confucius was the work of Christchurch electronica musician Nava Thomas. Director Gaylene Barnes intriguingly describes the “Roll Call” video as “Confucius and MysteriousD become trapped in a drum and bass time warp, in this sepia toned music video which incorporates archive footage.” The video was also a finalist in the 2001 New Zealand Music Video Awards.
Director: Gaylene Barnes
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
House of Downtown “Downtown Groove”
The House Of Downtown track “Downtown Groove” was best known as the closing credits song for the Tarantino-esque 2001 New Zealand film Stickmen.
Leonard “Claire Swire”
Leonard’s second and final funded video was for “The New Claire Swire”. An intriguing song, assumedly about an office worker who wrote a personal email about semen that was forwarded around the world.
Director: James Moore
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
More sweet guitar pop from Mary, with their harmony laden track “Ophelia”, an ode to two kittens.
Shaft “Might As Well Be Dumb”
Last seen in the mid-’90s with “Downhill Racer”, Shaft return with the loping “Might As Well Be Dumb”.
Sola Monday “All For A Dance”
Sola Monday’s second and final funded video was “All For A Dance”, a sweet folky, jazzy number.
Splitter “Supermarket Girl”
August 2000 is proving to be not a particularly fruitful month for finding music videos online. Joining the missing persons line-up is Splitter with “Supermarket Girl”.
The D4 “Ladies Man”
There were two videos made for The D4’s song “Ladies Man”. The first was directed by Glen Elliott, the second, a year later, by Greg Page. Nga Taonga describes the second video as, “The D4 perform Ladies Man with some members of the band wearing skirts.”
The Nomad “Life Forms”
There’s no sign of The Nomad’s second video, “Life Forms”.
DNE “The Cause”
DNE’s second and final video is for the upbeat dance-pop number “The Cause”. “We are bound to see this group do great things,” says the equally positive bio at Amplifier.
Goldfish Shopping Trolly (GST) “Hey You”
Goldfish Shopping Trolley (or GST for short) was the original name of Opshop. “Hey You” was their first single and has the classic Opshop anthemic sound. At the time, GST were threatening to release the alarmingly titled album “Homo-Electromagneticus”, which promised to capture “the turbulent etheric renderings and solid earthy rhythmic growl of the native New Zealand west coast”.
Breathe “She Said”
After a run of 10 videos, Breathe go out with “She Said”. They just seem like a band that – for whatever reason – never quite lived up to their potential.
Loniz “Child Street Blues”
Loniz were a Tauranga-based trio who later became Pacific Realm. “Child Street Blues” was their first single, which the Kiwi Hit Disc says was playlisted on iwi and b.Net radio stations.
Shihad “Just Like Everybody Else”
The list I have of completed videos includes the Shihad track “Just Like Everybody Else”. But when even the very thorough Shihad Wiki doesn’t list it in their exhaustive videography, it’s likely it was never made.
The Subliminals “Uh-Oh”
Oh, this is cruel. There are two older Subliminals videos on NZ On Screen, but no sign of their one NZOA funded video, “Uh-Oh”. Here’s the band playing the song at Flying Nun’s 30th birthday celebrations in Dunedin in 2011.
Weta were one of those bands who seemed hovering on the verge of greatness, but for whatever reason, things didn’t happen. (But things are very much happening for Aaron Tokona’s new band, the psychedelic AhoriBuzz). This is Weta at their best, getting series amongst shipping containers.
“Sport and Religion” was the fourth video from “The General Electric”, but it wasn’t accompanied by a single release, and the vid feels like a cheapie promo.
The video was directed by Aaron Dustin of Morse Media (who were also behind the late great NZmusic.com) and the video is filmed at a live Shihad performance. I’m going to assume it was at the Wellington Town Hall. The venue is packed the the audience is surging with energy.
But despite Shihad’s fierce live reputation, the video is an awkward combo of the performance and the song. The song has processed vocals and is layered with electronic sounds. The live performance isn’t a lip-sync and only roughly matches the song. The video editing does a good job of getting around this, but it still doesn’t quite work as a concert video. But if you consider the video on its own, it’s a brilliant visual record of Shihad kicking arse at their peak.
The song, a call for there to be more to life than just the double pacifiers of sport and religion, has a feeling of both hope and despair. And that’s kind of what the video has too. Here’s a band rocking out, but it feels a little gloomy.
Best bit: Jon’s scrawny rock dude shirtlessness.
Director: Aaron Dustin
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… it’s alright.
It almost goes without saying that the “Pacifier” video is largely based on “A Clockwork Orange”. Except, judging by the YouTube comments, some whippersnappers haven’t seen the film and angrily accuse Shihad of ripping of Rob Zombie’s “Never Gonna Stop” video.
But with the lineage settled, the next question is why is the “Pacifier” video so strongly based on “A Clockwork Orange”? I’d guess it was chosen to contrast the ‘ultra-violence’ of “A Clockwork Orange” with the peaceful wish of Shihad’s lyrics. Except being a music video, it can’t actually show any violence. It’s just implied with intense stares coming from droog Jon.
Back when this video was first released, I remember discussing it at the late great NZmusic.com. It bothered me that the video had borrowed so much from “A Clockwork Orange” but had done so little with it.
It made me think of Joseph Kahn’s brilliantly fun video for the Faith No More track “Last Cup of Sorrow”. That video is based on the Hitchcock film “Vertigo”. It starts off being a pretty faithful reproduction of the original, then it gets deliciously weird.
I mentioned this on the NZmusic.com forum and was surprised when Tom from Shihad (a forum regular) commented to say he kind of agreed. He’d not been convinced by the premise of the video, but the band being a democracy, he was happy to go along with it.
And more than a decade later, I still have the same issue with the video. The concept of “Pacifier” seems little more than, “Hey, we should do it like A Clockwork Orange!” Even Rob Zombie added his own bits.
When the song concludes with a euphoric “Come on, let’s take a look outside”, it seems a missed opportunity to use some lovely New Zealand outdoorsness, the sort that features in Shihad’s video for “A Day Away”. I want to feel the stress and tension of the lyrics, then have a wave of soothing love and calmness wash over. I don’t want to see giant codpieces.
But there’s one difference between my old thoughts on NZmusic.com and now: the name change. A couple of years later, Shihad felt compelled to change their name and settled on Pacifier. That brings a certain melancholic feeling to the scenes at the milk bar with “Shihad Pacifier” emblazoned on the walls, like the rebranding was kicking off before anyone knew it was going to happen.
Best bit: the droogs hooning around a Shell petrol station.
Director: Jolyon Watkins
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next: would you rather have the money?
The video for “The General Electric” takes its inspiration from the cover of the album with the same name. The video even starts with a literal portrayal of the CD. A young woman walks into a record store and browses a rack of CDs, an activity that now feels oddly old fashioned.
She comes across the new Shihad CD, opens it and finds the disc itself in the case, which surely means some employee is going to get in trouble for not storing the disc behind the counter. It turns out to be a magic CD which transports the young woman into a stark white world filled with Shihad and an army of amps.
There’s a bit of Jon performing against evening scenes of downtown Sydney, but most of video is the band surrounded by giant, pulsating amps, probably inspired by the stockroom scene in “The Matrix”. My 1999 memory of the video was one of really slick CGI animation for the amps, but by today’s standards, it looks chunky and cheap.
But beyond the animation, the video serves as a good portrayal of Shihad’s energy. There’s no mad scientist plot, just a reasonably plain background for the group to do their thing.
Best bit: Jon looks down on the trapped visitor in four-sided Shihad box.
Note: This video was previously on Shihad’s Daily Motion account, but that’s gone. It can now only be found on MTV UK.
Director: Paul Butler
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Bonus: There’s an alternate video for “The General Electric”. It’s directed by Reuben Sutherland who also did the previous two videos for the group. The video goes for a mental asylum theme and rounds out his trilogy of the similar “Wait and See” and “My Mind’s Sedate”. And with spiky hair, glasses and a wide-collar shirt, Jon strangely resembles comedian Sue Perkins.
Next… a trip to the post office.