Slim “Real World”

2001-slim-real-worldThe video begins with Aaron from Slim dressed as yuppie scum. This is signified by him wearing a suit and talking on a cellphone. Yes, kids, once upon a time only wankers in suits had cellphones.

Aaron’s an important businessman having and important business call near the entrance of the Lyttelton Tunnel (Slim were from Christchurch, so good on them for using local locations) when two heavies kidnap him.

In their secret lair, Aaron is given a few off-camera kicks and dragged through the building. His previously neatly coiffed hair has taken the form of wild spikes. That’s the first step in brainwashing – they get the hair. One of the heavies then spraypaints an “S” on his shirt, with the downward slash of his tie making it a dollar sign. Yeah, how’d you like that, yuppie boy? Now you have a dollar sign painted on your shirt.

While all this has been going on, Slim have been playing as a three-piece. They seem to be coping, with a guitarist singing his middle-eight part, but they are obviously in need of a proper lead singer as suddenly a reprogrammed Aaron bursts in and starts rocking out. Obviously having that dollar sign painted on his shirt was all he needed to successfully front a punk band.

The song is all about conformity (or lack thereof), so the question is, are Slim conforming to the cliches of a punk-pop music video, or are they subverting the genre with irony? Also, some dry-cleaning fluid will get that paint off the shirt.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… shaken and stirred.

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

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.

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.)

Slim “Rise Up”

1999-slim-rise-upPost office boxes didn’t used to be bright red. They used to be a subdued grey, in keeping with the general greyness of the New Zealand Post Office. When NZ Post was born, post office boxes got a lick of red paint and a bold new backdrop was born.

The last NZOA video that took advantage of this setting was Love’s Ugly Children in their “Voodoo Girl” video. That explicitly used the space as a post office box lobby, but with Slim it’s more abstract. The camera hardly ever focuses on the boxes, so the walls become giant crimson slabs of colour, a perfect backdrop for some energetic punks.

In the YouTube description, director Marc Swadel notes the video was “a three way directorial race on this between myself, Slim singer Aaron Hogg, and Italian director Simona Lianza”. Whatever was going on behind the scenes, the finished product doesn’t show it.

The band perform the song in the narrow space, performing to each walls and with different combinations of band members. The camera is usually locked off in the same place, with a few shots near the end taken against a different wall, and a shot of a rotating skull in the middle. Adding a bit of variety, lyrics from the song and random graphics flash up on screen, making it look a lot slicker than a bunch of guys in a post office.

Best bit: “Open a bank account”, commands a random graphic.

Director: Marc Swadel, Aaron Hogg
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… Otago noir.

Slim “Bullet in my Hand”

1998-slim-bullet-in-my-handShihad’s labelmates Slim came from the remains of Pumpkinhead. “Bullet in my Hand” is a satisfactory short and punky tune that looks to have been directed by guitarist/singer Aaron Hogg.

It’s obviously a low-budget job. Most of the video is static shots of the band playing in a bare studio, almost as if they set up the camera on a tripod, hit record and went for it. The shots aren’t always framed with much artistry. A lot of the video involves the lead singer’s head right up close to the camera. That’s fine, but some contrast would be good.

The unremarkable studio footage is spiced up a little with digital graphic flashing in quick succession. It’s a reminder that effects like this were becoming cheaper and more accessible.

And things get even more exciting when the lights go out, Aaron loses his shirt and the video becomes a rapid kaleidoscope of darkness, colour, skin and scowls. These bits are more effective than the main studio shots, but for a DIY effort without a major label behind them, it’s not a bad effort.

Best bit: the power leap, an injection of rock showmanship.

Director: Marc Swadel
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… feelin’ it on the road.