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

March 2010: Pieter T, Shapeshifter, Shotgun Alley, Steriogram, The Jury & The Saints, The Naked and Famous, The Phoenix Foundation

Tiny town, the god of earthquakes is annoyed again, down at the club, finger pops, an intense house party, island fans, huge and thrilling, and underwater adventures.

Continue reading March 2010: Pieter T, Shapeshifter, Shotgun Alley, Steriogram, The Jury & The Saints, The Naked and Famous, The Phoenix Foundation

August 2007: Salmonella Dub, Scribe, Steriogram, Streetwise Scarlet, Surf City, The Brunettes

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

October 2006: Solaa, Steriogram, The Chalk, The Exiles, The Have, The Reduction Agents

Pool party! And fun with office supplies, flaming flames, graffiti, the idea of desiring machines, and a big rock video.
Continue reading October 2006: Solaa, Steriogram, The Chalk, The Exiles, The Have, The Reduction Agents

August 2006: Spacifix, Starlett, Steriogram, Ted Brown, The Black Seeds

Gandalf rocks the caravan, opshop finery, enchantment, a whole lot of lamps and a very long answer to an unasked question.
Continue reading August 2006: Spacifix, Starlett, Steriogram, Ted Brown, The Black Seeds

August 2005: Pluto, Recloose, Sarah Brown, Sola Rosa, Steriogram, The Checks, The Phoenix Foundation, The Rabble, Tyree

Racing car action, flaming flames, a marionette, animated bands, extreme close-ups, and some punks.
Continue reading August 2005: Pluto, Recloose, Sarah Brown, Sola Rosa, Steriogram, The Checks, The Phoenix Foundation, The Rabble, Tyree

Steriogram “On and On”

2005-steriogram-on-and-onI like that Steriogram always have a bit of fun with their videos without totally playing for laughs. “On and On” is another of those.

We find the band playing on the roof of a parking building, with singer Tyson entering the stage by jumping from above. A flamboyant rock entrance, or is there more to it?

There’s more to it, of course. In the middle of the song Tyson leaves the stage and goes running down through the parking building. There’s something about car parks in music videos that never quite works. The difficulty of big empty grey spaces?

But things soon get interesting when Tyson discovers the band and pals waiting on some mini choppers (“and yes they are our bikes!”, says the band’s YouTube description). This leads to the highlight of the video – a 30 second shot of the band riding the bikes, with perfect vehicular choreography.

Tyson gets separated from the group, is pursued by a bat-wielding maniac. In desperation, Tyson jumps off the edge of the car park, landing in the middle of his band performing. Oh, it’s the exact same scene from the beginning of the video. And on and on it goes. Clever.

Director: Adam Jones
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… empty cans of, wait, what?

Steriogram “Go”

2004-steriogram-go“Go” was the second of Steriogram’s two song to chart, reaching number 28. The song is an attempt to convince a friend to leave their small-town home and move to the exciting city. The video catches Steriogram in transit, with the band packed into a car heading through the countryside.

Dual singers Tyson and Brad are in the front of the car, along with their haircuts. Yes, by this stage Steriogram had become a haircut band. A quality haircut band.

But this isn’t a quiet Sunday drive. Soon enough the old car starts falling apart, with panels flying off and various band members being pulled out by the backdraft. This is the best part of the video, with some really fun shots of Steriogram flailing about in front of the green-screen rural scenery.

Having a music video based around goofy pop antics doesn’t always work, but Steriogram and director Adam Jones manage capture plenty of energy and spirit. Yeah, the video doesn’t have much to do with the song lyrics, but who cares when there’s a flying Tyson to admire? “Go” was voted 96 in the Film Archive’s top 100 New Zealand music videos.

Best bit: as most of the YouTube comments note, a SpongeBob appears at 1:55.

Director: Adam Jones
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… kampai!

Steriogram “Road Trip”

2004-steriogram-road-trip“Road Trip” was the follow-up single to “Walkie Talkie Man”, Steriogram’s attempted breakout single that came with a great big fancy music video directed by Michel Gondry. “Road Trip” was somewhat less ambitious than the yarn-based universe, but still a good portrait of Steriogram in their attempt to make it overseas.

The song is an honest account of life on the road – the mix of sleep deprivation, boredom, having no money, hunger and – oh yeah – “we’re doing what we love and we love what we’re doing”. The video is along for the ride, but doesn’t dwell too much on those less fun aspects. As director Andrew Morton explains on YouTube, “I went on the road with Steriogram for three months back in 2004. We went to Tokyo, Toronto, and all through the States multiple times. It was an insane amount of fun and killer times. This video is a compile of those travels.”

There are a few shots of the band napping in vans and breakdancing in hotel rooms, but most of the video is based around live shows. Despite the tedium of the van, it seems Steriogram could turn up to a venue, put on a show and get the crowd moving.

It’s a really effective live video. They’re not faking audience size or enthusiasm – here’s a young New Zealand band who are working their arses off on tour. They didn’t quite manage to establish themselves in America, but this video is a good enough record of that year of hard work.

Best bit: the end shot of a guitar being tossed up in the air, with no follow-through on the comedown.

Director: Andrew Morton
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… summertime gladness.

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