The Brainchilds “Thinking About You”

1994-brainchilds-thinking-about-youAt first “Thinking About You” seems like a wistful song from someone getting in touch with a long-lost love. There’s a Front Lawn-style quirkiness to the song but it initially seems rather restrained.

We find the Brainchilds playing their song on a beach. It’s a rough New Zealand beach, but everyone seems quite cheerful, so yay. This is cut with footage of and elderly woman writing notes on pieces of paper cut from the margins of newspaper pages. She’s filling up an envelope with these notes, which seem to contain the song lyrics.

This is a very intriguing start, but when the chorus comes along, the video loses steam. The Brainchilds just seem really dull performing on the beach and even the old lady can’t spice things up.

But very slowly things get weird. The old lady isn’t just stuffing the envelope with the notes; there’s hair in there too. And she feeds her cat an entire can of budget jellymeat. Lucky cat?

Back on the beach, as the song intensifies and gets more manic, the Brainchilds are slowly being swallowed up by the sand. The old lady has a mad glint in her eye.

The video was directed by Grant Lahood, who at the time was riding high on a series of three popular short films full of a similar kind of offbeat humour. So it’s a pleasant surprise to discover that he also got to have a go with a music video.

Best bit: the old lady’s lawn water bottle, back when it was thought those scared off pooing dogs.

Director: Grant Lahood
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a massage with extras.

The Brainchilds “Tomorrow Never Knows”

1994-brainchilds-tomorrow-never-knowsThe Brainchilds was a pop outlet for musicians Steve Roche, David Donaldson and Janet Roddick (now working as mutli-purpose composers Plan 9). Their cover of the Beatles’ pop masterpiece strips away the more psychedelic elements of the fab four’s production. As a result, Janet’s lovely clear voice makes the song sound more like a hypnotherapy take. Turn off your phone, relax, and float downstream. You crave not ciggies. You crave not ciggies.

The video has relaxing, slightly trippy look, and it’s not a typical rock video. The only member of the band we see performing is Janet’s lip-synch of the song. The rest of the band are left to artfully wander around a forest of empty picture frames. But this all fits with the Brainchilds’ performance art background.

There are a lot of picture frames in the video. The action starts with a number of gilded frames in a dark space, floating around with footage of various outdoor scenes and Janet’s ghostly white face playing in them. The second half of the video puts the frames in a white space and sees the suited members of the group wander artfully amongst them.

There’s something quite pleasing about this. It’s using the latest innovations in digital video effects with some classic arty video tricks. And it doubles as a relaxation tape.

Best bit: man in a frame in a frame!

Director: Nigel Streeter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… lots of boxes.

Missing videos from 1993

There are 17 videos missing from 1993, including two Hamilton bogan rock classics, early work from guys who’d go on to more success in Stellar and Splitter, and the return of Kiwi rock legend Larry Morris.
Continue reading Missing videos from 1993