Stretching and flexing, ghostly goings on, a Bangkok kickboxing gym, a hundreds and thousands man, the story and the ink, the hunter possibly becomes the hunted, an edgy London sound, and demons on wheels.
Triangles, a tribute to Ray, the bad city, aerial antics, garage subversion, overhead projections, and a man and his town.
A baby dreams, pro wrestling, a night out in Tokyo, Auckland on a grey day, attack of the crazy costumes.
The year of the dead, furry fiends, the cleaners go to work, imperial phase Seeds, psychedelic layers, blue blood, and fluoro fun.
A caring world, the case of the disappearing seeds, owl vs robot, the power of the green screen and warrior spirit.
Seeing in the new year, Kiwi style; James Bond, Kiwi style; drum ‘n’ bass, Kiwi style; and walking (off a cliff, in the rain, away) Kiwi style.
Continue reading December 2006: The Feelers, The Mint Chicks, The Valves, These Four Walls, Tiki Taane, Tyna & JB
Face photocopying, the goth life, a social network, nowhere, and the curious case of the street that wasn’t there.
Continue reading June 2006: Samuel Flynn Scott, Stylus, The Black Seeds, The Feelers, The Mint Chicks
“If My Arm…” was a track off the Mint Chicks’ second album Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!, but according to Wikipedia, it wasn’t released until 2008, after five other tracks from the same album. But the path to a music video release is never a smooth ride, so such things should be expected.
By this stage the band had moved well away from the art school high jinks of their early videos, no longer hiding behind crazy costumes. They’re still wearing sunglasses in this video, but are dressed in ordinary black clothes, alternating with t-shirts and jeans.
The crazy is left to other people. Some kids, dressed up in superhero costumes, have an epic battle. The band are kidnapped by strange people who tied them up and kindly put cucumber circles on their eyes. It reduces puffiness, you know. There is also a cat.
It feels like the crazy vibez of the bands earlier videos, combined with a newfound self-consciousness. If this was a Mint Chicks video from their first album, it would fit in with their crazy low-budget world, but coming with the slicker world of the Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! album, it’s actually a bit disappointing the video is taking the path of least resistance.
Best bit: the Busby Berkeley-style overhead dancing, with the band crammed in a weird cone.
Director: Sean Grattan
Next… just look what they can doodle.
This was final Mint Chicks video before they went away and came back with the poppier album Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! “I Don’t Want to Grow Old” follows the band’s early style of crazy videos back with pop-culture infused imagery.
Video co-creator Dylan Mercer explains the idea behind the video: “The band had a love/hate fascination with the badly translated, nonsensical, garish bombardments of Asian culture in and around their lives and work in Auckland, New Zealand and wanted to translate back to Asian pop culture their own perceived reflection of itself. We just wanted to make some crazy animation.” And that vision worked. The video is a crazy mix of the Mint Chicks performing, along with commercially inspired animation.
It reminds me a lot of one of the first funded videos – “The Beautiful Things” by the Front Lawn, which also had an offbeat take on advertising. But instead of glamorous ladies and kiwifruit, the Mint Chicks have gone for golden suits and Froot Loops. And if you compared the two, it’s a nice reminder of how the technology of green screen and animated effects had improved in 14 years.
It’s a fine, fun Mint Chicks video, but it does feel like the band was at the end of one creative period, ready for something new.
Best bit: how the NZ On Air logo seamlessly fits in amongst all the other crazy logos.
Directors: Dylan Mercer, Tim Murphy, Hamish Waterhouse
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… a tribute to New Zealand’s hydroelectricity schemes.
“F**k the Golden Youth” is a 108 second explosion of weird pop delight. The video is all ’80s art-school, with animated collages of random images and felt-tip pen expressions. The Mint Chicks also feature, wearing gold suits and moving with even more of an urgency than the song.
Like a lot of the Mint Chicks’ early videos, this one puts the band at a distance. We only ever see the band performing in wide shot, and lead singer Kody is further hiding behind a pair of novelty sunglasses. The camera gives more attention to the drawings of people in the collages than to the band itself.
It makes the Mint Chicks seem a bit mysterious (by this point they were already notorious for their spirited live shows) and very rock. But can a band get away with being mysterious forever? Sooner or later they will have to be ready for their close up.
Best bit: the giant “CRACK” letters, for the babies and troops.
Note: Despite the video being available on the websites of MTV Australia, UK, US, Norway, Sweden and Italy, it’s not actually on MTV NZ. The video is, however, available to purchase on iTunes NZ for $3.59.
Next… those rock ‘n’ roll kids and their wacky backstage antics.