The Mint Chicks “Opium of the People”

2004-the-mint-chicks-opium-of-the-peopleThere’s something very reassuring about the Mint Chicks videos. They don’t feel like a relic of the mid ’00s. There’s still a certain freshness to them.

“Opium of the People” takes place in a studio with the backdrop decorated with an orange and white vulvic swirl. The band are sharply dressed in black and bring a twitchy but confident energy to their performance.

This is cut with a menagerie of weirdness – a topless woman (with a black bar protecting her modesty) wearing a paper mache lemon head, a person covered in green balloons, other citrus-headed person with long arms and a boombox around his neck.

In a lesser video, this would just be a mess of weirdness, but the direction of Wade Shotter (someone who knows how to have fun with the outré) and the central performance of frontman Ruban Nielson means the video is stylish and consolidated.

Best bit: the 1980s U-Matic video interference waves.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… more men in suits.

The Mint Chicks “Blue Team Go”

2003-the-mint-chicks-blue-team-goHey, it’s the Mint Chicks! This is where it feels like the last remains of the ’90s have dried up and fallen off and the richness of the ’00s can begin. And yes, let these Auckland art-school hooligans lead the way.

“Blue Team Go” is a mere 77 seconds long, but that’s as long as it needs to be. (I think this actually makes it the shortest NZOA-funded video so far, beating Betchadupa’s 90 second “Bits”). And the video packs more into that 77 seconds that most videos manage in three minutes.

There’s the band playing the song in a black studio. It’s the sort of thing that’s been seen in dozens of other music videos. But suddenly Ruban yells “GO!” and the scene explodes with colour. It’s like 12 years of videos mucking around with green screen and chroma key techniques and this is the first time someone has actually done something amazing with it.

The band’s manic performance energy combined with the equally crazy graphics seem like there’s a mighty gang fight going on, the Mint Chicks versus post-production video editing techniques. The video is directed by Wade Shotter, and I’m reminded of his Augustino video “Into the Grain” where the video itself seemed on the point of disintegration.

Like Supergroove and Goodshirt, the Mint Chicks were one of those bands who made really interesting videos. It seems the philosophy these bands have is if you’re going to make a music video, you might as well do something really epic.

Best bit: the introductory title card that seems to get shaken apart by the intensity of the video.

Note: the video was on MySpace, but it’s since been removed. To watch the video, go to Ziln.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… you’re the one that I want.