Found videos from 1999

Resting bitch face, actual cows, a red room, Catholic guilt, a scenic boat trip, forecourt drama, romantic Venice, an outdoor TV and and pre-millennium tension.

February 1999

AKA Brown “Something I Need”

AKA Brown, aka Chong Nee and Sam Feo, have some smooth R&B grooves. The video is fairly simple, with the two singers hanging out around a couch in red room, by a burning barrel in a corridor, an on outdoor basketball court. The subject of the song is represented by a couple of chicks cruising in a fancy car – that is, a fancy 1999 car. The song is long and by four minutes the video starts to feel a bit repetitive. Can’t the chicks do wheelies or something?

Director: Joe Lonie
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Fiona McDonald “Sin Again”

“Sin Again” was Fiona McDonald’s first solo single after leaving the Headless Chickens. It meshed themes of Catholic guilt with dark industrial beats and was a top 10 hit. The video brings a kind of Twin Peaks darkness, and maybe a David Fincher gothic style. Or, as the Nga Taonga description so succinctly puts it, “Fiona McDonald sings “Sin Again” in a black evening dress followed by a black negligee.”

Director:  Paul Earl
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Thorazine Shuffle “Emperor’s New Clothes”

Thorazine Shuffle play their upbeat song in a white studio space that has a curious grass floor, complete with a cowpat. It turns out they’re performing on a farm, and we’re also treated to some footage of the cows in the milking shed. Given how rural New Zealand is, it’s surprising that more videos don’t use farms for their videos. It makes a change from Fort Lane.

Director: Steve Morrison
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1999

Salmonella Dub “Drifting”

This video is a reminder that Salmonella Dub were such a different group when Tiki Taane wasn’t doing lead vocals. “Drifting” was one of the groups earlier singles, and the video comes from the period when they weren’t so busy touring that they had time to make videos that didn’t involve scenes of life on the road. This one involves a guy who gets a strange map which leads him to being on a boat in the middle of a lake. It has a similar goofy/trippy vibe as “Johnny”.

Director: Greg Riwai
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

June 1999

Nicolette “Blue Day”

Along with Deep Obsession, Nicolette was signed to Universal Music NZ, and her debut single was a cover of Mi-Sex’s 1984 single “Blue Day”. The video doesn’t entirely work. The first 15 seconds is Nicolette doing the worst dancing in a corridor, and she always looks angry which doesn’t work with the theme of the song. But the success of “Blue Day” (it debuted at No.20) ensured Nicolette had the much better follow-up video “Harden Up”.

August 1999

Garageland “What You Gonna Do”

Petrol stations are a good go-to setting for music videos and Garageland introduce the forecourt to a variety of crazy characters. There’s an undertaker, a drag queen, robbers, a clown and of course the members of Garageland. The video was directed by previous Garageland director Peter Bell and the YouTube clip features a short interview with him.

Director: Peter Bell
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1999

Garageland “Love Song”

Venice, Italy: if it was good enough for Madonna to shoot one of her music videos there, it’s good enough for Garageland. The video has the look of vintage film stock, but there are plenty of contemporary things and people to bring it back into the ’90s. A very simple video for a “very simple love song”.

Directors: Paul Swadel, Kirsten Marcon
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The D4 “Girl”

“Girl” was a very early release from The D4, their first after signing to Flying Nun. It’s a simple enough premise – The D4 perform “Girl” in front of a wall tiled with the band logo while bored women look on. Except this doesn’t happen without all the visual effects in the edit suite being thrown at the video – black and white, blurring, polarisation, colour filters, and – just for good measure – a few cutaway shots of spewing lava. Hey, it’s the rock ‘n’ roll revival!

Director: Andrew Moore
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

December 1999

Clearlight “Turn of the Century”

Clearlight was a collaboration between Claire Price and Alan Jansson, with the result being the dark and paranoid “Turn of the Century”. Wearing a black hooded robe, Claire sings the song of pre-millenium tension as she stands in bleak landscapes. The video features a hand heart, and if that counts as a prophecy, that one came true.

Director: Matt Noonan
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Gramsci “Easy”

A man wearing bootleg trousers wades around a shallow river, while Gramsci perform their first single “Easy” on a mysterious television on the river shore. I want to talk about the television because it’s the same as the family TV set I grew up with. And I can tell you that Gramsci’s telly has the volume right up (you don’t want that – the rule was no higher than one finger width up from the bottom), the brightness is right down, the contrast is right up and the colour is right down. Well, it is a black and white set. The other observation I will make – bootleg jeans look about as ridiculous now as flares did in the ’80s.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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