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.

Pluto “Baby Cruel”

Pluto get animated by the Mukpuddy studio. It has telltale signs of a quickie music video – lots of repeated shots and simple animation. But the cartoon versions of Pluto do actually look like the band members, and bonus points for the poster advertising a band called “Shehard”.

Director: Mukpuddy
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Recloose featuring Joe Dukie “Dust” – missing

Detroit music producer Recloose aka Matthew Chicoine came to New Zealand and started working with local musicians. One of the fruits of this is “Dust”. The video is out there somewhere, but in the meantime, here’s the audio.

Director: Richard Bell
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Sarah Brown “Hands”

We last heard Sarah Brown as part of the Confucius track “Take It From Me”. “Hands” was her first solo video. The video features Sarah as a marionette (hey, just like Nsync’s “Bye Bye Bye” video!) and takes place in an expertly choreographed, super stylish world. “Hands” won Video of the Year at the 2006 Juice TV Awards.

Director: Kezia Barnett
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Sola Rosa featuring Nathan Haines “What If?”

This video takes place in a very music video landscape. There’s the band’s name spelled in giant flaming letters, a carpet of red balloons, girls jumping rope, and carefully placed musicians, including Nathan Haines. It never stops feeling like an empty room filled with quirky props, and the lolness of the video somewhat undermines the cool of the song.

Directors: Summer Agnew and Dylan Pharazyn
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Steriogram “Tsunami”

A lot of the time animated music videos are really basic or really complicated. This is one of the complicated one. I’ve watched it many times now – sometimes with the sound off – and I’m still not entirely sure what the story is. Something like – a guy gets his heart ripped out by a girl, Steriogram literally fall to pieces, [it’s hard to tell what happens in the middle], Steriogram get put back together, the girl puts the guy’s heart in a jar. Fin.  The video is by the acclaimed Flux Animation studio. It’s a great looking video, but it just never seems to work.

Director: Flux Animation
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Checks “Tired From Sleeping”

The Checks were kind of magical, a high school band who showed up as an almost fully formed rock unit (check out a raw studio performance two years prior). “Tired from Sleeping” was their second funded video (it seems to have been made in 2007) and it’s masterful. The band are entirely absent and the video is given over to the story of a woman whose race car driver boyfriend goes off to the track, while she stays home. And that’s it – his busy day contrasted with her quiet day. It’s set in the 1960s and is filmed with precise period details – even the old vehicles have silver-on-black number plates.

Director: Sam Peacocke
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Phoenix Foundation “Slightest Shift In The Weather”

Unlike a lot of band’s music videos, the Phoenix Foundation’s vids seem to be less about selling individual songs and more about the band as a whole. This is not the sort of band whose songs end up in the single chart, but their four most recent albums have gone top 10 in the albums chart. The “Slightest Shift in the Weather” is all about capturing the Phoenix Foundation’s spirit. It’s a collection of close-ups of strange images. The visuals never dominate, letting the song stand out.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Rabble “Carry On”

“Carry On” sounds like a punk cover of a Celtic folk song (complete with a big singalong/drinkalong chorus), but evidently it’s an original from this North Shore band.  The band are found playing in suitably punk spaces, including a giant old warehouse. One of the band members has a bright red mohawk, which I can tell you is more complicated and higher maintenance to style than a pretty lady blow-dry. But hey – it looks cool.

Director: Greg Page
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Tyree featuring Young Sid & Deach “Oh No” – missing

Tyree, Young Sid and Deach are otherwise known as Smashproof. “Oh No” was produced by Juse and is the closing track on his album Global Casino. I’m not sure if there was ever a video made for the song.

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