February 2006: Blindspott, Chong Nee, Cobra Khan, Don McGlashan, Frontline

Of course there’s a strip club. Also urban decay, suburban angst, Manhattan and the Hokianga.

Blindspott “Drown”

“Drown” reached No.4 in the charts, but was Blindspott’s final charting single. The video takes place in the Britomart precinct, back when it could reasonably represent urban decay and not fancy urban renewal. Britomart-branded hoardings can be seen, a sign of things to come. As well as Blindspott being all angry amid the smoke and darkness, we also see kids breaking stuff and a businessman on fire. You can tell he’s a businessman because he’s holding a briefcase.

Chong Nee featuring Dei Hamo “Black Widow”

I have a friend who used to hang out at Showgirls a lot around the time this video was made and he’d have all these amazing stories about the people who worked there. Disappointingly the “Black Widow” video falls back on lazy strip club tropes. Where the dancers are used to provide random sexy body parts, while the less glamorous Brooke Howard-Smith, Dei Hamo and Chong Nee look on. Fine if you’re a 15-year-old guy, but it just gets super boring after a while. There’s more to a strip club than just tits and ass.

Director: Martha Jeffries
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Cobra Khan “Black Box”

It starts off and I’m thinking it’s another video where New York holiday movies have been turned into a lazy music video. But then things get interesting. Random Manhattanites are lip synching the song. There’s obviously been a lot of effort going into shooting the video, and it works. Because they’re all New Yorkers, they’re all into it and bring loads of energy. Like, just imagine the self-consciousness if they’d tried this in New Zealand.

Director: Andrew Morton
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Don McGlashan “Miracle Sun”

“Miracle Sun” is an ode to Opo the gay dolphin and the nostalgia of childhood summers. It was nominated for the 2006 Silver Scroll award, but lost to Don McGlashan’s other composition, “Bathe in the River”. The video uses old newsreel footage of Opo and contemporary footage of Opononi, as well as a journey along SH12 to visit Tane Mahuta. The whole video is shot in black and white, so there’s a feeling that in Opononi, it’s always the summer of 1955 and the dolphin is still swimming. Now I’m just waiting for a video to be filmed on the long, empty bit of road from Waipoua Forest to Dargaville.

Director: Paul Taylor
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Frontline “Lost in Translation”

It’s such a change to go from the throwaway “in the club” hip hop of this era to the very deep and poetic rhymes and rhythms of Frontline’s “Lost in Translation”. In the song David Dallas (then performing as Con Psy) examines his troubled relationship with his older brother. The video uses an actor to play the brother as a child and an adult (as well as backing singer Charene), but most of the video is just Con Psy delivering the emotional lyrics. Also, spot the subtle product placement from a burger chain.

Director: Jonathan Gerard
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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