February 2007: Opshop, Paul McLaney, Revolver, SJD, Streetwise Scarlet, Taye Williams

Torture the band (in style), vast barren mudflats, fighter pilots, cheerful gloom, and Taye entertains.

Opshop “Maybe”

This song was a massive hit for Opshop. It peaked at No.3 and spent 42 weeks in the top 40 – kept from No.1 by Atlas’ “Crawl” and Timbaland’s “Give It To Me”. It’s a standard rock video – Opshop performing in a cool industrial setting, while CGI objects start to fall apart. Judging by the YouTube comments, the video seems to be a key trigger point for homesick expats.

Director: Stephen Tolfrey
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Paul McLaney “Pick Up the Pieces”

“Pick Up the Pieces” has a lush string accompaniment, as arranged by Graeme Downes. The video captures McLaney at his grand piano (wearing the same gothic “Dunedin” top that was animated in his “Let Me Count the Ways” video). He also goes for a long walk, starting in the city and ending up a tiny speck wandering across a vast barren mudflat.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Revolver “Nice Day”

Revolver’s two previous videos from 2003 were fun, gimmicky videos (the sweaty man sauna; the reverse chocolate-milk spew), but with “Nice Day” they get a lot more serious. The song is a scorching rock ‘n’ roll explosion and the detailed and dramatic animated video is based around a WWII Japanese pilot. Kids, do you think he’ll safely land his aircraft after his bombing mission? Yeah… As the plane flies over a city, one of the citizens on the street below looks like a dishevelled Courtney Love.

Director: Simon Crane

SJD “Beautiful Haze”

At first glance, this just seems like another “torture the band” video – as SJD and band perform, various objects are thrown at them. But it’s a bit more complex. The video is shot at night, with the twinkling lights of the harbour bridge in bokeh blur in the background. And the sense of calm amongst the chaos is a direct reflection of the song itself. The video clever takes a novelty concept and makes it artistic. There’s lots of technical info about the video shoot on this forum discussion.

Director: Lawrence Blankenbyl
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Streetwise Scarlet “Hey O”

“This whole damn world is crumbling down,” Streetwise Scarlet sing, in their musically upbeat but lyrically downbeat song. The video puts the black and white band against a colourful background, with the song lyrics sometimes spelled out in playful letters. It’s like a “learning to read” style for little kids. Perhaps they want to emphasise the message of their song without scaring people off with its gloominess.

Taye Williams “Turn It Up”

Guys, it’s Taye from the first series of The X Factor! He was the second contestant to be eliminated, after viewers didn’t take to his R&B version of a Kimbra song. But before that he had a video that may or may not have been funded by NZ On Air. The song is a smooth R&B jam that could actually still work with a fresh remix. The video is set at a house party, which Taye is throwing in his glamorous harbourside house. All the guests have an authentic New Zealand look about them – they’re all nicely groomed but no one is drop dead gorgeous. He ends up canoodling with a party girl who has unsuccessfully tried to use her hair straighteners as a curling iron. It’s more awkward than sexy, like the viewer is stuck on a couch at a party while two other guests hook up.

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