August 2008: Pistol Youth, PNC, School For Birds, Smashproof, SideKickNick, State of Mind, Streetwise Scarlet

The golden girls, ’08, ’86 and ’63, an ornithology lesson, mucking around downtown, a drive through the streets, ’90s cool, and the city streets.

Pistol Youth “In My Eyes”

Pistol Youth with the new project from Bradley Carter of Steriogram, with the twist that all four band members were based in different cities around the world. The “In My Eyes” video features only Bradley, or specifically, his face superimposed onto the faces of the Golden Girls. It’s faceswap before faceswap. But once the novelty wears off of seeing the Golden Girls with a hairy dude’s face, the resulting video is considerably less entertaining than, say, Spike Jonze’s mash-up of Happy Days for Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” video. And less entertaining than this compilation of Dorothy’s best moments.

Director: Isaac Rentz

PNC featuring Mz J “Take Me Home”

“Take Me Home” is based around a sample of Eddie Money’s 1986 song “Take Me Home Tonight”, which in turn interpolates the chorus of the Ronettes’ 1963 pop masterpiece “Be My Baby”. Which I think means that Phil Spector gets a writing credit on PNC’s song. The video is shot in black and white, with PNC being a cool rapper, Mz J being a seductive singer, and a woman playing the part of the love interest, along with a few anonymous female silhouettes doing sexy dances. The video has an intriguing conclusion, ending with the woman putting on a wedding dress, presumedly going off to get married. It’s a surprisingly romantic, girly touch, which perhaps reveals that the song is more about long-term monogamy than one-off sexy bedroom times.

A relic of 2008, the YouTube description advises that the song is “Available online from Amplifier, Itunes, Digirama, Vodafone and Telecom”. At least we still have iTunes.

Director: Warren Green

School For Birds “I Need”

The “I Need” video featured scientific diagrams of birds (School of Birds, lol), a lady with long, fine hair, burning paper, scientific equipment and the lead singer. And that’s it. The problem is, it’s just variations on those items over and over. There’s no sense of progression or a story being told (or if there is, it’s not obvious). It ends up being a cool looking video that doesn’t really do anything.

Director: Shae Sterling

SideKickNick “Should’ve Could’ve Would’ve”

2008-sidekicknick-shouldve-couldve-wouldve

“Should’ve Could’ve Would’ve” is a cheerful punk-pop tune about regrets. Nothing too serious, though – just dreams of being an All Black or a Black Cap. The video has fun, dressing up SideKickNick (aka Nick Buckton) in a series of costumes, mixed with stop-motion clips of Nick mucking around at a cafe. The video is a perfect match for the crazy energy of the song.

Note: This video was previously available on director Michael Reihana’s website, but it’s no longer working.

Director: Michael Reihana

Smashproof featuring Gin Wigmore “Brother”

This song has an important place in New Zealand music history, in that it spent 11 consecutive weeks at No.1, breaking the nine-week record held by “Sailing Away” (aka the worst New Zealand song ever). So kia ora, Smashproof and Gin Wigmore.

The “Brother” video is shot in black and white, with stark footage of the streets of South Auckland. Over the top of that, the members of Smashproof deliver snippets of conversation. The song is reminiscent of Massive Attack’s “Unfinished Sympathy”, but adding its own New Zealand flavour.

As Gin Wigmore wanders the streets, the video follows Tyree, Young Sid and Deach as they cruise around the suburbs in an invisible car. It sounds weird, but, ok, it works. The video dwells on the darker side of life – a drug deal, an angry neighbour beating up a tagger, an angry dad – all leading up to a funeral. It’s bleak, but the video is not without hope. “Brother” won Best Video at the New Zealand Music Awards in 2009.

Director: Chris Graham
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

State of Mind featuring PNC “Return of the Prophet”

The video starts of by looking like the sort of thing that would have come out in the mid 1990s – a Quentin Tarantino-inspired adventure where four criminals in suits need to dispose of a dead body. The video is loaded with tropes of the genre, and they’re all looking like some pretty rubbish criminals. I mean, if you’re going to throw a body of a dock, you don’t park your car under a nearby street light. But it turns out there’s a twist – it’s not a dead body, it’s just their pissed-as mate who had one too many on a lad’s night out. They’re throwing him off the dock as a joke. I spent the first four minutes of the video hating it for being soooo ’90s, only to have the rug pulled from under me in the most delightful way.

Director: Preston McNeil

Streetwise Scarlet “In the City Where the Devil Sleeps”

While the song is an ode to a nonspecific city, the music video is very much about Auckland. It opens with a timelapse shot of the motorway at night, with the video based around Streetwise Scarlet playing on a wet downtown road. And just to drive home the Auckland authenticity, the wetness is due to actual rain, not a hosepipe. The only thing – the street they’re playing on looks very empty. Maybe that’s what happens when the devil is sleeping.

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