December 2008: Goodnight Nurse, Greg Johnson, House of Shem, Iva Lamkum, Josh Leys, Luger Boa

A fun family barbecue, a symbolic carnival ride, a chilled out love song, attack of the clones, and a portrait of the artist as a young, etc.

Goodnight Nurse “Lay With Me”

“Lay With Me” was the last of Goodnight Nurse’s 11 funded video, and by this stage they were starting to sound like Kids of 88 with guitars. The song is a request for a memorable root, including the line, “Let’s mess up the sheets”. So, what, is he talking bodily fluids or just the fitted sheet becoming untucked? But then there’s the line “Leave your morals at the door” and it becomes clear he’s probably talking about butt sex. The video totally goes in the opposite direction, hilariously setting it at a neighbourhood barbecue attended by friends and family. So there is Goodnight Nurse, no longer the emo teen idols, performing a song about shagging, while everyone is standing around enjoying sausages in bread and chucking around a rugby ball. And to be honest, it’s probably a more enjoyable video than if they’d tried to make a sexy video. Let’s leave that to Kids of 88.

Director: Haimona Ngata
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Greg Johnson “I Got Opinions”

“I Got Opinions” follows a little pale creature who is lured onto a mysterious roller coaster ride. It takes him through a number of strange worlds, all of which are illustrated in different styles. And they’re very different, from simple line drawings to collage effects to sophisticated 3D creations. It’s a surprisingly moving experience, with the little guy being hurled about in all these different situations, but with the roller coaster tracks always leading the way. Symbolism, y’all.

Director: Watermark Illustrators
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

House of Shem “Thinking About You”

I recently read an idea that every country has a genre of music that combines traditional sounds with pop, like schlager in north-western Europe and turbofolk in the Balkans, and it’s always a genre that might be critically sneered at but is still hugely popular. And I thought, ok, but New Zealand doesn’t have such a genre. And then I realised we do: roots reggae. And House of Shem is right in there. “Thinking About You” is just a nice, chilled out love song, and the video combines live performance and friendship.

Director: Ivan Slavov
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Iva Lamkum “No”

The “No” video feels like a cousin to the Sola Rosa video for “Turn Around”, which also featured Iva Lankum. Both were directed by Tim van Dammen and both feature Iva against a black background and use digitally manipulated graphics. In the case of “No”, the digital effects seem excessive and messy. Something like the Jackson Five’s then 30-year-old “Blame it on the Boogie” has a more cohesive feeling – and it was created using technology ye olde technology from the late ‘1970s.

Director: Tim van Dammen
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Josh Leys “To Be Creating”

Josh Leys hasn’t been on my radar, but he seems like someone who has been playing music since he was really young (he looks teenage here), and just solidly working ever since. The “To Be Creating” video uses a lot of computer graphics, with Josh inserted via a green screen. It puts him in various ordinary locations – around the house, out busking – all contributing to his creative process. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it feels a bit too much, but it’s a good introduction to the artist as a young man.

Director: Ed Davis

Luger Boa “On My Mind”

The idea behind the “On My Mind” video is simple. The verses are shot in close up – tight shots of the guitar being played (which isn’t all that interesting after a while) and Jimmy Christmas delivering the lyrics. Then when the chorus kicks in, it’s a wide shot of the studio where the band is erupting with energy. It works once, but after subsequent verses and choruses come along, it ends up feeling rather predictable. But it still offers some great shots and a rock performance reminiscent of the old D4 videos.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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