February 2008: Katchafire, Mareko, Opshop, Salmonella Dub, Spacifix

A celebration of the glorious proletariat, work-related travel expenses, subterranean homesick New Zealander, nature porn, and cramped working conditions.

Katchafire “Working”

Usually when a day job is shown in a music video, it’s there to be subverted – stuffy office workers and day-dreaming cashiers are taken away from their humdrum lives. Katchafire aren’t having it. “Working” is an ode to work. It depicts actual freezing workers (take that, “AFFCO”), computer technicians, kids getting music lessons, concrete layers, cheerleaders, and of course the hard working band Katchafire. It’s a decent celebration of people who have jobs that they don’t hate. Of course, the song lyrics seem to be a metaphor for sex, but Katchafire have always been rich with double meaning.

Director: Adam Jones

Mareko “Got to Go”

I wondered if this song was a response to “Mareko (Here to Stay)”, but instead it’s Mareko telling his mum that he won’t see her for a while as he has to go overseas for work. Much of the video is Mareko performing in a bar, and also his mum watching a video of her son. The rest of the vid is filled out with home video of Mareko being in New York, snow falling on his Dawn Raid hoodie. The concept of a video using footage of the artist excitedly being in Europe or America isn’t new, but at least in this video it does relate to the song itself.

Director: Ivan Slavov
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Opshop “Waiting Now”

Opshop gets a bit more complicated with Jason’s holiday snaps. Standing in front of internationally famous locations (the Louvre, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Forbidden City, etc), Jason holds up signs with selected song lyrics. But the globetrotting soon stops and we find the band in an old warehouse avec les fairy lights. The song is like a big U2 ballad and seems to want a really epic video. This video isn’t quite there.

Director: Adam Jones

Salmonella Dub featuring the NZSO “Lightning”

This is a live recording taken from two concerts in Auckland and Christchurch where the Dub teamed up with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. The video features much of the stage performance, but that’s also overlaid and cut with that particular type of Aotearoa nature porn that features in so many of Salmonella Dub’s later videos. There are no alluvial planes, but plenty of mountains, rivers, plants, snowflakes and twigs.

Spacifix “Oh No!”

This video puts the band on a tiny stage, in front of a tightly shot single row of about eight fans. Despite having well choreographed moves, the nine-piece band feels cramped. I dunno, put them in the middle of the floor at Hopetoun Alpha and let them really unleash that ham-tastic camp style that always seems ready to explode. The “Oh No!” video feels cruelly restrictive.

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