October 2008: Midnight Youth, Motocade, Parallel Ensemble, SJD, Sola Rosa

Down in the mud, he’s got the music in him, wonderful creatures, shipping containers and repetition.

Midnight Youth “All On Our Own”

If you enjoy MOR rock and mudflats, then this video will tick all your boxes. “All On Our Own” is a very unremarkable pop-rock song. It feels like it’s trying to be all emotionally uplifting, but it’s too much like other songs who have done the same thing better. The video puts the band in a studio, then things get more interesting when they venture out onto a mudflat. Chekhov’s gun is getting down and dirty in the mud, but it happens very earnestly – they’re rescuing people who have become trapped in the mud. It’s symbolism, y’all. I’m not 100% sure if this video ended up with NZ On Air funding, but I’m including it anyway.

Motocade “Oldest Trick in the Book”

I’m conflicted here. “Oldest Trick in the Book” is a great pop tune, but the video doesn’t quite work. It’s set in a slightly run-down medical clinic, where Eden Motocade pops in for an examination. It turns out that he’s got the music in him, guitar strings in his arms, a drum beating in his heart. This is all depicted with slightly cheesy computer graphics, but it’s realistic enough to feel grotesque. It feels like a wasted chance to make a video that really works with the song, not inflicting its own drama on the viewer.

Director: Tim van Dammen
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Parallel Dance Ensemble featuring Coco Solid & Bobbi Soxx “Turtle Pizza Cadillacs”

Parallel Dance Ensemble is a collaboration between the always amazing Coco Solid and Danish producer Robin Hannibal (who later co-wrote “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” with Kendrick Lamar). The video for their dance track is stop-motion animation, staging a party in a mystical temple, surrounded by plants, green lasers and all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures getting down. It creates such a lush and inviting world that it’s a shame it’s not a human-size place.

Director: Aleksander Sakowski
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

SJD “No Telling Where”

The best part of this video is when a moody nighttime shot of a stack of Hamburg Süd shipping containers has been digitally altered to say HAMBURG SJD. The rest of the video, well, it’s an SJD video, and therefore I just feel like I’m not the target audience and therefore it’s ok if I don’t get it. If you like the song, you’ll like the video, I guess: a moody electro indie rock song with a video that lives in that world.

Director: Chris White
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Sola Rosa featuring Iva Lamkum “Turn Around”

Music is about repetition, and the video full of repetition. It uses looped shots of people doing a particular movement, from stumbling back to a simple shoulder twitch. In the beginning it’s quite fun, but the video soon gets repetitive in the wrong way, and it feels like a joke that isn’t funny anymore. But the video still made an impact, being the turning point in the career of director Tim van Dammen, ensuring that he was to become one of the busiest music video directors in the late 2000s.

Director: Tim van Dammen
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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