August 2009: J Williams, Junipah, Liam Finn, Luger Boa, Midnight Youth, Minuit

Loitering at the pool hall, all around town, here and not here, couch party, a post-apocalyptic nightclub, and askew showgirls.

J Williams featuring Scribe “You Got Me”

“You Got Me” was a proper massive hit. It not only comfortably sat at No.1 for four weeks, but went on to be the highest-selling overall single for 2010, something that doesn’t normally happen to New Zealand songs. It’s a completely acceptable New Zealand version of the sort of electronic pop that was big around the turn of the decade.

The video starts with a title screen saying it’s the “2D version”, and indeed there was also a 3D version of the video. And that would explain why the video opens with the lamps in the pool ball swinging and why the video involves J and his dancers moving towards the camera a lot.

And that’s basically the video – J (wearing a pair of sunglasses all the time) singing and dancing in a pool hall. The song only really lifts when Scribe turns up and delivers his better than average guest rap, rhyming ‘ventricle’ with ‘meant to do’.

Director: Damien Caine

Junipah “Like I Do”

I thought it was really weird that at one stage, Junipah were sponsored by Telecom. But the clue is via a tiny logo at the start of the video: in 2009, Telecom had an digital music store. They even held the annual Mobile Music Awards, with categories such as Highest Selling Ringtone.

So Junipah were the posterboys for this pre-Spotify venture and “Like I Do” was their single. It’s an unusual video, based on three quite separate groups of visuals. There’s Junipah, complete with the lead singer wearing so much eyeliner that he’d make Robert Smith look clean-faced. There’s also footage of teen skateboarders hanging out around town, being all young and amazing. Then, just in case viewers were feeling deprived from a lack of hot chicks, there are clips of a woman dancing in her underwear, given a filter like the opening titles of a James Bond film. There’s no flow between the three styles, which ends up giving it a strange feeling, like something has gone wrong in the edit suite.

Director: Ivan Slavov

Liam Finn & Eliza Jane “Long Way To Go”

Johnny Diesel’s niece and Tim Finn’s nephew teamed up and released the EP Champagne in Seashells, of which “Long Way to Go” was a single. As director Joe Lonie explained to Radio New Zealand, The video was inspired by a scene from Sleepy Hollow where Johnny Depp plays with a two-sided card that creates a basic animation. The idea is that with Liam and Eliza Jane playing a band’s worth of instruments themselves, the animation effect lets them appear everywhere at once while only being in one place at a time. Pause the video and you’ll see the effect. It’s magic! Or, as Lonie explained, it’s 7000 edits.

Director: Joe Lonie
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Luger Boa “Lazy”

How lazy is Jimmy Christmas? Well, he’s so lazy that he spends most of the music video sitting on a couch. But it’s a very active couch. The couch takes ol’ lazy-arse down K Road and to his favourite club where he has a massive party with his friends, who are evidently drawn to his ’90s student flat decor item. The YouTube description says the video shoot was a “four day PARTY MARATHON”. Obviously the couch had the best time.

Director: Adam Jones

Midnight Youth “Cavalry”

Midnight Youth have the very lyrical pop-rock of “Cavalry”. The video takes place in a post-apocalyptic nightclub. While the band play, they’re surrounded by rough looking fans, screens with swirling graphics, and old technology. Yes, in this post-apocalyptic world, 1990s camcorders have survived. The song is full of attitude but the video doesn’t quite go there. It’s hard to buy the call to arms when the video is all about those camcorders.

Director: Michael Humphrey
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Minuit “Wayho”

This has to be one of the most sophisticated videos Minuit has made. Ruth is made up as an askew showgirl, complete with spiky blonde false eyelashes, joined by a few other ladies dressed similarly. The showgirls dance around an old house, but can also be found posing seductively out in a bright garden. It’s full of chaotic elegance, an assertive slice of femininity run amok.

Director: Sally Tran
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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