It’s the second anniversary of 5000 Ways to Love You, which is a good a time as any to celebrate and look back at all the videos I’ve been watching. So that’s 519 down (though that is a bit of a back-of-an-envelope calculation) and almost 2000 to go. Crikey.
A year ago, I was entering the dawning of the age of the Feelers, those years in the early ’90s where New Zealand pop-rock bands did rather well. There was also Zed and the trio of female-fronted bands, Stellar, Fur Patrol and Tadpole. All of these groups made their mark with their music videos. It’s wasn’t just enough to stick the band in an interesting place and command them to rock out; videos had to do something.
And heading into the new millennium, it’s obvious that there’s a change in the technology behind music video as camera and editing equipment got cheaper and more digital. The low-budget videos start to look slicker, and the medium budget videos look really slick. The more prolific music video directors started to become well known for their work.
As always, trends come and go, like that period when videos had artistic and/or comedy subtitles. It’s proof that New Zealand isn’t an isolated island; that international trends in music video making are felt here too. Or when indie bands started doing ironic formation dancing (well before genuine pop acts did it sincerely).
But what really makes this project all worth while is the input from other people. Comments from music fans, people in bands, video makers and others with stories to tell; the awesome team at NZ On Screen sourcing those great old videos; and the great people who have gone to the effort of putting old videos online, particularly Peter McLennan and John from SANZ. And a kia ora to NZ On Air and Audio Culture, the very enjoyable new website about New Zealand music history.
And so to the early years of the ’00s, just coming up to Shihad’s Pacifier years and the eve of NZ Idol. It all feels a bit awkward looking back from 2013, but that’s all part of the journey.