Found videos from 2000

A cowgirl workout, Manhattan sightseeing, poets, kitchens, cafes and that cinema in Auckland where the carpet always feels like it’s going to peel off.

Continue reading Found videos from 2000

Voom “King Kong”

2000-voom-king-kong“King Kong” is Voom’s ode to feeling awesome and the video is also pretty awesome. It starts with the two-piece playing the song in what looks to be a fairly ordinary spare room in an ordinary house. But wait – there’s a gorilla spazzing out in the corner.

As the video progresses, the two Voom dudes are seen wearing the gorilla costume – and sometimes only the gorilla head or the gorilla pants. It’s like the costume gives them powers. We also see the full gorilla go out wading through the sticky mud of a mangrove swamp and having a roll around in the mud. As gorillas do.

Back in the house, the two gorilla-headed dudes relax with a class of sparkling wine in a hot tub. They’re joined by a sexy lady gorilla. We know this because she has pink fur and pouty lips. (And I just checked in case it was something made for the video – pink lady gorilla costumes are a real thing that actually exists).

The two kongs also do a little dance with pompoms. And it’s at this point I started to wonder if this state of feeling awesome and invincible wth the occasional burst of aggro was actually a cautionary tale about smoking the P. After all, it’s one thing for a cool music video gorilla to go frollicking in mud, but as the video’s coda demonstrates, it also means there’s a dude in a gorilla costume asking “Shall I go over there where there’s no sticks?”

Best bit: the dog, with a thought bubble saying “Voom”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… things that make you go uh-oh.

The Relaxomatic Project “Every Day There’s Something New”

2000-relaxomatic-project-every-day-theres-something-newThe Relaxomatic Project was a cool jazz-rock collaboration between Dan Sperber, Luke Casey (Eye TV) and Justyn Pilbrow (future Elemeno P) and “Every Day There’s Something New” is the first of their two NZOA funded videos.

The track is a cool instrumental number, and the video goes along with that vibe. The vid starts with old footage of a radio being tuned to various stations. Curious, I googled the call signs and discovered that it’s an Australian radio (WF = Westralian Farmers, QG = Queensland Government). But the radio is tuning in classic New Zealand radio, including Aunt Daisy’s cheery “Good morning, everybody!”

Then the video kicks off with old film footage that looks to be from the 1920s. And as the song repeats a sample of a woman saying “every day you die a little”, we see footage of death-defying stunts.

There’s tricks performed in, on and around aeroplanes, acrobatic flips done off a rope suspended from a hot air balloon, one guy who smashes through a flaming wall as he’s hanging from an aircraft, and a car that jumps over a building and then smashes apart upon landing.

It seems that in the early 20th century, all this new technology – aeroplanes, automobiles, motion picture – was combined to create the 1920s equivalent of Jackass, crazy stunts done to entertain. Of course, all this stuff never actually went away. It’s just that instead of watching stunts on their own, modern audiences see them contextualised in action films.

Combining the vintage tomfoolery with the chilled jazz of the Relaxomatic Project takes away a lot of the power of the stunts. If it had been accompanied by thrilling orchestral music, that would ramp things up a lot. But instead the cool beats like it more like “Heh, you guys.”

Best bit: the brief mention on the radio of a recipe for beetroot chutney.

Next… fur, mud and bubbles.

Steriogram “Soccerstar”

2000-steriogram-soccerstarPunky whippersnappers Steriogram had a bit of international success in the mid ’00s, but when they showed up with “Soccerstar”, they were still a new band trying to figure out their sound.

The punk-funk song has obvious Red Hot Chili Peppers incluences, but at this stage I can’t help feel that they’ve also been influenced by Supergroove, a kind of “Oh, so that’s how nerdy whiteboys from New Zealand do it.”

Tyson Kennedy is best known as the group’s frontman, but in their early days he was squirelled away at the back while guitarist Brad Carter was on lead vocals.

The simple vid is directed by legendary music journalist and series football fan Dylan Taite and it has a dash of his eclectic charm.

Much of the video involves the band performing the song in a studio while a football match is projected on them. Singer Brad spends much of the video wearing sunglasess, which I’d guess was done to protect his eyes from the projector’s bright light. Sensible, yes, and good health and safety practice, but it results in a video where the lead singer is hidden behind bogan shades.

It’s strange seeing Steriogram in this early form. They seem like a remnant of the ’90s, not like a group that was going to go crazy with lively punk pop rap. But I suppose watching them get there is all part of the fun.

Best bit: the black and white footage of football dramas.

Director: Dylan Taite

Next… vintage tomfoolery.

Salmonella Dub “Love Your Ways”

2000-salmonella-dub-love-your-ways“Love Your Ways” looks like a pretty low-budget video. It’s a fairly standard sort of video that’s cobbled together from video of the band performing in various locations. Sometimes they’re at a small club, other times they’re on stage in front of a packed arena at the Big Day Out 2000.

The video also features Tiki Taane in a dark room, with no shirt on, singing the song. And there are other shots of him hanging out, playing his guitar, (standing near my old flat on K Road) and getting a tattoo on his belly.

The footage varies in quality, some looking it was shot with a home video camera, other stuff looking pro. And the editing is a bit messy too, often a rapid-fire series of shots that doesn’t work with the music. It’s directed by Greg Riwai who made the much slicker “Broken Wings” vid for K’Lee, which shows he can work to different budgets.

But that doesn’t actually matter. “Love Your Ways” is a really strong song, and at number 11, it was Salmonella’s highest charting song. It has an uplifting, feelgood vibe so who cares if the video is a bit rough? It probably just reminds people of the happy time they had dancing to to Salmonella Dub.

Best bit: the shot that makes the Sydney metro look like Tokyo.

Director: Greg Riwai
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… shooting and scoring.

Marvey King “Rosary”

2000-marvey-king-rosaryMarvey King was the former stage name of singer-songwriter Tanya Horo, but in the ’00s she was arguably better known for her ongoing role as “Miss Lucy” the know-it-all travel nerd star of a series of ads for a local travel agent.

Back in the world of Marvy, “Rosary” is a sweet acoustic pop song, and the video is exactly what you’d expect from an up-and-coming young singer being launched upon the world. We meet Marvey in bed, clad in classic striped pyjamas. She wakes up with thick eyeliner, still perfectly applied. If this were the real world and not a music video, she’d actually look like Alice Cooper after sleeping in that much eye makeup.

There seems to be someone missing from the bed as Marvey runs her hand over the satin sheets. But she’s only been sleeping with one pillow, so whoever is missing isn’t a regular in that bed.

Suddenly things get a little surreal. Marvey still in bed but appears to be naked. Her duvet is pulled back to reveal she’s wearing a glamourous red strapless gown. And, with a reference to “American Beauty”, she’s surrounded by red rose petals (but just a few).

This saucy Marvey gets the choruses, while the pyajama-clad Marvey has the verses. It comes across as a kind of duel, with Saucy Marvey making things difficult for Pyjama Marvey. The end of the video sees Pyjama Marvey demurely singing the chorus, as if she’s realised – in a “Fight Club” style twist – that she is both Pyjama Marvey and Saucy Marvey.

In a way the video is a bit more fun than the song, but as YouTube commenter Pendarves1 says, it was “a great song that never made it big. Underated.”

Best bit: the strangely erotic shot of a knife slicing through a strawberry.

Director: Tom Fowlie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… love on tour.

Lucid 3 “Shiver”

2000-lucid-3-shiverThe “Shiver” video begins with a stark scene. Film in high-contrast black and white, the action starts in a large, old warehouse, glistening with wetness. As the camera moved in to the centre of the warehouse, there’s a large platform where the band stand.

They’re not positioned like they would be at a gig. Victoria stands alone near the front, with the bass player behind her to the right and the drummer further behind to the left. It’s very artistic positioning and a pleasant change from the standard gig positions used in so many videos.

Like the previous single “Curious”, the song has acoustic guitar in the verses and crunchy rock guitar in the chorus. But unlike the “Curious” video, this vid reflects the song’s changes in feeling with more dramatic angles and editing.

It’s a simple, stylish video focusing on Lucid 3’s talent as a live band without resorting to the fake gig video technique. Instead we see the trio performing; no rock faces, just the song.

Best bit: the close-ups of Victoria’s awesome shiny steel guitar.

Director: Alex Sutherland, Michael Lonsdale
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… bed time.

K’Lee “Broken Wings”

2000-k-lee-broken-wingsAfter having some success with his own solo career, Matty J Ruys then turned his talents to a behind-the-scenes role as a pop svengali. He needed a tuneful teen to transform into a popstar and discovered 17-year-old jeans shop worker Kaleena McNabb. She was transformed into the popstar K’Lee, though now in her role as a Mai FM DJ she goes by the more mature handle K-Lee.

K’Lee had a run of four top-20 songs, and was apparently the first female New Zealand artist to have four top-20 singles off one album. There was always a bit of backlash from people who felt that K’Lee was a bit rubbish, mainly due to being an attractive young pop singer who was suddenly enjoying hit singles without having “paid her dues”. Woteva. She made fun pop. It makes people happy. It still makes me happy. So let’s delve into the first video of K’Lee.

“Broken Wings” is a cover of the 1985 Mr Mister song. It’s actually way better than the original, with fresh beats, oriental violin motifs and an R&B break in the middle. There’s an article at NZ Musician that looks at the production of the song.

There’s some money behind this video. Directed by Greg Riwai (last seen here with Salmonella Dub’s “Johnny”), it’s shot in a fancy house and uses fancy digital effects, so Universal were obviously wanting to launch K’Lee with maximum impact as a serious popstress.

The video begins with K’Lee phoning up her ex-boyfriend – and we see another woman sitting on his couch. All he manages is a “hello” before K’Lee hangs up. She’s obviously a bit stressed, so goes over to her bedroom turntables and scratches away her sorrows. The camera slowly pans across and we discover there are two K’Lee – one scratching, the other sulking.

The rest of the video is basically multiple K’Lees mooching around the house. And it made me wonder. What if actually there were several K’Lees. What if one K’Lee started dating the guy, then the other ones wanted to get involved. And at first it was hilarious, like “The Parent Trap”, but then some of the K’Lees got jealous, and the original one was like “Nuh-uh, he’s mine!” And eventually the guy found out and was like “Screw this,” leaving all the K’Lees mopey, depressed and single. Yep, that’s plausible.

All in all, it’s a perfectly good pop video for a good pop song. It seems strange thinking that there was once controversy around K’Lee, but it didn’t stop the song making it to number two in the charts.

Best bit: when the pile of photos transform into doves.

Director: Greg Riwai
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next…warehouse party.

Indigenous Funk Company “Squeeze My Lovin'”

2000-indigenous-funk-company-squeeze-my-lovinAre you ready for some smooth jams? I thought so. “Squeeze My Lovin'” was Indigenous Funk Company’s third and final funded video. Mai FM supported the single and had it on heavy rotate. I always thought the frequently repeated piano bit sounded like something from an American daytime soap. It’s drama music, but then it seems to be a song about the kind of love that feels like a drama.

The video is a mix of boyband seduction poses and hip hop posturing. It’s low-budget and looks like it was shot with a cheap video camera, with some fake old film textures added to tszuj it up a bit.

Most of the vid is one of the Indigenous duo rapping, singing or staring at the camera. There’s a lot of staring. It’s probably intended to come across as seductive (oh yeah, girl) but when it goes on for too long, it gets really creepy. Like, stop staring me at me, ok!

We barely see the two dudes together (they give us a couple of smouldering looks at the beginning and end of the video), but there are a couple of chicks who show up in the video. At about the halfway point the rapping stops and the ladies start singing (obviously the seduction has worked).

The song goes on about a minute longer than it should, but perhaps this is a buffer. With the song’s seduction powers being so strong, that empty minute is a bit of breathing space, time to decide what to do with that lovin’.

The video ends with a wobbly zoom out of the full moon. Maybe by this stage, it is intended that the lovin’ is well and truly being squeezed so no one’s really going to be paying any attention to poor video production values.

Best bit: the lady singing in front of a glass brick wall, like the reception of a small business.

Next… can you feel her?

High Dependency Unit “Schallblüte”

2000-hdu-schallbluteThis is an HDU video. It starts with a circle. It’s shot in black and white and we’re not looking at anything in particular. Suddenly a curtain draws back and we’re on stage with HDU, looking at the band through a fisheye lens.

The stage is draped with white, which gives the impression that they’re performing in a marquee tent, which in turn makes me think of HDU being the entertainment at a wedding. And actually, that would be quite cool. It would be one way of getting rid of your drunk auntie, anyway.

The camera spends a lot of time lingering on the drummer, then well after a minute it moves onto the guitarist, then over for some bass and, oh, go on, some vocals too. Occasionally there’s a hint of an audience, but in my experience of the world of post-rock, bands never involve the audience like traditional rock groups do. So it could actually just be a random group of people lingering off to the side (wedding guests?), rather than fans of HDU.

Things end with a bright burst of light, then a lightbulb switches off. And, ok, that’s how an HDU video ends. Choice.

Note: Roger Shepherd listed “Schallblüte” as one of his five favourite Flying Nun videos, as part of the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s celebration of Flying Nun’s 30th anniversary.

Best bit: the Playboy bunny sticker at the bottom of the bass guitar.

Director: Nigel Bunn
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… it’s smooth time.