“In the Morning” was the first single off Anika Moa’s second album. By that stage she was free from her first record company’s desire to mould her as a pop singer. She was now able to get in there with really personal songs. In this case, “In the Morning” is about an abortion she had at the age of 20.
Darryl Ward’s video captures the emotion of the song. It starts with Anika safely nestled under a cosy quilt (curiously reminiscent of Miley Cyrus’ later “Adore You” video). She slowly emerges from her safe place and discovers everything is on fire. But it’s ok – it’s a symbolic music video fire, not a terrifying house fire.
Anika walks among the burning bed, dressing table and piano. She has a dark haunted look on her face, as if this destruction is both oppressive and liberating for her. Hey, the symbolic music video fire is the gift that keeps on giving.
She ends up stepping into a wardrobe which has Tardis-like properties. As it burns on the outside, Anika is safely making her way though the clothes, back to her safe bed.
My Conviction was an early project of Kurt Shanks, best known as the bass player in Stellar. I think Andrew Thorne of Splitter was also involved – the two of them are now back together as touring Kurt’s solo work.
But let’s go back to 1993, where a flaky old copy of the “My Conviction” video, taped off an episode of Pepsi RTR, reveals a band full of really good looking young dudes.
It’s a laidback, grunge-pop tune with an adventurous melody. The video starts off with the band in a stark white studio. This is them, and there’s nothing else to distract the viewer’s gaze. Lead singer Kurt delivers his swagger with ease.
Next we meet the band outside, in a wasteland outside an old building. Because it’s the early ’90s, there are flannel shirts, but also above-the-knee shorts. I’d almost forgotten about those shorts. I think that style came from Pearl Jam.
As far as I can tell, the song didn’t chart. It wasn’t following Inner Circle and Bell Biv Devoe to number 15 in the RTR charts. This might even have been the only screening on New Zealand television. Listen to how excited announcer Daniel Wrightson sounds when he announces the upcoming videos, including the alarming 1993 remix of the Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Running”. “My Conviction” is good song, but maybe it just wasn’t the right time for the My Conviction band. Shorter hair and slicker moves beckoned.
Finally, Shayne Carter has figured out how to use ProTools and has turned Dimmer into a fully fledged musical project, if not a band. The video takes its inspiration from Elvis’ ’68 Comeback Special. There’s a black background with red light spelling out DIMMER and Mr Carter wears a white suit with a brilliant crimson tie.
But Shayne is not alone. The video starts with a boy version of Shayne, later coming a teen Shayne, and later Shayne as an old man (played by his dad). It’s a bit like the end of “2001: A Space Odyssey” – a film about evolution – where astronaut Dave ends up in the weird white room and keeps seeing and becoming as older versions of himself.
So does this mean Shayne is going to evolve into a star child (or even more alarmingly, a Star Boy)? Nah, the video ends with Shayne shuffling off into the blackness, like he’s retiring back into his den to make some more tunes.
It’s a very simple video but is perfectly lit and has great performances from all the Shaynes. While there’s a lot of technical skill behind this video (directed by Darryl Ward), it’s a reminder that videos don’t need to be fancy and epic, that a single location with a great performance can work just as well.
This video reminds me of how much of a skinny-arse Jon Toogood used to be. The Fix street press had a cartoon about Jon disappearing when he took behind his microphone. But he had big hair which more than compensated.
“You Again” is a really fat, grunty metal pie. The video is shot in black and white, but with subtle washes of colour. That’s notable – it’s not the sepia rainbow that was in vogue only months earlier.
It’s such a strong, masculine video that’s it’s almost possible to forget this is still part of the world of showbiz. It’s a world where whiteboy dreads look really cool, especially when they’re tossed about in slow motion.
Shihad videos seem better when they’re focusing on the band playing the song, and less on video tricks. Here the four are just playing the song, showing how they work together – even when it’s kind of pretend for the music video.