This was Shaft’s third and final funded video, coming a decade after their debut vid, “Downhill Racer”. It’s just as offbeat as their first one, though without the retro thrills of the bomb-recipe websites that featured in “Downhill Racer”.
Filmed in high-contrast black and white, the video is based around a backyard shed. In the shed we find the band, with singer Bob allowed out to rock around the garden. There’s also some particularly blokeish DIY happening. A hairy fellow in a Led Zeppelin t-shirt constructs a musical instrument out of hooks and wires, that could handily double as a bean trellis.
The video is mad, messy, chaotic fun. And when you consider the unusual theme of the song – a man having a baby – it makes sense that if a bloke were to give birth, he’d do it out in his shed, with support from his mates and a bit of number-eight fencing wire.
Best bit: something that looks like maybe a religious birthing ritual.
Another track from the elusive Brett Sawyer. His single “Supercool” has almost no digital traces, but there is a brief review by Graham Reid in the NZ Herald, where he accurately describes Sawyer’s album When It Happens as being “Not bad, but over the long haul not gripping.”
Joshna’s single “Anything” notably was written by New Zealand songwriter Pam Sheyne, best known for co-writing Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle”. The song has a cool housey sound with undeniable pop chops.
Mary “Big Boy (Santa’s In Town)”
Mary contributed the gentle track “Big Boy (Santa’s In Town)” to Christmas on the Rocks a yuletide compilation of New Zealand indie artists. (It’s actually quite a good CD, by the way.)
Moana and the Tribe “Speak To Me”
Moana, having ditched the Moahunters and rebranded to Moana and the Tribe, has “Speak To Me” the first single off her third album “Rua”. It was, as Graham Reid noted in the Herald, a departure from the hip hop sounds of earlier albums and a move to the world music sound she’s known for today.
Suzanne Neumann “Lose Control”
Suzanne reports that the video for “Lose Control” was released and was played frequently on television. Unfortunately the video is not currently available online.
Before Friday “Now”
Before Friday were a duo of Dean Chandler and Ben Bell-Booth. They had a few singles – including “Now” – before deciding that it would be better if Dean went solo with Ben as his manager.
Carly Binding “We Kissed”
“We Kissed” was originally intended as the first single off TrueBliss’s second album, and indeed the funding was originally given as a TrueBliss single. But but eventually Carly Binding left the group, taking her pop with her. Carly’s first solo single was “Alright with Me (Taking it Easy)” had its video funded in 2002, leaving the funding for “We Kissed” on the books for later use.
Confucius was the work of Christchurch electronica musician Nava Thomas. Director Gaylene Barnes intriguingly describes the “Roll Call” video as “Confucius and MysteriousD become trapped in a drum and bass time warp, in this sepia toned music video which incorporates archive footage.” The video was also a finalist in the 2001 New Zealand Music Video Awards.
Sola Monday’s second and final funded video was “All For A Dance”, a sweet folky, jazzy number.
Splitter “Supermarket Girl”
August 2000 is proving to be not a particularly fruitful month for finding music videos online. Joining the missing persons line-up is Splitter with “Supermarket Girl”.
The Nomad “Life Forms”
There’s no sign of The Nomad’s second video, “Life Forms”.
DNE “The Cause”
DNE’s second and final video is for the upbeat dance-pop number “The Cause”. “We are bound to see this group do great things,” says the equally positive bio at Amplifier.
Goldfish Shopping Trolly (GST) “Hey You”
Goldfish Shopping Trolley (or GST for short) was the original name of Opshop. “Hey You” was their first single and has the classic Opshop anthemic sound. At the time, GST were threatening to release the alarmingly titled album “Homo-Electromagneticus”, which promised to capture “the turbulent etheric renderings and solid earthy rhythmic growl of the native New Zealand west coast”.
Breathe “She Said”
After a run of 10 videos, Breathe go out with “She Said”. They just seem like a band that – for whatever reason – never quite lived up to their potential.
Loniz “Child Street Blues”
Loniz were a Tauranga-based trio who later became Pacific Realm. “Child Street Blues” was their first single, which the Kiwi Hit Disc says was playlisted on iwi and b.Net radio stations.
Weta were one of those bands who seemed hovering on the verge of greatness, but for whatever reason, things didn’t happen. (But things are very much happening for Aaron Tokona’s new band, the psychedelic AhoriBuzz). This is Weta at their best, getting series amongst shipping containers.
“Downhill Racer” was a minor indie hit, all over the bFM top 10. It’s a superbly written song, with a great ’60s feeling. The video goes for a kitschy retro style, turning a nerdy bedroom fantasy into a full-on glam-rock extravaganza.
Halfway through the video we meet a gothy fellow alone in his bedroom, looking up bomb recipes on the internet. This comes complete with a brilliant screen shot of the ye olde web browser Netscape displaying a webpage called “BOMBS for FUN”. Back in the mid-’90s, the media were always going on about “bomb recipes” on the newfangled internet thing. Such innocent times.
By the way, the website in this video looks real, so I googled to see if it was still around. I couldn’t find anything, but now I’m paranoid that some authority will have been alerted to a New Zealander searching for bomb recipes.
Anyway. Back in the video, there is much excitement because it appears that a large truck is going to smash into a wendy house. And indeed it does, which we see from five different angles. I figure, if you’ve gone to the trouble of constructing a little house for a truck to smash in one take, you’re going to set up as many cameras as possible to make sure you don’t miss the vital shot. Like Demi Moore shaving her hair off in “GI Jane”.
The uploader of this video comments that the song “evokes the enigma of life as we know it”. And I think the video does that too.