Found videos from 1999

Resting bitch face, actual cows, a red room, Catholic guilt, a scenic boat trip, forecourt drama, romantic Venice, an outdoor TV and and pre-millennium tension.
Continue reading Found videos from 1999

The D4 “What I Want”

2004-the-d4-what-i-wantWell, this is impressive. One-take wonder videos are cool and all, but when there’s a lot of stuff happening that involves very specific timing, it takes a lot of effort to get it right. Directed by Wade Shotter, the “What I Want” video puts the D4 in one place and changes the scenery around them.

In just over three minutes, the D4 go on an adventure involving a bed, a suburban living room, a blood-red rock backdrop, cheerleaders, strongmen, glitter and a disco floor, a Japanese backdrop, a political press conference, an office cubical, and back to bed.

The description at NZ On Screen notes that the shoot took one and a half days of rehearsals, was shot on film and used the 10th take. And nothing was added – what you see in the video is exactly what was filmed.

Unlike other one-take wonder videos where the novelty of the video overwhelms the song, “What I Want” seems to work well because it puts the band’s performance at the heart of video. While all this crazy business is happening around them, the D4 still get to rock out.

Best bit: the cheerleader outfits, emblazoned with the name of the NSFW opening track of the D4’s previous album, 6twenty.

Director: Wade Shotter
Nga Taonga

Next… more holiday pics.

The D4 “Sake Bomb”

2004-the-d4-sake-bombJapan loved the D4 and the D4 loved Japan so they wrote a song about one of their favourite social beverages, the sake bomb. There’s even a version with Japanese lyrics.

The 105-second song is basically about going out and getting pissed in Tokyo, but the video avoids a Japanese setting and just puts the band in a small room, whereupon they rock out. The video had various layers of animation, dripping paint, scribbles, Japanese characters, and a cartoon D4 enjoying a drink.

There have been various music videos shot in Japan, but they tend to consist of footage taken out on the streets, like a wide-eyed tourist amazed at how busy and cool Tokyo is. While “Sake Bomb” was (probably) filmed in New Zealand, it has the energy of a dumb-arse night out in Tokyo.

Best bit: the poster of the Virgin Mary, just keeping an eye over things.

Director: Wade Shotter
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… inside the anechoic chamber.

The D4 “Feel It, Like It”

2004-the-d4-feel-it-like-itAfter last being seen in 2001, the D4 return from being big in Japan with with a new album. “Feel It, Like It” was actually the third single off their second album, but for some reason it was the first to be funded.

The video uses the ancient art of sock-puppetry to tell the story of a big night out. The colourful world puppet world is simply constructed yet very detailed with plenty of little bits to notice.

The story revolves around a young dude sock puppet who has a hot date with a lady sock puppet. After decking himself out in new threads (i.e. a non-holey sock), he meets his date to see a movie – a 3D concert movie of the D4. This is where the band make their first appearance, rocking out with a fake 3D shadow.

The experience seems to have an aphrodisiac effect on the sock-puppets, as the guy and girl head back to his place for a, er, handjob. Here’s the bit where the video isn’t so effective. After implying that there’s some sock sex happening, suddenly we see the bare hands of a man and woman sensually caressing each other. That totally kills the sock-puppet humour and makes it way more sexual and real that it needs to be.

Bloody hell. If you can’t make an entertaining video where sock puppets are having weird sock puppet sex, then you need to go back to sock puppet school.

Best bit: the awkward sock-puppet pashing.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the long way around.

The D4 “Exit to the City”

2001-the-d4-exit-to-the-cityPutting a band in a car is a pretty ordinary music video trick, but with “Exit to the City”, Greg Page takes things to a whole nother level, mercilessly shoving the D4 into the back of a van.

For a start there’s no green screen or trailer involved. It’s a real van driving through the streets of Auckland. And there’s no attempt to romanticise it as a road trip. There’s the band hunched over in the van, attempting to play the song while they’re hurled about as the vans takes corners. The outside – fairly ordinary looking streets of suburban Auckland – passively passes by the background windscreen.

The van is covered with egg cartons, presumedly to offer a bit of padding as the group is bumped around. But the pulpy protection starts to fall off, with large bits of the van’s bare metal interior exposed in some shots. This band suffers for their art.

The video is amusing, but it never goes for gags, rather letting the focus be the physical comedy of a band desperately trying to stay upright and rock out in a moving vehicle.

As well as the driver and the band, Greg Page is the sixth person in the band, crouched down below the camera, with his hand popping up to adjust a rogue microphone stand, hold up a pedal and finish with an “APPLAUSE” sign. I’m going to randomly declare this to be the most legendary of Greg Page’s videos.

Best bit: the disappearing and reappearing album cover.

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a space odyssey.

The D4 “Heartbreaker”

2001-the-d4-heartbreakerI found this video uploaded to YouTube by a Japanese fan. “It is a band of best for me,” part of the description reads, as awkwardly translated by Google. And indeed the D4 were a band of best for many Japanese, enjoying some success there.

But the video for “Heartbreaker” is an Auckland production, directed by previous D4 video-maker Greg Page. The video begin by introducing us to a couple of saucy leather-clad rockabilly vixens, hanging out in an old yard, as such video characters do. They’re shot in grainy black and white, which slightly mythologises this intriguing pair.

We also meet the D4 indoors, playing in a grimy room with walls streaked in (artfully applied) grey paint. It’s hot in colour but with a very minimal palette, as if the bad girls have sucked all the energy from their lives. The song is tense and serious and the video focuses on those aspects. The band is relatively restrained, and even the massive rock-out at the end is more conservative than what they’ve previously done.

There’s a bit of fun with camera movement. As well as the camera doing typically pervy pans over the women, it jumps and skips over the band, as if it’s not quite sure what to make of these guys. They’re hurtin’ – don’t want to get too close.

The video ends with the two bad girls strolling over the Haslett Street-Waima Street motorway overbridge (also seen in Pluto’s “Bananas in the Mist” video from the same funding round).

There’s something very pleasing about this video. It’s relatively low budget, a simple concept but it looks really good. It’s just about making a music video that promotes the single, so that fans in Japan can enjoy a bit of the D4 as much as fans in New Zealand.

Best bit: the attention given to Jimmy’s isolated, one-word backing vocal performance of “cheatin'”.

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a one-man show.

The D4 “Party”

2001-the-d4-partyAfter three missing videos, finally the D4 turn up with “Party” a song about partying. By this stage the group had a little chart success in the UK (something they never experienced in New Zealand) and were well regarded as part of the cool new rock ‘n’ roll scene that was shaking up the early ’00s. The Face magazine featured the band in their “40 messed up new bands” special, noting the group’s upcoming “rev-your-bike-up new single” called “Party”.

For a song about partying, the Greg Page-directed video stays well clear of any attempt to create a party scene. It’s really hard to do in a music video, mainly because it’s very hard to get a bunch of people to look like they’re having a really amazing time for hours on end, especially when they’re not getting paid.

Instead the band can be found playing inside an empty building. The rhythm section are in a back room, while Jimmy and Dion rock out next door. The video is black and white and red, something that now gets classed as a lame digital trick, but in the early ’00s is was kind of amazing and cool. The red wall, red lanterns and a red-shirt stand out amid the black and white.

The camera is like a drunken partygoer. It seems to stagger around, fading in and out of focus. It’s like a guy who’s showed up to his mates’ band practice and with nothing better to do, he’s just drunk a whole lot of beers until the urge to do some daggy dancing hits.

It’s a very basic video, but it works, making good use of the simple set up. The D4 comes across looking like cool musicians, hot guys, and probably quite fun to get on the piss with. No wonder they took over the world for a few months in the early 2000s.

Best bit: the drum breaks. Yes.

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a big night out in Oamaru.

Missing videos from 1999

February 1999

Bailter Space “So Am I”

“So Am I” was Bailter Space’s final NZOA-funded video from the ’90s. They took a break and showed up again in 2012.

D-Faction “Take a Little Piece”

After having all their videos online, it’s sad that D-Faction’s final video, “Take a Little Piece” isn’t around. YouTube uploader slydogmania notes the group “disbanded in late 1997 before this final single was ever released”

Head Like a Hole “Hot Sexy Lusty”

Head Like A Hole have “Hot Sexy Lusty”, another single from their sex album, Are You Gonna Kiss It Or Shoot It? Guys, in googling for this video, I saw things I wish I hadn’t seen.

Mika “Angel”

Mika, last seen in Jan Hellriegel’s “Geraldine” video, has his own single “Taniwha Angel”. Here’s a live performance.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1999

Brett Sawyer “When It Happens”

Brett Sawyer has the song “When It Happens”. I’m most interested to discover that he and Pearl Runga sang New Zealand’s official millennium anthem, “I’ll Meet You There”, written by sister Bic and James Hall.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Delta “Slather”

Delta! “Slather”! I saw them play a few times and I happily bought the “Slather” single. It was a fun burst of pop that should at least have enjoyed one-hit wonder success. But anyway, here’s Delta performing the song at a 2010 reunion show. Nice one.

Director: Garth Maxwell
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ma-V-Elle “Angel”

Girl group Ma-V-Elle had lost a member (but weren’t renamed V-Elle). “Angel” was the first single from their new album as a duo. Here’s a Tangata Pasifika profile of the group enjoying their early days of success.

Strong Islanders “Shining On”

Kiwihits notes that Jonah Lomu’s cousin is in “Strong Islanders”. Their song “Shining On” is ok, but their main MC has a somewhat lacklustre delivery.

Director: Joe Lonie
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

June 1999

Ardijah “Do To You”

There’s no shortage of Ardijah videos from the ’80s, but the ’90s are AWOL, including “Do To You”.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Ma-V-Elle “Never Say Goodbye”

Ominous foreshadowing! “Never Say Goodbye” was Ma-V-Elle’s penultimate funded video.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Trip To The Moon “Sexual Healing”

The final NZOA-funded video for Trip to the Moon is their cover of “Sexual Healing”, a duet by Bobbylon and the ethereally voiced Rachel Weatherly. NZ Herald reviewer Russell Baillie dramatically described it as having “all the charm of a lavish STD-treatment jingle”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

August 1999

3 The Hard Way “Front Back Side”

Well, I dunno. This song is on the list of videos that were completed, but I can’t find any sign of a 3 The Hard Way single called “Front Back Side”, or indeed any releases from this time. But there might have been some shuffling – there’s a 3 The Hard Way video for their 2004 single “Girls”. It’s set in the same sexy club world as “It’s On (Move to This”), only it’s so much cheesier.

Bike “Gaze”

Bike’s final NZOA-funded single is “Gaze”, which also appeared on the “Scarfies” soundtrack.

Brett Sawyer “Where We Wanna Be”

“Where We Wanna Be” is Brett Sawyer’s ode to his partner for sticking out a decade in Britain with him.

Fiona McDonald “Wish I Was a Man”

Fiona McDonald gets dirty and grungy with “Wish I Was A Man”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Moizna “Summer Goodbye”

Moizna’s final NZ On Air-funded video is aptly titled “Summer Goodbye”, a sweet tale of a break-up.

Satellite Spies “Please Never Leave”

Satellite Spies apparently had a song called “Please Never Leave”, but it’s ungooglable.

TrueBliss “Freedom”

TrueBliss’s third single was a cover of the Wham song “Freedom”. I’ve found an 2001 Australian documentary about the “Popstars” phenomena that shows a short clip from “Freedom” at 8:01. It features the group dressed in red, white and blue costumes, performing on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1999

DNE “Be There”

DNE was a “cyber collaboration” between Aly Cook and David Horizon – their name for the now commonplace practice of online collaboration. Their old bio at Amplifier promised a fabulous web experience with “CLUBDNE interactive”, and directed viewers to to watch their video for “Be There”. Sadly all is but a cyber memory now.

Greg Johnson “Beautiful Storm”

Greg Johnson gets drench in meteorological metaphors with the upbeat “Beautiful Storm”. Nga Taonga describes the video as, “Greg Johnson tours an Asian city and sings “Beautiful Storm” to camera as the surroundings move rapidly around him.”

Director: Bernadine Lim
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ma-V-Elle “Don’t Be So Shy”

Ma-V-Elle have “Don’t Be So Shy”, described by the Kiwi Hit Disk as a “cool slice of original, soulful pop”. It’s the final Ma-V-Elle track funded by NZOA. The duo was to eventually disband, with Lavina ending up in the Australian Idol final 12 in 2006, among other achievements.

December 1999

Ardijah “Way Around You”

I’m pretty used to Ardijah videos not being online, and indeed “Way Around You” isn’t available. It’s a breezy house jam

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Breathe “Sick & Tired”

“Sick & Tired” is another track from Breathe’s second album, the one that seemed really big at the time, but has now faded into history.

Fiona McDonald “Bury Me”

Described in a review I found on a vintage website as a “edgy, emotionally charged” song, “Bury Me” is another single from Fiona McDonald.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Garageland “Good Luck”

Garageland have the blusey “Good Luck”, another track off their second album “Do What You Want”.

The D4 “Come On!”

Another early track from The D4. “Come On!” is an typical piece of energetic rock. Here’s a fan video, setting the song to clips of rally cars sliding around corners.

Director: Alex Johnson
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Exponents “Big World Out Your Window”

“Big World Out Your Window” was the final Exponents track funded by NZOA. It was a single off their 1999 album “Hello, Love You, Goodbye”, a half-studio, half-live collection. There’s no sign of the “Window” vid, but I do know it was filmed on Mt Eden.

Director: Andrew Moore


Here’s a video from the world of non-NZOA funding. Director Marc Swadel made the “Crystal Chain” video for Flying Nun group The Subliminals for “300 bucks and one re-used 100 foot reel of 16mm film”. As a NZ On Screen commenter notes, 100ft of film is only two minutes, 45 seconds. The solution? “A lot of repeats, keying over footage with footage, and other lo fi tricks”. It’s a moody delight.

Director: Marc Swadel
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision