Fraction Too Much Friction

Tim Finn, Music Video, 1983

Australian music video maestro Richard Lowenstein (INXS, U2, cult film Dogs in Space) directed this bouncy city-life clip for the song when Tim Finn first flew solo from Split Enz.  Bright colours, video scratching, an animated sausage dog — what more could you want? Finn walks along carrying a ghettoblaster in Wayfarer sunglasses; it must be the 80s. 'Fraction too Much Friction' got to number two on the Kiwi singles charts in 1983, and number eight in Australia. That year Finn recorded a last album with Split Enz, before leaving the band he co-founded roughly a decade before.

Beautiful Haze

SJD, Music Video, 2007

A stoic Sean James Donnelly carries on singing while facing an aerial barrage of feathers, fruit, toys and worse, in this dreamy after dark video, directed by globetrotting commercials maker Lawrence Blankenbyl. The calm amidst chaos music clip captures the wistful essence of the song, which preaches rebellion in the chorus, and going with the flow in the verse. 'A Beautiful Haze' is taken from SJD's fourth album Songs from a Dictaphone (2007), which reached number 11 on the Kiwi music charts.

AFFCO

The Skeptics, Music Video, 1987

Publicly screened only a handful of times, AFFCO hasn't met with universal approval. Yet for many, this Stuart Page bombshell is the pièce de résistance of NZ music video art.   "It's been written that it was 'animal rights' inspired, which is incorrect. The song was written purely about some guys who 'pack meat' and the video was made in that light. I guess we got carried away wrapping David d'Ath in glad wrap, baby oil and food colouring in an upstairs room at my Freeman's Bay flat."  Stuart Page     CAUTION: This video contains images which may offend some viewers.  

Suddenly Strange

Bic Runga, Music Video, 1997

One of seven singles from Bic Runga's mega-selling debut album Drive, 'Suddenly Strange' is about calling time on a relationship. Runga's bittersweet lyric is a declaration of independence that never quite becomes unequivocal. Nominated for Best Video at the 1998 NZ Music Awards, the stylishly colourful clip finds her inside a cube in various locations around Auckland — enclosed while life carries on around her, at least until the hopeful final shot. Director and graphic designer Wayne Conway (partner of Kate Sylvester) also designed the cover of the Drive album.

E Tu

Upper Hutt Posse, Music Video, 1988

This militant debut from rappers Upper Hutt Posse marked New Zealand’s first hip hop record. Dean Hapeta announces himself with a history lesson proudly namechecking the great Māori warrior chiefs of the 19th Century — Hōne Heke, Te Rauparaha, Te Kooti — and their Māori Battalion successors. ‘E Tu’ is also a personal manifesto, with promises to preach the truth but not to brag or wear gold chains. Hapeta's down the barrel delivery carries a degree of confrontation rarely seen from New Zealand musicians up to that point.

Everything

P-Money, Music Video, 2008

Hip-hop DJ and producer P-Money moves to the dance floor with this pumping, chart topper which marks the recording debut of Australian X Factor finalist Vince Harder. In Rebecca Gin’s quirky video, P Money has a whirlwind romance which starts in a supermarket and ends in tears in a club (with a sharp contrast between the white of daytime and the blacks of the night scenes) but the “shoulder friends” are the attention grabbers here. They represent the music that people carry around with them (or, at least, until they venture down one dark alley too many).

United State

The Subliminals, Music Video, 2000

The band plays a hypnotic groove in a room washed with red and then blue light as a woman with an expression of grim foreboding walks down a beach carrying two bags, towards a scarecrow with a mannequin’s face standing in the sand. Vertical scratches mark the film of the band’s performance, as the woman unpacks the contents of her bags and turns the area beneath the scarecrow into a shrine which she kneels before. But then, as the band briefly breaks free of its groove, she circles the scarecrow, wrestles with it and drags it towards the sea.

Problems

Salmonella Dub, Music Video, 2002

Problems marks the beginning of a fruitful collaboration between Salmonella Dub and director/animator Steve Scott (working here with co-director James Littlemore). The video features a lone wanderer stuck in a scorched earth desert. The briefcase of money he carries is useless in such a place, and despite stumbling across a detention centre and signs of civilisation (in the form of dystopian power plants and pylons) our wanderer keeps on his aimless lumber. Not even a trusty fake moustache gag can glean a laugh or stop him in his tracks. If only it were to rain...