Creating New Zealand's first local hit involved a lot of trial and error, as a company best known for making radios grappled with how to make records. Sixty-six years later Neil Finn visited musician Jim Carter, whose Hawaiian-style guitar is part of the magic of the original 'Blue Smoke' track. Finn "gently persuaded" Carter to help him record a new version on a laptop in just a few hours. Alongside newsreel shots of WWII soldiers, this evocative clip features footage of two musicians from different generations sharing memories, and making music about saying goodbye.
Muscular and intense, this challenging (and presumably autobiographical) short film boldly brings to life an epiphany, and the impetus to rebuild following dark personal struggle. "Tangaroa has opened and revealed so many emotions, so many stories, so many images for me that I had to shoot a video for this powerful piece of music. It has become a catalyst for change within my life. A tool to help unlock and understand the past, present and future." Tiki Taane - April 09
Drawing from Dimmer's debut album I Believe You are a Star, this early video effortlessly channels the minimalist cool that would be a Dimmer trademark. The set is dark, dominated by a red-lit 'Dimmer' sign likely inspired by one showcased in Elvis' iconic 1968 comeback special. The vocals are provided by four males in white suits — including a pint-sized version of Dimmer founder Shayne Carter, and, briefly, his late father. The first, long in gestation Dimmer album signalled a new stage in Carter's career, with sparse grooves dominating over guitars.
This brooding collaboration with Ladi6 from Shihad frontman Jon Toogood's other project The Adults, is yet another departure from his hard rocking day job (although guitarist Shayne Carter briefly raises the temperature). Director Sam Peacocke's split screen video was shot at legendary Auckland studio The Lab (where The Adults recorded their debut album). Ladi6 anchors one side with a typically soulful performance while Toogood (uncharacteristically playing bass), Carter, drummer Gary Sullivan and engineer Nick Roughan are all serious intent beside her.
The music video for this noisy Die! Die! Die! track is a collage classic from arts collective Trophy Wife. The animated scrapbook effect is like going on an OE without leaving your bedroom, by cutting up old Radio Times Coronation Street specials, National Geographic magazines and videos for Morrissey's band The Smiths. 'Sideways Here We Come' appeared on Die! Die! Die!'s second album Promises, Promises (2008), which was produced in New York by Shayne Carter. The album won enthusiastic reviews from The Guardian and NME.
This video for Andrew Brough's band Bike features the group playing in a moving caravan, which is being driven by a frazzled father (Topless Women Talk about their Lives actor Ian Hughes). Says director Jonathan King: "I had a vision of Shayne Carter in mirror shades playing a policeman. He agreed on the condition he wouldn't shave his mo. Of course it just added to the moment. Ian Hughes brought his new puppy, Olive, along because he had no one to look after it, so we integrated it into the action. In fact much of the fun stuff he does was him just improvising on the day."
The Verlaines sing and play while sitting on a picnic rug under a tree, with assorted friends and family (and a dog) as fellow picnickers. Meanwhile mystic mask-wearing woodland creatures lurk behind the idyll. Cheap but certainly not without charms (there's even a feathery one hanging off the guitar). Check out a young Shayne Carter lounging under the tree fuschia.
The first single from the final Straitjacket Fits album features a typically oblique Shayne Carter lyric hinting at despair and defiance — possibly touching on the departure of founding member Andrew Brough. The overcast lyrical content and lurching, hard edged guitars find their match in this black and white video from director Andrew Dominik, which shrouds the band in studio shadows. Dominik went on to direct lauded films Chopper, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and Killing Them Softly (the latter two starring Brad Pitt).
Filmed at Bethells Beach and in a tunnel somewhere in the Auckland suburb of Ellerslie, this award-winning video from future Whale Rider director Niki Caro traces a sea nymph, a beating heart and an elderly gentleman's struggle with his hat. Clearly reluctant to move into the 90s, the eternally rock Shayne Carter looks splendid in dark eye shadow — a look he later told RipItUp was "definitely a low point in rock". Bad Note for a Heart was judged best music video at the 1990 New Zealand Music Awards.
Moody, minimalistic and monochromatic, this animated clip matches the relentless forward motion of the song to images of a train moving across a landscape. Birds fly — as so do some of the lyrics — and the surroundings grow more Daliesque. Seed was one of three Dimmer videos directed by animator and sometime Dimmer drummer Gary Sullivan. Band founder Shayne Carter (Straitjacket Fits) complimented Sullivan's "straight on down the line" railway imagery for how ably it suited the song; it appeared on Dimmer's long-in-gestation debut album I Believe You Are a Star.