Computer Games

Mi-Sex, Music Video, 1979

A last-minute addition to their 1979 album Graffiti Crimes, 'Computer Games' was a huge hit for Mi-Sex, reaching number one in Australia, two in Canada and five in NZ. Computers and arcade games were a real novelty in 1979 and the band's synth-driven sounds were a perfect match. The video starts with the band breaking into the Sydney data centre for then-supercomputer giant ControlData. Printers spew paper forth, and as the band performs, old school graphics including a driving game and TIE fighters, are projected behind them. Advance one level on green!

Secret Game

Zeisha, Music Video, 2008

The video for this debut single from singer and DJ Zeisha Fremaux cuts between candyfloss colours and Zeisha in a brunette bob against black. Rapper PNC (aka Sam Hansen) also makes an appearance. Zeisha was nominated for best female artist at the 2008 Pacific Music Awards, and played gigs in Asia. The clip is from director Sally Tran (Wayho, O'Baby).

The Game of Love

Ian Morris (aka Tex Pistol), Music Video, 1987

The video for Tex Pistol's chart-topping, electro-pop remake of 60s track 'The Game of Love' was a stylish triumph for budding teenage director Paul Middleditch. Tex Pistol — aka former Th'Dudes member Ian Morris — is dressed in black and white, with silver tipped cowboy boots and a red semi-acoustic guitar. Suiting the less is more approach of the remake, the video features Morris and backing vocalist Callie Blood in a world of darkness, rain and reflective surfaces. 'The Game of Love' hit number one for one week; copies of the single ran out early on.

Diamonds on China

The Narcs, Music Video, 1985

This follow-up to 1984 Narcs hit ‘Heart and Soul’ marked the first single off the trio’s second album. Recorded with US engineer Tim Kramer, 'Diamonds on China' got to 15 on the New Zealand charts. Influenced by Brit pop band Go West, 'Diamonds' is full of punchy guitar and synthesizers. Prolific music video director Fane Flaws showcases massed horns, street racing video games, his own distinctive illustrations, and drumsticks hitting the skins "like diamonds on china". Flaws' efforts resulted in one of his first accolades: Video of the Year at the 1985 NZ Music Awards.

Misty Frequencies

Che Fu, Music Video, 2002

Taking as its subjects a boy discovering new sounds on the radio and a soundtrack that gives purpose to a woman’s life, ‘Misty Frequencies’ is a soulful hip-hop hymn to the power of music. Che Fu’s music video places the singer and his band in a giant Tetris-like computer game before plugging into a bush setting (locations representing his musical yin and yang of technology and passion?). A magic mushroom prefigures the tree ferns collapsing in a heap of CGI bricks. ‘Misty Frequencies’ won the 2002 APRA Silver Scroll for Che Fu and co-writer Godfrey de Grut.

Love, Hate, Revenge

The Avengers, Music Video, 1968

One of Wellington’s leading 60s bands present a dark and troubling tale of revenge via voodoo doll. The clip — made for the Studio One TV show, a regular Avengers' gig — incongruously takes its cues from music video precursors like early Beatles films and The Monkees TV series (where the default position was zany and madcap). It was shot around Oriental Bay, with one fleeting pre-Te Papa harbour vista — but the focus is mainly on the band’s antics. The Avengers gamely enter into the spirit of it all, although four on a motor scooter looks decidedly dodgy.

Brothaz

Nesian Mystik, Music Video, 2003

“Hello my name is ...” This starts out as a happy video for the song ‘Operation Fob’, but the smiles soon disappear as the band walk away from set and head through Auckland city. They head for a community centre for a meeting of ‘Brothaz Anonymous’. The skeptical janitor watches from the doorway as band member and ‘bros’ gets up and express. The band then plays a series of group therapy games and eventually, bust out the guitar and ask the janitor to join in. End result? Brothaz in arms. ‘Brothaz’ was the fifth single from the hit Polysaturated album.

Nobody Else

Tex Pistol and Rikki Morris, Music Video, 1988

For this lush, spacious ballad, then teenage director Paul Middleditch continues the striking visual style he had established a year earlier with his video for previous Tex Pistol hit, 'The Game of Love'. Tex (Ian Morris) wears the same outfit, while his brother Rikki is clad in the reverse — white shirt and black jeans. Backing vocalist Callie Blood appears again (although she didn't actually sing on this recording), a choir of children is added, and some behind-the-scenes shots of the crew — but the set is free of surface water or falling rain this time.

Blowin' Dirt

Goodshirt, Music Video, 2001

Goodshirt's attention-grabbing promos were typified by high concepts rendered with low-budget No 8 wire smarts — often with game participation from the band members. This mind-bending creation by director (and ex-Supergroover) Joe Lonie is no exception: a Mazda 929 (or an Austin 1300, if you watch the video's other version) is re-deconstructed, before leaving in a cloud of smoke, loaded with frog men. Lead singer Rodney Fisher gives the standout performance. He had to sing every lyric backwards to achieve the desired time-warping end result. 

Chrysalis

Benny Tones, Music Video, 2011

On ‘Chrysalis’ Wellington producer Benny Tones creates a warm, electronic blend of hip-hop and funk (and 80s video game sound effects) for co-writer Sacha Vee’s soulful vocals. Director Jessica Sanderson (granddaughter of actor Martyn Sanderson) opens her video with Benny walking through darkened inner city Wellington streets. The third busker that he passes morphs into and out of a resplendent, glittering Sacha Vee (and the Legacy Dance Crew) in a hyper-real world which celebrates the creativity of street performers too often ignored by passersby.