Formed in Dunedin in 1988 and signed to Flying Nun; the 3D’s Nun lineage was distinguished: Dominic Stones (Bird Nest Roys, Snapper); Denise Roughan (Look Blue Go Purple); and David Mitchell (Chug). The wild guitar-playing of David Mitchell, coupled with the warped pop song-writing sensibilities of David Saunders led to The 3Ds making a big early 90s impact, being well-received live and on record. ‘Outer Space’ was the band’s big single with its unforgettable line - “I left my face, in outer space.”
Record label Flying Nun is synonymous with Kiwi indie music, and with autonomous DIY, bottom-of-the-world creativity. This collection celebrates the label's ethos as manifested in the music videos. Selected by label founder Roger Shepherd: "A general style may have loosely evolved ... but it was simply due to limited budgets and correspondingly unlimited imaginations."
Spooky. Indeed. In this 3Ds clip a psychedelic kaleidoscope of distorted images collapse in on each other. It feels something akin to a video recording of an experiment to capture dreams ... being played out on your eyelids: astronauts, staircases, kung fu, beards, lolling tongues, guitars being smashed with an axe ... a therapist would have a field day. But then again it's the 3Ds. And what's with the gurgling water sound at the end?
This is the first music video from director Andrew Moore. The punning title is, of course, a plea to a divine figure rather than a children's author - but the Seuss characters (painted by guitarist David Mitchell) dominate this video, which is as crazed and chaotic as its soundtrack (and potentially seizure inducing at times?). David Saunders beseeches the camera, but respite comes only from a sequence filmed in a train carriage at Dunedin Railway Station. Is it possible for any New Zealander of a certain age to see that train shot and not think of the Crunchie commercial?
Nearly two decades before Mighty Boosh comes this loopy confection. With its missing visage line "I left my face, in outer space" you know this is going to be one trippy song — and the wild and spacey video is totally in keeping with the track. There’s UFO imagery and all sorts of other mad things thrown in, including a dinosaur skeleton and a vacuum cleaner played like a guitar. And it must be one of the few music videos to feature a band member wearing a peggy squares crochet poncho. The clip won Best Music Video at the 1993 NZ Music Awards.
This documentary tells the story of the legendary Flying Nun music label up to its 21st birthday. The label became associated with the 'Dunedin Sound': a catch-all term for a sprawl of DIY, post-punk, warped, jangly guitar-pop. The Guardian: "[it's] as if being on the other side of the world meant the music was played upside down". Features interviews with founder Roger Shepherd and many key players, the spats and the glory. The label's influence on the US indie scene is noted, and Pavement's Stephen Malkmus covers The Verlaines' 'Death and the Maiden'.
Wellington band MarineVille formed in 2000 around songwriter and guitarist Mark Williams and developed a sound capable of encompassing lush textures and edgier noises over careful pop songs and occasional sprawling epics. Their third album, Foul Swoop, described by Williams as having “strings, horns, rockin' tunes and dark ballads”, was hailed by Grant Smithies as “a gloriously abrasive mix of rumbling bass, overdriven guitars and half spoken vocals”. Soon after its release, they were joined by bass player Denise Roughan (ex-Look Blue Go Purple and 3Ds).
Mairi Gunn began working in the camera department in the mid 80s. Since then she has shot music videos (including Outer Space for The 3Ds), short films, and the feature-length Gravity & Grace (directed by Chris Kraus). Gunn shot and co-produced award-winning documentary Restoring the Mauri of Lake Omapere, looking at the history and future of a Northland lake.
Best known for his music videos, Jesse Taylor Smith has worked as a director and editor on both sides of the Tasman. Since completing a media studies degree at Victoria University in 2010, he has made videos for Grayson Gilmour, punk trio Autumn Splendour, and Junica/Ladyhawke collaboration Living in My House. His videos often deliberately evoke a low-fi feel, while displaying his love for the imaginative and surreal.