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Collection

Best of the 90s

Curated by NZ On Screen team

It started with grunge and ended with Spice Girls; Di died, Clinton didn't inhale and the All Blacks were poisoned. On screen, Ice TV and Havoc were for the kids and a grown-up Kiwi cinema delivered a powerful triple punch. Tua's linguistic jab proved just as memorable, Tem got a geography lesson and Thingee's eye popped and reverberated around our living rooms.

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Turn Out the City Lights

OdESSA, Music Video, 2007

Sally Tran's characteristic attention to detail, a kooky concept and delightful fairytale flavour shrewdly enrich the artist's track, while conscientiously keeping the entire production largely recyclable.   "There are four different sets in the video and we moved from one to the other in quick succession, shooting the whole thing in a few hours. Everything you see in the video is made of cardboard. Even the instruments (and our bow-ties!). The drums were particularly impressive." Matt Pender - Feb 09  

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Super Trouper

Headless Chickens, Music Video, 1995

In 1995 Flying Nun released compilation CD Abbasalutely, made up of ABBA covers from their stable of artists. Headless Chickens contributed with this decidedly heavy cover of 'Super Trouper', ABBA’s ninth and final UK chart topper. The monochrome music video for the remake takes place at the RNZAF Base at Whenuapai, with the Chickens adopting many precarious positions on top of aircraft. It was directed by Jonathan Ogilvie, who helmed numerous Flying Nun music videos. The song's title was inspired by a popular concert spotlight.

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Havoc at the Big Day Out

Television, 1999 (Full Length)

This special 1999 edition of the youth show travels to downunder's summer music festival du jour: The Big Day Out. Mikey Havoc and Jeremy 'Newsboy' Wells slip, slop, slap and survey the "punters, munters, sights and sounds" at Mt Smart Stadium. They meet musical acts of the era, including Korn, Marilyn Manson and Fatboy Slim, and local heroes Shihad. Newsboy interviews "Nelson College old girl, grunge super bride and Big Day Out recidivist" Courtney Love, who gives him the glad eye (apparently) and he reads her a viewer question from "Doug Myers of Remuera".

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Overnight

Television, 1995 (Full Length)

In this award-winning Montana Sunday Theatre drama, Cliff Curtis plays Jim, a grungy rocker who can’t (and doesn’t want to) commit to a straight life with his misguidedly hopeful girlfriend Sina (Sarah Smuts-Kennedy). A night of emotional turmoil in the city ensues as Sina does her best to avoid the reality of her situation (as well as home invasion and Jim’s dodgy manager). Fiona Samuel's darkly funny script and top-notch casting underpin this look at the not-so-delicate nature of relationships amongst a group of Generation X Aucklanders.

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Who the Hell Do You Think You Are?

Garageland, Music Video, 2001

'Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?' represents a departure — in many forms — for Garageland. In the video, the usually mild-mannered band play a strip club, surrounded by pole dancers. Directed by Myles Van Urk (creator of grunge album series The Trip), it caused quite a stir, deemed too sexually explicit for music TV, and restricted, in an edited version, to broadcast after 9:30pm. Gone is the sun-soaked pop of previous hits, replaced by bluesy guitar riffs. Garageland would soon be gone too, splitting not long after releasing the track on their final album, Scorpio Righting.

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Artist

Shihad

Shihad have provided a guitar-driven soundtrack for a car-surfing, black jeans-garbed generation since 1988, without a single change in band membership. Led by Jon Toogood, Shihad's raw, no-holds-barred rock has produced hit albums The General Electric (1999), Pacifier (2002) and Beautiful Machine (2008), iconic singles (eg 'Home Again') and a committed Australasian fanbase. Evolutions into post-grunge and electro-punk, and a brief name-change (Pacifier) have not betrayed their metal roots, typified in legendary live performances. The band's story was told in 2012 documentary Shihad - Beautiful Machine.

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Artist

Decortica

Three-piece alt-rockers Decortica arrived, as the title suggests, looking to make a statement with 2008 debut album, A New Aesthetic. Recorded in Raglan under the guidance of esteemed producer David Holmes (Jakob, Battle Circus and Gramsci), the post-grunge album has been described as a "bold proclamation" aimed at "embracing the ideals of dynamism and questioning dated concepts". Two of its singles 'Peace May Come' and 'Macchina' were staples in music channel video rotations throughout the latter half of 2008.

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Beelines to Heaven

Garageland, Music Video, 1997

Complete with go-go dancers and psychedelic swirls, this delightfully campy video from Garageland evokes the style of 60s music shows (eg C’mon) more than the pop-punk and grunge-filled 90s from which it came. The unusually tall aspect ratio may be an allusion to the far less widescreen televisions of the past — a look abandoned in a second music video, made for the same song. The alternative video played with screens in a different way, using the same segmented-frame style that director Gina Birch refined in another Garageland promo, Feel Alright.

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The Brain that Wouldn't Die

Tall Dwarfs, Music Video, 1984

The video for this track from the Slugbucket Hairybreath Monster EP features expressionist shadows, odd science experiments in the basement, Frankenstein-like freaks, a flickering TV set, and an amateur brain transplant — demonstrating clearly that grunge-master Chris Knox is a major horror fan.