This NZ Music Month collection showcases NZ music television, spun from a playlist of classic documentaries and beloved music shows. From Split Enz to the NZSO, Heavenly Pop Hits to Hip Hop New Zealand, whether you count the beat or roll like this, there’s something here for all ears (and eyes). Plus music writer Chris Bourke gets Ready to Roll with this pop history primer.
After roughly five years with band Cassandra's Ears, Jan Hellriegel went solo and managed to hit the top five of the Kiwi charts with both her first album, and first single. Hellriegel followed her debut hit 'The Way I Feel' with this, the title track from her 1992 album It's My Sin. The song highlights Hellriegel's distinctive voice; Matt Noonan's monochromatic video makes a different kind of music, by concentrating on close-ups of her face. In a 2017 YouTube conversation about the song's lyrics, Hellriegel argued she had become less judgemental about the idea of taking the less trodden path.
Chart-topper 'Brother' is about Smashproof's South Auckland neighbourhood, and how the hip hop trio want it to change — crime and violence are not the only options. It's an urgent message, delivered via a powerful, Tui award-winning drive-by video from music video director Chris Graham. The clip made it into mainstream news media for a scene bluntly inspired by a high profile incident, where a businessman stabbed a young tagger. Singer-songwriter Gin Wigmore features during the chorus. 'Brother' broke local chart records, after spending eleven weeks at number one.
Set in the 1920s, this quirky short starts by taking the black and white cinema of the time literally. Then photographer Charlie Floyd (Adam Joseph Browne) stumbles across the technology to turn the drab grey world into full colour; a future of fame and fortune surely awaits. But when a potential romance with the florist across the road does not go as planned, Charlie learns that perhaps black and white isn't so dull after all. Directed by Southern Institute of Technology student Emma Schranz, the film was a finalist at short film festival Tropfest in 2015.
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 — and 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.