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Video Time-Warp #10: OMC – “How Bizarre”

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Before Lorde, New Zealand’s most famous musical export was this gem. No disrespect to the great work done by Flying Nun Records, but this thing was bumping from the cars of (white, nerdy) people all over the country for an entire summer.

“DON’T EAT THE HUMMUS!” (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

This video looks like a commercial for a local restaurant that’s had at least a dozen health code violations. The kind of place where the owner seats you himself because all of the young women he hired as hostesses quit after a week due to him being ultra-creepy toward them. And then, of course, he’s ultra-creepy toward your girlfriend right in front of you before serving you the worst chicken souvlaki you’ve ever had in your life.


I’m not sure whether or not the entirety of this video is supposed to be ironic. I have to assume that it is (the name of the band, OMC, is an ironic acronym for “Otara Millionaires Club”–ironic because Otara is a notably poor section of New Zealand). Then again, it was the 90s and in Very Sophisticated America, clothing and slang from the big band era became cool again, so who knows what was going on elsewhere. Those huge collars and terrible dance moves could have been as sincere as the day is long.


This song went triple platinum in New Zealand which, if I’m not mistaken, means it sold 35 copies so it was a smash hit. (EDIT: Apparently triple platinum in New Zealand means 45,000 copies).


I looked up what the fellas from OMC are up to today and, welp, there’s no graceful way to put this: they’re dead. The founder of the group Phil Fuemana passed away from a heart attack in ’05 and his brother, the frontman Paul, died in 2010. It’s a bummer I have to end this on a down note. Maybe I’ll listen to a cheesy, upbeat pop song to cheer up. Like, I don’t know, “How Bizarre” by OMC.

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