Okay, so I would like to take this opportunity, the last I will write of the band Flight of the Conchords, to apologize to New Zealand’s 4th most popular folk parody duo.
In April of 2009, Bret and Jemaine kicked off a live tour to support… I’m guessing the end of the second season of their HBO show of the same name? Maybe the DVD release 4 months later? I don’t know.
To my great surprise, the tour began here in Tampa. In spite of wildly expensive tickets and limited expectations – after all, I’d seen all the songs online and on their show, so the mystique of the surprises were gone – I ventured into the Performing Arts Center because yes, that’s the best name we came up with.
My apology is grounded in the fact that, in spite of our performer’s muted demeanors and subtle humor, the audience that night was far and away among the worst I’d ever been a part of. Top 3, easily.
I’ve been to a punk rock show where a clearly drunk dude wouldn’t stop dry humping another dude, and security just laughed. I’ve been to a hardcore show where another clearly drunk dude blatantly assaulted a girl and security just looked at him. I’ve been to an indie rock show where a clearly drunk dude threw gum in my hair.
All of these are alcohol-fueled debacles, yes. But I can’t for certain say whether or not all the shouting, hamboning, and general tomfoolery that my fellow Tampons (Tampans? Tampites?) unleashed on those two unsuspecting Kiwis was vodka-tinged.
I was embarrassed to be amongst those who were cutting up, because as someone who has been to my fair share of comedy shows, hollering and shouting and whatnot is frowned upon. Obviously, heckling is discouraged as well. And despite the band’s playful retorts, at some point they both said something to the effect of, “Hey, shut up, we’re trying to do our act here and you’re being impossible.”
So yeah, this is my vehicle to apologize for the rest of the crowd that night being so unruly and inviting you back to the Fair Homestead of… let’s say, Water Spouts? Tampa is The Land of 1000 Wrestlers™, so maybe that?
Anyway, there are two major issues with comedy-based recordings: they are largely hit-or-miss, and their replay value is little to none.
With their debut recording release, Flight break the limiting boundaries of the genre. It’s a rare blend of cheeky, clever wordplay and lyrics against the backdrop of “inspired-by” musicality. For example, “The Most Beautiful Girl (in The Room)” is a satire of a Prince song, but not a rip hokey enough for an eyeroll.
Elsewhere, “Bowie” is a melange of 3 David Bowie songs (all from different Bowie eras, too!), with Jemaine’s voice a dead ringer for The Thin White Duke.
In essence, Flight are the farthest possibly entry in the genre from, say, The Lonely Island or Tenacious D. Because their tunes call upon classics from a variety of genres, including funk, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and others, their work isn’t steeped in cheap thrills and hijinks that fall flat as soda after being uncorked. In a way, they’re actually sort of timeless.
From their eponymous debut, this is an inspiring live performance of “Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenocerous (Featuring Rhymenocerous And The Hiphopapatumus)” –
Standout tracks: “Bowie” and “Think About It”
Weakest track: “Fouf Du Fafa” and “Leggy Blonde”
RIYL: New Zealand’s top 3 folk parody duos, guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy songs.