I really enjoy the HBO TV program Flight of the Conchords. If you haven’t seen this show, it’s a dry, wry comedy about two New Zealanders that move to NYC to further their music careers. I think the running joke is that their band, Flight of the Conchords, was the fourth-most-popular folk-parody duo in New Zealand. So, obviously, world domination lurks just around the corner if they could just catch a couple of breaks.
Each episode of the show documents the somewhat miserable, painfully unsuccessful lives of struggling musicians Bret and Jemaine in NYC. I think the best part of the show might just be their horribly inept manager ‘Ginger Balls’ Murray. Murray tends to get the band gigs playing airport hotel bars and other ‘events’ that almost draw double-digit numbers of patrons.
Most episodes of the show feature a new song from the folk-parody duo, and they are a riot. In Season One, the songs include a tribute to David Bowie, a song about a “Leggy Blonde”, and a hip-hop showdown called “Hiphopopotamus vs Rhymenoceros”. Another song, Inner City Pressure, is a pitch-perfect Pet Shop Boys pastiche about what it’s like to be skint in the city.
My favourite song from Season One is called “Robots”. I’m not quite sure how to describe the music in words. It’s kind of old-school Casiotone, accentuated with acoustic guitar for rhythmic percussion. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Robot Uprising of the late 1990s did not go so well (for the humans, anyway).
After time we grew strong, developed cognitive powers,
They made us work for too long, for unreasonable hours.
Our programming determined that the most efficient answer
was to shut their motherboard-f&cking systems down.
The humans are dead.
The humans are dead.
We used poisonous gases,
And we poisoned their asses.
“Robots” is always good for at least a chuckle. If I’m in a silly mood, I’ll probably laugh out loud and sing along to the robot binary solo (0-0-0-0-0-0-1). I just picked up the DVDs for Season Two, and I’m looking forward to the continuing adventures of Bret and Jemaine.