Flight of the Conchords is an award-winning New Zealand comedy band, self-described as "New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo". While a couple previous blog posts (1 2) talked about their recent TV series on HBO, this post will focus primarily on their music.
Bret McKenzie & Jemaine Clement formed Flight of the Conchords in 1998. They create original songs that parody real songs, both in style and lyrics. With an odd mix of guitar, bass, & synthesizers, along with hilarious lyrics, they cover all the genres: romantic/R&B, rap, pop, new wave, techno, and more!
In 2007, they released their six song EP, The Distant Future, in the US; this album contains three studio tracks and three live tracks. In 2008, they released their self-titled album Flight of the Conchords. The EVPL has both albums, and both are definitely worth checking out! Here are a few of my favorite songs:
"Inner City Pressure": (On Flight of the Conchords) A spot-on parody of the Pet Shop Boys 1985 hit "West End Girls". It received a 2008 Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics". Check out the video below to see for yourself! Here's a snippet of lyrics:
"Counting coins on the counter of the 7-11,
From a quarter past six 'til a quarter to seven.
The manager, Bevin, starts to abuse me
Hey man, I just want some Muesli.
Neon signs, hidden messages,
Questions, answers, fetishes.
You know you're not in high finance,
Considering getting second hand underpants."
"Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenoceros (Featuring Rhymenoceros & The Hiphopopotamus)": (On Flight of the Conchords) A hilariously tame gangsta rap song, featuring too many rap clichés to count. Here's a sampling of the hardcore lyrics:
"They call me the Hiphopopotamus
Flows that glow like phosphorous
Poppin' off the top of this esophagus
Rockin' this metropolis
I’m not a large water-dwelling mammal
Where did you get that preposterous hypothesis?
Did Steve tell you that, perchance?"
"Think About It": (On Flight of the Conchords) A parody in the vein of Marvin Gaye's/Black Eyed Peas' "Where Is the Love?" The lyrics talk about society's ills: violence, AIDS, sweatshop labor, etc.
"They're turning kids into slaves just to make cheaper sneakers.
But what's the real cost?
'Cause the sneakers don't seem that much cheaper.
Why are we still paying so much for sneakers
when you got them made by little slave kids?
What are your overheads?"
"The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)": (Studio recording on Flight of the Conchords; live recording on The Distant Future) A rousing, romantic love song to the most beautiful girl (in the room).
"Looking 'round the room
I can tell that you
Are the most beautiful girl.....in the room.
(In the whole wide room.)
And when you're on the street
Depending on the street
I bet that you are definitely in the top three
Good-looking girls on the street.
(Depending on the street.)"
"Not Crying": (On The Distant Future) An emotional break-up ballad, trying to save face.
"I'm not crying. No, I'm not crying.
And if I am crying, it's not because of you.
It's because I'm thinking of a friend of mine who you don't know who is dying.
That's right, dying.
These aren't tears of sadness because you're leaving me.
I've just been cutting onions.
I'm making a lasagna...for one."
This is just a small taste of the Conchords. Check out their albums for the full deal, including some songs I can't mention here.
Finally, if you're a fan of their music, check out the Flight of the Conchords TV show on DVD! Bret & Jemaine play a fictional band that moves from New Zealand to New York to make it big. They're constantly breaking into song (the ones on their albums, along with some additional ones) to tell the story. Quite possibly the funniest show I've seen in a long time!
Here's a video of "Inner City Pressure" as it appeared in "Bret Gives Up the Dream", the 2nd episode of the TV show.
- EVPL Catalog: Search for the FotC music CDs and DVDs in our online catalog.
- What the Folk!: Unofficial fan site about Flight of the Conchords.
- Amazon.com: Purchase CDs, DVDs, & other FotC merchandise using this link, and the Public Library Friends will receive a portion of your purchase!