Friday, May 08, 2009

Flight Of The Conchords

I need to post about this, just because the website is a blog called "Topless Robot," and I had it as a tab on my browser when my head pastor came into my office. And naturally, we had to hunt around online for something while he was in here. Great, uncomfortable fun.

Anyway, Topless Robot has come up with a "The Ten Best Flight of the Conchords Songs" (with YouTubes embedding for quick viewing). While the list is certainly a close approximation of what might be considered FOTC best work, my list would actually look like this:

Honorable Mention: Sello Tape, Inner City Pressure, It's Business Time

10.Robots
The first FOTC song that ever really registered with American culture at all, and it did so because it's a better live song than it is a musical episode. Though it did give us one of the better scenes from the pilot, the filming of the music video, where we all came to love Murray (Bret: We wanted robot costumes like Daft Punk. Murray: Well, I don't know who that is.).



9. Think About It
Another live-vs.-music-video argument could be made here, though the song certainly outdistances it by being so deadpan hilarious - "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! What are your overheads?" FOTC are masters of the second punchline - they hit the rhyme, then riff a little at the end to try to jam a couple new jokes in there before the next line - and this song is their best example of that ("mmmm... turns out he's dead!") Also, it's funny just because Bret and Jermaine's frenetic half-dancing is much funnier than any staged choreography.



8. If You're Into It
I don't know how this actress manages to keep such a straight face during this song, especially since she's in such close proximity to Jermaine's crotch for so much of the time. There's a reason this is FOTC most-watched YouTube video.



7. Sugarlumps
Jermaine and Bret's ode to their nutsacks only ranks this low because of Dave's somewhat unispired rap section at the tail end of the song drops it a couple notches, leaving it the second-most-danceable FOTC song about their genitalia from the second season. Lots of songwriters fall into a rhythm like that. Like how Dylan sings about trains a lot.



6. The Most Beautiful Girl In The Room
This was a fairly startling moment when it first happened, because up until this point in the pilot, this was just another hipster HBO show, and then Jermaine starts singing, and you realize that the whole show is going to be a musical, and then you hear what he's singing about, and you realize the whole show is going to be an ironic musical. The song's classic for Bret hanging around the edges in order to sing backup.



5. Too Many Dicks (On The Dancefloor)
And here's the other dance-song-about-men's-genitalia from Season Two. Like "Carol Brown," which you'll find later on the countdown, it's directed by indie auteur Michel Gondry, whose style proved to be a perfect match for FOTC's off-beat whimsy. I'm a Gondry fan, though I think he sometimes goes wildly off the rails (The Science of Sleep, I'm looking at you), and it's nice to see him do some work with a little structure, an obstruction that seems to bring out the best nonsense in him.



4. Leggy Blond
This song keeps ranking high on people's "Best Of" lists, though I don't know if it translates into a straight YouTube video unless people realize that the whole episode was about writing the song and most of the lyrics are from Murray's episode-long hunt for rhymes for the word "hi," the only lyric he'd managed to write that he was happy with.



3. Not Cryin'
This is one of those moments where the ability to make video really makes the song. Shot in dramatic black-and-white, it's brilliantly overdramatic in addition to being, of course, lyrically clever.



2. Carol Brown (Stick Around)
This song's good for all the reasons FOTC songs normally are - clever, fun, catchy - but this one takes it to a whole other level by just being so outrageous hook-laden. Jermaine's choir of ex-girlfriends singing behind him, the string and horn sections, the brief moments of slow self-reflection - plus the fun of writing a song that's exactly the opposite of Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover." It's like listening to SNL's "Bon Jovi Opposite Band,' Jon Bovi.



1. Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenocerous
And of course, this is number one. This was a fun, off-kilter faux hip-hop song when the band used to play it on stage, but once they started the show and made it into a full-fledged rap song, it became so much more funny. Watch and see:

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3 Comments:

At May 11, 2009 3:39 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Think about It & Business Time are that low on the list? Those are definitely my favorites.

 
At May 11, 2009 4:44 PM, Blogger Wyman said...

BTW, I'm rating them on how good they are on the show, rather than how good they are live on a stage with two acoustic guitars. There's been confusion.

 
At May 11, 2009 7:27 PM, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

Loved that Carol Brown one.

 

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