Flight of the Conchords

4 03 2009

Flight of the Conchords is basically two guys from New Zealand, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, who create and perform absolutely hilarious parodies of popular music.  Actually, I think their songs are more like tributes.  They have a show on HBO, and I’m guessing we will have the DVD’s in our library soon.  Their show has some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever seen on TV, but I may be biased since I like music so much.

They can nail just about any style of music, and their lyrics are clever, silly, and/or outrageous.  But they’re always funny.  And that is not easy to do.  A lot of musical comedy falls flat.  Flight of the Conchords (and their writers/musicians/arrangers/film crew) are incredibly talented.  Here are a few examples:

Bowie’s in Space.”  Hopefully you’ve come to know David Bowie’s music.  If you have, you my dig this as much as I do:

Sugalumps.”  A campy R&B romp, funnier still if you know how normally reserved the guys are in character:

Foux de Fa Fa.”  Ah, oui, French pop c’est magnifique!

Bret’s Angry Dance.”  The ’80’s were a simpler time, a time when people danced away their rage.  Cracks me up every time.


Anything by The Marx Brothers

28 11 2008

The Marx Brothers made some of the funniest movies of all time.  Brilliant physical comedy along with some of the most clever wordplay you’ll get to hear (if you can, read anything by S.J. Perelman, one of their collaborators).  You can always count on a Marx Brothers film to cheer you up.

We have to appreciate people like the Marx Brothers.  They honed their skills on the vaudeville circuit before making movies, and let me tell you:  many vaudevillians were true renaissance men (and women).  They could act, sing, dance, play multiple instruments, and make you laugh.  As performers go, vaudeville vets were the best of the best.  These were seriously talented people who deserve the highest praise.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise what accomplished musicians Chico and Harpo Marx were.

Chico could really rip on the piano:

And Harpo was a demon on the harp, an extremely difficult instrument to master:

“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” by Monty Python (1979)

8 09 2008

You and I have spent lots of time watching bits and pieces from Monty Python, laughing like crazy at the silliness of it all.  But I want you to know how much I adore these guys.  Just past the silliness is some of the best social satire and writing around.  Some yanks are turned off by the “Britishness” of it all, turning off their brains when they hear the accents, or just dismissing it as weird.  That’s a shame, really.

This song is from one of my favorite movies of all time, “Life of Brian.”  The movie skewers everything, especially organized religion (all religion, not just Christianity).  As a result, a lot of people tried to ban the movie in the U.S.  Can you imagine that?  People are still trying to ban things?  And I’m afraid it’s only getting worse in this country.

To some this kind of thing seems blasphemous, but I don’t know.  Somehow I suspect that Jesus himself thinks “Life of Brian” is hilarious.

This is from the very end of the movie.  Eric Idle, the Python singing the song, also wrote it.  And it’s wonderful.  Who else but Monty Python could answer the eternal question:  When you’re hanging up in the desert, facing a slow, painful, lonely death, what are you going to do?

Why, sing a pleasant little ditty, of course!

(Thanks to the fine folks in Monty Python [MontyPython] for creating their own YouTube channel to share their extensive work.  See?  I told you these guys are awesome!)