Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Comedic Conchordance

Today is Wednesday, and you know what that means! Wednesday is my day to catch up with all things Flight Of The Conchords.

FotC's profile seems to be at an all-time high these days with a hit album (that debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts), a sold out US concert tour, and a hit TV show still in regular rotation on HBO with a second season scheduled for early 2009.

Virgin Atlantic airways is like Conchords central. The in-flight entertainment for my flights from SF to London featured two video episodes of the TV series as well as all six episodes of the BBC2 radio series that spawned it. There are a few differences between the radio and TV series (Rhys Darby's manager character is called "Brian" instead of "Murray", their one fan is a dude named "Kipper" instead of a woman named "Mal"), but many of their TV plots were taken from the radio shows. The Conchords radio show also has Neil Finn in a recurring role as Brian's "musical advisor". Hopefully Neil will get a role in the second season of the TV series. The radio series is described in the V-A blurb as "lovely in-flight entertainment", which probably just a play on the band's name, but the series does make a nice companion on a long plane trip.

Right after I got home last week, Flight of the Conchords played a couple of high profile Bay Area shows, and I didn't attend either of them (mostly because they both sold out in ten minutes), so I tried to imagine what they were like by reading the reviews.

Aidin Vaziri's review in the SF Chronicle said that "their songs weren't particularly adventurous or anything you would want to listen to more than once outside the hall -- Beck did their entire back catalog better when he did 'Debra'". But Aidin Vaziri likes Coldplay so let's ignore his review and move on.

Jim Harrington of the San Jose Mercury News was "skeptical that the band's mock-rock shtick would work on the live stage", but Jim probably doesn't realize that FotC were doing the shtick live long before they were TV stars.

The most useful local review I read was Jennifer Maerz of the SF Weekly who ignored FOTC's performance and reviewed the fans, from "theatrical laughers" to "sedentary farters". Reading Jennifer's review was the next best thing to actually being there.

No comments: