1980 and all that: 2008

Flight of the Conchords

I put the list of which songs should represent which years ages ago. By contrast, I bought the new Alt-J album yesterday.

I mention this because those with a fondness for listening to lyrics in songs might have spotted binary solos in both Flight of the Conchords’ ‘Robots’ and Alt-J’s ‘In Cold Blood’.

Don’t get me wrong: I adore the new Alt-J album (I’ve been listening to it at every available opportunity since picking it up) and ‘In Cold Blood’ is a brilliant tune. But you can’t beat the original when it comes to listing sequences of zeroes and ones.

The list of comedy bands whose songs bear repeated listening is shockingly small. Out of my vast-ish collection of CDs, there are few comedy acts at all (there’s…err….The Shirehorses and, arguably Art Brut – but I’m not sure the latter of these counts as a strict comedy act).

The chief among them is, of course, Half Man Half Biscuit whose songs don’t just bear but positively demand repeated listens (the songs, that is, demand it; Nigel Blackwell is probably far too nonchalant about the whole situation to care one way or the other what you listen to).

Flight of the Conchords may not have been around for as long and may not be as prolific, but their blend of comedy folk/funk/soul/alt-rock/electronica is just brilliant. Despite taking in all those different genres (and heavily referencing David Bowie, The Pet Shop Boys and Marvin Gaye), they have their own very distinct, imaginative sound to support the comedy.

When it comes down to it Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement are two excellent musicians. End of.

Little wonder The Muppets hired McKenzie for their 2011 movie and Clement got to shine in Disney’s Moana.

‘Robots’ represents one of the duo’s finest moments, a song wrapped round the concept of automata taking over the world, resulting in an existential crisis for at least one of the robots.

Enough of this. Let’s just get on with listening to the song.

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