The 10 Best Songs from Flight of the Conchords

By Rob Bricken in Daily Lists, TV
Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 5:00 am
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By Chris Cummins

During its two seasons on the air, Flight of the Conchords went from being a quiet cult hit to a full-blown pop culture phenomenon. Appealing to comedy snobs and mainstream viewers alike, the show has proven that there's still a market for subtle, intelligent humor. The fact that its songs are funny and catchy as hell doesn't hurt either. For the recently completed second season, creators/stars Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement wisely gave their supporting cast more to do -- meaning that fan favorite characters such as Murray, Dave and Mel suddenly found themselves with a lot more screen time, much of which was spent breaking into song.

There's some validity to the argument that the songs featured in the second season are a bit weak compared to those in the first. But here's the thing you should realize in order to be more constructive with your feedback: Bret and Jemaine only had a few months to come up with new material, as opposed to the years they spent honing the songs that appeared initially. Alas, it appears that the rumors that Bret and Jemaine only wanted to do two seasons of the show are true. The future of Flight of the Conchords looks dire, but its musical legacy isn't -- here's a look at the 10 best songs from the show whose multilayered jokes pack a greater impact upon each subsequent listening. 




10) Oh, Dance Baby

One of the show's more insane moments, this karaoke number performed entirely in Korean by Bret ruminates on how difficult love can be. Or something. Who knows what the hell the song is really all about. (Various background images such as Jemaine looking sad on a carousel and a regional rail train from Philadelphia don't shed any further light on the tune's meaning). Not that it really matters anyway, since it is so hideously memorable Oh, happy dance, yeah!

Memorable quote: "Sometimes love is as sweet as kalbi (beef delicacy)."

 

9) Frodo, Don't Wear the Ring

Seeing how Topless Robot's bread and butter comes from wonderful nerds and nerdettes such as yourself, it would be a grave injustice not to include this musical homage to Lord of the Rings on this list. Its awesomeness makes it pretty much the musical equivalent of that weed the hobbits were always getting high on, so it definitely merits inclusion here. During this two-minute retelling of Tolkien's masterwork, viewers get to see Jemaine dressed as Gimli thanks to some Dorf-style costuming, comedian Eugene Mirman hamming it up as Saruman, and Kristen Schall's Mel taking a break from the stalking to do her best Arwen impersonation. This ditty is actually a return to Middle Earth for Bret McKenzie, as he appeared as elf escort Figwit in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  New Zealand, why not?

Memorable quote: "We'll never make it, there's thousands of them and only nine of us. We made it!"

 

8) Bowie

The first moment many Conchords viewers realized they were watching geniuses at work came when Jemaine stepped on screen as David Bowie circa 1986 from the movie Labyrinth.  That moment leads directly into the unitarded frenzy that is the above number A riff on the, well, ch-ch-ch-changes the Thin White Duke has undergone throughout his career, the clip is a pretty freaky and far-out tribute to Bowie's chameleonic rock.

Memorable quote: "Do they smoke grass out in space Bowie, or do they smoke Astroturf?"

 

7) Carol Brown (Stick Around)

The closest thing Flight of the Conchords ever got to a very special episode, the second season installment "Unnatural Love" focused on intolerance as Jemaine fell in love with an Australian. Following up the episode's opening musical salvo "Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor," the above video features Jemaine reflecting upon his unsuccessful past relationships. Much has been made about how "Carol Brown (Stick Around)" channels Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" and The Nails' "88 Lines About 44 Women," but the song trumps them both by being amusing and a bit poignant. (The ethereal chorus sung by Jemaine's exes is pretty amazing as well). If there ever is another season of the show, director Michel Gondry must return for another outing. His fractured whimsy is the perfect match for Bret and Jemaine's peculiar take on New York City life.

Memorable quote: "Who organized all of my ex-girlfriends into a choir and got them to sing?"

 

6) Leggy Blonde

Murray isn't just about taking roll and giving Greg a hard time. He has interests outside of his managerial duties. Apparently his wife comes and goes, so you can't really blame him when he falls for a tech repairwoman who is also a leggy blonde. This song marked the first occasion that a character other than Bret or Jemaine sang on the show, paving the way for Rhys Darby's increased role in the second season. Too much Murray is never enough!

Memorable quote: "I had a budgie but it died...I like pie"


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