Don’t Miss Flight of the Conchords 2 Season Premier Rerun This Sat 1am

Watching FotC 2 at Art Museum

How time flies!  A year ago this month, HBO has invited Cynthia and I for the screening of the Flight of the Conchords (FotC).  This year, the The New Zealand Trade & Enterprise together with HBO have invited us for the special screening of the FotC Season 2.  In case if you haven’t heard, FotC is a New Zealand comedy production that carries a “HBO Original Series” branding.  Cynthia and I have watched the entire Season 1 and it was h.i.l.a.r.i.o.u.s!  We still play that CD whenever we need something just to cheer us up.

We were looking forward to the season premier last Monday at 11pm.  Unfortunately, Cynthia fell asleep watching Pirates of the Caribbean (episode 3) while I was busy blogging.  And because of that, we have missed the season premier of FotC 2.  Aahh~!

Fear not!  If you too have missed it like us, there is a rerun this Saturday at 1am (or Friday late night if you count the day ends when you fall asleep).  From the two episodes we have watched at the Arts House this evening, Bret and Jemaine as well as the band manager Murray are still as hilarious as ever.  Music is a major element in the FotC series and in this new season, the music appears to have sounded fresh and interesting.  Probably because Bret and Jemaine have composed this new set of songs after season 1 versus a ready-made music album years in the making for the previous season.  We have also noticed that in this season, Jemaine seems to play a larger role than Bret.  Maybe they want to do something different this season.

My alarm clock is set.  No way we are going to miss this rerun.  FotC 2 is broadcast at HBO on every Monday at 11pm and a Saturday rerun at 1am (OK, the entertainment industry may refer that as Friday).  As always, a big thanks to the HBO team for extending the invitation to us as well as the lovely dinner.  How time flies eh?

Flight of the Conchords – Looking for A Good Laugh from Listening to Your CD?

Rarely do I come across a music album that put a smile to my face every time I put it on.  Kudo to these two New Zealanders – the comedy duo Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement – whom I have made an introduction here after my HBO blogger event.

In the first ten listens, you probably won’t get all the jokes from within this album of 15 songs.  Even so, you shall be love-at-first-sight with the rap song “Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenoceros” like I do.  One part, after Bret has done his part, Jemaine took over and rapped, “They call me the hiphop-potamus, my lyrics are bottomless …”  And he got stuck running out of words to say while the music goes on and on.  That is hilarious.  I really shouldn’t go into the subsequent lyrics of “My rhymes are so potent that in this small segment, I made all the lady listeners pregnant” here.  Note: their stage names are actually Hiphopopotamus and Rhymenoceros.

While many people like the back-to-the-eighties-Pet-Shop-Boys sound-alike song, “Inner City Pressure”, I find the song “Robot” very original, very entertaining.  It is a song about the future … erm year 2000 … when robots took over the world.  It never fails to make me laugh with the binary solo.  Believe me, they actually rap in zeroes and ones.  And when Jemaine bursts out the line, “Come on sucker lick my battery”, that got me laugh-out-loud every time.

Majority of the songs, they have woman as the subject and turn it into something absurdly funny.  Like the song “Ladies of the World”, they sing …

If every soldier in the world
Put down his weapon and picked up a woman
What a peaceful world this world would be

Or the song, “Think About It” …

A kiss is not a contract but it’s very nice
Just because you’ve been exploring my mouth
Doesn’t mean you get to take an expedition to the south

These sort of lyrics got me shaking my head with a smile every time I hear the songs.  Who would have dreamed up lyrics like that?! 

Musically, there are the pop, the rap, the eighties, the funk, and more.  Some songs I still don’t quite get it.  Like David Bowie’s nipple antenna.  Another song that is pretty gross is “Business Time”.  That song lasts 4 minutes while the rather un-sexy love making story within the song only lasts for … 2 minutes.  Very funny, regardless.

The HBO TV adaptation of their music acted by them contains more songs than this album.  Till today, that one line “ALBI the racist dragon” still stuck in our minds – Cynthia and I.  In that particular episode, Bret and Jemaine – two New Zealanders struggle to have gigs in America – faces a lot of racism from the people in the neighborhood.  Towards the end of the show, when the Americans realized that they are not the Australians, the Americans suddenly become very friendly to them.  We thought that is a pretty funny episode to watch.  These New Zealanders always try to poke fun at the Australians whenever they can.

Rarely is there a music album that is funny and yet with class.  “Flight of the Conchords” is one album worth checking out.  You may need to listen to it a few times to get the jokes.  But it’s worth the effort I am telling ya.

HBO Asia Premiere of Flight of the Conchords‏ – A Blogger Event

I was invited to a blogger event hosted by HBO Asia.  And I grabbed Cynthia along to keep me away from the distraction of so many beautiful celebrity bloggers at the party.  It was a memorable evening, eye-opening to say the least, to tour the HBO compound from production to live broadcast.  Before we get into that, let’s talk about this new HBO TV series “Flight of the Conchords” premiering next Wednesday at 10.30pm.

Is there such a genre as comedy rock?  Apparently there is.  A New Zealand award wining comedy duo – Bret and Jemaine – that brings laughter to the audience through their witty observation and music, I find their new TV series much fun to watch.  Having New York City as the backdrop, “Flight of the Conchords” tells a story of two New Zealanders trying hard to achieve success in America.  The comedy materials are original, interlaced with hilariously over-the-top music videos, and beyond all these never-would-have-expected human behaviors, there is certain level of rawness and honestly from the comedian team and from the set.  Nothing is over-produced; it is what it is. 

Now, back to the blogger event, Cynthia and I had the opportunity to see the various processes involved in creating a promo clip.  How talented and specialized the crew members are in creating all those extra stuff you see on the HBO channel.  I for sure will not watch the channel the same way as before.  Since I too enjoy creating videos and recording music of my band in my leisure time, seeing how the pros do it is indeed inspiring.

The most dramatic part of the tour – besides viewing two episodes of “Flight of the Conchords” – is the dark control room that does the satellite broadcast to the countries in the Asia region (top right picture above).  TV programs are transmitted live with subtitles catered for different geographies, real time access of 120 TB worth of movies (I did ask if I could make a copy) – all monitored by one single person.  I don’t watch that much TV but for the TV loving Cynthia, I could only imagine what this tour means to her.

In a (secret) room somewhere I saw two huge flat panel TVs broadcasting HD signal.  Wow … HD testing!  Dear HBO Asia, if you need volunteers at home to test your HD signal, I would kindly sacrifice my living room to be the HBO HD test center.  I would even buy a flat panel TV for that purpose.

Big thanks to Karen and her team from HBO in giving us such a memorable experience, a wonderful host with such great hospitality.  And also cheers to the folks from Text100.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Related site: HBO Asia Flight of the Conchords Blog