James Bobin on NPR

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

NPR’s Fresh Air interviews James Bobin — who, you may not have realized, co-created Flight of the Conchords and helped create Sacha Baron Cohen’s characters (Ali G, Borat, and Bruno).

Ronald Chevalier

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Something about Ronald Chevalier just resonates:

(Yes, that’s Jemaine Clement. He’s playing a role from the upcoming Gentlemen Broncos.)

Flight of the Conchords on DVD

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Flight of the Conchords – The Complete First Season comes out on DVD November 6.

I just thought you’d like to know.

Figwit

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

In reading up on Flight of the Conchords and The Lord of the Rings, I just came across the story of Figwit:

In New Line Cinema’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy based on the book of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien, Figwit is the fan-derived name for an unnamed Elf extra played by Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame. “Figwit” is derived from “Frodo is great…who is that?” This is in reference to the distraction viewers may experience due to Figwit’s physical appearance and demeanor.

Figwit is seen in the first movie during the council of Elrond. He sits next to Aragorn until they all stand up to argue. After Frodo shouts “I will take it!” and everyone turns and looks at him, Figwit is standing on the far right. He is standing in the background for only a fraction of a second.

Bret McKenzie is also seen in the third movie (credited as “Elf Escort”) in the scene where Arwen is leaving for the Grey Havens and has the vision about her future son Eldarion. He is the one who tells her to get back with the others. He has two lines: “Lady Arwen, we cannot delay!” and then “My lady!”

Figwit’s rise to fame began shortly after the first movie. Peter Jackson, who directed the trilogy, stated in the DVD commentary for The Return of the King that he was given dialogue in the third movie because Jackson became aware of the attention given to this extra. Jackson mentions the phenomenon in the commentary track on the extended version of the Return of the King DVD: “the decision to give him a speaking role was developed after the scene was scripted. Originally just a random cast extra was to give the lines, but it was decided that it would be fun if the Figwit actor was brought in to deliver them.”

HBO renews cult favorite Conchords

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

HBO renews cult favorite Conchords. That’s the good news. Now Bret and Jemaine need to put together enough songs to fill out a second season, and they don’t have years to do it. That’s the not-so-good news.

Frodo, Don’t Wear the Ring

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

I just caught up on Flight of the Conchords, and naturally I loved their video for Frodo:

Of course, the best lyrics come near the end, when Bret and Jemaine start busting rhymes:

Yo Frodo, what you doin’ wearing the ring?
All powerful jewelry, is that your new thing?
I know it’s hard when you’re little more than three foot four
Your little ass so close to the floor.
Trying to lead the fellows to the gates of Mordor
The Fellowship!
(Yea the fellowship)
I don’t rap about bitches and hos,
I rap about witches and trolls,
just passing on the words of the Elven king,
Wisdom to all
Frodo! Don’t wear the ring!
Frodo don’t wear the ring,
The magical bling bling,
You’ll never be the Lord of the Rings

Fans of Tolkien and of rock music probably know that there are plenty of Tolkien-inspired rock songs. Some of the most famous include Led Zepplin’s Ramble On, The Battle of Evermore, and Misty Mountain Hop. The earliest of the three, Ramble On, from 1969′s Led Zeppelin II, shares the folk-and-hard-rock flavor of Frodo:

The Distant Future does not include “Frodo” — but “Robots” and the others should tide you over until the full album comes out.

Foux Da Fa Fa

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

Flight of the Conchords can be uneven, but, as someone who studied French in high school, I absolutely loved “Foux Da Fa Fa”:

While “Foux Da Fa Fa” sounds like a stereotypical 1960s French pop song, “A Kiss is Not A Contract” clearly borrows quite explicitly from the old-school video for Serge Gainsbourg’s Ballade de Melody Nelson (about 45 seconds in):

(Edit: The original YouTube video for Serge Gainsbourg’s Ballade de Melody Nelson that I embedded is no longer available, and other versions, like this one, aren’t embeddable — by those of us who lack Serge’s certain je ne sais quoi, at least.)

When I first listened to “Foux Da Fa Fa,” I missed a few of the lyrics, so I looked them up. Unfortunately, HBO does not provide the French lyrics with accents. Of course, they’re not really in correct French to start with either. As a public service, I’ve added the accents, fixed a few spelling and grammar errors, and provided a rough English translation:

Foux da Fa Fa (with English translation)

Je voudrais une un croissant (I would like a crescent roll)
Je suis enchanté (I am enchanted/delighted [to meet you])
Où est le la bibliotheque? (Where is the library?)
Voilà mon passeport (Here/there is my passport)
Ah, Gérard Depardieu (Ah, Gerard Depardieu [a famous French actor])
Un Une baguette, ah ha ha, oh oh oh oh (a loaf of French bread)
Ba Ba ba-ba Bow! (Ba ba ba-ba bow [gibberish])
Foux da fa fa (Foux da fa fa [no, it doesn't mean anything])
Foux da fa fa fa fa
Foux da fa fa
Ah ee ah

Foux da fa fa
Foux da fa fa fa fa
Foux da fa fa
Ah ee ah
Et maintenant le voyage à la supermarché! (And now the trip to the supermarket!)
Le pamplemousse (Grapefruit)
Ananas (Pineapple)
Jus d’orange (Orange juice)
Boeuf (Beef)
Soup Soupe du jour (Soup of the day)
Le camembert (Camembert [cheese])
Jacque Jacques Cousteau (Jacques Cousteau [the undersea explorer])
Baguette (Loaf of French bread)
Mais oui (But yes/of course)
Bonjour (Hello/good day)
Bonjour
Bonjour
Bonjour, monsieur (Good day, sir)
Bonjour mon petit bureau de change (Hello, my little foreign exchange)
Ça va? (OK?)
Ça va. (OK)
Ça va? (OK?)
Ça va. (OK)
Voilà – le la conversation a la au parc. (Look, conversation at the park)
Où est le livre? (Where is the book?)
À la bibliotheque (At the library)
Et le la musique dance danse? (And the dance music?)
Et le À la discotheque. (At the disco/nightclub)
Et le À la discotheque. (At the disco/nightclub)
C’est ci, baby! (This is it, baby!)
Un, deux, trois, quatre (One, two, three, four)
Ba ba ba-ba bow!
Foux da fa fa
Foux da fa fa fa fa
Foux da fa fa
Ah ee ah

Foux da fa fa
Foux da fa fa fa fa
Foux da fa fa
Ah ee ah
Où est le la piscine? (Where is the pool?)
Pardon moi? (Excuse me?)
Où est le la piscine? (Where is the pool?)
…Uh…
Splish splash
…Uh…
Eh…
Je ne comprends pas. (I don’t understand.)
Parlez-vous le français? (Do you speak French?)
Eh?
Eh? Parlez-vous le français? (Do you speak French?)
Uh ….No.
Hmmm.
Foux da fa fa
Foux da fa fa fa fa
Foux da fa fa
Ah ee ah
Ba ba ba-ba bow!

“Foux Da Fa Fa” won’t be on the new Flight of the Conchords EP, The Distant Future, but “Robots” obviously will.

Binary solo!

Addendum: The Flight of the Conchords album is available (on CD and in MP3 format), and it includes Foux du Fafa. (Note the spelling.)

Goodbye, Leggie Blonde

Saturday, August 4th, 2007

This week’s episode of Flight of the Conchords was fairly weak, but Murray’s first music video, “Leggie Blonde,” more than made up for the rest of the episode.

Last week’s episode was stronger — especially for any Bowie fans out there. I love Jemaine’s imitation of “1972 David Bowie from the Ziggy Stardust tour”:

So many good lyrics:

Inner City Pressure

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

I got quite a kick out of the first episode of the Flight of the Conchords — binary solo! — and the first music video of the second episode, Inner City Pressure, made me laugh:

I had already seen one version of She’s So Hot, BOOM!, so a bit of the shock was lost, but it’s still great fun:

And, in case you missed it, you really should check out The Humans Are Dead:

Flight of the Conchords

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Flight of the Conchords “follows the trials and tribulations of a two-man, New Zealand digi-folk band as they make their way in New York City.”

That may not strike you as immensely funny, but you haven’t seen the three-and-a-half music videos in the first episode, available now, at HBO‘s site. Binary solo!