Friday, August 29, 2008

Flight of the Concords Preview at HBO Asia Office in Singapore

I was lucky enough to get an invite to an exclusive blogger preview screening of HBO's new Flight of the Conchords. Ok luck didn't have much to do with it considering my readership now can be counted with one hand. However after relentless stalking and harassing by yours truly, the people from the PR Company text100 were kind enough to give me two invites to the event. I decided to bring my friend the Minah along for the event since I owed her money.

But enough about my strong will. Flight of the Conchords is actually a comedy band duo that I actually heard on some music site a couple months back. My first impression was that they were rip offs of Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) , but they are actually pretty different. While the D belt out rockers very inspired by classic metal and hard rock bands , FotC actually parody a huge spectrum of artists from Marvin Gaye to Radiohead. But yeah so this 2 Kiwis got their own show on HBO right now that chronicles the struggles of their band trying to make it big in NY.

So after a tour of their office and a very nice dinner spread catered by a new zealand restaurant , we settled down to watch two episodes of the series. The HBO team were hyping it up a lot , saying it was really funny and I admit they got me really looking forward to watching it. The first episode started playing (the 2nd in the series, because you can watch the first online, they explained) and I thought it was awful. Yes, I did not laugh out loud once. Maybe it was their British accents causing me to miss some of the punchlines, I don't know, but the two songs "Boom" and "Inner City Pressure" seemed more clever than funny to me.

But the next episode got me guffawing in laughter , so hard that I was in tears. The highlight was Think About it , a socially conscious song that's inspired by Marvin Gaye's What's Going On with some pretty amazing lyrics:

They're turning kids into slaves just to make cheaper sneakers
But what's the real cost, cause the sneakers don't seem that much cheaper?
Why are we still paying so much for sneakers when you got little kid slaves making them
What are your overheads?

The other song in the episode is Hiphoptamus Vs Rhymenoceros and is also very funny. Here they hit back at the other rappers who dissed them with probably the most rational comeback ever:

Other rappers dis me
Say my rhymes are sissy.
Why? Why? Why?
What?
Why exactly?
What? Why?
Be more constructive with your feedback, please. Why?
Why?

The bottom line is that FotC are very funny, and go check out their videos on youtube, all the songs from the show are actually available there, as well as their live performances.

On and I also met this chick at the event who was into Freaks and Geeks, which was so cool and hot at the same time. I think I am in love now. God she was so hot. Like curry.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Last.fm: A must have tool for any serious music listener

I have plugged Last.fm before as a great tool for discovering new bands, but it also has another cool feature which is keeping a history of your listening history. And it allows other people to write their own applications to manipulate that data.

For example, here's an application that generates my top listens for the last year months in terms of playing time:



And here's one that generates it in terms of a graph(I'm just showing part of it cos my entire history is too long):



The cool thing about the 2nd application is by looking at it I actually get reminded of what happened in the past. For example the huge spike for the artist The Roots was when they came over to Singapore for a concert. Another memorable one was Opeth, I could exactly pinpoint the exact time when I finally realised the brilliance of their album Ghost Reveries and started listening to it incessantly.

To a casual listener it might not offer much purpose, but to anyone serious about their music, it's a great way to track how your listening preferences change over the years.