The first Kiwis ever to win our hearts on an HBO show are also the first to win a Grammy for best Comedy Album. And I’m kind of impressed, not only with Flight of the Conchords but also with the Grammy folks themselves.
I mean, most years, who gives a fuck about the Grammys? These self-congratulatory record industry arseholes have rewarded the Milli Vanillis of the world for years, ignoring truly innovative musicians so that the pop fads of the moment, swimming in millions of dollars culled from preteen mall trash, can also have a chintzy award. And let’s not forget the big corporate grandpas–even this year, when the relatively talented Amy Winehouse took top honors, yawnfest dinosaurs such as U2, Bon Jovi, the Foo Fighters, Eric Clapton, and Spyro Gyra were nominated for a bunch of awards. And a bunch of them won (Don’t worry, Herbie, I’m not talking about you. You wrote “Rockit” and “Bring Down the Birds!”).
As a comedy fan, I’m just plain excited that a talented musical team won the Comedy Grammy for once. The award for best comedy album almost always goes to a popular American comedian, such as Steve Martin or Robin Williams, whose biggest achievements are in spoken word jokes and skits. And one thing I’ve noticed from collecting comedy albums is that most comedians who are great at stand-up can’t record a funny song for the life of them. No “King Tut” or “Boogie In Your Butt” or any of Robert Klein’s terrible songs that he insisted on including in his otherwise hysterical albums will ever match the wit their creators normally had.* Once in a while they’ll nominate Weird Al (often not even for his actually funny stuff), but there are so many good bands that do funny songs, from Ween to Tenacious D to the Dead Milkmen, and it’s stupid that the Grammys award only an average of 1.5 or so musical comedians a decade.
Luckily, Flight of the Conchords is such a funny show, and the songs are so great, that they just couldn’t be ignored. Here’s one of my faves–I don’t think this one is even on the EP (just an EP!) that won, but it’s fucking amazing.
*Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy and Robert Klein definitely can sing outrageously funny songs on the live stage, with great style and even great musical talent–but add a backing band of session dudes and a proper recording studio, and the yuks just fall away from them.