Random Play by Graham Reid

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Flight into escapism

We live in troubling times: war and rumours of war; China v Tibet; the embarrassing aberration that is Winston Peters; alarm at the Labour Party conference in the capital; John Key and Bill English; falling house prices; complaints that a billboard about sexual dysfunction is offensive to certain cultures; gaps that aren’t closing; boy racers and a girl missing . .

Important matters all, and this post will deal with none of them. They tax the brain and taken in total might make you think our world has gone to Hell and this small corner of the Pacific is not immune but actually leading the way down.

Nope, it is a Sunday morning as I write, the weather is pretty okay for this time of year and although the Blues lost at Eden Park across the road last night there doesn’t seem any collateral damage in our street. Life could be worse at my place -- but his week it has been a whole lot better.

Mid-week I received an advance copy of the new Flight of the Conchords album -- and it is much more funny than you might expect. Given that many of the songs will be familiar it is a pleasure to report that shorn of the television show and given studio tweaking and some other changes this album is a knee-slapper from start to finish.

It is also astutely observed in its parodies and cleverly layered in lyrics and production.

We’ve been singing Inner City Pressure, shouting lines from Robots and Hiphopopotamus at each and dissolving into laughter, and we carry our precious copy to the car to enjoy all over again.

Even the promo sheet which came with it is amusing. I quote in part: “Its release finally renders pointless all the inexpert fan-made audio transfers (the modern day equivalent of holding a microphone up to the television speaker and shouting at your mom to be quiet), which have bloated hard drives the world over . . .

“And the album sounds legitimate and musically, it’s incredible, but as Shakespeare said, “Does it funny?” Happily, yes. If amazing, delightful, hilarious is your idea of funny, then prepare for undisappointment!”

Indeed.

The Conchords hardly need me to help advance their career (not that I could, nor could I stop it should I so desire) but I have started posting tracks -- with permission -- at Elsewhere here. Every day until its release on the 21st I’ll be putting up a different track.

At that time Elsewhere will also be giving away some handsome Conchords prize packs to lucky subscribers -- and this coming week as a give away I have some copies of the new Rolling Stones double-live CD, some by the exceptional Auckland band An Emerald City who play In Pt Chev on Saturday (I will have tickets to giveaway for that also), and much more. The Stones and Emerald City are also posted at Elsewhere right now too, along with much, much more music -- and essays, interviews (from Yoko Ono to anti-globalisation activist Naomi Klein), images and so on.

There is also a link to vote for Elsewhere in the Net Guide Awards (closes tomorrow, Monday) and even though this one-man band is up against the teleco people, Air New Zealand, the “government” and people with swagger and clout I am firmly convinced that this could be the year of the little guy. Even if it is only in the "best homepage" category.

I like to think of Elsewhere as New Zealand’s fourth best digi-personal website, if you get my drift.

So check out the Conchords (the track currently posted has the best use of lyrical silence on a song ever!), the Stones and much more. Subscribe to Elsewhere if you want to (it’s free, just use the e-mail link at top right on the pages, you get weekly e-mail updates) so you can be in to win Major Weekly Prizes -- and just for a little while forget about the woes of this world.

They will still be there tomorrow -- but so will the Conchords at Elsewhere.

All in how you look at things really, innit?

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