Sunday, May 18, 2008

There's really no excuse except for me being a rank nerd. So I got the presser about the new Flight Of The Conchords video for 'Ladies Of The World' and I've gotta tell you, I was kind of unimpressed. Well, I was actually quite impressed by their rollerskating tricks to the point where I wondered if there were stunt nerds involved. But anyway. I realise that there are weird industrial realities behind the making of this video, ie Sub Pop wants their pound of flesh, they treat this as an album like any other and god help us all there shall be a lead single, even though HBO made effectively a better video for this song as part of the TV series Flight Of The Conchords.

But I'd like to compare and contrast. I think the version from the TV show made better use of the sight gags implied by the lyrics, for instance the "lady-man ladies" and the entire war metaphor with Jemaine sporting farcical fake wounds and using a woman as a machine-gun.

I'd also like to draw your attention to the fact that this song features in the second ever TV recording of the group performing: in 2000, in a lame Wellington public-access TV show called Newtown Salad. The thing is, rather than interpret it as a tragic community TV show you might see anywhere, I tend to see it as a specufucally lame NZ show, like the ludicrous NZ television shows Jemaine and Bret have mailed to them on video in New York.

Bret and Jemaine are much more arch and self-conscious here: they are missing the earnest doofusness that would endear them to the world. The song kind of drags as well; it feels like a work in progress. Bret is particularly painful. Still, it's exciting to see how far they have taken a song that they've been performing so long. And I actually think some of the jokes here are funnier than in the most recent version: I like the lesbian bit, and the 'tea ladies' bit. And it's interesting to see what the audience finds funniest. Here they are, splitting their sides:

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