By: Viet Doan
This is turning out to be a pretty cool week for me. Professionally, I have had a lot of fun and interesting career opportunities pop up. I got to play with a pet possum. I will be going down for my ten year college reunion (I am going to talk more about that in a bit). I also got to watch the new Flight of the Conchords HBO special. Man did that last one hit me right in the hurt feels.
Like I mentioned earlier, I will be attending my college reunion this weekend. It should be an occasion marked by plenty of catching up, reveling in nostalgia, and seeing which of us got closest to living a eudaemonistic life (yes, it’s a nerdy college). Some of us may dress differently, having developed a dangerous sense of fashion. Many will want to talk about their children and how they read them tales of Frodo before bed. Some of us will be living out in the country, while others deal with inner city concerns.
I saw a description of a 31 year old man on reddit that I find quite true. You have “North Carolina 31,” like three kids and a mortgage, 31. Then you have “LA 31,” where you still haven’t quite mastered cooking chicken, 31. I once made a curry and tried to make it delicious, even kept it nutritious. No one complimented the meal because it literally exploded.
So we have all gotten older, but maturation is a choice. Think about that one. Really think think about it. My fellow alums and I will attempt to party like its 2008, and many will probably head back before it gets very late. I really look forward to seeing everyone. It will feel like unearthing a time capsule, everything will feel comfortably the same, but will be definitively different.
That’s what the FOTC special was like. They were huge while I was in college. My (now) wife and I got to see them live before they originally stopped touring. Their hilarious brand of comedy landed them an HBO show in 2007, well before I could afford a subscription. Seeing them again was like eating a bowl of Cocoa Puffs in chocolate milk. Mind you, that is not a description of something I would eat as a child. That breakfast powered me through my naps in Lit Trad.
In a world where so many artist and comedians want to be in your face with their political views, here is a band whose most controversial story involved a band member eating a muffin really fast. This is an injection of pure harmless stimulation right into the bloodstream of an audience that has grown increasingly mutha’ uckin’ numb from their daily news feeds filled with tragic stories. More than anything else, it is a lot of fun and a true love letter to FOTC fans.
There are parts where the pacing drags a little, the muffin story for one gets a touch stale. But that was always part of the duo’s unassuming charm. They would rap about the world’s problems, but get held up by the price of fruit at the local fruit stand. A lot of their humor hinges on their ability to look like they are hitting at something serious, only for it to mellow out in an innocently self-deprecating way. Here is an example in one of their new songs:
If you are here looking for the hits, they play plenty of fan favorites. To make things even better, some have been updated and changed, keeping with the theme of being the same but different. Their new songs are all pretty great. This is also a true showcase for how talented Bret is. From different accents, voice modulation, live mixing, and rocking a flute solo, Bret really gets to strut his stuff in this special. There are many great moments in the 90 minute run time, with their updated rendition of the Ballad of Stana being a personal favorite.
If you are an FOTC fan, you need to watch this. If you are some young person wondering why all these old people like this band, shut up, put down Fortnite, and stream this on your iPhone. This is pretty much a pure FOTC performance, with the duo changing very little to their winning formula. Watching FOTC perform again is like receiving a nice warm hug from an old friend. Hopefully, for us fans in United States, the band will do another tour on this side of the pond. Until then, I might just have to watch their special again.