RENT the Musical Saturday, May 8 2010 

When I saw that the musical RENT was playing at the Civic in Auckland, I thought “Hmm, might be interesting.” I soon forgot this little inclination, to be perfectly honest, until one of the girls I work with piped up and said “I want to go to RENT – anyone else keen?” So we got together a group and bought tickets. Well. Best decision EVER!

RENT is an avant-garde rock opera, based around a group of young, down on their luck creative types living in New York and trying desperately to survive (and pay their rent, of course!). This story could very easily tip towards being quite depressing, as it touches often on poverty, death and HIV. And yet… it is woven together in such a way that it becomes a story of hope, endurance and love, without becoming overly sentimental. You fall in love with the characters, you understand that their mistakes are what make them so wonderful and offbeat. You are sucked into their world, and even though you know there can’t be a fairy tale ending, you sit there desperately hoping for them to be touched with happiness even for just a moment.

And the music… ohhh THE MUSIC! Beautiful, haunting, catchy… Obviously, many actors/singers have played these brilliant parts all over the world during different productions of RENT, but the songs themselves are pure gold. And the New Zealand cast of Rent? Didn’t let the show down at all. They were exceptional.

When I got home, I went straight onto iTunes and downloaded the album (from the film that was made based on the musical) and I have the film itself on order, too. This musical left me buzzing… It just was so riveting, dark, honest and thought provoking. I recommend anyone, anywhere in the world, to go see this show if the opportunity presents itself. It isn’t light and fluffy, but it is utter brilliance.

Can you tell I really enjoyed the show? Haha 🙂

Watch a few scenes here from the musical RENT!

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Wacky From The Web Friday, Jan 29 2010 

Okay, so I admit, when I get bored I often find myself mindlessly watching clips on YouTube. It was on one such occasion where I stumbled across “Garfunkel and Oates” , a two women musical comedic duo.

Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci are quirky young women that have, between them, dabbled in acting, music and stand-up comedy, and have become an online phenomenon. Their 2-to-3 minute videos on YouTube feature self written songs about everything from dating and sex, to duck-love and pregnant women. These two extremely talented women are amazing. I cried with laughter while listening to some of their songs – especially when complimented by the petite Kate playing a ukulele!

Kate has had cameo appearances in shows like Scrubs, Malcolm in the Middle and How I Met Your Mother.

Riki has been in even more shows, and is quite a good little actress (in my opinion). Her credits include roles on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Heroes, The Big Bang Theory, Bones, Criminal Minds, Nip/Tuck, and even roles in a few movies, such as Changeling.

So between the two of them, they are talented little dabblers. But it is their hilarious, self deprecating, bizarre songs that have me hooked. A selection of their songs that I love the most are:

Pregnant Women Are Smug

Me, You And Steve

Silver Lining

They have many, many more songs than just these three, but you can hunt them out yourself! Take the time to have a look – I promise you will have a bit of a chuckle (at least!) over some of their witty lyrics.

Kate and Riki

Flight Of The Conchords Tuesday, Jan 5 2010 

You would have to have been in a coma for the past several years if you didn’t know who Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement are. Either that, or you don’t own a tv, computer, read the news or listen to the radio – and only by accident stumbled across this blog now!

These two dorky comedians make up the band/standup duo Flight Of The Conchords, who moved from NZ to the USA proclaiming themselves to be “Formerly New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo”. 

Bret and Jermaine were flatmates while studying at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and started their later to be infamous “band” in 1998. Through comedic events, and stints at festivals and slots at places like Auckland’s comedy club, they gained a loyal following in their home country and also Australia. In 2007, they moved to America to film their own television series with HBO.

The show was a hit with everyone, worldwide. Despite it’s Kiwi-isms and humour, people seemed to really get it. Bret and Jermaine play fictional versions of themselves in the show – two Kiwi’s trying to make it big in America with their unique (cough cough) band. Throughout the two series, these cringeworthy characters bumble their way through dating mishaps, money problems and lame gigs that always end in hilarity. Each episode is peppered with on-the-spot songs that are so funny, so brilliant and so well done that they have now become some of my top played beats on my iPod to boot. 

Bret and Jermaine are hapless losers – Bret always dressed in his woolly jumpers (which always seem to have animal prints on them), and also the more sensitive and oblivious of the duo. Jermaine is slightly deluded, thinking himself to be cooler than he actually is, and is the most desperate to find a woman. Together they are deadpan, outrageously pathetic and oh so clever. The show is a laugh a minute, especially with Murray the band manager (Rhys Darby) and Mel the obsessed, slightly unhinged fan (Kristen Schaal). 

But the absolute best thing about Flight of the Conchords – of course – is the comedic music. It’s clever, it’s witty, it’s catchy and fun to listen to. Buy the CD’s, or download the singles on iTunes. You will crack up!

Also, both seasons of the series are available to buy – this is definitely one you want in your collection!

Flight Of The Conchords

 

Flight Of The Conchords

 

Flight Of The Conchords

 

Flight Of The Conchords

Good Creedence Sunday, Nov 29 2009 

I’m not what you’d call a “Music Buff”. Most of the songs that I adore get me mocked by my lovely friends… *Cough Cough* But this is MY blog, so you get MY opinion! Haha.

One of my all time favourite bands is Creedence Clearwater Revival. A true blue American rock band that became famous in the 1960’s and created songs so good that even in the 2000’s their music still heavily saturates radio stations. When I’m chilling at home, sitting on the deck out in the sun, more often than not I have Creedence playing on my ipod. It’s fun, catchy and makes you feel good.

Their songs can be a little bit bluesy, but are mostly soft rock that gets you singing and tapping your foot. Some of my particular faves are “Bad Moon Rising”, “Good Golly Miss Molly”, “Midnight Special”, “Suzie Q” and “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”. All the songs are available on iTunes and, in my opinion, are a great addition to anyones music collection. Anyway, doesn’t hurt to broaden your listening preferences, right?

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Don’t Stop Believing Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

Every now and then a television show comes along that is just so different, so bizarre, that you wonder if it’s going to die a horrible death in the ratings within its first few episodes. When I first heard the buzz about Glee, this was my first thought.

Then I heard it was created by the brilliant (though usually dark) Ryan Murphy, who in the past has created Nip/Tuck and Popular, and that it had even attracted Joss Whedon (Of Buffy, Firefly and Dollhouse fame) to write a few Episodes. This certainly piqued my interest. I thought “There has to be more to it than just a school glee club, right?”

So I’ve read up on it and started watching it (Two episodes have aired so far on TV 3 here in New Zealand) and I’m hooked!

Is it light and funny? Yes. Is it a spoof? Kinda, yeah. Is there more to it than a superficial glee club dork-fest? Oh god YES.

The plot follows a teacher, Will, who wants to revamp the school Glee Club. He collects a group of hugely talented , err, well, freaks from the school populace and hilarity ensues. Glee is about these school outcasts finding themselves, stumbling across their potential as well as understanding they are worth something.

It’s high school, so there are bullies and bitches, romances and heartache, footballers, cheerleaders and behind the scenes wars between the teaching faculty. I won’t go on about the plot or even the characters. All I want to say is that so far, it’s made me laugh so hard I cried, the songs are amazingly catchy and there is definite darkness to this show that can only happen with high school.

Watch it. Love it. I do.

Glee Vs Cheerleading