The Wind and The Wave Let ‘Happiness’ Run; Back to ‘Business Time’ for Flight of the Conchords

Sooner or later everyone dies on Grey’s Anatomy. The series, which I watched in its first few seasons – back when it was funnier, and before people died (other than patients) – has killed off more cast members than ER and Chicago Hope combined. I don’t know if that latter statement is true, but I do know that it’s certainly aimed at audiences 1994-and-up. Anyway, my point is Shonda Rhimes takes no prisoners. She’s Rambo with a laptop.

Anyway, the biggest death out of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital arguably came last year when Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey took one for the team. Fans freaked out, critics chirped, Twitter exploded, but a song featured in McDreamy’s big sleep picked up some spirits. OK, it probably didn’t. The song is so gentle and strikingly moving it may have made things worse. Away from the show, though, it’s an amazing cover of one-time Grey’s smash “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol.

The Austin, Texas-based duo The Wind and The Wave (Dwight Baker and Patricia Lynn Drew) were behind it, and while it took me ages to get here, I can honestly say they’re more than just a pretty cover. The Island Records artists dropped their brand new single “Grand Canyon” recently, and will drop their second album Happiness is a Place later this year. I recently spoke to the duo while they were in the midst of a short tour, and discussed making their new album producing wiz Butch Walker, TV placements in general, and everything inbetween. Catch the band on tour with Kaleo this summer.
Oh, and seriously, get to know the band. They’re spectacular. They just kill it.

Talk about the distant future. It’s felt like that was the last time we’d seen or heard from the Flight of the Conchords. Sure, the New Zealand duo stayed in the mainstream but achieved success on their own-. Jemaine Clement did a bunch of flicks, and Bret McKenzie, in particular, reached great heights by winning an Oscar for his track in the Muppets reboot a few years back. I mention this all because on June 9, the hilarious musicians kicked off the first night of their spring-into-summer tour at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. It was the first time in seven years they’d taken the stage. It felt it, and, well, it didn’t.

The tandem continually cracked jokes anytime one of them would slip up, and perhaps it was true or maybe it was just a way to draw even more laughs from the sold-out crowd. No matter the case, it worked. Something else worked that probably wouldn’t for 85 percent of artists out there: the band played mostly new songs. Drunken guys seated in front of me continually shouted for classic hits, and audience members continually shot out requests, but the FOC kept to their plan: just the new stuff. McKenzie also quipped that even though it seemed they didn’t have a plan, the setlist and show was actually very well thought out. They played with the audience all night with fun jabs that landed like jello,. That’s the brilliance of this tag team. The new songs were just as good – if not better than many of the standout tunes, and the banter between the pair as well as newbie “Nigel” had a long list of sides splitting.

It takes balls to go on tour after such a long hiatus, and play mostly new songs. It takes even bigger ones to have faith in the new material and know it’d score with the audience. Highlights were far and wide – but “Father and Son,” in particular, in which Clement sings to his son about his mother’s death even though McKenzie’s character assures him she’s very much alive – was easily the best of the night. (An intentionally poor video split screen making McKenzie look smaller than Clement kept the yucks.)

New tracks – “The Ball of Stana” and “Shady Rachel” and many more – felt right at home with the few old tunes they did play such as “The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room),” “Foux Du Fafa” and closer “Business Time.” Altogether, it was a nice welcome back to a “self-referentially” brilliant pair who have been missed more than Everything But the Girl misses you (like the deserts miss the rain).

A-Sides’ “Delve Into Twelve” Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its top 12 tracks of the week AKA the “Delve Into Twelve” based on the following contributing factors: songs I’m playing out that particular week (no matter when they were released — think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, song posts and trends I’ve noticed on my friends’ Facebook walls and, most importantly: what my toddler is currently enjoying thoroughly with an assist from my infant.

About A-Sides with Jon Chattman – :
Jon Chattman’s music/entertainment series typically features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Yoko Ono, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds, and Bastille.