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Hard'n Phirm 

Horses and Grasses (

Chris Hardwick and Mike Phirman constitute this L.A.-based, Tenacious D.-like duo, and Horses and Grasses is a heapin' helpin' of super-geeky and utterly engaging musical comedy.

The difference between Jack Black's gruesome metal twosome and this one is mostly genre -- HNP prefers to skewer the absurdities inherent in soft-rock ballads, cheesy Latin pop, and patriotic mainstream country. And Radiohead. They reconfigured a few Radiohead songs into a bluegrass medley called "Rodeohead," and it actually works on its own. But as they note, the more you know about Radiohead, the more your enjoyment is maximized.

They're also deep into science-rock: "The Carbon Cycle" is both amusing and educational, while "p" is probably the first rap paean to 3.14159.

Elsewhere, HNP unfurls a jingoistic Lee Greenwood-style ballad thanking American dinosaurs for dying here and having the patriotic decency to change into oil ("Glide on mighty pterodactyl/On wings of American pride/Step up to serve your country/ Hundreds of years after you died"), a just plain wrong ballad titled "She Named the Pony Jesus," and last but not least, the James Brown parody "Funkhauser."

All that and plenty of poop-and-fart jokes too. How can you resist?

More by John Nova Lomax


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