Mutha Uckas onstage

Conchords concert review leads our blog bits

Concert Review:

Flight of the Conchords

On their TV show, Flight of the Conchords, the New Zealand folk/pop/rock duo of Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie seldom play to a crowd that includes anyone other than their one stalker fan. Sunday night at Kent State University's MAC Center, they played in front of a capacity crowd of several thousand.

Opening with the synth-poppy "Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor," the Conchords took a stripped-down approach, sitting on bar stools and playing acoustic guitars for the majority of their 90-minute set. While it's easy to dismiss the band as a novelty (the hilarious "Bowie" is a spot-on spoof of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust phase), the music manages to work on several levels. "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros" and "Mutha Uckas" featured tongue-twisting raps that showed off the duo's extensive vocabulary. And ballads like "The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room)" and "A Kiss Is Not a Contract" are kinda tender, despite their goofy lyrics. — Jeff Niesel

Eric Carmen Goes All

the Way ... To Jail!

Eric Carmen, the awesome-haired former Raspberries frontman, pleaded no contest last week to drunken driving and failing to control his car. He's been sentenced to a month in jail. Carmen, who lives in upscale Gates Mills, plowed his car into a fire hydrant last September. His blood-alcohol limit was nearly three times the legal limit. "Make Me Lose Control" indeed!

The singer — who also had huge solo hits in the '70s and '80s with "All By Myself" and the Dirty Dancing smash "Hungry Eyes" — will begin his jail stint on April 25, says a Bedford Municipal Court judge. Maybe Carmen can sing "Go All the Way" to some of his cellmates? —Michael Gallucci

Kate Voegele's New Video

Our favorite local pop-minded singer-songwriter, Kate Voegele, is shooting a new video with some guy from Dancing With the Stars I never heard of. His name is Derek Hough and he's currently paired with titty-flasher Lil' Kim on the dancing program. He'll co-star with Voegele in the "99 Times" video. It's the first single off Voegele's new album, A Fine Mess, which comes out on May 19.

Apparently Hough is also a singer in the Ballas Hough Band, which I also never heard of. Either way, "99 Times" is a pretty good song — Voegele's poppiest and peppiest. Hopefully it'll break her big this time. Her debut, Don't Look Away, had a slow and steady climb, netting her tons of road time and a gig on the tween drama One Tree Hill, where she plays a singer who sings Voegele's songs. On the April 27 episode, she'll perform "99 Times." —Gallucci

Road Trip!

About a decade ago, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum organized a series of trips that were more than mere tourism, delving into the music-related culture of such regions as the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana and San Francisco. Now Beachland owners Cindy Barber and Mark Leddy are planning to replicate the experience of those tours. They'll be the guides for a rock 'n' roll excursion to London and Liverpool from October 2-9. The trip is organized around a five-night set of reunion shows at London's Apollo Hammersmith Theatre by the original Mott the Hoople lineup. Barber and Leddy scored tickets for the October 5 show. In addition, they're planning some rock history-oriented sightseeing, a pub crawl, and special events and meetings with some of the musicians they've gotten to know through booking the club. Call Kollander Travel at 216.692.1000 for more details or to register for the trip.

Anastasia Pantsios

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