Hippie with a Djembe, and Better Off Dead

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Here’s a twofer for you…as has been mentioned elsewhere, the third iteration of the Masters of Song Fu competition has started, and we are once again competing as “masters”—this time alongside fellow novelty duo Garfunkel and Oates (who are, we admit it, far cuter than we), and former Rutle/Python collaborator/Bonzo Dog Band member and British person Neil Innes. There’s also a flurry of “challengers” vying for the title.

In this first round, our task was to “write a happy song.” We had a solid idea for most of the week, but it just wasn’t forming quickly enough. (It’s still a solid idea, and will most likely get completed; we just need to take our time with it so it doesn’t collapse, much like a souffle) So with about 28 hours before the deadline, we started from scratch.

Short gestation period or no, we’re quite pleased with the result:

Hippie with a Djembe

Your task now is to go vote—but don’t just vote blindly for us because you love us; listen to all the songs and vote for your true favorite. Many of the challengers did yeoman’s work as well; it’s gonna be a fun competition…

Here’s the “two” part of the twofer: many of you are aware of our “25 Days of Newman” project from this past December. Those of you without the stamina to slog through all 25 songs, however, may not have realized that our final song broke the worn-into-the-ground pattern, and was in fact a “real” new song. As such, we present it here, six weeks later and well past its freshness date, in all its change-of-pace-ness (listen to it and you’ll see what we mean):

Better Off Dead (Randy Newman’s “Theme from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life'”)



  1. Posted February 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Hippie with a Djembe hasn’t grabbed me yet, but I’ll give it some time. Better Off Dead, however, is just amazing. It’s brutal … and fantastic. (Like The Wrestler. Have you seen it yet? That movie is messed up.)

  2. Luke M
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Nice! As a graduate of UCSC, I have *so* been there (in the horrified crowd of pedestrians, that is).

    In San Francisco before your Saturday show with that Coulton guy in January, my wife and I heard the least capable street musician I have ever encountered. Hippie/hobo hybrid with electric guitar and rhythm machine — stumbling back and forth across the beat, playing flat, playing sharp, strings out of tune…it was nerve-grating…at first. But our route for the day kept bringing us past this guy, his sheer obliviousness to his own awfulness started to become comical, and pretty soon I was laughing at every wrong note (which was every note). I was tempted to offer him $5 is he would let me tune his guitar. If you’ve ever seen “The Fast Show,” this was a “Jazz Club” level of hilariously inept racket.

    Fortunately we had three hours of hilariously ingenious nerd rock to round off the evening!

  3. Posted February 15, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Enjoying “Hippie with a Djembe” the more I listen to it.

    However, I cannot be the only one who notices the similarity in the back-up bass part to the music from “Kingdom for Keflings.” Have you two played this game? (If not, you should!)

  4. Hippie with some bongos
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    wow i love hippie with a dejimbe greatness! i play the bongos and i want a dijembe so bad!

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