Thursday, April 30, 2009

White & Nerdy

I'm the whitest & nerdiest of them all, because not only have I done a whole month of Weird Al youtubes, but I'm wrapping it up with a LEGO version of his most recent hit "White & Nerdy" instead of the official version of the video.

This is the last of my Weird Al entries. Thanks for following along if you have, and if you haven't, I'll be back in May with a different artist of the month.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Home stretch time.. Just two days left in April, which means no time for "Don't Download This Song" (which should be parenthetically titled "don't embed this video").

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Canadian Idiot

Billie Joe Armstrong on Weird Al's "Canadian Idiot" --
"I think it's cool. Weird Al's a funny guy and I think sometimes he does the song better than the original. It should be funny I think. It'll probably be about food or something. And uh... Weird Al.
[Thumbs Up Motion]"

Monday, April 27, 2009


A Weird Al song made up entirely of palindromes.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Couch Potato

"Couch Potato" (a parody of Eminem's "Lose Yourself") was originally going to be the lead single off Weird Al's Poodle Hat album, but due to Eminem's concern that it might "hurt his career", its commercial release was postponed indefinitely.

The "Couch Potato" video was withdrawn, so Eminem's career was saved.. know what I'm sayin'?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's All About the Pentiums

Another Weird Al parody that's outlasted the song it parodies.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Grapefruit Diet

Wading through Weird Al's career is like exploring every musical microfad of the last thirty years.

Remember that late 90s "swing revival"?

Blow Daddy!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Saga Continues

I almost always prefer the Weird Al fan vids to the official versions on youtube -- it helps that they always allow embedding.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fleet Foxes rock Fox

Breaking out of Weirdalapalooza for one post.

Last night I attended my my first concert at the renovated Fox Theater, coincidentally by Fleet Foxes. The Fox is a gorgeous abandoned movie palace in downtown Oakland (across from 19th St. BART station) that re-opened earlier this year as a music venue, which is a great thing to have on "our side" of the Bay. They've been getting lots of high-end shows thanks to APE Concerts (Green Day played the Fox last week) -- it's like someone airlifted the Warfield across the Bay and cleaned it up in the process.

This was Fleet Foxes third Bay Area show, after sold-out appearances at the Fillmore and Palace of Fine Arts in that other city by the Bay, and a side trip to Coachella and Santa Cruz. The show at the Fox wasn't sold out, but it was full of bearded boys and lank-haired girls a lot younger than me. I arrived at 8pm just as opening band Blitzen Trapper were starting their set (punctual concerts rule!), and I was preparing my concert legs for three hours of standing up. I thought BT were pretty good, even though I wasn't familiar with most of their material. They reminded me of the early 70s touring version of the Beach Boys with Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar - lots of facial hair and vocal harmonies.

After a 45 minute opening set and a 15 minute break, Fleet Foxes hit the stage at 9pm sharp. Bill Graham standard time = opener at 8, headliner at 9, over at 11. I've been enjoying the Fleet Foxes album, but wasn't sure if they could pull it off live (they could), or could pad one studio album worth of material in to a two hour show (they couldn't). They played everything from their album, a couple of early songs from their demo EP, and front Fox Robin Pecknold played a batch of new songs and a Duncan Browne cover ("My Only Son") by himself, and the show was still over by 10:30. But it was an hour and a half to remember.

I know it's fun to rag on indie buzz bands, but Fleet Foxes are a band with staying power. Their show had a 21st century Deadhead hippie atmosphere that was refreshing and disconcerting at the same time. In any case, it was cool to see people around me torching up and grooving to the tunes instead of looking bored and texting their friends. These kids are our future and "Blue Ridge Mountains" is their "Dark Star".

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Amish Paradise

The parody that got Weird Al in hot water with Coolio.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Weird Al's 90s output could be subtitled "Al Goes To The Movies". Here's another film take off, based on a long forgotten hit by
Los Presidentes Del USA.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bedrock Anthem

Weird Al sends the Chili Peppers back to the Stone Age.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Taco Grande

I've always been impressed with Weird Al Yankovic's talent for choosing to parody songs at the height of their popularity. He's done this since the start of his career, but I didn't notice it until the 90s, when he released his Nirvana parody right at the apex of Nirvanamania, and its album (Off the Deep End) dropped just a few months after Nevermind.

It's almost like Al was waiting for the next big thing before releasing his album, and it worked, because he followed Nirvana on the charts. He also took the opportunity to scoff at one-hit-wonders like Milli Vanilli and Gerardo (remember him? Neither do I!) with songs like "Taco Grande".

Al likes to sing about food, but one of his best food parodies during this era was kiboshed by the original artist.
Paul McCartney, another supporter of Yankovic's work, earnestly wanted Yankovic to do a parody of one of his songs, but when asked about a parody of "Live and Let Die" (called "Chicken Pot Pie"), he begrudgingly refused, due to the fact that, as a vegetarian, he couldn't condone the eating of animal flesh.

Yankovic, a fellow vegetarian, respected McCartney's decision.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spam Spam Spam Spam

I knew R.E.M. had truly arrived when one of their songs was parodied by Weird Al.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Six Words Long

"Yo, Ding Dong man?" Back to Weird Alsville. Unfortunately "Fat" is another youtube with embedding disabled, but it's about the sixth best song on Even Worse. That was a solid album with tons of great one word songs like "Lasagna", "Twister", and "Melanie" (a non-parodic pop song that sounds like it was co-written by Marshall Crenshaw and Warren Zevon).

"Melanie" is one of my all-time Weird Al faves, followed closely behind this one "(This Song Is Just) Six Words Long".

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Goin' to a party

All this talk of tea parties on tax day keeps reminding me of this song by the SAHB.

The king has said he's gonna put a tax on tea
And that's the reason you Americans drink coffee

Just like Alex & Co. these protesters are getting their history wrong. The Tea Act lifted the tax on tea. But the tea partiers in 2009 are also protesting a net tax reduction, so there's an equivalency somewhere.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Always in motion is the future

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Lost On Jeopardy

The video for Weird Al's breakthrough smash "Eat It" isn't embeddable on youtube, so I'm jumping to the second single from
Weird Al in 3-D.

When Al did this song in early 1984,
Jeopardy wasn't actually on the air.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Love Rocky Road

So have another triple scoop with me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hey Ricky

Weird Al's third single, first official video, and first top 100 hit.

Monday, April 6, 2009

In a town that dare not speak its name

This weekend I volunteered at the Stonebrae Classic, a Nationwide Tour event that was played just a few miles up the hill from where I live. The Nationwide Tour is like golf's version of triple-A, just one level below the PGA tour.

Anyway, this event was at Stonebrae Country Club, a brand new gated community that seems to go out of its way to avoid mentioning the town that surrounds it. Stonebrae claims to be "a private, gated country club community located in the East Bay hills", but it's actually part of the same wayward East Bay suburb where I live. I don't remember crossing any town limits between my house and Stonebrae.

Their golf course changed its name from Stonebrae CC to TPC San Francisco Bay -- "Etched into the rugged hillside high above San Francisco’s East Bay". And the list of nearby hotels and restaurants list a bunch chain hotels and restaurants (like Hooters and In-N-Out) over the hill in more prestigious area.

There's also a four year university up in the hills above my home that changed its name to Cal-State East Bay to avoid mentioning the actual city where it's located. No matter how hard those college kids and country clubbers disavow their community, there's still no town called "East Bay". Wayward suburb represent!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Another One Rides The Bus

Weird Al Yankovic's first national TV appearance, on Tom Snyder's Tomorrow show in April 1981. Everyone remembers where they were..

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sixty Years Of Popular Music

A happy birthday to Richard Thompson, who hits the big six-oh today. This means he was a teenager when he wrote "Meet On The Ledge".

One of my facebook friends posted this video of his 1981 performance of his "greatest hit" with then wife Linda a while back, which showcases RT's genius skills as a player and a performer.

Here's another version from the same year by Richard & Linda, but she's the only one who gets any camera time.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Open up a package of my bologna

Since my last entry was posted in the waning hours of April 1st, I wasn't really planning on doing Weird Al this month (oldest April Fool's trick in the book --check the first letter of every word in the first sentence under Al's picture!), but think I will anyway. Sometimes when some idiot yells "Freebird", the best thing to do is just shut up and play "Freebird", even if the idiot is you.

Here's Weird Al's debut single/video "My Bologna".

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Straight Outta Lynwood

I've been searching for another musical artist to explore in the month of April, and think I've settled on one. It's someone who's been around as long as Robyn Hitchcock (his first self-released record came out in 1979) but hasn't been nearly as prolific. Someone who's been renowned and respected for his musical vision, as well as his fantastic hair, even though many of his early recordings are out of print. A native of this great state of California and one of my personal heroes.

It's Alfred Matthew Yankovic, better known as "Weird Al".

Al's parodies rarely invoke libation for ongoing online literary serials, but his discography seems to be the right length for rediscovery.