Tag Archives: oddities

Weird Al Wednesday – January 2016

Readers!  Holy crap, Batman, how did 2016 sneak up so fast?!  I apologize for my delays in posts, as the holidays proved to do the opposite of give me lots of time to write up some things.  Well, it’s a new year, and the first Wednesday of that year (it’s still ~6:15pm as I write this), so let’s dive in with a song that sort of applies to all those holiday leftovers that should probably be gone by now: Foil from the album Mandatory Fun.

This is probably my favorite song from Al’s final contract album.  It’s a fantastic parody of Lorde’s Royals song about everyone’s favorite metallic food cover.  The first verse is more or less the kind of subject matter I expected when I first saw the title and listened to the song.  The second verse?  Well, that took a hard left turn into ‘what the hell is going on’ territory before finally arriving at it’s connection to foil.  I actually laughed out loud when the second chorus started!

To me, this is one of the best examples in Al’s entire discography of his brilliance as a song writer.  I would have loved to be in the meeting with the rest of his band the first time they talked about this.   Honestly, were you wondering how he was going to make a three minute song about food storage that didn’t get old after the first verse?  I know I was.  Thankfully, this is Weird Al we’re talking about, so the writing was in good hands.

Let me know what you think of this song in the comments.  Do you agree with me about how this song reflects on his career as a whole?  What’s your favorite song from Mandatory Fun?  Until next month, stay weird, my friends!

Weird Al Wednesday – December 2015

My apologies, dear readers. Thanksgiving and many hours devoted to Star Wars: Battlefront have put me a week behind, but I now present to you December’s Weird Al Wednesday!  In honor of the holiday season, we have a fantastic song from the album Polka Party!

This song is full of nuances that tie it to the classic rock ‘n roll Christmas songs of the 1940s and 50s.  Everything from the upbeat rhythms, to the bleating tenor saxophone is the same kind of thing you expect from songs like Jingle Bell Rock or Run Run Rudolph.  It also pairs stylistically with the constant mindset of the 1950s and the threat of nuclear war.  This pairing is brilliantly illustrated in this music video as the happy music is played against images of classic Christmas and classic paranoia.

Another reason I picked this song is how well it goes with one of the most popular games out there.  It’s similar enough, stylistically, to the soundtrack for Bethesda’s Fallout 4 that it could easily be the Christmas song of the game.  That also ties in my Unboxing of November’s Loot Crate, which features a Vault-Tec bobble head.  I hope to enjoy the game whilst playing this song in the coming weeks, as I hope you will too.  Merry Christmas to you and yours!  Enjoy whatever holiday you celebrate this month, and remember to stay weird!

Weird Al Wednesday – November 2015

Greetings, readers!  Welcome to another installment of Weird Al Wednesdays!  I can’t believe it’s already November.  Where has the time gone?  Ah, but let’s get back to it.  This month’s choice was partially random, and partially influenced by my overly frequent lunch trips to Taco Bell.  From the album Off the Deep End, we have the parody of Gerardo’s Rico Suave: Taco Grande.

I won’t begin to discuss how many different Mexican dishes this covers.  I think nearly every Mexican restaurant I’ve been to has at least 95% of them on their menus.  Man, I really shouldn’t have written this on an empty stomach.  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

Admittedly, I quite enjoy Mexican food.  My palette isn’t very sophisticated, and I don’t stray from what I know very often, but it’s rare for someone to suggest Mexican food and I say no.  That might be why I like this song.  Granted, the food parody is a path often traveled by Al throughout his career.  However, that doesn’t lessen the impact of his food parodies.  This particular food parody, though, is set apart by one simple fact: it doesn’t focus on American obesity.  Most of Al’s food songs are about how rotund Americans are, and how much they obsess over food.  This song is devoid of any mention of weight anywhere in this song.  He does talk about eating all the food he can and even getting “a doggy bag if you wanna; you can finish it mañana.”

Unfortunately, we don’t have an official video for this song from Al.  I think it would be hysterical to see Al dressed up like Gerardo in his Rico Suave video eating gobs of Mexican food.  Oh, but the poor video girls that would undoubtedly end up covered in salsa.  That could be quite painful on the sensitive areas, depending on the heat level.

I’m going to wrap things up for this month.  What do you think  of this song?  Did it leave you hungry?  Are you going out for Mexican now?  Let me know in the comments, and until next month, stay weird!

Weird Al Wednesday – September 2015

It’s that time again!  The first Wednesday of the month! Weird Al Wednesday is upon us again.  To think that it’s already September of 2015… my, how the time flies.  Well, this month, we go back to the album Even Worse for a big helping of Lasagna.

This is a parody of the hit song by Ritchie Valens, La Bamba, which is an adaptation of a Mexican folk song.¹  Al starts out with a very Italian sounding melody on his most famous instrument: the accordion.  He plays a few bars of something in a minor key with some mandolin accompaniment, then the mandolin strums us into the parody.

As with a lot of Al’s songs, the parody revolves around food.  In fact, he has so many food parodies & songs in his discography, that he even released an album called The Food Album.  One of the things that makes this song great is his ever-shining ability to parody lyrics so well.  He keeps the same lyrical rhythm as the original song.  Another great thing about this song is the good ole accordion.  This is arguably the instrument Al is most known for using in his music, and sadly one he uses less and less nowadays.

All in all, this is a song that is just as fun and upbeat as the original.  The band, once again, showcases their ability to play any style of music Al can throw at them.  It comes from a great album from fairly early in Al’s career.  What’s not to like about this song?  Let me know what you think in the comments.  Until next month, stay weird!

 

¹Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Bamba_%28song%29

Weird Al Wednesday – August 2015

Hello readers! My apologies for not getting this up at the usual time.  I’ve been busy of late, with the usual work and fatherhood duties, but I was also at Gen Con all last weekend.  Of course, the reason you’re here is this month’s Weird Al Wednesday.  This month’s song King of Suede.

I like this song for several reasons.  Firstly, I like that this is a parody of a fairly serious song about misery and pain.  This speaks to Al’s ability to parody pretty much anything.  Secondly, it’s essentially a long commercial for a clothing store called ‘King of Suede’. They have anything you could want, but the specialize, some might say too much, in suede (including underwear).  Thirdly, who doesn’t like Elvis? More over, who doesn’t love Elvis references?  Well, this song has that, as you might expect.  While listing off a plethora of suede things, Al mentions that you shouldn’t “step on my blue suede shoes.”  Lastly, this song does a great job of showing the musical power of his band and their ability to play a wide range of styles.  This is arguably one of the best songs on the “Weird Al” Yankovic in 3-D! album, and so, readers, enjoy this wonderful song.  Until next time, stay weird!

Weird Al Wednesday – July 2015

Hey everyone!  My apologies for Weird Al Wednesday being pushed back a week.  I haven’t had much chance to get on my blog.  There are various reasons I haven’t been on, but I’d rather not bore you with excuses you don’t want to hear.  Let’s get into this month’s song, shall we?

Al’s parody of Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust, it is from his first, self-titled album.  It’s a great song about an over-crowded city bus with a bunch of weird people on it.  This is one of Al’s least complex songs, musically speaking, but the lyrics definitely follow his parody style.  Most of Al’s fan base love when he brings out the accordion.  It’s the instrument that really got him his start, so the accordion being the only actual melodic instrument in this song probably contributed to it’s popularity.

This is the first song Al had nationally broadcast on the Doctor Demento radio show back in the early 1980s.  Doctor Demento was the man who really helped launch Weird Al into the national spotlight, and the live broadcast of this song is what really did it.  This was also the first song Al ever performed live on national television.  Below is the clip of that performance.  I tried to find a version where the video and audio sync up better, but to no avail.  Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it anyway.

Again, my apologies for this post being delayed a week.  I expect to be back on schedule next month.  Until then, enjoy this song, and stay weird!

Weird Al Wednesday – June 2015

Hello readers, and welcome to another installment of Weird Al Wednesday!  In this series, I talk about a Weird Al Yankovic song on the first Wednesday of each month.  This month, we are going to look at a track off the Alapalooza album: Jurassic Park.

In honor of the upcoming release of Jurassic World, I picked this parody of MacArthur Park by Richard Harris.  It seemed appropriate to me.  I’ll be honest, until writing this post, I had never heard the original song with the lyrics.  Once, at a Maynard Ferguson concert, I heard the song as an instrumental jazz piece.  That was it.  Now that I’ve listened to the whole over-seven-minute song, the instrumentation is amazing, but the lyrics are a bit confusing and odd.

This is perhaps the best reason this song should be parodied by Weird Al.  Granted, Al cuts down the song by about half.  However, this shortening is quite fitting.  Al succinctly sums up the Jurassic Park  movie in his three and a half minute song.  He touches on the major points of the movie, including how they make the dinosaurs, the Tyrannosaurus Rex eating the lawyer, and even pipes in the Rex’s roar at the end of the song.

Of course, no Al song would be complete without the comedy element.  Al throws this in with lyrics like “I’m afraid these things will harm me / ‘Cuz they sure don’t act like Barney” and “Well I suppose that proves they’re really not all bad” in regards to the lawyer being eaten.  There’s also the musical break in the song which features various screams of terror and pain mixed with dinosaur roars, implying the chasing that happens throughout the movie.

All in all, this is one of my favorites from Mr. Yankovic.  I mean, who doesn’t love dinosaurs, comedy, and big orchestral songs?  And this song combines those three things!  Well, that’s all for now, folks.  Keep an eye out for more the June Loot Crate unboxing later this month and a report on Indy PopCon 2015 at the end of the month/possibly early July.  Until next time, stay weird friends!

Weird Al Wednesday – May 2015

Hello readers!  Welcome to another installment of Weird Al Wednesdays!  This month’s Weird Al song is in honor of the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron and also celebrates Spiderman’s return to the fold and up-coming arrival in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  Ladies and gentlemen, Ode to a Superhero.

I like this video because the song came out about the time of the first Spider-Man film with Tobey McGuire.  I know, it’s not the best superhero movie, and certainly not the best Marvel movie.  However, it’s not bad for what it is.  At any rate, it seems more to the canon I’m familiar with when compared to The Amazing Spider-Man.  I mean, that whole thing with Peter’s dad and the genetics… what the hell?

But, I digress.  This song is good for several reasons.  First, it’s a parody of Piano Man by Billy Joel.  Piano Man holds a special place in my heart from my fraternity days and always seems to put a smile on my face.  Another great thing about this is the way Al blends the comedy of his music with the synopsis of the movie.  It’s pretty spot-on for a five minute summary.  I’ve seen this song live, so I know for a fact that Al’s guitar player is the one playing mandolin on this track, and Al plays both accordion AND harmonica.  Once again, Al and his band prove they can handle a wide range of musical styles.

I would like to point out that, as of writing this post, I haven’t seen Age of Ultron yet.  So, I to the best of my knowledge this doesn’t spoil any teasers about Spider-man’s return to the MCU.  I would be pleasantly surprised if I’m wrong, but I won’t find out for a couple days.

What do you think of this parody by Weird Al?  Do you like the original better?  What’s your favorite MCU movie so far?  Which one are you most looking forward to?  Let me know in the comments below.  Have a great day and stay weird!

Weird Al Wednesday – March 2015

What’s that? It’s the first Wednesday of the month?  Well, that means it’s time for another Weird Al Wednesday!  This month’s selection was picked out by my wife: Weasel Stomping Day, from the album Straight Outta Lynwood.

This is one of the shortest tracks that Al has ever done.  The only shorter track I know was Harvey the Wonder Hamster from Alapalooza, but I digress.  You can’t deny the comically unsettling nature of this song.  I mean, it’s a whole song about a holiday where people go around stepping on weasels.  Combine that with the traditional garb of a Viking helmet and oversize boots, not to mention putting mayonnaise on your lawn, it’s pretty ridiculous.

However, that’s the point.  Al does a fantastic job of satirizing the constant holding on to  of old ways and justification of crazy antics because things are ‘tradition.’  One of the lyrics is even “It’s tradition, that makes it OK.”  Oh, it’s fine, we’ve done this for decades, or a hundred years, or centuries.  That means it is what we should do for the rest of time.  Really?  Then why has mankind taken to using automobiles instead of beasts of burden, or walking for that matter?

It’s true, some traditions become outdated and need to be abandoned.  Not all of them, though.  Some of them need to remain as a means of reminding us who we used to be, and mustn’t be again.  Time-honored remembrances to root us in our cultural heritage.  Little things with personal meaning that tie us to major events of our lives.  These things are important parts of society that keep us from fracturing into the barbarians we used to be.

Wow, that got a little deeper than I expected.  Oh well, that can happen when you are pretty much free writing.  Well, anyway, I hope you enjoyed the song.  I’d love to hear what some of your favorite, but odd, traditions might be in the comments below.  Until next month, stay weird!

Weird Al Wednesday – February 2015

Greetings all!  It’s that time of month again when we all get a little weird.  No, not like that.  Get your mind out of the gutter, but not too far.  In honor of Valentine’s Day this month, the selection is “Wanna B Ur Lovr” from the album Poodle Hat.

The amount of innuendo, no matter how ridiculous, in this song is, well… ridiculous.  It’s a great song filled with some of the cheesiest pick-up lines you’ll ever hear.  To those of you not lucky enough to have seen Al perform this song live, you really are missing quite the experience.  That would include the tiger print pants and sport coat he wears.

This song is a style parody of the artist Beck.  Beck is perhaps most known for songs like “Loser” and “E-Pro”, and is known for playing a lot of the instruments in his music personally.  If you have ever heard any of Beck’s music, and know this is a style parody of Beck, the song starts to make a little more sense.  At the very least, it explains the instrumentation of the song.

I hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day, or Singles Awareness Day, whichever you may be celebrating.  To those of you starting to see winter really set in here in the States, stay warm and safe.  And of course, as always, stay weird!