Tag Archives: “Weird Al” Yankovic

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 – October 2015

Hello, readers!  I must apologize for being a week late.  I really thought I’d have time to get this up last week, but alas, life happened.  With this being October and the month of Halloween, I thought something “scary” might be appropriate for this month’s Weird Al Wednesday.  It is to that end that I present the following:

This original song by Al is a style parody of the soundtracks common to 1950s-era science fiction films.  The excessive use of electronic sounds like a theremin and synthesizer are prevalent in this song, along with the lyrics being quite the synopsis of the creatures themselves.  Even the title of the song is reminiscent of the the 50s sci-fi/monster films.  Aside from that though, this is a fun song and still holds much of Al’s humor.  This is obvious with such lines as “I sure hope they don’t come in here, I just shampooed the rug.”  I mean, do you honestly think that any other artist (save other parody/comedy artists) would release a song with a line like that?  I didn’t think so.

Overall, this wasn’t my first choice for a ‘Halloween’-themed song, but I’ve already done a post last year on Nature Trail to Hell.  This is a close second, obviously, as it made the cut for this month’s choice.  Do you like the song?  Do you prefer it over Nature Trail to Hell or not?  What are your plans for Halloween this year?  Let me know in the comments below!  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 Wednesdays – Jan 2015

Greetings all! Welcome to a new year, and another Weird Al Wednesday post!  I would like to apologize for again changing the scheduling of this post.  Due to my schedule at work, and the upcoming baby arrival, I will be cutting back to doing this post on the first Wednesday of every month.  So, without further adieu, this month’s selection: Dare To Be Stupid.

This is the title track to the album of the same name and is a style parody of the band Devo.  The connections to Devo are quite obvious from the music video, as well as the music itself.  You hear lots of digital sounds, common to songs of the 1980s, and popular among bands like Devo.  Similarities in the video to images of Devo’s music videos are glaringly obvious too, from the yellow jumpsuits, to the odd color combinations and juxtaposed images.

Perhaps a lesser know fact to the younger fans of Al, was this song’s connection to the 1986 animated film The Transformers: The Movie.  This was a fact I literally found out about as I was writing this post.  The song plays during part of the movie as the theme song for the Junkions, strange transformers with a speech impediment who live on a planet of junk.  They only respond positively to the Autobots after a very bizarre ‘universal greeting’, and behave very strangely (based on the three minute clip of the movie I found on YouTube).

I am particularly found of this song because Dare To Be Stupid was among the first few albums of Weird Al’s that I owned, so I listened to it frequently and on repeat for quite a while.  This song also fits as an unofficial theme song of a lot of people now-a-days.  It seems anymore that it’s a goal to be the dumbest person on the planet because you might become accidentally famous on the internet.  In fact, I will probably start hearing this in my head more often when I see something incredibly stupid.

What are your thoughts on this song? What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done? Suggestions for next month’s song? Let me know in the comments.  I’ll leave you with a bonus video of Al on “The Meltdown” doing the song with a string quartet. Stay weird, friends!

Weird Al Wednesdays 12-17-14

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Joyous Winter-time Holiday(s) to you and yours!  For this special edition of Weird Al Wednesday, we have a song no Christmas playlist should go without: “The Night Santa Went Crazy” from the album Bad Hair Day.

This fantastic holiday song from Al features a tale of psychosis, alcohol-induced gun violence, death, and festive cheer.  The song has several influences that culminated in it’s creation.  A style parody of Soul Asylum’s “Black Gold”, with bits of “Mama I’m Coming Home” by Ozzy Osbourne, Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas”, and The Kinks’ “Father Christmas”, this song has a little bit of everything.  One of the things that makes this work for Al, is the use of happy & upbeat music to describe the stuff of horror films and killing sprees.  It’s the kind of off-the-wall stuff we’ve all come to expect from Al now and then.  It’s a piece that brings a smile to my face when I hear it and something that will always have a place on my Zune’s Christmas Time playlist.  As a holiday bonus, here’s the “Extra Gory” version that was only released on the “Amish Paradise” single album.  Merry Christmas/(Insert Relevant Holiday Here) to all, and to all stay weird!

Weird Al Wednesday 12-3-14 (On Friday, I know)

Hey guys! I know, I’m a couple days late, but here’s this weeks (overdue) Weird Al Wednesday.  For today’s selection, we go back to Al’s first, self-titled album for a classic parody of The Knack: My Bologna.

This is one of Al’s first songs, as evidenced by the exuberant use of accordion.  It’s the instrument that really built his fame and earned him early success.  It’s a great song about the favorite lunch meat of many a school kid across America.  While not as long as the original, many of Al’s parodies don’t match the full length of the originals.  None the less, the silliness of this song cannot be denied.  I mean, who writes a song about bologna?  Weird Al, that’s who!

Though I’ve never learned to play, I have long been a fan of the accordion.  That’s one of the reasons I really enjoy this song.  It also speaks to his creative genius that he could jump to the rhyme of ‘bologna’ and ‘Sharona.’  Certainly, this would not have been a connection I made quickly.  Does this song make anyone else hungry?  I’m also going to leave you with a video of just Al on his accordion playing this wonderful song.  Enjoy, and stay weird!

Weird Al Wednesday 11-19-14

Hey all, and welcome to another Weird Al Wednesday!  For today’s selection, I have chosen Dog Eat Dog from the album Polka Party!

*DISCLAIMER* I would like to apologize because this is going to be a short entry.  At the time I’m writing this, I have been home about 15 minutes after a 13-hour work day.

This style parody of the Talking Heads does a wonderful job at capturing the ridiculous musical styling of the original artist, but also the stereotypical corporate workplace.  It’s a fun song to listen to, and will get stuck in your head.  The Talking Heads influence is obvious from the start.  However, if you weren’t sure, I would refer you to the lyrics “Sometimes I tell myself, ‘This is not my beautiful stapler’; Sometimes I tell myself, ‘This is not my beautiful chair’.”  These lyrics are a direct play on the lyrics from the Talking Heads’ song Once In A Lifetime (which you can hear here).

As I said, today’s entry is a short one, but that doesn’t mean I don’t welcome your comments!  Let me know what you think of this song, or the Talking Heads, or any of the random thoughts that come to mind as you listen.  Until next time, stay weird!

Weird Al Wednesdays 11-05-14

Greetings all, and Happy Guy Fawkes Day!  It’s time once again for an installment of Weird Al Wednesdays!  I tried to think of something to fit the day, and I kept going back to one song.  It’s not inherently revolutionary in nature, but I think it works: Smells Like Nirvana.

In case you didn’t know, or couldn’t tell, this is a parody of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit hit of the ’90s.   The song is arguably Nirvana’s biggest hit and most recognizable song.  Nirvana was also one of the most influential grunge bands of the ’90s and still hold a special place in the hearts of many who grew up in that decade.  Smells Like Teen Spirit‘s angst captured the majority of a generation and gave them a new outlet for their teenage angst: loud, rambunctious, raspy music.

Al’s version holds true to the musical style of Nirvana incredibly well.  As I have said before, Al’s band are all fantastically talented musicians.  It also beautifully hits on several key things related to Nirvana.  He pokes fun at the ever-present grunge mechanic of loudly yelling the lyrics, sometimes making them hard to understand.  This is the primary point that Al hits on throughout his song.

The video itself also does a great job at parodying the music video for Smells Like Teen Spirit.  The iconic cheerleaders and mosh-pit dancing are seen throughout Al’s video.  Of course, we see plenty of humorous twists and additions to make it a real Weird Al video.  Some of these include the janitor eating a doughnut out of his mop bucket, and the basketball team knocking one of the band members over.

Overall, this video and song are fantastic snapshots of the era.  It also served to bring Al’s career back onto the up and up after the pretty unsuccessful UHF film.  Al’s album, Off the Deep End, featured cover art similar and parody to Nirvana’s own album with a baby floating in a pool.  Kurt Cobain was even quoted as saying that he knew Nirvana had made it when Weird Al did a parody of one of their songs.  In short, it’s a great parody of one of the most influential songs of its time.

So, tell me your favorite Weird Al song in the comments below, or let me know what you think of this post.  Enjoy you some Al?  I have some more posts about him and his music elsewhere on this blog.  Until then, I hope you enjoyed the post and stay weird out there!