July 21, 2014

I've kind of been ignoring these new Weird Al things because I don't know the underlying music anymore...

... but here's his latest, "First World Problems:



And... it's apparent your grammar's errant:



ADDED: Did you know that Coolio apologized?
When I asked people what I should ask Coolio, the most common question I got, the thing most people seem to want to know: Do you still have beef with Weird Al?

Fuck no, man, I let that go so long ago. Let me say this: I apologized to Weird Al a long time ago and I was wrong. Y’all remember that, everybody out there who reads this shit. Real men and real people should be able to admit when they’re wrong and I was wrong, bro. Come on, who the fuck am I, bro? He did parodies of Michael Jackson, he did parodies of all kinds of people and I took offense to it because I was being cocky and shit and being stupid and I was wrong and I should’ve embraced that shit and went with it. I listened to it a couple years after that and it’s actually funny as shit. It’s one of those things where I made a wrong call and nobody stopped me. That’s one thing I’m still upset about—my management at the time. Somebody should’ve stopped me from making that statement because it was dumb. And I think it hurt me a little bit. It made me seem stupid.
In case you missed it, all those many years ago, here's Weird Al's "Amish Paradise," and here's Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise."

29 comments:

Scott M said...

I, too, had to watch the work being parodied. The only one I know off the cuff was Royals. The entire package of the "Word Crimes" video is excellent. Classic Weird Al combined with exceptional production value and animation. Perfect execution.

"Foil" is just funny and typically Weird Al strange. The rest so far, meh...take em or leave em.

chickelit said...

Yankovich is an apparent lefty which explains why his most recent work isn't as funny.

Saint Croix said...

Word Crimes is a parody of Blurred Lines, the so-called rapey song

Static Ping said...

You don't need to know the underlying music to enjoy Weird Al. There was a time when I was unaware that many of the song parodies I liked were actually parodies. A really good parody can stand alone. Anyway, Mr. Yankovic mixes parodies with original songs. He also dabbles in that hybrid area that is "songs in the style of," this album's entry being "Mission Statement" where business jargon meets Crosby, Stills & Nash (and perhaps Young). It is essentially "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" with the lyrics by someone who is vastly overpaid but wears nice ties.

Static Ping said...

PET THEORY: Generally, if Weird Al Yankovic's parody of a song is better than the original song, the artist is doomed.

VICTIMS:
Coolio ("Amish Paradise")
Chamillionaire ("White & Nerdy")
Greg Kihn ("Lost on Jeopardy!")
Nirvana ("Smells Like Nirvana")
George Harrison ("This Song's Just Six Words Long")
Toni Basil ("Ricky")
Lady Gaga ("Perform This Way")(hopefully)

If my theory holds, this will be the last we have heard of Robin Thicke and Iggy Azalea. Don't see a downside there.

Ann Althouse said...

"Word Crimes is a parody of Blurred Lines, the so-called rapey song."

Oh, I've even heard that a few times. But there's no lasting impression to make the parody feel parodic.

"Yankovich is an apparent lefty which explains why his most recent work isn't as funny."

What's apparently lefty about it? Why is only recent leftism unfunny?

Ann Althouse said...

"You don't need to know the underlying music to enjoy Weird Al. There was a time when I was unaware that many of the song parodies I liked were actually parodies."

I remember exactly where I was when I heard my first Weird Al. I was driving up the FDR drive in NYC and "Eat It" came on. This was back in the early 80s. The fact that it was "Beat It" was a big part of its funniness.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I love the dig at Alanis Morissette.

Jane the Actuary said...

I could watch Foil repeatedly, and White and Nerdy (not a new one, but new-to-me). Word Crimes I enjoyed the first time, but then I rewatched it and was, well, bored, and I was bored all the way through Mission Statement.

In any event, I am quite impressed with Weird Al's longevity. How many other musical acts from my childhood (OK, preteenage-hood) are still around?

Saint Croix said...

Weird Al is almost entirely apolitical. But there have been political attacks on this song. He has to know about it.

So with that in mind, I rather like...

"Everybody shut up."

Also, the song title itself, "Word Crimes," may
in fact be a brilliant snarky criticism of the people who are attacking the original artist.

jr565 said...

I think First World Problems is actually an original song, not based on any existing melody. But it sounds like he's emulating the Pixies. Especially in the verse. The opening bass line sounds a lot like the opening to Debaser, and he does some of Black RPFrancis's vocal mannerisms. The chorus sounds more new wave/Devoish

Ann Althouse said...

"But it sounds like he's emulating the Pixies."

Yeah, I saw in an article that it's "Pixies-style."

I guess that's a way to keep all the royalties.

Steven said...

Static Ping: I'd suggest it's too bad we ever heard of Robin Thicke in the first place, but then we wouldn't have ever had "Word Crimes". It's a conundrum, that one.

Static Ping said...

"I remember exactly where I was when I heard my first Weird Al. I was driving up the FDR drive in NYC and "Eat It" came on."

Heh. I think I heard "Eat It" before I heard "Beat It."

"Beat It" was his biggest hit for the longest time, reaching #12 on the pop charts in 1984, so no surprise it was your first experience. (It was a #1 in Australia somehow.) "White & Nerdy" eventually surpassed it, going to #9 in 2006.

"I guess that's a way to keep all the royalties."

Yep. See the link:

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Yankovic-Weird-Al-2361/copyrights.htm

In his defense, "Dare to Be Stupid" is probably the greatest Devo song ever done. I don't mean Devo style song either. Weird Al arguably out-Devo'd Devo.

Static Ping said...

(Obviously "Eat It" was Al's biggest hit for a long time. I regret the error.)

Eustace Chilke said...

Weird Al is a super genius. White and Nerdy. I rest my case.

Birches said...

Some editors are actually all offended by Word Crimes. Apparently, we should treat the grammatically challenged with tolerance and respect, not snarky parody.

Anonymous said...

"Yankovich is an apparent lefty which explains why his most recent work isn't as funny."

I'm pretty sure he is a conservative Christian Republican.

Anonymous said...

Althouse once thought me akin to Weird Al. Still don't know what to make of that.I think betamax -- in real life -- is probably more like Weird Al than like Richard Dreyfuss.

Bob Ellison said...

Weird Al is wonderful.

Jimmy Fallon's Neil-Young-style version of "Whip My Hair Back and Forth" is similarly wonderful.

Tim said...

"Another one rides the bus"

SeanF said...

"Weird Al" does not need to pay royalties to the artists he parodies - Parody is a constitutionally-protected "fair use" exception to copyright law. See Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.

He doesn't even need to get permission from the original artist, he only declines to release parodies without their permission because of his own sense of what's proper behavior.

He didn't do a video for "Couch Potato" because Eminem okayed the song but wouldn't okay a video. He's never parodied a Prince song because Prince won't okay it. But legally, he could if he wanted to.

Rumpletweezer said...

How can someone who sees the similarity between the theme for the Beverly Hillbillies and "Money for Nothing" not be a genius?

Anonymous said...

From the post I linked above (I even removed most of the title case!)-- I still think this was valid for further exploration (but no doubt run ashore again):

I will posit that the True Desired Male Triptych is that of "Jaws": Dreyfuss, Roy Schneider or Robert Shaw. Single Obsessed Scientist, Family Man Cop, Hemingway Hero. On the Little Boat of Fate -- when the Big Shark of Consequence swims toward us -- we become One of the Three.

I will note that there is the Ineffectual Undesired Male Fourth -- Murray Hamilton as the Mayor -- but he is nt on the Boat. The Fourth Male NEVER gets on the Boat. No one would claim to be him. He will always have plausible deniability of Responsibility and Manliness.

TMink said...

Weird Al is on a roll. This stuff is great, it sounds super, and is fun through headphones. I am gonna buy it today.

Trey

Tibore said...

Coolio changed his mind? Oh... Well, good for him. Yeah, that reaction was uptight; Weird Al skewered everyone's music. Good that he got more relaxed about it.

Anthony said...

I'm glad you posted that. I've been dismissing Coolio as a jerk for several years because of that, but I see he's pretty okay. Good for him.

But Behind the Music needs to add that to their show on Weird Al.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Weird Al's polka medleys are also a thing of beauty....

Thomas W said...

Wierd Al once explained in an interview that he got permission in order to do a parody of good songs. When asked about cases where he didn't get permission he replied "they aren't good songs".

Or something to that effect, I probably heard it back in the 80s.