Important Al Interviews/reviews.

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Important Al Interviews/reviews.

Post by scottidog »

In lieu of a whole new forum, how about just a sticky here?

PM a mod with the link you think should be added. And if you want to discuss the interview, go to General Chat to start a discussion. And you might also want to let a Mod know that you did start a discussion. We can put the discussion link here too, so everything is easier to locate.

Mods, since stories tend to disappear, how about we paste the interview here too?

Remember, this is for posterity.

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Post by scottidog »

Moving a few of the most important and interesting ones here.

Weird Al: Angry As He Wants To Be

Posted on Wed, Aug. 13, 2003

Weird as he wants to be

Al Yankovic's an angry, hurting man -- or is he?

By Todd Camp

Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Weird Al" Yankovic. Funny guy. Brilliant social satirist. Tortured genius. Behind the laughter, beyond the silly songs and beneath the long, dark, curly locks, Yankovic is more than pop music's undisputed prince of parodies. He's a complicated man with real desires, genuine emotions and, uh, a talent for playing the accordion.

Tonight, Yankovic enters the local history books as the final touring act to perform in Dallas' Bronco Bowl before it's razed to make way for a home-improvement megastore. Cruel irony considering the second track on Yankovic's latest album, Poodle Hat, is a do-it-yourself junkie's love story extolling the virtues of the opening of a new Hardware Store.

But despite the bittersweet circumstances, Yankovic fans can count on experiencing the kind of high-energy, multimedia, family-friendly entertainment synonymous with the entertainer we've affectionately come to know simply as "Weird Al." But what of the man behind the mocking? Is Al really as "weird" as he would have us all believe?

"The real Al's probably not quite as weird as people would want to believe," Yankovic says, seeming to choke back tears while parroting my rhetorical question.

I worked hard at peeling back the layers, getting inch by inch closer to "the real Al," starting with his first passion: his music. Much has been made of rapper Eminem's refusal to allow Yankovic to create a music video for Couch Potato, a sendup of Eminem's Oscar-winning song Lose Yourself. When I bring it up, it's clear this is a wound that has yet to heal.

"I'm not quite sure what [Eminem's] logic was there," Yankovic says. "From what I was able to gather, he felt that a Weird Al video would somehow detract from his legacy or make people view him less seriously or somehow damage his street cred, I'm not sure. It's unfortunate . . . it was going to be an amazing video."

But alongside the bubbling rage simmering just beneath Yankovic's Hawaiian-print shirt is some satisfaction at the reaction he's received from other artists satirized on Poodle Hat.

"Nelly was the most excited about it," Yankovic says. He turned Nelly's Hot in Herre into an anthem about neglected garbage called Trash Day ("There's something rotten here . . ."). "In fact, all the Nelly wardrobe that we wear onstage was given to us by Nelly, so he was apparently thrilled, and we're thrilled that he's thrilled."

Grammy-nominated songstress Avril Lavigne is lampooned in A Complicated Song, a ditty as complicated as its title. Lavigne was more than willing to let Al do his thing -- even though she'd never heard of him.

"Apparently she had no idea who I was when we approached her, so we had to give her the boxed set and educate her," he says. "But she's Canadian, so . . ."

The Billy Joel classic Piano Man is transformed into the tale of Peter Parker, better known as the web-slinging Spider-Man, but a crucial early misstep in young Yankovic's career could have spelled doom for the beleaguered summer movie sendup.

"I did a parody when I was in college called It's Still Billy Joel to Me off of his It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to Me, which was a bit of a put-down song actually. I never thought that Billy Joel would ever hear it, but apparently he did and I think he was put off by it," Yankovic says. "But this was like 1980, so 23 years later, thankfully, he chose to forgive and forget."

Making fun of has-been musicians aside, I still didn't feel like I'd gotten to the heart of Al's inner pain, so I broached the subject of relationships, referencing his many angry ballads over the years about love gone wrong.

"My songs aren't all autobiographical. I very rarely will, for example, stab somebody in the face," Yankovic says, referring to the Poodle Hat track Why Does This Always Happen to Me. "Some of it is drawn from experience. I mean, my love life up till a few years ago was pretty dysfunctional, so I suppose I would draw upon that to get some ideas for my songs, but I wouldn't read too much into it. I'm not like opening up and revealing the real Al through these songs."

Al Yankovic.

A tough nut to crack, a clown who's crying on the inside, but most of all . . . weird.

Al talks tough

Sure, we're all familiar with Al Yankovic's razor-sharp ruminations on crucial issues like junk food, hamster rights and bad television, but what of his thoughts on the issues of the day? Here's more insight on Al's serious side:

On the Episcopal Church's ratification of the first openly gay bishop . . .

"I just think there's not enough gay bishops. I think we need a whole plethora of gay bishops."

On President Bush and the elusive weapons of mass destruction . . .

"I would be happy to give you my thoughts on Bush and exactly how I feel about the whole situation, except I don't want to get audited this year, thank you."

On sending troops to Liberia . . .

"Can't we all just hold hands and sing a joyful song? Why does everybody have to be fightin', be so mean all the time. Everybody's so fussy. Why does everybody have to be so cranky?"

On Kobe Bryant . . .

"Well, he kind of messed up, didn't he there? That's unfortunate for everybody, and somehow, I don't think that buying that $4 million ring is gonna smooth things over."

On the recall of California Gov. Gray Davis . . .

"I thought the reason they elected him was because they were gonna give him a shot for, like, the entire term. It's not like he did anything like send our troops to war without a reason."

On the whole Ben and J-Lo thing . . .

"I guess they've agreed never to do another romantic movie with each other anymore. They'll try to just keep that in the tabloids where it belongs."

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Post by scottidog »

The wonderful Washington Post Story

'Weird Al': Confessions of a Parody Animal

By David Segal

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, August 17, 2003; Page N01

The story of rock music is filled with seismic events that seemed unremarkable in the moment but changed the world later on. This isn't one of them:

It's 1965. A door-to-door salesman knocks at the home of Nick and Mary Yankovic in the Southern California town of Lynwood. A local music school is offering lessons in accordion and guitar, the salesman explains. Is there a child in the house who would like to learn one or the other?

There is, says Mrs. Yankovic. And then she makes a decision that will add great heaps of foolishness to the lives of countless eighth-graders, a choice that quietly ensures that hundreds of one-liners will be flogged in song for all time.

Mrs. Yankovic goes for the accordion.

"My mother decided she wanted me to be a chick magnet in high school," says "Weird Al" Yankovic, chuckling. "I remember my first lesson was the day before my seventh birthday. Seven through 10, once a week."

In the years since that not-so-fateful day, Weird Al has released 11 studio albums and all but cornered the tiny market in satirical pop. Starting with his 1979 parody of the Knack's "My Sharona" -- which he reworked into a tribute to lunch meat called "My Bologna" -- Weird Al has been hot-wiring Top 40 melodies and driving them straight at all that is ridiculous. His parodies are spitballs set to music -- juvenile but harmless, a weapon of mass distraction seized upon by successive waves of junior high schoolers.

"He's the Beatles of my little genre," says Dr. Demento, host of a long-running syndicated radio show featuring comedy and novelty records and the man who gave Yankovic his first handful of breaks. "He's certainly shown more talent over a longer period of time than anyone in recent memory. He's my most requested artist by a long shot."

Touring to promote his latest album, "Poodle Hat," Weird Al swung by the offices of The Washington Post recently before a show at Kings Dominion. He came to explain the origins of his consistently frivolous canon, which he will do by discussing his 10 favorite songs as they play on a boombox (he sent the list over earlier in the week). The question at hand: Musically speaking, where does a guy who writes songs like "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi" and "Harvey the Wonder Hamster" come from?

Admittedly, many readers won't care. To some, Yankovic is the Carrot Top of music, a joke more than a jokester. When David Letterman read a list of Canada's Top 10 grievances with the United States, one of the entries read: "Two words: Weird Al."

But even if you consider him a nerdy goof -- like the Three Stooges, people tend to find him either inspired or idiotic -- you can marvel at Yankovic's amazing endurance. With three gold and five platinum albums to his name, he's outlasted many of the acts he's satirized. That longevity stems, in part, from the freedom to shop for raw material from the top of the charts, unallied to any genre; he can abandon hair-metal or grunge or Michael Jackson as soon as fans do. And there's never a short supply of sanctimony or preening self-absorption in pop. Yankovic is the only artist out there with the talent, nerve or shamelessness to point out how absurd all of this gravity is.

"If there's any point, it's that rock music takes itself too seriously," Yankovic says. "I've always thought that rock music should be fun, and if I have any kind of mission it's to prick that bubble of pretentiousness a little bit."

That's about as sober as things get with Weird Al. Dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and glasses-free after Lasik surgery, he laughs a lot during this 60-minute interview and seems like a perfectly adjusted 43-year-old guy who just happens to revel in the moronic. He got married in 2001 and has a baby daughter, Nina, around whom he has scheduled the current tour, planning four-day breaks every couple of weeks so he can return to Los Angeles and dote on her. In short, Al is profoundly un-weird, unless you consider it odd that he doesn't drink, smoke or have any vices more wicked than rich desserts.

Blame his parents for that. According to Yankovic, they were so intent on cordoning off young Al from anything even PG-rated that he didn't hear rock radio until he was 10. Before that, he made do with the few records in his parents' collection, including a novelty track by Johnny Cash called "Boa Constrictor." It's the first-person tale of a man being slowly "swallared" by a snake. ("Oh my, he's up to my thigh.") The tune was written by Shel Silverstein, better known for penning the great Cash hit "A Boy Named Sue."

"[The singer] gets eaten by a boa, and at the end you hear the snake belch," he recalls. "To my 5-year-old brain, this was hilarious. The snake was belching on the record!"

Through television, he discovered "Classical Gas," which was featured on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" and composed by one of the show's writers, Mason Williams. A classical-guitar instrumental that is a bit of Segovia and a touch of Muzak, the song rose to No. 1 in 1968 and won two Grammys for Williams. It also launched Yankovic's lifelong affection for instrumentals.

"It seems kind of ironic for a guy whose career was kind of made on lyrics, but I love that," he says as "Gas" plays. It was one of the first songs he taught himself on the accordion, and it taught a lesson he never forgot: When you translate popular tunes to a wheeze box strapped on your chest, laughter ensues. That point was clearer still years later when he learned "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding," the spooky opening track from Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." John was the first pop star whom Yankovic swooned for, and he lined his bedroom walls with Elton posters and photos as he taught himself all 17 songs on "Road."

"I was a huge fan and it was just something I wanted to do, but it also helped me figure out how to write rock songs," he says as the opening minute of "Funeral" plays. When he later went to college, "this was a big hit in the dorm," he says of his version. "I'd play and my friend would be on bongos."

Well before all this dorm room hilarity, Yankovic came across the "Dr. Demento Show," a life-altering discovery. The doctor -- Barret Hansen, as he was known at birth -- was a former roadie and writer who'd found his destiny spinning humorous tunes on a weekly radio show in Los Angeles. He included masters of the craft, like Spike Jones and Stan Freberg, plus scads of artists known only to the underworld of novelty pop, like Jef Jaisun, the self-described journeyman electrician who wrote "Friendly Neighborhood Narco Agent."

"I immediately loved it and my mom hated it," Yankovic says of the program. "Every now and then you'd hear something that was a little off-color, like 'Davy's Dinghy' or 'Bounce Your Boobies,' songs with innuendo, and my mom heard some of that stuff and she forbid me from ever listening to Dr. Demento again. This was catastrophic in my young life. I had to listen to him in secret. I had to go to bed early on Sunday night with the clock radio in bed with me, and pull the covers over my head."

That's where young Al discovered bands like the Trashmen, a Minneapolis group that went to No. 1 in 1964 with "Surfin' Bird," a peppy surf tune that featured a then 17-year-old vocalist who caterwauls "bird bird bird, bird is the word" over and over for most of the track.

"I thought, this is so repetitive and moronic that it's just genius," Yankovic says, as the tune wades into its memorably psychedelic bridge.

Through Demento he found Fun With Animals, a short-lived and long-forgotten group with just two singles to its name. "I'm Going to Pasadena" is Yankovic's favorite of the bunch, a 12-bar blues that is seemingly sung by a robot trying to imitate a lounge singer. The lyrics depict one non-event after another, capped by a chorus that is the height of pointlessness: "I'm going down to Pasadena just to see what's going on," drones lead Animal Richard Haxton. "If there's nothing going on in Pasadena, I'm going to turn around and come back home."

"It's this great song about nothing," says Yankovic, chortling at the second verse. "It's a new wave blues song about ennui, basically."

The show also introduced him to the Kinks' "Ducks on the Wall," a track from one of the Brit-pop band's least successful concept albums, "The Kinks Present a Soap Opera." It's the somewhat muddled story of a nebbish who dreams of rock stardom, and is best remembered now for a few moments of inspired lunacy, "Ducks" among them.

"I love it because it's about something really random," Yankovic says. "A guy who is just driven crazy by the fact that this girlfriend or wife has ducks on the wall. It was so random I thought it was brilliant.

"I'm always amazed people don't see the Kinks in the same pantheon as the Stones or the Who and the Beatles. They're right up there for me. Ray Davies is one of the greatest songwriters of all time."

By the time he was 16, Yankovic was writing his own tunes, recorded on 39-cent cassettes, and submitting them to the Dr. Demento show. The first was a mindless ditty about driving around in the family's Plymouth Belvedere. The doctor encouraged him in a letter to find higher-quality tapes, but played and praised the song. Others followed.

"I didn't actually have a conversation with him till a year later," Demento recalls. "I invited him to the station for a brief interview, the first of many times we spoke on the air. He showed up in a coat and tie."

What struck the doctor was the youngster's grasp of how good comedy tunes are constructed, which is more complicated than you might think. Anyone can write a funny verse or two and a giggle-worthy chorus, he says, but few realize that for a tune to work it must get funnier as it goes along.

"It takes something special for a song to build and work through three or four verses," Demento says. "And Al knew that."

Yankovic was smitten with all the airplay, but he never slighted his studies. He graduated at the top of his class at age 16, then headed to California Polytechnic University to study architecture. The subject, he realized after a couple of years of classes, didn't interest him, and he spent much of his time at the college radio station, putting together his own Demento-style program.

In the comedy section of the racks he discovered the Bonzo Dog Band, a group that will be familiar to anyone who's seen the Beatles' made-for-TV movie, "Magical Mystery Tour." (The Bonzos show up to play a typically dadaist number called "Deathcab for Cutie.") Lead Bonzo Neil Innes would later star in and write music and lyrics for "All You Need Is Money," a mockumentary based on the career of the Beatles, rechristened "the Rutles" in the movie. (Innes plays the John Lennon character.) Yankovic says he could have picked any number of Bonzo cuts but goes with "Canyons of Your Mind," a doo-wop song with bizarre lyrics and one of the most amateurish guitar solos in history.

"Legend has it that the solo is played by someone who has no idea how to play the instrument," he says. At one point, there's some primal screaming followed immediately by the tender interruption of someone saying, "My darling."

"That's my favorite part," Yankovic says. "I love abrupt transitions."

It was during this period that "My Bologna" was recorded in the only place where there was some natural reverb: a bathroom. Yankovic somehow managed to get the tune into the hands of the Knack's lead singer, Doug Fieger, who loved the parody and urged Capitol to release it as a single. The label agreed and bought the master for a measly $500. It was hardly a smash; Yankovic would later buy it back for double that sum so that he could put it on his fourth album.

His next recording fared better. Visiting the Demento show one Sunday night, he clanged through "Another One Rides the Bus," a remake of Queen's then-huge "Another One Bites the Dust." It was a live, off-the-cuff performance, with a friend banging on his accordion case to add percussion. Response to the tune was instantaneous, and by the time Yankovic drove back to college, he was getting requests from all over the world for copies.

"It was insane. I'd get out of class and my roommate would say, 'Uh, you got a call from a radio station in New Zealand,' " he remembers. "It was bootlegged all over the world."

A label called TK Records released it as a single and the song might have yielded a small fortune, but TK went bankrupt a week later. Yankovic soon graduated from Cal Poly with a degree he didn't want to use, a small cult following and a strong hunch that music was his future. He moved to L.A. and tried to wheedle and joke his way into the business.

"Right after college, in the early '80s, those were the scary years," he says. "I don't think I was freaked out at the time because I'm a happy person and I don't often get too worried, but looking back, wow. I applied for work anywhere. I'd gotten straight A's, I was a valedictorian, most likely to succeed, and I'm applying for janitorial work, at the phone company, anywhere to pay for my mac and cheese."

Yankovic lucked into a mailroom job at Westwood One, a company that provides news and entertainment programming to radio stations. He was, to put it mildly, overqualified for the work -- which included taking out the garbage -- and it paid minimum wage, but on a good day someone like Frank Zappa would show up for an interview. If he wasn't actually part of the music industry, he was at least near it.

"I didn't quit that job until I opened Billboard magazine one day and my name was in the Hot 100 charts," he says. A tiny independent named Scottie Bros. Records had finally signed him to a deal, and though his self-titled debut was completely ignored, the second album, "In 3-D," contained a parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" called "Eat It." Yankovic made a video for the song, imitating Jackson's strut through a pool hall. The video made it into heavy rotation at MTV. Suddenly, Weird Al was pop's in-house comic.

"It was a little disconcerting," he recalls, "because I'd been this anonymous drone my whole life and all of a sudden I was the 'Eat It' guy."

His own taste in music, meanwhile, never wavered from the daft. By this time he'd found Tonio K., a Californian born Steve Kirkorian and an ironist who wrote hilariously embittered songs about women who'd wronged him. One of the bitterest is "H-A-T-R-E-D," which starts with deceptively mellow strumming, then segues into Johnny Rotten punk with lyrics that eviscerate a callous ex-girlfriend.

"The liner notes on the album this comes from are amazing," he says. "Pages and pages explaining the philosophy behind the music. He's kind of a thinking man's punk."

Despite his own good nature, artists who can convincingly play jerks have always appealed to Yankovic. In 1983, Yankovic heard a Randy Newman track called "My Life Is Good," a spectacularly smug testimonial of a self-satisfied L.A. louse. The song opens with the narrator recounting a trip to Mexico, where he and his wife found a lovely young lady who now handles all the household dirty work: "She drives the kids to school / She does the laundry, too / She wrote this song for me." He calls his son's teacher an "old bag" and boasts about hanging out with Bruce Springsteen, who is visiting the city. "Rand, I'm tired," he quotes Bruce saying. "How would you like to be the Boss for a while?"

"There's a meanness and obliviousness in the way he delivers these lines," Yankovic says. "The obnoxiousness of the character, the way Randy throws himself into the role. Whenever I hear a song I think is brilliant, it literally gives me chills. And the first couple times I heard this song, I got chills."

"My Life Is Good" is far edgier than anything you'll find on a Yankovic album. As he readily acknowledges, mean doesn't come naturally to him.

"I get taken to task a lot by writers who think I don't have any bite," he says. "But it's a personal taste thing. I think it's harder to be funny without having it be at someone's expense. I certainly don't have anything against that kind of comedy. It's just a taste thing for me. I prefer to work relatively clean. It's more or less family-friendly."

Families, as it turns out, are a big part of Yankovic's audience, at least the audience that shows up for his Kings Dominion show later the same day. It's two hours of costume changes, polka medleys and video snippets, many of which poke fun at Yankovic himself. He dresses in a jumpsuit to parody Nelly's "Hot in Herre" and runs through quickie parodies of bands like Limp Bizkit, the Hives and the White Stripes. He's tireless, and the crowd -- especially the kids -- laughs right on cue.

The highlight is the single from the new album, a parody of Eminem's "Lose Yourself," which Yankovic redid as a tribute to indolence called "Couch Potato." Recording the tune led to a minor fiasco. As with every parody he writes, Weird Al sought permission to record his version, a green light that isn't strictly necessary; courts have consistently given parody artists plenty of latitude. But Yankovic, from his nice-guy inclinations as much as anything, won't record a song without a go-ahead from the star who made it famous. Eminem assented to the song, but denied permission to record a video. Without chum to toss to MTV, "Poodle Hat" will probably sell half of what it otherwise would, Yankovic predicts.

"Eminem felt that a Weird Al video would detract from his legacy, or [from the] view of him as a serious hip-hop artist," he says. This from a rapper who has viciously torn into Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, to name just two?

"Therein lies the irony, yes."

As career bumps go, this one is pretty mild. Weird Al's nearly 25-year reign as pop's joker at large has been notably low on drama. When VH1 filmed a "Behind the Music" about him, the producers had to reach for the requisite "bottoming out" moment. The best they could do was leave the impression that Yankovic was ultimately a lonely guy because he hadn't married.

"They keep playing that special over and over," he notes, "and my wife says, 'Can you please get them to change that?' "

His wife, Suzanne, inspired the most recent song on his list of favorites: Ben Folds's "The Luckiest," from the 2001 album "Rockin' the Suburbs." It's a deeply emotional piano ballad that pays exalted tribute to a woman. The music at moments is sentimental enough for a figure skating routine, but the lyrics are a long way from Celine Dion territory. In one verse, Folds idly wonders: What if I'd been born 50 years earlier and saw you riding by on your bike? Would I have known what you could have meant to me?

"This gets my vote for the best love song ever written," Yankovic says. "It just doesn't fall into any cliches. It's evocative of what it's like to truly be in love. It really has an effect on me. I've probably only heard it four times in my life, because every time I hear it I get all weepy."

With that, Weird Al listens to a bar or two and gets a bit choked up. "It's bizarre the effect the song has on me," he says, now laughing.

His wife and child are two reasons that Yankovic now resides in what he calls "a nice house."

He used to live so modestly that reporters who visited him for interviews thought he was putting them on, and would ask to see where he really lived. He's naturally frugal, he says, but in the back of his mind, he has long worried that the Weird Al gig would abruptly end and he'd end up back in a mailroom.

It's finally dawning on him that he has the closest thing to tenure that's available in the tumultuous pop realm. Trends come and go, but the asinine abides.

"You know how in 'Spinal Tap' there's a line about the thin line between clever and stupid?" he says. "I walk that line every day."

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

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Post by scottidog »

From CrapMag

"Weird Al" Yankovic Interview

Posted by: mattt on Jul 17, 2003 - 11:37 AM

All because VH-1 makes a Behind the Music about you, it doesn’t mean you are DEAD. Weird Al Yankovic is back! But, he never really went away. He’s just been busy touring, directing, producing, breeding, and recording a new album. So where is the trademark video to celebrate this new album’s release? Not this time, kids. Read on to find out who to send hate mail to.

Mattt- So it’s been four long, cold, lonely years since a new Al album. We’re going to have to start calling you Al Kubrick. How much time do you spend on your albums… I mean, do you listen to music on the radio and just wait for that perfect headline single to come out and then you go... THAT’S THE SONG! I need to put out an album... or how exactly do you decide when it’s time?

Al- Usually the thing that delays my album releases is the fact that I have to wait until a reasonably significant pop culture phenomenon occurs. But the main reason that it’s been four years since my last album is that for three of those years I was renegotiating my record contract, and I didn’t think it was a good idea to put out new product while the terms of the deal were still being settled. But it’s not like I wasn’t doing anything during those four years… the first year and a half I was on the road touring in support of my previous album, Running With Scissors… then I did a few side projects like directing a music video for my friend Ben Folds… and I co-produced the DVD release of my movie UHF which came out last summer… and I fell in love, got married and reproduced. So it’s not like I didn’t have anything to do for the last four years. Plus, I wanted to wait until my fans were running wild in the streets, tearing their clothes and clawing their eyes out and wailing in agony, “Where’s the new Weird Al album?” Of course, the album itself took a long time to write and produce. Even though I’m doing these stupid songs, I approach each album like I’m doing Dark Side Of The Moon or something. I get pretty obsessive about it. And believe it or not, this is the first time that I’ve used Pro Tools on an album. It didn’t really speed up the process at all – it just allowed me to get a whole lot more anal about it.

Mattt-"Musical Mike" Kieffer - the man, the myth, the legend. Little to nothing is known about this great man. I… being one of the biggest manualism fans that walked the planet... was wondering if you could share anything at all about this guy to us. We know the first song he did with you was "Another One Rides The Bus." That was back in 1980. Is that when you first met him? How did you guys meet?

Al- I probably met him sometime in the late 70’s, when I was a teenager. Mike is a serious record collector and he was a regular on the Dr. Demento Show – he would be the guy answering the request line phones, and whenever Dr. D. announced “The Doctor is in!,” he’d be making most of the crazy noises in the background. And of course, his most famous talent was making those flatulent noises with his hands. I haven’t used him on every album, but he’s definitely been a staple of the Weird Al oeuvre. Here’s an interesting bit of trivia – in the studio, we always use two microphones to record him because one side of his hands provides the lower bass tones and the other side produces the squeaky treble tones. So we’ve got some serious stereo hi-fi manualism going on.

Mattt- When I was at your house recording the Orgazmo Commentary I noticed your impressive lunch box collection... All of which seemed to be at least 10 years old… all except I believe three Buffy The Vampire Slayer lunch boxes?

Al- That would be my wife’s lunch box collection, so I can’t take credit for that. Also, she worked at Fox for 17 years, so that may partially explain the Buffy lunch boxes, I’m not sure.

Mattt- Are you a fan of show? Joss Whedon is going to be a future interview subject for CrapTV, got any questions for him?

Al- Uh… sure. In the field of microscopy, what is the significance of Avogadro’s number, and what practical applications, if any, does it have in the world of molecular biology?

Mattt- What’s your favorite song on the Poodle Hat album and why?

Al- I’m always a little more partial to the original songs on my albums – I’d probably have to say either “Hardware Store” or my 9-minute Zappa tribute “Genius In France.” I really like the way the vocal arrangement came out on “Hardware Store,” and I’m a long-time Zappa fan, so “Genius In France” was really a labor of love as well as an incredible amount of work - it took three days just to mix it. And unfortunately, even though they’re my favorites, they’re both a little too difficult to pull off live in concert without using a lot of pre-recorded vocal tracks, which we try not to do.

Mattt- Since you were denied by Eminem, any other song from this album you want to do a video for?

Al- It doesn’t look like there’s going to be a real video for this album. We were in pre-production on the Eminem video parody when he pulled the plug, and unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to switch gears and start on another video – I also had to write and direct my “AL-TV” special for VH1 and gear up for a 3-month national concert tour, and now I’m on the road. And by the time I get off the road, it may not make sense commercially to be releasing a new video. I did do a couple makeshift music videos for “AL-TV” (including one for the song “Bob” which was a direct rip-off of the “Subterranean Homesick Blues” performance from Don’t Look Back) but those were intended to be exclusive to the VH1 special.

Mattt- What would the Eminem spoof video have been like? Would it have been fat guy on the couch flipping through channels intercut with all the shows you reference? Or were you going to do a UHF type video where you were spoofing each of those shows? All we can do is imagine what this video would have been like...

Al- Yes, close your eyes and just imagine… I don’t want to give away any specific gags that I would have done, but you’re right to some extent – there would have been shots of me on a couch watching TV (looking a lot like Eminem did in 8 Mile) – intercut with vignettes and parodies of most of the TV shows mentioned in the song. It was going to be extremely ambitious – lots of sets, wardrobe, prosthetic makeup… kind of a drag that it’s never going to see the light of day.

Mattt- But I guess I could understand where Em is coming from to a certain degree… I mean, where the hell is Coolio now?

Al- Oh, he’s doing okay. Wasn’t he on Celebrity Fear Factor not too long ago?

Mattt- Although if I had my choice in the matter… I would say let's see the video!

Al- Well, my friend, if you ruled the world, what a beautiful world it would be.

Mattt- How many times do people come up to you and say hey, you should do a spoof of this song and then they give you some lame example like “Oops I Farted Again” or whatever?

Al- That’s the curse of being Weird Al. It seems like everybody in the world has some stupid parody idea that they’ve got locked away in the back of their brain in the off chance that they’ll be sitting next to me on an airplane or standing in line behind me at the supermarket. So of course they just have to tell me about this great idea they’ve got for a take-off on Thriller. “You could call it ‘Phyllis Diller,’ wouldn’t that be great??” I don’t know exactly how many times that’s happened in my life so far, but I would estimate a kajillion.

Mattt- Really, that many? Sweet! Let me be a person #XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX to add to that list. I always thought you should spoof White Zombie’s "More Human Than Human" and do it as "Dustin Hoffman Played The Rainman." If you listen to that song... it just reeks of spoof for that set up... down to the "Yeah... Yeah.... Uh-oh... Yeah…"

Al- Um… okay...

Mattt- What's the worst idea you ever gotten from somebody?

Al- Well, off the top of my head, I’d say—

Mattt- ...and please don't say “Dustin Hoffman Played The Rainman.”

Al- Oh. Well… then I’ve got nothin’.

Mattt- I was a huge dork in high school… unquestionably I guess I still am, and I loved my Weird Al records. It's crazy to think about how your love songs… are definitely funny in nature… but even so I kind of bonded with them seriously… I mean, obviously I never contemplated sticking a red hot cactus in my nose... or shaving someone’s cat... or shoving an ice pick under my toe nail... But love is painful and you really captured that pain in those songs. Now that you’re married, I guess we won’t be hearing any more love torture songs like “Melanie” and “One More Minute,” will we? Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to hear that you found love. I actually got to meet your wife at your house that day... and I guess I don't need to tell you she is a very, very, very pretty woman.

Al- Well, thank you, I’m quite fond of her myself. As far as the tortured love songs go, there’s no reason why I couldn’t still write those. My songs are not all autobiographical. There’s a song on the new album where I sing about stabbing somebody in the face, and I haven’t done that for years.

Mattt- Have you heard Daffy Mel Noodle Yank's "I Loathe L.A."?

Al- Noodle Yank? I thought it was Yinkleyankle. Anyway, yeah, I was lucky enough to see a VHS copy of Bob & David’s unreleased but very funny movie Run Ronnie Run (which is where “I Loathe L.A.” is heard on a car radio). I first saw Bob Odenkirk do the character on Mr. Show and thought it was hilarious. At the same time it made me wince because he totally nailed everything that was irritating about me.

Mattt- A good friend of CrapTV's, Tommy G (who directed and co-wrote a lot of the Tenacious D HBO episodes) once told me a story about a Tenacious D concert where he announced the D before they got on stage. I can't remember what the announcement was, but it kind of slam on you… and it turned out that Bob Odenkirk wrote the announcement as a joke knowing that you were in the audience that night. It went something like this… "I'm the afternoon drive DJ of the All Tenacious D station. We used to be an all Weird Al station but it didn't work out." It was at the Wiltern Theater. Tommy did not... so now he thinks you’re pissed at him. He asks for your forgiveness… and I is not even 100% sure you were there... or if Bob was just messing with him? Were you?

Al- I was at the Tenacious D show at the Wiltern, which I loved… I honestly don’t remember hearing the Weird Al joke on stage, though. In any case, I certainly wouldn’t have been offended by it. I mean, come on… how lame would it be if I could dish it out, but couldn’t take it? Who do you think I am, Eminem?

Mattt- You were so graciously involved with our Wild Commentary Track on the Orgazmo DVD. I know that you are pretty much always at Trey Parker’s Valentine Party every year and Matt and Trey always speak highly of you. Can you tell us the story on how you guys met?

Al- Boy, that was a while ago, I’m not really sure. I think Matt walked into the record store where my girlfriend-at-the-time was working, and they started talking about me, and somehow that turned into an invitation for me to have a personally guided tour through the South Park offices. I’m a huge fan of Matt & Trey’s work – they’re brilliant, hilarious, and on top of that, just really cool guys.

Mattt- While going through all the materials on Orgazmo, I found an older version of the script… and it's funny because the original opening goes like this:

SPZAT!!! The TITLE SONG begins as sexy women, seen only in silhouette move seductively on the screen. Their gorgeous bodies, some colored blue, some red, dance through frame -- some holding guns, other doing karate. This opening resembles that of any number of 007 movies. Between the naked silhouetted women and the cheezy theme song that's playing, it's exactly like a James Bond opener. Except that -- as the title goes on, the naked women are not only posing seductively and aiming guns, they are playing basketball, bowling and playing lawn darts. As the parody continues, fat women, gawky women, old women with walkers are also silhouetted.

Mattt- This opening is very similar to your Spy Hard opening - great minds think alike? Or was Trey just ripping you off? It's funny because the script is dated 1996. Which I believe is the same year Spy Hard came out?

Al- Well, in terms of a parody like that, there’s really only so many variations on a theme you can do, so it’s only natural that there would have been some similarities. But I should say for the record that a number of the ideas in my Spy Hard opening – notably the gags involving the silhouettes of “plus-sized” swimmers - were suggested to me by Disney executives. I found out after the fact that some of these same gags were also in an early draft of one of the Naked Gun films, so I felt really bad about inadvertently ripping off David Zucker.

Mattt- My favorite Weird Al songs are the ones that don't necessarily spoof any other song. They may sound similar but not a full on spoof... "Since You've Been Gone," "Dare To Be Stupid," "Good Old Days" and on the Poodle Hat album "Bob." You ever think you will release an album that is nothing but 100% Al originals? Call it ALbum or something... That’s what I have been waiting for. I mean, I know the spoofs sell the albums and that’s your shtick. But I don’t think you need it anymore.

Al- Thanks, but my record label would probably disagree with you. The hardcore fans love the originals, but the population at large still seems to buy my albums based on the parodies, so I don’t think I’ll ever be able to phase them out. In fact, my new record contract specifies that I need to have a certain number of parodies on every album. It’s okay, though – I really do enjoy doing the parodies, it’s just that the originals usually get overlooked. To this day, I still get idiot interviewers saying, “You’ve been doing the parodies all these years… ever think about writing your own songs?”

Mattt- Haunted Lighthouse - can you tell us anything about it? The first movie you have done since Desperation Blvd. (which I finally saw the other day, by the way. It was great! I wish more people could have seen it!)

Al- Haunted Lighthouse is an attraction that just opened at several Sea World and Busch Gardens theme parks around the country. It’s billed as a “4D” movie, which means that it’s a 3D movie, plus you get water sprayed on you. Who knew that water was the fourth dimension? Anyway, the movie was directed by Joe Dante, plus Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson and Michael McKean are also in it, so I was in great company. I appear at the very end in a surprise cameo as a waiter in a pirate-themed restaurant. So don’t tell anybody… it’s a surprise!

Mattt- The UHF DVD did amazingly well... sounds like it did better than when it hit theaters. With the success of the DVD release now is there any chance of you going back to the big screen? I know in the past you have been asked "When are you going to do UHF 2?" And your answer had always been that you would love to... it's just that UHF did not really make much money. I know the studios are begging Mike Judge to do an Office Space 2 sequel due to the success of his movie on DVD. Anyone begging you yet? I know fans would be stoked to see a written by Weird Al movie again.

Al- Thanks. Yeah, it sure surprised a lot of people when UHF became a Top 10-selling DVD last summer – I don’t think anybody was expecting that. But unfortunately, it didn’t lead to any major studios pounding on my door trying to green-light another Weird Al project. Oh well. Hey, maybe I can get a bit part in Office Space 2!

Mattt- I paid 75 dollars for The Compleat Al VHS video on eBay a few months back. I had not seen this video since it first came out… I remember you showing a clip of it on MTV… the part where you were asking Michael Jackson if you could use his song “Beat It.” I know people were begging for years for UHF to come out on DVD… any chance of this coming out on DVD in the future?

Al- Hmm. I don’t know. That came out on CBS-FOX back in 1985 – I’m not sure who owns the rights to it now. It’s interesting from a historical perspective, I guess, but certainly not my best work – probably just as well that it’s hard-to-find.

Mattt- Finally, CrapTV would like to thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. We are all huge fans of Weird Al and we beg of you to not take another four years for a new album!

Al- Okay, then I’ll get right to work on it. Bye!

Discuss it here.

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Post by scottidog »

Thanks Manda, for the heads up! Good interview.

liveDaily Interview: 'Weird Al' Yankovic

by Don Zulaica

liveDaily Contributing Writer

September 03, 2003 01:18 PM - "Weird Al" Yankovic's musical track record is no joke. Over the course of a 25-year career, he has amassed 25 gold and platinum albums in the U.S., Canada and Australia, as well as four gold-certified home videos, two GRAMMY®s (in eight nominations), and received an MTV Video Music Award nomination for "Smells Like Nirvana," which Rolling Stone named among its Top 100 Music Videos of All Time. His best-selling album, 1995's "Bad Hair Day," reached No. 14 on the Billboard 200 album chart, stayed on the charts for 56 weeks and went double platinum.

Not bad for an accordion player from Lynwood, CA.

The humble, self-effacing Yankovic parodies everyone from the Backstreet Boys and Nelly to Avril Lavigne and Eminem on his latest release, "Poodle Hat," which features guest appearances by keyboardist Ben Folds on the original "Why Does This Always Happen To Me," and guitarist Dweezil Zappa on "Genius In France," a tribute to the late Frank Zappa. Of note, while Eminem allowed Yankovic to record "Couch Potato" (performed to the hit "Lose Yourself"), the rapper refused to let the parodist film an accompanying video.

Yankovic spoke with liveDaily while his tour was visiting Ft. Wayne, IN.

liveDaily: Do you look at Billboard charts to decide what's worth parodying, or is it paying attention to MTV and seeing who is becoming more of a visual icon?

"Weird Al" Yankovic: I just try to keep my pulse of what's popular. I use a lot of common sense, and Billboard certainly helps, but I can't just look at the singles charts anymore. Maybe 20 years ago that was a good indication of what the hit songs were, but it really isn't these days. I pretty much have to look at all the charts—the sales charts, the MTV playlists, the album charts, and kind of put them all together to form some corroboration as to what a popular song is. Pop music has gotten very segmented, there's not that many crossover hits, so you just have to use your best judgment as to what most people would recognize.

Some people, like Eminem, are obvious. He is one talented guy, with a lot a humor in his work.

Yeah, he's got a great sense of humor, and he's really skillful at putting rhymes together. So sure, I have a great affinity for what he's doing.

There was much written about his refusal to let you do the "Couch Potato" video. Is there any relationship there now?

Our relationship is purely platonic. All of those rumors are totally false. I just want to put that to rest right now. [laughs] Really, the whole controversy about him not letting me do a video, it got a lot of attention at the time. It was very disappointing, but I'm thankful that Marshall let me do the song. It was really a drag that I wasn't going to be able to do a video for it, because that was going to be our big video for this album. We were in pre-production, it was going to be a very ambitious undertaking, and we got the phone call too late in the game to be able to switch gears and start working on a different video. So as it turns out, there's no video for this album. It's still doing quite well, but I'm sure it would have done better had there been a nice video for it.

While you're known for the direct parodies, a lot of people don't know the musical "style" parodies you do--original songs, but obviously done in the style of a particular group. For instance, "Dare To Be Stupid" was Devo, "Mr. Popeil" was the B-52s, "Germs" was Nine Inch Nails, and you've gone all out on the new record with "Bob" and the Zappa-fied "Genius In France." "Bob" is in the style of Bob Dylan, where every line of the song is a palindrome. How long did it take you to put that together?

I wrote it in 2002 because that was the year of the palindrome, so I figured it was worthwhile to write a palindrome song. I started putting some palindromes together, and as I was doing that I was kind of singing them, and the song was sounding like it should mean something, but it didn't really. It was kind of evocative of something, but hard to decipher. And then I started singing it in kind of a nasal voice, and I thought, "Well, this is a Bob Dylan song." Then I thought, "Even the name Bob is a palindrome, so there's serendipity right there. I've got to make this a Bob Dylan parody."

You even got the Zappa family involved with "Genius In France, " with Dweezil playing some guitar. What was he like?

He was very cool. I told him that I wanted him to do the opening solo, and that I wanted it to be somewhat reminiscent of the solo on "I'm the Slime." So he comes in with this green guitar and says, "Well, this is the guitar that dad used on 'I'm the Slime.'" Well … okay! [laughs] That's authentic enough. I've known Dweezil for many years, and he's a great guy, and obviously an incredible guitar player. He just banged out. … I think he did like three solos, and they were all incredible, and I said, 'Uh, let's use number two.' [laughs]

How big is the tour?

We're limiting the size of this tour because I've got a baby daughter, so I don't want to be away from home for like a year and a half, like on the last tour. But this current leg is about three months, and I get to go home every two weeks for about four days, so we have little breaks built into the tour. We're going to Australia in October, which is great because we've never toured outside of North America before. We're all very excited about that. And it's very likely that we'll be touring for maybe six weeks in the spring next year, and maybe another six weeks in the summer, but that hasn't been decided yet. The "Poodle Hat" tour will continue!

Discuss it here.

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Post by scottidog »

Thanks Weird El:

found at:,1413,216~2 ... 94,00.html

"Weird Al" still dares to be stupid

By Chad Greene

Staff Writer

"Weird Al" Yankovic, the accordion-pumping prince of pop parodies (and the 1976 valedictorian of Lynwood High School), has earned two Grammys, one MTV Video Music Award and, in April, the highest distinction in American pop culture -- a guest spot on "The Simpsons." ' Yankovic appeared in the episode "Three Gays of the Condo" ' to sing "Homer & Marge," ' a parody of John Mellencamp's '80s hit "Jack & Dianne." '

His 11th studio album, "Poodle Hat," ' features parodies of Eminem's "Lose Yourself," ' Nelly's "Hot in Herre" ' and the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" ' that, as always, mine the irony abundant in pop culture.

After all that acclaim and all those albums, does "Weird Al" ' still "Dare to Be Stupid" ' with the Press-Telegram? You bet.

Q: You're from Lynwood, which has been designated an "All-America City." ' Does that make you an "All-American Boy" '?

A: (Laughs) I think Rick Derringer got that title in the '70s, but I suppose that, yes, just by definition, I would be one, too.

Q: Do your parents, Nick and Mary Yankovic, still live in Lynwood?

A: Actually, right around the time that I graduated from Lynwood High School, they moved to a town somewhere in San Diego County. They still haven't told me which one.

Q: Speaking of your parents, they bought your first accordion from a door-to-door salesman. What if they had bought something else, say, a set of encyclopedias? Would you be known as "Wise Al" ' instead of "Weird Al" '?

A: Well, it's more difficult to play a set of encyclopedias on stage, so it probably wouldn't be as interesting of a show.

Q: You recorded one of your first hits, "My Bologna," ' in a bathroom. How are the acoustics in your home bathroom right now?

A: Well, I've had my home studio remodeled into a 24-track digital bathroom, so the vibe is pretty similar. It's just a little more up-to-date, technologically speaking.

Q: Do you find that your current lack of a mustache has detracted from your previously unchallenged status as a worldwide sex symbol?

A: (Laughs) Well, yeah, that was a sacrifice I had to make when I got the (LASIK) eye surgery back in 1998. To my chagrin, I discovered that the mustache was attached to the glasses.

Q: Some of the titles in your song catalog seem to reveal an almost unhealthy obsession with food -- "My Bologna," ' "I Love Rocky Road," ' "Addicted to Spuds" ' -- yet you remain surprisingly slim and trim. What's your secret?

A: Just because I obsess about something doesn't mean that I always indulge. So, I sing "My Bologna," ' but I don't necessarily really mean it -- you can see the hollowness behind my eyes.

Q: This is a two-part question: First, to your knowledge, has anyone ever parodied you and, second, if they did, would their parody of your parody be, in fact, just a regular song?

A: Boy, that's hard to answer. That's kind of like looking into a mirror with mirrored sunglasses on -- it boggles the mind to even ponder that.

I'm sure that fans have done parodies of my music before, which is totally fine with me. But I guess it does revert back on itself. I guess that they will have, in fact, created an original song by doing a parody of a parody. It's like a double negative.

Q: Considering current trends in popular music, do you find it difficult to spoof so-called "artists" ' when many of them are already doing such a good job of making fools of themselves?

A: It is sometimes hard to make fun of somebody when they're so ridiculous already. It becomes a little redundant, makes my job a little tough.

Q: Many of the artists that you've satirized over the years -- The Knack, Robert Palmer, Billy Ray Cyrus -- have since fallen by the wayside, but you're still here. What's the secret to your longevity (besides not dying, that is)?

A: It's a combination of luck, hard work and eating from the four basic food groups. And of course, flossing regularly.

Q: I guess the flossing is really important for your singing, right?

A: Absolutely.

Q: Not to be morbid, but if you were to die, would they discover a hidden treasure trove of non-comedic songs locked in a safe cunningly concealed behind a self-portrait?

A: Well, I'm not going to tell you where it is.

Q: Darn. So it's not behind the self-portrait.

A: (Laughs) Nope. I actually don't have any unused material. I'm pretty lazy that way. I figure that if it's worth writing, it's worth releasing.

Q: Kurt Cobain once said that he realized Nirvana had finally "made it" ' when you parodied their music. When did you know that you had "made it" '?

A: When I got to appear on "The Simpsons." ' That was kind of like my validation after all these years.

Q: So, how was that?

A: That was amazing. It's an incredible thing to be sitting in a recording studio next to Homer Simpson.

Q: How was it working with Homer? Are the stories about his on-set behavior true?

A: You know, they're wildly exaggerated. He keeps it professional on the set.

Q: As this year's sequel-driven summer movie season seems to indicate, studios are banking more and more on established film franchises. Are there any plans for a sequel to your cult comedy "UHF," ' and if so, would it be named "VHF" '?

A: (Laughs) Well, if I were to do a sequel, I'd do "UHF 3," ' because everybody would be expecting "UHF 2." ' You know, throw 'em a little curveball.

But, unfortunately, for some reason, Hollywood producers tend not to want to make sequels of movies that lost money at the box office. ... They're just wacky that way.

Q: On a more serious note, as a lifelong California resident, what do you think about the current wacky state of California politics?

A: Well, I was considering actually throwing my "Poodle Hat" ' into the ring as well and running for governor, but then I thought, "I don" t want to take votes away from more qualified candidates, like (comedian Leo) Gallagher.''

Q: Who, in your highly qualified opinion, is the most absurd candidate on the recall ballot? Arnold Schwarzenegger? Gary Coleman? Larry Flynt?

A: Well, you know, at least Gary Coleman has experience as a security guard. But, I hate to play favorites, so I'm going to keep my political opinion to myself.

Q: Fair enough, but would you feel safer knowing that Gary Coleman was watching out for you?

A: Well, if he can take care of a department store, I guess he might be able to take care of the state of California.

Discuss it here.

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Post by Orthography Enthusiast »

Here's a fun Aussie interview that I THINK we haven't seen before (though I may be wrong, of course-- everything I know is wrong, black is white... oh, never mind)

[MOD Edit: Discuss it here]
"Weird Al" has a charisma that's all his own. The awkward, the misshapen, the socially inept flock to his banner.

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Post by Elvis »

Crazy Jay interviews Al and Bermuda. Listen and discuss here.

UFLM! Unverified Fan Lives Matter!

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Post by scottidog »

From the Indy Star:

Weird Al's not so weird after all these years
But he continues his reign as the premier satirist of pop music.

By Tim Shenk
The Arizona Republic
March 26, 2004

It begins with a familiar pulse on guitar, and a familiar, nasal voice that comes in right on cue: "Look."

"If you had . . . one shot . . ."

It sounds like Eminem, but instead of "Lose Yourself," the superstar's dark ode to ambition, the voice is rapping about watching cable TV until his brain rots.

And, of course, it's not Eminem. The song is "Couch Potato," and it's by somebody who's been mocking other celebrities since Eminem was just a candy: "Weird Al" Yankovic.

The king of pop-music satire is touring to promote current album "Poodle Hat," parodying songs by old and new stars -- Eminem, Nelly, Beck, Avril Lavigne, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, the Backstreet Boys and Frank Zappa.

He will perform Thursday at the Murat Theatre.

"Poodle Hat" entered Billboard magazine's album chart at No. 17 last May, and in February it collected the Grammy Award for best comedy recording.

"Al just has a knack for putting words to music, but what separates him from other parody artists is there's a buildup, each verse is funnier than the next, until the last," says radio host Barret "Dr. Demento" Hansen, who provided exposure for Yankovic's earliest recordings.

Yankovic, 44, says there's nothing weird about his personal life. In recent years he's gotten married, had a daughter and bought a house.

The poodle Bela, sitting on Yankovic's head for the cover of "Poodle Hat," is a pet he adopted through marriage.

"Living in Hollywood, I find that I'm one of the more normal people," he says. "I live a fairly quiet, sedate life, so I'm a misnomer . . . but don't tell anybody."

But if there's proof you can never take the adolescent weirdness out of Yankovic, it's in his music. His "Trash Day" turns Nelly's "Hot in Herre" into a song about stinky garbage piling up when you don't take it out.

Eminem reportedly gave his permission for "Couch Potato," but didn't consent to a music video, which was canceled in pre-production.

Yankovic was disappointed. After all, a lot of artists are flattered to get the " 'Weird Al' treatment," as he calls it.

"It's like getting a cameo appearance on 'The Simpsons' or getting parodied on 'Saturday Night Live,' " he says.

The late Kurt Cobain said he knew he was a success when Yankovic did "Smells Like Nirvana" in 1992. And Nelly was so happy to be spoofed on "Poodle Hat" that he donated stage outfits for Yankovic and his band.

On "Poodle Hat," Yankovic also performs a polka medley -- one of his specialties -- sapping the angst from songs by Papa Roach, the Vines, the White Stripes, P.O.D. and others with accordion-laden cheeriness.

For Yankovic, who played accordion before he realized it was funny, this "Angry White Boy Polka" has as much to do with respect as it does with satire.

"(Polka) is a proud art form, and it's a great tradition, and I'm not mocking it or making fun of it any more than I'm really doing that to rock music," he says.

[MOD Edit: Discuss it here]

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Post by Orthography Enthusiast »

Baton Rouge concert review

Apparently the poor guy zoned off during Complicated Song and "came to" during Melanie, or vice versa. :P

Louis XIV hairdo? Well, I guess... I suppose that Louis could have been nearly as great as Al if he had only mastered the skills of playing the accordion and taking showers.

[MOD Edit: Discuss it here]
"Weird Al" has a charisma that's all his own. The awkward, the misshapen, the socially inept flock to his banner.

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