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(Grantland)   Weird Al Yankovic faces something of a crisis in his career: by the time he can get an album out the old-fashioned way, a thousand amateurs have posted their own song parodies to YouTube   ( divider line
    More: Weird, Weird Al, humans, Imagine Dragons, Harvey Levin, Blurred Lines, first world problems, Yankovic, html code  
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2734 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 16 Jul 2014 at 2:52 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-07-16 11:23:28 AM  
5 votes:
Yes, but he does it several tens of orders of magnitude better. A parody by your cousin Steve = poorly executed and morbidly unamusing. A parody by Weird Al = comedy gold.
2014-07-16 01:41:14 PM  
4 votes:
35 years on and he has a rabid fan base that will buy his albums without having heard a single or even barely knowing the source material. He's been good at doing parodies of songs that aren't parodied that much (saving them for the special polka version).

He needs to be the next Super Bowl halftime act.
2014-07-16 03:18:15 PM  
3 votes:
I mentioned this in the Weird Al thread yesterday:


And by that I mean he reads Fark.
2014-07-16 11:50:36 AM  
3 votes:
He's also now free from his record contract, leaving him able to compete with the unwashed YouTube masses on an even playing field.
2014-07-16 05:03:09 PM  
2 votes:

Skarekrough: Mikey1969: Thirty-five years into a historic career, do we still need the parody king?

Considering the lack of quality out there, I'd say yes.

Is he "quality" because of actual talent or because he's been doing it longer than anyone else?

You're seriously asking this? Then you haven't listened to his music. He and his band rewrite these songs, he doesn't just lay a new vocal track on top of the existing music. And they do a damn good job of it.

He's been doing it for decades.  The notion that someone out there in the world with some time and effort can't rival him is short-sighted.  In the past I think this was, in large part, because there wasn't enough of a market for it to be worthwhile.

There was plenty of market if you had the talent. He got his start in the same place anyone with talent would have--by getting his music onto the Dr Demento show. It's not like he had an exclusive license that wasn't available to a million other comedic/novelty acts.

Unfortunately most of the posts in this thread fall into the category of blind adoration.

Actually, most of the posts on this thread are from people who haven't been living under a rock and actually pay attention to what they listen to.

The main point the article makes is that a great part of his success came from standard distribution methods which are quickly becoming less and less capable of sustaining his career.

This is like saying that water is wet. Any band that's been around for more than 15 years is running into this. TFA doesn't tell anyone anything that is new. And as far as implying that song 'X' was only popular "last summer" just shows how shallow appreciation of music actually is. A good song doesn't quit being good after a set time.

It would be interesting to see him try and keep up without it.  If he stays with the setup he has had for decades then it's an issue of diminishing returns; can he make do with less while others take the alternative.  If he walks and does something Indie then he's going to have to compete with every single other person on YouTube.  It's a story of whether or not an old dog can learn new tricks because you know that the young pups are going to be able to when they see they can get treats out of doing it.

He actually knows what he's doing, has a band that knows what THEY are doing, has contacts and knows how the production process works. You're right. 'JonnyStud987637' is going to totally destroy him on YouTube.

But yeah, probably "blind adoration".
2014-07-16 03:16:45 PM  
2 votes:
But Azalea's team was slow in responding to his request, and Yankovic was under the gun to finish Mandatory Fun, so he made a personal appeal. Somebody captured the moment on video, and the video ended up on TMZ.
"I took a little offense to [TMZ] saying I was 'begging' for permission," Yankovic said. "I like to call it asking politely and with respect. I don't go to a level considered begging."

They also said that he "ambushed" her.

Would ANYONE here shed a tear if TMZ and all of its employees were incinerated in a flaming nuclear ball?
2014-07-16 03:15:11 PM  
2 votes:

bdub77: Weird Al rocks, your blog sucks.

One metric ton of this. The smarmy, hipper than thou, condescending tone in which that article was written entitles the author to no less than 10 dickpunches.
2014-07-16 03:01:09 PM  
2 votes:
The writer of the article is obviously biased. I like Weird AL, and the writer does not. Ergo, the writer can go fark himself. With a chainsaw.
2014-07-17 02:05:38 PM  
1 vote:

styckx: NeoCortex42: Took me a few views to notice this in the corner of the "Lost Cause" shot in Word Crimes:
[ image 360x146]
I have a feeling I'll be noticing new little things in that video for a while.

Holy hell that's genius...

I was cheering for "Weird Al Yankovic has a big dictionary".

Anyone who thinks that Weird Al doesn't operate at a higher level than any idiot who can put words to music isn't paying attention.
2014-07-17 12:43:20 PM  
1 vote:
I never heard (nor want to hear) "Fancy"... And unfortunately, "Handy" really doesn't deliver for me.
2014-07-16 06:44:09 PM  
1 vote:

Felgraf: Also to those of you going "LOL, but all he does are parodies, how much skil does that take?"

Have you ever *listened* to his original music on his albums? The ones where he'll often ape another artist's style, but not outright parody one of their songs?

Like, say, Dare To Be Stupid, which out-Devo'd *Devo.*

Exactly. People don't appreciate just how fantastic his band is... it takes skill to play at a level where people are willing to pay money to hear you perform. It takes an amazing amount of skill to not only do that but also have the musical chops to be able to shift your style to mimic that of numerous other artists. These guys do polka, pop, rap, you name it... and they play it just as well (if not better than) the actual artists who made the hits they're parodying.

These guys aren't playing songs by other artists. They're playing AS these other artists in some ways.
2014-07-16 06:27:04 PM  
1 vote:

whizbangthedirtfarmer: whistleridge: Yes, but he does it several tens of orders of magnitude better. A parody by your cousin Steve = poorly executed and morbidly unamusing. A parody by Weird Al = comedy gold.

Eh, maybe it's just me being old, but he's got far shiattier music to choose from now.  I can't listen to a song by that Thicke guy, and I can't listen to a parody of it, either.  It's just that Al's baseline for what was listenable has changed dramatically.

You shut your whore mouth! As a grammar nerd, allow me to assure you, 'Word Crimes' is the single greatest contribution to the English language by an individual since Stephen Colbert coined 'truthiness'!
2014-07-16 06:02:20 PM  
1 vote:
"Word Crimes" is a new classic and Goddamned glorious.
2014-07-16 04:24:09 PM  
1 vote:
Yes, only a talent as great as Weird Al can do such things as replace real lyrics with other words that rhyme.
2014-07-16 04:21:39 PM  
1 vote:
I haven't seen one youtuber parody reach the heights attained by songs such as "Amish Paradise"
2014-07-16 04:13:13 PM  
1 vote:

Ashyukun: Al's concerts are a FANTASTIC spectacle and not to be missed.

This. You want a good show, you go see Weird Al live. I was disappointed as hell I missed him last time he was in town, I hope he'll come through again soon.
2014-07-16 03:13:32 PM  
1 vote:
He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life.
2014-07-16 03:07:46 PM  
1 vote:

moothemagiccow: I listened to the Foil song. Wasn't funny. "What kind of chip you got in there, a Dorito" was funny even when I hadn't heard the original.

You kidding me?  I laughed my ass off when he made the transition from foil as food protector to PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE ILLUMINATI.   Subversion of expectations is one of the greatest forms of humor, though I think watching the video makes the song funnier.
2014-07-16 03:05:18 PM  
1 vote:
Sure there were a lot of Tacky parodies but Weird Al's was so succinct and perfect that it's going to stand as the definitive parody of that song. Suck it Youtubers.
2014-07-16 02:32:57 PM  
1 vote:

BKITU: He's also now free from his record contract, leaving him able to compete with the unwashed YouTube masses on an even playing field.

After reading TFA, I'm sure he can do better by himself.  The Word Crimes parody (and video) of Blurred Lines is hilarious...but how much funnier would it have been if he could have released it right after the Grammys last year when it was at the height of the public's consciousness?  He has released material on his own and free (You're Pitiful which was hilarious).

Dude is awesome and will be more awesome without the record company.
2014-07-16 12:22:47 PM  
1 vote:
And I doubt many of those amateurs could play such a convincing Hitler
2014-07-16 12:16:20 PM  
1 vote:

jst3p: "The Key of Awesome" does some pretty good parodies. Don't get me wrong, I love Al but to pretend that there aren't other good parodies on youtube is just fanboiism.

Nobody's saying there's no other good parodists. We're saying that YouTube is the epitome of Sturgeon's Law.
2014-07-16 12:01:56 PM  
1 vote:
Done in one. The level he reaches with his parodies and their accompanying music videos just isn't something all but a precious few on YouTub can get close to. The music videos tend to be even better- 'Tacky' is an incredible piece of filming (almost feels like all it's missing is Christopher Walken...) and the video for 'Word Crimes' is even better than the motion/kinetic typography from his previous album's 'Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me'.

And finally- I'd never consider going to see some guy from YouTub in concert, but Al's concerts are a FANTASTIC spectacle and not to be missed.
2014-07-16 11:43:16 AM  
1 vote:
Cousin Steve can't get Jack Black, Kristen Schaal and Eric Stonestreet for his videos, either.
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