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Monday, October 02, 2006

Hanging out at the Ticketmaster

I adore Weird Al Yankovic. It's true. It's been 20 years since the release of his first album, and he's STILL partying like it's 1699. And now--at last--everyone else seems to think he's cool, too. Even Best Week Ever is applauding his latest musical efforts.

But can I just point out that I had the jump on VH1? I've been listening to Weird Al since I was 10, thanks very much, and I can recite "Albuquerque" on command. Even the end bit where he just sorta mutters and yammers. Weird Al is a god among men for the simple reason that he sings about things that everyone loves and no one will admit to loving--polka, STAR WARS, the STAR WARS kid, tuna melts, Eddie Vedder, the Amish. Anyone who can recap the entire plot of The Phantom Menace, compose lyrics like 'hair the color of strained peaches', and mash Backstreet Boys songs into a foot-tapping polka deserves a spot in the Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame. Anyone who can parody Madonna, Metallica, and The Kinks and not get assassinated is clearly headed for sainthood.

So! Weird Al's newest offering, Straight Outta Lynwood, shows him in top form, as witnessed in the video for his...single?..."White & Nerdy". An excellent take on Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone's "Ridin'", you can't help but, well, laugh your head off. Or maybe you can. Please tell me it isn't just me--the proverbial single hand clapping. In any case, "White & Nerdy" is the "All About the Pentiums" of the new Millennium, as sharp, giggly, and bursting with pop-culture references as any of Al's previous ditties. "Don't Download This Song" is also quite nice, and "Canadian Idiot" is a love song to everyone's favorite Northern neighbors. As always, there's a polka: this time, tunes getting the jaunty treatment include "Speed of Sound" by Coldplay, "Float On" by Modest Mouse, "Slither" by Velvet Revolver, and, somewhat oddly, "The Chicken Dance". For the diabetics in the house, there's an original track entitled simply, "Pancreas". And we musn't forget "Do I Creep You Out" a mockery of and tribute to that silver-haired songbird, Taylor Hicks.

Something else worth noting--a totally fabulous (one assumes) parody of that horrifying James Blunt song "You're Beautiful" was recorded, but the Brit-pop pretty-boy's label requested that it be removed. I'm sorry; that's just pathetic. If Coolio, Jacko, and Lars Ulrich don't mind, neither should James "You're Pitiful" Blunt.

All in all, I think it's safe to say that Master Yankovic has done it again.

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