Archive for the ‘UHF’ Category

[ATTENDED: March 16, 2018] “Weird Al” Yankovic

The last time I saw “Weird Al” I kind of assumed that would be the last time I saw him…  I love his shows but I have seen him possibly more than any other performer.  I joked with my friend Matt that I wished he would play a deep cut amid all of the hits.   his originals.

Well lo and beheld, Al listened and announced this tour, the brilliantly named The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour.  And when he announced the show, he explained that there would be no costumes: “Please note: this is a scaled-down tour in smaller, more intimate theaters, with limited production (no costumes, props, or video screens) and Al’s set list will be comprised almost entirely of his original (non-parody) songs.” (more…)

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bookSOUNDTRACK: “WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC-“Belevdere Cruisin” (1976).

belevder This is the first song that Al recorded and submitted to Dr. Demento.  And it was a huge success.  I hadn’t heard it before (it’s not on his box set (not so surprisingly)).

It is a fairly straight song.  It’s a funny (kind of) song about riding in a Plymouth Belvedere.  I imagine the premise of the song is funnier if its 1976 and you see lots of big old Belvederes on the road (when I looked for pictures online, most of what I got was beautifully restored classics, which undermines the humor here).  Although judging from the promo photo above they’re not exactly a sexy car.

It’s a fully realized song played entirely on the accordion.  The song opens with an intro from Hungarian Rhapsody #2 adding faux drama to the funny ditty. And then Al sings about his family’s car and how much he loves it.  So there’s lines like: “just the thought of a Pinto leaves me shaking” and the nascent smart alec: “Watch me pass that Porsche on the right.”    The chorus gives us the truth: “In a Belvedere I can really get my thrills.”

And while the song doesn’t do anything too weird, there is a funny moment where he sings, “Datsuns ain’t worth a fudge…sicle, no.”

It’s a charming little ditty that in no one prepares one for the mad genius that he would become.

[READ: October 12, 2014] Weird Al: The Book

This biography of Weird Al is written by Nathan Rabin.  I actually read Rabin’s more recent book about Phish and Insane Clown Posse in which he talks about writing the Weird Al book (and how he was a in a dark place when he wrote it).  Having recently watched a bunch of biographical stuff about Weird Al (he’s everywhere lately), there was really nothing new in this book for me.  I should have read it when it came out, duh.

In fact, nearly everything that is mentioned in the book is in the TV specials. The biggest addition that Rabin adds, and its a good one, is his personal insights into Al (he had thanked Al on his memoir).  Most enjoyably, it’s nice to hear someone praise Al’s original songs–sometimes even more than the parodies.  Al’s originals have always been clever and fun and, while fans already know it (and its fans who will buy this book), it’s nice to see it in print as well. (more…)

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