Back in 2011 I had tickets to go and see Weird Al Yankovic. Unfortunately the gig never happened because of earthquakes but I always hoped that he would make it back some day. So much so I even wrote a blog post and my own somewhat silly musical parody in an effort to lure him back.
Well folks, today is that day. Tonight at the Isaac Theatre Royal we will be enjoying the music of Weird Al, arguably the most successful musical parody act of the modern age.
Weird Al was probably at the peak of his popularity in the 1980s (and certainly I’ve always felt his hair and cheesy schtick was very suited to that particular decade) but he’s never really gone away, releasing album after album. His latest, Mandatory Fun came out in 2014 and was his most successful for years, with the online videos becoming instant classics. I actually think I might prefer his take on Pharrell Williams’ Happy, the equally infectious, and cheeky, Tacky.
And he doesn’t just do parodies. There are always some original tracks on each album which obviously tend towards the ridiculous. “Albuqueque” from his 1999 album “Running with scissors” is a favourite in our house, an epic journey involving love, violence and snorkel-theft (amongst many other weird and varied things).
He also always includes a polka medley on each album which mashes up all the biggest hits of the year…with accordion. It sounds nuts but it’s actually really good. And Yankovic is pretty proficient on the old squeeze-box…
If you’re in the mood for some humour in your listening roster then definitely check out Mandatory Fun or 2011’s Alpocalypse. In this “post-ironic” age musical parody and knowing references to pop culture are more common than ever so Weird Al is by no means the only show in town (though possibly the only one tonight).
Other artists you might also want to check out include –
- Richard Cheese (cross-genre humour abounds when lounge meets metal/rap/everything)
- Flight of the Conchords (of course)
- Altar Boyz (a musical parodying both Christian rock and boy bands)
- Tenacious D (featuring actor Jack Black)
- Hayseed Dixie (a country band name play on AC/DC)
- Ray Stevens (novelty songs from the 1960s)
What parody artists do you enjoy?