Morning Music: Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al YankovicI think the Morning Music posts have gotten rather boring. It’s just a matter of time and focus. If I weren’t so overworked, I’d be able to inject some passion into the project. But in the mean time, I thought I might inject some of your passion into the process. I’d like you all to give me exercises that I could do. And to start it all, I asked Elizabeth to recommend six Weird Al Yankovic songs, since she seems to like him.

I have nothing against him. I’ve known of him since his early days sending in tapes to Dr Demento. He’s clearly very bright and creative. So this is an opportunity to find out a bit more about him. I checked and it turns out that he is slightly older than I am. I like that time works that way: people that are older than me always will be. Unfortunately, people who are younger than me always will be too. But I don’t know why I care, given that I am always at the perfect age.

As usual, however, I’m totally behind in things. This was the Weekend of the 43,000 Word FAQ. It’s still not done, but I’m at the point where I can hardly see straight. So we’ll do an easy one — a Christmas song. It’s “Christmas at Ground Zero.” It is at least partly Weird Al Yankovic’s homage to Tom Lehrer’s “We Will All Go Together When We Go.” It also makes me think of the great film, Matinee. I suppose we should all try to have a good time as we face our doom.

21 thoughts on “Morning Music: Weird Al Yankovic

  1. God bless Weird Al. He’s that rarest of things; a comic who seems to be having a great time. And for a while he was singlehandedly keeping novelty records alive. Now thanks to YouTube we have lots of comedy songs again.

    It looks like someone’s working on a documentary about Demento. What a cool subject, I hope the film turns out well.

    • I’ve heard that Demento is kind of a misanthrope. It makes sense. And if true, that could make the documentary great.

      It’s been fun checking out Weird Al this week. I really haven’t followed him. So tell me what I should do next week.

      • I was thinking of some little-known political songs, but those are probably best for November.

        You could stay on the comedy theme and look at some Garfunkel & Oates, they’re terrific. Most of the music I know is fairly familiar to most people. Um, I think I’ve mentioned Cordelia’s Dad, the traditional band. Their albums “Comet,” “Spine,” and “What It Is” have good material for a week. Many of their songs come from the “shape note” tradition, which is a simplified musical notation intended for group singing. “Granite Mill” is a great labor song.

        I could whip together something this weekend about Mason Jennings. He’s a pretty simple singer-songwriter who comes up with nice melodies and has a distinctive vocal style. Here’s a perfect song for a blog:

        Early pre-fame Prince is fun. Before “1999” made him huge, he had the solid album “Controversy” and the amazing “Dirty Mind.” The interesting thing about “Dirty Mind” is later Prince songs about sex tended to be very hopeful and celebratory. The songs on “Dirty Mind” explore the messier side of desire (in both senses of the word messy.)

        I did a piece on John Prine’s late friend Steve Goodman last year and it has five or six links to live versions. Feel free to use any of that. I didn’t include his song “Souvenirs” that he wrote with Prine but it’s lovely.

        There ya go, that should be enough!

  2. I like “Dare to Be Stupid.” For Christmas songs, “The Night Santa went Crazy” is even better. His birthday song (don’t know the title) is delightfully cynical, so you’d like it. And “Stop Forwarding that Crap to Me.” I tend to like the originals better than the “parodies.” I put that in quotes, because often they’re not really parodies, just rewriting the songs to be about something totally unrelated.

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