Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

Weird Al Says "Twitter Saved My Album" 160

Posted by samzenpus
from the 142-notes-or-less dept.
nudnik72 writes "Weird Al's latest album, Alpocalypse, was released today, but might not have if his fans hadn't taken his cause to twitter Al says. Yankovic had a well publicized disagreement with Lady Gaga's management over his parody of her song Born This Way. Within 24 hours of his fans spreading the word on the internet, Gaga's people reversed course and approved the parody, saying the whole thing was just a mix-up. The King of Pop Parodies explains that this wasn't the first time a music label and the parodied artist didn't see eye-to-eye."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Weird Al Says "Twitter Saved My Album"

Comments Filter:
  • by DontLickJesus (1141027) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @03:19PM (#36534164) Homepage Journal
    A little show / podcast known as "Pop Culture Happy Hour" played a huge part in this as well.
    • by Abreu (173023)

      I have no idea what you are talking about. I learned about this from Weird Al himself, via Twitter.

      I can assure you I wasn't the only guy to retweet it all day long.

  • Al released the entire Alpocalypse album for free legal streaming [exclaim.ca] if you want to hear it before you buy. It's a great album!

    I preordered it (got the album a few days ago) and we're seeing a show in Toronto in July. Believe me, he and the band put on a hell of a performance.

  • huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @03:22PM (#36534212) Homepage Journal

    I can't believe a person as big of a publicity hound as Lady Gaga would every have a problem with a Weird Al parody. It means at the very least you've done a track that has hit the public consciousness and that you're famous. Plus she's been on shows like Graham Norton where you're sure to get made fun of in a good natured way.

    Probably a goon in the entourage taking upon him/herself to make a decision.

    • That's what she said (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @03:26PM (#36534254)

      No, not the joke, literally.

      LG said that her publicist had never actually sent her the song and just said no. Obviously full of himself unlike Lady GaGa, whom I admire because she is definitely doing this all from the understanding the whole thing is kind of a laugh...

      • so don't do it on slashdot, either.
        • what you did there.

          Honestly I don't like it either, but for this particular use it fit just right. Allow some artistic license please. It is the exception that proves the rule.

    • Re:huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @03:34PM (#36534400)
      The Internet rumor is that Lady Gaga herself loved the track but was not consulted. She was in the middle of a tour and her management made the decision for her.
      • by hedwards (940851)

        That's my understanding, and it wouldn't be the first time that the people in charge of licensing got it wrong. I remember Coolio being somewhat pissed about Amish Paradise, but his people signed off on it. Rick James was annoyed about his guys licensing to MC Hammer until he saw the check.

        It's one of the things which happens when you allow somebody else to make decisions for you.

        • IIRC Al shares the song writing credit on everything he does, which means they also get a nice check for doing nothing. Only someone with no sense of humor or has an inflated ego says no.

          • by Abreu (173023)

            IIRC Al shares the song writing credit on everything he does, which means they also get a nice check for doing nothing. Only someone with no sense of humor or has an inflated ego says no.

            Like Prince?

      • Way more than an "internet rumor", it was confirmed by Al himself on his blog [wordpress.com].

    • by waveclaw (43274)

      I can't believe a person as big of a publicity hound as Lady Gaga would every have a problem with a Weird Al parody.

      Perhaps her PR agents know about the Streisand effect [wikipedia.org] and are meta-meme hacking the culture for a little publicity? Certainly wouldn't be the first time someone started a fight just to get a little bit more famous.

    • Because no one would care if Weird Al just silently released a record. By making a fuss and then "capitulating" they both get positive hype that amounts to free advertising.

  • by cozzbp (1845636) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @03:23PM (#36534220)
    Weird Al is a genius. A hilarious, fucking genius.
    • by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @03:26PM (#36534266)

      His career and new music is still just as relevant (whatever level you deem that to be) after 30 years. Not too many artists performing today can say that.

      • What I am continually amazed by is just how large a range he and his band have. They do tons of different styles when parodying songs and do them extremely well.

        Particularly impressive are the style parodies, because they are always so dead on. They really can capture the style of a band and create a new tune that sounds just right.

        All in all not an easy thing to do, and no small part of the reason he can keep relevant. If he and his band only had one or two styles they could do, the parodies would work so

        • by Tetsujin (103070)

          What I am continually amazed by is just how large a range he and his band have. They do tons of different styles when parodying songs and do them extremely well.

          Particularly impressive are the style parodies, because they are always so dead on. They really can capture the style of a band and create a new tune that sounds just right.

          Actually I think Weird Al is in kind of a unique and special place as a musician. Apart from the matter of being technically able to perform different styles, his niche in the musical world gives him the fairly unique opportunity to try different styles freely. Other musicians, once they're popular, may get boxed in by their past hits - fans will expect them to do similar work in the future. Al can do just about anything (at least within the realm of "popular music"). The fact that "Smells Like Nirvana"

          • I think you'll find that he does, in fact, have a style that he weaves into every song he plays. Weird Al is, first and foremost, a polka artist.

        • by Obfuscant (592200)

          What I am continually amazed by is just how large a range he and his band have. They do tons of different styles when parodying songs and do them extremely well.

          I have lost count of the times I've been listening to a radio station and heard what I thought was a Weird Al song playing, then thinking "those aren't the right words", only to realize I was hearing the original artist doing their less-than-impressive original version.

          And hearing an original song and thinking "that sounds so much better when sung to a polka beat..." "Black hole sun ...", for example.

          • by squizzar (1031726)

            Apparently for Beverley Hillbillies (Money for Nothing) Mark Knopfler insisted on playing guitar for the album version. Since Knopfler had been playing the song for so long he was much more relaxed with it and Weird Al's Guitarist Jim West could play it more like the original version...

            • by ZaMoose (24734)

              They did "Beverley Hillbillies" at the show I attended last month. Jim West is a good guitarist, but it's easy to see why Knopfler wanted to play the riff -- it just doesn't sound right with anyone else picking away at it.

          • by ZaMoose (24734)

            My parents had a strict No Popular Radio rule when I was a young lad yet, for some reason, had a "Weird Al" Escape Clause -- I could listen to all the "Weird Al" I wanted, but never the source material.

            To this day, I can't hear "Lola", "Hey Ricky", "I Love Rock And Roll", "Ride The Pony" and countless other songs that "debuted" in Yankovic form in my life without singing the "Weird Al" version.

    • I've also heard that he is a Class A nice guy in real life, too. He's like a hero to nerds/geeks/accordion players everywhere.

    • Too bad his French is beyond bad.

      Peetee = ???

      Paytay = Pété
      It means "farted" in French

  • by east coast (590680) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @03:25PM (#36534242)
    Coolio's a bitch. Straight up!
    • by Hatta (162192)

      The funny thing is, that's how Coolio is going to be remembered. Not as one of the most popular rappers of the mid 90s, but as the guy who said no to Weird Al.

  • ... you've made it. Now get off my lawn!
  • GigaGaga (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Caerdwyn (829058) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @03:29PM (#36534322) Journal

    From what I have seen in interviews, etc. Lady Gaga seems to have her head screwed on straight, a lot moreso than self-obsessed legal departments and Elvis-hip-gyration-fearing for-profit TV preachers. She's messing with the social meme-scape (there, I invented a word!) and doing so with intelligence. No surprise at all that she adores Weird Al and would think that being included in a Weird Al album is a high honor for a pop singer.

    And, no surprise at all that her label's lawyer-trash didn't bother to talk to her first. From my second-hand experience with label legaloids, they hold the performers in barely-concealed contempt, the fans in fully unconcealed contempt. Dante is not my model of theological thought, but I can agree with him on one thing: Bolgia Nine must be packed with RIAA lawyers and the legal departments that try to chain down the performers.

    • by cozzbp (1845636)
      Agreed. Even though I don't care for her music, after seeing her performance in this SNL skit, she's alright by me. [hulu.com]
    • by Hatta (162192)

      Underneath it all, she's a nice midwestern girl.

    • by thule (9041)

      I dunno, to me she seems incredibly thin skinned. I found a thoughtful essay critiquing Gaga. Check it out for a different perspective: The Case Against Lady Gaga [wordpress.com]. One of the more interesting parts of the critique is that *she* named her fans "little monsters". Odd. Another point is her subtle slam at Madonna because many people (including me) felt her new single was very similar to Madonna's "Express Yourself" in both theme and sound. She took that pretty personally. If she was true to her character I don'

      • by mosb1000 (710161)

        Having achieved fame, she has shed the arty, self-knowing persona of her early period and has come to embody all of the pop life’s worst attributes: egomania, pretension, and self-importance, topped off with a big, steaming pile of histrionics.

        sounds pretty thoughtful to me. . .

        You know, you don't have to like her music. But this rant, which you think is insightful, is just a bunch of whiny nonsense. There's no need to cut someone down just because she's famous, or to call her fans drones just becau

        • by thule (9041)

          sounds pretty thoughtful to me. . .

          Keep reading.... It is pretty interesting stuff. Clearly the guy likes pop music, knows pop music history, and still likes certain aspects of Gaga. He just doesn't like the Gaga "product" and the strange lies.

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      Personally, I think it's BS - she's tossing her staff in front of the bus to take the hit for her bad judgement.

      My guess is that she was initially against it, but I will credit her for being very sensitive to the winds of public opinion, and reversed herself when she sensed the public relations disaster coming from her initial wrong decision.

  • by jfengel (409917) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @03:44PM (#36534506) Homepage Journal

    I was an immense fan of "In 3D", and one of the most notable things about it is the polka versions of classics (Hey Jude, My Generation, etc.) Some of the parodies were pending classics, like Eat It, Rye or the Kaiser, and King of Suede.

    But we've run out of classics. Can you really parody Lady Gaga, herself essentially a parody of the music industry today?

    Al is a gifted musician; his grasp of style and ability to mimic it are extraordinary: Songs like Mr. Popeil and Dog Eat Dog show a tremendous grasp of what makes the B-52s and the Talking Heads distinctive. Often his original works are funnier than the parodies, especially since parody so often relies on the meat of source material. Today's source material doesn't seem to HAVE any meat.

    I looked at the video of his Lady Gaga parody. It's obviously a huge amount of work, and it's funny for that. That kind of effort is what Lady Gaga brings to the table, when the song material is forgettable.

    This is not a dig on Al; it's a dig on the music industry, which as we've often noted here is dying, and with good reason. I'm thrilled that Al is still applying his tremendous gifts. I just wish he had better stuff to work with.

    • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @03:47PM (#36534546) Homepage

      ...especially since parody so often relies on the meat of source material.

      And no matter what you say about Lady Gaga, she had some meat for source material.

      • by jfengel (409917)

        I cannot BELIEVE I left that setup there without noticing it.

      • by syousef (465911)

        ...especially since parody so often relies on the meat of source material.

        And no matter what you say about Lady Gaga, she had some meat for source material.

        Do you mean that ridiculous outfit made of meat that she wore once?

    • by smbarbour (893880)

      I was an immense fan of "In 3D", and one of the most notable things about it is the polka versions of classics (Hey Jude, My Generation, etc.)

      On a tangent, now that 3D is popular in movies again, would you agree that it's time for "Nature Trail to Hell" to actually be made?

    • by OS24Ever (245667) *

      it sure made me feel weird to be listening to his new album only to find that except for 'Perform This Way' I'd never heard the other songs he was parodying before.

      • by Tetsujin (103070)

        it sure made me feel weird to be listening to his new album only to find that except for 'Perform This Way' I'd never heard the other songs he was parodying before.

        Heh, me too. Actually I don't listen to Gaga, either, so I don't know any of the originals he parodied for this album, or any of the songs from the polka medley... Well, except "Poker Face".

    • If you don't like Lady Gaga (and neither do I) just say it and move on. You don't need to justify it, if it doesn't float your boat, it doesn't float your boat.

      The music industry is dying, but that has nothing to do with what it puts out. Slashdot was wrong then, and it's still wrong now.

      We haven't run out of classic music, we're making new classic music all the time. "Classic" is about attachments or memories you form with music, and often during formative years. Did you happen to listen to the B-52s or th

      • by jfengel (409917)

        I didn't intend to pretend that nobody likes modern music, but there is less of an attachment to it. Music has always been ephemeral, but when the RIAA controlled the means of distribution, they were able to attract a lot of people to a small number of artists. That made excellent material for parody: everybody knew the same songs.

        I didn't mean to say that the classic rock was inherently "better" than modern music; that's a subjective judgment that I wouldn't presume to make. But the RIAA has had increas

  • I think Perform This Way is a hoot. The video is weird, but it is Weird Al.

    If you didn't know which was the original and which was the parody, it might be hard to tell which was which.

    ...laura, Lady Gaga fan

    • Simple. Perform This Way is a parody of Born This Way, which in turn *is* Madonna's Express Yourself.

      I'm just sayin' [youtube.com].

      • The very first line of "Perform This Way" recalls another Weird Al parody. Sing all four of these lines with the same melody:
        • But all the praying just ain't helping at all 'cause he can't seem to keep himself out of trouble.
          -- TLC, "Waterfalls"
        • You ask if their refrigerator is running, then you tell 'em they should go out and catch it.
          -- "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Phony Calls"
        • My mama told me when I was young, "We are all born superstars."
          -- Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"
        • My mama told me when I was hatched, "Act like
  • I've had the opportunity to meet him at a concert when I was one of his extras. He is a good man and has a wonderful family. He treats people with respect it's difficult to not give it back to him... especially when he requests permission to do all of the spoofs even though he doesn't legally need to do so.

    And I can't listen to several songs without the Weird Al spoof popping into my head either.

    Best wishes to you, Weird Al!

  • I hardly think his album would have been in trouble had that single song not made the cut. As worst, they would have had to remove the track from the album. He went through a similar situation with James Blunt's "You're Beautiful." In the end, the song ("You're Pitiful") didn't make the album but Weird Al released it for free download on his website.
  • by Appolonius of Perge (961983) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @10:31PM (#36537988)
    For what it's worth, the record label that published this, http://www.jiverecords.com/ [jiverecords.com] is, according to Wikipedia, owned by Sony: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jive_records [wikipedia.org].

    This may or may not affect your purchasing decision.

  • Was anyone else let down by Al's new album?

    It's good, but 5 previously released tracks that I already own? C'mon!

  • "Her" is a meat puppet. Actors don't sue when someone rips of "their" film, do they?

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane

Working...