"Weird Al" Yankovic has been the mainstream music jester for children (and adults) since the early '80s. Now, anyone and their grumpy father can create parodies and become YouTube sensations, but that isn't impeding on Weird Al's career.
Mandatory Fun, Yankovic's 14th studio album, dropped last week and according to Yankovic, it may be his final "conventional" album.
"I think I will get away from traditional, conventional albums," Yankovic told musictimes.com, "because I don't think it behooves me to do 12 songs before I put them out at once... I think that digital distribution just makes more sense. It makes sense for me to just put out singles or possibly EPs instead of albums. The more quickly and frequently I put albums out, the better for everybody I think."
(Gotta love a man who uses the word 'behooves').
Here's what Weird Al had to say about staying current during the age of YouTube.
Quotation above via musictimes.com.
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Charlie "Bird" Parker has been called the greatest saxophonist who ever lived, a jazz legend who not only spearheaded the bebop movement but also laid the foundations of modern jazz.
Courtesy of the William P. Gottlieb Collection Charlie Parker, the party animal, on sax
He was also a party animal.
In 1952, Los Angeles would play host to one of Parker's wildest exploits. The New York-based musician was in L.A. for some club gigs, even as his health was rapidly declining -- fat, and alternately strung out on heroin or in the throes of withdrawal, he nursed his pain with alcohol binges. He went hard until the end. When Parker died in 1955 from a bleeding ulcer and liver disease, the coroner estimated his body to be between 50 and 60 years of age. He was 34.
See also: Ten Jazz Albums to Hear Before You Die
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.
I have been in an up-and-coming band for a little whole now. I love playing with them and we are killing every festival and moving up in the world. We are finding success, good things keep coming and the potential for it to just get bigger and better is all there, so I am left wondering why the fuck the leader of the band forgets to do shit like bring merch to gigs? Or say the name if the band during the gig? Not follow up on great opportunities? Not write a set list and stands around looking stupid trying to figure out what to play next? Gets super high before gigs and forgets the easiest changes?
I understand that some of these things aren't big deals. I just feel like I'm a professional. I want to play that way. I want the show to be that start to finish. We have some nights where we murder the set in a good way. The crowd is freaking out and loving it. Other nights that are just duds because the main guy doesn't seem to care or thinks it's OK to not give 100% when there aren't as many people at a gig.
We already told you why people love Phish. And, perhaps, some of those very reasons are why folks are also gravitating toward NYC's TAUK, a dirty, funky foursome whose new album Collisions is out tomorrow. "Collisions is the next step for TAUK," says guitarist Matt Jalbert. "We took the things we liked from the last record and expanded on them. There's more texture, more groove, and each band members' personality stands out more. We've grown a lot since our last release and this album is a really great snapshot of where we are now as a band."
Credit: Kyle Dean Reinford
See also: Why People Love PhishMore »
Punk rock is known for bands breaking up just as quickly as they form. So many seminal groups across its history have only one record to their name that critics talk a lot more about bands breaking up than forming for that reason. But every now and then we get the rare punk supergroup, and it always kicks ass.
Recently a lot of them have been re-forming and playing festivals. So in honor of the recent reunions, here are five of the best punk supergroups of all time, including a few you can catch on tour this year.More »
I've always thought something was off about Taylor Swift. Her immaculate, porcelain skin, picture-perfect golden bangs -- and certainly, her singing voice. Previously, I attributed these things to digital image doctoring or recording software magic. More recently, I have become suspicious of the 24-year-old pop-country darling. Something about Swift's perfection almost seems a little too... well, perfect.
Image of Taylor Swift inside the Matrix courtesy of Big Machine Records
Until she wrote a completely jarring, disjointed, and delusional article for the Wall Street Journal that suggests she is some sort of malfunctioning cyborg. The piece, published this month and titled "For Taylor Swift, the Future of Music Is a Love Story," is a peculiar and meandering musing on... uh, being an artist, fans, the future, or something.More »
This week sees the release of Mandatory Fun, the 14th studio album from the high priest of parody "Weird Al" Yankovic. Yankovic's uncanny ability to mimic and mock the stylings of his targets are always impressive, especially his endeavors into the world of hip-hop. While "Amish Paradise" and "White and Nerdy" are two of his biggest hits, Al's hip-hop history runs deep. Here's our complete history of "Weird Al's" hip-hop endeavors.
Volcano Records "Weird Al" the G.O.A.T.
See also: The 10 Best Male Rappers of All Time
Bobby Shmurda is having the best summer ever. After bubbling in his native Flatbush, the 20-year-old has skyrocketed from relative obscurity to viral star upon the heels of "Shmoney Dance." The track and its swaying, dance accompaniment are the stuff that Vine dreams are made of. It's no wonder the video has generated millions of views and propagated a slew of hilarious parodies, including one set to the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way."
YouTube Bobby Shmurda
It was only a matter of time before hip-hop took notice. In June, Meek Mill invited Bobby to perform with him at the famed King of Diamonds strip club, while Raekwon brought out the neophyte onstage at the 2014 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. Drake did his version of the dance while hosting the ESPYS, but the pièce de résistance came when both Beyonce and Jay Z gave a nod to "Shmoney Dance" on their On The Run tour at the MetLife Stadium last week.More »