Why "Weird Al" Believes We're Still Talking About "Weird Al"

Categories: Handy Guides

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Jena Ardell
"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.

See also: A Brief History of "Weird Al" and Rhyme

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An Illustrated Guide to Beyonce's Insight and Empowerment

Categories: Handy Guides

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There's no real news circling around Beyonce (sans an upcoming 10-episode HBO miniseries dubbed BeyonceX10 and her two shows with hubby Jay Z at MetLife Stadium on July 11 and 12), but that doesn't prevent other people from using her name to make headlines.

See also: The Top 10 Beyonce Collaborations

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How Not to Interact With Female Musicians

Categories: Handy Guides

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Dear Josie & the Pussycats -- Do you write your own songs?
[Ed note: Robin Edwards is a frequent contributor to our sister paper in Denver, Westword. She has played in several bands. Her solo project is called Lisa Prank.]

Sometimes I wonder what it was like before bands had Internet presences. Did creepy dudes just send their vaguely threatening messages to female musicians through the mail with locks of their hair? I've been thinking that might not have been out of the question ever since I received a Facebook message from a guy who went to one of my band's shows. He asked if he could be my stalker and added a goofy emoticon and a few "jk"s. I assume that was a way to hedge so that when I responded, he could pull the old, "I was joking! Don't be crazy!" card. Unfortunately, violence against women, which can certainly start with stalking, is a very real concern. So it's not something you should joke about, especially with a complete stranger over the Internet.

See also: How Not To Write About Female Musicians: A Handy Guide

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What the Hell Is Babymetal?

Categories: Handy Guides

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Metal music is a genre that transcends all parts of the world and breaks all cultural and language barriers, from North and South America, to Europe and even Asia. From the early days of metal, and Judas Priest's classic 1979 live album Unleashed in the East (recorded in Tokyo), the music has always been popular throughout Asia. Many popular metal and rock bands originated from the continent over the years, including bands like Loudness and X-Japan.

See also: Ten Metal Albums to Hear Before You Die

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Stop Using These Clichés When Writing About Music

Categories: Handy Guides

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Cloud Nothings' Here and Nowhere Else: "Powerfully utilitarian."
On Monday, I read the following sentence on a popular music website about the new Cloud Nothings album: "The band continues to make powerfully utilitarian music for people who don't seek out this type of music just to be told what to think." I read it over and over again until my eyes rolled back into my head. It is perhaps the most inscrutable piece of music writing ever published, because not only does it imply that some people turn to a band like Cloud Nothings to "be told what to think," it also makes the claim that Cloud Nothings somehow subvert that expectation. I'm fairly certain when Dylan Baldi was playing back his new album, he wasn't thinking "Yeah, fuck all those people who want me to tell them what to think!" It's the kind of sentence you only write after spending far too much time in tight, circular critic-logic that gets more and more abstracted from reality over time. We've all been there, and we will all pay for our sins, so consider this devotional. The following clichés should be forever eradicated from music discourse. It's not too late to save our souls.

See also: How Not To Write About Female Musicians: A Handy Guide

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Hayley Williams Rock Star Life in Quotes

Categories: Handy Guides

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Jena Ardell
Paramore is back and busier than ever. The band just completed its first destination cruise with fans (cleverly dubbed Parahoy!), which included four days and nights aboard the Norwegian Pearl, sailing from Miami, Florida, to Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.

Fans enjoyed two outdoor shows by Paramore, a Q&A on the cruise ship's deck and myriad onboard activities while sailing to the Bahamas. Other acts included Tegan and Sara and New Found Glory.

See also: Live: Paramore Ends Their Year And Celebrates Their Label At Terminal 5


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Michael Bolton = Sex

Categories: Handy Guides

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Illustration: Jena Ardell
Did you know that Michael Bolton's real last name is "Bolotin"? (It's pronounced "below-tin.") Or that he is a major Scrabble nerd? These are important things to know.

Bolton's talent supersedes any genre. He has worked with an eclectic array of musicians, including Pavarotti, Cher, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Lady Gaga, Percy Sledge, Ne-Yo, Kanye West and Jay-Z.

See also: Does Michael Bolton Have Soul? An Illustrated Guide

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The Inside Scoop on All The Cool Things Happening at SXSW

Categories: Handy Guides

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Hey guys! SXSW is just around the corner! It's the most exciting time for the music industry! With so much relevant stuff happening, it can be hard to process it all! Don't worry, deep breaths, we got you! We have the inside scoop on where all the hip kids are going to be this week, and you're in luck, because we're happy to clue you in to all the completely real/totally not fake* super secret cool stuff going on. Let's go!

See also: How To Do SXSW Like A Grizzled Old Man

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Rihanna Hates the Media

Categories: Handy Guides

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Illustration: Jena Ardell
Happy Birthday to Rihanna! The sexpot singer turned 26 last week. What's more, she smokes pot and quotes Bible verses! Why? Because, f**k you, that's why! You don't know her. Only god can judge. So here she is, sticking out her metaphorical tongue to the media dares to judge her. You aren't worthy. Sincerely, Rihanna.


Illustrated quotation above via elleuk.com.

See also: An Illustrated Guide Confirming Josh Homme Is a Badass


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An Ilustrated Guide to Lemmy's Rockstar Life

Categories: Handy Guides

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Motörhead is set to rock Coachella this year. We're glad that legendary badass Lemmy Kilmister is feeling healthy after "paying for the good times" (his words) by being diagnosed with haematoma and heart problems last year.

The real question is: will Motörhead's presence prompt Coachella hipsters to wear black leather shorts and crop tops instead of willowly Aztec-inspired desert frocks? We're hoping..

Here's life according to Lemmy...

Illustrated quotation above via rockhall.com.


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