Quora: Who is the World’s Best Musician Who is Still Alive?

Answered by Mike Bowerbank

I’ll get a lot of hate for this, because we still have Paul McCartney (to name just one musical giant among many who are still with us), but I have to throw another name out there for consideration.

And, again, you’re really going to hate this.

I’m talking about “Weird Al’ Yankovic. And – here’s the shocking bit – I am not even remotely kidding.

When many think of Weird Al, they picture some silly dude clowning around with an accordion, but that’s nowhere near the case. Although he does a lot of song parodies, he still has to create original lyrics for it, and (and this is the huge bit) he has to be able to sing that way. He’s parodied pop, soul, country, rock, and rap, to name just a few, and he has to be able to sing it convincingly…

Read more: https://www.quora.com/Who-is-the-worlds-best-musician-who-is-still-alive

Video of the Week: Mashing Up the Genius of Weird Al and Frank Zappa

This fan-made video made to accompany “Weird Al’ Yankovic’s “Genius in France” only sharpens one’s view of the incredible genius of our greatest and most ambitious song parodist.

His roughly nine-minute Zappa parody hits the bullseye again and again as the veteran comic rocker (with a little help from Dweezil Zappa, who plays the opening guitar solo) nails one idiosynchratic Zappa musical and vocal moment after another.

The second-most amazing thing–after the fact that anyone would bother writing a nine-minute Zappa parody–is that vocally Yankovic singlehandidly parodies the parts of Zappa and various lead and backup singers. Male and Female.

Some speculate that the premise of the song references (allegedly) comic actor Jerry Lewis, whose lowbrow comedic acting was better received in France than in his home country of America. Definitely the type of thing Zappa would have written a song about.

If you’re a fan of Zappa’s work, every ridiculous note of this will prove what a Mother of Invention “Weird Al” Yankovic is.

Genius indeed.

Was ‘Weird Al’ the Real Star all Along?


(via Washington Post) Geoff Edgers

LOS ANGELES — One day last summer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, on break from “Hamilton,” stopped by neighbor Jimmy Fallon’s house in the Hamptons. They both love music and Fallon has a listening room in the basement, so it wasn’t long before they were downstairs sharing another passion: “Weird Al” Yankovic.

“I said, ‘Do you know “Polka Party!”?’ ” Fallon says. “He’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, I know it word for word.’ ”

Fallon threw Yankovic’s 1986 record on the turntable, and the Broadway phenomenon and the late-night TV star sang along to an accordion-driven medley that covers 12 songs in three minutes, from Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” to Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach.”

“Picture Jimmy Fallon and I sitting in a basement laughing our asses off singing, ‘I’m gonna keep my baby, keep my baby, keep my baby,’ ” Miranda says.

“We were crying, laughing and singing,” Fallon says.

They’re not alone…

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2017/02/16/how-weird-al-eclipsed-almost-every-star-he-ever-parodied/

20 Weird And Not So Weird Facts About “Weird Al” Yankovic and His Songs


(via mental floss)

by Roger Cormier

Starting with his first professional recordings and appearances on the Dr. Demento radio show almost 35 years ago, “Weird Al” Yankovic has managed to stay on the pop culture map and change with the times, even while so many of the bands and artists he has parodied lost the spotlight. Here are some facts about “Weird Al” Yankovic and his songs.


The legend—verified by Al Yankovic in the liner notes of his 1994 box set Permanent Record: Al in the Box—reads that on the day before Al turned 7, a door-to-door salesman came through Lynwood, California, to solicit business for a local music school, which offered its pupils a choice between guitar or accordion lessons. Because Frankie Yankovic shared the family’s surname and was known as “America’s Polka King,” Al’s parents chose the squeezebox for their son. Al would gradually learn how to play rock n’ roll on the instrument, mostly from Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, playing it “over and over” and trying to play along with it. Frankie and Al weren’t actually related, but the two would eventually collaborate, with Al playing on “Who Stole the Kishka?” on Frankie’s Songs of the Polka King, Vol. 1, and Frankie’s “The Tick Tock Polka” played by Al as a lead-in to Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” on the Alpocalypse track “Polka Face.”

Read more: http://mentalfloss.com/article/57901/20-weird-and-not-so-weird-facts-about-weird-al-yankovic-and-his-songs

Video of the Week: “Weird Al” Yankovic–Word Crimes

Video of the Week: Weird Al’s ‘Bob’–How Did He Do That?

If ever a music video deserved a ‘making of’ featurette, it’s “Bob“, Weird Al Yankovic’s parody of “Subterranean Homesick Blues“, which sends up Dylan’s incomprehensible lyric with nonsensical yet stupefying sentence-length palindromes.

Forget “Thriller“–would you rather see a behind-the-scenes about Michael Jackson putting on a lot of makeup and spending unprecedented amounts of money, or would you prefer to know who came up with palindromes like “Do nine men interpret? Nine men, I nod” and “oozy rat in a sanitary zoo” and how?

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