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ZipperJJ
04-20-2011, 01:53 PM
Weird Al wanted to do a parody of "Born This Way" but Gaga denied it (http://alyankovic.wordpress.com/the-gaga-saga/)

Summary of the very nicely written blog post from Al's blog:

Al got 11 of 12 songs ready for his new album but didn't have his "hit" yet. He waited until "Born this Way" came out, and came up with a concept for a parody. Since the song is a "human rights" song, he expected to give proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign. He asked Gaga (through her "people") who said "gotta read the lyrics first." Al came up with his lyrics (the song is called "Perform this Way") and sent them off, only to be told "Need to hear the whole song first," which sort of confused Al because she had the lyrics and she knew the song, but whatever. He NEVER pre-records a song to get an artists' blessing but he took the risk and recorded it anyway. Then Lady Gaga said "no" after hearing it.

Al released the song on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUxXKfQkswE) (frankly I think it's a little boring) but it won't get a video or make it on an album.

Lots of Gaga and Al fans on this board...what do you think?

Joey P
04-20-2011, 01:57 PM
Is the album already out? Maybe he'll put it on anyways. Remember, he's only asking to be nice, he doesn't need their permission to do a parody. Of course, I get the feeling Al is a nice guy and if they say no, I'm sure he won't put it on the album.

ETA, I'm guessing that's the 'demo' version and the real version would be a bit...'flashier' Also, that seems like a song that wasn't really meant to be heard on it's own but accompanied by a video, or rather Weird Al dancing around in odd dresses.

CandidGamera
04-20-2011, 02:03 PM
Thumbs down for Gaga.

Antinor01
04-20-2011, 02:07 PM
Meh. It's her song (that I didn't really like anyway) and her choice to say yes or no. From what I understand, he can abide by that or not. I can't bring myself to care one way or the other.

muldoonthief
04-20-2011, 02:07 PM
Sounds like someone who'd have been a sideshow attraction at best 100 years ago is taking herself a bit too seriously.

miss elizabeth
04-20-2011, 02:10 PM
I really like Lady GaGa, and I ADORE Weird Al, so I was hoping this would be a nice amicable "I wanted to do this song but she thought a parody would be in poor taste, oh well" type thing. But it seems GaGa is being a bit of a bitch and that makes me sad. I wish she would relent, and maybe if this gets a bit of press she will.

levdrakon
04-20-2011, 02:11 PM
All I can figure is Gaga takes herself far more seriously than I thought she did, and Al's lyrics hit too close to home.

Does Lady Gaga really think she's something other than what Al just described?

Besides, Al can write lyrics in his sleep, but apparently Gaga vomits them and spends weeks, months and years "honoring her vomit," whatever that's supposed to mean.

Dread Pirate Jimbo
04-20-2011, 02:21 PM
I guess Gaga prefers to be her very own self-parody and feels Al's song would be redundant... :D

So to my knowledge, that brings the list of artists who have said no to an Al song parody up to 2: Lady Gaga and Prince. And, of course, there's also the Coolio, Eminen, and James Blunt abberations as well, with their own unique backstories...

gaffa
04-20-2011, 02:22 PM
All I can figure is Gaga takes herself far more seriously than I thought she did, and Al's lyrics hit too close to home.
She would have to be insanely thin-skinned to be offended by that song.

She goes into the Weird Al Hall of Shame for the Humorless along with Prince and James Blunt's record company. Most artists take Al parodying one of their songs as an honor, or a rite of passage at the very least.

MsWhatsit
04-20-2011, 02:26 PM
The only way I can figure this is -- and this actually seems pretty likely to me -- she calculates every action she takes based on gaining maximum press coverage for it. Letting Weird Al do a parody of her song = a little press, but nothing major. Telling Weird Al he can't do a parody of her song = lots of press, for at least a few days.

Joey P, Al says in his blog post that the video for the song was going to be awesome. I'll agree that the song on its own is sort of meh for me. I mean, it's not awful, but I've heard a lot better parodies from Weird Al.

Cat Whisperer
04-20-2011, 02:29 PM
That's a foolish choice by Gaga, but whatever. There's plenty more fish in the sea to lampoon.

Maggie the Ocelot
04-20-2011, 02:31 PM
Love Gaga, but she blew it. Especially since he was going to donate proceeds to the HRC, which I think she would appreciate.

As Chamillionaire said: "It’s one thing to go platinum. Where do you go from there? Then Weird Al calls.”

ZipperJJ
04-20-2011, 02:37 PM
Telling Weird Al he can't do a parody of her song = lots of press, for at least a few days.

I was surprised that no one had posted this to the Dope yet, and the YouTube video of the song only had 330 views!

I am not a huge fan of either artist (I think Al's pretty fun and respect Gaga enough) and I heard this through my brother, who heard about it on his music geeks forum. Doesn't seem like the story has "hit" just yet...but interesting theory.

Justin_Bailey
04-20-2011, 02:38 PM
She goes into the Weird Al Hall of Shame for the Humorless along with Prince and James Blunt's record company. Most artists take Al parodying one of their songs as an honor, or a rite of passage at the very least.

Kurt Cobain told everyone he didn't become a rock star until Al did "Smells Like Nirvana"

MsWhatsit
04-20-2011, 02:51 PM
I was surprised that no one had posted this to the Dope yet, and the YouTube video of the song only had 330 views!


The video has showed as having 330 views since several hours ago. I think it's not updating for whatever reason. There are over 4,000 "likes" on it already.

YogSothoth
04-20-2011, 03:03 PM
I like both of them. Wish Gaga would reconsider

Mahaloth
04-20-2011, 03:07 PM
Who else has said "no"?

Coolio didn't like Amish Paradise and says he said no, but Al insists Coolio said yes initially(and I believe Al).

Anyone else deny usage?

Snowboarder Bo
04-20-2011, 03:13 PM
I like it more than I like her song. I guess she said no because it pokes fun at her, and she's a very serious artiste.

:rolleyes:

I can't wait to find an mp3 of this! :p

ETA:

My parodies have always fallen under what the courts call “fair use,” and this one was no different, legally allowing me to record and release it without permission. But it has always been my personal policy to get the consent of the original artist before including my parodies on any album, so of course I will respect Gaga’s wishes. However, given the circumstances, I have no problem with allowing people to hear it online, because I also have a personal policy not to completely waste my stinking time.

So I uploaded the song to YouTube, and will be making free mp3 downloads available on weirdal.com shortly. Hope you enjoy it.

MsWhatsit
04-20-2011, 03:13 PM
Who else has said "no"?

Coolio didn't like Amish Paradise and says he said no, but Al insists Coolio said yes initially(and I believe Al).

Anyone else deny usage?

I turned up this list (http://www.11points.com/Music/11_Artists_Who_Wouldn%27t_Give_Weird_Al_Permission_For_a_Parody). I knew about Eminem, Coolio, and James Blunt, but the rest were news to me.

ministryman
04-20-2011, 03:13 PM
Lady Gag Gag needs to STFU and get a sense of humor, and a life, as her 15 minutes of Fame are coming to an end.

KneadToKnow
04-20-2011, 03:20 PM
I turned up this list (http://www.11points.com/Music/11_Artists_Who_Wouldn%27t_Give_Weird_Al_Permission_For_a_Parody). I knew about Eminem, Coolio, and James Blunt, but the rest were news to me.

From the linked article:

Daniel Powter. In a classic, classic case of someone misunderstanding his status on the music food chain, Daniel Powter wouldn't give permission to Al to parody "Bad Day". He just refused.

Until... right before Al was set to hit the studio to record his new album and Daniel Powter had a change of heart. In a rare double denial, Al said it was too late, and he rejected Powter. Powter hasn't been heard from since.

As I literally have no idea who Daniel Powter is, I found this entry on the list high-larious.

Prince turning Al down repeatedly was news to me, also, and disappointing. I actually think Prince has a pretty good sense of humor about himself.

Joey P
04-20-2011, 03:25 PM
Joey P, Al says in his blog post that the video for the song was going to be awesome. I'll agree that the song on its own is sort of meh for me. I mean, it's not awful, but I've heard a lot better parodies from Weird Al.

Maybe we need to look at this from the other side. Maybe Lady Gaga said no to Al not because she doesn't want him doing a parody, but because she just plain doesn't like the song. On the one hand it seems like kind of a bitch move to make him jump through all those hoops before saying no (based on reading the OP and nothing more) when she could have just said no right off the bat, OTOH, maybe she was thinking about saying yes, but by the time the song was written she was 'meh' about it also. As much as I really don't like most of her music, it's anything but 'meh'.

Snowboarder Bo
04-20-2011, 03:27 PM
Prince turning Al down repeatedly was news to me, also, and disappointing. I actually think Prince has a pretty good sense of humor about himself.

I have friends who've toured with Prince and they report that he has no sense of humor at all, especially about himself.

Cat Whisperer
04-20-2011, 03:28 PM
<snip>
Prince turning Al down repeatedly was news to me, also, and disappointing. I actually think Prince has a pretty good sense of humor about himself.
Prince does things for Prince reasons. He said recently that he thinks the internet is over - I love his music deeply, but I don't look to him for reason and logic. :)

Little Nemo
04-20-2011, 03:29 PM
Coolio didn't like Amish Paradise and says he said no, but Al insists Coolio said yes initially(and I believe Al).What apparently happened was that Yankovic contacted Coolio through intermediaries (which is routine). The message was sent back to Yankovic that Coolio had been asked and had given his permission. So Yankovic recorded and released the parody. It then came out that apparently the intermediaries had not actually asked Coolio - they had just given the permission and said it was from him.

gaffa
04-20-2011, 03:37 PM
Maybe we need to look at this from the other side. Maybe Lady Gaga said no to Al not because she doesn't want him doing a parody, but because she just plain doesn't like the song.
Or maybe she was offended by the fact that, from a technical standpoint, Al's lyrics make it a much better song. I just read the lyrics for both, and hers are filled with strained rhymes and barely scans.

"No matter black white or beige
Chola or Orient made"

Seriously, that is some mediocre songwriting. Al's parody on the other hand scans, rhymes well and has clever internal rhymes. No contest.

gaffa
04-20-2011, 03:43 PM
The view counter is stuck at 330.

Al broke YouTube.

Maggie the Ocelot
04-20-2011, 03:44 PM
Honestly, I think it was probably too soon is all.

Born This Way is still getting some serious airplay, and she likely didn't want a song with the same tune causing confusion between the two in the public mind. If Al had waited 6 months, or had picked one of the songs off her previous album to parody, I bet she would have been fine with it.

MsWhatsit
04-20-2011, 03:52 PM
Honestly, I think it was probably too soon is all.

Born This Way is still getting some serious airplay, and she likely didn't want a song with the same tune causing confusion between the two in the public mind. If Al had waited 6 months, or had picked one of the songs off her previous album to parody, I bet she would have been fine with it.

I feel like she could have mentioned this before putting Al through the rigamarole of writing and producing the song, though. It's not like it's a secret that he uses the same tune as the actual song.

gaffa
04-20-2011, 03:53 PM
Honestly, I think it was probably too soon is all.

Born This Way is still getting some serious airplay, and she likely didn't want a song with the same tune causing confusion between the two in the public mind. If Al had waited 6 months, or had picked one of the songs off her previous album to parody, I bet she would have been fine with it.
From his post, the album wasn't going to be released for another eight weeks. By the time Al's parody came out, it would work perfectly, she would be off promoting her next single and Al's parody would renew interest in her original which would be flagging.

ZipperJJ
04-20-2011, 03:54 PM
Honestly, I think it was probably too soon is all.

Born This Way is still getting some serious airplay, and she likely didn't want a song with the same tune causing confusion between the two in the public mind. If Al had waited 6 months, or had picked one of the songs off her previous album to parody, I bet she would have been fine with it.

Good answer.

Woulda been cool if he did uhm...well, her most famous song (IMHO, as it's the only one I know) - "Bad Romance." I think it's a better song than "Born This Way" and we all know Al could have come up with some fine lyrics.

Dread Pirate Jimbo
04-20-2011, 04:05 PM
Honestly, I think it was probably too soon is all.

Born This Way is still getting some serious airplay, and she likely didn't want a song with the same tune causing confusion between the two in the public mind. If Al had waited 6 months, or had picked one of the songs off her previous album to parody, I bet she would have been fine with it.

One of Al's consistent challenges when doing parodies is that he has to strike while the iron is still hot -- doing a parody of a song that's a year old doesn't work, as the material is now stale. Getting it out while it's still very much in the public's thoughts is a critical part of making the parody effective. Consequently, he almost never records parodies months in advance of an album release, opting instead to wait to the last minute before going into the studio to write and record parody material.

Basically, Gaga has just been a humourless idiot for saying no.

Sleeps With Butterflies
04-20-2011, 04:10 PM
I guess I just don't see how Weird Al has made a career of this stuff. No disrespect intended for his fans here, but beyond 8-12 year olds I can't comprehend the appeal.

Don't get me wrong, when I was in the age I mentioned I thought he was a laugh riot, but now I just shake my head with wonder.

It's her song. If she doesn't want it used I don't see how anyone can fault her for it. For me it's no different than artists/writers who don't want their songs used for commercials. It's something she created.

Steophan
04-20-2011, 04:11 PM
I turned up this list (http://www.11points.com/Music/11_Artists_Who_Wouldn%27t_Give_Weird_Al_Permission_For_a_Parody). I knew about Eminem, Coolio, and James Blunt, but the rest were news to me.

That link also explained why he was asking for permission, as he's not obliged to. Apparently it's on principle, which is fairly admirable.

gonzoron
04-20-2011, 04:14 PM
One wonders if Ms. Gaga was as courteous in asking Madonna before recording the song in the first place. :P

FlightlessBird
04-20-2011, 04:14 PM
Breaking news: (or whatever)
TMZ link: (http://www.tmz.com/2011/04/20/weird-al-yankovic-lady-gaga-rejected-born-this-way-parody-perform-this-way/)Lady Gaga -- I Didn't Reject Weird Al Yankovic.

Seems like a weird bit of he said she said.

Great Antibob
04-20-2011, 04:15 PM
What apparently happened was that Yankovic contacted Coolio through intermediaries (which is routine). The message was sent back to Yankovic that Coolio had been asked and had given his permission. So Yankovic recorded and released the parody. It then came out that apparently the intermediaries had not actually asked Coolio - they had just given the permission and said it was from him.

Well, that's Coolio's story after the fact, and his entourage is almost guaranteed to "remember" it that way.

The record producers and Al himself remember a somewhat different story.

beartato
04-20-2011, 04:40 PM
One wonders if Ms. Gaga was as courteous in asking Madonna before recording the song in the first place. :P

Pretty much what I was going to say! Madonna's given her blessing to Weird Al in the past for parodying; he should have just asked her for permission to do this song and claimed confusion later.

Bosstone
04-20-2011, 04:46 PM
I guess I just don't see how Weird Al has made a career of this stuff. No disrespect intended for his fans here, but beyond 8-12 year olds I can't comprehend the appeal.

Don't get me wrong, when I was in the age I mentioned I thought he was a laugh riot, but now I just shake my head with wonder.How sad that you seem to have forgotten what fun is. I suppose all those artists who consider it an honor to be parodied by Al are children too.

Sleeps With Butterflies
04-20-2011, 04:48 PM
How sad that you seem to have forgotten what fun is. I suppose all those artists who consider it an honor to be parodied by Al are children too.

Thanks for the laugh. No longer liking Weird Al=forgetting what FUN is. Good stuff. Melodrama, we have arrived!

How sad it is that you think that everything we enjoyed when we were younger automatically translates to adulthood. Aw, now we're both sad.

Bosstone
04-20-2011, 04:52 PM
Thanks for the laugh. No longer liking Weird Al=forgetting what FUN is. Good stuff. Melodrama, we have arrived!

How sad it is that you think that everything we enjoyed when we were younger automatically translates to adulthood. Aw, now we're both sad.Right, I shouldn't have risen to the bait. My bad.

levdrakon
04-20-2011, 04:57 PM
I guess I just don't see how Weird Al has made a career of this stuff. No disrespect intended for his fans here, but beyond 8-12 year olds I can't comprehend the appeal.
Well, for someone trying not to be disrespectful of his fans here, that sure sounded disrespectful.

You know who else was disrespectful and had no sense of humor???

MsWhatsit
04-20-2011, 04:58 PM
I guess I just don't see how Weird Al has made a career of this stuff. No disrespect intended for his fans here, but beyond 8-12 year olds I can't comprehend the appeal.

Don't get me wrong, when I was in the age I mentioned I thought he was a laugh riot, but now I just shake my head with wonder.

It's her song. If she doesn't want it used I don't see how anyone can fault her for it. For me it's no different than artists/writers who don't want their songs used for commercials. It's something she created.

Then she should have said no up-front, rather than putting Al through the rigamarole of actually producing and recording the song before deigning to say no.

Didn't I just say this earlier?

As for the rest of your post, congratulations for sharing your opinion. I mean, personally I don't feel the need to bang out a few sentences of stream-of-consciousness opinion about every artist that has any sort of thread started about them regardless of topic, but that's just me, and our differences make the world go around, am I right?

Bosstone
04-20-2011, 05:01 PM
Then she should have said no up-front, rather than putting Al through the rigamarole of actually producing and recording the song before deigning to say no.Actually, things are a little more interesting than it seems at first glance. TMZ (http://www.tmz.com/2011/04/20/weird-al-yankovic-lady-gaga-rejected-born-this-way-parody-perform-this-way/)'s got an update, and it sure as hell sounds like someone is being squirrely.But sources extremely close to the singer tell us, "There must have been a misunderstanding because [Gaga] is in no way trying to block the release of the parody."

According to sources, "She's busy touring and hasn't heard the song yet. Her manager hasn't had a chance to play it for her yet" -- adding, "She's a huge Weird Al fan."

A bizarre situation -- because Al claims Gaga's manager is the one who denied him in the first place ... forcing him to release "Perform This Way" unofficially on YouTube.
Either Al is lying -- unlikely, as he's got a rep for being a decent guy -- or the manager tried to shut Al down and realized he dug a hole. Or there was honest miscommunication.

Red Barchetta
04-20-2011, 05:14 PM
I was surprised that no one had posted this to the Dope yet, and the YouTube video of the song only had 330 views!

The view counts lag behind by hours and always stop right around the 330 mark--I've uploaded over 800 vids and have seen it with tons of them.

voltaire
04-20-2011, 05:32 PM
Prince turning Al down repeatedly was news to me, also, and disappointing. I actually think Prince has a pretty good sense of humor about himself.

Heh, Prince is weird that way. The Foo Fighters covered Darling Nikki, and in response during an interview Prince said that he didn't appreciate it and that they should write their own tunes.

Fast forward to Prince's 2007 Superbowl half-time show, where he included a cover of Foo Fighters' "Best of You" in a mashup of several other covers. And no, the Foos had not given permission and had no clue that he was going to do that, but of course they didn't have a problem with it. But then, the Foos are A LOT less full of themselves than most others in the music business.

Argent Towers
04-20-2011, 05:40 PM
Lady Gaga has less talent than a wart on Weird Al's pecker.

Bryan Ekers
04-20-2011, 05:55 PM
Breaking news: (or whatever)
TMZ link: (http://www.tmz.com/2011/04/20/weird-al-yankovic-lady-gaga-rejected-born-this-way-parody-perform-this-way/)Lady Gaga -- I Didn't Reject Weird Al Yankovic.

Seems like a weird bit of he said she said.

And thus the story gets more coverage then her just agreeing in the first place. I'm inclined to back MsWhatsit's take on the matter.

hajario
04-20-2011, 05:59 PM
I guess I just don't see how Weird Al has made a career of this stuff. No disrespect intended for his fans here, but beyond 8-12 year olds I can't comprehend the appeal.

Don't get me wrong, when I was in the age I mentioned I thought he was a laugh riot, but now I just shake my head with wonder.

I totally agree with this and was set to say pretty much the same thing.

It's her song. If she doesn't want it used I don't see how anyone can fault her for it. For me it's no different than artists/writers who don't want their songs used for commercials. It's something she created.

I kind of disagree with you here though. If I were an artist, I'd tell him "no" from the get go and not make him actually record the song first. I mean either you like his work and you'd trust him to do it in his usual style or you don't like his work and just refuse. If for some reason this particular parody was way far afield from his normal work then I take all of this back.

Finally, anyone who honestly thinks that Weird Al will be remembered more through the ages than Gaga is just delusional. I don't care for the output of either of them but there is a clear difference between a novelty act with some hardcore fans and a cultural phenomenon.

billfish678
04-20-2011, 06:03 PM
Lady Gaga has less talent than a wart on Weird Al's pecker.

There's a "Can't Touch This" joke in here somewhere.

Steophan
04-20-2011, 06:06 PM
Finally, anyone who honestly thinks that Weird Al will be remembered more through the ages than Gaga is just delusional. I don't care for the output of either of them but there is a clear difference between a novelty act with some hardcore fans and a cultural phenomenon.

I think you got Gaga and Weird Al the wrong way round there.

hajario
04-20-2011, 06:11 PM
I think you got Gaga and Weird Al the wrong way round there.

:D

I could kind of work either way, I have to admit.

That said, Al isn't selling out venues at nearly the rate of Gaga.

gaffa
04-20-2011, 06:22 PM
Finally, anyone who honestly thinks that Weird Al will be remembered more through the ages than Gaga is just delusional. I don't care for the output of either of them but there is a clear difference between a novelty act with some hardcore fans and a cultural phenomenon.
Weird Al is a flash-in-the-pan that has somehow managed to have a career that has lasted 30+ years. I wouldn't give Lady Gaga any hope for having the same longevity.

gaffa
04-20-2011, 06:25 PM
Update: Apparently Lady Gaga has now approved the parody.

And the glorious circle of promotion life goes on.

Maggie the Ocelot
04-20-2011, 06:43 PM
Yay! It's OK!

http://alyankovic.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/gaga-update/

RandMcnally
04-20-2011, 06:50 PM
Yeah, Al's 15 minutes are almost up...

MsWhatsit
04-20-2011, 06:56 PM
I told MrWhatsit about this whole brouhaha -- why he puts up with me, I will never understand -- and his reaction was, "Well, yay for Twitter for once again solving the world's social problems."

Morgyn
04-20-2011, 06:57 PM
Good answer.

Woulda been cool if he did uhm...well, her most famous song (IMHO, as it's the only one I know) - "Bad Romance." I think it's a better song than "Born This Way" and we all know Al could have come up with some fine lyrics.Maybe he could have lauded "Pepperoni", to the tune of "Paparazzi"....

typoink
04-20-2011, 06:57 PM
I guess I just don't see how Weird Al has made a career of this stuff. No disrespect intended for his fans here, but beyond 8-12 year olds I can't comprehend the appeal.

Most of his silly parodies are, sure, kiddie fare. But there's kiddies out there, and I can laugh at 'em occasionally just as I can laugh at good slapstick cartoons now and again. Not my bread and butter, but I understand the market.

That said, Weird Al's recorded a handful of more "grown up" focused stuff over the years -- usually the non-parody tracks on his albums. They're hardly SERIOUS, but some dabble in solid wordplay, real humor, and an occasional dose of actual satire.

They're too few and far between, though; I'd love to hear Weird Al release a "non-zany" album, if only to see if he could pull it off.

MeanOldLady
04-20-2011, 07:20 PM
Holy shite, the internets move fast. I read about this maybe three hours ago on someone's Facebook wall, and thought it was lame of Gaga to string him along through the approval process, review the lyrics, then insist he record the song and send it her, then say no, but hey, bitchier things have been done in Hollywood. Now the whole thing's resolved? Very good then.

Don't see myself running out and buying Al's album any time soon (or Gaga's for that matter), but at least I can walk away feeling like there's just one less smidgen of douchery in the world.

Sampiro
04-20-2011, 07:24 PM
Since she's got a huge gay fan base I'm surprised there's not more "Gaga denies song's use to raise money for largest gay rights organization".

Did anybody else read the title and think she'd denied Al existed? Or maybe denied ever having met him three times before a cock crowed somewhere?

levdrakon
04-20-2011, 07:25 PM
Holy shite, the internets move fast. I read about this maybe three hours ago on someone's Facebook wall, and thought it was lame of Gaga to string him along through the approval process, review the lyrics, then insist he record the song and send it her, then say no, but hey, bitchier things have been done in Hollywood. Now the whole thing's resolved? Very good then.

Don't see myself running out and buying Al's album any time soon (or Gaga's for that matter), but at least I can walk away feeling like there's just one less smidgen of douchery in the world.Well, there's still one douche in this story: the manager who made Al record the song just to say "no" without Gaga's knowledge. What a douche bag.

Cat Whisperer
04-20-2011, 07:33 PM
The view counter is stuck at 330.

Al broke YouTube.Well, we all knew it was bound to happen sooner or later.

Well, for someone trying not to be disrespectful of his fans here, that sure sounded disrespectful.

You know who else was disrespectful and had no sense of humor???That kid's father from the Twisted Sister video?

Most of his silly parodies are, sure, kiddie fare. But there's kiddies out there, and I can laugh at 'em occasionally just as I can laugh at good slapstick cartoons now and again. Not my bread and butter, but I understand the market.

That said, Weird Al's recorded a handful of more "grown up" focused stuff over the years -- usually the non-parody tracks on his albums. They're hardly SERIOUS, but some dabble in solid wordplay, real humor, and an occasional dose of actual satire.

They're too few and far between, though; I'd love to hear Weird Al release a "non-zany" album, if only to see if he could pull it off.Leaving aside Al's multiple Grammy awards, I've seen him and his band live - there's no doubt that they can do pretty much anything they want musically. The lyrics of their songs are often silly, but they are serious musicians.

Thudlow Boink
04-20-2011, 07:45 PM
Plenty of Al hatin' and lovin' can be found in the thread from last year: Weird Al Yankovic isn't funny (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=576712).

unclviny
04-20-2011, 07:51 PM
Regarding the Coolio-thing, that was a rewrite of a Stevie Wonder song (Pastime Paradise). Why didn't Al just ask SW?

Unclviny

hajario
04-20-2011, 07:51 PM
Weird Al is a flash-in-the-pan that has somehow managed to have a career that has lasted 30+ years. I wouldn't give Lady Gaga any hope for having the same longevity.

Who said anything about flash in the pan? I first heard him on Dr. Demento when I was an adolescent in the early 80s. I think that Gaga will be around for a long time and she definitely hit a peak much higher that Al could ever dream of hitting.

Mahaloth
04-20-2011, 08:15 PM
Honestly, it's not his best song, anyway. I guess it's cool we get it free now and I'm sure he'll find something to fill out the album.

Freudian Slit
04-20-2011, 08:53 PM
Who else has said "no"?

Coolio didn't like Amish Paradise and says he said no, but Al insists Coolio said yes initially(and I believe Al).



Especially lame since Gangsta's Paradise was based on a Stevie Wonder song. It's not like Coolio had any claim to the melody.

E-Sabbath
04-20-2011, 09:15 PM
So, what you'd call this is the rare 'Reverse Coolio.'
As Chamillionaire said,

The people he's done, like Michael Jackson, they're legends. And he's a Grammy-winning artist. (His video) takes my record to megarecord status. It's one thing to go platinum. Where do you go from there? Then"Weird Al" calls.

Little Nemo
04-20-2011, 10:34 PM
That said, Al isn't selling out venues at nearly the rate of Gaga.Check back in five years. I predict Weird Al will still be selling the amount of tickets he's selling now and Lady Gaga will be playing county fairs.

Little Nemo
04-20-2011, 10:39 PM
Go back to 1983 when Weird Al released his first album. He did parodies of songs by Toni Basil, Joan Jett, The Knack, and Stevie Nicks - all of whom were huge stars at the time.

It's twenty-eight years later. Which of these performers still has a significant career?

gaffa
04-20-2011, 10:39 PM
Leaving aside Al's multiple Grammy awards, I've seen him and his band live - there's no doubt that they can do pretty much anything they want musically. The lyrics of their songs are often silly, but they are serious musicians.
Serious and nimble. I see a lot of bands, probably going to see live music two or more times a week, and I don't think I've seen another band that could move from pop to rap to country to polka to metal...

Chronos
04-20-2011, 10:58 PM
I think that it's certainly a musician's prerogative to turn down Weird Al, but I also think that any musician would be a fool to do so. If I were a musician and Al asked me, I'd agree before he had a chance to finish the sentence. It's a win-win-win: He wins, of course, and I get more publicity from it, and the audience gets another song they like. Whatever she is, Lady Gaga is not a fool, so I suspect that what happened here was either a genuine miscommunication, or a contrived ploy as someone on the first page suggested.

As to the relative merits of the two artists, Gaga is really good at what she does, and I wouldn't lightly rule out the possibility that she might be able to stand the test of time. Weird Al, though, has already proven that he can stand the test of time: There's no need to even ask the question. And all those parodies might be silly and frivolous, but they're also artistic tours de force: There are plenty of performers who can put in a really good performance in one specific genre or style of music, but Yankovich can put in a really good performance in any style or genre. That takes an awful lot of skill.

gaffa
04-20-2011, 11:09 PM
I think that it's certainly a musician's prerogative to turn down Weird Al, but I also think that any musician would be a fool to do so. If I were a musician and Al asked me, I'd agree before he had a chance to finish the sentence. It's a win-win-win: He wins, of course, and I get more publicity from it, and the audience gets another song they like.
It goes further than that - Al actually splits the songwriting royalties with them. Every copy of the Weird Al parody of your song sold means an additional 50% per copy royalty, at no additional cost. I don't have the stats, but I'm sure his parodies also boost the sales of the original songs.

GuanoLad
04-20-2011, 11:14 PM
I'm sure Al is just as mystified at his continued popularity as anyone. But it's there, he loves his job, so he keeps at it. Can't blame a guy for that.

I do still like his stuff, but not everything, and there's only so much listing of pop cultural touchstones I can take before it gets a bit too repetitious.

Quimby
04-20-2011, 11:15 PM
Nevermind...

CyclopticXander
04-20-2011, 11:37 PM
Well now that the matter seems to be resolved, let's address the song itself. I like Al and all, but this parody just plain isn't up to his usual standards.

I'm sure a video would help, but as it stands this isn't even as good as some of the better internet parodies, like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFvE9D3zMfY&list=SL. The same premise, much better lyrics.

I know there's been some discussion than maybe Youtube has diminished some of Al's luster and necessity. This really adds some ammo to that argument.

Ephemera
04-20-2011, 11:46 PM
Weird Al Yankovic isn't funny (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=576712).

Agreed.

gaffa
04-20-2011, 11:47 PM
Well now that the matter seems to be resolved, let's address the song itself. I like Al and all, but this parody just plain isn't up to his usual standards.
It is a better song than the original, but the original was a pretty mediocre song. I honestly prefer Al's original songs like Skipper Dan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0cCRRFi1aA) to his parodies.

Cat Whisperer
04-20-2011, 11:55 PM
Serious and nimble. I see a lot of bands, probably going to see live music two or more times a week, and I don't think I've seen another band that could move from pop to rap to country to polka to metal...
We noticed that, too - I got the impression that you could shout any song you can think of at them and they'd just roll right into it. Also, you can't really tell from the recordings, but Al has a much better voice than you'd expect.

CarnalK
04-21-2011, 12:09 AM
I'm sure Al is just as mystified at his continued popularity as anyone. But it's there, he loves his job, so he keeps at it. Can't blame a guy for that.
Is he that popular still? I mean, I'm sure he's making a living but I personally hardly ever hear about him except when there's a story like this or a parody of his is horribly apropos to end some entertainment story with.

I guess what I'm asking is, is he touring/selling more successfully than any other 80's band nobody sees on the charts anymore?

gaffa
04-21-2011, 12:25 AM
I guess what I'm asking is, is he touring/selling more successfully than any other 80's band nobody sees on the charts anymore?
He and the band are touring constantly and are playing decent-sized venues. For instance, fairly recently they played Kansas City, MO and played the Uptown Theater, a 1700 seat venue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uptown_Theater_%28Kansas_City,_Missouri%29). I can't recall the last off the charts 80s band that played that particular location - they are usually doing casinos. Prince can still fill a small arena, but I suspect they are doing a lot of comps.

GuanoLad
04-21-2011, 12:26 AM
Is he that popular still?He tours every 18 months, and seems to sell out medium sized venues. I'm not sure how that is measured in the overall scheme of things, but I'd call it popular enough to make a decent living for himself and his band.

Justin_Bailey
04-21-2011, 01:06 AM
I guess what I'm asking is, is he touring/selling more successfully than any other 80's band nobody sees on the charts anymore?

Every album Al has put out has gone at least Gold.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22Weird_Al%22_Yankovic#Discography

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 01:19 AM
Is he that popular still? I mean, I'm sure he's making a living but I personally hardly ever hear about him except when there's a story like this or a parody of his is horribly apropos to end some entertainment story with.

I guess what I'm asking is, is he touring/selling more successfully than any other 80's band nobody sees on the charts anymore?Two years ago I saw Weird Al in concert. The stadium he played in was packed, and it was an awesome show.

This was at the state fair two years ago. He and Alice Cooper were playing on different nights. I chose to go see Weird Al over Alice Cooper, and I love Alice.

Tim R. Mortiss
04-21-2011, 01:21 AM
It's another Festivus MIRACLE!!

CyclopticXander
04-21-2011, 01:42 AM
It is a better song than the original, but the original was a pretty mediocre song. I honestly prefer Al's original songs like Skipper Dan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0cCRRFi1aA) to his parodies.

There's no doubt he has a good voice and nice sense of humor, but how is this particular parody better than the original song? It's the most obvious route for a Gaga parody and I honestly feel like I could have written those very basic lyrics myself. I rarely feel that way about his work.

Saltire
04-21-2011, 02:35 AM
Just watched Gaga's video for her song and I have to say--I hope Al doesn't spend as much time in undergarments in his version.

Hail Ants
04-21-2011, 02:45 AM
Its a, ahem, "Human rights song"?!?

Excuse me for a moment.

BA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Yeah right Gaga. You're up there with Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale!

Listen here Stefani Joanne Angelina Spasketti, you're a piece of ass, outrageous, goofball pop singer. Yes, you can sing but if you weren't attractive (and a goofball) you'd be nowhere. You're not Susan B. Anthony ok? You're Britney fucking Spears!

Now go make with the vapid thumpa-thumpa neo-disco craptacular three-buttons-pressed-on-the-Casio-keyboard flavor-of-the-month drek, M'kay?

CyclopticXander
04-21-2011, 03:02 AM
Its a, ahem, "Human rights song"?!?

Excuse me for a moment.

BA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Yeah right Gaga. You're up there with Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale!

Listen here Stefani Joanne Angelina Spasketti, you're a piece of ass, outrageous, goofball pop singer. Yes, you can sing but if you weren't attractive (and a goofball) you'd be nowhere. You're not Susan B. Anthony ok? You're Britney fucking Spears!

Now go make with the vapid thumpa-thumpa neo-disco craptacular three-buttons-pressed-on-the-Casio-keyboard flavor-of-the-month drek, M'kay?

She's not even a hot by conventional standards. Yes she does have a good body that you can see in her videos, but face wise she never would have been given the chance to strut around naked for a mainstream audience were it not for some other factors that made her marketable. I just think we need to rule sex appeal out as a reason for her success.

She's an artist and she has certain convictions. I understand how that is easy to mock, but can you name a single musical artist or song that you consider on the level of Susan B Anthony? I don't think so. Mostly because you are obviously super cynical, but nobody even dared to make such a comparison, least of all Gaga herself.

Are you so jaded though that you refuse to even acknowledge that this could be a human rights song? I understand that tastes differ, but geeze that's just rude. Some people do find empowerment in music, and who are you to crap all over that?

Happy Scrappy Hero Pup
04-21-2011, 03:02 AM
Finally, anyone who honestly thinks that Weird Al will be remembered more through the ages than Gaga is just delusional. I don't care for the output of either of them but there is a clear difference between a novelty act with some hardcore fans and a cultural phenomenon.

Weird Al has outlasted:

-the guy who released the first #1 rap album
-the guy who was arguably the greatest rapper of all time
-New Wave
-Post-punk
-Grunge
-Garage Rock
-hair metal
-80's pop
-90's pop
-'00's pop
-boy bands
-nu-metal
-ska
-swing
-New Jack Swing

...and dozens of other "cultural phenomena."

I don't even particularly LIKE Weird Al all that much, but to say Gaga will still be here after he's gone is... highly statistically unlikely.

CyclopticXander
04-21-2011, 03:28 AM
Weird Al has outlasted:

-the guy who released the first #1 rap album
-the guy who was arguably the greatest rapper of all time
-New Wave
-Post-punk
-Grunge
-Garage Rock
-hair metal
-80's pop
-90's pop
-'00's pop
-boy bands
-nu-metal
-ska
-swing
-New Jack Swing

...and dozens of other "cultural phenomena."

I don't even particularly LIKE Weird Al all that much, but to say Gaga will still be here after he's gone is... highly statistically unlikely.

You know we really should differentiate between levels of mainstream success. Al's thing is popping back up every few years and salvaging what he can out of the junk pile of pop culture. There's nothing wrong with that, but even within that narrow sphere his mainstream importance is decreasing with each album.

He will always have his fans for sure, and I'm not denying his entertainment value, but you can't really compare him to most of the subjects of parodies. Most of these artists have worked for less in terms of time, but most of them created something original with far more historical importance and influence that a resilient novelty act. The point is that even if Lady Gaga's star faded tomorrow she would be viewed as much more important than Weird Al, and her subesquent radio airplay would make her much more significant in the long term.

Justin_Bailey
04-21-2011, 03:44 AM
She's not even a hot by conventional standards. Yes she does have a good body that you can see in her videos, but face wise she never would have been given the chance to strut around naked for a mainstream audience were it not for some other factors that made her marketable. I just think we need to rule sex appeal out as a reason for her success.

I know Gaga herself pushes the "Lady Gaga is ugly and her music speaks to outcasts just like her!" meme, but you don't honestly believe that do you? Out of her costumes, she's ridiculously attractive and would have made a pretty effective pop tart if she had decided to go that route.

Hail Ants
04-21-2011, 04:13 AM
My take was she seemed to be saying that that song was somehow 'above' the likes of Weird Al. And to that I say, 'Get over yourself honey, real quick like.'

Lady Gaga is the very definition of Pop Star. And 'Born This Way' the definition of pop music. Hell even though I tend more towards hard rock I'll even admit to liking the catchyness of it (for a while, pretty much tired of it now).

But to call it a 'human rights song' is an insult to anything and everything associated with the concept of human rights. This is the kind of thing that makes the rest of the world hate us! This song is just a catchy little dance tune that happens to have some lyrics about being proud to be yourself. But it could just have easily been about scoring ecstasy at a rave or dumping a boyfriend etc.

And trying to claim such an overtly commercial, heavily-produced, studio-computer-mixed, focus-group-tested bit of club music as a 'human-rights' song that would be soiled by the likes of Yankovich is bloated, ar-teest narcissism at its worst!

devilsknew
04-21-2011, 04:15 AM
You know what even makes Lady Gaga and her craptacular, fascist, music even possible in this day and age? It's the modern, apocalyptic, 9-11, neocon, MilitaryIndustrial Mass Media Complexio Inter- Net.... and Disney, don't forget Disney for setting progressive music back 50 years. Brit, Christ, Lake, Cyrus, and Gaga Retrograde.

CyclopticXander
04-21-2011, 04:33 AM
I know Gaga herself pushes the "Lady Gaga is ugly and her music speaks to outcasts just like her!" meme, but you don't honestly believe that do you? Out of her costumes, she's ridiculously attractive and would have made a pretty effective pop tart if she had decided to go that route.

This is a subjective assessment so it maybe silly to even argue, but I'll bite. Of course she is attractive, fame aside she's be relentlessly hit on in any bar or club in the country, much like a whole lot of young women. But I really don't think she has the kind of look that lends itself to being a national sex symbol like Britney Spears.

Of all the things she is known for, being "hot" is pretty low on the list. She has more of a female and gay male following than anything else, I just don't think there is a significant portion of the fanbase who are mostly just oogling her. Although I don't deny she probably wouldn't be as big a hit if she didn't meet that basic standard for attractiveness.

Feel free to criticize her all you like, I just don't think calling her "a piece of ass" is nice or an accurate assessment of any substantial part of her fame.

CyclopticXander
04-21-2011, 04:37 AM
My take was she seemed to be saying that that song was somehow 'above' the likes of Weird Al. And to that I say, 'Get over yourself honey, real quick like.'

Lady Gaga is the very definition of Pop Star. And 'Born This Way' the definition of pop music. Hell even though I tend more towards hard rock I'll even admit to liking the catchyness of it (for a while, pretty much tired of it now).

But to call it a 'human rights song' is an insult to anything and everything associated with the concept of human rights. This is the kind of thing that makes the rest of the world hate us! This song is just a catchy little dance tune that happens to have some lyrics about being proud to be yourself. But it could just have easily been about scoring ecstasy at a rave or dumping a boyfriend etc.

And trying to claim such an overtly commercial, heavily-produced, studio-computer-mixed, focus-group-tested bit of club music as a 'human-rights' song that would be soiled by the likes of Yankovich is bloated, ar-teest narcissism at its worst!

Ok so obviously you read a whole storyline into a situation you actually knew nothing about.

Just because something is labeled as "human rights" doesn't mean it is supposed to have an actual measurable political influence on human rights. Couldn't I just write a song about racism without you screeching that I'm not in the same league as Martin Luther King Jr?

Martini Enfield
04-21-2011, 04:49 AM
He will always have his fans for sure, and I'm not denying his entertainment value, but you can't really compare him to most of the subjects of parodies. Most of these artists have worked for less in terms of time, but most of them created something original with far more historical importance and influence that a resilient novelty act. The point is that even if Lady Gaga's star faded tomorrow she would be viewed as much more important than Weird Al, and her subesquent radio airplay would make her much more significant in the long term.

I'm not sure I agree. There are several Weird Al songs that people are more (or at least equally) familiar with than the originals- things like White & Nerdy, Amish Paradise, and Fat, just off the top of my head. Some of his non-parody work is also very good IMHO, and I'd actually quite like to see a Weird Al/Lady GaGa collaboration.

Whether the Universe could handle that level of zany and "out there" is another matter entirely, though... ;)

E-Sabbath
04-21-2011, 05:07 AM
You know we really should differentiate between levels of mainstream success. Al's thing is popping back up every few years and salvaging what he can out of the junk pile of pop culture. There's nothing wrong with that, but even within that narrow sphere his mainstream importance is decreasing with each album.

Two minor notes. Firstly, Perform This Way is clearly missing a few stages of production behind it. It's not a completely finished song. Secondly, if what you say is true, then why did he get his first Platinum on his last album?

Also, what musician doesn't 'pop up every few years'? I mean, are you expecting constant albums or something? Generally, you know, it's release an album, tour for a few years, work on new material, release an album, tour...

Spice Weasel
04-21-2011, 05:29 AM
Wow, all the Lady Gaga and Weird Al hatin' is breaking my heart. I love his parody. The lyrics make me giggle. I'm glad this was all a giant misunderstanding (or whatever) because these two were made for each other.

I honestly don't know how anyone could deny that Weird Al or Lady Gaga have talent. Not your cup of tea, fine. But Weird Al is probably one of the most versatile musicians out there. Gaga on the other hand... her music just rocks my face off.

BigT
04-21-2011, 05:53 AM
I know Gaga herself pushes the "Lady Gaga is ugly and her music speaks to outcasts just like her!" meme, but you don't honestly believe that do you? Out of her costumes, she's ridiculously attractive and would have made a pretty effective pop tart if she had decided to go that route.

I agree that she is really attractive out of costume, but I don't know if she has the pop tart look. It's about more than just being attractive, although I can't exactly describe it.

Furthermore, she very clearly was not getting anywhere as herself. It's not like Germanotta never released an album. If she'd have stayed the course, she might have made it to pop, but she'd be one of those many great singers no one has ever heard of. Her only ticket to true pop fame was taking on a persona.

And it is a persona. Her craziness is just too calculated. Even if her story about it starting from a drug fueled craze is true, she's clearly under too much control for that to currently be the sole motivator. She's not Amy Winehouse. It is her levelheadedness that makes me think she actually stands a chance.

BTW: I prefer Weird Al's version. There are plenty of times when I think Al is a poor substitute for the real thing, but not this time. His background stuff is mixed better, and his voice successfully counters the tinniness of what's left. Other than the weird nasally thing he does when he sings low (which I always thought was just to be funny), he sounds better throughout. Unlike Gaga's, I just intentionally listened to his song twice. In a row.

On preview: I see someone else has responded similarly to Justin, but they went a little differently with it, so I'll keep mine.

CyclopticXander
04-21-2011, 06:00 AM
Two minor notes. Firstly, Perform This Way is clearly missing a few stages of production behind it. It's not a completely finished song. Secondly, if what you say is true, then why did he get his first Platinum on his last album?

Also, what musician doesn't 'pop up every few years'? I mean, are you expecting constant albums or something? Generally, you know, it's release an album, tour for a few years, work on new material, release an album, tour...

I'm aware of the first point, and I'll mostly concede the second.

What Weird Al does is very different than what Lady Gaga does though, I think everyone knows what I mean by that and I think everyone knows that they aren't really comparable.

Somewhere along the line Weird Al became the mainstream parody guy, there's not a lot of room for multiple acts like that and he was talented enough and beat everyone else to the punch. That's great. But he doesn't have to worry about reinventing himself or remaining culturally relevant, all he has to do is wait for the real culture makers to come up with something and he riffs off that.

That bit will never get old because it will always have something new to create from. I would be more impressed with his longevity if his career were based entirely around original comedy songs. We all know though that his original stuff, while it may even be his best, is not the drawing power of what he does. That would be siphoning from the creativity of others and adding a bit of his own.

Once again I'm not disparaging him, I've always been a fan. But favorably comparing the lasting power of his career to every sub genre and big artist over the course of decades is just silly and missing the entire point.

foolsguinea
04-21-2011, 06:07 AM
Lady Gag Gag needs to STFU and get a sense of humor, and a life, as her 15 minutes of Fame are coming to an end.Yeah, this sort of hate may be why her manager wanted to nip any mockery he could in the bud.Well now that the matter seems to be resolved, let's address the song itself. I like Al and all, but this parody just plain isn't up to his usual standards.I tend to agreeI'm sure a video would help, but as it stands this isn't even as good as some of the better internet parodies, like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFvE9D3zMfY&list=SL. The same premise, much better lyrics.Also much more cutting, which wouldn't work as well for Al's ethos.Weird Al has outlasted:

-the guy who released the first #1 rap album
-the guy who was arguably the greatest rapper of all time
-New Wave
-Post-punk
-Grunge
-Garage Rock
-hair metal
-80's pop
-90's pop
-'00's pop
-boy bands
-nu-metal
-ska
-swing
-New Jack Swing

...and dozens of other "cultural phenomena."

I don't even particularly LIKE Weird Al all that much, but to say Gaga will still be here after he's gone is... highly statistically unlikely.Al has outlasted ska? Really? :rolleyes: And swing? Really. :dubious:I know Gaga herself pushes the "Lady Gaga is ugly and her music speaks to outcasts just like her!" meme, but you don't honestly believe that do you? Out of her costumes, she's ridiculously attractive and would have made a pretty effective pop tart if she had decided to go that route.Most gorgeous legs in pop.You know what even makes Lady Gaga and her craptacular, fascist, music even possible in this day and age? It's the modern, apocalyptic, 9-11, neocon, MilitaryIndustrial Mass Media Complexio Inter- Net.... and Disney, don't forget Disney for setting progressive music back 50 years. Brit, Christ, Lake, Cyrus, and Gaga Retrograde.I don't even understand this comment.

voltaire
04-21-2011, 07:37 AM
But I really don't think she has the kind of look that lends itself to being a national sex symbol like Britney Spears.

Of all the things she is known for, being "hot" is pretty low on the list. She has more of a female and gay male following than anything else, I just don't think there is a significant portion of the fanbase who are mostly just oogling her.

But didn't Britney have nearly the same fanbase? No matter how hot she was, I don't think a significant portion of her fanbase were mostly just oogling her, either.

Jim's Son
04-21-2011, 07:49 AM
Back in the 1950s when Stan Freberg wanted to do a parody of "Dragnet", his record company insisted he get permission from Jack Webb. Not only did Webb give permission without reading the script and made arrangements to get the orchestra play the Dragnet theme. Not only was Webb a far superior artist than Lady GagMeWithASpoon, he was a far superior human being with the all-important gift of laughter.

The Jay
04-21-2011, 07:59 AM
So saying no to Weird Al makes someone a shit head instantly?
Gaga's people initially apparently not liking the sound of the song makes them humourless instantly?

Do any Weird Al fans here think that he has ever been a bigger star than Gaga is right now? Or ever?

Of all the singles either of them have released in the US, Gaga's worst charts at 10 (it was only released a week ago so it will probably improve), Weird Al's BEST (over all these years..) charted at 9.

Paul in Qatar
04-21-2011, 08:08 AM
You can drive a truck through the parody exemption. Now is the time to drive that truck.

friedo
04-21-2011, 08:20 AM
So saying no to Weird Al makes someone a shit head instantly?
Gaga's people initially apparently not liking the sound of the song makes them humourless instantly?


Saying no to Weird Al doesn't make one a dick. Lots of people have done it. On the other hand, stringing him along and letting him write, produce and record a whole song, and then saying no, is kinda a dick move.

It's a good thing the issue is resolved. Weird Al > Gaga.

Justin_Bailey
04-21-2011, 08:25 AM
So saying no to Weird Al makes someone a shit head instantly?

Gaga's people initially apparently not liking the sound of the song makes them humourless instantly?

Honestly? Yes.

The public has shown, over and over again, that saying no to Weird Al is a cardinal sin when it comes to pop culture. The correct response (again, shown over and over again) is to say yes and then realize that because Weird Al wants to parody you, it means you've made it.

MeanOldLady
04-21-2011, 08:28 AM
Holy shit. How many times are we going to have to go over this? The (now-resolved) beef was never that she said no. If she had simply declined, no one would have ever heard about it.

Anaamika
04-21-2011, 08:58 AM
Agreed with olives...both of them are dynamic and interesting. Why does it have to be one or the other? I fancy they make our world have a little more fun in it.

Acsenray
04-21-2011, 09:00 AM
What Weird Al did makes no sense at all. He essentially asked her permission, was denied the permission, and went ahead and released the song/video anyway. The fact that he didn't put it on the album is meaningless. He released it believing that Gaga didn't want it released, which negates the whole purpose of asking permission, which he has no obligation to do in the first place. The fact that Gaga retroactively gave her permission after the release doesn't clear things up at all.

levdrakon
04-21-2011, 09:15 AM
What Weird Al did makes no sense at all. He essentially asked her permission, was denied the permission, and went ahead and released the song/video anyway. The fact that he didn't put it on the album is meaningless. He released it believing that Gaga didn't want it released, which negates the whole purpose of asking permission, which he has no obligation to do in the first place. The fact that Gaga retroactively gave her permission after the release doesn't clear things up at all.He hasn't made the video yet AFAIK, and it's possible, though I admit it's my own factless WAG, that Al suspected his request wasn't making it through to Lady Gaga herself, and he figured he'd make sure it was really Gaga saying "no."

The Jay
04-21-2011, 09:15 AM
No acsenray, Weird Al isn't a dick for doing that because he's Weird Al. Forget his integrity and wanting to respect the wishes of an artist.

The Jay
04-21-2011, 09:17 AM
He hasn't made the video yet AFAIK, and it's possible, though I admit it's my own factless WAG, that Al suspected his request wasn't making it through to Lady Gaga herself, and he figured he'd make sure it was really Gaga saying "no."

Uh, he still didn't get Lady Gaga's permission though, which is what he said he likes to get.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 09:17 AM
What Weird Al did makes no sense at all. He essentially asked her permission, was denied the permission, and went ahead and released the song/video anyway. The fact that he didn't put it on the album is meaningless. He released it believing that Gaga didn't want it released, which negates the whole purpose of asking permission, which he has no obligation to do in the first place. The fact that Gaga retroactively gave her permission after the release doesn't clear things up at all.He released it for free. He wasn't planning on making any money off it beyond the publicity. He also felt, as has been pointed out a few times, that the way in which he was denied was a dick move; nobody's ever made him write and record an entire song before they'd approve or deny. That was a waste of time when he was supposed to be working on his own album (something Gaga's people should be familiar with), and if he really wanted to be a dick about it, he could claim they commissioned the song and bill them for his time.

Asking permission before doing the parody is a courtesy. Why should he continue being courteous to people who screw with him? Just because you're a nice guy doesn't mean you have to be a doormat.

Tabby_Cat
04-21-2011, 09:27 AM
Uh, he still didn't get Lady Gaga's permission though, which is what he said he likes to get.
Uh, what? She said yes.

Acsenray
04-21-2011, 09:30 AM
He released it for free. He wasn't planning on making any money off it beyond the publicity.

Irrelevant. When an artist objects to a parody, it has nothing to do with whether someone is making money off of it, and Weird Al knows it.

He also felt, as has been pointed out a few times, that the way in which he was denied was a dick move; nobody's ever made him write and record an entire song before they'd approve or deny. That was a waste of time when he was supposed to be working on his own album (something Gaga's people should be familiar with),

Then why did he do it? Nobody forced him to. He could have just said, "Nah, I'm not going to do this on spec" and left it there. Instead, he wrote the lyrics and recorded the song, all for the purported purpose of obtaining permission, which means that there would be a possibility that permission would be denied.

and if he really wanted to be a dick about it, he could claim they commissioned the song and bill them for his time.

The fact that he could have behaved even more like a dick really doesn't explain anything.

Asking permission before doing the parody is a courtesy. Why should he continue being courteous to people who screw with him?

If he has no intention of abiding by the artists' wishes, then asking permission isn't a courtesy. It's a weird, nonsensical, bizarre, waste of time for everyone involved.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 09:37 AM
Then why did he do it? Nobody forced him to. He could have just said, "Nah, I'm not going to do this on spec" and left it there. Instead, he wrote the lyrics and recorded the song, all for the purported purpose of obtaining permission, which means that there would be a possibility that permission would be denied.Right, and so the song would not have been on his next album. You say that's meaningless, but that's only your assertion, one which I'm not inclined to accept.

voltaire
04-21-2011, 09:45 AM
Do any Weird Al fans here think that he has ever been a bigger star than Gaga is right now? Or ever?

Of all the singles either of them have released in the US, Gaga's worst charts at 10 (it was only released a week ago so it will probably improve), Weird Al's BEST (over all these years..) charted at 9.

I'm not a fan of either of them, but I guess if I had to sit and listen to either of them for an hour, I would certainly pick Weird Al.

But all this talk about who is more popular and has had more success of the charts is so... silly. If you look at the majority of the other performers that populate these same charts, they are not usually the sort of company that *I* would be proud to keep.

TL;DR = Most chart-toppers suck bigtime! Asserting the superiority of a performer based on their position on the charts is sort of like saying how honest a politician is because they got elected.

CandidGamera
04-21-2011, 09:48 AM
Irrelevant. When an artist objects to a parody, it has nothing to do with whether someone is making money off of it, and Weird Al knows it.

You've constructed a ludicrous parody of a strawman to rail against, there.

When Al has a parody idea, he asks the artist in question for permission to record the parody and release it commercially. His code of ethics does not require him never to perform the parody version if permission is subsequently denied. His code of ethics does not require him to refrain from releasing the parody for free. His code of ethics only requires that he not release it in a for-profit scenario.

So he is not in violation of his stated code of ethics here. AND his stated code of ethics is a higher standard than is legally required.

Ethically going above and beyond does not make one a dick.

Acsenray
04-21-2011, 09:56 AM
When Al has a parody idea, he asks the artist in question for permission to record the parody and release it commercially. His code of ethics does not require him never to perform the parody version if permission is subsequently denied. His code of ethics does not require him to refrain from releasing the parody for free. His code of ethics only requires that he not release it in a for-profit scenario.

So he is not in violation of his stated code of ethics here. AND his stated code of ethics is a higher standard than is legally required.

Ethically going above and beyond does not make one a dick.

So not only is his ethical process unnecessary, it is also entirely nonsensical.

In the whole Coolio brouhaha, Coolio was offended because he didn't like the idea that his work, which he considered serious, would be shown disrespect by a Weird Al parody.

Whether Weird Al is a "dick" is not an issue that I'm interested in.

What I believe he should do is go ahead and make his parodies and dispense with this farcical permission process.

The Jay
04-21-2011, 10:00 AM
Uh, what? She said yes.

Uh, what? He released the song under the impression that she said no.

Also, he was apparently always planning to donate the proceeds of the track to charity, so releasing the song on his album, or on youtube would have the same effect on his bank account. The only difference being that this way he released a song without an artist's permission.

If the roles were reversed and it was Lady Gaga released a song without Weird Al's permission you'd all be calling her an asshole for doing so and he'd be the hero.

Also to reiterate what has already been said, no one MADE Weird Al send her the lyrics, o one MADE Weird Al record the song. He jumped through those hoops because he wanted a Gaga track on his album, because he wanted to sell more albums.

I also want to make clear that I like Weird Al's music MUCH more than I like Gaga's.

levdrakon
04-21-2011, 10:04 AM
Also, he was apparently always planning to donate the proceeds of the track to charity, so releasing the song on his album, or on youtube would have the same effect on his bank account. The only difference being that this way he released a song without an artist's permission.Uh, I'm pretty sure the song will generate more money for charity off the album, than off Youtube.

YamatoTwinkie
04-21-2011, 10:06 AM
If he has no intention of abiding by the artists' wishes, then asking permission isn't a courtesy. It's a weird, nonsensical, bizarre, waste of time for everyone involved.

I think had the initial response been a firm "no", Al would likely have respected that and dropped the song.

Had the response after seeing the lyrics been a firm "no", Al would have likely respected that and dropped the song.

Had the response after going through the considerable effort of producing the song had been a "no-and here's why...Can you make these changes?", Al would have likely respected that and made some alterations. Probably would have dropped the song if he felt Gaga had valid concerns that couldn't be addressed.

But after stringing him along, and then giving him a simple "no", you're right, the initial asking of permission was a huge waste of time. However, that doesn't mean that Al has no intention of abiding by the artist's wishes. He just won't abide by them when they're major jerks.

Inner Stickler
04-21-2011, 10:15 AM
I honestly don't know how anyone could deny that Weird Al or Lady Gaga have talent. Not your cup of tea, fine. But Weird Al is probably one of the most versatile musicians out there. Gaga on the other hand... her music just rocks my face off.

Agreed with olives...both of them are dynamic and interesting. Why does it have to be one or the other? I fancy they make our world have a little more fun in it.It's ok. The three of us will sit over here and play the Fame and Poodle Hat on rotation and have a good time while the True Blue Music Lovers try to nail down who is worthy of their respect, a decision I am sure both Lady Gaga and Weird Al are on tenterhooks waiting for.

Acsenray
04-21-2011, 10:15 AM
But after stringing him along, and then giving him a simple "no", you're right, the initial asking of permission was a huge waste of time. However, that doesn't mean that Al has no intention of abiding by the artist's wishes. He just won't abide by them when they're major jerks.

Then he should approach his permission seeking exercise by making his "major jerks" clause specific up front.

The fact is, he asked permission and was denied and went ahead and released the song anyway. This "major jerks" escape clause (1) is not something I've heard Weird Al mentioning, and (2) is not something that I consider legitimate if he made it up only after being denied permission.

Asking permission means being willing to accept a "no." Nobody made him write and record the song on spec. When you do something on spec, you accept the possibility of a "no." Notwithstanding super-seekrit "major jerks" escape clauses.

Swallowed My Cellphone
04-21-2011, 10:27 AM
Who else has said "no"?

Coolio didn't like Amish Paradise and says he said no, but Al insists Coolio said yes initially(and I believe Al).

Anyone else deny usage?Coolio never said yes, it was some of his business people. Licencing requests don't generally make it to the artist, it's usually taken care of by publishers and agents and stuff. You know, someone whose full time job is dealing with licencing.

It's not likely that Lady Gaga ever actually talked to Weird Al and probably had no idea about the request until she saw it on the news. Some persnickety licencing agent or IP lawyer was probably just being a bit dickish.

The Jay
04-21-2011, 10:47 AM
Uh, I'm pretty sure the song will generate more money for charity off the album, than off Youtube.

I am questioning is his integrity in "getting an artist's permission". He was apparently never going to make a dollar off this song whether it appeared on his album or not, so releasing it on Youtube without her permission is the same as releasing on his album without permission.

sachertorte
04-21-2011, 11:03 AM
Holy shite, the internets move fast. I read about this maybe three hours ago on someone's Facebook wall, and thought it was lame of Gaga to string him along through the approval process, review the lyrics, then insist he record the song and send it her, then say no, but hey, bitchier things have been done in Hollywood. Now the whole thing's resolved? Very good then.

I'm even later to the party, but if someone says that "I need to hear the song first," I don't think that qualifies as stringing along. A "No" had to be in the cards right? Because in your scenario, once she asked "I need to hear it first" she had no choice but to say "Yes."

Since she's got a huge gay fan base I'm surprised there's not more "Gaga denies song's use to raise money for largest gay rights organization".
Maybe because HRC sucks?

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 11:09 AM
"I need to hear the song first" is a catch-22 when the specific request is permission to create the song in the first place. It was a bullshit request by Gaga's manager.

I think Al showed some lack of wisdom in not recognizing that and saying "Well, I'm not going to bother then," but as he says himself, he's an optimist and took a chance.

The Jay
04-21-2011, 11:15 AM
"I need to hear the song first" is a catch-22 when the specific request is permission to create the song in the first place. It was a bullshit request by Gaga's manager.

I think Al showed some lack of wisdom in not recognizing that and saying "Well, I'm not going to bother then," but as he says himself, he's an optimist and took a chance.

You do realise that Perform this way sounds a lot different to "Born This Way (but with new vocals)".

You also realise that Al was actually SHOWING wisdom and jumping through hoops for her in hopes of having her song on his album. He was doing everything he could to get a Gaga track on his album, even going so far as to release a song on the internet which he didn't get the artists approval for.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 11:21 AM
You do realise that Perform this way sounds a lot different to "Born This Way (but with new vocals)".Are you kidding me? Of course it sounds the same. And Al agrees:We send the lyrics to Lady Gaga and wait on figurative pins and needles for her to give us the go-ahead. After a few days, we get our answer: “She actually needs to hear it. Otherwise the answer is no.”

Hmm. Well, this was mystifying to me. At this point she has the lyrics… and hopefully she is familiar with her own song… and the parody is basically her music… with my lyrics. It really shouldn’t be that hard to decide – based on having the lyrics right in front of you – whether or not you’d be “okay” with a parody. But, alas, we’d been given an ultimatum. If she didn’t hear it, she wouldn’t approve it.

You also realise that Al was actually SHOWING wisdom and jumping through hoops for her in hopes of having her song on his album. He was doing everything he could to get a Gaga track on his album, even going so far as to release a song on the internet which he didn't get the artists approval for.I say lack of wisdom in the context of being surprised and annoyed with a rejection. The catch-22 put him in a difficult spot. Mind, I have no real problem with his reaction; he fulfilled the request, was rejected, and now had a fully-recorded song that by his own ethics he couldn't put on the album, but given that he put so much effort into it it also didn't seem right to just throw it away. Might as well toss it out on the web.

Intergalactic Gladiator
04-21-2011, 11:23 AM
I don't care for the output of either of them but there is a clear difference between a novelty act with some hardcore fans and a cultural phenomenon.

Lady GaGa is the novelty act and Wierd Al is the cultural phenomenon, right?

Vinyl Turnip
04-21-2011, 11:33 AM
I'm not sure where the legends of Lady Gaga's "hotness" derive from, but it certainly isn't from the photos I've seen of her in which she looks downright homely. I'm not gay, but if you held a gun to my head and told me I had to either sleep with her or with Weird Al, I'd need a while to think about it.

Magiver
04-21-2011, 11:38 AM
I am questioning is his integrity in "getting an artist's permission". He was apparently never going to make a dollar off this song whether it appeared on his album or not, so releasing it on Youtube without her permission is the same as releasing on his album without permission.
he doesn't need her permission to do a parody. And according to the YouTube video update he has her permission.

MsWhatsit
04-21-2011, 11:47 AM
I'm not sure where the legends of Lady Gaga's "hotness" derive from, but it certainly isn't from the photos I've seen of her in which she looks downright homely. I'm not gay, but if you held a gun to my head and told me I had to either sleep with her or with Weird Al, I'd need a while to think about it.

Here's her yearbook picture (http://crazyfun.org/uploads/posts/2010-03/1269876632_004.jpg). Not bad, IMO. In her stage career, she uses makeup and gear to accentuate her features in a way that makes her look really unusual and a little weird. (I'm not even talking about the meat suit and whatnot, just her face.) But underneath it all she's a reasonably good-looking woman. In my opinion, anyway.

The Jay
04-21-2011, 11:48 AM
To Magiver: I know he doesn't need her permission. But he has a reputation of being a "nice guy" and always saying "Well, I don't need their permission, but I won't release their songs unless I get it cos I'm such a swell guy!" (paraphrased)

To Bosstone: What I am saying is that the only differences to the songs isn't just the vocal track. Re-read my post, and relisten to both songs. It's not like he took an 'acoustic' version of her song and just added her vocals. Her people may have worried that he was going to give an accordion filled version of her son.=g.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 11:58 AM
Her people may have worried that he was going to give an accordion filled version of her son.=g.God forbid, an accordion. That's just the height of tackiness, especially for an artist who's so serious she wore glasses made out of cigarettes in one of her videos. </sarcasm>

No, I do get your point, although I think listening to any recent Weird Al parody would put the lie to it. His band is extremely talented and always does a fantastic job of mimicking the original music, sometimes doing it better. The only recent songs in which he significantly changes the music, let alone use an accordion, are the polkas. I know it's not necessarily expected that people should be that familiar with his work, but it doesn't take a lot to research a popular artist these days. Or, god forbid, communicate with him and ask him questions about what he plans to do.

Magiver
04-21-2011, 11:58 AM
I look forward to the video because the song made me laugh out loud with a play on words.

Lasciel
04-21-2011, 12:19 PM
Turns out Gaga wasn't a dick, her promo manager was.

He strung along Al, and then dicked him off without ever once even letting Gaga know there was anything going on.

If I were her, I'd fire his ass, or at least invite Al to one of my shows. Managers should know the social pecking order of music well enough to know that Weird Al wanting to do a parody of your music is something the musician SHOULD get on their "things that happened today" shortlist.

http://www.dose.ca/Weird+Gaga+Saga+Gets+Happy+Ending/4655607/story.html

OR, in my cynical moments, Gaga orchestrated the whole thing with her people because the universe won't mind too much that her manager is a dick, but it got press attention, and now she's even more of a wonderful good person because she actually LOVES Weird Al and wants to let him do the parody.

I hate being cynical sometimes.

Thudlow Boink
04-21-2011, 12:19 PM
But he has a reputation of being a "nice guy" and always saying "Well, I don't need their permission, but I won't release their songs unless I get it cos I'm such a swell guy!" (paraphrased)Correction: he's such a groovy guy.

Chronos
04-21-2011, 12:21 PM
He didn't record the song without her permission, and he never thought he was recording the song without her permission. She (or her people, whatever) explicitly told him to make the recording. And he didn't do what he would have done if he had gotten permission: In that case, he would have put the song through the full production process, made a video for it, etc.

gaffa
04-21-2011, 12:56 PM
Lady Gaga should settle the whole thing forever by covering "Perform This Way" in concert.

With costumes.

Dread Pirate Jimbo
04-21-2011, 12:59 PM
Every album Al has put out has gone at least Gold.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22Weird_Al%22_Yankovic#Discography

Interesting to note that his highest charting album and biggest selling single of all time were his last album and the lead single from that album. Yes, it's pretty clear he's just not very popular anymore...

Just watched Gaga's video for her song and I have to say--I hope Al doesn't spend as much time in undergarments in his version.

I hope he spends *more* time in Gaga's undergarments for the new video. That would be awesomely icky. :D

I don't think this is his best work -- for me that's still a toss-up between "One More Minute," "Those Were The Good Ol' Days," "White and Nerdy," and "You're Pitiful" -- but it's another solid effort.

Saltire
04-21-2011, 01:07 PM
I think a great end to this story would be to have Lady Gaga appear in Weird Al's video. It seems like something she'd love to do, so I hope one of them thinks to do it.

DigitalC
04-21-2011, 01:09 PM
The only one who looks bad here is Weird Al. What is the point of going through the whole charade of asking the artists for permission if when they say no you release the song anyways and publically shame them on top of it? If you are going to pretend to care whether an artist wants you to do a parody or not then just suck it up and move on when they say no or stop asking them for permission.

Magiver
04-21-2011, 01:20 PM
The only one who looks bad here is Weird Al. What is the point of going through the whole charade of asking the artists for permission if when they say no you release the song anyways and publically shame them on top of it? If you are going to pretend to care whether an artist wants you to do a parody or not then just suck it up and move on when they say no or stop asking them for permission.
His blog didn't shred Lady Gaga. It was a simple explanation of what was going on regarding the delay of his album. It was hardly a hit-piece on his part. He probably knew he was getting blown off by her "people".

Drunky Smurf
04-21-2011, 01:23 PM
I hope he spends *more* time in Gaga's undergarments for the new video. That would be awesomely icky. :D

Me too.


Just because something is labeled as "human rights" doesn't mean it is supposed to have an actual measurable political influence on human rights.

This post is about human rights.

Inner Stickler
04-21-2011, 01:26 PM
The difference between your post and Born This Way of course, is that BTW advocates a policy of respect and love towards all people regardless of skin color, gender, or sexual orientation (A noble if slightly obvious sentiment) while your post is a dumb cheap shot that doesn't even make the point you think it does. It is reasonable for her to label her song a human rights song because that's what it is.

JThunder
04-21-2011, 01:34 PM
The only one who looks bad here is Weird Al. What is the point of going through the whole charade of asking the artists for permission if when they say no you release the song anyways and publically shame them on top of it? If you are going to pretend to care whether an artist wants you to do a parody or not then just suck it up and move on when they say no or stop asking them for permission.
Nonsense. Of course it made a difference in Al's mind. When Al thought that he didn't have Gaga's permission, he decided not to include it in his album, as he had desired. Instead, he made the song available to people for free, something for which he did not require any permission.

Now, you could question whether he should have made the song available on YouTube or not (again, something for which he required absolutely no permission), but it is absolutely untrue that asking for her permission was just a charade.

Nor did he do anything to embarrass Lady Gaga. He simply stated the facts as he knew them, without any criticism of Lady Gaga or expressed acrimony toward her. Your objections are simply inaccurate.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 01:36 PM
The only one who looks bad here is Weird Al. What is the point of going through the whole charade of asking the artists for permission if when they say no you release the song anyways and publically shame them on top of it? If you are going to pretend to care whether an artist wants you to do a parody or not then just suck it up and move on when they say no or stop asking them for permission.Once more: Weird Al reacted the way he did not because he got rejected, full stop, but because he agreed to jump through hoops and got a significant lack of cooperation in response, even just simple communication. He was disrespected and he responded in kind.

There have been a number of other artists who've asked him not to do a parody, and he's respected that. Prince gets some occasional flak from Weird Al fans due to his routine denial, but Weird Al has always respected Prince's wishes. Those exchanges just don't get a lot of interest because they're amicable and respectful. The ones we hear about are the ones where there was some miscommunication or Weird Al got jerked around (Atlantic Records cockblocking him, Coolio's people miscommunicating, etc).

Really, just because he's a friendly guy who writes jokey songs doesn't mean he's a novelty hack who can be disregarded.

DigitalC
04-21-2011, 01:36 PM
He doesn't require permission to do anything, he quite clearly stated that he can do the songs because his parodies fall under fair use. What he does is ask for permission as a courtesy, and then when someone says no he releases the song anyway, for free so its available to even more people and makes a fuzz about how the artist refused. That is a complete bitch move.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 01:39 PM
He doesn't require permission to do anything, he quite clearly stated that he can do the songs because his parodies fall under fair use. What he does is ask for permission as a courtesy, and then when someone says no he releases the song anyway, for free so its available to even more people and makes a fuzz about how the artist refused. That is a complete bitch move.The problem wasn't the rejection. Read above.

DigitalC
04-21-2011, 01:45 PM
The problem wasn't the rejection. Read above.

I understand what you are saying but he didn't have to do any of that. He chose to do it, he could have just told them to fuck off and released the song anyways. There was never any guarantee that doing all that would have gotten him a yes. Releasing the song for free after not getting the approval he doesn't need is nothing but a bitch move. He is basically only being nice as long as things go his way.

Acsenray
04-21-2011, 01:46 PM
The problem wasn't the rejection. Read above.

It doesn't matter what "the problem" was. He asked permission, was denied it, and went ahead and released the recording. All the stuff about being jerked around is bullshit, because he didn't have to do any of it.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 01:48 PM
It doesn't matter what "the problem" was.Yes, it does. Gosh, this is easy.

astorian
04-21-2011, 01:50 PM
Kurt Cobain told everyone he didn't become a rock star until Al did "Smells Like Nirvana"

And, unlike most of Al's songs, "Smells Like Nirvana" actually mocked the original artist. Cobain took it in stride, though, and I can't see why Ldy Gaga couldn't.

Inner Stickler
04-21-2011, 01:51 PM
Just because someone was a jerk to you doesn't mean you're given carte blanche to do whatever you want. The rudeness of Lady Gaga's manager doesn't excuse Weird Al's behavior.

edit: In fact, our behavior in the face of someone else's rudeness speaks more of our character than our behavior when people are nice to us. It's easy to be thoughtful and considerate to people who are that way to you. Being thoughtful and considerate to people when they are rude to you is a true measure of character.

Lasciel
04-21-2011, 01:54 PM
He doesn't require permission to do anything, he quite clearly stated that he can do the songs because his parodies fall under fair use. What he does is ask for permission as a courtesy, and then when someone says no he releases the song anyway, for free so its available to even more people and makes a fuzz about how the artist refused. That is a complete bitch move.

Actually, it isn't really. It isn't like it's any great secret that he's doing parodies of these works, releasing them online for free, and then releasing the albums later. It's what he DOES, and it's not like he's changed that recently.

Until recently, album sales and radio play were much more important than internet exposure. If some behind-the-times artiste cares enough about their work being pure, and doesn't realize the power behind interactive net media, then you can't blame that on Weird Al, he's just doing what he's always done.

I personally think it's sort of classy that he even bothers to ask.

If an artist cares enough about their image and their works to be willing to publicly not support another artist's legal fair-use creations, that's their right. Perhaps it's worth it to some of them to be true to their ideals or to honor their work or whatever it is they do when they put themselves up on a pedestal.

The difference here is the diminishing importance of albums and actual sales figures as compared to internet exposure and notoriety.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 01:56 PM
Just because someone was a jerk to you doesn't mean you're given carte blanche to do whatever you want. The rudeness of Lady Gaga's manager doesn't excuse Weird Al's behavior.

edit: In fact, our behavior in the face of someone else's rudeness speaks more of our character than our behavior when people are nice to us. It's easy to be thoughtful and considerate to people who are that way to you. Being thoughtful and considerate to people when they are rude to you is a true measure of character.Being rude in return would have been to put the song on the album anyway.

DigitalC
04-21-2011, 01:58 PM
I personally think it's sort of classy that he even bothers to ask.


It would be if when someone said no he just dropped it and moved on instead of being a little bitch about it.

DigitalC
04-21-2011, 01:59 PM
Being rude in return would have been to put the song on the album anyway.

Because putting the song on youtube and then giving it away for free on top of it is clearly respecting the artists wishes that he so cares about.

Acsenray
04-21-2011, 02:02 PM
Actually, it isn't really. It isn't like it's any great secret that he's doing parodies of these works, releasing them online for free, and then releasing the albums later. It's what he DOES, and it's not like he's changed that recently.

Until recently, album sales and radio play were much more important than internet exposure. If some behind-the-times artiste cares enough about their work being pure, and doesn't realize the power behind interactive net media, then you can't blame that on Weird Al, he's just doing what he's always done.

I personally think it's sort of classy that he even bothers to ask.

It's the opposite of classy to pretend you care by asking permission and then going ahead and doing it anyway. No one made Weird Al ask permission. He's the one voluntarily doing it. If his asking is meaningless, it's a straight up stupid exercise.

If an artist cares enough about their image and their works to be willing to publicly not support another artist's legal fair-use creations, that's their right. Perhaps it's worth it to some of them to be true to their ideals or to honor their work or whatever it is they do when they put themselves up on a pedestal.

The difference here is the diminishing importance of albums and actual sales figures as compared to internet exposure and notoriety.

If Weird Al knows better than they do what's good for their careers, then why is he asking their permission when he has no obligation to do so?

This whole mess is entirely Weird Al's creation. And all of this retroactive justification is bizarre. Weird Al is the one who chooses to seek permission. Everything that follows is on his shoulders. Asking permission implies abiding by the askee's decision. Which implies that Weird Al has respect for an artist's decision to say no, regardless of anyone else's perceptions of the advantages or drawbacks of doing so. Again, if he operates withe the intent of imposing a "major jerks" escape clause, it behooves him to disclose that up front.

Dahnlor
04-21-2011, 02:34 PM
Who said anything about flash in the pan? I first heard him on Dr. Demento when I was an adolescent in the early 80s. I think that Gaga will be around for a long time and she definitely hit a peak much higher that Al could ever dream of hitting.Remember Whitney Houston?

Her initial success was even greater than Gaga's. But when you hear about Whitney Houston today, it's always some variation of how badly she burned out instead of her phenomenal debut success.

In the meantime, Weird Al is a legend among novelty artists.

Surely people will remember Lady Gaga, but whether she will enjoy long-term success or be a flash-in-the-pan is still up in the air, particularly with the relatively lukewarm reception her new material has been receiving.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 02:36 PM
There's an additional wrinkle in this particular situation. Al had intended the proceeds from this song to go to the HRC. He probably thought that, given that the song was already recorded and that he wouldn't have profited by it anyway, he might as well try for voluntary donations.

He's always made clear that asking is a courtesy, not a binding contract. He's also stated that the permission is for including the song on an album, specifically. He's also clearly a strong-willed individual himself, as you sort of have to be to keep a career going this long. I don't really find it that unusual or scandalous that if he decides a circumstance conflicts with his own sense of ethics, he'll have the last say in what to do with his work. I don't believe that that in any way renders the entire act of asking for permission unnecessary or nonsensical.

Inner Stickler
04-21-2011, 02:43 PM
Being rude in return would have been to put the song on the album anyway.It's possible for more than one action to be rude.

CarnalK
04-21-2011, 02:46 PM
Because putting the song on youtube and then giving it away for free on top of it is clearly respecting the artists wishes that he so cares about.

I'm sorry, but if they didn't want a WA version of the song, the first step should have been saying no at the beginning. He hadn't written the fucking thing yet, and they tell him to write and record it. Then they say no. I'm sorry but that's flat out retarded. In this day and age even if Al hadn't released the song, it probably would have gotten out somehow. And in any day and age, you don't ask an artist to write and record something and then seriously expect them to hide it in a closet for the rest of time.

DigitalC
04-21-2011, 03:09 PM
I'm sorry, but if they didn't want a WA version of the song, the first step should have been saying no at the beginning. He hadn't written the fucking thing yet, and they tell him to write and record it. Then they say no. I'm sorry but that's flat out retarded. In this day and age even if Al hadn't released the song, it probably would have gotten out somehow. And in any day and age, you don't ask an artist to write and record something and then seriously expect them to hide it in a closet for the rest of time.

No, what is retarded is writing and recording it as a means to get approval for releasing it. That is all on Al, he didn't have to do any of that, he chose to do all of it and then acted like a bitch when he didn't get what he wanted. You keep acting like any of this was required of him when he did it only to stick to his moral code or whatever, which he then threw right out the window when things didn't turn out the way he wanted.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 03:16 PM
It's not a freaking moral code, it's simple professional courtesy. Weird Al has never handed final say over to another artist. Don't try to make it bigger than it is.

DigitalC
04-21-2011, 03:20 PM
It's just plain self aggrandizing bullshit if it goes out the window when he doesn't like the answer.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 03:32 PM
It's just plain self aggrandizing bullshit if it goes out the window when he doesn't like the answer.I'm sure he doesn't like being told no by Prince and Paul McCartney either, but he abides by their wishes, probably because they A, don't have him write and record the song before they'll okay it, and B, because they'll communicate something beyond a flat no. This was just a baffling situation all around.

Again, I agree that he should have stepped off and walked away as soon as they said they wanted to hear the song first, but I still have a hard time seeing how he's acting like a bitch.

DigitalC
04-21-2011, 03:36 PM
He asked for permission, she (or her manager, whatever) said no, he released the song on youtube and plans on giving it away for free. That is practically the definition of acting like a bitch. He didn't have to do ANYTHING that was requested of him, that they asked him to write and record the song should in no way affect what he did. He either cares about the artist wishes or he doesn't, period.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 03:39 PM
He asked for permission, she (or her manager, whatever) said no, he released the song on youtube and plans on giving it away for free. That is practically the definition of acting like a bitch. He didn't have to do ANYTHING that was requested of him, that they asked him to write and record the song should in no way affect what he did. He either cares about the artist wishes or he doesn't, period.You do realize what "final say" means, right? You do understand how it's possible to take another's input into consideration when making your own decisions without being required to follow said input?

DigitalC
04-21-2011, 03:40 PM
You do realize what "final say" means, right? You do understand how it's possible to take another's advice or concerns into consideration when making your own decisions without being required to follow said advice or concerns?

I fail to see how any of that makes him any less of a bitch.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 03:42 PM
I fail to see how any of that makes him any less of a bitch.Then you're welcome to your opinion.

FordTaurusSHO94
04-21-2011, 04:20 PM
They didn't tell him no, they led him on.

hajario
04-21-2011, 04:20 PM
Remember Whitney Houston?

Her initial success was even greater than Gaga's. But when you hear about Whitney Houston today, it's always some variation of how badly she burned out instead of her phenomenal debut success.

The crack pipe had much to do with that. I think that Gaga will avoid that.

In the meantime, Weird Al is a legend among novelty artists.

Yes he is. Exactly my point.

Surely people will remember Lady Gaga, but whether she will enjoy long-term success or be a flash-in-the-pan is still up in the air, particularly with the relatively lukewarm reception her new material has been receiving.

I think that she'll have a career like Madonna's. That pretty clearly seems to be her model. She'll have to reinvent herself along the way and I believe that she is savvy enough to do that.

I have seen a few hundred concerts in my time and I'll probably see a few hundred more before I die and I wouldn't see either Al or Gaga for free so I really have no dog in this fight.

Dahnlor
04-21-2011, 04:35 PM
The crack pipe had much to do with that. I think that Gaga will avoid that.And that is my point. You can only *think* that right now. Surely things have been going well for her so far for the most part, and the potential for enduring success is there, but no one was expecting Whitney's downfall when she was dominating the charts, either.

Of course, we agree that novelty star != pop star and comparing the heights of their carreers is like apples and oranges. Within their specialties, though, Lady Gaga still has a long way to go.

hajario
04-21-2011, 04:39 PM
And that is my point. You can only *think* that right now.

Well obviously. When did I ever claim precognition?

RickJay
04-21-2011, 04:42 PM
.Al has outlasted ska? Really?
As a common pop culture phenomenon? He certainly has.

When I was in university all you had to do to get people to a show was put SKA in big block letters on the poster. You ddin't have to actually state who the artists were; simply claiming that the music might resemble ska was enough to get paying customers out.

Today I doubt most students at my alma mater know what ska is. The ska labels are all dead.

sachertorte
04-21-2011, 04:47 PM
They didn't tell him no, they led him on.

How does needing to hear the song first constitute leading him on? I don't believe there was a conditional: if you do X then I will do Y. The deal was, Al creates the song, presents it to Lady Gaga and Lady Gaga gives a thumbs up or down. Rejection was clearly an option, and one that Al must have been aware of.

Thousands upon thousands of people go through rigorous job interviews only to be ultimately told "no thanks." Does that constitute being "led on?"

Peremensoe
04-21-2011, 04:51 PM
The only one who looks bad here is Weird Al. What is the point of going through the whole charade of asking the artists for permission if when they say no you release the song anyways and publically shame them on top of it?

I agree. Putting something on Youtube is releasing it for public consumption even more so than putting it on a disc.

fusoya
04-21-2011, 05:00 PM
God forbid, an accordion. That's just the height of tackiness, especially for an artist who's so serious she wore glasses made out of cigarettes in one of her videos. </sarcasm>

No, I do get your point, although I think listening to any recent Weird Al parody would put the lie to it. His band is extremely talented and always does a fantastic job of mimicking the original music, sometimes doing it better. The only recent songs in which he significantly changes the music, let alone use an accordion, are the polkas. I know it's not necessarily expected that people should be that familiar with his work, but it doesn't take a lot to research a popular artist these days. Or, god forbid, communicate with him and ask him questions about what he plans to do.

Obviously none of you have heard Polka Face (look it up on youtube),which I'm assuming Al ALSO plans to put on his new album. Since Polka Face is much older than Perform this Way (he performed it on his 2010 tour) I would assume he already got strung along once with Gaga's people. I wonder how that went the first time around???

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 05:20 PM
Obviously none of you have heard Polka Face (look it up on youtube),which I'm assuming Al ALSO plans to put on his new album.Why would you assume that? There are a lot of songs Weird Al does and tries out during his concerts that he wouldn't put on an album. I think he even does some Prince songs live. I'm quite certain he doesn't ask permission for those.

His policy is to ask before putting a song on an album. That's all he's claimed so far, and his actions have been consistent with that policy.

Argent Towers
04-21-2011, 05:52 PM
1960s: Joni Mitchell
1970s: Stevie Nicks
1980s: Rickie Lee Jones
1990s: Cranberries, Natalie Merchant, Alanis Morrissette, etc...
2000s: GA GA OH LALA, GA GA OH LA LA, GA GA OH LA LA, GA GA OH LA LA

This is seriously how far the female singer/songwriter pop genre has fallen? If you had turned on a mainstream radio station - the kind that average people, not college hipsters, listened to - in the previous decades, you'd hear the women above. Now all we have is the infantile, obnoxious, droning, repetitive, overproduced, probably cocaine-fueled garbage of Gaga.

Steophan
04-21-2011, 06:03 PM
I agree. Putting something on Youtube is releasing it for public consumption even more so than putting it on a disc.

However, and this is an important point that's being overlooked, that is not what releasing a song means. Releasing a song means putting it up for sale. Weird Al has not done that against anyone's wishes.

Anyone can perform any song they like, for free, anywhere.

fusoya
04-21-2011, 06:04 PM
Yes, Al has performed Prince songs LIVE (and he sang 1999 with Celine Dion on an Al TV episode). However, none of his Prince PARODY ideas have ever seen the light of day. The closest thing was 1999 being in a VERY early Polka (which was before his first album even got released). And I'm the co-author of The Weird Al Songography (http://weirdal.0catch.com/txt/songs.html) so I should know....

I would be very surprised if Al hadn't recorded Polka Face months ago, especially since Perform This way made 12 of 12 songs for the album. It hasn't been his method of operation to write concert-only songs in a long time. Infact, most concert-only songs were songs that got rejected by the original artist, which usually meant that Al only did a single verse (Laundry Day, Gee I'm A Nerd, etc) since he hadn't had the entire lyrics planned out when he got the no. One way or another, Al had to have discussed Polka Face with Gaga's people long before Perform This Way was planned. I can't believe nobody is talking about that, since it's not like the song is a secret.

Lasciel
04-21-2011, 06:05 PM
snip!

Now all we have is the infantile, obnoxious, droning, repetitive, overproduced, probably cocaine-fueled garbage of Gaga.

Well, if you listen long enough, you'll get some Ke$ha and Katy Perry also! :D :D

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 06:07 PM
I can't believe nobody is talking about that, since it's not like the song is a secret.Then maybe you're just wrong in your assumption.

Bosstone
04-21-2011, 06:13 PM
Then maybe you're just wrong in your assumption.To elaborate a bit (after the edit window), it's possible he asked about Polka Face, but then I would have expected him to say something in the blog about it. "I should have seen this coming since I was turned down for Polka Face," or "I was taken aback because Gaga had already given permission for Polka Face." Something. Since it was never brought up, it seems most likely that this is the first time he's attempted to contact Gaga Inc. He never gives any indication in the blog that he's spoken to them before.

Peremensoe
04-21-2011, 06:18 PM
However, and this is an important point that's being overlooked, that is not what releasing a song means. Releasing a song means putting it up for sale.

No, "releasing" a song means giving the public access to it. In times past this was nearly always done by selling records, but giving away records would have constituted a release as well.

The parody is out there now--whatever it was that Gaga thought it might do with respect to the original has been done. It doesn't matter whether sales are transacted.

Steophan
04-21-2011, 06:22 PM
No, "releasing" a song means giving the public access to it. In times past this was nearly always done by selling records, but giving away records would have constituted a release as well.


Perhaps, but Weird Al is not, to my knowledge, giving away records of the song. He's allowing people to hear it - the equivalent of performing it in concert, which has never been considered releasing a song.

Peremensoe
04-21-2011, 06:30 PM
Perhaps, but Weird Al is not, to my knowledge, giving away records of the song.

I can download any Youtube video as easily as I did the Angels & Airwaves album that they officially released as an online freebie.

Steophan
04-21-2011, 06:33 PM
I can download any Youtube video as easily as I did the Angels & Airwaves album that they officially released as an online freebie.

Eh, I'm probably just old...

Lasciel
04-21-2011, 06:59 PM
I can download any Youtube video as easily as I did the Angels & Airwaves album that they officially released as an online freebie.

Yes, but legally speaking, internet sites like YouTube are still considered to be the equivalent of a concert rather than a album release.

Eventually, laws and official regulations will catch up to the reality, but they aren't there yet.

Acsenray
04-21-2011, 07:13 PM
Perhaps, but Weird Al is not, to my knowledge, giving away records of the song. He's allowing people to hear it - the equivalent of performing it in concert, which has never been considered releasing a song.

Yes, but legally speaking, internet sites like YouTube are still considered to be the equivalent of a concert rather than a album release.

Eventually, laws and official regulations will catch up to the reality, but they aren't there yet.

Legally speaking, YouTube both distributes copies and performs works. It is no different than a release, which allows people to buy copies or allows radio stations to perform them for the public.

straight man
04-21-2011, 07:32 PM
No, "releasing" a song means giving the public access to it. In times past this was nearly always done by selling records, but giving away records would have constituted a release as well.

The parody is out there now--whatever it was that Gaga thought it might do with respect to the original has been done. It doesn't matter whether sales are transacted.
I think the real difference is, he doesn't want to make money off of [parodies of] other people's work without their permission. That's not a problem if you're just putting stuff on YouTube.

Patch
04-21-2011, 07:50 PM
Check back in five years. I predict Weird Al will still be selling the amount of tickets he's selling now and Lady Gaga will be playing county fairs.

NOW PLAYING

** PUPPET SHOW **
Lady Gaga

Dread Pirate Jimbo
04-22-2011, 01:00 AM
<snip> And I'm the co-author of The Weird Al Songography (http://weirdal.0catch.com/txt/songs.html) so I should know....

<snip>

Cool! All I ever did was interview him on the phone for my university student newspaper. You are my new hero. :)

fusoya
04-22-2011, 07:19 AM
You're my hero. We got They Might Be Giants TWICE (including their first post-9/11 interview) for my college radio show, but I was never able to get Al booked. Since I was essentially following in Al's footsteps there, I think he would have been related better.

Cat Whisperer
04-22-2011, 02:56 PM
1960s: Joni Mitchell
1970s: Stevie Nicks
1980s: Rickie Lee Jones
1990s: Cranberries, Natalie Merchant, Alanis Morrissette, etc...
2000s: GA GA OH LALA, GA GA OH LA LA, GA GA OH LA LA, GA GA OH LA LA

This is seriously how far the female singer/songwriter pop genre has fallen? If you had turned on a mainstream radio station - the kind that average people, not college hipsters, listened to - in the previous decades, you'd hear the women above. Now all we have is the infantile, obnoxious, droning, repetitive, overproduced, probably cocaine-fueled garbage of Gaga.Who's still wasting their time with mainstream radio? :)

Vinyl Turnip
04-22-2011, 03:25 PM
NOW PLAYING

** PUPPET SHOW **
Lady Gaga

And perhaps an Air Force Major bearing a striking resemblance to Fred Willard will address her as "Lady Goo-Goo."

Left Hand of Dorkness
04-22-2011, 10:18 PM
1960s: Joni Mitchell
1970s: Stevie Nicks
1980s: Rickie Lee Jones
1990s: Cranberries, Natalie Merchant, Alanis Morrissette, etc...
2000s: GA GA OH LALA, GA GA OH LA LA, GA GA OH LA LA, GA GA OH LA LA

This is seriously how far the female singer/songwriter pop genre has fallen? If you had turned on a mainstream radio station - the kind that average people, not college hipsters, listened to - in the previous decades, you'd hear the women above. Now all we have is the infantile, obnoxious, droning, repetitive, overproduced, probably cocaine-fueled garbage of Gaga.I know, right? Kids these days and their music. That's not music, that's just noise!

Indygrrl
04-23-2011, 12:02 AM
Wow, I guess I didn't realize Weird Al had so many fans. I'm out of the loop, I guess. I remember seeing him a few years back on an awards show doing "White and Nerdy," which was awesome, but hadn't heard anything of his prior to that (or since), in a long time. But I don't listen to radio so maybe that's why.
.
.
All of this seems like much ado about nothing. I kinda doubt Lady Gaga is going to lose any fans over it, and neither will Weird Al. I'm leaning towards the publicity stunt theory, no such thing as bad press and all.

pulykamell
04-23-2011, 12:10 AM
1960s: Joni Mitchell
1970s: Stevie Nicks
1980s: Rickie Lee Jones
1990s: Cranberries, Natalie Merchant, Alanis Morrissette, etc...
2000s: GA GA OH LALA, GA GA OH LA LA, GA GA OH LA LA, GA GA OH LA LA

This is seriously how far the female singer/songwriter pop genre has fallen? If you had turned on a mainstream radio station - the kind that average people, not college hipsters, listened to - in the previous decades, you'd hear the women above. Now all we have is the infantile, obnoxious, droning, repetitive, overproduced, probably cocaine-fueled garbage of Gaga.

Selective memory much? The 90s, from what I remember, were not primarily the female led artists you mentioned. It was more like Wilson Philips, Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Ace of Base, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, etc. (many of these artists I actually like fine.) Pop music has not gotten any worse than pop of the last few decades.

devilsknew
04-23-2011, 12:27 AM
I would pose any of the eighties and 90's artists and pioneers and frankly more talented musicians/ vocalists against any of the GaGa- kasha hum ba dizneycIdolcrap.Today's Beat without hook or talent generation (rap sucks today and it is missing serious content.They just spout retreads nowadays.).

pulykamell
04-23-2011, 12:38 AM
I would pose any of the eighties and 90's artists and pioneers and frankly more talented musicians/ vocalists against any of the GaGa- kasha hum ba dizneycIdolcrap.Today's Beat without hook or talent generation (rap sucks today and it is missing serious content.They just spout retreads nowadays.).

Gaga's a talented musician and a good vocalist. Certainly as good (and I would say better) than most of the 90s female pop stars. My main problem with her is her music, as catchy as it may be, just sounds dated to me. Most Lady Gaga songs I've heard I could swear I've heard before in the late 90s, early 00s. But I'm willing to bet that she stands the test of time. I think there's much to be heard from this woman, yet.

devilsknew
04-23-2011, 12:54 AM
That might very well be true, but it doesn't excuse the suckitude and archaic tradition of modern music.

Nothing is interesting or breaks new ground in this limited genre of rehydrated popcrapola..

Cat Whisperer
04-23-2011, 01:07 AM
That might very well be true, but it doesn't excuse the suckitude and archaic tradition of modern music.

Nothing is interesting or breaks new ground in this limited genre of rehydrated popcrapola..I get awfully tired of people who say there is nothing good being produced in pop music these days. There is an almost unlimited supply of great music being put out now, of all kinds. It doesn't show up on your doorstep, though - you have to go find it, but that's never been easier, either.

Mister Rik
04-23-2011, 01:31 AM
He and the band are touring constantly and are playing decent-sized venues. For instance, fairly recently they played Kansas City, MO and played the Uptown Theater, a 1700 seat venue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uptown_Theater_%28Kansas_City,_Missouri%29). I can't recall the last off the charts 80s band that played that particular location - they are usually doing casinos. Prince can still fill a small arena, but I suspect they are doing a lot of comps.
Warrant recently played my small city's Performing Arts Center, which seats a few hundred. I thought it was odd that they played there, rather than at our brand-new, 4000-something-seat arena.

You know we really should differentiate between levels of mainstream success. Al's thing is popping back up every few years and salvaging what he can out of the junk pile of pop culture. There's nothing wrong with that, but even within that narrow sphere his mainstream importance is decreasing with each album.

He will always have his fans for sure, and I'm not denying his entertainment value, but you can't really compare him to most of the subjects of parodies. Most of these artists have worked for less in terms of time, but most of them created something original with far more historical importance and influence that a resilient novelty act. The point is that even if Lady Gaga's star faded tomorrow she would be viewed as much more important than Weird Al, and her subesquent radio airplay would make her much more significant in the long term.
Al is "the face" of novelty/parody music, and has been for quite a number of years. I don't know if it's still the case, but for a while if you searched "Weird Al Yankovic" in any filesharing program, you would get a list of hundreds of songs with his name attached to them, that he in fact had absolutely nothing to do with. His name is so firmly associated with the "genre" that most people automatically assume that any funny song they hear must be Weird Al.

Also, what musician doesn't 'pop up every few years'? I mean, are you expecting constant albums or something? Generally, you know, it's release an album, tour for a few years, work on new material, release an album, tour...
I think Al also realizes that his appeal would wear thin very quickly if he was constantly releasing new material, so he spaces things out to maintain the novelty of "novelty".


I get awfully tired of people who say there is nothing good being produced in pop music these days. There is an almost unlimited supply of great music being put out now, of all kinds. It doesn't show up on your doorstep, though - you have to go find it, but that's never been easier, either.
Yet easy as it is, the majority of people still only pay attention to what the mass media feeds them. I've posted over the years about a number of interesting, promising artists that I've stumbled upon, but those threads get very little response. Probably because none of my threads have been about Happy Rhodes ;)

Czarcasm
06-23-2011, 11:06 AM
UPDATE! The new Lady Ga Ga Approved "Perform This Way" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss_BmTGv43M) is out!

ministryman
06-23-2011, 11:46 AM
Gaga's a talented musician and a good vocalist. Certainly as good (and I would say better) than most of the 90s female pop stars. My main problem with her is her music, as catchy as it may be, just sounds dated to me. Most Lady Gaga songs I've heard I could swear I've heard before in the late 90s, early 00s. But I'm willing to bet that she stands the test of time. I think there's much to be heard from this woman, yet.

I'll take that bet. $50 says that she is on an episode of Celebrity Rehab within 5 years, and a "where are They now?" after 10.

Czarcasm
06-23-2011, 01:13 PM
Weird Al has gotten approval from Lady Ga Ga to release "Perform This Way" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss_BmTGv43M), which will be on his soon-to-be-released album.
My opinion? Al is back at the top of his game with this one.

Rachellelogram
06-23-2011, 01:15 PM
Gaga has a great sense of humor about music, as anyone who saw the season finale of SNL would be prepared to attest.

pulykamell
06-23-2011, 01:33 PM
I'll take that bet. $50 says that she is on an episode of Celebrity Rehab within 5 years, and a "where are They now?" after 10.

You're on. See you back here in ten years. Any action on whether the Dope is still here in ten? ;)

hajario
06-23-2011, 02:07 PM
I'll take that bet. $50 says that she is on an episode of Celebrity Rehab within 5 years, and a "where are They now?" after 10.

I'll take that bet too.

Mahaloth
06-23-2011, 07:22 PM
Kind of duplicate thread, but I actually find the song to be not that creative for Al. His Queen-like song on the new album is good, though.

BigT
06-23-2011, 07:28 PM
UPDATE! The new Lady Ga Ga Approved "Perform This Way" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss_BmTGv43M) is out!

Okay, that CGI alone out weirded Gaga. She needs to step up!

FXMastermind
06-23-2011, 08:32 PM
The uncanny valley just added to the lulz

Lightsaber
06-23-2011, 08:51 PM
Is his face digitally imposed on a woman's body in that video? Jarring!

Red Barchetta
06-23-2011, 08:52 PM
Who is the random blond girl he pushes out of the way?

Mahaloth
06-23-2011, 08:53 PM
Is his face digitally imposed on a woman's body in that video? Jarring!

Yes.

Czarcasm
06-23-2011, 08:53 PM
Who is the random blond girl he pushes out of the way?She is supposed to be Madonna.

Antigen
06-23-2011, 08:55 PM
I love the video! It's not a bad song, either.

Toucanna
06-23-2011, 09:12 PM
You're right, Al, I've never seen a skirt steak worn that way. It's just not a Weird Al song if it doesn't have at least one line that makes you go, "Eeeewwwww!"

I don't know which recent visual image has creeped me out more, the black quills popping out of Natalie Portman's shoulders or Weird Al's face superimposed on the dancer in this video. :eek:

twickster
06-23-2011, 09:22 PM
Merged duplicate threads.

FXMastermind
06-23-2011, 09:24 PM
The fan based videos which came out before the official one show Gaga wearing a meat skirt (and shoes), which he just copied in his video. You might be surprised to find not much in his video is made up. She actually has done almost everything he shows in the video.

Snowboarder Bo
06-24-2011, 05:26 AM
I wonder who the body double for Gaga was? Great video; decent enough lyrics. Loved the swipe at her for being so much like Madonna in general, and for ripping off "Express Myself" specifically.

pulykamell
06-24-2011, 08:27 AM
Who is the random blond girl he pushes out of the way?

To add to Czarcasm's post, it's Madonna as dressed for the 1990 Blond Ambition (http://www.film.com/photos/madonna/attachment/madonna-during-blond-ambition-tour) tour.

Inner Stickler
06-24-2011, 09:29 AM
I wonder how Gaga's fandom breaks down. I would bet good money that she doesn't care how much she sounds like Madonna because most of her fans are too young to be more than vaguely aware of more than Like A Virgin and Material Girl.

Tim R. Mortiss
06-24-2011, 09:33 AM
According to Weird Al's blog (http://alyankovic.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/alpocalypse-now/), Vlada Gorbaneva supplied the body, Marissa Heart was the contortionist, and Holly Beavon was the Madonna impersonator.

E-Sabbath
06-24-2011, 10:31 PM
I did like the brief Solid Potato Salad tribute.

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