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Poodle Hat

"Weird Al" Yankovic

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Album Review

It's been said that artists will truly know they've entered pop culture when Weird Al Yankovic records a parody of their hit. But what does it mean when pop culture is ahead of Weird Al? Take his parody of the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way," which Yankovic turns into "Ebay," but his satire is not far removed from the auction website's own advertising campaign of 2003, where people rave about the junk they bought on eBay to the tune of "My Way" ("I did it eBay"). What does this mean? Well, that Weird Al Yankovic's sensibility has been so thoroughly assimilated by mass culture that it's tougher than ever for him to stay ahead of the game. For instance, there's his parody of Eminem's "Lose Yourself," for which Marshall Mathers refused to let Alfred Matthew Yankovic make a video — an event that gave Poodle Hat a lot of press upon its spring 2003 release. The album ends with "Genius in France," a multi-part epic that's equal parts Utopia-era Todd Rundgren, Frank Zappa, and They Might Be Giants; it's the most ambitious and weirdest thing here, which counts for a lot, ending with a Grey Poupon joke. It works because, at his best, Weird Al is a very good musician with some clever ideas and a skilled band, so music that showcases that is best for him — it helps put his jokes across.

Biography

Born: 23 October 1959 in Lynwood, CA

Genre: Comedy

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The foremost song parodist of the MTV era, "Weird Al" Yankovic carried the torch of musical humor more proudly and more successfully than any performer since Allan Sherman. In the world of novelty records — a genre noted for its extensive back catalog of flashes-in-the-pan and one-hit wonders — Yankovic was king, scoring smash after smash...
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Poodle Hat, "Weird Al" Yankovic
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