“Weird Al” Yankovic first debuted his new “Polka Face” covers medley live last year, and now, 15 months later, we move from shaky concert footage to off-the-wall music video. Now, normally Al’s polkas get music videos for his concerts consisting of the original video clips synced to his medley (like this one), so this marks his polka-video debut.
This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.
Today’s set begins all in the family, ends with some lo-fi indie favorites, and takes an unexpected detour to a folk hip-hop medley in the middle. You know, just another week on Bandcamp.
Let’s face it – it’s almost impossible not to throw up a fist when Flo Rida’s “Club Can’t Handle Me” starts blasting. Its catchy hook and infectious beat deserve a head bob at the very least. But if you’re not quite old enough to get into a club and find out whether or not it really can handle you, maybe indie power-pop group Tally Hall’s playful cover is a better fit.
No question, music-comedy pioneer “Weird Al” Yankovic is known for his parodies and, to a lesser extent, his original musical numbers. But he performs a third, perhaps underappreciated, category of song: the cover. Every album includes a “polka” medley which, though not labeled as such, fits the dictionary definition of a cover: same lyrics, different music. His latest, Alpocalypse, includes another instant classic: Polka Face.
Granted, when Flo Rida’s debut single was released in September of 2007, it represented the exact opposite of fat, bald, and hairy Tom Cruise. Featuring (and co-written by) T-Pain, this song ended up being the longest-running chart-topper of 2008 and generated remixes featuring rapper Pitbull and even more T-Pain.
The parody is the cover’s evil twin. While a good cover keeps the lyrics and changes the music, a parody does the exact opposite. As such, much of what “Weird Al” Yankovic does falls outside this blog’s purview (though covers of Weird Al songs are always popular). His polkas, however, fall strictly in the cover camp. On every album he creates a medley of popular hits set to polka tunes. The lyrics stay intact, the music goes oompah-oompah. Sounds like a cover to me!
He has been opening the shows on his latest tour with a brand-new polka featuring Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Kid Cudi and more. It will presumably appear on his next album as a track titled “Polkaface.” The bummer flipside is that any song included in a polka is now off the table for parody, but you can count on another Lady Gaga song getting the Al treatment.