“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.
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.
In February 2010, an all-star roster of artists and legends came together to honor Neil Young at a charity tribute concert. Now, a year later, the footage from that show will finally see release. A MusiCares Tribute to Neil Young features James Taylor, Wilco, Norah Jones, and more – and we’ve got a first look below!
Every Wednesday (or Monday), our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.
Wow, what a game! Did you see the Green Bay Packers do all those things with the ball? But they just weren’t quite equal to the things which the Pittsburgh Steelers did, or maybe they were! What do you mean you don’t think I watched the Bowl? Those puppies were adorable!
Anyway. That most popular, prolific cover-creating machine in American culture known as Glee has returned with new episodes following a two month break. For their half-season kickoff, they scored the coveted post-Super Bowl timeslot, which has traditionally led already-popular television programs to incredibly high ratings. It’d probably be an exaggeration to suggest that the eyes of the world were on Glee last night, but it’s fair to say that a whole lot of people were watching.
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.