Tag Archives: WeirdAl

Deep Fried WHAT???? A Night at the Fair with Al’s Brain, Melissa Etheridge and a Ferris Wheel

We went to the Orange County Fair on Saturday afternoon. Most years we end up going to at least one of the Pacific Amphitheater’s summer concert series, which includes fair admission, so we just combine it into one trip. This year it was Melissa Etheridge, and we also had another goal: Al’s Brain.

We started by grabbing some water and (in my case) a chocolate milkshake (because I wanted some ice cream, dangit! and drinkable made it easier), then wandered through the arts and crafts displays, where they showed prize-winning jewelry, crochet, display models, dresses, origami, etc.

Al’s Brain

A giant sand sculpture of a brain and Weird Al's head.Then we made our way to the back of the fair, where they had set up a portable theater for Al’s Brain (in 3-D!). There was a huge sand sculpture out front of “Weird Al” Yankovic holding out a brain in his hand. An animated question mark and exclamation point would occasionally pop out the top of his head, and smoke would pour from his ears.

“Weird Al” has actually had a long association with the Orange County Fair, often doing free concerts on multiple nights during the run. We’ve seen him there at least twice, possibly three times. One year there was a “Weird Al” museum of sorts. This year, he got involved in a short 3-D educational film (comedic, of course) about the brain.

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iPod on Random

Caught “Weird Al” Yankovic’s song, “She Drives Like Crazy” — appropriately enough, while on the freeway. I never used to understand why he did the funny voices in the song, until I remembered the Muppets music video of the original song (“She Drives Me Crazy”), with Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog…and suddenly the voices clicked into place.

It’s odd that the intro on the title track to “The Phantom of the Opera” (the Andrew Lloyd Webber show) sounds so much like the MIDI file I found in the mid-1990s. I don’t know if that’s a comment on the quality of my old sound card, or a comment on how many synthesizers were used in the original recording. Either way, whoever sequenced that MIDI file got the timing exactly right.

Best random song pairing ever

The following two “Weird Al” Yankovic songs popped up sequentially on the iPod the other day:

  • “I Love Rocky Road” (based on Joan Jett’s version of “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll,” and all about ice cream.)
  • “Cavity Search” (it’s about going to the dentist—U2’s “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” is turned into “Numb me, drill me, floss me, bill me.”)

Sometimes random shuffle makes you wonder whether the software knows more about the songs than what’s in the ID3 tag.

The Weird…

Weird Al Yankovic: Straight Outta Lynwood album coverLast night we went out to the Orange County Fair to see “Weird Al” Yankovic in concert (the Straight Outta Lynwood Tour). I don’t remember how we managed it, but we got tickets for the fifth row, putting us about 10 feet from the stage. We were off to the side, maybe 20–30 feet from Al’s microphone, but still, it was the closest we’d ever been at a stadium concert.

(Being off to the side put us right by the speakers, which was an odd experience, as the drum beats resonated at the frequency of the human ribcage. On percussion-heavy songs, it was sort of like having an audio pacemaker.)

As always, he put on a fun show. If you haven’t seen him in concert before, all the major songs are done in full costume, with comedic video clips (mostly from his mid-1990s TV show) running between sets to allow time for costume changes. In the middle of the show, he always does a medley of other songs, just to get as much in as possible into a 2-hour concert.

As for being near the front, thankfully he didn’t come to our section for the audience-walk during “Wanna B Ur Lovr,” (a truly annoying song). We did get covered with red and white streamers at the end of “Canadian Idiot,” and (speaking of Monopoly money) fake $100 during “I’ll Sue Ya.”

$100 bill, Weird Al style.

One surprise: A couple of minutes into “White and Nerdy,” he suddenly stopped, said, “There’s no reason to do this song. Radio, Radio”—and the band proceeded to do a straight cover of Elvis Costello’s “Radio, Radio.” During the encore, he explained they’d had some technical difficulties, and did the song from the beginning (though without the costumes and the Segway).

Another surprise: He performed “Albuquerque.” All 10 minutes of it. *shudder*

After the concert we explored the fair a bit, then left to go to Borders to pick up Harry Potter, leading to the second part of this story…

For now, I’ll leave you with this final thought: We all have cell phones, so come on, let’s get real.

Riddle Me This

I really liked the last two Five For Fighting albums, America Town and The Battle for Everything. “Superman” was quite possibly the only song I’ve heard that made me run out and buy an album without checking other songs first. So I was eagerly awaiting “Two Lights.”

Unfortunately, after listening through twice, I only actually like two songs on the album: “California Justice” and “Policeman’s Xmas Party.” Everything else is just too…sappy.

And “The Riddle” is everywhere. Radio, supermarkets, fast food, shopping malls. I can’t escape it. Worse, it’s one of those tunes that worms its way into your mind and runs around in circles.

But here’s the odd thing: Does anyone else think the verse sounds a little bit like “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “The Night Santa Went Crazy?”