Elizabeth Mitchell's You Are My Flower may have been the first (good) kids' album I ever bought, but "Weird Al" Yankovic's second full-length album, 1984's Grammy Award-winning In 3-D was the first album I ever bought, period. The album was funny. But for a nerdy kid like me, it also introduced me to a bunch of music it would have taken me years to find otherwise. (Man, I gotta go back and find a copy of that...)
More than 20 years later, Al's latest album, "Straight Outta Lynwood," his twelfth of original material, is being released next week. You can read a good interview with Al here (thanks to Stereogum for the link). I particularly liked this portion of the interview:
RS: R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” is almost a Weird Al song in itself. How did you come up with “Trapped in the Drive-Thru”?Anyone who listens to XMKiDS will tell you that Yankovic's popularity hasn't really waned with kids -- his "The Saga Begins" (mixing the two cultural touchstones of Don McLean's "American Pie" and Star Wars Ep. 1) is still in constant rotation. In other words, just as with They Might Be Giants fans who have been following them for 20 years, Yankovic has somehow managed to stay relevant with those fans' kids, if maybe not so much with the original fans.
WA: I knew I couldn’t make my R. Kelly parody any more ridiculous or convoluted than the original, but I believed that I could make it more stupid. Because that’s where I really shine...
But go ahead -- watch the video "White and Nerdy" -- and tell me it doesn't at least make you chuckle. (And, for some of us, hit just a leeeetle too close to home.)