As you have probably heard, Weird Al Yankovic will be performing outdoors in Montreal tonight. Also, experiencing His Weirdness live won’t cost you a penny as the show is FREE!
This is both part of Just for Laughs and a stop on the Weird One’s Mandatory Fun tour. For many Montrealers, myself included, attendance is, well mandatory. This is also the case for out-of-towners who are heading to Montreal just for this show.
Now, while whatever songs Yankovic chooses to play will be great, there are five tunes I really hope to hear tonight in Place des Festivals. In no particular order, they are:
The Night Santa Went Crazy
While Wierd Al is known for his parodies, he also has an ample roster of original tunes. They are still funny, but funny on their own, without the need of a well-known tune. My favourite, by far, is The Night Santa Went Crazy.
This was the closing track on his 1996 album Bad Hair Day. It’s a take on our cultural obsession with violence and, as such, is quite dark.
Sometimes, Weird Al’s parodies are bigger hits in the long run than the original songs they were inspired by. Such is the case with Amish Paradise. It’s no wonder Coolio was initially upset that the Weird One chose this song to cover. I don’t think a parody of Fantastic Voyage would have gone over quite so well.
This song from the Mandatory Fun album makes it possible to enjoy that tune everyone was humming a few summers ago without having to listen to Robin Thicke’s misogynist lyrics. Also, it’s about English grammar.
If that wasn’t enough, it’s the tune that let Weird Al show some true class in handling criticism. When people pointed out that his use of the word “spastic” was offensive, he responded with this:
If you thought I didn’t know that “spastic” is considered a highly offensive slur by some people… you’re right, I didn’t. Deeply sorry.
— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) July 20, 2014
Now this isn’t one of Al’s best tunes, but the film it comes from is a treasure. In fact, I was initially inspired to create media after watching it. It made the prospect of getting your voice out there seem possible, which the internet later turned into a reality.
I wonder if Weird Al ever contemplates the effect he has had on culture and people. Maybe it’s just go-go-go.
The Saga Begins
If you want to know what happens in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace without having to sit through over two hours of CGI animals farting, Jar Jar and trade negotiations, this is the ticket. It’s the whole plot summed up in one tune before spoiler alerts were even a thing.
While I am also partial to Weird Al’s other Star Wars-themed tune Yoda, this one has the added advantage of being set to Don Maclean’s classic American Pie, a song which a bunch of the people who listened to Al’s 1999 album Running With Scissors were apparently unfamiliar with. When Madonna released a cover of American Pie a year later, some wondered why she was covering a Weird Al song from the year before and changing the lyrics.
Other tunes I’d like to hear tonight include: Foils, You Don’t Love Me Anymore, Smells Like Nirvana, one of the Michael Jackson or Madonna parodies and, of course, a polka! Hell, maybe he’ll play a medley of all of his polkas!
Are there any Weird Al tunes you hope to hear tonight?
* Weird Al Yankovic performs in Place des Festivals tonight, July 21st, at 9pm, FREE!