Weird Al : seriously

by Hirsch, Lily E., 1979-

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 2 copies
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Millvale Community Library Adult Non Fiction 782.42 HIR
Location  Millvale Community Library
Collection  Adult Non Fiction
Call Number  782.42 HIR
Unavailable (1)
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Northland Public Library Nonfiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
From his love of accordions and Hawaiian print shirts to his popular puns and trademark dance moves, "Weird Al" Yankovic has made a career out of making us laugh. Funny music is often dismissed as light and irrelevant, but Yankovic's fourteen successful studio albums prove there is more going on than comedic music's reputation suggests. In this book, for the first time, the parodies, original compositions, and polka medleys of the Weird Al universe finally receive their due respect. Lily Hirsch weaves together original interviews with the prince of parody himself, creating a fresh take on comedy and music's complicated romance. She reveals that Yankovic's jests have always had a deeper meaning, addressing such topics as bullying, celebrity, and racial and gender stereotypes. Weird Al is undeterred by those who say funny music is nothing but a low-brow pastime. And thank goodness. With his good-guy grace still intact, Yankovic remains unapologetically and unmistakably himself. Reveling in the mischief and wisdom of Yankovic's forty-year career, this book is an Al-expense-paid tour of a true comedic and musical genius.
Introduction: still Weird Al
This is the life
The prince of pop parody
Policing and playing with language
Sugar and spice and everything almost nice
The art of self-deprecation
President Al
The woke joke
Junking gender
Al-most famous
Last laugh.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "There's something dangerous about serious analysis of comedy, but musicologist Hirsch's look into the discography of pop parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic keeps things fun. After a brief look at his influences (including Dr. Demento, who wrote the introduction), she mines literary and social criticisms and, backed up by an exhaustive survey of Yankovic in the media, dissects his work to prove that he is more than just a novelty act. Despite his nice-guy reputation and accordion-driven nerdiness, Yankovic writes hits like "White & Nerdy," "Amish Paradise," and "Eat It" that take serious jabs at politics, racial stereotypes, and toxic masculinity. Some of her applications of theory are a stretch (does "My Bologna" subvert "the heteronormative search for love," or is it just a funny rhyme with "My Sharona"?) and though she applies criticism, Hirsch is not critical (why so many fat characters in his songs?). Hirsch is clearly a fan, and her geeking out over Yankovic's terrible (wonderful) puns and keen (and keenly juvenile) sense of the absurd will endear the book to readers who are fellow Al-colohics."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Music writer Hirsch celebrates the career of music comedian Alfred "Weird Al" Yankovic in this thoroughly researched debut biography. Best known for his parodies, Hirsch argues that Yankovic is much more than a comedy act, and that his songs allow listeners to "be whoever you are," as "he creates a mix of tribute and mockery in his work, and he mocks himself just as he slyly takes down the bad behavior of others." Hirsch charts Yankovic's rise to fame, beginning with 1979's "My Bologna" (a take on the Knack's "My Sharona," which he recorded in a bathroom at California Polytechnic State, where he worked as a student DJ), and recounts how artists have responded to having their work remade (Coolio was originally outraged by Yankovic's "Amish Paradise" parody of his "Gangsta's Paradise," but years later admitted, "I was being cocky and stupid.... The song's actually funny as s___"). Hirsch details dozens of songs, at times to the point of overkill, as in an entire section devoted to politics (Yankovic addresses gun violence in several songs including his original song "Trigger Happy" and "Canadian Idiot," a parody of Green Day's "American Idiot"). While it probably will not win over any new fans, this is the perfect volume for all who proudly rock out to Weird Al. (Mar.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Yankovic, Al, -- 1959- -- Criticism and interpretation.
Humorous songs -- History and criticism.
Parody in music.
Publisher Lanham :Rowman & Littlefield,2020
Contributors Dr. Demento, writer of foreword.
Language English
Description xxvi, 209 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 189-202) and index.
ISBN 9781538124994
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