Weird Al releases “Straight Outta Lynwood”

Straight Outta LynwoodToday Weird Al released his 12th studio ALbum, Straight Outta Lynwood, featuring parodies of Chamillionaire, Green Day, Usher, R. Kelly and (best of all) Taylor Hicks! The DualDisc also includes six animated videos, a behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of the album and even karaoke mixes with optional on-screen lyrics. (And, for those who were wondering, there is a 27 on the cover).

My review: 5 stars, baby! Okay, I am biased. Weird Al is one of my favorite musicians ever. I am continually impressed with his breadth of experience spanning multiple genres. Some of my personal favorite songs are “White and Nerdy” (watch the video on Al’s Myspace), “Polkarama!” (any song that starts with “The Chicken Dance” and ends with “Gold Digger” is a favorite in my book) and “Do I Creep You Out” (I love Taylor Hicks but even he might agree that song was asking for it).

I also love the additional videos. Some of my favorite animators worked on them, including John Kricfalusi, Bill Plympton and Robot Chicken. The behind-the-scenes featurette is also really fun. In it, you’ll see Al playing his accordion (a red Hohner 72 bass with 5 treble switches) as well as a toy piano, vibraslap, bass harmonica and a watermelon! That guy has mad skillz.

If you like Weird Al, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with this album. Click here to buy the CD.

Garfield, Why Can’t You Be Funny?

Jim asks Liz to polka.  Hilarity ensues.

As a matter of fact, Garfield, polka-karaoke night sounds awesome. I’ll bring the accordion, you bring the Lil’ Wally records. (Thanks, Micah.)

Weird Al’s First TV Appearance

With his 12th album due out next month, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and watch Weird Al Yankovic’s first television appearance from way back on April 21, 1981. Armed with only his accordion, his trademark curly hair, and a ridiculously loud pair of pants, he performed his Queen parody “Another One Rides the Bus” on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder. Longtime collaborator Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz pitched in by playing Al’s accordion case as a drum.

[Found via Videobomb]

Flickr Find: Accordion Emergency

In Case of Emergency
uploaded by lizhenry
In case of a fire, businesses are required to have a fire extinguisher somewhere on the premises. Silicon Valley institution, Buck’s of Woodside, though, takes it a step further; they have a couple accordions secured behind glass with the message: “In case of emergency, break glass — save accordions.” That’s good advice for anyone, and part of the reason why, at our house, we keep the accordions near the door.

The Taxpayer’s Polka

Here’s some pre-Tax Day fun… if that’s even possible. Phil Fragasso, a mutual fund marketing executive from Wellesley, MA, has recorded a parody album called Taxpayer Blues. The album is a mix of originals and spoofs of public domain songs, with promising song titles like “The IRS Audited Me and Ran Off With My Wife” and “Battle Hymn of the Taxpayer.” I recommend using “The Taxpayer’s Polka” as background music while finishing your 1040:

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Slim’s Cyder Co: Love or Food Poisoning?

Thanks to Anna, I can’t stop listening to “(Is it Love or) Food Poisoning” by Slim’s Cyder Co., a London-based accordion band that plays country, swing, and rockabilly, mixed with a healthy dose of humor. According to Slim’s MySpace profile, he has played with the likes of Joe Ely, Billy Bragg, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and many more over the years. Check out a couple tunes from Slim’s latest release, “Journey into Cyder Space,” and catch the bug:

Flickr Find: Accordion Pup

Balkan Style
Balkan style
uploaded by plenty.r.
We’re suckers for photos of cute animals, so this Flickr shot of an accordion-playing puppy is right up our alley. And according to the description, he’s available for booking for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and funerals! I noticed he’s playing a button accordion — I wonder if he switched after having trouble hitting the piano keys with his paws?

Accordion Hero Post-Mortem

Following up on our Accordion Hero post, the game’s developers have written a post-mortem on its creation, entitled “A Tight Squeeze: The Making of Accordion Hero”. As you might expect, it’s filled with more Hasselhoff and umlaut jokes than the original parody, but it’s worth checking out just for the photo of their “prototype” accordion controller.

Be An Accordion Hero

Accordion Hero LogoLately, I’ve been spending way too much time playing Guitar Hero, a video game that turns your air guitar dreams into reality. Just strap on the Gibson SG-shaped controller (complete with whammy bar) and you can shred your way through well-known rock anthems. It’s ridiculously fun and completely addictive.

So imagine my excitement when world-famous (and fictitious) German game developers Schadenfreude Interactive announced their latest title: Accordion Hero. Here’s their description:

“Hit all the right notes and get the crowd on their feet waving their beer steins in unison — you are an accordion hero! Includes all the great accordion melodies you’ve ever gotten really, really drunk to… from Ein Munchen Steht Ein Hofbrauhaus to Rock You Like A Hurricane.”

Don’t forget to check out the “screenshots” — I love the Squeeze-O-Meter and the cuckoo clocks in the background. [Found via GameSetWatch]

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