Monday, September 25, 2006

Mr. Darth in the Iron Lung



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


"Weird Al" Yankovic's self-titled 1983 debut. Features hilarious parodies of Queen, the Knack, and Toni Basil. There's also, of course, a smattering of Al originals, including "I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead," which was my personal anthem in fifth grade. This album is the most accordian-heavy offering in the Yank discography - he even snuck some in on "Buckingham Blues" (which, as the title suggests, is a straightforward blues song...about Prince Charles and Lady Di).


- The phrase "I'll be movin' on" in "I Love Rocky Road" coincides with the death of the Rebel Darth Vader is choking at the beginning of the film.

- A Jawa shrugs his shoulders after the line "what can I say?" is heard in "The Check's in the Mail."

- Princess Leia's hologram is onscreen as the line "you're beautiful!" is heard in "The Check's in the Mail."

- Luke storms away from the dinner table as the line "you can't make me settle down" is heard in "I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead."

- The phrase "such an awesome sight" in "Such A Groovy Guy" coincides with the shot of the two Banthas through Luke's binoculars.

- Obi-Wan removes his hood for the first time as the line "such a groovy guy" is heard in "Such A Groovy Guy."


Fair enough.

I first bought this album on cassette at Caldor. No, it wasn't a Viking theme park; Caldor was the New England equivalent of Kmart. In my hometown, the most devastating barb a kid could throw out was something along the lines of, "Hey Fransen, where'd you get your socks - CALDOR?!" The irony, of course, is that Caldor was about the only moderately priced retailer within twenty miles. I think everybody who grew up there at one time or another had socks from Caldor, or shoes from Caldor, or hats or shirts or skis or boots from Caldor. I don't remember too many kids sashaying around the playground in Versace evening wear.

But I digress. I got "Weird Al" Yankovic (or WAY, as the fans call it) at Caldor, and within two minutes of owning it I managed to smear the insert with snot. I had a cold (I always had a cold). I wiped my nose with my chubby little digits and then proceeded to use those same chubby little digits to get a closer look at the cover photo. A few seconds later, I noticed the light yellow stain I had just made. I was mad (at myself), but not mad enough to shout out, "Jesus Christ!" like I did the time I couldn't get my firefighting G.I. Joe figure assembled fast enough. That got me a stern lecture from Mother.

My agitation eased after hearing "Gotta Boogie," in which Al also faced a mucous-related problem. Am I the only one who finds it odd that "Weird Al" claims to be clean or family-friendly, yet he sings about boogers and decapitation and characters in his videos are always flipping people off? That's not family-friendly. Alright, maybe it's more family-friendly than Gwar, but Al acts like he's the Pat Boone of parody when, in fact, he is more like the Pat Hingle of parody.

Maybe I'm just bitter because I sent him a personal Myspace message and he has yet to reply. What's up, Al? You too busy writing Grammy-winning parodies and raising a daughter and loving your wife and owning a dog to talk to some yahoo in Orlando? Get out of your ivory tower!

Man, I need a job.


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