Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Citizen Entertainers Now His Competition ; 'Weird Al' Tour Comes to City on Saturday

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Citizen Entertainers Now His Competition ; 'Weird Al' Tour Comes to City on Saturday

Article excerpt

More than 30 years after ascending to the throne, "Weird Al" Yankovic yet reigns as America's prince of pop parody, but he wears the crown less easily than he once did. "When I first started out, I pretty much had the field to myself," Yankovic said in a call from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., during a break in the tour coming to Evansville Saturday. "You-Tube didn't even exist."

Since hitting the airwaves in the early 1980s with comic pop parodies including "My Bologna" (a takeoff on The Knack's "My Sharona") and "Another One Rides the Bus" (parodizing Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust")

Yankovic has recorded more than a dozen albums, sold millions of CDs, starred in videos, films, documentaries and television specials, written books and won several Grammys.

At 53, he's still at it, touring North America with music from his 2011 album, "Alpocalypse," as well as hits from his more than three decades making musical fun of and paying homage to pop artists from Michael Jackson to Madonna to Lady Gaga. He works on a new album as he tours, he said.

It's not as easy as it was when he started, however.

Everything changed in 2005 with the arrival of YouTube, the video-sharing website that allows anyone with a camera, computer, smartphone or any other digital recording device to compose, shoot and put out videos from anywhere in a matter of hours.

"Now I have to resign myself to the fact that I will never again be the only person to do a parody of a given song," Yankovic said. "I almost certainly won't ever be the first person to do a parody, and chances are my idea won't even be unique, because there are only so many variations on a theme you can do with any given pop song."

And with ever more people abandoning the radio for the Internet to find, listen to and download an eclectic array of songs, Yankovic has to work harder than ever to find and keep a finger on pop music's pulse, finding the best song to parody.

"Top 40 radio doesn't reflect a lot of different kinds of musical tastes anymore. …

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