Thursday, November 19, 2009

"real" music

A couple of years ago right after changing the CD that I was listening at work, someone came up to me and asked if I listen to any real music. Curious to what was meant, I was told that real music consists of original songs done by people or groups that play their own instruments. I asked, lead guitar, bass guitar, drum, and maybe a third guitar, keyboard or even trombone and was told yes. I shrugged my shoulders and the person walked away. I then hit the pause button and listened to the Ookla the Mok CD Super Secret which has all original songs performed by people who play the instruments I described earlier. As the first words of the CD were sung (Mr Potato Head), I cracked a rare smile at work and continued what I was doing.

Most people associate comedy music with Weird Al Yankovic. He has been doing this over 30 years and most of the songs people know from him are parodies songs that were popular when the parody was written. I have many times tried to explain that Weird Al has done more than parodies. Over the past 30 years he has released 12 original albums that have 140 total tracks on them and 6 songs on the internet since his last album was released in 2006. The breakdown of the type of songs is here:

Recent parody - Any song that is a parody of a song released within the past 5 years and the songs most people know (Eat It, Smells Live Nirvana, White and Nerdy)

Classic Parody - Any song that is a parody of a song that is over 5 years old (Yoda, Jurassic Park, The Saga Begins)

Polka - Except for the 3:39 polka version of the six minute song Bohemian Rhapsody, the Polkas consisted of a medley of 15-30 second excerpts of songs strung together in a group. Except for the time he did all Rolling Stones songs in a medley, they have been recent songs Al could not work separately as a parody.

Style Parody - An original song that sounds like it was done by a different artist. Over the years, he has done this to Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Devo, and Talking Heads, and more recently NWA, The Beach Boys, and USA For Africa, and the Doors.

Original - An original song. Some of them were theme songs for the tv show or movie.

Other - One straight cover and one instrumental.

I did not include songs that were never released due to not getting permission and/or only performed at concerts. From what I could recall, most of them were parodies.

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