(RNN) - In celebration of the release of his new album, Mandatory Fun, “Weird Al” Yankovic is releasing eight extremely entertaining videos in eight days - and America should take note. As far as Weird Al goes, the songs actually give some good advice.
On Wednesday, he released Foil, the third video installment and a parody of Lorde’s Royals. The video details the importance of aluminum foil - particularly for protection from the Illuminati - and features Patton Oswalt, Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant.
On Tuesday he released the video for a song that had English majors and journalists (particularly copy editors) everywhere rejoicing. The song, titled Word Crimes, is a parody of Blurred Lines and explores how people everywhere are murdering the English language on a daily basis. If you pay attention to the lyrics, you might just improve your grammar.
He kicked off the eight days of videos on Monday with the release of Tacky, a celebrity-filled rip-off of Pharrell Williams’ Happy and the 24-hour music video that went with it. In his own way, the parodist warns listeners of all the things they shouldn't be doing, from using Comic Sans on a resume to wearing “an Ed Hardy shirt with fluorescent orange pants.”
The Tacky video also sees appearances by a twerking Jack Black, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal, Margaret Cho and Aisha Tyler.
Mandatory Fun is Weird Al’s 14th album. It hit stores on July 15.
In case you missed the larger than life announcement last week, Garth Brooks is coming out of retirement, signing with Sony Music Nashville for his upcoming album, selling his music digitally and going on tour. Whew. Need we say more? Ok, maybe a little more.
Brooks did a press conference on July 10 and noted that even though he’s older and nervous about returning to music, he’s looking at it as a second chance.
“First of all, I want to thank God and everybody that’s given me the chance to actually look at a second half of a career. I don’t know too many artists that get this chance,” he said.
He said that even though he’s never gone digital, he will begin to sell music via garthbrooks.com within the next two to three weeks - and only garthbrooks.com. Brooks refused to sell his music digitally in past years because of a disagreement with iTunes over their tactic of selling individual songs off of albums, according to Billboard. When they refused to sell his albums only in their entirety he refused to go digital - until now, that is.
“It’s a pretty big step, it’s pretty scary. It’s a cool form and when it’s used right it can do wonders for the artist and even better, it can do wonders for the songwriters. When you do it right, we’ll all succeed. So we’ll be doing our digital the best that we can, the only way we know how. Because we’re the only ones that kind of play our own way.”
Brooks is also embarking on a world tour to promote his upcoming album which will be released in November. He recently announced the first stop will be Chicago.
This exciting news comes after Brooks canceled five concerts in Dublin, Ireland because the City Council there requested he cancel two of the sold-out shows after neighbors complained about the noise and traffic the shows will bring to the area.
The council reportedly voted to allow Brooks to do all five shows, but in the end the city manager upheld the city requirement of only three shows.
Brooks responded by saying “to choose which shows to do and which not to do would be like asking choose one child over another,” according to Billboard. So instead of doing just three shows, he canceled them all - a move that could cost Dublin close to 15 million euros.
Garthbrooks.com is currently down, showing only a short message from the artist and an e-mail list sign up. It should be up and completely updated within the next few weeks, according to Brooks.
Kristen Stewart has gotten a bad rap for being just a little too serious. However, thanks to Jenny Lewis we actually get to see Stewart’s comedic side (and yes, she does have one).
In Lewis’ new video for Just One Of The Guys, Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway and Brie Larson pull out their mustaches, beards and rat tails to create some of the prettiest skeazy men we've ever seen.
As a bonus, Lewis sports a pretty awesome rainbow tuxedo. Check it all out here.
They may only be in eighth grade, but that isn’t keeping three teens from New York from becoming a bit of a hard rock prodigy.
Their band is called Unlocking the Truth and they just recently received a two-record deal from Sony that could eventually make them $1.7 million richer, according to The New York Daily News.
The trio is comprised of guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13, bassist Alec Atkins, 13, and drummer Jarad Dawkins, 12.
The teens rise to fame started when they were discovered playing in Washington Square Park by Steve Jordan, Eric Clapton’s drummer.
Since then they've played gigs all over the country, including one at Coachella and as the opener for Guns N’Roses.
Check out their last performance in Times Square here and prepare for a jaw drop. To have only been alive for 13 years, these boys have serious talent.
High-tech streaming may be the way most listeners consume music these days, but never discount the everlasting appeal of nostalgia.
Nielsen Soundscan reports that vinyl sales are up a staggering 40 percent over last year, all while overall album sales have plummeted almost 15 percent.
The top-selling vinyl releases for the first half of 2014 are Jack White’s Lazaretto, followed by Artic Monkeys’ AM and Beck’s Morning Phase.
Rounding out the top five are The Black Keys’ latest release Turn Blue and Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die.
Nielsen doesn’t really explain why vinyl is having such a banner year, but with such high-profile artists releasing actual hold-in-your-hands records, perhaps it’s not surprising.
Plus, call us old fashioned, but the warmth of vinyl beats digital any day.
Jason Mraz: Yes! - July 15
Morrissey - World Peace Is None of Your Business - July 15
Weird Al Yankovic - Mandatory Fun - July 15
Sia: 1000 Forms of Fear - July 8
Blackberry Smoke: Leave a Scar: Live in North Carolina - July 8
Anberlin - Lowborn - July 22
La Roux - Trouble in Paradise – July 22
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye – July 29
Daft Punk may create some killer electronic music, but when you remove the synthesizers and replace them with nothing but acoustic guitar it's a whole new sound - and a very good one at that.
A duo called Show-Hawk recently performed an acoustic tribute to Daft Punk that includes several stripped-down hits like Get Lucky and One More Time. The result was so killer that some YouTube commenters are asking for a recording.
Who knew electronic would translate so well to acoustic? Well, now we do.
Check it out here.
NEEDTOBREATHE – The Heart
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