"Weird Al" Yankovic takes on hits by a whole new crop of pop stars on his latest album, "Poodle Hat," due May 20 via Way Moby/Volcano. On the 12-track set, the musical parody veteran reworks well-know
"Weird Al" Yankovic takes on hits by a whole new crop of pop stars on his latest album, "Poodle Hat," due May 20 via Way Moby/Volcano. On the 12-track set, the musical parody veteran reworks well-known songs by such artists as Eminem, Avril Lavigne, and Nelly.
The album's lead track is "Couch Potato," a commentary on America's obsession with media and celebrity, set to Eminem's "Lose Yourself." Because Yankovic is going along with Eminem's wishes, the song won't be supported by the type of video treatment that has become the hallmark of past "Weird Al" projects.
"Eminem gave his approval for me to use 'Couch Potato' (my 'Lose Yourself' parody) as a track on my new album, but he wouldn't allow me to do a video for it," Yankovic tells Billboard.com. "He somehow feels that a Weird Al video would detract from his legacy or make people take him less seriously. I have to respect his decision, but it's obviously very disappointing for me -- it would have been an absolutely amazing video."
Elsewhere on "Poodle Hat," Lavigne's "Complicated" becomes "A Complicated Song," while Nelly's "Hot in Herre" is morphed into "Trash Day." Yankovic also turns Billy Joel's "Piano Man" into a "Spiderman" parody as "Ode to a Superhero," and the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" into the send-up "eBay."
In keeping with tradition, the album also features one of the accordion-playing musician's trademark polka medleys. The "Angry White Boy Polka" finds him incorporating snippets of songs by Rage Against The Machine, Papa Roach, System Of A Down, and the White Stripes, among others.
"Poodle Hat" also boasts original songs such as "Hardware Store," "Party at the Leper Colony," "Wanna B Ur Lovr," and the Bob Dylan homage "Bob." Ben Folds guests on the track ""Why Does This Always Happen to Me," while Dweezil Zappa appears on an tribute to his father, Frank Zappa ("Genius in France").
Yankovic and his band -- guitarist Jim West, bassist Steve Jay, and drummer Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz -- will kick off an extensive North American tour June 19 in Del Mar, Calif. Promising a "high-energy, multimedia extravaganza complete with hilarious video montages and elaborate costume changes," the tour will wrap with a Sept. 7 finale in Santa Clara, Calif.
"Poodle Hat" is the follow-up to 1999's "Running With Scissors," which peaked at No. 16 on The Billboard 200. That set parodied songs by the Barenaked Ladies, the Offspring, Puff Daddy, and others.
Here are Yankovic's upcoming tour dates:
June 19: Del Mar, Calif. (Del Mar Fairgrounds)
June 20: Kelseyville, Calif. (Konocti Field Amphitheatre)
June 21: Las Vegas (Alladin Theater)
June 22: San Luis Obispo, Calif. (Christopher Cohan Center)
June 26: Milwaukee, Wis. (Summerfest)
June 27: Kalamazoo, Mich. (Kalmazoo State Theatre)
June 28: Toledo, Ohio (Zoo Amphitheatre)
June 29: Buffalo, N.Y. (Melody Fair Theatre)
July 1: Verona, N.Y. (Turning Stone Casino)
July 11: Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Mid Hudson Civic Center)
July 12: Allentown, Pa. (The Great Allentown Fair)
July 13: Doswell, Va. (Paramount's Kings Dominion)
July 18: Hampton Beach, N.H. (Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom)
July 19: Philadelphia (Mann Center for the Performing Arts)
July 20: Holmdel, N.J. (PNC Bank Arts Center)
July 22-23: Westbury, N.Y. (Westbury Music Fair)
July 25: Pittsburgh (Amphitheatre at Station Square)
July 26: Chicago (Navy Pier)
July 27: Kings Island, Ohio (Paramount's King's Island)
Aug. 5: Tulsa, Okla. (Riverpark Amphitheatre)
Aug. 6: Oklahoma City (Bricktown Events Center)
Aug. 8: Gulfport, Miss. (Grand Casino Gulfport)
Aug. 9: Valdosta, Ga. (Wild Adventures Theme Park)
Aug. 10: Charlotte, N.C. (Paramount's Carowinds)
Aug. 12: Houston (Verizon Wireless Theatre)
Aug. 13: Dallas (Bronco Bowl Theatre)
Aug. 15: Albuquerque, N.M. (Kiva Auditorium)
Aug. 16: Pueblo, Colo. (Colorado State Fair)
Aug. 17: Denver (Universal Lending Pavilion)
Aug. 22: Rochester Hills, Mich. (Meadowbrook Music Festival)
Aug. 23: Rockford, Ill. (Coronado Theatre)
Aug. 24: St. Paul, Minn. (Minnesota State Fair)
Aug. 25: Ft. Wayne, Ind. (Embassy Center)
Aug. 27: Sault St. Marie, Mich. (Kewadin Casino)
Aug. 29: S. Woodstock, Conn. (Woodstock Fair)
Aug. 31: Cleveland (Tower City Amphitheatre)
Sept. 4: Phoenix (Dodge Theatre)
Sept. 5: Los Angeles (Greek Theatre)
Sept. 7: Santa Clara, Calif. (Paramount's Great Adventure)