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Reviewer has to re-evaluate Weird Al Yankovic concert in the wake of January 6 and Buffalo mass shooting

If you didn’t know, Jeff B. — aka @EsotericCD — has a fabulous podcast called “Political Beats” that takes an in-depth look at a musician or band. He and a guest recently looked at the career of Weird Al Yankovic, but they didn’t look as deeply as Linda Falkenstein, who reviewed a recent sellout concert in Madison, Wisconsin. As Jeff B. points out, he’d never seen Weird Al evaluated alongside such events as January 6, but the alt-weekly Isthmus did.


Seriously, check this out:

… I couldn’t help feeling that culturally, we — as a nation — have crossed some kind of line recently. After one mass shooting or another, or after the Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally, or on January 6, 2021, or during the pandemic, when circumstances forced a re-evaluation of a lot of things. Last night, as I was sitting in the audience with the shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde and Highland Park all within the last two months, I kept noticing how many times a Weird Al song centers on the extreme anger and resentment of a young man.

Are these songs really a critique of our culture? That case could be made. I don’t know if Yankovic senses that times have changed; after all, these songs were all in the same setlist. But in “Albuquerque” (on one level an absurd story-song in which the narrator is pushed to the brink from his mom force-feeding him sauerkraut, but on another level a song full of anger at all sorts of slights) he paused mid-song to apologize for a line about a hermaphrodite (“It’s some big fat hermaphrodite with a Flock-Of-Seagulls haircut and only one nostril”) in what struck me as a very “sorry/not sorry” sort of way.

No matter. By that time I was in no mood to sing along with the genuinely charming “Yoda” (a “Yo-Yo-Yo-Yoda” parody of The Kinks’ “Lola”) that closed the concert. I wanted to feel good. But I couldn’t.


Unreal. But no, it’s real:


Are all alt-weeklies like this? We have a feeling they are — they’re all far-left wing and miserable.


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