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Wonderfully Weird
by Nathan Orme
Nov 02, 2011 | 3132 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Graphic - “Weird Al” Yankovic rides with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse on the cover of his newest album, “Alpocalypse.” Yankovic performs Saturday in Reno.
Courtesy Graphic - “Weird Al” Yankovic rides with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse on the cover of his newest album, “Alpocalypse.” Yankovic performs Saturday in Reno.
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RENO — Remember the first album you ever purchased? For many of us, the cover art of our childhood will linger in our memories long after the record or cassette tape has outlived its waxy recording.

For me, one of those albums was “Dare To Be Stupid” by “Weird Al” Yankovic. The image of his goofy, smiling face framed by his long, curly brown hair will follow me until my dying day. I can even remember many of the songs on the 1985 release: “Like a Surgeon,” “Yoda,” “Eat It,” “Girls Just Want To Have Lunch,” “Slime Creatures From Outer Space,” “I Want a New Duck” and more.

OK, I had to look up a couple of the songs. Hey, it’s been more than 20 years since I listened to it.

With Weird Al coming to Reno on Saturday for a stop on the “Alpocalypse” tour, I was happy to see that this musical figure from my childhood is still out there making fun of other people’s songs and the world at large. The album’s 12 tracks are a combination of Yankovic originals and parodies — most of which I wouldn’t recognize since he is parodying modern songs I’ve never heard. Examples: “Perform This Way” instead of “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga; “TMZ” instead of “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift; “Party in the CIA” instead of “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus; and more.

“Alpocalypse,” released in June, is Weird Al’s 13th studio album. It comes 28 years after his self-titled debut album, which featured parodies of now-classic songs such as “I Love Rocky Road” instead of “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett; “Stop Draggin’ My Car Around” instead of “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” the duet by Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks; and “Another One Rides the Bus” instead of “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen.

The number of songs Yankovic had parodied throughout the past three decades is too large to try and list here. But his list of accomplishments and accolades is a testament to the ongoing popularity of his work: He has sold more than 12 million albums and recorded more than 150 parody and original songs. His works have earned him three Grammy Awards among nine nominations, four gold records, and six platinum records.

“Weird Al” Yankovic performs at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Grand Theatre at the Grand Sierra Resort. Tickets cost $30 and $65. To buy tickets, visit www.grandsierraresort.com.

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