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Weird Al Says 'Don't Download This Song' 353

Posted by Zonk
from the really-he-would-like-you-to-though dept.
Kazzahdrane writes "Known geek and comedy singer/songwriter Weird Al Yankovic has released the first song from his new album 'Straight Outta Lynwood' for free on his MySpace page. The track is entitled 'Don't Download This Song' and tells of the dangers of illegally downloading music from filesharing sites." His MySpace page is most excellent. "Hi. Al here. No, really, it's Al. Seriously. What, you don't believe me? Go ahead, check weirdal.com. Hit the MySpace link. See if it brings you right back to this page. Go ahead. I'll wait. See? It's really me. I should point out... this means that conversely, all those other people on MySpace who are claiming to be me or implying that they are me... are definitely NOT me. I'm sure they're very nice people... they're just not 'Weird Al' Yankovic. I assure you."
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Weird Al Says 'Don't Download This Song'

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  • Re:No problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charcharodon (611187) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @06:54PM (#15959089)
    I will down load it twice, just to show you.

    Really if you don't like Weird Al then you must have been unloved as a child.

  • Re:E-Card & Video (Score:3, Insightful)

    by w33t (978574) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @07:15PM (#15959203) Homepage
    Enjoy one of the last artists that is still concerned about his fans and music


    Of course you mean that Al is one of the last of the "old-world artists" - our new breed of upcoming new-school artists are born into a world where fame comes before (not neccesarily with) fortune. And this fame spreads as packets riding on word of mouth.

    I don't have any right to dictate what is proper motivation or not for a creator, but I think an artist who's primary purpose is to make money has his or her head in the wrong place.

    I understand that everyone needs to eat, but I don't see why any artist, no matter how great, thinks he or she needs to drink Cristal.

    Make art because you love it, not because you love money. If you love something, set it free!

    Oh my, I'm quite the idealist when it comes to art.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @07:23PM (#15959238)
    He's not stupid. He's well aware that the music people are most likely to download free of charge rather than pay for is the stuff they have no intention of keeping long-term. (If you really like a song, and are still going to like listening to it five years down the road, you'll happily shell out for a CD).

    That category covers Weird Al's entire catalogue rather nicely, though. Really, his songs are mildly amusing for the first few times you hear them - maybe a couple dozen at most. They're not particularly well played / sung / recorded, the lyrics aren't amazingly incisive and won't stick with you in any meaningful way - they're just a source of a quick chuckle. Weird Al more than most is probably feeling the pinch as his bottom line fades away. Really, when was the last time anybody around here listened to "Eat It" or "Like a Surgeon"? The songs he parodied live on much better than the parodies do, and even the originals are getting a bit long in the tooth.

    I'm not shedding a tear or excusing him though - he needs to find a way to market his product that caters to its short-lived nature. Realistically, that probably means he needs to be making his money from things like non-stop live performances in small venues around the country, where fans can get up close to him, for a period of several months after he releases a new album. It's hard work, but it is a lot more honest work than expecting to make a mint off sales of an overpriced product people were forced into buying because you don't give them a pricing option that befits the lack of replay value.
  • Re:E-Card & Video (Score:1, Insightful)

    by blincoln (592401) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @07:35PM (#15959288) Homepage Journal
    Make art because you love it, not because you love money. If you love something, set it free!

    I'm sure your employer would appreciate it if you applied the same philosophy to whatever line of work you're in.
  • Re:E-Card & Video (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damiam (409504) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @08:11PM (#15959453)
    Something is seriously wrong with your ears if you can't hear artifacts in 96kbps MP3. Sure, it's probably acceptable, but if you're actually gonna listen to it why not go for the better version?
  • Re:Fear mongoring (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kingturkey (930819) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @09:27PM (#15959724)
    Woosh!
  • Re:E-Card & Video (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @09:58PM (#15959811) Journal
    That much, at least, makes sense: Most people generally believe they deserve wealth, as a rationalization for wanting it. If they don't have it, the rationalization goes "The rich assholes have all the money, and Bush is an idiot, or the economy sucks for Reason X, and so I don't have the money I should." The wealthy rationalize it like this: "Well, that wasn't so hard. Any idiot can be wealthy if they really try, after all, I did it -- which must mean any cretin who isn't wealthy is a lazy bum who doesn't deserve wealth."

    And me? Technology is the only expensive hobby I have. If I suddenly had a fortune, I'd probably still eat ramen, and I'd probably wear the same clothes, live in about the same amount of space, ride a bicycle in a small town or own a sensible car, and so on. I'm told all of this is rare.

    Basically, if I was paid more per hour, then past a certain point, I'd simply work fewer hours.

    I don't understand the point of working long hours at a high-paying job to support a family you rarely see living in an awesome house you're barely in except to sleep and a cool car you drive to and from work in.
  • Re:No problem (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DuckDodgers (541817) <keeper_of_the_wolf AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:20PM (#15959886)
    I own all of them, actually. Anywhere from 1-5 songs per album is an original that parodies a genre or a particular musician without mimicking any single song.

    I like to sing. Because Al has jokes in his lyrics, he usually does a really good job speaking clearly so the listener can get the jokes. I could sing along with Smells Like Nirvana the second time I heard it. I still don't know all of the words to Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, and I've heard that dozens of times. Weird Al is one of the only musicians whose lyrics I never need to look up after hearing a song.

    I also have a taste for really bad puns and silly jokes. That's a help too.

    If you have a less silly sense of humor, I can respect that. If you don't like the voice... I have many friends who go berserk for Rush, and I can't listen to their lead singer without wanting to shove a pencil through my ears. So I can respect that too.
  • by dtfinch (661405) * on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:35PM (#15959936) Journal
    I'd pay double if all the money went to Weird Al. He probably makes 50 cents of the $12-$15 we spend on one of his CD's.

    Unfortunately, the copyrights are owned by his record label, now Sony, which bought the record label that bought the record label that Weird Al started with, or something.
  • Looks doubtful (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aepervius (535155) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @01:08AM (#15960428)
    Liability and contract don't end when a firm is bought by another one. So by refusing to honor a previously signed up contract with scrotti brother that they bought on, sony would not only open themselves to liability, but likely void the contract freeing to sell the CDs.
  • Suck it, RIAA! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bushido Hacks (788211) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @02:23AM (#15960600) Homepage Journal
    In between the lawsuits against dead war veterans, flooding the USENET alt.binaries groups with Russian child porn (DIAF, you sick commie bastards!), and making Paris Hilton and Kevin Federline CDs--which will make great clay pidegons when it reaches to dollar store next month--RIAA's taste in music is about as bad as the food in an unplugged fridge in Phoenix.

    This song was not long enough.

    On the other hand, Al points out the fallacies that have been used to discourage downloading such as a slippery slope, threats of damnation, and treatment worse than violent criminals. Al would win a Grammy for this song if the people at RIAA weren't evil.
  • by clockwise_music (594832) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @03:01AM (#15960695) Homepage Journal
    That's because you didn't get it. Weird Al also does "style parodies" in which he does a song in the same style as another artist, but not actually a parody of a specific song. For example, listen to "Germs" on "Running with Scissors" - a parody of Nine Inch Nails.

    I'm pretty sure that "Don't download this song" is a style parody of "We Are The World" - that benefit song sung by hundreds of celebrities in the 80's (Michael Jackson et al). It was also taken off in the Simpsons with "We're sending our love down the well". So now you know!
  • Re:E-Card & Video (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bscott (460706) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @04:57AM (#15960957)
    > Something is seriously wrong with your ears if you can't hear artifacts in 96kbps MP3

    There's a big difference between "can't hear artifacts" and "don't give a flying fig about 'em"... the words and melodies are the same, why not just relax a little!
  • Re:E-Card & Video (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sj0 (472011) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @07:54AM (#15961401) Homepage Journal
    No evidence indicates that great artists are EVER healthy and alert while making their best works.

    For example, I point you to Saint Anger by Metallica; their "Ok, we're getting old and gave up drinking and drugs" album.

    If there was ever a reason to support music sharing, it's the 25 bucks I wasted on that terrible album.
  • reminds me of (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @09:52AM (#15962074)
    "Please Play This Song On The Radio" - NOFX

    We wrote this song, it's not too short, not too long
    It's got back-up vocals in just the right places (in just the right places)
    It's got a few oohs and ahhs (oooh aaah)
    And it takes a little pause
    Just before I sing the F word

    Please play this song on the radio

    Almost every line is sung on time
    Almost every verse ends in a rhyme
    The only problem we had was writing enough words
    (oooh aaah)
    But that's okay, because the chorus is
    Coming up again now

    Please play this song on the radio
    Please play this song on the radio

    Please play this song on the radio
    Please play this song on the radio
    Please play this song on the radio
    Please play this song on the radio
    Please play this song on the radio (please play this song)
    Please play this song on the radio (please play this song)

    Right about this time
    Some shit head will be drawin a fat fuckin' line
    Over the title on the back sleave
    What an asshole!
    So Mr. DJ I hope you've already made your segue
    Or the FCC is gonna take a shit right on your head

    Can't play this song on the radio (can't play this song)
    Can't play this song on the radio (can't play this song)
  • Re:E-Card & Video (Score:3, Insightful)

    by p0tat03 (985078) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @11:02AM (#15962601)

    While your spirit is admirable, it probably won't last if you ever got rich. I've known some people who claim to only want a low-key lifestyle for themselves, modest car, etc, but when the money started rolling all of that went ouf the window.

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

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