All good things must come to an end. After releasing hilarious music video after hilarious music video, today (July 21), parodist Weird Al Yankovic released his final official visual from his new album Mandatory Fun, and this time he’s teaching you the ways of business in “Mission Statement.”
Done in the style of Crosby, Stills Nash, Yankovic’s song “Mission Statement” plays off buzzy office keywords in a song that actually has no true meaning beyond the fact that someone is qualified for a job or a business is making money. We’re talking synergy, globalization, day-to-day operations and incentivizing clients.
Only Weird Al could make such concepts fun at all.
As for the music video, Yankovic took the lyric video route a la “Word Crimes,” drawing out his key business phrases on a white board, alongside fitting visuals such as skyscrapers, analytic charts and, of course, plenty of dollar signs.
It’s a fitting take on the meaningless words seen and heard on resumes and in business presentations. I mean, what does “holistically administrate” or “brand trajectory” actually mean? We here at Music Times aren’t quite sure, but we’re laughing anyway.
Christmas, or maybe Hanukkah, came in July this year. Over the course of the last eight days, kids of all ages shirked chores, kept spouses waiting, and cubicle surfed on the company’s dime all to see the latest music video from “Weird Al” Yankovic’s new album, Mandatory Fun. And like anyone who celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah already knows, sometimes you unwrap an Xbox and other times you get socks. We definitely got some of each from Al this week.
Now, the fun—and, yes, it’s totally optional, Al—becomes sorting through all the gifts from Santa Yankovic and determining the gaming systems from the footwear. And, as we discovered, it’s not always what you’d expect. A brilliant parody doesn’t necessarily make for a classic Al video, and a ho-hum send-up you routinely skip on the album can alchemize into comic gold with the right video makeover.
One thing we all can agree on, though: Come day eight of the video rollout, we were all pulling for a “Jackson Park Express” short film. Oh, well, maybe next year … if we’re good.
When filmmaker Marcus Haney visited Seattle in June, he intended to shoot a music video for British band Bear’s Den’s new song “Elysium.” But the end product was much more heartbreaking than anyone could have imagined.
The song’s reflective lyrics (“Brother, don’t grow up … Just hope that age does not erase all that you’ve seen … Don’t let bitterness become you … Your only hopes are within you”) spurred Haney to set the video in Seattle, where his younger brother, Turner, attends Seattle Pacific University.
“I wanted to capture elements of that transitional experience with my brother,” Haney told NPR. “I wanted to film him and his real friends doing actual things that they normally do.”
The video starts out as a documentation of carefree college kids but turns tragic midway through – when art and life overlap.
Haney says Turner and his friends were hesitant to return to filming, which he stood behind, ready to return to the band and apologize he couldn’t finish the project in light of the tragedy.
“There was no speaking of the music video for that time. But the song itself ripped through them – the lyrics resonated with them,” Haney, 26, of Arcadia, California, tells PEOPLE. “They said, ‘Think about what we could do if we use this for good, for Paul.’ Once it became something for Paul, that’s when it became what got everyone to want to complete it.”
The song’s poignant lyrics come to life heartbreakingly in the now-completed video, and Haney says filming provided his brother and his friends a respite, as well as an outlet for their grief.
“It’s still so fresh – it’s really raw,” he says. “In a lot of ways, the video helped those kids a lot. They all told me it was very helpful and cathartic.”
While Haney says the band’s reaction was positive, it’s more than a music video: They’ve also been raising awareness of the tragedy, as well as for the Paul Lee Foundation, which was founded in the wake of the shooting.
“It’s a really horrific thing, but to somehow take away the good essences that came out of it … the companionship, the love that I experienced in that dorm was flooring to me,” he says. “To see those kids come together the way they did was just really touching. That’s the biggest thing I take away from it – being able to capture some essence of that and spread onto others was the most important part for me.”
If you’ve ever filled up on bread at a fancy restaurant, forgotten your gardener’s name, lost Wi-Fi capability in your giant house or gotten too little foam in your fancy Starbucks drink, you just might relate a little too much to Weird Al Yankovic‘s music video for his new song “First World Problems.”
Today (July 19), the comedic musical genius released his latest music video for the “woe is me” anthem from his latest album Mandatory Fun over on PopCrush.
Donning a medium-length blonde wig to help confuse his identity a bit, Yankovic experiences a day in the life of someone with too much money and too many little problems.
Playing off the humble brag and popular millennial phrase “first world problems,” Yankovic’s character experiences a number of inconveniences like inconsistent shower temperatures (after an hour and maid cleaning), having to spend more money to get free Amazon shipping and not having a bill small enough to get a Snickers from the vending machine.
For a song done in the musical style of the Pixies, Yankovic cleverly plays of 1990s wandering music videos, with the self-absorbed protagonist living out the song lyrics word for word.
Until he gets hit by a car…
Watch the music video for Weird Al Yankovic’s new song “First World Problems” below or over at PopCrush.
“First World Problems” is a track from Weird Al Yankovic’s new album Mandatory Fun. The music video was released as a part of an eight-day series, wherein Yankovic drops a new clip every day following the release of his record. Earlier this week, Yankovic released “Tacky,” “Word Crimes,” “Foil,” “Handy” and “Sports Song.”
Yankovic’s new album Mandatory Fun is in stores now.
Another day, another new and hilarious “Weird Al” Yankovic music video. The Mandatory Fun release party continues with “Lame Claim to Fame,” which takes aim at all the name-droppers as well as boasters of viral achievements. (“I posted ‘First!’ in the comments of a YouTube video.”) Inspired musically by Southern Culture on the Skids’ “Camel Walk,” the trucker hat-wearing star of Yankovic’s stop-motion animation video brags about having jury duty with Art Garfunkel and sharing an elevator with Christian Slater. “My best friend’s brother was an extra in Wayne’s World 2,” Yankovic sings. “I got me an email from the prince of Nigeria… well, he sure sounded legit.”
“Lame Claim to Fame” is the Sunday delivery of what has been “Weird Al” Week 2014. So far, Yankovic has also dropped the Lorde-parodying “Foil,” the Pixies-informed “First World Problems,” the Iggy Azalea-spoofing “Handy,” the Pharrell satire “Tacky,” the satirical fight song “Sports Song,” and “Word Crimes,” an attack on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” Hopefully, his takeoff of Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive,” dubbed “Inactive,” is around the corner.
“Weird Al” opted to release a barrage of videos rather than spacing them out due to the 24-hour lifespan of a viral video, and this visual onslaught appears to be working: Mandatory Fun is on pace to top the Billboard 200 for the first time in Yankovic’s career, as long as he can hold off Jason Mraz’s Yes! One thing’s for sure: According to Billboard, Mandatory Fun will definitely give “Weird Al” his best first week album sales since Neilsen SoundScan started keeping track in 1991.
Do you find that there is a whole new audience that has rediscovered your old music videos now that everything is on YouTube? It’s possible. People can see them with a fresh eye now, because they were not so prominent in their time. Sometimes I read comments that I’m from the “MTV generation,” but that’s not true at all — I was not very successful. In fact, in the year 2000, they did a retrospective on VH1 and MTV, and each channel made a list of the best and most important 100 videos each. And I had zero videos on both of those lists. So I reject being called “MTV generation,” because they never played my videos on MTV. Now, though, people can watch my videos, and they don’t look dated because they didn’t get to see them much in the ’90s. Also, now that the budgets for new videos are lower, the concepts become more important — and maybe that’s why videos like mine and Spike Jonze’s are watched more.
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