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Weird Al To Release Songs As He Records Them

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the pitch-perfect-parodies-piecemeal dept.

Music 333

slapout writes "Weird Al has announced that with the Internet he can now release his songs for sale as he records each one rather than waiting for a whole album to be produced."

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333 comments

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first post (-1, Flamebait)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243427)

WHO GIVES A FUCK

Re:first post (1)

codeButcher (223668) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243527)

I guess slashdotters have been able to post first posts as soon as they type them for some time now.

Anyhow, WHY isn't this under Idle???? (Says me, who was interested in 3 stories earlier today and all of them where under Idle.)

Re:first post (5, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243933)

Dude

1st: This is about Weird Al. This clearly qualifies as nerd news.
2nd: This is about freeing us from the tyranny of packaged deals. Clearly this ranks higher than even the $700 Billion dollar bail out news.
3rd: This is about Weird Al. He is like the king of nerdiness.
And lastly, it is Weird Al.

Any questions?

Re:first post (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244309)

Yeah, you said it was about Weird Al, is this correct?

Re:first post (2, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244331)

I may have left off this important detail. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Clearly the most important aspect of all this is the Weird Al angle.

Re:first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244323)

Any questions?

Yeah. What's this all about?

Captcha text: impudent.

Re:first post (4, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244391)

Yeah. What's this all about?

It's all about the Pentiums, baby.

Re:first post (1)

operator_error (1363139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244435)

Modded informative?

Oh, right, this is News for Nerds; and Weird Al just made some News.

I'll figure out this /. format soon, really. (but isn't he just weird, and not really technical?)

Re:first post (3, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244485)

I got introduced to Weird Al's music in Math camp when I was wee lad nearly 30 years ago. I very much associated him with nerdiness.

And now, I get to introduce it to my kids. Right now, Amish Paradise is their favorite, although my 3-year-old can already sing certain parts of 'Pentiums'.

Re:first post (1)

operator_error (1363139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244553)

although my 3-year-old can already sing certain parts of 'Pentiums'

You broke me dude. I confess to being partial to the music-video known as "white 'n nerdy", by Weird Al. Sometimes, I can relate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xEzGIuY7kw [youtube.com]

Re:first post (1)

citizen_senior (1372475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243689)

I must say that the content of your post mirrors my first thought on reading this article. My second, third, fourth and fifth thoughs also. Must also say that you owe me a new keyboard !

Misleading title. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25243433)

Gotcha!

This comment as nothing to do with my subjet title. HAHA

Just because he can... (5, Funny)

monktus (742861) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243439)

...doesn't mean that he should.

Re:Just because he can... (4, Insightful)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243737)

Yes it does mean he should. Through his actions he can demonstrate that an artist doesn't need the corporate engine in order to succeed. He can use the internet to eliminate the waste of the middle man.

Re:Just because he can... (2, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243969)

TRIVIA - In both 1988 and 2008 it took 1 hour to download a game. Internet speeds have kept pace with growing demand.

94% of all internet facts are made up on the spot.

Re:Just because he can... (2, Funny)

king-hobo (1303923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244225)

84% of all people know that

Re:Just because he can... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244723)

92.7% of people agree that real numbers are no more useful than the ones you make up.

Re:Just because he can... (4, Informative)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244373)

>>>94% of all internet facts are made up on the spot.

Except this one is verifiable:
1988 - download of 880k floppy game over then-typical 2400 baud modem =~ 1 hour (from my own personal experience)
2008 - download of 4000 megabyte game over typical 10 Mbit/s cable =~ 1 hour (math)

Naturally the actual time will vary if your 1988 computer had a double-sized floppy (takes 2 hours) or if you are downloading a dual-sided DVD (also 2 hours). But Slashdot's signature length limit precludes me from including all that detail. The important point to note is that speeds have escalated to match demand. We have never experienced the so-called "speed limit" that certain Chicken Littles keep claiming we're going to hit. They are just blowing a lot of hot air, and have been doing so for almost 15 years now. Their claims have no merit.

Re:Just because he can... (2, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244457)

I guess my bigger issue is your definition of game size. I know that sizes vary wildly. In the 80's, I had some games that fit on one floppy, and others that spanned at least 4, and you had to swap as you made it to other parts of the game. The same is true today.

However, if you argument is that we don't have an imminent bandwidth crisis, I will agree. However, we do need to invest in more infrastructure. With a soon-to-be $11 Trillion dollar debt in the U.S., I sincerely worry that our infrastructure will not be a priority (and probably hasn't been a priority for some time).

Re:Just because he can... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244673)

I guess my bigger issue is your definition of game size.

Exactly what I was thinking. It's pretty easy to "prove" his point if he just picks two sizes that work out mathematically and declare those the standard sizes for games.

Re:Just because he can... (4, Insightful)

Mordaximus (566304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244155)

Much like Trent Reznor and Radiohead, he's got tons of cash to play around with and experiment - cash made while riding the corporate engine. I'll subscribe to your theory when I see a brand new artist do the same thing and make a profit from it.

Re:Just because he can... (1, Interesting)

I Am JAFI (1221884) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244235)

You mean, like Jonathan Coulton? [http]

Re:Just because he can... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244285)

You mean, like Jonathan Coulton? [http]

Who?

Re:Just because he can... (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 5 years ago | (#25245039)

Without the boost of the CC he never would have made it big. All hail CC!

Re:Just because he can... (2, Interesting)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244513)

How about Imogen Heap? Last I knew, she did her own producing.

Re:Just because he can... (2, Insightful)

gottebag (878214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244737)

who?

Re:Just because he can... (3, Insightful)

El Yanqui (1111145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244879)

I think this form of distribution benefits Weird Al far more most other artists. While many nerds here believe he has created music for the ages, his songs work best when they're topical. Amish Paradise is funniest when it is held in comparison to Gangsta's Paradise. Same goes for Eat It and all of his parodies. To appreciate a parody you need to know the original.

This way of distributing his songs allows him to seize on any momentary pop culture phenomenon and have the general public, those who don't read /. or go to math camp, buy them.

Re:Just because he can... (2, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244931)

Fugazi (& they were doing it 15 years ago), MC Chris, Silversun Pickups, Death Cab for Cutie (until recently), The Decemberists, The Shins, NIRVANA, The Postal Service, Rehab (again until recently), Arcade Fire...

There are quite a few acts that have pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps. Just because you haven't heard of them or you don't like the genre, doesn't mean they don't exist.

Re:Just because he can... (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244533)

Where in the article does it say anything about not needing the corporate engine to succeed? In fact, since he says 'I am only supposed to tease this release' instead of 'I only want to tease this release', it sounds to me like he is still very much involved in the traditional model. The only thing that is new is he releasing tracks earlier. And note that the reason he wants to release earlier is so his tracks can be 'more topical', which sounds like a business decision to me. Lastly, he is releasing to iTunes, which is hardly non-corporate.

The only 'waste' that is being eliminated here is the actual pressing and transportation of disks, and the retailers. The other functions provided by the 'corporate engine' and still being provided. Things like access to studio time, recording engineers, marketing, and most importantly, the up-front money to give the artists the time they need to create the tracks.

I have yet to hear of the 'new model' that provides the money for the artists to be able to make the recordings, without the expectation of making the money back, with profit. When that model appears, and a majority of artists start using it, then you can talk about demonstrating changes.

Re:Just because he can... (1)

fragbait (209346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244609)

....doesn't need the corporate engine in order to CONTINUE to succeed. He was already successful with help from the corporate machine.

-fragbait

Re:Just because he can... (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243963)

While it's true that doesn't follow automatically, I tend to think Weird Al is a great example of an artist who can and should pursue non-traditional distribution mechanisms. On the one hand he has a large enough following and existing name to be able to get the ball rolling, but on the other hand he appeals very much to a niche audience (a sizeable niche, but a niche nonetheless) that impedes the effectiveness of traditional distribution channels in getting his work out there. Radio stations, for example, don't like to play him that much, because too many listeners aren't really into it. The popularity of his music spreads mostly by word of mouth. It always has. Online distribution is a perfect match for that.

Now, I don't know that releasing individual songs is necessarily the best way for him to go. But I don't know that it's not, either. Best way to find out is probably to try it and see how it goes.

Re:Just because he can... (1)

Jaknet (944488) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244913)

Radio stations, for example, don't like to play him that much, because too many listeners aren't really into it.

I wonder how much of this is like the "chicken and egg, which was first?" question.

People don't know him so he does not get played on the radio, but because he does not get played on the radio people don't get to know him.

I suspect that if he was played constantly on the radio same as the corporate mass produced "artists" are he would be much more popular.

Re:Just because he can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244557)


Just because he can... ...doesn't mean that he should.

That's right.

I'm announcing that with the internets I can blog everything that pops into my mind immediately.

(We all know how that ended up.)

Probably will be great for him (5, Insightful)

sokoban (142301) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243449)

I guess now by doing this he can have a parody in the hands of his fans while the original version of the song is still popular. If you're trying to lampoon popular culture, releasing an album at a time means that you will always be a good deal behind the times.

Re:Probably will be great for him (4, Insightful)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243927)

I guess now by doing this he can have a parody in the hands of his fans while the original version of the song is still popular. If you're trying to lampoon popular culture, releasing an album at a time means that you will always be a good deal behind the times.

That's not as good an idea as you might imagine. I do the same thing -- parody songs. Popular != well known. Older means more people have become familiar with it, particularly those who don't keep current on the genre the song is from. If fewer people recognize it, the act falls flat. I'll bet Weird Al is aware of this since he typically runs years behind a "hit" despite producing things in the interim. Plus, if he seeks permission (he used to sometimes) it'd be easier to get when something's no longer hot. Very new, and they won't want it made fun of. Older, and the parody can bring the original back up the chart.

Re:Probably will be great for him (2, Interesting)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244671)

Plus, if he seeks permission (he used to sometimes) it'd be easier to get when something's no longer hot. Very new, and they won't want it made fun of. Older, and the parody can bring the original back up the chart.

That's an interesting point, but he isn't going to run out of available material to parody any time soon. And as far as I'm aware, he always asks permission from the artist before doing a parody of their song, even though legally he doesn't have to. I've always respected that about his work.

Re:Probably will be great for him (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244807)

he does, however when he is told no he still does it anyway, which i applaud

Re:Probably will be great for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244861)

Plus, if he seeks permission (he used to sometimes)

Last I heard he gets permission for every single song. He recently wanted to parody an Eminem "song" but Eminem turned him down, so he didn't do the parody. Shows you how classy Al is, and how big of a D-bag Eminem is. HONOZ someone is going to make fun of my precious work of art rap song about how i raped my mom to death and strangled my girlfriend and how i love mah daughter so much plz stop thems.

Re:Probably will be great for him (1)

sukotto (122876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244357)

Strangely enough. I still enjoy his parodies long after the original song has dropped out of sight. Let's remember too that only about half of his work is parody. The other half is 100% his own work.

Re:Probably will be great for him (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244465)

Weird Al parodies of Michael Jackson music: funny and still relatively popular
Michael Jackson music: largely a joke now.

Weird Al also (as others have pointed out) has been known to parody stuff from a decade or 2 earlier: e.g. Grapefruit Diet (Zoot Suit Riot) or The Saga Begins (American Pie).

Oh Good (2, Funny)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243455)

Oh what a relief...

Re:Oh Good (2, Funny)

gsslay (807818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243751)

I detect a touch of cynicism in your post.

Do you not realise that this means that fans of food-based "parody" songs can get their hands on Weird Al's output while it's still lame, rather than waiting until it's lame and outdated? This could revolutionise Western culture as we know it.

Only one question remains; how the hell is this news?

Re:Oh what a relief ... (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244069)

(To Four Seasons December 1963)

Oh what a relief!
Three Burritos with extra beans
Washed them down with a fizzy drink.
Now the chemistry's workin' me -
Oh my wordy, what a relief!

Two new gasses, from opposite ends,
Like an 'Al song for all his friends!

Please tell me (0, Flamebait)

edsousa (1201831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243469)

Who the hell is this weird guy and why this is news anyway?

Re:Please tell me (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243477)

Didn't you know? He's cowboyNeals sister who had a sex change.

Re:Please tell me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25243515)

So they could be intimate partners in the method of their choosing.

Tolerance people, tolerance.

Re:Please tell me (0)

citizen_senior (1372475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243703)

I didn't know - but I now have a question. Why am I not surprised ????

White & Nerdy? (2, Funny)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243991)

Such A Groovy Guy, It's All About The Pentiums. Headline News. Everything You Know Is Wrong!

Living With A Hernia, Doctor? Like A Surgeon, Dare To Be Stupid! Don't Wear Shoes. Smells Like Nirvana.

School Cafeteria: My Bologna, Eat It. Girls Just Want To Have Lunch. Fat, Fatter, Livin' In The Fridge.

Jerry Springer, Confessions Part III, Trash Day, Weasel Stomping Day, Toothless People, Addicted To Spuds.

The Checks In The Mail, Slime Creatures From Outer Space, Stop Draggin' My Car Around.

I Can't Watch This, I Lost On Jeopardy. Stuck In The Closet With Vanna White, Cavity Search. I Need A Nap.

Do I Creep You Out? I Think I'm A Clone Now. Callin' In Sick. I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead.

Weird Al info (2, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244349)

Here's Weird Al's official youtube channel [youtube.com] .

Weird Al's speciality has been rewriting pop songs with completely unrelated topics (parody). Among his works are "eat it" [youtube.com] ("Beat it" by Michael Jackson), "I think I'm a clone now" (I think we're alone now - sang by Tiffany), "Like a Surgeon" [youtube.com] ("Like a Virgin" by Madonna), "Fat" [youtube.com] ("Bad" by Michael Jackson), and most recently "White and Nerdy" [youtube.com] (parody of "Ridin'" by Chamillionaire), and others.

White and Nerdy was one of Weird Al's most popular songs - it was rated platinum by the RIAA (yes, they also rate songs besides suing customers :P ) and as of 10 September 2007, it reached the 4th position on the Viral Video Chart.

Weird Al's songs have always been popular among anime fans, as they present pretty good opportunities for making parody AMVs [youtube.com] , such as the ones in AMV Hell 4 (Golden boy - White and Nerdy [youtube.com] ). Another example is this snip from AMV Hell 4 [youtube.com] (fast-forward to 3:30) using Weird Al's "A complicated song" (parody of Avril Lavigne's "Complicated").

Errata (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244489)

Oops, the "complicated song" was ANOTHER parody by Weird Al. The one featured in the Naruto AMV was "constipated".

Oops again. (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244515)

The song was the same, the title was what I got wrong. "Constipated" is the actual title.

Ugh. *buries head in the sand*

Re:Oops again. (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244945)

Wait a sec...

Weird Al did not produce a song called "Constipated".

"physical media" on the way out? (4, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243471)

If this catches on by the time albums are released most fans will already have all the tracks they want on their iPhones, mp3 players, etc.

It might not be too long before the physical album is like the TV series collectors sets - you only get them if you want the nice boxes and "official" stamp.

Re: "physical media" on the way out? (2, Insightful)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243563)

MP3 players ARE the physical media!

Re: "physical media" on the way out? (4, Interesting)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243657)

I think my kids (2 and 4 now) will find the whole notion of physical media for consumable media ridiculous.

Once (hopeful here) this silly DRM thing is over and prices are low enough for piracy to be less attractive physical media will simply become impractical.

Sure, there will always be the collectors who keep stuff for whatever reason, but most people are only after the music/video/whatever...

Re: "physical media" on the way out? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25243871)

I'm afraid you are completely missing what is happening to the music industry.

DRM was never about catching piracy, it was about extracting more money from those who legally pay for their media. Fortunately, DRM appears to be dying a death but the media companies still want to make more profits from those people who do pay for the stuff.

The fact is that downloadable music, legal or illegal, is turning music into a disposable commodity - i.e. once your iPod fills up, wipe it and start again. And because of that, there will no longer be the *need* to make albums that people are likely to listen to for their entire lives.

Look at modern pop music and you will see endless clone artists, no matter what the genre, that are thrown into the limelight for eighteen months or so just to churn out cheap-to-make music - as soon as these same artists get beligerent and demand more money, they disappear, with a new cheaper "clone" put in place.

For the record labels its great - no arrogant mega-stars to deal with, just churn out plastic dross that's cheap to make but makes loads of profits. This is why a lot of youngsters these days have a perception that albums only have one or two good tracks on them - because that is actually the case for the trash that's forced on them by advertising.

So I actually feel sorry for your kids - because when they get to an age where they can start to appreciate music, there will be no "classic" albums that will come out of their generation, just "pick 'n' mix" music.

Re: "physical media" on the way out? (1)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243979)


I think my kids (2 and 4 now) will find the whole notion of physical media for consumable media ridiculous.

Yep. My daughter is 2 and I can imagine the future conversation going "Back in my day we used to have to out in the winter to a store to buy plastic discs with music on them"

While I'm at it:
- My youngest brother doesn't own a CD player and has gone through a few iPods in his time.
- My own 50 CD jukebox was never installed on our new AV rack 3 years ago yet I still buy the odd CD to support the band or have the liner notes. The past few years of CDs I bought have never been spun.

Yay! (5, Funny)

i_liek_turtles (1110703) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243487)

I now feel like I'm livin' in a Slashdot paradise.

Re:Yay! (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243995)

> I now feel like I'm livin' in a Slashdot paradise.

Yeah, well I've spent all my *life* livin' in a Slashdot paradise.

(Err, okay, perhaps not *all* my life...)

He's just figuring this out now? (-1, Flamebait)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243533)

No wonder "his" songs are so stupid.

Uppercase name? (5, Funny)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243553)

Use a font with serifs. After all, who wants to hear about some weird artificial intelligence creating music?

Re:Uppercase name? (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243601)

(I for one would welcome our weird artificial music creating overlords - but other HUMANS might feel offended...)

Re:Uppercase name? (1)

physman_wiu (933339) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244239)

Mod this one up guys. At least I'll say that while I'm still laughing.

I'd like to see more move to this trend (2, Insightful)

Uther2000 (703950) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243559)

I wish more "One-Hit-Wonder" groups/artists would do this, as well as many of the better groups/artists out there today.

Re:I'd like to see more move to this trend (1)

OSXCPA (805476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244135)

Well, yeah, but the trick is, do bands truly know the filler/crap on their albums from the good stuff? Some do - but they are the ones most likely to toss garbage instead of publish it. A struggling band that happens on a hit might not be so good at editing. Think about it - Band X puts out a single. It sucks. Repeat (cause distribution costs are so low on the net). Second song sucks. Repeat. If the 'hit' follows a bunch of garbage, who is paying attention any more? One of the few things record companies (SOMETIMES) did right when managing artists was help them edit and find 'the single'.
I do agree with your point that it would be nice to have the choice of just cherry picking the good stuff, though.

Re:I'd like to see more move to this trend (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244535)

Band X puts out a single.

Ah, the days of 78 rpm...

Carlos + Yankovic. (1)

liquidMONKEY (749280) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243623)

It'd be nice if Weird Al teamed up with Wendy Carlos again... "Peter and the Wolf" was actually quite a good album...

With Bob the Janitor played by an accordian!

Re:Carlos + Yankovic. (-1, Troll)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243685)

I think you mean with Walter Carlos, unless you give into that "but I'm really a woman inside!" nonsense.

Re:Carlos + Yankovic. (3, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244351)

I think you mean with Walter Carlos, unless you give into that "but I'm really a woman inside!" nonsense.

Well, plenty of studies have shown that transexuals have brain structures more akin to those of the opposite (physical) sex, so in the sense that "inside" means (I assume) who they are psychologically or as a person, it seems perfectly plausible.

But that aside, who gives a toss what Carlos wants to call him/herself? She must have been called Wendy at the time she first worked with Yankovic, so it's not changed since then, and if you're going to whine that she's not using her birth name then I expect to see you complaining the same way about Ringo Starr, Freddie Mercury, Cher, Ne-Yo, whatever... Carlos at least has a "valid" reason for changing her name, so your picking up the guy about using it just sounds like an excuse to whine about transexuals.

The rise of the "channel" (4, Interesting)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243687)

This isn't really a surprise and its something that matches well with the podcast & channel concepts that are a major way that people track stuff they are interested in. For "traditional" bands who want a full album around a concept then it doesn't make any sense but for pop bands and satire/comedy it fits perfectly with the sort of instant response and dispose way that people consume the music today. Something like the "Multi-pass" concept on iTunes makes perfect sense for areas where people are interested in a given area and its responsive to current events (The Daily Show for instance).

Its not the death of the album for long term bands but it is the sort of direction that singles chart targeted artists and media companies will want to go after. You can easily see a music company creating a channel around their latest factory bands and having snippets in there to get people to go and buy a single track and keep updating it with the latest "hot" genetically engineered concept band every week, or day.

For someone like Wierd Al who works on parody its ideal to have the parody available while the original is still popular, especially if it could be seen as a counter culture to the manufactured band. Lets face it if there was a piece of crap at the top of the Billboard wouldn't it be funny to see a parody of the piece of crap at number one the following week? Its the sort of thing that short term internet crazes are made of.

Smart move and not at all weird. Now if he'd said he was only going to release his next album on vinyl then THAT would have been genuinely weird.

Somebody gets it (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243753)

Flow and control the net, do not fight it.

Re:Somebody gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244531)

Lame.

Interesting... (4, Interesting)

BTWR (540147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243787)

Pretty cool concept. Just like it took an alt band like Radiohead to properly market an album over the internet, it's not surprising that someone like Weird Al has trailblazed this. Most artists rant about how ipods kill the "album experience." They are correct, to a point. I mean, albums absolutely have distinct feels to them as a whole. Weird Al probably agrees with this. At the same time, he is probably more like "Eh, the hell with it. This way my fans get new songs all the time instead of twice a decade."

Re:Interesting... (1)

OSXCPA (805476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244173)

Agreed. Interesting, though, how the artists who complain about 'the album experience' going away aren't really making album-style works. I think of 'Dark Side of the Moon' by Pink Floyd - that is an album experience. There aren't too many totally 'integrated' albums coming out that I've seen. Even Radioheads' stuff is more 'song oriented', though not as much as other bands. I'm curious how much of the trend away from albums is format changes and how much is artist-driven. Then again, Pink Floyd put out DSOTM and Wish You Were Here when Billy Joel was writing about record companies cutting songs for time, so maybe it is just a cycle.
Maybe portable, high-capacity, high-fidelity players will usher in an era of long-playing formats. Not an 'album' necessarily, but I'm looking at my playlists that once were cassette tapes and limited to 45 minutes, which now span hours and are trivial to create and update, and wondering, 'what's next?'
Maybe the Rock Opera will finally catch on! (ducks)

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244837)

It took an alt band that had already milked years of major label marketing and distribution to properly distribute an album over the Internet. This wasn't some random band off of the street and that's a critical point. Weird Al is in the same situation.

Speaking as someone on the concert promotion end of the industry, most bands are lousy at mareketing themselves. Major labels offer levels of mareketing and distribution that far surpass independent offerings due to both financial backing and position. While their power will eventually decline as Internet distribution catches on beyond the walls of iTunes, it's still the majors' game.

Re:Interesting... (1)

nemo11 (413920) | more than 5 years ago | (#25245045)

I'm surprised more people aren't commenting about the loss of the album experience. If song-by-song releases become the norm, it seems less likely that people will even try to create an 'album' rather than a collections of songs. There are current alt bands that do it well (I have Modest Mouse in mind) but even the style pop artists can be seen by their albums.

I'm just afraid that if this becomes a trend it will be more difficult for the average artist to convey an over-arching meaning or theme.

Wierd AI (3, Funny)

javilon (99157) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243803)

I it just me that thought that a wierd Artificial Intelligence was recording and releasing songs?

At last... (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25243929)

A valid use for DRM.

Re:At last... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244147)

Yes, thankfully with DRM I won't have to hear any of Weird Al's latest droppings. He should have retired alongside the rest of the 80's.

c8um (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244019)

as fmittingly [goat.cx]

Fantastic ! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244037)

I can't wait for more crappy titles from that guy...

This isn't really a progressive move as you think. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244083)

So it sounds like a great idea. As soon as a track is mastered zip, out onto the Internet it goes, to an online store like iTunes most likely.

Why is that a problem? Well, for one, when you buy an album (assuming it isn't DRMed to hell), you get a perfect digital copy of the recording. Off iTunes or any of the like you're just not getting the same audio quality.

More importantly, however, the real reason behind this move is obvious -- BitTorrent. BitTorrent works best for large packages of files -- say, full albums in MP3 or FLAC form for the audiophiles :P If he's releasing one song at a time and someone wants to throw it up on The Pirate Bay as they're wont to do, they'll have to create a separate torrent for each single release...typically more people are going to be seeding than leeching, and since it's a small file, it'll very quickly become slower and slower to -get- that small file simply due to the fact that people are closing their clients as soon as they've got it.

It's a nice gesture on his part, but I don't think that people should take it without a grain of salt. If you look carefully enough there's potential financial motivations for making this decision as well, and it may actually -limit- your options as a consumer.

Mod parent up (1)

untree (851145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244325)

While the parent post may be wrong about Weird Al's motivation for doing this, I think that's a very insightful effect of moving to single-track releases. Bittorrent is not as good a distribution platform for small files, for the reasons the parent mentions.

I'd say the solution would be to use "complete collection" torrents that have every release by a particular artist. Most modern torrent applications allow you to pick and choose which files to download, so people could still just get the most recent one if they want.

Re:This isn't really a progressive move as you thi (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244651)

1) Its Weird Al. I don't think people need a lossless recording of it. If a band thinks there music is worth it, they'll find a way. Trent Reznor always releases his stuff in a variety of formats, including FLAC. Like someone said earlier, this is more akin to 'disposable' music. Yea, some people are still listening to his early stuff today, but no one really listens to it that long. Its like that with a lot of bands. I'm not saying it makes it bad, but his music is just geared that way.
2) God forbid people don't upload something to PirateBay immediately when its released. Uh-oh... could it make more sense to just zip up a bunch of songs every so often and upload those? The BitTorrent problem is easily solved. You just don't upload them immediately. Or you can, but when you have 5 or 10 songs (ie, an album length set of songs or at least an LP), you share those instead. It's not rocket science.

Nightly builds? (3, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244105)

But where can I get nightly builds of his songs? I'd surely enjoy being one of his beta listener.

Re:Nightly builds? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244629)

Didn't Nine Inch nails do that already?

Parents (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244229)

anyone know how his parents are doing lately?

White 'N Nerdy (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244303)

Good god what a NERD! He is going to use the internet as a distribution medium? Good luck with that, you will ONLY have a worldwide audience and an instant connection. Just sell it in a store for an outrageous price - like NORMAL people!

First in my class here at MIT
Got skills, I'm a champion at D&D
MC Escher - that's my favorite MC
Keep your 40, I'll just have an Earl Grey tea
My rims never spin, to the contrary
You'll find that they're quite stationary
All of my action figures are cherry
Steven Hawking's in my library!

A related headline (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25244305)

Music Fans To Ignore Weird Al Songs As He Releases Them

This just in.... (0, Troll)

cbmeeks (708172) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244315)

1993 to Al, the Internet just called.... Er, so record a song, release the song for download for a price. Yeah, it took 2008 technology for that.

Which Markets? (1)

Foddrick (13702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244327)

I daresay this will be another US-only release. I just wish everything was global, but it's still so dreadfully segmented. Of course it'll be available by other means on the days it is released.

JoCo For the Win (2, Insightful)

iCharles (242580) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244341)

Mainstream recording artists: once again treading a path previously taken by Jonathan Coulton.

Re:JoCo For the Win (1)

adept89 (1375017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244437)

Weird Al might be well-known in your local geek circle, but he's hardly mainstream. Still, yes, Jonathan Coulton did this before.

Re:JoCo For the Win (1)

CapnRob (137862) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244965)

Dude, he's mainstream enough to appear on the Simpsons as himself, have his own TV show (terrible one, but, still,) his own movie, hit the top ten with his last album ... the man may not be Tom Cruise-level famous, but I guarantee you that more people know who he is than know who the Vice President is.

What really... (2, Insightful)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244627)

... fucks me off about the way the industry sometimes operates is that they will release a song to be played on the radio, but not allow people to buy the fucking thing for up to 6 weeks later.

Huh?! I cannot count the times that I've heard a song on a radio and thought, hey, I like that, I'll head over to my favourite online story and buy a copy, only to discover I won't be able to until over a month later.

Spontaneous purchases, that's what is going to sell more of Al's records...

Re:What really... (2, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25245049)

You hear songs on the radio and like them? Really?

1955 called... (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244683)

... it wants its recorded music release strategy back.

This is really a simple response to the implementation details of current technology, just as it always has been.

More cost effective to release music on media that holds multiple tracks: => albums.

Not more cost effective to release music on media that holds multiple tracks: => singles.

Whoo Hoo (1)

ryzynforce (199741) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244703)

MORE HARDWARE STORE!!! yay... I am happy about that. Way to go Al! Actually it is a great idea to releas as you record. Kind of gives you an idea about what the masses truly want... And that is... MORE AMISH PARIDISE!!!!! yay! Al is a talented individual. When I hear some of his songs, it really sounds as if he is having fun in the studio whilst recording the tracks. MORE LIKE A SURGEON!!!!! yay!!

More profitable (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244875)

It seems to me, in the long run, this actually might be more profitable for artists. Although, it's going to challange them to come out with a good song every single time. If they could manage that, then every single song they release would be like a single. So rather then download part of a cd from iTunes, I might consider buying the whole thing piece by piece.

Brilliant! (1)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 5 years ago | (#25244985)

...he can now release his songs for sale as he records each one rather than waiting for a whole album

Wow. Talk about your damn revelations. Good to have you here with us in 21st century, Al...

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