"Weird Al" Yankovic has been releasing music for more than thirty years now. For a man most commonly associated with the ever-trendy accessories of accordion, Hawaiian-shirt, and flowing locks of curly brown hair usually not seen outside of shampoo commercials let alone on nerdy white middle-aged men, he's had a remarkable ability to remain relevant.
As proof that his finger is as pressed against the pop culture pulse of America as ever, consider these incredible facts: in his third decade of pop parody, Weird Al's last album (Straight Outta Lynwood) was the first Top-10 charting album of his career and "White & Nerdy" his first ever Top-10 hit. NPR Music's Stephen Thompson has been campaigning (only slightly in jest) that Yankovic's impressive longevity and still-growing popularity is worthy of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - Rolling Stone readers even named him the artist most overlooked for that honor in 2009, ahead of Rush, the Moody Blues, and recent inductees Alice Cooper and Tom Waits. Considering that his career has outlasted many enshrinees (and that he's recorded parodies or pastiches of many of those same legends with impeccable accuracy) it's not hard to see why when you actually consider his legacy. And now, with his thirteenth studio album Alpocalypse, Weird Al is arguably at the peak of his powers.
It starts with "Perform This Way," Yankovic's take on the biggest pop star in the world right now, Lady Gaga. Of course, considering that he's already taken on Michael Jackson (twice), Madonna, and Nirvana while at the peaks of their respective popularities, Weird Al's no stranger to hitting the zeitgeist square on the head. "Perform This Way" and its recently-released music video (embedded above) are pitch-perfect lampoons of Gaga's career while maintaining a healthy respect and admiration for the object of his satire (a Yankovic trademark; never once have his targets been treated with scorn or malice.) Other current chart-toppers parodied on Alpocalypse include Taylor Swift (whose "You Belong with Me" here is a countrified chiding of the paparazzi in "TMZ"), Miley Cyrus (whose "Party in the U.S.A." becomes "Party in the CIA," the light-hearted tale of an incompetent spy's adventures in the War on Terror) and B.o.B. & Bruno Mars (whose "Nothin' on You" is made into an ink-obsessed artist's delightful tribute to "Another Tattoo.")