Straight Outta Lynwood
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2013)|
|Straight Outta Lynwood|
|Studio album by "Weird Al" Yankovic|
|Released||September 26, 2006|
|Recorded||December 2005 – July 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia|
|Genre||Comedy, Parody, Polka, Nerdcore, Rap rock|
|Producer||"Weird Al" Yankovic|
|"Weird Al" Yankovic chronology|
|Singles from Straight Outta Lynwood|
|Herald Sun|||
|Stylus Magazine||(B-) |
Straight Outta Lynwood is the 12th studio album by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It was released on September 26, 2006, in the U.S. by Volcano, on September 30, 2006, in Australia, on October 3 in Canada, on October 6, 2006, in New Zealand, November 13, 2006, in the United Kingdom, and November 24, 2006, in Germany. The album was released as a DualDisc, with the DVD side including the album mixed in 5.1 digital surround sound, instrumental versions of all songs (with optional on-screen lyrics for karaoke), a nine-minute documentary, six animated music videos, and a 24-page full color booklet.
Three singles have been released: "Don't Download This Song", "White & Nerdy", and "Canadian Idiot". All songs can be heard at Yankovic's MySpace page. Music videos for the first two can also be seen at the same page.
Straight Outta Lynwood is Yankovic's second most successful chart album in the U.S. and his first top ten album ever, entering the Billboard 200 at number ten. "White & Nerdy" has also become Yankovic's first ever top-ten single, peaking at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. Both the album and the single were certified gold by the RIAA. (His previous highest-peaking single was 1984's "Eat It", which peaked at number 12). "Canadian Idiot" also entered the charts, peaking at 82 in the U.S.
The title is a reference to Straight Outta Compton, the debut album of the rap group N.W.A. Yankovic's hometown of Lynwood, California, is directly north of Compton, N.W.A.'s hometown, in southeastern Los Angeles County.
Album delay and other issues
Yankovic's teaser campaign for his 12th album started on April 6, 2006, with a large "27" on the official site's splash page, which was later revealed to signify the then-planned June 27, 2006, release. However, the album was delayed as troubles had arisen with one of the recorded parodies. "You're Pitiful", a parody of James Blunt's hit "You're Beautiful", was recorded for the album, but was removed at the request of Blunt's label, Atlantic Records. The song was then released as a free-for-download single on the Internet in June 2006. Yankovic then went back into the studio and recorded two new songs, "Do I Creep You Out" and "White & Nerdy", to make up for "You're Pitiful".
Yankovic had wanted to record a parody of Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" for the album, but Powter initially refused. Powter then changed his mind "literally the day before [Yankovic] went into the studio to record 'White & Nerdy'", at which point, according to Yankovic, "the train had left the station".
Besides his "Bad Day" parody, "You Had a Bad Date", Yankovic claimed to have several "mediocre" parody ideas such as "Holodeck Girl" ("Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani), "IRS" ("S.O.S." by Rihanna), and "HairyBack" ("SexyBack" by Justin Timberlake).
Even though Straight Outta Lynwood was released on September 26 in the U.S., apparently because of a mix-up at the label it was not released in Australia until September 29 and not until October 3 in Canada.
The PAL and Canadian release versions of the album are not on a DualDisc, but rather a separate CD with a DVD showing only the music videos and the Making Of featurette. However, the DVD side of the U.S. DualDisc is region free, so it may be imported without region problems.
The track listing, parodies, and polka song are as follows:
|Track||Title||Length||(Style) Parody of||Description|
|1||"White & Nerdy" (Hakeem Seriki, Juan and Oscar Salinas, Anthony Henderson, "Weird Al" Yankovic)||2:50||"Ridin'" by Chamillionaire featuring Krayzie Bone||Describes the life of a white nerd whose wish to "roll with the gangstas" is impeded by his stereotypically white and nerdy behavior, with many references to nerd culture.|
|2||"Pancreas" (Yankovic)||3:48||Style parody of Brian Wilson||The song is mainly about the biological functions of the pancreas. Opening with a take on "Our Prayer", moving into "God Only Knows", a vocal breakdown chorus and piano solo portion reminiscent of "Wind Chimes", a bridge very similar to the bridge of "Heroes and Villains", and outro similar to the bridge of "Good Vibrations". Contains snatches from Brian Wilson's Smile album tracks "Roll Plymouth Rock" and "Wind Chimes" as well as The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds track "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times."|
|3||"Canadian Idiot" (Billie Joe Armstrong, Yankovic)||2:23||"American Idiot" by Green Day||A satirical commentary on American nationalism and the stereotypical American view of Canadians.|
|4||"I'll Sue Ya" (Yankovic)||3:51||Style parody of Rage Against the Machine||A Rage Against the Machine-inspired song taking aim at the abundance of frivolous lawsuits, including many stylistic similarities to RATM songs such as "Bombtrack," "Killing in the Name," and "Wake Up." The riffs are all variations of the riffs in the RATM songs "Bulls on Parade", and "Killing in the Name." Also, the chorus of the song is almost identical to the "Burn burn" bit in RATM's "Bombtrack". The outro of the song, featuring Weird Al repeating the phrase "I'll sue ya... I'll take all your money... I'll sue ya if ya even look at me funny", at first lightly speaking and then screaming, is similar to the outro of RATM's "Killing In The Name", in which the phrase "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me" is repeated. Many of the lawsuits mentioned are similar to real ones, such as a suit against Starbucks after the singer spilled a cold Frappuccino in his lap. Many of these lawsuits involve cases where a person's own behavior causes harm or damage and the person in question blames a company (a shop, a manufacturer, etc.) for not warning him of the risks. In the animated music video one of the guitarists' guitars reads "Arm The Lawyers", a parody of RATM guitarist Tom Morello's guitar, which reads "Arm The Homeless".|
|5||"Polkarama!" (arr. Yankovic)||4:17||Polka medley||A polka medley including the following songs in order:
|6||"Virus Alert" (Yankovic)||3:46||Style parody of Sparks||"Reveals the evil that lurks in your email inbox." Parodies the many "virus hoax" emails, telling users to forward a message about a supposed computer virus, with exaggerated humorous effects on the user (and most other existing things) when installed. The song may also imply that the message being read contains a virus itself.|
|7||"Confessions Part III" (Usher, Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox, Yankovic)||3:52||"Confessions Part II" by Usher||A continuation of the Usher songs "Confessions" and "Confessions Part II", focusing on trivial, silly, strange and disturbing confessions.|
|8||"Weasel Stomping Day" (Yankovic)||1:34||Style parody of 1960s animated specials' music||Describes, in the style of animated musical specials of the 1960s, a supposedly traditional holiday in which participants don Viking helmets, spread mayonnaise on their lawns, and "snap [the titular animals'] weasely spines in half." It also seems to satirize the belief that a normally horrific act is acceptable if it is traditional.|
|9||"Close but No Cigar" (Yankovic)||3:55||Style parody of Cake||The story of a man that dumps his seemingly perfect girlfriends for the tiniest flaws. The trumpet line is nearly identical to the one in Cake's song "Love You Madly" from Comfort Eagle.|
|10||"Do I Creep You Out" (Tracy Ackerman, Andy Watkins, Paul Wilson, Yankovic)||2:46||"Do I Make You Proud" by Taylor Hicks||A song by a stalker to his object of affection.|
|11||"Trapped in the Drive-Thru" (Robert Kelly, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, Yankovic)||10:55||"Trapped in the Closet" by R. Kelly||An excruciatingly detailed narrative set to music about a couple getting hamburgers at the drive-thru, which was "the most banal thing [Yankovic] could think of at the time." This song also contains an interpolation of "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin at 6:24, re-recorded by Yankovic's band.|
|12||"Don't Download This Song" (Yankovic)||3:52||Style parody of gospel-style fundraiser songs as well as power ballads.||"Describes the perils of online music file-sharing", set to a "cheesy '80's benefit song-type melody inspired by tunes like 'We Are the World', 'Hands Across America' and 'Do They Know It's Christmas'."|
|"You're Pitiful"||3:16||Free internet-only release|
While Yankovic's albums usually generate only one or two official music videos, Straight Outta Lynwood has spawned ten (one was never released). The DualDisc includes videos for all six original songs, and subsequent videos have been made for four of the parodies. This is in marked contrast to his last album, Poodle Hat, which generated only one (Bob).
|Videos from "Straight Outta Lynwood"|
|"Don't Download This Song"||Bill Plympton||Premiered on August 22, 2006 on Yahoo! Music.|
|"I'll Sue Ya"||Thomas Lee||Thomas Lee is best known for his Flash music video Star Wars Gangsta Rap. This video is currently in rotation on Fuse TV and is on Yankovic's MySpace page. During the concert scene of the video, one of the lawyers is playing a guitar similar to RATM's guitarist Tom Morello's "Arm the Homeless" guitar (except this one says "Arm the Lawyers")|
|"Virus Alert"||David Lovelace||David Lovelace is the creator of Retarded Animal Babies. According to Lovelace, "just about every RAB character will have cameos in the video." Yankovic has admitted to exercising more creative control over this video than the others present on the DVD, citing concern with Lovelace's infamous content. The keyboardist in the video has a similar appearance to Ron Mael, the keyboardist and chief songwriter of Sparks.|
|"Close but No Cigar"||John Kricfalusi
|John Kricfalusi is the creator of Ren & Stimpy. The video "takes an irreverent look at the world of dating as seen thru the eyes of Cigarettes the cat." In the following posts on Kricfalusi's blog there are some screenshots to the then-upcoming video as well. Prior to the album's release, Kricfalusi only referred to them as a "Mystery."|
|"Pancreas"||Directed/Concept by Jim Blashfield||Jim Blashfield used stock footage from the Prelinger Archives to create this video.|
|"Weasel Stomping Day"||Shadowmachine Films||A stop-motion animated video was created for the Adult Swim TV show Robot Chicken. It aired on "The Munnery", the show's 32nd episode on September 24, 2006. Yankovic also provides the voice of a boy whose wish to become a giant robot becomes true in another sketch in the episode. Later, in response to Yankovic's first time in the Billboard Top 10, Cartoon Network, the network on which Robot Chicken airs, jokingly took credit for his success in one of their commercial bumpers during Adult Swim, the adult-oriented television programming block on the network.|
|Other videos (parodies)|
|"White & Nerdy"||On August 15, 2006, Yankovic announced that he planned to shoot a music video for a song on the new album in the Los Angeles area on August 21, 24, 25, and 27. He posted a solicitation for volunteers to appear in the video on his MySpace blog. It was later revealed that the video was filmed for "White & Nerdy". This video was going to be released Monday September 18 at 9 PM Pacific Time on AOL.com, but, since the video had been leaked, AOL cancelled the premiere event and uploaded the video early. The video may also be viewed on Yankovic's MySpace.
On October 13, 2006 Yankovic teamed up with Yahoo! Music to create a fan-made music video for "White & Nerdy". The music video, with submissions from fans, is available at http://music.yahoo.com/vid-36680429-White-&-Nerdy-(Fans-Only-Version).
|"Do I Creep You Out"||JibJab premiered an animated video for "Do I Creep You Out" on November 15, 2006.|
|"Canadian Idiot"||MuchMusic, a 24-hour Canadian cable music and variety television channel, had run a fan-made video contest on their website, however it was scrapped due to lack of entries. It was reinstated later, only giving the five fans their camera and a personalized greeting from Al. The fan music video was never created.|
|"Trapped in the Drive-Thru"||MySpace debuted a video animated and directed by Doug Bresler (known for Doogtoons) on March 19, 2007 on the front page of MySpace.|
Title and artwork
The title is a parody of N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton, although it is probably also a nod to the popularity of subsequent "Straight Outta _______" rap album titles, such as Straight Outta Ca$hville by Young Buck. Yankovic himself is from Lynwood, California, a lower-class Los Angeles suburb that borders Compton. The cover art depicts Yankovic in a photograph by Michael Blackwell, an Atlanta, Georgia photographer who has also photographed such current hip-hop stars as T.I., Lil' Scrappy, and Young Jeezy. The pit bull on the cover is named Dough Boy, and is owned by a local couple that was walking by. When asked if the album had a different album cover when "You're Pitiful" was planned to be on it, Yankovic stated that the cover was always going to be like that. Yankovic had liked the irony of having a gangsta rap-style album cover and title with "such a toothless ballad for the lead parody." The album cover ended up being unintentionally appropriate with "White & Nerdy" (a hip hop style track) being the lead track on the album.
- Originally, Nickelback had given Yankovic permission to use their song "Photograph" in "Polkarama"; however, he was unable "to find a way to incorporate the song into [Polkarama] where it didn't sound wedged in or tacked on", Al decided not to use it, although he still thanked Nickelback in the liner notes.
- T-Pain had also given Al permission to parody one of his songs, in this case "I'm N Luv (Wit A Stripper)" into "I'm in Luv Wit Da Skipper", a Gilligan's Island-themed song. However, Yankovic decided not to record it. T-Pain is also thanked in the liner notes. Yankovic performed the song in the parody medley during his Straight Outta Lynwood Tour.
- The numbers and letters on the album cover have several meanings: "NLY" are the initials of both Yankovic's daughter and his father. The number "27" is an in-joke with Yankovic's fans, but February 7 was also his mother's birthday. The license plate originally read "27 4LIFE" during the photo shoot.
- James Blunt also gave Yankovic permission to record the song "You're Pitiful", a parody of his hit "You're Beautiful", however Blunt's record label would not allow the release of the song in any form that could be profitable to Yankovic. However the song was still recorded and released, and if the record label had not prevented the release on the market it would have been a single instead of "White and Nerdy".
Awards, nominations and accolades
- Straight Outta Lynwood was nominated for two Grammy Awards in the categories of "Best Comedy Album" and "Best Surround Sound Album".
- "Trapped in the Drive Thru" ranked 77th on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Songs of 2006.
- "White & Nerdy" ranked 76th on Blender's Top 100 Songs of 2006.
- Straight Outta Lynwood, the single White & Nerdy, and the White & Nerdy ringtone were all certified gold. The single was later declared platinum by the RIAA.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic – vocals, accordion, keyboards, sound effects, background vocals, clapping, shouts
- Jim West – guitar, mandolin, sound effects, vocals, clapping, shouts
- Steve Jay – bass, banjo, sound effects, vocals, clapping, shouts
- Rubén Valtierra – piano, keyboards
- Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz – drums, percussion, sound effects, vocals, clapping, shouts, laughs
- Producer: Al Yankovic
- Engineers: Tony Papa, Rafael Serrano
- Assistant engineers: Aaron Kaplan, Doug Sanderson, Antony Zeller, Brian Warwick
- Mixing: Tony Papa
- Mastering: Bernie Grundman
- Arranger: Al Yankovic
- Drum programming: Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz
|2006||The Billboard 200||10|
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