by Dan Moore
"Weird Al" Yankovic, America's favorite Michael Jackson parodist this side of Chris Brown and the star of UHF, thirteen-year-old Male America's favorite movie this side of any movie where a woman is about to step into a shower, is coming to Effingham, Illinois on June 1 and St. Charles, Missouri on June 3, and if I can get one thing through to you, the readers, from my platform as local music-blogger, it is this: You need to go see Weird Al in concert when he's in Effingham or St. Charles.
The man puts on a remarkable show, changing costumes constantly--I can confirm that the "Fat" fatsuit is still extant, as well as fat--playing long, varied sets, and generally showing an unmatched ability to dance around like Weird Al while still retaining the ability to sing like Weird Al. If you ever even briefly enjoyed a Weird Al song as a child, you will feel like a child, in the best possible sense, for at least two hours during and after the show.
He is also proof that we have recently moved through a wormhole connecting the years 1985 and 2011. I can remember, as a thirteen-year-old fan of UHF and Running with Scissors, wondering whether Weird Al would be as relevant in a future dominated by hip-hop as he was in the poppier climes of the 1980s. I didn't count on returning, through a little-understood tear in the real-life/science-fiction-movie continuum, to those very climes.
The signs have been here for some time now: El DeBarge has a hit record (El DeBarge! He once appeared on The Facts of Life!), Molly Ringwald is on TV, and Weird Al looks to be about 26 years old.
But here's the lynchpin to my theory: In 1985 Weird Al parodied Madonna with "Like A Surgeon." In 2011 Weird Al parodied Lady Gaga's pastiche of Madonna with "Perform This Way." The primary difference between 2011, or 1985-prime, and 1985, is that we've already lived it once, and therefore nothing we do actually shocks us--it only arrives under the pretense of being shocking. (Oh, wow, a suit made out of meat. I bet that will really rile my grandma up while she watches it on Glee.)
I don't think anyone within twenty years of Lady Gaga's target market in either direction has actually been shocked by her, unless they've existed in a continuous state of shock-paralysis since Madonna released Like A Virgin, so this is my only explanation for her continued success.
But the most important result of this wormhole is that you have the chance to see Weird Al perform exactly as you would have in 1985. Except he doesn't wear glasses now. Also, to escape the wormhole you're going to have to force Lady Gaga and Madonna back into the same body in the next 24 hours. I don't mean to be the bearer of bad news, but somebody had to write up the Weird Al tour.