do it! do it!

Weird Al doesn’t want you to download this song — or does he?

If Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, then Weird Al Yankovic must be the Court Jester. For the past twenty-five years, Weird Al has been simultaneously entertaining and annoying millions of music fans around the world. He’s set to do it again with a new album later this month (Straight Outta Lynnwood).

A clever — if demented — bit of marketing has made the first single from the album, “Don’t Download This Song,” a free download. Mind boggling, isn’t it?

The song is an original ballad of the raised lighter variety, including a chorus that swells with a choir of backing vocals. Don’t be too surprised if it gives you flashbacks to “We Are the World” and other songs of that sort. Even with the sentimental touch, Weird Al is able to convey a sense of poking fun at the genre. It’s a sincere cupcake iced with irony.

The first verse sets up the extreme RIAA fascist perspective:

Once in a while maybe you will feel the urge
To break international copyright law
By downloading MP3s from file sharing sites
Like Morpheus or Grokster or Limeware or Kazaa
But deep in your heart you know the guilt would drive you mad
And the shame would leave a permanent scar
‘Cause you start out stealing songs, then you’re robbing liquor stores
And selling crack and running over school kids with your car

The chorus changes every time, and the first one is:

So don’t download this song
The record store’s where you belong
Go and buy the CD like you know that you should
Oh don’t download this song

Essentially, they all end up with the same message – illegal downloads are bad and you really should know better.

Some music fans write off Weird Al as a novelty act. This song is yet another one that demonstrates he can write songs with humor and also have something worthwhile to say. “Don’t Download This Song” points out all the evil bad things with illegal downloads, but this legally downloadable song will likely result in numerous sales of the album. Rather than getting all Lars Ulrich about it, Weird Al is going with the flow while still making music worth buying.

old friends

Mourning the loss of contact with old friends…

On Thursday and Friday of last week, I attended the ACRL Oregon and ACRL Washington Joint Fall Conference. One of the first persons I ran into at the conference was a college acquaintance I had not seen in over seven years. For some people, this may not be unusual. However, this is this first time I have ever run into someone from my undergraduate school outside of a context related to that university. I attended a small, liberal arts university in Virginia, and this conference took place in Oregon. As far as I knew, this old acquaintance had no relationship with libraries or librarianship, which as I discovered was true until recently when she began the distance MLIS program through the University of Washington. Go figure.

I’ve been thinking about old friends lately that I have lost contact with. Some of this was inspired by having recently gotten a great deal on a minidisc recorder/player and finally being able to listen to live recordings I made of a singer/songwriter friend in 1999-2001. For a while, it seemed that Thea Zumwalt was working towards doing music full-time, but her website has disappeared and none of the email addresses I have are working anymore.

One of the many recordings of Thea at the Artful Dodger in my collection makes reference to another old friend, Adi Raz. The last time I tried to email Adi, the message was returned undeliverable. I guess I shouldn’t have let over two years go by without communication. Now I can’t find any contact information for her, which is both sad and frustrating.

For over ten years I have been trying to get in touch with a childhood friend, Katie (Kate, Kathryn) Connolly. About eight years ago, or so, I got her address through her mother and a teacher at the high school where we would have both attended had I not moved the year before. She never wrote back, and the last time I tried, the letter was returned. Our friendship ended on a bitter note, sharply contrasting the sweetness of the friendship to that point. All I’ve wanted since then was to make up for that heartache, but I suspect she’s long forgotten me.

I’ve moved so much in my life that there are countless other people that I occasionally wonder about. People like Susan, my friend who lived down the street with whom I saw (and was frightened by) Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. Joanna Mullins — my first serious crush in junior high school. Dan Nietz — my best friend in high school with whom I lost contact after he got married (although my Dad says he’s seen him around town and gave him my email address… not going to hold my breath, though). And there are and will be others.

I used to be very good at writing letters and keeping in contact with everyone, but as I’ve grown older and busier, my life has become too full to keep up with those who are not a part of my routine. Maybe letting go and moving on is a part of what makes us mature adults, or at the very least, numbs the pain of the loss. I guess I haven’t quite figured out how to do that yet.

procrastination

I have a research paper due at 6pm this evening, and I am finding all sorts of excuses not to write it (like this). Oh, well! The class was interesting, at least. I just don’t have the stamina to carry an interest in a topic long enough to write ten pages about it. You can … Continue reading “procrastination”

I have a research paper due at 6pm this evening, and I am finding all sorts of excuses not to write it (like this). Oh, well! The class was interesting, at least. I just don’t have the stamina to carry an interest in a topic long enough to write ten pages about it. You can see my introduction by taking a look at the 11/20/2002 post.

    CNN has caught on to the cyberbegging trend started by Karyn. I wonder if they ran across my site in their research?
    Christmas gift suggestion here! Okay, so it’s a suggestion for what to get me, hint hint… 😉
    Winter break is almost upon us. At least those of us still in the academic realm. My friend Bonster has a nice collection of recommended reading to fill your holidays.
    Sometimes, I want to give George W. Bush a good spanking. I have not sent him an email about it, yet. I wonder if I’ll end up in prison like this guy?
    Yuk! Someone has gone to the trouble of creating a photographic timeline of Michael Jackson’s face (“With blithering, yet witty commentary”). Kind of scary, if you ask me.