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"Weird Al" Yankovic Has "Mandatory Fun" At Bedrock.LA
Pictured with a TELEFUNKEN C12 microphone at Bedrock.LA are (L-R) "Weird Al" Yankovic, Bedrock.LA partners KamranV and Phil Feinman, recording engineer Brian Warwick, and studio manager Eric Rennaker. Photo by David Goggin.
"Weird Al" Yankovic returns July 15 with "Mandatory Fun," his 14th studio album and first since 2011's "Alpocalypse." The reigning King of Pop Parody chose to work at Bedrock.LA studios in Echo Park, the new creative heart of Los Angeles music, art and culture.
"This was my first visit to Bedrock," Yankovic said. "I was impressed by how enormous it is -- over a hundred rooms. It's really a wonderful experience to be here where there's so much art going on, so many musicians, so many people rehearsing, recording."
Few would have guessed that "Weird Al" Yankovic, who as a shy, accordion-playing teenager got his start sending in homemade tapes to the Dr. Demento Radio Show, would go on to become the biggest-selling comedy recording artist in history with over 12 million album sales. Now in his fourth career decade, he has won 3 Grammys (with 14 nominations) and countless awards and accolades for Weird Al classics like "Eat It," "Like a Surgeon," "Fat," "Smells Like Nirvana," "Amish Paradise" and "The Saga Begins." His 2011 album Alpocalypse (featuring the Lady Gaga parody "Perform This Way") debuted in the Billboard Top 10, and was nominated for two Grammy Awards (Best Comedy Album and Best Short Form Video).
"Bedrock has been so accommodating," commented Al's recording engineer Brian Warwick. "It's got a great vibe, like working in an old studio where you constantly have people around, where there's always something happening. Al and I were walking around here late one night, just trying to find out who was playing the interesting music we were hearing. In a lot of the bigger studios these days, they shut down late at night, but here it's still really, really active. And everything we've recorded sounds great. This room in particular is really well designed for doing vocals and overdubs."
The "new Mandatory Fun" album features parodies of some of the biggest hits of the past year, including Pharrell Williams' "Happy" ("Tacky"), Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" ("Word Crimes"), Lorde's "Royals" ("Foil"), Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" ("Handy") and Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" ("Inactive"). The album also features several inspired originals and pastiches ("Lame Claim to Fame," "Sports Song," "My Own Eyes," "Mission Statement," "First World Problems" and "Jackson Park Express") along with Al's latest accordion-fueled medley, "NOW That's What I Call Polka!"
For the vocal sessions at Bedrock.LA, Yankovic chose a new TELEFUNKEN C12 large diaphragm condenser microphone. "This mic is great, with all the characteristics of the classic C12," Warwick continued. "If anything, I feel a little more secure using this one versus a vintage C12, because you never quite know the age of the tube. You don't know when the last time the capsule was redone or if you have the right power supply. With a beautiful new C12, it just gives you a little more confidence when you walk into the studio."
Al added, "The equipment at Bedrock is state of the art, and the studio just feels like home. I've been in situations before where I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere and sequestered away. That's another way to work, but I prefer to be around creative people and feel like I'm part of a community."
Further in the spirit of Mandatory Fun's bid for world domination, beginning July 14th Al began releasing 8 music videos in 8 days. Yankovic's production partners for the world premiere videos include Nerdist Industries, College Humor, Yahoo, Funny or Die and TruScribe, as well as talented auteurs like Liam Lynch, Jarrett Heather and Tim Thompson.
Weird Al, along with his band of over three decades, has performed thousands of live rock and comedy multimedia shows throughout the world, and will be back on the road in 2015 for The Mandatory Tour.
Check out "Mandatory Fun":
Learn more about TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik at:
Learn more about Bedrock.LA: http://Bedrock.LA