Category Archives: music

Christmas gift ideas for weird people

If you don’t know any “Weird Al” fans, you need new friends.

For everyone else, you might be wondering what to buy them for Christmas. Sure, you could gift some CDs or vinyl, but that’s too normal, isn’t it? Here are some alternatives for your Weirdest friends…

That’s eleven awesome things to choose from. That’s right, eleven, not ten. Because a “top ten” list would be too normal.

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Fun Cards: 1985 Donruss “Weird Al” Yankovic

Another year, another great album from the greatest musical genius of all-time, “Weird Al” Yankovic. Dare To Be Stupid features parodies of Madonna, Huey Lewis and the News, The Kinks, and Cyndi Lauper, as well as comedic offerings in the styles of Devo, Elton John, and Elvis.

Fun Cards: 1984 Topps “Weird Al” Yankovic

I was not collecting baseball cards in 1984, at least not very much. One of the first Reds team sets I completed was 1984 Topps, and I have been able to get a number of those autographed, so the set still holds a special place in my heart even though I didn’t really start collecting heavily until 1985.

1984 was an important year for a much different reason. “Weird Al” Yankovic‘s album In 3-D was released on February 28, 1984. The album featured great parodies of songs by Men Without Hats, The Greg Kihn Band, The Police, and Survivor. There was also a completely original song called “Eat It.” “Weird Al” wrote the music and the lyrics for this song, but it was parodied by Michael Jackson in a song called “Beat It.” So weird.

Fun Cards: 1983 Topps “Weird Al” Yankovic

I will not apologize for my “Weird Al” fandom. He has been one of my favorite musical artists since I was in grade school. His self-titled debut album was released in 1983 and featured parodies of songs by Toni Basil, Joan Jett, The Knack, Queen, and Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty, along with several original compositions.

Fun Cards: 1979 Topps “Weird Al” Yankovic

“Weird Al” Yankovic is the subject of a brand new biopic on the Roku Channel, and let me tell you his story is absolutely riveting. It’s truly amazing how little we really knew of this genius, and how far ahead of his time he was. It is such a shame that his life was taken from him in the 1980s at the height of his fame.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, watch the movie. Or don’t. I can’t tell you what to do.

If you’re shopping for Christmas already, pick up some “Weird Al” music on Amazon for your funny friends. Maybe the new soundtrack to the biopic perhaps?

Goodbye, Jeff LaBar

(March 18, 1963 – July 14, 2021)

Guitarist Jeff LaBar passed away yesterday. LaBar was best known for his work with Cinderella. He also performed with Cinderella bandmate Eric Brittingham in Naked Beggars and released a solo album in 2014. No cause of death was given as of the time of this writing.

Fun Cards: 1985 Donruss LL Cool J

LL Cool J 1985 Donruss

LL Cool J oozed cool in the 1980s. He still oozes cool today. “Mama Said Knock You Out” is my jam.

Fun Cards: Foo Fighters! 1995 Topps Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, Nate Mendel; 1997 Score Taylor Hawkins; 1999 Topps Chris Shiflett

Foo Fighters Dave Grohl 1995 Topps

Foo Fighters‘ 1995 debut album was groundbreaking. Not because it was radically sonically different; it was a rather straight-forward rock album. But the fact that Dave Grohl recorded the entire thing by himself for the most part, and so soon after the disbandment of Nirvana the year prior…honestly, Grohl is a musical genius. Nirvana didn’t deserve this man.

He is being inducted into the Rock Hall for the second time along with Foo-mates Pat Smear and Nate Mendel (who joined the band after the recording of the debut; both made their debut on 1997’s The Colour and the Shape), Taylor Hawkins (who sat down behind the skins in 1997, first appearing on 1999’s There Is Nothing Left to Lose), Chris Shiflett (additional guitarist since 1999, making his recording debut on 2002’s One By One), and Rami Jaffee (who came into the fold in 2017 on the Concrete and Gold album but won’t get a card because I’m not going to attempt a custom 2017 card).

Pat Smear Foo Fighters 1995 Topps

Nate Mendel Foo Fighters 1995 Topps

Taylor Hawkins Foo Fighters 1997 Score

Chris Shiflett Foo Fighters 1999 Topps

One of my favorite guitarists is releasing a new album soon

Reb Beach 1988 Topps

This guy is hands-down one of the most under-appreciated guitarists of my lifetime. Hair metal gets a bad rap, and thanks to Beavis & Butt-Head‘s friend Stuart, Winger is the butt of many jokes. The band is really superb, though, and guitarist Reb Beach is a magician on the frets. His new album, A View from the Inside, is set for an early November release. The audio for “Aurora Borealis” just dropped this morning on YouTube, and it blows my mind.

Goodbye, Eddie Van Halen

I can’t believe I just typed those words. This one is going to take some time to digest.

January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020

1979 Topps baseball Eddie Van Halen

Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, the greatest rock guitarist of my lifetime, passed away today from throat cancer. He was an innovator, a magician on six strings. He was the guy everybody wanted to play like. And no one could. Not even close.

Eddie recorded music with his brother Alex (drums on all Van Halen releases), his father Jan (who played clarinet on “Big Bad Bill” from Diver Down), and his son Wolfgang (bass on A Different Kind of Truth and Tokyo Dome Live in Concert. He recorded with Michael Jackson (playing the guitar solo on Thriller‘s “Beat It”), Brian May of Queen (1983’s Strar Fleet Project), and LL Cool J (“We’re The Greatest” from Authentic). He

He was not just a master of his craft. He was the master of his craft.

1979 Topps football Eddie Van Halen

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