28 thoughts on “Don’t Download This Song

  1. Huh. In retrospect, I’m a little surprised that it took them this long to get together for something.

    I think their mental damages mesh pretty well.

    I mean that in a good way, of course.

  2. Wow. That was pretty funny. I think it’s the first weird al song I’ve laughed at in a while.

    Like people said of me and my first girlfriend in college, “why did it take them so long to get together?”

  3. For those unfamiliar with him, take it from a long-time animation nerd: Plympton so completely rules. And come on, nobody busts ‘em (WhiteGuy™ slang!) like Al. Thanks, John.
    heh, heh sharks and wolves high-kicking. It’s funny ’cause it’s true.

  4. I liked it a lot, although was it tongue-in-cheek?

    As a guy who has made his entire career selling intellectual property I dislike the implication that we are all rich bastards with multiple gold Hummers.

    Most of us make a modest to good living, nothing more. I pay for the games and music (and books) that I like. As I tell my kids I pay for them so the artists are encouraged to make more.

  5. Tripp:

    “As a guy who has made his entire career selling intellectual property I dislike the implication that we are all rich bastards with multiple gold Hummers.”

    Were you not told about the IP-sellers discount on the gold Hummers?

    I suspect the song is skewering both sides of the argument, but the overly-zealous strategies of the RIAA are particularly ripe for parody.

  6. Don’t feel bad about watching it for free– Wierd Al released it for free download just to complete the irony.

    A lot of bands seem to be voluntarily releasing singles into the wilds of the internet these days… seems like a lovely business tactic if your goal is to get the word out so that people pay mad cash monies (aha, ilicitly reproduced WhiteGuy slang!) to see you play live.

  7. Quoth Eric Berlin:

    “Am I the only one who thinks that looks like the storyboard for a video that hasn’t yet been completed?”

    Nah, that’s Plympton’s style. His every-frame-hand-drawn style. Try downloading a copy of “Billy’s Balloon” or “Cancelled!”, and not to rupture your appendix through laughter.

    I mean, buy a copy!

  8. Eric, et al:
    Plympton’s also a respected magazine illustrator and has been nominated for an Oscar® (not as good as a fancy cheeseboard, but still). If anybody has a Netflix account, there are a few DVD collections of his there (try your public library, too). But be warned a lot of his stuff is much, much weirder — not to mention grosser — than this vid.
    Annalee:
    Don’t forget the ™! If this post teaches us nothing else, know we must always be vigilant over our IP.

  9. OK, I’ve been a fan of Weird Al and the band since Another One Rides the Bus started playing on Dr. Demento’s show.
    His new album Straight Outta Lynwood shows up in stores 9/26, and this is the first single.

    It’s going to be a DualDisc release, meaning one side is going to be the CD and the other side is a DVD. The DVD side will contain animated/stop motion videos for 6 of the songs including this one. John Kricfalusi(!!) of Ren & Stimpy is doing one of them, as are the guys from Adult Swim’sRobot Chicken, Jim Blashfield (Nu Shooz’ I Can’t Wait, Talking Heads’ And There She Was among other great 80s videos ;) ), and a couple of up-n-coming web animators.

    In addition, Jib-Jab is releasing a seventh video later in the year, and Al is currently filming an eigth big-budget, live-action video!

    For those that follow Weird Al, Don’t Download This Song is one of his “style parodies”, where he writes an original song that sounds like a certain band or musical genre. If you can’t pick up this one, this style parody is of the “We Are the World” or “Do They Know It’s Christmas” mega-musician-let’s-make-us-feel-less-guilty-for-making-boatloads-of-cash-type collaborations the mid-80s were famous for.

  10. Djscman – Billy’s Balloon was *not* Plympton. It’s Hertzfeldt.

    Uh, And I think you mean Rejected, not Canceled! But I could be wrong about that.

    Plympton is probably most unknown for having come up with the concept for the movie Office Space as a short animation.

  11. Knowing Plympton as we do, I think the only surprise is that it took so long for him to get together with Weird Al. On the other hand, knowing Plympton’s so busy, it’s not all that surprising.

    Wonderful! Bravo, Bill! Bravo, Al! And thanks, John, for finding and posting it.

  12. Josh Jasper, that’s a good point. Three good points. I retract the statement in its entirety, including the bit about every frame being hand-drawn. That was a “fact” from a Hertzfeldt interview I read, and whether Plympton does the same or not, I cannot support my assertion.

  13. Darned funny video. Bill Plympton is a real genius.

    (My favorite of his shorts, though not his most visually impressive, is “One Of Those Days”(1988). Remember that angry dog that just won’t let go of the protagonist’s leg?)

    Does the song kick “both ways” in the DRM debate? Well, the video seems to side with the kids who download songs, and this slants the interpretation of the music in the same direction.

    If the RIAA had sponsored the video, perhaps the message would have been slanted in the opposite direction…

  14. Wow, yeah, that was the first Weird Al song I’ve laughed at in a while too. I liked the blend of the song with that animation. Highly amusing. And the scratchy quality of the animation made it fun too, even if as some say above it seemed incomplete. Maybe that’s part of the point to it. And huh, I had no idea about it being a style parody. The things you learn from reading comments. :)

  15. Josh Jasper:

    Actually, Mike Judge was responsible for Milton, the SNL-based genesis for “Office Space.” The same Mike Judge who came up with Beavis & Butthead, Daria, and King of the Hill.

    Seems no one can figure out what Plympton is known for…

  16. It’s nice to see some animation that’s hand drawn, when just about every animated series I watch on tv is done with computer programs.

  17. Weird Al’s “style parodies” are usually a lot funnier than his parodic versions of specific pop songs. I think it’s because the style parodies, since they’re more wholly his own creation, get more creative attention.

  18. I’m sorry — “Eat it” rocks.

    I don’t believe using force to support innovation is sufficient justification for using force against peaceful, honest people.

    Sharing and copying is not stealing, any more than WalMart “steals” customers from the mom & pop stores that go out of business.

    Creative people may need a new business model for making cash … hm, release stuff for free (with ads on the site), become famous, sell tickets for live work.

    Worked for Mozart, didn’t it?

  19. no one rips off artists and creative types more than the agents, distributors and promoters who get their huge cuts… most artists/singers/songwriters — writers — see less than 5% return on their heart’s blood.

  20. The artist or musicians don’t get paid anything except for touring anymore anyway. They don’t get a real return on their music unless they go under an anti-DRM type record company like http://www.maganatune.com

    “I liked it a lot, although was it tongue-in-cheek?

    As a guy who has made his entire career selling intellectual property I dislike the implication that we are all rich bastards with multiple gold Hummers.

    Most of us make a modest to good living, nothing more. I pay for the games and music (and books) that I like. As I tell my kids I pay for them so the artists are encouraged to make more. ”

    Ah the musicians get free stuff too of the Internet. They don’t need that much money. As a matter of fact most musicans aren’t making that much at all because of IP dispute costs. The entire scene has been a nightmare since it was incepted really. It has to be rthunk from the start.

    You made money off of IP but were you a musician or artist???

    This song is amazing and not really a parody like critter42 says.

    I will purcahse and share Al’s stuff from a non-DRM site like http://www.emusic.com or mp3tunes.com

    I love you AL!

  21. Also, if you’re a visual artist and you sell a painting, you don’t get a royalty for it. Not even if you sell it to a major art gallery and thousands of people view it. Why should painters be paid differently to musicians & novelists? Answers on the back of a postcard of the Mona Lisa to the RIAA, please!

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