The online efforts of Jack White, Trent Reznor, and Thom Yorke have been interesting, but it’s not like their music is necessarily improved by eliminating corporate middlemen or pre-release waiting periods. To find someone who could truly benefit from new technology, one must look to visionaries who truly strive to capture a cultural moment. Like “Weird Al” Yankovic. “Certainly there is the possibility of me being a lot more topical,” Yankovic told Billboard. “Before I would have to wait until I was getting ready to put an album out and hope I’d be able to latch onto something that was topical and timely–and even then it would be a couple months before I’d be able to get an album in stores. Now, with iTunes and portals like that, ostensibly I could come up with an idea, record it and get it out in the marketplace within a week. That’s exciting.” It most certainly is.
Yankovic says he’s having “an ongoing discussion” with his label, the Zomba Music Group subsidiary Volcano, about ways to achieve that. “I don’t have a deal in place with my record label right now where that would make sense,” Yankovic acknowledges, “but the technology is obviously there, and that’s a direction I could certainly see my career going if we could figure out how to make that particular paradigm work.”
Yes, he uses the word “paradigm.”