Weird Al Yankovic’s latest album, “Alpocalypse,” reached No. 9 on the Billboard chart. “Alpocalypse,” his 13th album, was released in June 2011.
“After 36 years, I’m peaking,” said Yankovic in a telephone interview.
Yankovic created music videos for all 12 songs on the album. The album is the heart of his three-month tour through the United States and Canada that includes three performances at Three Stages in Folsom.
He describes his shows as “live performance rock and comedy multimedia extravaganzas.”
He plays around 65 songs, has about 20 costume changes, assumes two dozen personals, and intersperses video. It’s just the kind of show that Stage One technology was designed to showcase.
The “Alpocalypse” album and tour were named to parody recent doomsday predictions such as the May 2011 end times and 2012 winter solstice end of this age.
The album was nominated for a 2012 Grammy for Best Comedy Album. The lead song, “Perform This Way,” was nominated for Best Short Form Video. “Perform This Way” is a parody of Lady Gaga’s song, “Born This Way.”
During his career, Yankovic has won three Grammy awards and was nominated for 14.
Other songs from the album are “Craigslist,” Yankovic’s salute to The Doors, “Ringtone,” “Polka Face,” and “Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me.”
“I’ve always been a fan of pop culture,” said Yankovic, who grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles and learned to play accordion when he was 6 years old.
He got his first airplay on the Dr. Demento radio show. The disc jockey known as Dr. Demento had a popular show in the 1970s specializing in novelty songs and comedy.
At age 16, Yankovic recorded some original songs accompanied by his accordion on a cheap cassette player in his bedroom. He sent the tapes to Demento, who put them on the air.
As a sophomore architecture student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Yankovic became a DJ at the university radio station. His fellow students nicknamed him “Weird Al” and he used the name as his DJ moniker. The name stuck.
By the time Yankovic graduated from college, never to practice architecture, he had a couple of nationally-released singles, “My Bologna,” and “Another One Rides the Bus,” and a modest cult following.
His fan base has expanded along with his career.
“My fans are sometimes called Yankheads or Aloholics,” he said. “Now that the tour dates are online, they can follow the tour. Sometimes when I look out at the front row, I see the same faces from city to city.”
He said his early musical influences were the “twisted minds” of talent that he heard on the Dr. Demento show: Spike Jones, Stan Freberg, Tom Lehrer, Allan Sherman, Shel Silverstein and Frank Zappa. He also loved Bob Newhart on television’s, “The Bob Newhart Show.”
A different sort of influence came from Myron Floren, the accordionist in the Laurence Welk Band, who was on the band’s weekly television show, and Elton John.
“Elton John was my idol,” he said. “I learned to play rock and roll accordion from Elton John.
“Weird Al” Yankovic, American singer-songwriter, music producer, accordionist, actor, comedian, writer, satirist, and parodist, and author of the children’s book, “When I Grow Up,” has sold over 12 million albums.
He will perform at Three Stages, 10 College Parkway in Folsom, on Friday, Aug. 10, at 8 p.m., and on Saturday, Aug. 11, at 2 and 8 p.m.
Tickets are $39 to $55. Premium tickets are $65. Tickets are available online at threestages.net or from the Three Stages ticket office at 916-608-6888 Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and two hours before show time.